Call to reform rules on expensive evictions
Friday 05 May 2017
A new study has revealed it can cost landlords as much as £2,000 to evict a tenant from a property in a process that can last nine months.
Landlords may also miss out on vital rental income and face further court fees if they try to recoup lost rent, the study by StudentTenant.com found.
With rents set to rise faster than house prices over the next five years, industry experts are calling for reform to safeguard landlords’ rights when it comes to evicting tenants.
StudentTenant's managing director, Danielle Cullen, said: “Local councils are encouraging tenants to stay in the property until the eviction date – usually months into the future – so they are eligible for emergency housing.
"Tenants can only apply for it once they have been legally evicted, and if they leave any earlier, they are choosing to become homeless and cannot receive any support.
“Landlords and tenants are being really let down by the regulations in the sector. When it comes to removing non-paying tenants, the Government needs to make changes to make it quicker to remove a tenant in this kind of situation.
"There also needs to be more support for tenants who are being evicted through no fault of their own. They should be supported in finding a new property, to prevent them from having to stay until they are literally forced out.”
A leading eviction specialist costs £1,981 to regain a property.
Landlords must serve a section 21 notice to the tenant, giving two months’ notice to vacate the property - which costs £120.
The tenant is not legally required to leave, and is actively encouraged to stay put by housing charities and local councils.
In this case, the landlord must apply to court for a possession order to get the property back - which costs £685.
This can take between four to six months. When a possession order is granted, the court sets a date for the tenant to leave the property. Only a court bailiff can evict the tenant from the property - and this costs £1,176.
In addition to losing money in rent arrears, landlords also face repairs or renovation work if the tenant has caused damage to the property.
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