London is UK’s eviction capital as highest number of cases end up in court

London is UK’s eviction capital as highest number of cases end up in court

While London landlords are the most likely to be forced to evict their tenants, those in the south-west, north-east and the West Midlands are the least likely to have to go to court to secure evictions.

Simple Landlords Insurance has recently analysed the Ministry of Justice’s figures on evictions and claims broken down by region and population density. This is also the first time information has been made public on how long it takes private landlords to evict through the court system.

Possession claims and evictions throughout the UK

Throughout 2017, 21,439 possession claims were brought to court by private landlords in England and Wales with less than 30% (6,260) ending in eviction by bailiff.

Tom Cooper, director of underwriting at Simple Landlords Insurance, commented on the figures: “The good news for everyone is that in 2017 only 0.5% of landlords made a possession claim in court. And only a third of those had to go through to the bitter bailiff end.”

Properties in the south-west, north and Midlands are much less likely to repossess than those in London. Buy-to-let investors in London brought 195.3 claims per 100,000 households in 2017, making the UK’s capital an eviction hotspot. Investors in the south-west brought the lowest amount at 58.9 claims, while the north-east follows with 63.1 and the East Midlands with 64.5.

Assessing the level of risk

The court process to evict can be lengthy. Social housing providers see an average of 27.9 weeks between claim and repossession time, while private landlords average 16.9 weeks. After a possession claim is made by a landlord, the claim is issued by the county court. A hearing is sometimes necessary. Next, it’s decided whether an order will be issued and if so, what kind. Then, the landlord could be entitled to a warrant for eviction. If they are, the warrant will be implemented by a bailiff and repossession occurs.

Across the UK, evictions have fallen and risen in different regions. Court actions brought by private landlords to repossess their properties have fallen by a quarter since 2003 in Yorkshire and Humberside. However, in Wales, the number has more than doubled. It’s important to research what level of risk a desired region has for those looking to rent or invest in a buy-to-let property.

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