Landlords now waiting more than five months to regain possession of their property

Private landlords are waiting more than five months on average to regain possession of a property rather than the 16-week figure the Government has previously quoted.

The discrepancy was discovered in a response to a parliamentary question submitted by Hunters co-founder turned Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake.

He had asked what the median and mean times were for private landlords to progress from a claim to possession of a property by a county court bailiff in England.

The data showed that the median figure for repossessions in 2017 was 16.1 weeks – the number often used by Government – but the mean was actually 22 weeks.

There were also regional differences, with the wait for a property to be repossessed being 25 weeks in London and 18 weeks on average in the south-west of England.

Responding to the data, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is warning that the Government’s efforts to develop longer tenancies will fail without urgent court reforms to ensure landlords can swiftly regain possession of a property in cases such as tenants failing to pay their rent, committing anti-social behaviour or damaging the property.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “These figures show that the court system is failing to secure justice for landlords and tenants when things go wrong.

“If ministers want to roll out longer tenancies, landlords need the confidence that in cases where they legitimately want to repossess a property the system will respond swiftly. It is not good for either tenants or landlords to be left in a prolonged period of legal limbo.

“We hope that the Government will press ahead with a properly funded and fully fledged Housing Court.”


London Midlands North East North West South East South West England
Mean Med Mean Med Mean Med Mean Med Mean Med Mean Med Mean Med
2013 24.0 17.7 23.6 16.7 26.6 14.7 27.5 15.1 23.2 14.7 20.6 13.4 24.0 16.3
2014 24.3 18.3 25.3 17.9 19.7 14.3 26.8 15.4 21.0 14.3 23.0 14.1 23.4 16.6
2015 24.4 17.9 23.1 16.1 24.6 14.3 19.7 15.0 20.8 14.1 16.0 13.1 22.2 15.9
2016 29.5 18.7 23.6 16.0 25.0 14.3 19.0 14.4 19.9 14.0 19.0 13.3 24.2 16.0
2017 25.0 19.0 21.4 16.1 20.0 14.3 21.1 14.7 20.5 14.6 18.1 13.7 22.0 16.1


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  1. Rayb92

    Add to this government and shelter want housing benefits tenants accepted into property no questions asked .. who are then advised to stay put til the end by shelter and the council when they stop paying .. its no wonder landlords don’t want to take the risk of housing benefit tenants

  2. DarrelKwong43

    No surprise, had one possession claim cancelled last month last minute, due to no judge being available.

  3. Rent Rebel

    Most landlords wait just two months, since most tenants never challenge a section 21 and leave when it expires. This is only those landlords whose tenants see them to court. Better journalism would give us what % of all section 21s that actually is.

    1. The_Maluka

      Utter rubbish I have never yet had a tenant leave voluntarily, where do you get your alleged facts?

    2. PossessionFriendUK39

      I advise landlords and – whilst I have heard of the of the odd tenant leaving  on expiry of a Section 21, its more rare than hens teeth.

      as for 22 weeks !!!  – who are the govt kidding ?

      At least 2 months notice, then court application = another 3 months, Possession awarded in 28 days ( sometimes 42, – 1 – 1 1/2 months. )

      Tenants very often don’t leave, – as advised by Local Authorities, contrary to Govt advice.   So   County Court Bailiff around 8 weeks.

      If you take your shoes and socks off,  that’s a total of  its 8 and a half months, at best.  !

  4. Votta583

    And they’ve just closed another 285  courts across the country haven’t they? Goodness gracious me


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