Sunday, 30 April 2017

Welfare squeeze sparks tougher approach by landlords on arrears, survey reveals

Eviction notices surge by 26%

The number of eviction warning notices issued to social tenants because of rent arrears has soared by more than a quarter in a year.

An exclusive Inside Housing survey of 113 social landlords across Britain reveals councils, arm’s-length management organisations and housing associations are increasingly using the threat of eviction to protect their income in the face of welfare reform and the squeeze on living standards.

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.

Sam Lister, policy and practice officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said the tougher approach was ‘sadly not surprising’ as ‘welfare reform is causing real difficulty’.

He added that landlords have to recover rent owed to them. ‘To not do so would be unfair to tenants who are paying their rent… and would leave landlords unable to meet their commitments,’ he said.

An NSP is the first step towards eviction and informs a tenant the landlord intends to take legal action to recover the property.

Berneslai Homes had the highest increase in NSPs issued. The number of NSPs issued by the 18,900-home ALMO nearly trebled from 760 to 2,184.

A spokesperson for Berneslai said the increase was due to rent arrears ‘as a result of changes to benefit entitlement and tenants in work who don’t receive housing benefit but are feeling the pressure on household budgets’.

Housing association Longhurst Group issued 1,559 NSPs, compared with just 576 last year. A spokesperson said: ‘We recognise the difficulties for some of our tenants given the impact of low wages, rising living costs, increases in personal debt and welfare reform.’ She stressed however the group needs to protect its income.

Birmingham Council issued 10,814 NSPs - an increase of 82 per cent. A spokesperson said: ‘Welfare reforms have undoubtedly had an impact.’

However, 22 organisations reported issuing fewer NSPs this year. The number of tenants ultimately evicted following court action hardly changed, from 2,488 last year to 2,530, indicating impacts from welfare reform have yet to feed through into evictions.

LARGEST % DECREASE IN NSPS ISSUED  
Eastbourne Homes 67 per cent
East Ayrshire* 60.4 per cent
Clackmannanshire* 51.5 per cent
Oxford Council 51 per cent
Fife Council* 42.2 per cent
* Some Scottish councils reported their figures for NSP issuances have been affected by requirements for landlords to complete a ‘pre-action requirement’ from 1 August 2012

 

LARGEST % INCREASE IN NSPS ISSUED  
Berneslai Homes 187.4 per cent
Cornwall Council 172.4 per cent
Longhurst Group 170.7 per cent
Canterbury Council 157.7 per cent
Wealden Council 111 per cent

 


Full table of results

COUNCILS/ALMOS NSPS ISSUEDINCREASE% INCREASEEVICTIONS 
  20132012   20132012
         
Aberdeen  1709110860154.24188 84
Ascham Homes 10961322-226-17.0953 1516
Ashfield 1431271612.59843 138
Barking & Dagenham20512148-97-4.51583 4984
Barrow 1581055350.47619 65
Berneslai Homes 21847601424187.3684 1714
Birmingham 108145938487682.11519 157191
Blackpool Coastal Housing2341627244.44444 912
Bournemouth 182184-2-1.08696 01
Bracknell Forest 64250 00
Brent Housing Partnership74345928461.87364 187
Bromsgrove & Redditch312287258.710801 133
Bristol 122988134839.50057 3731
Broxtowe 260261-1-0.38314 89
Cambridge 64664420.310559 88
Camden 202518821437.5983 2323
Canterbury 18371112157.7465 63
Charnwood 54734420359.01163 1216
Cheltenham Borough Homes26615111576.15894 226
City of London 1191021716.66667 72
Clackmannanshire 83171-88-51.462 64
Colchester 207900-693-77 1213
Cornwall 286105181172.381 85
Croydon 2090144764344.43677 1524
Dartford 516606-90-14.8515 612
Derby Homes 1283102226125.53816 5629
Durham 3913444713.66279 184
Ealing 1217106615114.1651 1533
Eastbourne Homes 2988-59-67.0455 92
East Ayrshire 4491135-686-60.4405 2932
East Lothian 504461150 03
East Renfrewshire 140885259.09091 33
East Riding of Yorkshire79867512318.22222 00
Enfield Homes 542571-29-5.07881 1712
Exeter 14013642.941176 87
Fareham 595459.259259 30
Fife 11041911-807-42.2292 3426
Gloucester 105175-70-40 108
Gravesham 3842869834.26573 1911
Hammersmith & Fulham583573101.745201 00
Harrow 395370256.756757 27
Havering 918920-2-0.21739 2511
Hillingdon 55144710423.26622 119
Homes for Haringey2036118085672.54237   
Homes for Northumberland6866097712.64368 110
Hull  2114125286268.84984 6048
Islington 16561582744.677623 3327
Kesteven  59392051.28205 00
Lambeth 1961165530618.48943 00
Lancaster 23312810582.03125 125
Leeds 3478308039812.92208 8399
Lewes 1451024342.15686 32
Lewisham Homes 783745385.100671 3236
Lincoln 5014475412.08054 1218
Manchester  1523117834529.28693 2739
Mansfield 56144511626.06742 3034
Medway 3662739334.06593 610
Melton 89761317.10526 52
Mid Devon  317137180131.3869 63
Milton Keynes 11251241-116-9.3473 3541
Newcastle 29611948101352.00205 5341
New Forest  38125912247.10425 54
Newham 7106387211.28527 3532
North Tyneside 17691992-223-11.1948 3114
Northampton 123376646760.96606 4538
Norwich 72561910617.12439 124
Nuneaton & Bedworth2942049044.11765 00
Oxford Council 383785-402-51.2102 52
Poole 97123-26-21.1382 03
Reading 2242012311.44279 1012
Redbridge 3312735821.24542 410
Rotherham 957872859.747706 4962
Runnymede 133884551.13636 02
Rykneld Homes 2672095827.7512 1012
St Albans 3292725720.95588 24
Salix Homes 8411061-220-20.7352 4742
Sedgmoor 2511589358.86076 77
Sheffield 2622232829412.62887 221203
Solihull 113487226230.04587 2723
South Cambridgeshire2992673211.98502 23
South Derbyshire 129333.33333 10
South Tyneside 3102456526.53061 5049
Southampton 2352168966339.254 3530
Southwark 48152889192666.66667 121112
Stirling 39261350 57
Stroud 3032683513.0597 46
Swindon 412575-163-28.3478 2015
Tandridge 1191011817.82178 12
Taunton Deane 3082792910.39427 1313
Thanet  62451737.77778 109
Thurrock 588726-138-19.0083 1529
Tower Hamlets 72861711117.99028 1712
Wandsworth 13511294574.404946 2636
Waveney 1681491912.75168 45
Welwyn Hatfield 6835889516.15646 118
Wealden 1487078111.4286 21
West Lancashire 464450143.111111 2222
Wokingham 22332191596.875 02
York 49936313637.46556 3335
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
ASSOCIATIONS        
         
A2 Dominion 93472720728.47318 2933
Gentoo 63042720347.54098 3241
Housing 21 14113832.173913 916
Longhurst Group 1559576983170.6597 5744
Moat 12281496-268-17.9144 2318
Orbit 40822072201097.00772 95110
Radian 1727138534224.69314 2335
RCT Homes 142293249052.57511 2411
Spectrum 557669-112-16.7414 3627
United Welsh 35519915678.39196 117
Wakefield 2618208353525.68411 22
Walsall Housing Group302430-128-29.7674 4137
Wheatley Group 56133622566.96429 6587
WM Housing 2208164556334.22492 7257
         
         
         
TOTALS 99904792382066626.08092 25302488

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