London | The UK’s Eviction Capital

Updated: Mar 26

It’s a dubious title, but what we all probably thought was the case, has been confirmed in recently published Ministry of Justice figures.  London is the UK’s hotspot for the eviction process, where tenants and borrowers are more likely to be removed from their homes through the full judicial process of claiming repossession.  We don’t suppose that’s a figure that London tenant evictions particularly wants to be known for, but the data confirms this dubious accolade.

MoJ Figures and Possession Orders

To us, the more shocking statistics to come out of MoJ figures are confirmations of delay and cost to landlords who are taking problem tenants through the court process.  MoJ figures for 2018 show that overall landlords in the UK face a 4-month wait for court-appointed bailiffs to remove problem tenants – and certain areas of the country have much higher rates for claims, high court bailiffs eviction cost, eviction notice and possession orders than others.  London and the East of England lead the table of regions where tenant eviction rates are at their highest, with London being nearly 3x higher than the eastern region.

Possession claims and Evictions in the UK

Were you one of the landlords who issued the 21,439 possession claims in the courts in 2018?

If you are one of the private landlords in England and Wales who issued the 21,439 possession claims in the courts in 2018 we would like to hear about your experience.  Did you find the court process efficient?  Which was your favourite court?

Section 21 Eviction Process

Following the Housing Act 1988, a landlord holds a legal right to repossess his/her property at the end of an assured shorthold tenancy. However, the landlord has to follow procedures, section 21 is the first step of the procedure. It’s a letter of information that the landlord must serve to the tenant, before the eviction. The section 21 notice must be on Form 6A.

Section 21 and Section 8 notices

You can evict tenants even if they have assured shorthold tenancy using a Section 21 or Section 8 notice, or both.

Use a Section 8 notice when tenants have broken the terms of the tenancy.

Section 21 notice of seeking possession

You can use a Section 21 notice to evict your tenants either:

  • after a fixed term tenancy ends - a written contract available

  • throughout a tenant term with no fixed end date - ‘periodic’ tenancy

Section 8 notice of seeking possession

To give your tenants notice using a Section 8, you need to fill in a ‘Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy. Specify on the notice which

  • Apply to the court for a possession order if your tenants do not leave by the specified date.

  • Legal advice on how to fill in Section 8 with the correct notice periods and how to give it to your tenants.

What is a section 8 notice?

A section 8 notice is a landlord's first step towards ending either:

  • an assured shorthold tenant

  • an assured tenant

The landlord requires a legal reason for eviction, which they must prove in court to use a section 8 notice.

Legal reasons for eviction are called 'grounds for possession' on the notice.

Tenant Eviction Rates

Landlords in the UK allow a 4-month wait for court-appointed bailiffs to eliminate problematic tenants – and some regions observe a greater rate of claims and evictions than others.

Analysis of the Ministry of Justice figures explain London as the evictions capital, and the South West, North East and West Midlands including the lowest rates of repossession.

21,439 Possession claims brought to court by private landlords last year\

£4,341.22 The average cost in legal fees and lost rent for landlords waiting 4 months to evict

3x London landlords are more likely to have to bring a claim for repossession to court than landlords in the South West

0.5% Of landlords in the UK will have to make an eviction claim

118 days On average for court-appointed bailiffs to remove tenants from private landlords’ properties after bringing a claim to court

27% Of claims are not granted a court order either because the judge rejected them or they settled

Guiding you through the eviction process

If it becomes to ask a tenant to vacate a property, eviction is usually thought to be the last opportunity. Normally, this type of position can be administered immediately and efficiently among the landlord and tenant without the need for any support. The eviction process can become very hard, and you may need the help of an expert.

At Shergroup, our team are dedicated to handling each case, helping you to regain control. We’ll talk to you about the best ways to move forward, and we’ll make sure we handle your case in line with current legislation and regulations.

How do you Evict a Tenant?

If you need to make your tenant understand that you want them to leave your property, you’ll need to start by serving them notice. This can be both a Section 8 or Section 21 notice under the Housing Act 1988 (as amended).

Eviction by bailiffs after repossession

Did you find the county court bailiffs efficient in that they carried out the eviction within 7-10 days of the possession order being made? It’s important that we start to help build up a picture of where the court system is working to deliver justice to landlords, and where it isn’t.  If we put a ticket on the cost, court proceedings by private landlords in 2018 cost an average of £4,341.22.  Multiply that figure by the 21,439 cases that were issued, and it comes to a staggering cost to the landlord community of over £93,000,000.  For that sort of cost, the private rental sector should be building houses, not waiting for courts to process the paperwork.

And with more impact on the landlord’s personal wallet, it took an average of 4 months to carry out the repossession of the property – or 118 days of lost or freeze rent.

According to the Homelet Rental Index, the average monthly rent in London now stands at £1,588 a month.  So, if a landlord is waiting 4 months to evict their tenants, remove tenants in the capital that’s potentially lost income of £6352.

Outside London, the UK average monthly rent drops down to £775.  A landlord outside London waiting to remove tenants in other parts of the country could on average be losing £3100 just in rent for the same 118 days – and this doesn’t include the average cost in legal fees to recover possession.

Our take on this remains, as we have said in our previous blog posts, that we don’t like the word “eviction”, but we do support the need for enforcement services to be delivered efficiently.

How we can help?

The solutions we provide help landlords navigate the legal process by ensuring Notices are served correctly, claims are issued promptly, and a possession order is made which can be transferred to the High Court for enforcement within days.   Shergroup’s Enforcement Team can shave 3 weeks from the average time taken to regain possession using our transfer up process.  Not only does our process save the loss in rent, but we give Landlords the certainty of a fixed date for the mass eviction law to be carried out.  We also apply for the necessary permissions from the high court eviction order to ensure complete compliance with the rules for eviction of private tenants.

So, if you are a landlord who is feeling the pinch due to delays in the high court eviction process of a tenant in your local court, or courts at large, please share your experience of the court system with us.  We would like to hear from you on great and not-so-great experiences which will help us put all these government statistics into context.

And if any of this type of problem is affecting you now our Business Solution Advisors can guide you through how to save time and money with a few simple fixes to your current approach.  We offer a free no-obligation review of any possession order to get you on the right track.


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