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Severe Arrears Drop 9%

Date Added 14/11/2014

The number of tenants in severe rental arrears has dropped considerably over the past 12 months.

New figures from LSL Property Services show the number of people who are significantly behind on their rent dropped nine per cent year on year in the third quarter.

Overall, there are 65,000 tenants who are in arrears of two months or more, which is down from 71,700 in the same period last year. This equates to 1.4 per cent of all renters, compared to 1.6 per cent 12 months ago.

David Newnes, director of LSL subsidiaries Your Move and Reeds Rains, stated: "Gradual rent rises, on a par with inflation, have helped. But now a bigger turnaround appears to have happened.

"For many years more momentary cases of rent arrears have been in decline, yet it`s only recently that the most serious cases - where families could actually lose their homes - are following suit."

LSL`s latest Buy-to-Let Index showed arrears accounted for 7.2 per cent of all rent in September, which is down from 8.5 per cent during the same month in 2013.

Mr Newnes said the private rented sector has helped to meet the growing level of demand for affordable housing in what has been the "greatest economic depression in modern times".

He also claimed the rental market has provided a "lifeline" for people with limited incomes and is now the chosen form of accommodation for many, who favour the flexibility and mobility renting offers.

According to the latest research from Paragon Mortgages, close to two-thirds (61 per cent) of landlords forecast tenant arrears to stay at a stable level over the course of the next 12 months.

Only 12 per cent expect the amount of late rent owed to rise, while eight per cent think it will fall.

@Source Gary Whittaker Rentman
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