More tenants in rent arrears as they struggle on low pay

An increasing number of tenants struggled to pay rent in the first quarter of this year, says a report today by Your Move and Reeds Rains.

The two agency chains, part of LSL, say that the number of tenants owing more than two months’ rent was up 4% on the same period last year.

It puts the number of households facing severe rent arrears in the first quarter at 70,9000 – 2,700 more than a year ago.

Eviction orders also increased, up 2.3% on the final quarter of 2014, with 28,900 tenants facing the prospect of losing their home.

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said that tenants’ earnings were a “crunch point”, with a number of households on extremely modest wages and facing a real challenge to find the rent each month.

However, he also pointed out that there are more cases of arrears, simply because more people now rent.

Gill also said that post-election, many landlords would be grateful that they were no longer facing the spectre of rent controls which a Labour government would have brought in.

But he added: “In the longer term, tenant finances are the most effective limit on rents. Tenants must be able to afford rent for any landlord to realise their financial plans on paper.

“In this way, landlords depend more on the prosperity of their tenants than on any particular policy or political environment.”

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