Local Authority Evictions
There were 1,460 tenancy terminations (evictions and abandonments) in 2017-18, an increase of 3% or 39 on 1,421 in 2016-17. Of the 1,460 tenancy terminations in 2017-18, 96% (1,401) were due to rent arrears – a similar proportion to 2016-17 (93%).
The diagram below (Figure A) illustrates the numbers of actions taken in against local authority tenants in 2017-18. There were 28,425 notices of proceedings issued in 2017-18. Of these, 9,648 proceeded to court, with 4,133 court orders being granted; 1,460 tenancies were terminated through an eviction or abandonment of the dwelling.
Figure A: Action taken against council tenants in 2017-18
Pre-action requirements to strengthen the protection of tenants facing eviction for rent arrears came into force on 1st August 2012. Pre-action requirements require social landlords to have exhausted all attempts to resolve the arrears with the tenant before taking action to evict. The changes have therefore generally had a much bigger effect on the early stages of an eviction action (notice of proceedings issued) than on the later stages.
Chart 16 shows there were large reductions in the number of actions against local authority tenants proceeding to court from 28,301 in 2001-02 to 7,127 in 2013-14. This was followed by increases each year up to 9,648 in 2017-18.
The number of cases resulting in an eviction order also fell from 10,558 in 2001-02 to 2,728 in 2013-14, but then increased to 4,248 in 2016-17. In the latest year, however, the number fell to 4,133.
Local authority tenancy terminations (i.e. evictions plus abandoned dwellings) as a result of eviction actions have increased in the latest year. There were 1,460 such terminations in 2017-18 which equates to 0.5% of normal letting stock, down from 3,093 (0.6% of normal letting stock) in 2001-02. Within this, the number of evictions of local authority tenants is 1,023, which equates to 11% of all cases proceeding to court.
Chart 16: Eviction actions against local authority tenants, 2001-02 to 2017-18
The 56% reduction in the number of notices of proceedings issued for rent arrears cases between 2011-12 and 2014-15 (from 51,886 to 23,009) has been followed by increases each year since, up to 27,727 in 2017-18. The number of rent arrears cases taken to court has increased by 1% from 9,397 to 9,503 in the latest year. The number of tenancy terminations for rent arrears (evictions and abandonments) has increased by 7% this year from 1,235 to 1,318. As almost all eviction actions are for rent arrears, similar changes can be observed for the number of eviction actions overall.
Chart 17 shows that across local authorities there is considerable variation in the rate of evictions or abandoned dwellings in relation to normal letting stock levels. In 2017-18, East Ayrshire had the highest eviction/abandoned dwelling rate at 1% of letting stock whilst South Ayrshire had the lowest at 0.1%.
Chart 17: Abandoned properties and evictions, as a percentage of normal letting stock, 2017-18
Link to tables on local authority evictions: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS/StockManagement
Section 11 legislation gives local authorities early notice of households at risk of homelessness due to eviction and places a duty on landlords (except local authority landlords) and creditors to notify the relevant local authority when they raise proceedings for possession or serve certain other notices. Statistics on this can be found on the Scottish Government website: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/RefTables
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