A 16% increase in eviction cases reaching the courts has been observed, according to an analysis of government statistics by property software company Veco. This surge of eviction hearings instigated by landlords and letting agents represents a comparative rise from the previous year.
Fresh data from the Ministry of Justice reveals that 6,820 landlords initiated Section 21 proceedings in England between January and March this year. Since the government initially pledged to prohibit Section 21 in 2019, landlords have launched almost 61,000 no-fault eviction court proceedings, as indicated by Veco’s findings.
The upcoming Renters (Reform) Bill, set to abolish Section 21 evictions, will necessitate landlords and agents to serve their tenants notice and then wait for the relevant county court to sanction the eviction, issue a warrant, and schedule an eviction date.
Presently, tribunals and county courts are overstretched, with current wait times for possession extending to 37 weeks from claim to possession in some instances. It could be more than a year before a rent arrears case is considered by the court.
Richard Murray, CEO of Veco, emphasised the importance of agents providing the courts with a comprehensive, clear, and unambiguous information pack to curtail further delays and achieve the desired outcome. He said, “Under the new rent reforms, it is likely that no-fault eviction cases will require absolute ‘proof’ that the tenant is at fault.”
Carly Jermyn, CEO and solicitor at Woodstock Law, offered further insight. She said, “As the end of no-fault evictions draws near, landlords will be required to substantiate the grounds they wish to rely on in court to gain possession. It’s not just about adhering to a strict process anymore. Tenants will have the chance to respond and are often backed by proficient advocates who can scrutinise a weak or poorly presented case.”