Evictions in England and Wales rise by 5%

The number of tenants evicted from rented homes in England and Wales in the first quarter of 2016 has risen by 5%, according to new figures.

However, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) says that repossession rates for those who own their homes has now fallen to a record low.

The figures reveal that there were 10,732 repossessions granted to landlords of rented homes between January and March, compared to 10,253 repossessions in the final quarter of last year.

The MoJ also reveals that record numbers of tenants are being forcibly evicted by bailiffs with 42,728 being removed from rental properties in 2015.

The lack of affordable homes to rent


The reasons for the rise include the lack of affordable homes to rent and cuts in welfare payments with more than half of the evictions being brought by private landlords.

PropertyLetByUs, an online letting agent, has also revealed in a survey that one in four landlords with buy to let property have had to serve an eviction notice in the last year a tenant. In addition, 5% of landlords had to pursue their eviction through the courts.

The firm’s managing director, Jane Morris, said: “Landlords increasingly face rent arrears because rents continue to outstrip gross income.

Average rent for a new tenancy


“According to a survey from HomeLet, the average rent for a new tenancy signed in the UK on property outside of London in the first three months is now 5.1% higher than it was a year earlier.

“Landlords also face a financial squeeze because of restrictions on tax breaks and so landlords may raise rents to help supplement their income. The pushing up of rents puts pressure on tenants who are struggling to meet their rent.”

Ms Morris added: “We may see evictions continuing to rise in the next few months but landlords need to protect their rental income and they should carry out thorough references on tenants. The demand for rental homes is growing in most of the UK.”

Tenants should be charged for inventory check, says AIIC


Meanwhile, the government should rethink its Renters Rights Bill to enable letting agents to charge tenants for the inventory checks before moving in, says the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).

The body says that the fees will be transferred to landlords who will then add them to a tenant’s rent.

The move comes after the bill received its second reading and includes measures to ban letting agents charging tenants from paying administration and registration fees as well as renewal and reference check costs.


About S Thompson

Simon Thompson is Editor of Landlord News and CEO of AccommodationforStudents.com

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