Regulation and Enforcement

Landlord possession claims down by 21%

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley


The number of claims made by private sector landlords to re-possess a property have fallen by 21% over the past two years.

According to official statistics published by the Ministry of Justice today, the number of possession claims made to county courts in England and Wales by private landlords have fallen from a high of 6,486 in the first quarter of 2014 to 5,129 between July and September 2016.

It comes after the independent English Housing Survey published earlier this year found that in 2014-15 private sector tenants had been in their current home for an average of four years.

The Residential Landlords Association said these figures prove that PRS landlords are not taking decisions to take possession lightly and that they are committed to providing long-term housing solutions.

RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said: “Today’s figures are a timely reminder that landlords do not seek to re-possess properties lightly.

“With tenants also living an average of four years in private rented homes, the sector is stepping up to the demand for long term housing without the need for heavy handed legislation.”

The new report also show that in the July to September 2016 period the majority of landlord possession claims – 20,753 – the equivalent of 60% were social landlord claims. PRS landlord claims made up just 15%.

All stages of the landlord possession actions recorded in county courts in July to September 2016, have decreased when compared to the same quarter last year.

The figures also show landlord possession claims (34,414), orders for possession (26,157), warrants of possession (18,450) and repossessions by county court bailiffs (9,689) were down 11%, 10%, 8% and 14% respectively compared to the same quarter last year.

The RLA believes more can be done to help landlords offer longer term tenancies without the need for compulsory three or five year tenancies, for example the removal of barriers such as mortgage and leasehold conditions that may prevent them from doing so. 

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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