Shelter worried about rising Bailiff evictions

Some 3,405 households in the private rented sector were evicted by bailiffs in England between April and June 2022 – rising by 39% on the previous quarter.

Housing charity Shelter lamented that the total number of eviction proceedings is now back at pre-pandemic levels, before the eviction ban took effect.

The charity fears the situation will get worse. Previous government figures warned that in the first three months of the year a quarter (25%) of households were found to be either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless because of losing a private tenancy (18,210 households). This has increased by 94% in a year and is the second leading trigger of homelessness in England.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Today’s figures paint a grim picture of households across England unable to keep their heads above water as the cost-of-living crisis bites. People who don’t leave their home before the bailiff comes are the ones who have run out of options and have nowhere else to go.

“Every day our emergency helpline supports people having to make impossible choices between putting food on the table or paying their rent. Housing costs are people’s biggest outgoing and those who have nothing left to cut back will soon be left with nowhere to call home.

“The government must urgently unfreeze housing benefit so it covers the true cost of renting before more families are evicted and pushed into homelessness. Whoever becomes the next Prime Minister needs to get a grip and put ending the housing emergency at the top of their to-do list.”

Shelter found that with soaring costs across the board almost 2 in 3 (64%) private renters said the current economic climate meant that, if they were evicted, they’d struggle to afford the costs of moving.

With rising high rents, increasing bills and housing benefit frozen at 2020 levels, more renters are struggling to make ends meet, as Shelter called for the government to reverse the housing benefit freeze at 2020 levels so the benefit reflects real housing costs.

Comments 3

  1. Shelter…. “You reap what you sow” the main cause of evictions is due to the fact Shelter and other landlord bashing groups have persecuted landlords by pushed governments into making a tenant and landlord relationship more one sided in favour of tenants, this I feel is the calm before the storm with so many landlords selling up to get away from the bureaucracy and unattractive position of being a landlord.

  2. I thought us evil landlords were the number one trigger of homelessness in England? According to Shelter we only hold the number two spot. I wonder what single factor occupies the number one spot? In my opinion calling Shelter a housing charity is a misnomer, it is more of a lobbying outfit. I don’t believe they actually house anybody or provide hardship funds to help with rent. Perhaps if they were actually landlords they might have some sympathy for us.

    A bailiff eviction is a last resort. It is the end of a worryingly long costly process (for the landlord) to evict people who, after all the legal processes have been followed, continue to illegally occupy a property. Shelter seem in this article to finally acknowledge that rent arrears is probably the major cause for evictions rather than the capriciousness of landlords.

    In this world the deal has always been “if you can’t afford it you can’t have it” and according to the telly “if you can’t pay we’ll take it away”. Why should this not apply in the case of housing? You can argue that a roof over your head is a basic right in a fair society. I don’t think anybody would disagree with the sentiment of this, but the solution does not lie in bashing the PRS by imposing all sorts of extra regulation and then not expect landlords to raise rents or leave the market. Landlords are not immune from rising house prices, energy costs or inflation. The Government needs to actually build affordable housing to rent or buy (as the mainstream developers don’t want to do it), increase the minimum wage and as the article says revise LHA housing benefit rates. A quick check of the housing available to rent in my area shows that LHA would not enable you to rent anything let alone homes at the bottom 30% of asking rents that LHA is supposed to cover.

  3. Shelter and the like have have been attacking the PRS so long they have lost sight of the fact they themselves are part of the reason for rising housing costs, they are driving up rents by driving landlords to sell up and get out of their investments. The comments made above by the other contributors are correct. Shelter monovision at its best, its all about left wing politics.

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