According to official figures published yesterday by the Ministry of Justice 41,965 homes were repossessed by landlords in England and Wales during the year, a rate of 115 a day.
The figure, which was the highest since the records began in 2000, was an 11% increase on the previous year, and came as the number of mortgage borrowers having their homes repossessed fell to its lowest level in eight years.
Shelter has blasted the “devastating” number of evictions which it said “paint a grim picture” of the impact the shortage of affordable homes was having on tenants.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “With the cost of housing sky-high, we are hearing from increasing numbers of families who are terrified that just one thing, like a sudden illness or job loss, will leave them homeless.”
The MoJ figures do not show what types of landlords were behind the evictions, which were up by 11 per cent on the previous year, but its data for repossession claims show that social landlords made more attempts to recover properties than private landlords.
Mr Campbell continued: "These landlords are typically housing associations providing homes at lower rents than the market rate, often to tenants who receive housing benefit.
In the final three months of the year, the figures show that 62 per cent of possession claims – the first stage of the legal process were made by social landlords. Alongside these 21,576 court actions were 4,564 by private landlords and 8,555 accelerated claims, which may have been made by social or private landlords. The MoJ estimated that 21 per cent of these claims could result in an eviction.
The failure of successive governments to build anywhere near enough affordable homes combined with a wave of welfare changes is making it harder and harder for people to stay in their homes. The only way for politicians to fix this crisis for good is to commit to building the genuinely affordable homes that we desperately need.”