Rental property repossessions 56% down on pre-pandemic figures

Rental property repossessions 56% down on pre-pandemic figures

11:20 AM, 28th July 2022, About 2 years ago 5

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Industry analysis by Landlord Action has revealed that the number of rental property repossessions carried out on behalf of landlords across England and Wales has increased by 1,487% annually, following the end of the tenant eviction ban implemented to protect the nation’s renters during the pandemic.

Tenant evictions and their wider welfare within the rental market have long been a hot topic within the sector. In fact, the Government released their latest plans to improve rental sector standards on 16 June via The White Paper – A Fairer Private Rented Sector.

One of the primary initiatives includes the abolition of Section 21 evictions, which will provide tenants with greater security and prevent landlords from evicting them without establishing fault on the side of the tenant.

The latest government data shows that over the last year (2021-22), some 12,965 rental properties were repossessed on behalf of the nation’s landlords.

This marks a 1,487% increase on the previous year, but while this may seem like a concerning trend for tenants, there’s one important fact to consider.

During the pandemic, tenant evictions were banned to safeguard those struggling financially between March 2020 and May 2021. As a result, only cases where it was deemed necessary were processed, meaning that there were just 817 rental properties repossessed during 2020-21.

In fact, the 12,965 repossessions seen over the last year is actually 56% fewer than the 29,347 recorded in the pre-pandemic year of 2019-20.

What’s more, the level of rental homes being repossessed on an annual basis had already been declining steadily year on year, down from 35,046 in 2017-18 to 33,113 in 2018-19.

But it’s not just the total number of repossessions that’s on the slide. The latest data shows that total repossessions account for just twenty six per cent of all initial claims made by landlords.

While this was far lower for obvious reasons during 20-21 at just four per cent, it’s a lower proportion than 2019-20 (28 per cent), 2018-19 (28 per cent) and 2017-18 (27 per cent).

Eddie Hooker, CEO of the Hamilton Fraser Group, who operate industry schemes such as mydeposits, the Property Redress Scheme and Client Money Protect, as well as Landlord Action says:

“At first glance, it would appear as though the floodgates have opened where the repossession of rental properties is concerned, but this isn’t quite the case.

“Following a year where tenant evictions were banned except for in certain circumstances, there was always going to be a spike in repossessions as a backlog of cases finally started to be processed.

“However, we’re yet to see the level of rental homes being repossessed return to pre-pandemic levels and there are also a lower proportion of initial claims making it to this final, last resort stage.

“While delays due to the backlog of cases may certainly be one cause, it’s also fair to say that the nation’s landlords have largely acted with empathy and understanding following the pandemic, understanding the problems facing many tenants and looking to help them rather than turf them out on their ear.”

Paul Sowerbutts, Head of Legal at Landlord Action

“At Landlord Action we have prepared ourselves for the expected spike in property repossessions and are busier than ever. Whilst we expect this trend to continue into both the third and final quarters of this year due to the cost of living crisis, we also expect repossessions levels to remain high into next year as well.”

Data tables

Data tables and sources can be viewed online, here.

Contact Landlord Action

Specialists in tenant eviction and debt collection. Regulated by The Law Society.

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Freda Blogs

12:58 PM, 28th July 2022, About 2 years ago

I wonder: Will Shelter & Gen Rent etc fudge the figures to show only the increased numbers and not the balanced picture?

Reluctant Landlord

12:52 PM, 29th July 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 28/07/2022 - 12:58
so why does the NRLA not use this info to filter into the WP as PROOF that issues that 'are believed' to be an issue and have prompted direct inserts into the proposed WP - are in fact not representative of the facts in the first place???

If tenants are not being evicted when the S21 is there, then why remove it at all?

More reason to show that the 'issues' for tenants that the WP proposed to ban are not actually an issue in the first place.

Mick Roberts

7:38 AM, 30th July 2022, About 2 years ago

I'll add a bit to this.
Some evictions still happening cause of the arrears etc. However less may be happening than before due to now, tenants are much better behaved knowing they can't get anywhere any more. Them that can move have seen the higher rents, and we all know a lot of Landlords look after existing tenant by not increasing each year or not as much, as Landlord wants easy life too. So consequently, these tenants who may have been a bit disruly, now think Ooh hang on, I can't get anywhere easy & definitely way more money than this one, I'm gonna' try & make it work here. Before all these higher rents & shortage, they'd have said Screw u, I'm not playing ball.

I know this as pre 2015, these video's were a regular occurrence for me: Tenants from Hell Bulwell. Tenants from Hell Bestwood Park Tenants from Hell Top Valley Nov 2010 Tenants from Hell May 12th 2010. Tenants from Hell May 10th 2010.

The rest are on
I han't done any for years.

Old Mrs Landlord

21:45 PM, 1st August 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 29/07/2022 - 12:52
The answer to both your questions is because this WP and the Bill to enact the measures are just window dressing to appease Shelter, Generation Rant and the few tenants who have had a poor experience so that renters will vote for them. Some hopes! Left-leaning activists are never going to vote for this shower and landlords will hardly be enthusiastic supporters either after the way we have been treated by the supposed party of entrepreneurship and self reliance. Independence is punished and dependence subsidised and encouraged as though we had a socialist party at the helm..

6:01 AM, 14th April 2023, About A year ago

Adding a bit about mortgage repossessions which you may find interesting…

According to, there were 733 mortgage repossessions in Q4 2022 which sees a 134% increase YOY vs Q4 2021. It is important to note that the UK was still suffering from a post-COVID recovery period last year.
The number of mortgage repossessions has decreased by 3% compared to the previous quarter but still remains steady.
Overall, the UK saw 2,850 mortgage repossessions for 2022.
Looking at the figures on a regional level compared to the previous year (Q4 2021) the South East saw the largest increase of a staggering 328% with London (+159%), Wales (+150%), South West (+133%) and North West (+113%) also boasting large relative increases.
When looking at the data vs Q3 2022, only three regions showed an increase in mortgage repossessions in South East (+31%), Wales (+4%) and London (+3%). The others all showed reductions with the North West having the largest relative decrease at -20%.

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