LSL Property Services has recently released concerning figures that suggest there are growing numbers of landlords seeking eviction of tenants through Britain’s courts.
The findings of the LSL Property Services report show that the number of court orders for possession rose by 5.9% during the fourth quarter of 2013. In addition, the figures were up by 10% on the same stage twelve months ago.
However, despite these increases, the number of tenants facing severe rent arrears has fallen. According to LSL, the number tenants facing rental arrears in excess of 2 months has fallen by 35, 000 during the last year. Worryingly, around 67,000 tenants remain in serious financial trouble.
Paul Jardine, director of chartered surveyors Templeton LPA, believes that it remains to be seen what impact the economic recovery will have on vulnerable tenants. Jardine said, ‘Some households succumbed to the wave of unemployment that followed the 2008 crisis, and as the broader monthly squeeze tightened its grip. For a time – though still for only a small minority of tenants – there was a significant rise in rental arrears. But now as the jobs market gradually comes back to life, the effect on the most hard-pressed of households is clear to be seen.’
Mr Jardine goes on to say that, ‘while wages are yet to pick up significantly, those in the most serious financial problems often face a lack of any earnings at all. So as the risk of unemployment retreats this year, those with serious problems paying their rent – and most at risk of losing their homes – are benefiting the most.’
It can be argued that the increase in court orders is due to the boom in the buy-to-let market. As Dean Woodman-Evans, director of The Landlord Association explains; -‘the number of private landlords renting property has increased so the number of evictions are bound to increase. With that said however, more and more evictions are due to rent arrears as tenants find it harder to meet competitive rental yields. We have noticed a distinct increase in cases by our own landlords.’