New figures from the Ministry of Justice show a dramatic long-term decline in the number of possessions in the private rental sector - and take the wind out of the sales of calls for S21 eviction powers to be scrapped.
The MoJ data says: “When compared to the same quarter in 2019, landlord possession claims, orders, warrants and repossessions by county court bailiffs have decreased by 64, 75, 69 and 35 per cent respectively … Decreases in possession claims have been recorded over all regions. Landlord claims remained concentrated in London (with seven of the highest 10 claim rates).”
Timothy Douglas, policy manager at Propertymark, says this is just the latest in a long-term trend.
“Looking back to 2016, the figures have been on a steady downwards trajectory for a number of years, throughout the pandemic in particular letting agents have worked tirelessly, communicating between landlords and tenants to resolve issues by negotiating rent reductions and offering mediation along the way” he comments.
“This work hasn’t gone unnoticed as this quarter shows a significant decrease in the number of landlord possessions compared to the same time pre-pandemic in 2019.
“Whilst there are many steps that can be explored before eviction, for some landlords and letting agents, the tough decision of an eviction has had to be made.
“But ultimately, it’s important to realise that nearly half of all landlords have just one rental property and are faced with the same financial pressures as others - 54 per cent of landlords have buy to let mortgages on their rented properties and ultimately must factor that in to their decisions when facing tenant issues.
“With reform still on the cards for the private rented sector, we hope that decision makers take note of these figures and realise that abolishing section 21 is not the silver bullet some think it is."