Soaring numbers of tenants are being turned out of their homes by bailiffs, Ministry of Justice statistics disclosed last night.
The surge in evictions was blamed by Labour on the failure of wages to keep pace with rent increases, as well as the introduction of the so-called “bedroom tax” last year.
County court bailiffs repossessed 41,195 properties on behalf of landlords in the 12 months to September.
Labour, which released an analysis of the MoJ figures, said it estimated 90,000 people had been evicted over the period.
The total represented a 49 per cent increase on the 27,628 evictions over the same period four years earlier.
The MoJ figures, which relate to England and Wales, also showed 11,100 repossessions took place in July, August and September – the highest quarterly total on record.
The number of repossession claims issued by landlords has risen by 27 per cent over four years to more than 170,000.
Similar pressures are being felt in Scotland where the proportion of tenants in arrears rose last year from 6.3 per cent to 6.6 per cent.
Emma Reynolds, the shadow housing minister, said: “These figures lay bare the extent of the cost-of-living crisis across the country.”
But Brandon Lewis, the housing minister, said: “We have worked hard to increase the number of new homes, help people on to the property ladder and provide more affordable options for people who want to rent.”
He said rents had fallen in real terms each year since 2010, but ministers remained “determined to do all we can to create a bigger, better private rented sector”.