Rise in Evictions in Q2 2023: Understanding the Stats

Evictions by landlords are rising compared to the same time a year ago - but are still much lower than long-term averages.

Statistics from the Ministry of Justice show landlords have launched 22,537 court claims in the second quarter of this year, a 24 per cent increase on Q2 2022.

The number of possession orders is also rising (16,010, up 12 per cent), together with warrants (9,886, up 27 per cent) and evictions (5,868, up 19 per cent).

Accelerated procedures have also risen, with claims up 34 per cent, orders up 22 per cent, warrants up 48 per cent and evictions up 47 per cent.

The MoJ release also explains private landlord claims account for 32% of claims and 34% of accelerated claims. Social landlords filed the remaining claims.

Evictions are up but still fewer than pre-Covid

But the figures are far below those recorded pre-Covid as the charts show:

Mortgage possession actions in the county courts of England and Wales, April to June 2018 to April to June 2023

Source: Ministry of Justice

The MoJ points out that accelerated claims will fall to a negligible level as Section 21 no-fault claims are abolished when the Rent Reforms Act comes into force.

“The changes in regulations and rising interest rates with the corresponding increases in mortgages may have contributed to uncertainty for landlords in the short term and has very likely led to some landlords selling their properties and exiting the rental market. This would have the effect of increasing the number of possession actions,” says the MoJ report.

The rise in claims and orders is nationwide, although London has seen a third of all actions with 7,320 claims and 4,355 orders in Q2 2023. The number of actions has increased by 56 per cent in the capital in the past 12 months.

Court times for eviction cases fall.

The average time for a landlord claim to pass through the courts has fallen to 22.1 weeks - down from 23.4 weeks a year ago. However, the timeline is longer than the law allows. Court rules demand cases should go to a hearing between four and eight weeks after filing.

The highest level of private landlord possession claims is in East London.  Barking & Dagenham topped the list with 109 claims 609 per 100,000 homes), with Newham taking second place with 225 claims (506 per 100,000 homes) and Redbridge third with 148 claims (469 per 100,000 homes).

London boroughs had seven of the ten highest rates of private landlord claims. Six English councils had no claims by private landlords, while Exeter had the lowest rate - 7.6 per 100,000 homes.

Bailiffs evicted the most tenants in Bexley, South-East London, with 27 (185 per 100,000 homes). The other highest eviction rates by bailiffs were 56 in Redbridge (177 per 100,000 homes) and 13 in Dartford, Kent (155 per 100,000 homes). The MoJ reported that 43 councils saw no private landlord evictions.

Download the complete MoJ Repossession Statistics report Q2 2023

Buy to let repossession FAQ.

What is an accelerated claim?

Accelerated possession claims aim to allow landlords to win a repossession order without a hearing if the tenant does not dispute the facts of the case. This is often called a Section 21  (Section 173 in Wales) or no-fault eviction notice.

Can landlords claim rent arrears under an accelerated claim?

Landlords cannot seek repayment of rent arrears under an accelerated claim.

What happens when a judge makes an accelerated possession order?

The tenant has up to 28 days to leave the home. Bailiffs can evict tenants who fail to go within this time limit.

Where can I find out more about accelerated claims?

Try the government website for more information and forms.

Are no-fault evictions still legal?

The government intends to abolish Section 21 no-fault evictions in England when the Renters (Reform) Bill currently passing through Parliament becomes law.

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