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Possession claims double as evictions ban ends but are way off ‘normal’

Latest figures from the MoJ reveal increased eviction activity by landlords and letting agents now that Covid restrictions have ended.

Nigel Lewis

Evictions by landlords and letting agents have restarted with earnest following the recent relaxation of court and bailiff restrictions, latest official figures show.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) reveals that between April and June this year, possession claims more than doubled from 3,023 to 7,000; orders from 656 to 5431; warrants from 274 to 3,709 and repossessions from zero to 1516.

But, when compared to the same quarter in 2019, these actions have decreased by 74%, 75%, 73% and 80% respectively.

The evictions data reveals how the ongoing delays and complications of evicting tenants unless they are in serious rent arrears has prevented the ‘tsunami’ of eviction that had been predicted by some campaigning groups.

For example the MoJ figures also show that the median average time from claim to eviction has increased to just under 60 weeks, up from 19 weeks in the same period during 2019.

Nevertheless, repossession activity in the courts is beginning to ramp up, as is bailiff activity following the lifting of restrictions on 1st June.

But lobbying group Generation Rent is worried that many tenants are still facing eviction.

alicia kennedy evictions“There are thousands more who have lost work and got behind on their rent during the pandemic, and will find it difficult to repay that, even if their income recovers,” says Director Alicia Kennedy (pictured).

“It is almost impossible to move to a new home if you’re relying on benefits, so these renters face huge uncertainty in the months ahead while they wait to be told when the bailiffs will arrive.

“Only a Covid Rent Debt Fund to clear these rent arrears will help renters back to their feet and remove the threat of homelessness from thousands of families. The government must act urgently to relieve this hardship.”

See the figures in full.

August 13, 2021

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