The number of private landlords’ properties being repossessed jumped by 40% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, figures from a trade association show.
There were 800 such repossessions of buy-to-let mortgaged properties in July to September 2019, up from 570 in the corresponding quarter in 2018, UK Finance said.
The increase in landlords losing their homes has happened despite continued low mortgage rates generally.
UK Finance said the recent increase in repossessions has been partly driven by a backlog of older cases being processed in line with the latest regulatory requirements.
But somewhat alarmingly, the data also shows that there were 4,550 buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance in Q3 ‘19, up 5% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the number of landlords in arrears of between 5% and 7.5% of the outstanding balance fell by 21% over the year, however, the number of those in more serious arrears of between 7.5% and 10% shot up by 9%.
The number of landlords in arrears over 10% of the outstanding balance dropped by 1%, the UK Finance figures revealed.
David Smith, of the Residential Landlords Association, told the press: “Repossessions for mortgage arrears take place for many different reasons.
“Mortgage interest relief changes, which are now almost fully implemented, the increasing cost of regulation and the ever increasing time to repossess a property are all major factors.'
“Since most repossessions of this kind lead to tenants being evicted it is vital that the next government actively supports the majority of landlords doing a good job to provide the homes to rent the country needs.
“If we want to develop long-term tenancy models we need also to support landlords to stay in the market long term.”