Repossessions and evictions

What does this chart show?

The total number of landlord and mortgage possession orders has risen in the five years to 2015/16. Mortgage possession orders have fallen significantly over the past decade, from 7,400 down to 900. Since the financial crisis, mortgage holders have benefited from extremely low interest rates and lender forbearance policies* which have probably contributed to the fall in mortgage possession orders.

The overall increase is therefore due to a significant increase in landlord possession orders which made up 97% of total orders in 2015/16. The rate of landlord possession orders was higher in 2015/16 at 15 per 1,000 rented households than five years previously, at 13 per 1,000 households.

This is particularly accounted for by the rise in accelerated possession orders, more than doubling from 7,700 to 16,000. These orders are predominately used by private landlords**, although they can be used by social and private landlords with shorthold tenancies once the initial fixed tenancy period has ended. After giving the tenant two months’ notice, an accelerated order allows the landlord to apply to the court for possession solely on the basis of written evidence and without a hearing.

The increase over the last five years was not matched across the rest of England, where the rate was considerably lower at 6 orders per 1,000 rented households in 2015/16, representing a fall compared with a decade previously.

* Bank of England Financial Stability Report 2011: these policies allow customers to reduce or reschedule mortgage payments when they fall into arrears.

** Clarke et al (2017) Poverty, Evictions and Forced Moves. York: JRF.  


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