At the time, the UK Government and HM Courts & Tribunals defended this decision, claiming the changes were justified as they reflected the average cost of issuing eviction proceedings. However, that did not stop Landlord Action, an organisation dedicated to tackling the problem of increasing fees, from declaring the new fees as extortionate.
At the time, the cost of a standard possession claim rose 60% from £175 to £280, while an online possession claim, which can only be started after a Section 8 notice has been issued, rose from £100 to £250, a 150% jump that heavily negated the purpose of having the online application as a cheaper and more expedited service.
The only good news for landlords was that warrant of possession applications (which require hiring a bailiff) remained at £110. Now, less than 2 years since the increase in court fees for certain claims, the UK Government has decided to raise the costs yet again.
On 21 March 2016, the UK Government along with HM Courts & Tribunals increased the price of eviction fees by £75. An accelerated possession claim (which can only be offered by serving tenants with a Section 21 notice) has risen from £280 to £355, as has the standard possession claim, an increase of over 25%.
The online possession claim is now £325 having increased 30% from £250. It is interesting to highlight that the process designed to be the most cost-saving actually saw the largest fee increase, widening the disparity between its intended purpose and what it actually offers.
Once more, the warrant of possession claim has escaped a cost increase and remains at £110.
The news that court fees are going up again is yet another financial blow to landlords, who have also faced an increase in council tax rates for long term empty properties. As a result, many property experts and landlords have questioned whether or not this is the end of the buy-to-let bubble, and even the buy-to-let market, although we still believe buy-to-let is a profitable investment.
If you have any questions, or are concerned how these new financial implications affect you as a landlord, please don’t hesitate to contact us, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit one of our three Cardiff letting and estate agencies. What’s more, new landlord and licensing regulations are coming into force in Wales later this year, but don’t worry, as there’s still time to prepare yourself for Rent Smart Wales.