Dozens of tenants have been evicted from their homes in Brighton and Hove in just three months, according to new figures from the Ministry of Justice.
A total of 27 evictions took place in the April to June quarter, up from eight in the same quarter a year ago.
The 2021 figures are likely to be unrepresentative because of the ban on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic which was lifted at the start of June last year.
But the latest figure is also above the pre-pandemic level, with 19 landlord repossessions in Brighton and Hove in the three months to the end of June 2019.
Legal claims by private and social landlords for repossession have also risen significantly – with one of the most notable cases locally involving a quadriplegic man Harvey Cowe.
Mr Cowe, who was paralysed in a car crash in the 1980s, faces losing his home of 25 years, in Brittany Road, Hove, after his landlords were granted a possession order.
Brighton and Hove City Council is understood to be exploring what steps it can take, not least because it has spent more than £200,000 on special adaptations.
Some 18,200 claims for repossession were submitted in the latest three months, more than double the 7,000 claims made in the same period last year. They included 100 in Brighton and Hove – up from 25 the year before.
Claims made by private landlords to evict tenants topped pre-pandemic levels for the third successive quarter.
There were 6,425 claims in England and Wales in the three months to June, up from 6,077 during the same period in 2019.
Charities warned that many tenants faced uncertain financial situations as living costs soared.
And campaign group Generation Rent said: “People face a devastating choice between paying rent, heating their home and putting food on the table.”
Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said that the figures painted a “grim picture” as households struggled to keep their heads above water during the “cost of living” crisis.
She added: “Whoever becomes the next Prime Minister needs to get a grip and put ending the housing emergency at the top of their to-do list.”
Generation Rent director Alicia Kennedy said that the rise was a result of protections brought in during the coronavirus pandemic coming to an end.
She said that renters who had not received enough support were now losing their homes, adding “Alongside a further package of financial support, the government must freeze rents and protect renters from eviction if they’re struggling to stay on top of rent.”
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said that repossessions were “significantly below pre-pandemic levels”.
The government said that it was supporting people facing the pressures of rising costs through a £37 billion package, including a £1,200 payment for the most vulnerable households.
And the Renters Reform Bill would protect tenants by abolishing no-fault evictions and allow them to challenge “poor practice, poor housing standards and unjustified rent increases”.
Homelessness charity Crisis said that the government “must open its eyes to the looming crisis facing renters”.
In addition to the Renters Reform Bill and the ban on no-fault evictions, Crisis urged the new Prime Minister to commit to protect renters from rising rent prices and frozen housing benefits.
Crisis’s director of policy and external affairs Kiran Ramchandani said: “Only this action will ensure we don’t see thousands more pushed into homelessness in the difficult months to come.”
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