Evictions in rental sector at highest level since records began

The number of people forcibly evicted from their homes in England and Wales after court action, has reached the highest level since records began in 2000.

The Ministry of Justice attributed this to low interest rates and a “proactive approach from lenders in managing consumers in financial difficulty”. The first part of the re-possession process, landlord possession claims, reached 170,451 last year – its highest level since 2004. Meanwhile, the number of homes repossessed by mortgage lenders at the end of last year was the lowest in a decade.

53-year-old Andrew from Dover, who withheld his last name, was evicted in November last year. He told the BBC that he was given ten minutes to pack his things when bailiffs arrived at his home. He was forced to leave after work offers dried up when he was ill, leaving him and his wife to pay over £3,000 in arrears.The possessions that they were unable to pack up were left in the rain on their driveway, while the pair and their two young children had to sleep in their car for several weeks. “We’d go to McDonald’s, so the boys could brush their teeth and then go off to school,” he told the BBC. Three months later, the family now lives in a single hotel room, eating tinned food heated in warm water in the washbasin, and cooking pasta in an electric kettle. The family will run out of money to pay for the room in two nights.It is unclear whether the figures are due to a rise in the number of people renting, or if more landlords are resorting to court proceedings to deal with tenants.

“Rents have been rising at a faster rate than wages, and tenants are frequently maintaining their lifestyle on the basis of credit,” Stuart Law of the property group Assetz told the BBC. But when that credit dries up, and the unsustainable lifestyle continues, payment of rent suffers,” he added.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Behind these figures is the reality that just one thing, like an illness or redundancy, can be all it takes to tip anyone into a downward spiral that puts their home at risk.”  The charity advises tenants to prioritise rent above other debts, such as phone and credit card bills, while avoiding payday loans.

According to Shelter, the number of households in general found to be homeless increased by 5% between 2012 and 2013, amounting to 81,000 families in this period without a home.


12 thoughts on “Evictions in rental sector at highest level since records began

  1. Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog and commented:
    Shocking, this article is disturbing. How on earth have we got to such a state as this. The housing officials who have let this family described here to survive in the abysmal conditions should be accountable.

  2. Pingback: Evictions in rental sector at highest level sin...

  3. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    This article not only gives the statistics of the numbers of people seeing their homes repossessed, it also includes the case study of one such family that was thrown out of their home by the bailiffs, with only two minutes to pack their belongings. The property group Assetz recognises that this is due to rents rising faster than wages. This is basically common sense, but not to the government. The Ministry of Justice puts it all down to low interest rates and a ‘pro-active approach from lenders in managing consumers in financial difficulty’. Note the absolute failure to recognise what is really going on in that sentence. The truth is that people are being thrown out of their homes, but to the Ministry of Justice, this is just part of a ‘pro-active way of managing them’. And it doesn’t blame the government’s policies of wage restraint and the effect this is having on families forced to make every more economies just in order to get by. No, it’s all due to low interest rates and mortgage lenders. In short, it’s anyone else’s mistake except the government’s.

  4. Reblogged this on amnesiaclinic and commented:
    This is an area where the government should be making a difference but the landlords are their buddies….
    Give this highest priority when talking to politicians about upcoming elections. We need decent social housing with real jobs with real wages.

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