The latest market analysis by estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed that, so far this year, Birmingham is the rental property repossession capital when it comes to landlords reclaiming their homes from problem tenants.
When a landlord wants to remove tenants from their property, they often have to go to the county courts and file a repossession order. The motivation is usually rent arrears which see the tenant failing to pay rent for an extended period of time and refusing to vacate the property.
During the first quarter of this year alone, there have been 3,737 rental property repossession orders granted in England and Wales. 27% of these repossessions were targeted at tenants in London, 15% in the South East, with the North West also accounting for some of the highest levels at 11%.
However, at local level, it’s Birmingham where landlords have been most active with regard to rental property repossessions. This city ranks top with 81 taking place in Q1 of this year, with the London Borough of Lewisham not far behind with 69 in total.
High numbers of repossessions have also been reported in Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (60), Brent (55), Greenwich (55), Ealing (54), and Newham (48).
While these locations reported a large number of landlord repossessions, there are 19 locations that reported absolutely no repossessions in Q1 2020. These include South Norfolk, Monmouthshire, Harlow, Guildford, and South Staffordshire.
Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester said, “As the nation’s second city, demand for rental homes in Birmingham is high and this demand is only increasing as more and more people choose to live and work within the city.
Birmingham is undergoing a phase of extensive regeneration, bringing new business to Birmingham, not to mention the city hosting the current Commonwealth Games, so there are plenty of high quality applicants looking for accommodation at present.
With the government doing their best to deter buy-to-let investment by dampening the financial returns on offer, Birmingham’s landlords can ill afford to have their home occupied by a tenant who is failing to pay their way, so it’s understandable that a notable number have decided to clean house and remove problem tenants so far this year.
Given how severe the nation’s current cost of living crisis has become and how long it’s expected to last for, we would be naive not to assume that this number may continue to climb.
Of course, the move to repossess a rental property will always be the last resort for any landlord and the vast, vast majority will always manage to come to a suitable agreement with their tenant prior to this requirement.