It’s not unusual to see the press churning out stories covering landlords who break the law and exploit vulnerable tenants. However, the same enthusiasm is often missing when it comes to landlords who are forced to deal with rogue tenants and the considerable costs they inflict.
Most often, landlords have no alternative but to claim for possession of their property because the tenant has failed to pay rent, damaged the property or broken the terms of the tenancy contract. Unfortunately, the process of serving a section 8 or 21 to regain vacant possession can often prove to be time consuming and expensive.
It takes an average of 118 days for court-appointed bailiffs to remove tenants from private landlords’ properties after bringing a claim to court, according to new research by the Simple Landlords Insurance.
Their new figures reveal it took an average of 16.9 weeks from claim to bailiff eviction during the first three months of 2018.
A total of 21,429 possession claims were brought to court last year, of which 6,260 ended in eviction by bailiff.
Speaking on the new findings, Tom Cooper, director of underwriting at Simple Landlords Insurance, commented:
“The good news for everyone is that in 2017 only 0.5% of landlords made a possession claim in court. And only a third of those had to go through to the bitter bailiff end. The bad news is that if it does happen to you, it can cost a lot of money – and not just the average £1,700- £2,000 in legal fees.
“We wanted to get a more realistic idea of the impact of the process in terms of lost income, inconvenience, and ongoing legal fees in the worst and longest case scenarios.
“Just looking at lost rent, there are few landlords who can afford to lose up to 6 months’ worth – the time it takes for a tenant to go into arrears, for them to issue a Section 21 notice, and then for them wait 17 weeks to see the court process through.”
Often the best way for a landlord to protect themselves, their property and indeed their tenant is to take out appropriate landlords’ insurance, which differs from standard home insurance.
Getting the right tenant is crucial for landlords and agents, with NLA Tenant Check, you can perform extensive background checks on tenants to ensure you find the best matches for your properties. You can also cover unpaid rental income of up to £2,500 per month and cover legal expenses claims of up to £100,000, ensuring you and your portfolio are protected.
For best protection, you can also take out NLA Landlord Property Insurance. Developed specifically for landlords, the service takes into account your landlord building insurance requirements gives you highly competitive premiums and cover lock replacements up to £1,000.