Evictions by private landlords outstrip social housing sector for first time during pandemic

Evictions by private landlords have outstripped those in the social housing sector across England and Wales for the first time during the pandemic, official statistics show.

But the gap narrowed significantly between January and March, with private rented sector possessions dropping 21.7% compared with the previous quarter while increasing 12.2% in the social sector, according to figures recently published by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

A ban on bailiff-enforced evictions came to an end over the Bank Holiday weekend. Landlords have been restricted in their ability to remove tenants since the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020.

Charities have warned that hundreds of thousands of private renters could face homelessness with the ban now lifted.

Housing associations in England have pledged not to evict tenants facing financial hardship as long as they engage to get their rent payments back on track.

In the first quarter of 2020, social landlords made 14,119 possession claims in the county courts. Private landlords made 5,884.

Eviction claims by social landlords have consistently been much more common than those by private landlords since the MoJ began compiling the statistics in 1999.

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