Record Levels of Tenants in Severe Arrears

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The number of people who rent their homes in England and Wales and are in severe arrears with payments has topped 100,000, a new study has found.

The latest Tenant Arrears Tracker  report by Templeton LPA shows the amount of renters in arrears for the second quarter has climbed to 100,400, an increase of 24 per cent in a year

The figure is the highest total in the four years that the firm has been monitoring such numbers and it represents 2.6 per cent of all those renting a home, compared with 2.4 per cent in the previous quarter. The arrears are leading to an increase in evictions with 26,060 facing notices in the quarter, over five per cent more than in the same period in 2011.

Director and receiver at the company Paul Jardine said:

“As the private rented sector grows, the number of tenants in dire financial straits is steadily climbing. Falling wages in real terms have been compounded by rising rents, pushing a greater number of rented households over the edge financially.”

He predicted that the number will go on rising as the economy struggles, the labour market ensures uncertainty and more austerity measures are on the way.

For people in such difficulty, significant help may be needed, such as a debt management plan or even an individual voluntary arrangement, should their total debts add up to £15,000 or more. Indeed, large credit card debts and unpaid loans may be other symptoms of severe financial problems as well as an inability to pay the rent. While some renters are struggling, others who are better off are “frustrated” at not being able to get on the property ladder as mortgage finance is harder to get.

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