The number of landlords using bailiffs from the county court in order to repossess their property from problem tenants has risen to a record high over the past twelve months.
A report from specialist information provider Thomson Reuters shows that there were 41,489 landlord repossession cases in county courts in the year to March 2015. This was a rise from 37,706 from the previous year.
Thomson Reuters suggest that despite a rise in wages, tenants are still struggling to keep up to date with their rental payments. Daniel Dovar, barrister and co-author of the report, noted, ‘rising rents on residential property have stretched the finances of an increasing number of tenants to breaking point.’ He feels that, ‘this trend is likely to be particularly pronounced in the capital, where London’s residential property market has pushed rental costs to record highs.’
Legally, landlords must follow proceedings to recover possession of their residential property, should nuisance tenants refuse to leave. A warrant of execution must be applied for, should the property owner wish county court bailiffs to remove tenants from a home.
Landlords using court bailiffs rise
Accelerated procedure notices
Additionally, Thomson Reuters found that during the last twelve months, there has been an 11% rise in the use of accelerated procedure notices. This kind of procedure is designed to speed up the eviction process when landlords wish to evict tenants without recouping unpaid rent. Judges are then able to make a decision on whether to evict tenants based on paperwork submitted, rather than a full court hearing.
Data from the report shows that there were 29,821 accelerated procedure notices in 2014/15, up from 26,939 in the previous year. Mr Dovar commented that, ‘the increase in the use of APN’s shows that private landlords are increasingly willing to give up on unpaid rent in favour of evicting their tenants quicker. The sooner a landlord can remove the tenants the sooner they can re-let the property, which allows them to avoid lengthy periods with no rental income,’ he added.
‘With demand for rental property outweighing supply and forcing rents upward, the opportunity cost to a landlord of having a property occupied by someone that can’t pay the rent has increased. Private landlords are also under increasing pressure to meet their mortgage payments on buy-to-let investments, they simply don’t have the time to go through the potentially lengthy process of recovering unpaid rent,’ Dovar added.