If you are a private landlord, the quarterly possession statistics from the Ministry of Justice can make interesting reading. The highlights from the April to June 2018 quarter are:
- Landlord possession actions have decreased, following a downward trend since summer 2014
- Landlord possession claims are highest in London (with all 10 of the highest 10 claim rates and 7 of the 10 highest repossession rates)
- The average (median) landlord possession action timeliness has increased across all stages (claims, order, warrants and repossessions)
These statistics include actions by social landlords which represent 59% of possession claims. 21% (down by 4%) were possession claims using the accelerated procedure, and the remaining 20% were private landlord claims.
What is the reason that landlords have decided not to pursue possession? Is it because they are no longer experiencing defaulting tenants? I don’t think this is true. Is it the cost of bringing a claim, both in terms of money and time? This seems more likely!
Timescales for private landlords (excluding social landlords)
- From issuing a claim for possession to obtaining a possession order takes 7.1 weeks, accelerated possession took 5.1 weeks
- From issuing a claim to obtaining a warrant of possession is 10 weeks for a private landlord and 9.7 weeks if accelerated possession is used
- The time from issuing a claim to gaining vacant possession (using a county court bailiff and not a high court enforcement officer) is 16.3 weeks for private landlords and 18.1 weeks using the accelerated procedure.
Therefore, the accelerated procedure currently takes longer than the ordinary possession route, and the notice period is 2 months rather than 2 weeks. However, you do not have to plead any grounds for possession or attend a hearing with an accelerated possession claim.
What is also interesting is that currently of all possession claims issued only 68% result in a possession order. Only 25% result in a warrant of possession being obtained. Only 13% result in an eviction being executed. This shows that on many claims the tenants either vacate voluntarily, or an arrangement is agreed between the landlord and tenant.
If you have a defaulting tenant, speak to Mercian Law about your options and what costs are involved. We can help you make an informed decision on what action to take, if any.