Debt problems pushing tenants towards edge?

New statistics have suggested tenants in private rented accommodation are finding it increasingly hard to pay their landlords each month.

A survey …

New statistics have suggested tenants in private rented accommodation are finding it increasingly hard to pay their landlords each month.

A survey of members by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) found 40 per cent of those letting out property saw an increase in the number of tenants struggling to pay the rent during the last quarter of the year.

This rising tide of tenant difficulty represents an acceletaion of the trend from the previous three months, when 35.9 per cent of Arla members saw the number of struggling residents going up.

Arla said the situation is a consequence of the rise in unemployment in certain sectors of the economy as government cuts set in, something it had expected.

Operations manager for the body Ian Potter remarked: “At the beginning of last year we predicted that the number of tenants having difficulties paying rent would increase and unfortunately, this seems to be the case today.”

And Arla also noted this could have a bad effect on the fortunes of its members, as many have buy-to-let mortgages that they will find harder to pay if they are not receiving their regular rental income and could face repossession as a result.

News of the survey findings tallies with other recent data showing how hard some have been finding it to pay their housing costs.

Sainsbury’s Bank found two million people had used credit cards to pay their mortgage or rent at some point in 2010, 50 per cent more than had done so the previous year.

Such a move could have negative consequences for those paying in such a way, as the interest on the extra credit card debt could add to their problems.

By Amy White

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