Buy to let evictions soar by 33%

Court orders to evict tenants renting from private landlords have soared by a third over the past two years.

Courts have granted eviction orders against 36,211 tenants in buy to let homes and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) – up 12% in a year and a rise of 33% over the past two years.

The figures come from official Ministry of Justice statistics, analysed by housing charity Crisis.

Duncan Shrubsole, Crisis director of policy, said: “Sadly, it is no surprise that we are seeing tens of thousands of private tenants facing eviction. They face a dreadful combination of high unemployment and underemployment, draconian cuts to housing benefit and soaring rents.

“Our concern is that many of these people will have nowhere to turn, and end up falling victim to homelessness. In fact government’s own statistics point to this already happening.”

Crisis argues worries over the fate of evicted private tenants are supported by official homelessness statistics. These reveal that between 2009 and 2011, the number of homeless seeking help from local councils was up 42% to just under 10,000 households.

The actual number of homeless is much more as many households could include several adults and children.

A survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA) also paint a picture of struggling households in the private rented sector, with 49% of landlords agreeing that tenants had paid rent late or run up arrears over the last year.

However, recent arrears figures from LSL Property Services, the UK’s largest letting agency chain, suggested

“We are calling on the government to rethink cuts to housing benefit that will inevitably leave increasing numbers of people unable to pay the rent. We are also in desperate need of more social and affordable housing in order to rein in the soaring rental market,” said Shrubsole.