Almost 100 Leeds homes repossessed by landlords and mortgage lenders last year

Almost 100 homes in Leeds were repossessed by landlords and mortgage lenders last year, figures show.

By Rebecca Marano
Saturday, 19th February 2022, 10:16 am

Debt charity StepChange said more people across England and Wales have lost their homes since emergency Covid-19 financial measures ended, and that further government support may be needed.

Ministry of Justice figures show 87 homes in Leeds were repossessed in 2021 – 77 evictions of renters, and 10 by mortgage lenders.

This was down from 97 in 2020, and fewer than the 336 in 2019.

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Ministry of Justice figures show 87 homes in Leeds were repossessed in 2021 – 77 evictions of renters, and 10 by mortgage lenders.

Across England and Wales, there were 10,195 repossessions in 2021 – up from 8,608 the year before.

Bailiff-enforced evictions were banned for a large part of 2020-21 – a measure introduced by the Government to prevent renters from becoming homeless during the pandemic – though the ban was lifted in England on May 31 last year.

Sue Anderson, head of media at StepChange, said emergency measures to suppress landlord evictions and mortgage repossessions were "instrumental".

But she added: "With many people yet to recover from the financial effects of the pandemic – and now having to cope with a cost of living crisis – it’s no surprise that we are seeing a rise in the number of people losing their homes.

"While the £65 million support fund created to help deal with Covid rent arrears will help, more support may still be needed for the hardest hit households.”

The MoJ figures show the number of claims lodged to repossess homes in Leeds rose last year.

In 2021, 499 claims to repossess homes the area were lodged by mortgage lenders and landlords – up from 382 in 2020, but below 1,341 in 2019.

Of the claims lodged last year, 390 were evictions of renters, and 109 by mortgage lenders

Shelter said huge numbers of eviction notices are currently dropping on doormats across the country, and rising living costs may be the final straw for many renters.

Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns at the housing charity, said: "Some are being forced to choose between feeding their families, heating their homes, or paying their rent.

“While government measures, like the £65 million rent arrears fund, will help some, it won’t be enough to protect every family who is barely hanging onto their home.

"It’s time the Government gave renters the financial lifeline they need by boosting support and reversing the damaging welfare cuts that have left people on the brink of destitution."

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said its actions have helped keep thousands of people in their homes.

Along with the £65 million to support low income households, a DLUHC spokeswoman said £316 million will be available next year to prevent homelessness.

She added: “We also recognise people are facing pressures with the cost of living, which is why we are providing support worth around £12 billion this financial year and next.”

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