Agents facing six month wait to evict tenants, latest figures show

Update from the Ministry of Justice reveals that despite attempts to recruit more judges, landlords and agents still face huge delays with evictions.


The courts are taking over half a year on average to process bona fide evictions by agents and landlords, official figures have revealed.

Latest data from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) shows that repossessions by landlords are taking on average 29 weeks, while the Ministry of Justice has also noted that such long lead times are ‘higher than the legal guidelines’.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) says 29 weeks is far too long particularly given many committing anti-social behaviour or deliberately getting into arrears are aware it will take months to evict them.

The delays break down into several streams – the MoJ figures show it is taking 11 weeks on average to secure a court hearing where a possession claim can be approved, and an order issued.

Subsequently finding a court-appointed bailiff to undertake the eviction has also proved extremely difficult in recent months after strikes at dozens of courts over personal safety equipment availability.


With the looming albeit delayed end of Section 21 evictions likely to further exacerbate pressures on the courts, the NRLA is calling for urgent action to ensure legitimate possession cases are processed far more swiftly.

Ministers need to boost staff numbers in the courts and outline clearly what their proposed digitised system for handling cases would look like, it says.

evictions nrla
Ben Beadle, NRLA

“Responsible landlords and tenants need to be confident that the courts will handle possession cases swiftly and fairly when section 21 goes. At present that is not happening,” says Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association.

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