>The number of tenants who have been evicted from rental properties by their landlords reaches highest level in five years.
Landlords are allowed to repossess the property from their tenants if they have failed to pay the rent.
The number of tenants being evicted from rental properties is at its highest level in five years, with landlord repossession increasing by more than 9pc in the past year.
According to legal information provider Sweet & Maxwell, tenant evictions for landlord repossession have risen to 36,177 for the year to the end of June, up from 33,199 in the 2011/12.
Landlords are allowed to repossess the property from their tenants if they have failed to pay the rent – but they must give notice and obtain a county court order before doing so.
The company said the Government’s introduction of “bedroom tax” in April – a reduction of housing benefit for claimants if they have ‘spare bedrooms’ – could be a cause for the rise in evictions as tenants on benefits struggle to meet the rent.
Daniel Dovar, co-author of Residential Possession Proceedings, said: “Rising rents on residential property and falling real wages are trends that have been in place for a number of years, and have stretched the finances of an increasing number of tenants to breaking point.
“Low vacancy rates for rental properties especially in London and the South East mean that landlords are also more willing to remove tenants who have a history of defaulting on their rent from their property.”
“With demand for rental property in many local markets outweighing supply and forcing rents upward, the opportunity cost to a landlord of having a property occupied by someone that can’t or won’t pay their rent has increased. That makes emptying a loss-making property quickly a bigger priority.”
The popularity of buy-to-let has flourished during the financial crisis with low interest rates pushing savers to invest their money in property where rental income yields are far higher than they could achieve on a savings account.
A large number of would-be first-time buyers, meanwhile, have been able to get on the ladder due to tighter lending criteria and this has increased demand for rental property.
But Mr Dovar added: “Landlords are also under a lot of pressure to meet their mortgage payments on buy-to-let investments.
“If the availability of mortgages to first time buyers continues to improve and the pipeline of new build property recovers, we might see the momentum behind rental price growth ease. That could go some way to relieving the financial stress some tenants are encountering.”
Source: The Telegraph
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