Social Rented Housing: Evictions

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

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Photo of George Young George Young Chair, Standards and Privileges Committee, Chair, Standards and Privileges Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many possession actions were brought by registered social landlords (RSLs) in England under the Housing Act 1988 in each year since 2000; and what percentage this total comprised in each year of the number of possession actions brought by RSLs on the grounds of rent arrears.

Photo of Bridget Prentice Bridget Prentice Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice

I have been asked to reply.

The following table shows the number of court orders for possession (including suspended orders) granted to registered social landlords (RSLs) by the county courts in England since 2003 and also a breakdown of orders by the broad grounds for possession as recorded in court databases.

However, it is not possible to provide a breakdown of possessions resulting from specific legislation because this information is not collected by county court administrative systems.

Orders for possession (including suspended orders) granted to registered social landlords (RSLs) by county courts in England, 2003-2007
Grounds for possession
Total possession orders granted to RSLs Arrears Antisocial behaviour Arrears and antisocial behaviour Other
2003 45,133 44,035 162 61 875
2004 44,260 43,433 139 60 628
2005 41,907 41,129 138 66 574
2006(1) 39,023 38,290 108 38 587
2007(1) 36,390 35,778 126 61 425
(1) Certain figures for 2006 and 2007 have been estimated. This follows the rollout of the Possession Claims On- Line (PCOL) system in late 2006, which has affected the availability of detailed information about possession claims in central departmental databases.


1. This table presents figures for RSLs only and excludes orders that could be identified as having been made by local authorities. However, this process relied on searching for known local authority titles in the claimant name field, and there may therefore be some inaccuracies as a result of typing errors, use of abbreviations, etc.

2. The figures exclude orders obtained using the accelerated procedure.

Data are not available for earlier years. The figures include all orders relating to 'social landlords' except those identified as having been granted to local authorities. They do not indicate how many properties have actually been repossessed, since not all the orders will have resulted in the issue and execution of warrants of possession.

Suspended possession orders allow the tenant to remain in their home as long as they keep up repayment of arrears. If the terms are not met then the landlord can obtain an eviction warrant without the need for a further court hearing.

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