More than a dozen landlord repossession claims threatened renters in Surrey Heath last year

Landlords in Surrey Heath filed more than a dozen repossession claims last year, new figures show.
People looking at house price signs displayed in the window of an estate agents in Lewes, East Sussex, as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that the average UK house price has surged by £24,000 during the past year of coronavirus lockdowns. Issue date: Wednesday May 19, 2021.People looking at house price signs displayed in the window of an estate agents in Lewes, East Sussex, as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that the average UK house price has surged by £24,000 during the past year of coronavirus lockdowns. Issue date: Wednesday May 19, 2021.
People looking at house price signs displayed in the window of an estate agents in Lewes, East Sussex, as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that the average UK house price has surged by £24,000 during the past year of coronavirus lockdowns. Issue date: Wednesday May 19, 2021.

Landlords in Surrey Heath filed more than a dozen repossession claims last year, new figures show.

Across England and Wales, landlord repossession claims rose by more than a tenth in the three months to December 2023 compared with the same period in 2022, including a 16% increase in Section 21 notices.

Earlier this week, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said the Government will ban no-fault evictions before the next general election.

The Government first vowed to end Section 21 evictions – where a tenant can be evicted without a reason – in 2019, but the rental reforms have not yet been passed.

Housing charity Shelter said the reform “must deliver the meaningful change it promised to England’s 11 million private renters almost five years ago”.

Ministry of Justice figures show 13 claims to repossess a property were made by landlords in Surrey Heath between October and December 2023 – slightly more than the same quarter in 2022 when there were eight.

Of these, one was a Section 21 notice.

Nationally, landlord repossessions claims increased from approximately 20,400 to 23,400, while Section 21 notices reached 7,600 in the last quarter of 2023, compared with 6,600 in 2022.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “We’re pleased to hear the Housing Secretary reaffirm his commitment to ban no fault evictions before the next election.

“But these figures show that renters are still being marched out of their homes in their thousands, while vested interests in Parliament manoeuvre to weaken urgently needed reforms.”

She added: “Without serious amends, this bill won’t be worth the paper it’s written on. There cannot be any loopholes to banning no-fault evictions and it must not be tied to unspecified court reforms.

“It must deliver the meaningful change it promised to England’s 11 million private renters almost five years ago.”

Meanwhile, the figures also show tenants across England and Wales were evicted from their homes on approximately 6,600 occasions in the latest quarter, but there were no evictions in Surrey Heath.

Francesca Albanese, executive director of policy and social change at homelessness charity Crisis, said: “These figures are a shameful reminder of just how volatile renting a home is.

“Insurmountable pressures of sky rocketing rents and the cost-of-living crisis have left renters struggling to make ends meet, and for many, that has meant losing their home.”

Ms Albanese added the Government must make renting fairer for both tenants and landlords and that the bill must include measures to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

Last week Michael Gove told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme the Renters (Reform) Bill currently going through Parliament “ends section 21”.

However, the Government last year said the abolition would not come in until reforms in the court system to ensure it is also a fair process for landlords.

This led to accusations ministers were deprioritising the issue, while charities and campaigners have demanded urgency on fulfilment of the pledge to ban section 21 no-fault evictions.

Asked whether the practice will have ended by the time of a national vote, Mr Gove said: “We will have outlawed it and we will put the money into the courts in order to ensure that they can enforce it.”