Section 21 ‘evictions’ increasing according to media reports…or are they?

- Mon 29 Nov 2021

In a word, no.

Many will have noticed the media is full of reports of increased numbers of ‘evictions’ as a result of service of a s21 notice commonly used to end assured shorthold tenancies. Whilst this is undoubtedly a headline grabber in the current housing crisis, the reality is that the number of repossession cases involving the courts where a tenant has failed to surrender possession in accordance with a s21 notice, has in fact fallen over the last few years.

Official UK Government figures show the number of possession actions across court stages in England and Wales were higher than those reported in 2020 but significantly lower than in the same quarter of 2019.

ARLA Propertymark, with whom we are a member, report that: “Compared to pre-pandemic levels during July to September 2019 landlord possession actions (claims, orders, warrants, and repossessions) have decreased by:

  • 64% for claims
  • 75% for orders for possessions
  • 69% for warrants
  • 35% for repossessions


As a result of new policies associated with the coronavirus outbreak, landlord possession actions have dropped significantly, a trend that has continued past the date when protections such as bans on evictions were lifted”

Additionally and dating back to between 2015 and 2019, prior to the pandemic, the number of possession cases as a result of a legal action brought by a landlord following a tenant default on a s21, fell by some 50%. This appears to indicate the reported fall in cases is not a consequence of the temporary suspension of possession claims as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the recent challenging times, we as agents have worked tirelessly to act as mediators between landlords and tenants in trying to find a compromise and to endeavour to resolve most problems before escalation. For example, negotiating arrears repayment plans and similar. However on occasions landlords do indeed have to make the difficult decision to end a tenancy particularly where they are experiencing the same financial pressures as a tenant in default.

ARLA Propertymark report that “54% of landlords have buy to let mortgages on their rented properties and ultimately must factor that in to their decisions when facing tenant issues. With reform still on the cards for the private rented sector, we hope that decision makers take note of these figures and realise that abolishing section 21 is not the silver bullet some think it is”

We wait patiently to see what the Renters Reform Bill brings and will update as soon as we are able. If in the meantime we are able to assist with regard the letting and management of your rental or investment property, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Bradleys Property Rentals offer a range of letting and property management services across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Should you be seeking a professional letting service for your investment properties, simply contact your local Bradleys office or search across the array of information available on our website.