The number of tenants forcibly removed from their home by bailiffs reached a record high in 2018, with 42,728 across England and Wales. Ministry of Justice figures show that this has risen by 53% since 2010, the equivalent of over 170 per day. Many housing groups blame this on welfare cuts and the shortage of affordable housing. That being the case, it is easy to think that if you avoid tenants who receive benefits you are much less likely to need to evict them. Of course the reality is never that simple.
Many individuals in receipt of housing benefit make excellent and very stable tenants and in these uncertain economic times any family can very quickly run in to financial trouble, whether they are receiving benefits or not. It is notoriously difficult to judge at the outset who will be most likely to default – although robust and thorough referencing is obviously a vital part of the due diligence process.
There is an assumption that the only time eviction is required is because a tenant is in arrears. Whilst this is true in many cases, there are also many landlords who need to remove tenants for other reasons. They may need to sell their property, or they may even need to move back to the property themselves. Whatever the reason for eviction, with government legislation squeezing profits, it is increasingly important for landlords that they are getting their rent, regularly and on time. Accidental landlords can be particularly vulnerable to this, as they are more likely to be heavily reliant on the rent to cover mortgage payments.
Going through an eviction process takes an average of four months and can cost upwards of a thousand pounds – it can be significantly higher than this if the case is defended. Increasing numbers of landlords are choosing to take out insurance against such risks, which adds yet further costs to the letting process.
Here at Martin & Co we offer Free Eviction when a tenant goes into arrears at no extra cost for fully managed properties where we successfully reference the tenants. Landlords and homeowners wanting to discuss their property investments are welcome to visit our offices on Mutley Plain, visit our website.