The Ministry of Justice has decided to increase fees for landlords trying to evict tenants when they fall into rent arrears – for the second year in a row. The cost to commence proceedings in the County Court will rise from £280 to £355. Claims made online using the Possession Claims Online facility will likewise increase by £75, to £325.
The Government estimates that this will generate an additional £17 million per annum in income.
These increases pile atop the £100 increase last year for online applications, and £175 for paper claims. The court fees for eviction procedures, therefore, will have more than doubled in just two years.
The Government says these increases are justified “in view of the requirement to ensure the courts and tribunals are adequately funded, while at the same time reducing the cost of the courts and tribunals to the taxpayer.”
But some industry voices have suggested that the spiralling court costs are unfair, and could cause normally law-abiding landlords to consider attempting to evict tenants without following official procedures, thereby risking criminal prosecution.
The MoJ says that evictions from rented properties hit a record high in 2014, with 42,000 homes repossessed by landlords.
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