Tenant Eviction Figures Increase Again
Landlord Possession Claims Soar Again
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of PRS landlords seeking to evict bad tenants and the volume of possession orders doesn’t look like abating any time soon according to data released by the UK Government.
Government figures show that there were 103,329 landlord claims for tenant eviction and orders for possession made last year, the highest recorded rate over the last five years and continues to represent an upward trend.
It is estimated that between 67% and 80% of claims led to a possession order being granted by the courts.
The number of cases of private rented sector (PRS) landlords applying for possession using the accelerated procedure is up by 85% over the last 3 years, indicating the difficulties in obtaining rent from defaulting tenants.
Figures have not yet been released showing the percentage of UK landlords pursuing debts or unpaid rent through private regulated debt recovery companies, however, with the increase in eviction rates for non payment of rent, these figures are expected to be extremely high.
Non-payment, late or partial payment of rent remains the biggest worry for all UK landlords without Rent Guarantee Insurance.
Property management companies and letting agents who are signed up to the Property Ombudsman Scheme are attempting to highlight the risks to landlords and many are developing procedures to protect themselves and the landlord against the non payment of rent.
The number of tenants in ‘severe financial difficulty’, actually fell in the last quarter of 2012, according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker by chartered surveyors Templeton LPA, the lowest figure since the final quarter of 2011.
However Templeton LPA are warning landlords and their appointed agents of the need to be even more vigilant when referencing potential tenants, since it is easier to avoid rent arrears than it is to recover them.
Sim Sekhon, spokesman for the UK’s leading Tenant Eviction and landlord services provider, Legal 4 Landlords commented: “With PRS rents increasing by up to 11% in some areas and the current economic climate in the UK and the continued financial situation in Europe have resulted in uncertain employment conditions, wage cuts and job losses in certain parts of the country and some tenants are finding it hard to keep their heads above water when it comes to finances. Some are so affected that they are forced to choose between feeding the family or paying the rent. For some tenants, the financial pressure is too great and they fall into arrears with their rent. The continuing rise in tenant eviction rates and landlord possession orders is a sign that the situation is continuing to deteriorate. Lettings and Property Management Agents should be advising landlords on what steps they can take to reduce the risk of rent default by tenants, including comprehensive Tenant Referencing and Rent Guarantee insurance. These products and services provide landlords with a little financial security and more importantly, peace of mind towards recovering any rent arrears and providing cover for the legal costs of evicting the tenant.”