Private Landlords Evict Fewer Tenants

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

The level of private landlord evictions is falling, according to new data from the Ministry of Justice.

All four measures of landlord property repossession action against tenants was lower in the second quarter of 2019 than a year earlier.

Possession claims hit 26,695, a 9% year-on-year decrease, while possession orders numbered 21,384 (-6%), warrants fell to 13,685 (-4%) and repossession dropped to 7,428 (-10%).

The MoJ also pointed out that 58% of claims originated from social landlords, 19% were accelerated claims and 23% – 6,079 claims – were from private landlords.

“Since the same quarter last year, the proportion of private landlord claims increased by 2%, whereas accelerated claims decreased by 2% and social landlord remained stable. The fall in landlord possession claims is across all regions, with the largest actual decrease seen in Midland and London courts,” said the MoJ report.

On average, a repossession claim takes 19.6 weeks to go through the courts, a slight reduction on 19.7 weeks a year ago. One in four claims reaches repossession, which is unchanged from last year.

Watch out for scammers

Insolvency officials are warning crooks are trying to scam property investors who have already lost millions for a second time.

Fraudsters have sent letters and emails to around 800 victims of Essex & London Properties, an investment firm that collapsed in a fraud owing £20 million in a Ponzi scheme.

They want to charge them for recovering their lost investments.

The directors paid investors out of cash collected from new victims while diverting millions to pay for a luxury lifestyle.

The government’s Insolvency Service says the scammers falsely say that they are working with them.

Deputy Official Receiver Joanna Caswell said: “These schemes pose a serious threat as they will attempt to elicit further funds from you which you are unlikely to see again. In the strongest possible terms, we strongly advise anyone who invested in Essex and London to not engage with anyone who claims they can recover your investments.

“The Official Receiver will never contact anyone offering to recover their money for a fee or recommend another organisation offering the same service.”

Don’t forget the new tenant fee ban

September 1 marks the start of the tenant fees ban in Wales that limits charges landlords and letting agents can make to start, renew or end private tenancies.

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