Section 21 Accelerated Possessions hit an all time high

Section 21 Accelerated Possessions hit an all time high

9:48 AM, 15th February 2016, About 6 years ago 5

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landlord actionThe Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has released its landlord possession statistics for October to December 2015, which reveals total evictions last year reached a record high of 42,728. Whilst overall possession claims fell during the year to 148,043, the number of accelerated possession cases continued their upward trend reaching 37,663 in 2015, up 4.5% on 2014 (from 36,025) and up 10.5% on 2013 (from 34,080).

The rise in evictions and use of Section 21 accelerated possession procedure is a stark insight into the severity of the UK’s housing shortage, and a reflection of the impact increased legislation is having on the private rented sector.

Rising rents and welfare cuts are undoubtedly to blame for the growing number of evictions. With a shortage of affordable properties, particularly in the capital, the imbalance of supply and demand has pushed rental inflation well beyond the levels at which tenants’ wages have risen. Many simply can’t keep pace and are falling into arrears. We’re seeing more subletting scams and cases of tenants renting out properties on holiday websites in order to cover their rent than ever before.

According to MoJ, the proportion of claims made using accelerated procedure has increased from 7% in 1999 to 25% in 2015. There are several reasons for this rising house prices, uncertainty over future buy-to-let tax implications and concerns over increased legislation (such as Right to rent and Deregulation Act) have been the catalysts for many self-managing landlords to consider selling up. They use Section 21 as a way to gain possession of their property as quickly as possible.

In other circumstances, where tenants are in arrears, many landlords still opt to use a section 21, instead of Section 8. Some landlords feel they won’t be able to collect rent arrears so this allows them automatic right of possession without having to give any grounds (reasons) once the fixed term has expired. Other landlords are being forced down the Section 21 route because local councils are advising tenants to remain in properties until a possession order has been granted by the courts. This means they can apply for re-housing and do not make themselves voluntary homeless.

A section 21 usually enables landlords to gain possession much quicker on a no-fault basis, so they can re-let the property, which is often more financially viable than chasing arrears. I believe use of the Section 21 process for landlords will continue to grow year on year because of councils’ pushing the problem back onto private rental sector landlords.

Contact Landlord Action

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


Annie Stevens

13:31 PM, 15th February 2016, About 6 years ago

Unfortunately Section 21 (Section 33 in Scotland) is being removed very soon from the Scottish rental market. Along with all the other changes, it looks like the PRS is going to be decimated. Who is going to pay 3% extra LBTT to buy a property which he will have to subsidise from his current salary, to let out to a tenant who has half a dozen ways to sue him for non-compliance with too many regulations to keep up with, and whom he has to house for life, or sell up? This will be the situation for many. It's hardly worth it, is it?

Gary Dully

0:22 AM, 16th February 2016, About 6 years ago

What's the Scottish Gaelic for "I want to Abandon ship thanks to you mad, blithering, interfering political buffoons!"

Monty Bodkin

10:46 AM, 16th February 2016, About 6 years ago

Jumping to conclusions here Paul.

The PRS has grown by hundreds of thousands during that time, clearly there is going to be an increase in the number of PRS evictions.

Chris Byways

12:48 PM, 16th February 2016, About 6 years ago

Any figures for how many are

How many are for tenant breaking the contract they signed, or for anti-social behaviour?

How many cant pay, how many won't pay?

When a tenant stops paying, nothing said, they are asking for the earliest eviction, if they pay what they can and keep in touch, I think they will get a much more sympathetic response.

But with the tenant tax and ever more, extra burdens imposed on LLs, it is bound to lead to more evictions or becoming non viable financially, and eventual eviction. Thanks Gidiot.

Monty Bodkin

13:48 PM, 16th February 2016, About 6 years ago


Very roughly, about 20000 bailiff evictions each for social and private landlords per year.

Nearly all the social evictions will be for breaking the tenancy agreement.

Around 6000 private evictions under section 8 for breaking the tenancy agreement.

The remainder under section 21 for no reason whatsoever other than landlords choosing to endure at least 6 months of hell purely on a whim.

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