Thousands of households are in danger of eviction

One in every 111 households in England is in danger of eviction, according to research by housing charity Shelter.

The risk of eviction is much higher in cities and other urban areas, particularly London – the 12 local authorities with the highest rates of eviction risk are all in London, partly because of high housing costs.

The charity has analysed rates of possession claims issued by private and social landlords and by mortgage lenders for homes in every local authority in England.

Though not all possession claims lead to an eviction, they indicate that a household is struggling with rent or mortgage payments and are already enmeshed in a legal process which puts their homes seriously at risk. About a third of the 93,500 mortgage possession claims lodged in the UK in 2009 turned into repossessions the following year.

Top of the list with a rate of 25.8 mortgage and landlord possession claims per 1,000 homes is Barking and Dagenham, followed by Olympic borough Newham (24 claims), Haringey (22.9 claims) and Brent (22.4 claims).

Outside London, the highest rate of claims is in Manchester with 17.2 per 1,000 homes, Slough with 16.4 claims, and Peterborough with 16.1 claims. But some rural areas were also badly affected, with Bedford (10.9 claims) and the Forest of Dean showing rates higher than the average for England of nine claims.

While the number of mortgage possession claims fell by 8% across England between October 2010 and September 2011, the number of claims by landlords rose by 8%. Within that figure, those claims dealt with by the accelerated procedure have risen by 22%. This is when a shorthold tenancy is at the end of its fixed term and an order can be made solely on written evidence, without a hearing, or any grounds being necessary.

Shelter says this procedure is used predominantly by private landlords, and if combined with those using the standard procedure it can be estimated that possession claims from private landlords have increased by 11% in the year to September 2011.

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