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Possession claims on the rise says property expert

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The number of landlord possession claims in England and Wales increased to 170,000 last year suggesting tenants are increasingly aware of their rights, says property litigation expert Matthew Pugh.

Latest statistics from the Ministry of Justice show landlord possession claims rose from 135,000 in 2010 to 170,000 in 2013.

The figures relate to claims made in county courts by social and private landlords.

Matthew Pugh, a partner who heads up the property litigation team at Langleys, York, said:

“This increase in possessions suggests that with increased access to information via the internet, tenants are increasingly aware of their rights.

“Many tenants for example know that they cannot be evicted without a court order and are not moving out simply because they are served with notice.

“Landlords don’t take action in the courts lightly.

“Many landlords are private investors who have bought an investment property to supplement their pension.

“They have mortgages to pay and when tenants default on their rent, they won’t be able to pay their mortgage.

“This leaves them little choice to seek redress through the courts.”

Matthew added:

“Last year, many tenants were still feeling the impact of the recession and possibly struggling to meet their rent payments – it’s likely that this also contributed to the rise in possessions.

“Looking ahead, landlords faced with possession claims should find re-letting their properties easier as market conditions continue to improve with the upturn in the economy.”

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Matthew Pugh

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