By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Four months: how long it takes to repossess a rental property

The Ministry of Justice says it takes private landlords an average of 22.5 weeks from making a repossession claim to the courts to it actually happening.

This is up from 21.6 weeks since the beginning of the year.

The Residential Landlords Association says this shows the current system is inadequate. 


John Stewart, RLA policy manager, says: “Figures show that the courts are unable to cope when landlords seek to repossess properties for legitimate reasons.

“With proposals to scrap Section 21 repossessions set to lead to a significant increase in cases brought to the courts, it is now a matter of urgency that the government brings forward its plans for court reform.  

“This requires a fully funded, properly staffed, dedicated housing court that can bring rapid justice for landlords and tenants. Tinkering with the existing system will not be good enough.”

  • Paul Smithson

    Try 6 to 8 months within the m25, this is why it's most important to get use the correct referencing company.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    MHCLG are skewing the figures - manipulating statistics ( again ) and you would have hoped a Landlord Association RLA would have picked up on that.

    These are akin to Bad Tenant Protection groups like Shelter - just as bad saying a Tenant can be 'Turfed out' with just two months Notice.
    Practitioners - Landlords know that the whole time has to be counted, from the Time a Section 21 is served, to the time a Bailiff evicts, is on Average 7 and a half Months. !

    By the way - 22.5 weeks is 5 1/2 Months, Not 4. Add Two months section 21 and its 7 1/2 Months for those who can count.


    Another good example of the Legal system protecting those in the wrong and fingers up to the working honest people who play by the rules.

  • The Lettings Hub Ltd

    As others have said, these statistics show how important thorough referencing before the tenancy starts is to identify any high risk applicants from the off – we find almost 10% of tenants we reference are unsuitable for the property they’ve applied for. We’d always recommend having Rent & Legal Protection in place as well as a safety net because on average, based on these stats, landlords stand to lose over £4,500 in lost rent alone, let alone the court fees on top!

  • icon
    • 12 August 2019 11:32 AM

    Unfortunately thorough referencing while ideal may not result in finding tenants who can qualify for RGI.
    It is simply a fact that very few tenants are able to qualify for RGI and therefore the LL is forced to take as an informed gamble as they can.
    The vast majority of tenants are of very low quality as far as referencing is concerned.
    This makes being a LL with a mortgage a very risky business.
    With S21 being abolished this becomes even more so.
    If you factor in RGI to the possession process then you are easily looking at 10 months for eviction and that is using the current supposed quick S21 process!!!
    The reason for the longer period is that most RGI claims don't have to be submitted for 90 days.
    The reason for this is obvious.
    The RGI companies hope that rent arrears will be resolved so that no claim is made.
    I waited until the 85th day before I made a RGI claim as the tenant kept promising to pay.
    I did warn them that once I made the RGI claim they would be evicted.
    So giving the tenant the opportunity to recover rent arrears 10 months for eviction is easily achieved!!
    That means for at least 5 months the LL has to find the monies to service a mortgage.
    All insurance claims take time!!
    Even RGI when it is critical to be paid.
    RGI is more of a cashflow issue.
    So for every mortgaged property with RGI on it a LL would need at least 5 months of mortgage payments.
    That is obviously on the basis that in extremis all mortgaged properties rent default at the same time and RGI is available on each of them.
    Now imagine the situation where very few mortgaged BTL properties are capable of achieving RGI on the tenants and you can see the massive business risk that mortgaged LL are running.
    Indeed LL suffer losses of over £9 billion per year most of it due to rent default.
    This is something that is rarely discussed.
    But as a general principle can it be right that so much rent defaulting is facilitated by the current system..
    Surely tenants should be able to be removed by the LL without any court action the day after the 2nd month of rent default!?
    That would be 1 month and one day where rent is paid in advance which is the case for most tenancies.
    But Govt effectively conspires against LL with a currently dysfunctional eviction process such that LL suffer massive losses which can only very rarely be covered by RGI where achievable on tenants or their possible guarantors.
    The facts are that the PRS comprises of very low quality tenants which occasions massive business risks for a LL.
    I don't believe the vast majority of mortgaged LL appreciate how much risk they are running by taking on tenants who can't qualify for RGI.
    Taking on low quality tenants is OK if as LL there is no mortgage to pay.
    Then all you lose is income which is still a bummer but won't usually bankrupt you which could easily happen with a mortgaged LL.
    S21 is far and away the process the LL use to get rid of rent defaulting tenants.
    I've had to evict 5 and it never happened in 2 months from my issuing the S21 notice!!!


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up