Tenants suffer arrears struggle

Sarah Davidson

January 7, 2015

The number of tenants in arrears of more than two months increased by 2.6% from quarter three 2014 and 7.2% from the fourth quarter of 2013.

In quarter four 2014 there were 68,100 tenants in rent arrears of more than two months, 4,600 more than the same quarter last year and 1,700 more than in the previous quarter.

Such figures are still a world away from quarter three 2012, when the number of severe arrears cases reached 116,600.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Escaping the worst deprivations of the financial crisis has taken half a decade. And even now, for so many households every month is still a difficult month.

“Stretching to include even a little festivity often makes December particularly hard. But just as the occasional setback is inevitable, the long-term trend is increasingly clear. Since the sharpest pinnacle of tenant difficulties in 2010 the number in serious rent arrears has practically halved.

“As rising wages start to combine with much lower levels of unemployment, the fundamentals of the economy have started to turn in favour of tenants. If that can continue, then so can the trend away from arrears, as renting becomes more affordable.”

The number of tenants facing a court order for eviction in quarter three 2014 fell by 4.4% since Q2 2014 and 6.0% since Q3 2013.

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