How long does it take to gain possession of a rental property?

December 5, 2018

How long does it take to gain possession of a rental property?

Private landlords have to wait an average of over five months to regain possession of a property when applying to the courts according to new figures from the Ministry of Justice.

The Residential Landlords Association says that the long delay in dealing with cases means that a landlord may go without any rent or, in extreme cases, suffer damage to the property before the tenant finally has to leave.

The time for cases to be heard varies around the country, but following a question tabled by Kevin Hollinrake MP, the Government has clarified that the average time taken for a landlord to repossess a property was 22 weeks in 2017, up from the 16.1 weeks it had previously quoted using a less common calculation of the average.

This masks considerable regional differences, with the wait for a property to be repossessed being 25 weeks in London and with a low of 18 weeks in the South West.

What landlords can be certain of is that, with courts becoming busier and busier as public services are cut, the wait to get a possession hearing is only going to get longer!

This is one of the reasons why Housing Minister James Brokenshire has proposed a new “housing court” – to facilitate faster and more effective justice in the event of property disputes between landlords and tenants.

The government is currently undertaking consultation on this proposal which forms part of the £1bn Reform Programme to build a justice system that is fair, straightforward and accessible to all.

It also builds upon comprehensive government action to rebalance the relationship between tenant and landlord.

However, until this new Housing Court is implemented, landlords typically have around 5 months to wait to regain possession of their property.

If the rental home is mortgaged, this means 5 months of paying out that mortgage while receiving no rental income, not to mention the stress and additional costs of having to take legal action against a tenant.

Going to full repossession of a property, including sending bailiffs in to remove the tenant, can cost anything from £1,500 and a defended action can be very expensive.

In addition to these legal fees, rent will be mounting up each month until the property can be re-let. In the event a Court grants judgment against the tenant for arrears, there is no guarantee that the landlord will be able to recover them.

It was precisely for this reason that over 20 years ago Northwood founder, Andy Goodson (a landlord himself), came up with the concept of a Guaranteed Rent service.

He recognised that there was a certain demographic of landlord – usually a busy career person or someone with limited time to deal with property issues – who would just like to rent a property out with complete confidence that the rent would be paid on time, every time, without fail.

Andy devised Northwood’s Guaranteed Rent service and the rest is history!

Northwood will guarantee your rent, which will be paid even if the property is empty, (provided it remains habitable) or the tenant stops paying the rent.  We effectively take over the business risk of letting out a property.

Should the tenant stop paying the rent, Northwood will cover the legal costs of removing them from the property.

This service gives landlord peace of mind that there is a payment coming in on time every month, and it is used by over 10,000 landlords across the UK.

We even have a testimonial from one landlord who has been in receipt of Guaranteed Rent for 14 years, and never failed to receive payment of rent!

Our Guaranteed Rent service is particularly popular with landlords who do not live near their rental property – perhaps they have had to rent out the family home and move somewhere else for work, or they inherited a distant property from a relative.  Whatever the situation and location, there is a Northwood property management service to suit!

All our 85+ offices conveniently situated around the UK will be happy to explain how the service works and whether it is right for you.  Just give your local office a call or pop in for an informal chat without obligation to see what we do differently.

Find your local Northwood office >>> here.

It is worth noting that our Guaranteed Rent service is not an insurance product with restrictions and excesses. We rent the property from you and then find a suitable tenant. It’s important to find the right tenant or it is we who have to pay the rent!

To find out more about how guaranteed rent works, click here

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