The shocking number of people who have been through eviction claims in BCP

Over 100 more property repossession claims in BCP during the summer <i>(Image: Radar AI)</i>
Over 100 more property repossession claims in BCP during the summer (Image: Radar AI)

More than 100 extra claims to evict people from their homes in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole were made this summer than in 2021.

The figures show a huge increase in repossession activity, a trend mirrored across England and Wales.

Housing charity Shelter has accused the Government of ignoring an unfolding "crisis" in the rental market, where prices are rising rapidly, after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's autumn statement revealed little help for private tenants.

Ministry of Justice data shows 210 claims to repossess properties in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole were lodged by mortgage lenders and landlords between July and September.

Of those, 29 were for homes owned by mortgage-holders, while the rest were to evict tenants.

It means there were 116 more claims in the latest quarter than over the same period in 2021, when 94 were submitted.

And there were more bids to remove people from their homes than in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic – 180 claims were lodged between July and September that year.

The figures also show that in the latest period, tenants were evicted from their homes in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole on 48 occasions – putting them among the 5,400 tenant evictions across England and Wales – while there were four bailiff-enforced home repossessions.

Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, warned more renters could fall behind on payments and lose their homes without better support.

She said: “Increasing Universal Credit will really help people struggling to pay their food and fuel bills, but crucially it doesn’t cover rents which are most people’s biggest outgoing.

"Unless housing benefit is increased, the shortfall with real rents will only grow – swallowing up other benefit increases. The boost to benefits will be built on quicksand."

Ms Neate added: "The Government’s refusal to unfreeze housing benefit ignores the rental crisis that is unfolding, and means that homelessness will continue to rise this winter.”

The criticism was echoed by homelessness charity Crisis, with chief executive Matt Downie adding: "Abandoning renters during a recession and cost-of-living crisis is unforgivable."

Mr Hunt said he would "monitor carefully" the situation around mortgage repossessions.

It was also announced that Universal Credit claimants struggling with rising interest costs on their mortgages would be able to access a government loan after three months, rather than nine, in a bid to protect the lowest earners from losing their homes.