Number of court claims for unpaid rent rises in the UK

The number of claims for possession by landlords in the UK is up a further 12% on average, with significant increases in some parts of England and Wales, according to the government’s latest Court statistics.

In a fifth of UK courts there has been a rise of over 20% in possession claims brought by landlords, year on year and in total, there were 42,520 claims for possession under the accelerated claims procedure issued in the first quarter of 2013.

Although the increase in claims is partially due to a rise in the number of rented properties, there are some worrying trends that continue, according to LetRisks.

Wales suffered a big increase in claims, notably Neath and Port Talbot which saw a rise of 98%, Blackwood up 20.3%, Newport up 23% and Pontypridd up 25.1%.

There was a 36% increase in claims in central London and Greater London has over four times as many possessions claims per household as the lowest region, the South West.

Other notable black spots include Romford with a rise of 52%, Milton Keynes up 42%, Guildford up 36% and Canterbury up 28.5%.

‘Tenants are facing continuing pressure on their finances as rents have increased in every region across the UK. Rents are rising nearly five times faster than wages, which is crippling millions of households,’ said Michael Portman, managing director of LetRisks.

‘The rise in April means average rents have returned to levels not seen since November last year and they are 3.9% higher typically than a year ago. Wales recorded the second highest spike, with a 5% rise taking rents to £566 typically. Londoners are the worst hit, with the average rent jumping by 7.6% to a record £1,110 a month,’ he explained.

‘We would urge letting agents to continue to monitor arrears, take legal action at the earliest stage and above all ensure that landlords have adequate rent and legal insurance to protect the risk,’ he added.

The firm advises lettings agents and landlords not to delay taking action if rent is late and says that establishing a firm rent chasing timetable including letters before legal action, telephone scripts and serving notices can help.

It also advises checking that you have up to date contact details for Guarantors so that they can be copied in on all correspondence sent to tenants regarding their late or overdue rent.

It also points out that last year it was reported that 70% of notices were thrown out of court because they were wrong. More landlords are relying on the accelerated procedure to regain possession. If the notices are incorrectly served, there will be delays and additional costs that the landlord may seek to recoup from their agent.

Article courtesy of Property Wire

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