11% reduction in housing possession actions welcomed by Citizens Advice Exeter

Tuesday 15th August 2017

Leading local advice charity, Citizens Advice Exeter, has welcomed an overall 11% reduction in the number of housing repossession cases listed at Exeter County Court in the three-month period ending 30th June. This is in comparison to the same period in 2016.

Steve Barriball, Citizens Advice Exeter Chief Executive, said:

“In the last quarter there were 126 cases listed for repossession, an overall 11% reduction, or 16 cases, on the previous year. However, there was a small increase in private rented sector repossessions, which were up by one case.

“The biggest reduction was in mortgage repossessions, down by more than half. There were further reductions of 8.5% in housing association cases, and 1.8% in local authority actions.

“For the last few years we have seen the headline number of cases listed for repossession level out, and these latest figures show a welcome reduction.

“However, every case listed is a tragedy for those affected and it is essential that they are able to access the advice they need to ensure they are aware of their rights.

“We know that often landlords are frustrated at the lack of engagement by tenants when they start to build up arrears. If this is left unchecked it can result in repossession proceedings. We would recommend that any tenant in difficulty speaks to their landlord and gets advice from us as early as possible.

“I am grateful to our staff and volunteers for providing this essential service to families and households facing repossession.

“We are also grateful to Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council and Mid Devon District Council for funding this service.”

The charity has advisers present at the Court each Tuesday morning ready to advise and advocate for those facing possession of their home. Where a Citizens Advice adviser has provided assistance repossession was avoided in 81% of cases. There were, on average, 10 cases listed across all housing sectors each week.

Repossession trends in the period 1 April – 30 June

 

Sector 2016/17

Repossessions

2017/18 Repossessions Difference % Change
Housing Association 47 43 -4 -8.5%
Private 19 20 +1 +5.2%
Local authority 53 52 -1 -1.8%
Mortgage 23 11 -12 -52.1
Total 142 126 -16 -11.2%