According to government figures released on the 11th February 2021, warnings of a surge in evictions following the partial lifting of the repossessions ban in September last year have proven to be groundless.
The data released by the Ministry of Justice has revealed that in the Q4 2020 the number of possession claims made by private landlords in England and Wales fell by 37% compared to the same period in 2019.
The number of possession claims made under the accelerated procedure, used by both private and social landlords, fell by 43% in the fourth quarter compared to Q4 2019.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), said: “Today’s figures show that despite fears to the contrary, landlords have prioritised sustaining tenancies and supporting renters during the pandemic.
“That said, landlords cannot continue indefinitely going without receiving rent. Bans on repossessions are only leading to tenants accumulating more and more debt which will become impossible for them to pay back. This will eventually lead to many more losing their homes.
“Ministers can still avert this if they step in to help the sector through a package of hardship loans and grants.”
Overall in 2020 the number of claims by private landlords to repossess properties fell by 48%, with the number of claims made under the accelerated procedure falling by just over 52%.
Research for the NRLA indicates that over 800,000 renters in England and Wales have built arrears since lockdown measures started in March last year.