Friday, December 13, 2013

"Eviction notices surge by 26%"

An alarming story today from "Inside Housing" magazine. "The survey shows the landlords issued 99,904 notices seeking possession for rent arrears in April to November this year, compared with 79,238 for the same period in 2012 - a 26 per cent increase".

The survey is of social tenants who rent from Councils and Housing Associations. It is clear that not only is bedroom tax a major cause but also the cost of living crisis since due to years of falling wages many tenants just don't earn enough to pay the rent. I wonder what impact the new Tory so called "affordable" (up to 80% of market) rents" have had on this statistic?

I suspect that things can only get worse. Councils have been able to distribute some temporary relief from a discretionary Government fund. But this is too little and running out.

What will also happen when the total benefit cap begins to really bite?

Private landlords have also seen evictions soar according to this report. 

Many years ago I took part in an eviction of a family home as a housing officer just before Christmas. The tenant had ignored all contact with the rent officers and Courts. He hadn't told his wife about what was happening. The first thing she knew about it was when the bailiff and locksmith knocked on the door while she was cooking food for her children. She had to leave there and then with her Children and a suitcase, while we put her in a taxi to the Council homeless unit for emergency rehousing in a grotty bed and breakfast.

That is the reality of evictions. It is the innocent and vulnerable who will suffer the most. 

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