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Tenant evictions up in England and Wales - but homeowner repossessions fell to record low

It’s been a bumpy ride for the UK property market this year, but finally the playing field seems to be levelly out – maybe the industry is due a break?

However, it’s not all good news. A report released by the Ministry of Justice has revealed that the number of evictions from rental property has risen 5% in the first three months of 2015, whilst the rate of repossessions for homeowners has fallen to a record low.

There were 10,732 repossessions of rented properties by bailiffs between January and March, an increase from 10,253 in the final three months of 2015.

The figures break down to reveal that 4,942 of the evictions were by social landlords such as housing associations, with private landlords responsible for 1,567, and the rest made up of “accelerated claims”- a term used for an eviction which progresses quicker that a normal eviction, and are generally favoured by private rather than social landlords.

Jeremy Leaf, a former RICs chairman suggests that the new tax rules for landlords could have an impact on the number of private tenants that are set to receive eviction notices as landlords struggle to make their rental properties pay their way as a viable business:

“The number of evicted tenants is worth keeping an eye on as the restrictions on buy to let start to bite and it becomes more difficult for landlords to get the numbers to add up,” he said. “We expect the number of evictions to rise as landlords find it hard to meet their obligations and have no choice but to sell.”

Despite the bad news for landlord’s and tenants, it’s a more positive picture for homeowners. Figures released by a selection of banks and buildings societies have released that the repossession rate amongst mortgage customers has fallen to its lowest level. Only 2,100 properties were repossessed between January and march, 1,500 of which were residential homeowners, and only 600 buy-to-let borrowers.

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