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4 month wait for landlords to evict problem tenants – new research from Simple

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Problem tenants feature near the top of the worry-list for every landlord – and with an average 118 days wait for court appointed bailiffs to remove them – landlords can be facing 4 months without rent. 

On top of that are legal fees, the time, hassle and complications of bringing the case to court, disruption to other tenants, and possible damage to the property. 

Landlords in London are the most likely to have to evict, while those in the South West, North East and West Midlands were least likely to have to go all the way to court. 

Our analysis of government figures shows it took an average of 16.9 weeks from claim to bailiff eviction in the first quarter of 2018. A total of 21,429 possession claims were brought to court last year, of which 6,260 ended in eviction by bailiff. 

It’s the first time that the length of time it takes for private landlords to evict through the court system has been made public - and we’ve broken it down by region and population density so landlords –and tenants - can see exactly what level of risk they face in each area of the England and Wales. 

Tom Cooper, Director of Underwriting at Simple Landlords Insurance, says: “The good news for everyone is that in 2017 only 0.5% landlords made an eviction claim in court. And only a third of those had to go through to the bitter bailiff end. The bad news is that if it does happen to you, it can cost a lot of money – and not just the average £1,700- £2,000 in legal fees. 

“We wanted to get a more realistic idea of the impact of the process in terms of lost income, inconvenience, and ongoing legal fees in the worst and longest case scenarios.”

Take a look at the key findings and regional evictions map here. 

Bindar Dosanjh, of SmartCore Wealth and the Female Property Alliance has been a landlord for 20 years, and had to evict her first tenant last year – which she writes about in her latest blog. She says: “No landlord is immune from eviction. If you cannot absorb this sort of cost it is well worth looking into insurance products like legal expenses and rent guarantee. The extra monthly cost might eat into your monthly income, but it could save your bacon if the worst were to happen.”

Resident blogger Carl Agar – a landlord, letting agent and property developer at Big Red House – adds: “You understand your property, tenants, finances and risk best – but if your margins are tight this sort of policy really could be worth the extra pounds each month.” His advice is to make sure they’re using the right type of evictions notice, and follow procedure to the letter. 

“This research shows that 27% of claims don’t go through didn’t receive a court order. Many claims are rejected for failing to follow the correct eviction proceedings. Landlords need to know the details of both Section 8 and Section 21 notices, and how they should be properly served.”

Take a look at Carl’s latest blog here, and at our Simple Guides to Section 8 and Section 21

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We want to add value to landlords with interesting news and views! Our Hub includes information and opinions on the housing market from a variety of expert sources – please just be aware it doesn’t always reflect Simple’s opinion, or the products and services we provide.