Government Halt on Evictions Sets Lower Benchmark For Eviction Proceedings to Start
A government's halt on evictions is failing to protect those most at risk of homelessness by setting a new lower benchmark for eviction proceedings to start, as the protection against eviction does not apply to social housing tenants with debts of more than £2,250.
Shelter's assistant director, Mr MacRae, said the intention of the eviction ban was "a good thing" but the reality was that the £2,250 figure had "set a new floor for the point at which eviction proceedings would start".
He said that previously most tenants facing eviction would owe double that amount before being taken to court.
Mr MacRae added that statistics showed rent arrears were now at an "alarmingly high level" but that there was "no business case" for evictions as the cost to the taxpayer of making someone homeless through eviction could be up to £25,000.
More than a third of social housing tenants are in arrears, with many typically owing over this threshold. With rent payments and household bills set to rise, alongside continuing generation-high inflation, thousands more will be facing court action from April.
The earliest intervention is the most impactful, but Income teams are already stretched to the brink. Outdated systems are forcing Income Officers to spend up to a third of their hours manually reviewing cases, often with no action needed, leaving many stranded with no help as the stress and uncertainty caused by arrears rises.
The number of tenancies who reach this arrears threshold will soar over the next 6 months, unless teams can tackle arrears cases in a smarter and more timely manner.
At Occupi, we help teams to intervene early, and if they can't, we ensure you have time to support tenants in significant arrears thanks to AI doing the heavy lifting. Find out more.