Possession Figures Q2 Update (April – June 2022)

The latest Ministry of Justice figures for the second quarter of the year (April to June 2022) indicate that they have increased from the figures taken during April to June 2021. Landlord possession claims have increased 160% (from 6,997 to 18,201), orders 164% (from 5,431 to 14,319), warrants 104% (from 3,786 to 7,728) and repossessions 210% (from 1,582 to 4,900).

Whilst the majority of cases appear to still be in respect of rent arrears, there has been a significant increase in section 21 evictions compare to figures taken in 2019. As you may recall, we have been recently covering the government’s proposals to abolish section 21 at an undetermined future point, there is a chance that the increase in section 21 evictions at the moment could be influenced by this.

In respect of mortgage possessions, mortgage claims increased 39% (from 2,499 to 3,476), orders 496% (from 400 to 2,382), warrants 361% (from 525 to 2,419), and repossessions 1611% (from 45 to 770).

In spite of the increase in claims, the figures suggest that the Courts are handling these claims more expeditiously (although comparing to the same period the year before may not be the best metric given where the position of the courts in the immediate aftermath of COVID).

However, for Q2 2022, in relation to landlord and tenant possessions, the time between the claim being issued and an order granted has decreased from 21.7 weeks to 9.9 weeks, from issue to warrant has decreased from 31.6 weeks to 15.9 weeks, and the period from issue to repossession has decreased from 60.1 weeks to 23.4 weeks .

For mortgage possessions, the time between the claim being issued and an order granted has decreased from 18.6 weeks to 10.1 weeks and from issue to warrant has decreased from 82.7 weeks to 48.5 weeks. The period from claim to repossession has increased though from 106.7 weeks to 110.1 weeks, which does suggest there are creaks in the system.

Whilst the general number of claims is steadily increasing, it will no doubt come as a welcome relief to see that the time-frame for these claims from issue to warrant is reducing. However, anecdotally many clients are saying they are having real problems with the court service of late and we can only hope that this relatively gentle increase in workload for HMCTS will not see it collapse in the coming months, when surely many more matters (either claims stayed pre-Covid or claims stemming from Covid) come to court.


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