Official data has shown that throughout the course of 2015, 42,728 tenants were evicted from rented accommodation, equivalent to 250 evictions every day.
This number is the highest since records began 16 years ago and shows the scale of the housing crisis that we are currently experiencing. It also amounts to an increase of around 53% since 2010. Of all of the evictions, 19,093 were confirmed to have been by social landlords, and 5,919 confirmed to be by private landlords. The remaining 16,440 were made using what is known as the ëaccelerated procedure ‘ ñ a process that both private and social landlords use, but it is widely thought that the majority of these were down to private landlords.
The chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter, Campbell Robb, said: “Today ‘s figures are clear proof of the devastating impact that welfare cuts and the chronic shortage of affordable homes are having on hundreds of renters every day.”
He went on: “successive governments have failed to build enough genuinely affordable homes, and short-sighted welfare cuts are only making things tougher. The only way to fix this crisis for good is for the government to commit to building homes that people on ordinary incomes can actually afford to rent or buy.”
While evictions from rented accommodation were up dramatically last year, data from the Council for Mortgage Lenders showed that fewer mortaged properties were repossessed compared to the year before ñ indeed at 10,200 in total, this was the lowest number seen since 2002. 3,000 of those 10,200 were buy-let properties.
Part of the reason for this figure being so low is that when a person falls into mortgage arrears, repossession is often the last resort to be pursued by the lender. They are far more likely to try and go down other avenues in order to reclaim monies owed. For example, many will be temporarily moved onto interest only payment plans until they are in a position to resume normal payment.
This is not the case for buy-let properties though. Landlords have fewer options at their disposal when they fall into arrears.
A CML spokesperson said: “a buy-let loan is taken out by a landlord to invest in property and so is fundamentally different to a residential mortgage . These borrowers do not have the same range of options. For example, many landlords only borrow on an interest-only basis at the outset, so switching them to cheaper repayments may not be an option.
“Lenders must also consider the position of tenants, who may be paying rent to a lansdlord who is not paying the mortgage. In this case, an option may be to appoint a receiver of rent to fulfil the role of the landlord, and ensure that tenants can remain in the property as long as they continue to pay the rent.”