Over 47,000 repossession orders in just three months

Recent figures released by the Ministry of Justice show that between January and March 2014, landlords in England and Wales went to court to make 47,220 claims to repossess property – that’s equivalent to 525 a day and the highest figure for a decade.

In the first three months of 2014, 69% of all landlord claims led to a formal possession order, around 37% went to the next stage – a warrant for possession of the property – while a fifth then went on to repossession.

All in all, there were 10,475 landlord repossessions by county court bailiffs between January and March 2014, which is the highest figure for five years.

These record figures have been blamed on changes in state benefits, the bedroom tax which is starting to bite and tougher penalties on jobseekers. Most of the repossession claims were made by social landlords, while private landlords made nearly 6,500 claims, up 11% on 2013.

The increase in repossessions has also led to a sharp rise in the demand for rent guarantee insurance as letting agents and landlords seek to protect their income. The underlying message to agents is to take out full references when finding tenants.

Here at Walton & Allen this has always been our policy. We go to great lengths to obtain references on all new tenants. This helps to protect the landlord and his or her income, ourselves and of course, the tenant who may be taking on a financial commitment they might not able to keep u