Landlord possession claims increasing dramatically

Evicting a tenant isn’t easy, especially as all landlords have to go through the courts in order to get a possession order before they can legally evict their tenants. Many landlords used to find this difficult due to the fact that it could take a long period of time for the courts to decide whether to agree to a possession claim, meaning that if a tenant is defaulting on payments then the landlord would continue to lose money.

However, the courts have now introduced an accelerated procedure meaning that landlords no longer have to wait for a long period of time to find out if they are allowed to evict their tenants and recoup their losses. This has led to a massive increase in the amount of possession claims being issued to the courts, with the latest statistics showing that last year there were 103,329 possession claims, between 67 and 80 per cent of which led to a possession order.

Most of the time landlords apply for a possession order when their tenants consistently default on their rent payments, and with the upcoming welfare reforms it is likely that even more landlords will be going to the courts in future. Michael Portman, Managing Director of LetRisks said: “With rents rising by up to 11% in some areas, tenants are faced with rising rental and living costs. For some, the pressure is too great and they fall into arrears with their rent.”

“The continuing rise in possession orders is a sign that the situation is getting worse. Letting agents need to advise landlords on how they can reduce the risk to landlords. One simple way is legal expenses and rent insurance which gives landlords piece of mind and more importantly insurance cover, arrears and legal costs of evicting the tenants.” Landlord insurance providers can often help when it comes to evicting tenants, especially when it comes to costs, however landlords have been advised that if they wish to evict a tenant they need to make sure they comply with the procedures.

Landlords who wish to evict tenants must firstly fill out a Section 21 notice accurately before sending it to the courts; otherwise it could be thrown out. Last year, seventy per cent of possession orders were dismissed due to the fact that the information on the Section 21 notice wasn’t filled out properly, meaning that landlords faced even more delays and costs from the process.

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