Landlords face rocketing rent arrears

Landlords around the UK are seeing growing numbers of tenants falling into rent arrears, according to new research.

The Tenant Arrears report from Your Move and Reeds Rains reveals that the number of tenants who are more than two months behind on their rent is now 84,200.

That’s the highest number recorded since early 2013 and the number rose by nearly 14% between the second and third quarter of last year.

A director of the estate agency, Adrian Gill, said: “The chances of tenants falling into arrears is very low and renting, generally, works for most people.

“Over the last 10 years, the UK’s private rented sector has expanded quickly to provide millions of homes while absorbing a financial crisis.

“Optimism among landlords feels reasonable with households earning more and a stable cost of living. Also the chance of falling into an unemployment is falling and paying rent is becoming easier and not harder.”

Households in the private rented sector

 
However, Mr Gill pointed out that despite the country’s economic growth, there are many households in the private rented sector who do not yet feel any benefit.

He said that many tenants are struggling to keep pace with rent increases and landlords have a responsibility of being aware of what is a small ‘but significant risk’ of these issues.

The report also highlights that the finances of landlords are also stable though with changes to legislation covering the private rented sector, the environment is changing.

Mr Gill said: “Penalising landlords means winning easy political points but makes investing in new homes harder and counter-productive especially with the new challenges.”

Home Office issues right to rent warning

 
Meanwhile, the Home Office is warning letting agents and landlords to prepare for the right to rent scheme.

The new law comes into force in England from 1 February though landlords and agents can begin checking their potential tenants from now.

The Immigration Minister, Jim Brokenshire, says that the immigration checks are suitable for landlords to carry out and do not need them acquiring any special knowledge.

He added: “Right to Rent is part of wider reforms to the immigration system that will make it fairer, stronger and more effective.”

Landlords with private rented properties in England

 
The new law applies to all landlords with private rented properties in England who have tenants as well as homeowners who take in lodgers. The responsibility for carrying out the checks can be passed onto a letting agent under a written agreement.

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