According to new statistics from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) the total number of evictions reached a record high of 42,728.
Whilst the overall possession claims fell during the year to 148,043, the numbers of accelerated possession cases have continued their upward trend to reach 37,663 in 2015; up 4.5% against the previous year, and up 10.5% against 2013’s figures.
The rise in evictions and the rise in use of Section 21 accelerated possessions procedure has been largely blamed on “rising rents and welfare cuts,” according to Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action.
Wages are not rising at the same rate as rent, particularly in the capital, which is pushing tenants into arrears.
Shamplina also believes that landlords are using Section 21 to gain access of their property with more ease: “Uncertainty over future buy-to-let tax implications and concerns over increased legislation (such as Right to rent and Deregulation Act) have been the catalysts for many self-managing landlords to consider selling up. They use Section 21 as a way to gain possession of their property as quickly as possible.”
Other landlords feel forced down the Section 21 route because local councils are now advising tenants to remain in their properties until a possession order has been granted by the courts.
“A Section 21 usually enables landlords to gain possession much quicker on a no-fault basis, so they can re-let the property, which is often more financially viable than chasing arrears. I believe use of the Section 21 process for landlords will continue to grow year on year because of councils” pushing the problem back onto private rental sector landlords,” adds Paul Shamplina