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Possession claims dropping? Not all.


The latest figures, up to Quarter 2 2007 are available on the Ministry of Justice site, link to the PDF.

The figures show quite a drop in the Q2 figures for non-accelerated possession claims issued (including claims by Councils and Housing Associations) compared to Q2 2006:

Q2 2006 32,465
Q2 2007 28,661

The figures for possession orders made also show a drop, although smaller both absolutely and proportionately:

Q2 2006 21,807
Q2 2007 19,542

This may show the effect of the Rent Arrears Pre-Action Protocol. Hopefully compliance with the protocol means less need for claims to be issued and/or stops claims being issued merely as ‘enforcement’ for agreed arrears repayments, or to poke housing benefit into action. On the other hand, it may just be that the protocol has made issuing a claim trickier.

Certainly, we have been getting fewer inquiries from social housing tenants facing arrears possession claims. Which is slightly annoying, as for various reasons, an arrears possession claim with a decent disrepair counter-claim would be very useful at the moment.

Meanwhile, private sector s.21 accelerated possession procedure claims and possession orders are rising. Claims issued:

Q2 2006 5,800
Q2 2007 6,493

Possession orders made:

Q2 2006 4,203
Q2 2007 4,628

Notably, for a no fault, mandatory order process, a lot of claims are unsuccessful (an increasing number 06-07). One can only presume that a lot of private landlords are making a horlicks of the process, as I doubt many s.21 claims are settled or withdrawn.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


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