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Serious rent arrears at three-year high

A growing number of tenants are now seriously behind on their rent, new figures show.

The number who were more than two months behind on their rent has leapt to the highest level since the second quarter of 2013.

Landlord’s own finances remain solid, with buy-to-let mortgage arrears steady at 5,700 in the third quarter.


Cases of tenants seriously behind on rent jumped 13.8% in Q3 2015, compared to Q2, according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker by estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains.

The annual increase was even more dramatic at 18.6%.

Some 84,200 tenants are more than two months behind with paying their rent, up from 74,000.

This represents a quarterly increase of 10,200 additional households in potentially serious financial difficulties. 

Serious tenant arrears remain considerably below the record 116,600 seen in Q3 2012.

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said the chance of an individual tenant falling into serious arrears remains very low.

“Most households are beginning to earn more, the cost of living is stable and the chance of falling into unemployment is diminishing.

“For the majority of tenants, paying the rent is becoming easier rather than harder.”

But some households are facing a growing struggle, Gill said. “As others bid rents higher there will be a minority who are still struggling to keep up.

“Landlords and tenants have a mutual responsibility to be aware of this small but significant risk.”


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