This map shows how eviction rates for renting households differ across boroughs. Enfield had the highest eviction rate in 2015/16 of 34 evictions per 1,000 renting households (in 2014/15 it also had the highest eviction rate of 30 evictions per 1,000 renting households). Brent was the next highest with a rate of 28 while Camden had the lowest rate of 6 evictions (per 1,000 renting households).
The highest eviction rates are mostly concentrated in Outer London – nine of the ten boroughs with the highest rates are in Outer London. Eight of the ten boroughs with the highest eviction rates in 2014/15 were still in the top ten in 2015/16. Waltham Forest and Barnet’s eviction rates both declined (by 3.4 and 3.6 evictions per 1,000 renting households respectively), and they are no longer in the top ten. Brent had the largest rate increase of any London borough, from 20 evictions in 2014/15 to 28 in 2015/16, followed by Harrow with an increase from 17 to 24.
High eviction rates seem to occur in boroughs with high proportions of families with children living in the private rental sector receiving housing benefit. In Enfield, one quarter of all children in the borough are in this situation. Welfare changes, most notably the lowering of the rate of Local Housing Allowance (LHA – housing benefit that can be claimed by a private sector tenant) in 2011), and the benefit cap introduced in 2013 (and lowered further in 2016) have made the private rental sector precarious for low-income families. Private tenants receiving housing benefit in London have a particularly high risk of falling into arrears, as high London rents mean many of these families will face a shortfall between their housing benefit and their rent since these reductions in the value of payable housing benefit.
It is therefore worrying that the proportion of families in London receiving housing benefit in the private rental sector is growing – from one quarter (25%) in 2008 to almost a third (31%) in 2016. A lack of social housing means more low-income people are likely to find themselves in the private rented sector, and facing a greater risk of eviction.