FIVE property repossession claims have been lodged at Barrow's County Court in a three month period, figures show.

Labour and charitable organisations have demanded that a ban on evictions – due to expire on January 11 – be extended to stop tenants losing their “only refuge” as Covid-19 cases surge again.

Landlords and mortgage lenders submitted five possession claims to the court between July and September, Ministry of Justice data shows – up from two during the previous three months.

But this was still well below pre-pandemic levels – 50 were issued during the same period in 2019.

A mortgage lender made one of the claims, while the rest were by private or social landlords.

While bailiffs are not allowed to evict people under the ban other than in exceptional cases, landlords and mortgage lenders can still issue possession claims in court.