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Buy-to-let repossessions surge in Q3 2019

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.”

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  • phil dillon

    This will get much worse when we get our tax bills

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    Long term tenancy models and the concomitant abolition of section 21 are a contradiction when government policy is to drastically reduce the "out of control" PRS by making it unprofitable. Clearly the intention here is to give further discouragement to landlords by reducing the amount of control they have over their already less profitable investments, which will leave the slack to be picked up by institutional landlords. Social landlords are for the few and not the many, whilst most private sector organisations have higher administration costs than sole trader landlords plus shareholders and offices to pay for and therefore have to charge higher rents. So yet again your everyday renter is the one who pays for all this.

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    • 25 November 2019 12:34 PM

    Most of these repossessions will have been caused by rent defaulting tenants and then the ridiculous time it takes to evict.
    Very few LL appreciate the gamble they take when taking on tenants without RGI.
    Unfortunately it only takes one rent defaulting tenant to bankrupt a LL.
    Not many LL have the resources to cover the mortgage payments with no rent coming in.
    I myself am in a parlous position as I haven't been paid HB for over 1 year now plus I have 3 vacant properties.
    Only my savings are preventing bankruptcy.
    Lodgers recently ran off having defaulted on a portion of 5 months rent.
    I will have new occupants soon but RGI ISN'T possible.
    If IR were higher then I would be bankrupted.
    This game is far too risky for me which is why I am getting out as soon as I can.
    Currently I am paying 3 lots of Council Tax bills and 3 mortgages with no rent coming in.
    LL need to be sufficiently financially robust to stay in the game.
    There of course is the added humiliation that even without any rent coming in S24 taxes are still due!!!
    It is no wonder LL are selling up and why many are having their properties repossessed.
    Quite frankly the risks of being a LL no longer stack up compared to the potential losses that can easily be incurred.
    I know I've had enough and advise my occupants that I will be selling up over the next 3 years.
    Doesn't deter them as they know they won't be staying that long!
    I'm afraid that a tipping point has been reached and it means it is no longer worth the risk of being a LL.
    This is even before S21 abolition and the threat of a Labour Govt now or in 5 years time.
    Repossessions are set to substantially increase as long as the useless eviction process remains as dysfunctional as it is.

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    I have never used sec 8, when I've had a non paying tenant I have always used sec 21, all I want is them gone a s a p, now if we are to loose sec 21 it's a case of not taking risks with new tenants, if they don't stack up I don't want them in my properties.

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    I used section 21 and the tenants basically took no notice of it.
    It was only when I served a section 8 notice and they knew that they would have to go to court, that they decided to leave.
    I was just glad to get them out and didn't pursue them any further, as I would have probably been right down the list when it came to payback.
    I was aware that they owed almost everybody money, so I didn't want to waste more, trying to get a CCJ against them.

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    Well it's now clear section 21 is all but gone, all main political Parties have now spoken each one in their turn have pledged to destroy private Sector Housing more than the other, even to the extent of £100k fines, they should be ashamed of themselves, it's a national disgrace for them to campaign on a General Election on this bases. The Private Rented Sector the second biggest provider of Housing in the Country for decades, housing millions of people at no cost to the Government, it's not our fault if Gov' has a policy to house everyone regardless whether Benefit Claimant or false Claimant by the million, sure usually a woman with children & supposedly no partner but they will be there for free costing billions of £'s, so every one wants to be on the Council to get subsidized housing because they are not stupid the system is there to be abused, there are now so many no one will challenge them least of all my MP who has been elected 5 / 6 times each time with a bigger majority on the each of benefit claimants, he was also supporting get rid of S.21. The Tenant is the cause of getting rid of S.21 it was their sure track way of getting housed but all Political parties blame the LL it's a disgrace. Of course we have Shelter CEO given air time on BBC saying how bad we are for decades & who is paid £126k pa but don't supply any housing isn't that a bit rich. There a load more organisations incl' university of York all banging the drum about how bad we are, amazingly none of the groups supply any housing isn't the best footballer always in the Stand. Why does all those anti-landlord people want to drive a wedge between LL & Tenant just to damage both parties which is what they have done. On another issue if LL can get rent guarantee insurance then you don't need it they are unlikely to stand in front of you when the chips are down. So might as well scrap the Election no one to vote for again.

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    Hi Michael.
    I think it is a case of hoping that the least worst get elected?
    There is no doubt that we will be slaughtered if Corbyn et al get into government.
    Even if he doesn't get a majority, he will no doubt be supported by the non-entities like Plaid Cymru.
    When you look at it, the least worse choice is Boris, so I am hoping that he gets in with a majority.
    There appears to be a resurgence for Labour, now that they have unveiled more bankrupting policies.
    These all have to be paid for and it is disingenuous for them to constantly go on about the higher earners having to pay "a little bit more tax".
    I have no doubt that it will be the likes of us that will be carrying the heaviest burden and that the billionaires and large corporations will have long since made alternative arrangements or abandoned the country altogether.

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    Hi John, of course you are right but it's only the lesser of two evils, so we have to go with that, the small comfort that it is.


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