Exeter repossession orders drop

Repossession orders have fallen over the past year, according to Exeter County Court figures.

There was a rise of 55 to 256 repossession actions by housing associations and a rise of 10 cases to 85 by private landlords.

However, the total, including local authority and mortgage lenders' repossession orders, was down 66 to 837, a fall of 7.5%.

Exeter Citizens Advice Bureau said low interest rates had helped borrowers.

'Costs increase'

Steve Barriball of Exeter Citizens Advice Bureau said: "These figures suggest that for families living in rented properties they are being hit disproportionately by factors such as the increasing cost of living, increases in energy costs, and changes to council tax benefit.

"Also, the so-called 'bedroom tax', as well as other changes to the welfare system, are hitting the lowest income households even harder."

Ministers argue the welfare changes introduced in April 2013 will encourage people to downsize to smaller properties, and in doing so, help cut the £23bn annual bill for housing benefit, free up living space for overcrowded families, and encourage people to get jobs.

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