11% increase in landlords forfeiting rent payments to regain possession of their property quicker

The number of landlords using County Court bailiffs to repossess their property has jumped to a record high in the past year*, to 41,489 in 2014/15 up from 37,706 in 2013/14, says Thomson Reuters legal business, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.

Thomson Reuters explains that landlords use County Court bailiffs to evict tenants when they have received a possession order and still refuse to move out of the property.

Rising rents on residential property have stretched the finances of an increasing number of tenants to breaking point. This trend is likely to be particularly pronounced in the capital, where London’s residential property market has pushed rental costs to record highs. Despite recent rises in real wages tenants are struggling to keep up with payments to landlords,” comments Daniel Dovar, barrister and co-author of ‘Residential Possession Proceedings’ published by Thomson Reuters.

Thomson Reuters says that a landlord must issue proceedings to recover possession of residential property if their tenants refuse to leave. They will then have to apply for a warrant of execution to have the county court bailiffs remove the tenant from the property if the tenant does not leave before then.

Number of landlord repossessions carried out by county court bailiffs reaches a record high

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Use of accelerated procedure notices rises 11% in a year

Thomson Reuters says that over the past year there has been an 11% jump in the use of accelerated procedure notices (APNs)**, from 26,939 in 2013/14 to 29,821 in 2014/15.

Thomson Reuters explains that landlords often use the accelerated procedure when they want to evict tenants but they are not seeking to recoup unpaid rent. This procedure is a method of speeding up the process of repossession; they allow judges to make a decision on whether to evict the tenants or not based on paperwork submitted by the landlord and tenant, rather than at a full court hearing.

The increase in the use of accelerated procedure notices shows that private landlords are increasingly willing to give up on unpaid rent in favour of evicting their tenants quicker,” says Daniel Dovar.

The sooner a landlord can remove the tenants the sooner they can re-let the property, which allows them to avoid lengthy periods with no rental income.

With demand for rental property outweighing supply and forcing rents upward, the opportunity cost to a landlord of having a property occupied by someone that can’t pay the rent has increased. That makes emptying a loss making property quickly a bigger priority.

Private landlords are also under increasing pressure to meet their mortgage payments on buy-to-let investments, they simply don’t have the time to go through the potentially lengthy process of recovering unpaid rent.

11% increase in landlords use of accelerated procedure notices

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*Year end March 31 2015
**Which come at an earlier stage in the process than repossessions by county court bailiffs

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