Two-thirds of tenants struggling to pay rent

Rising rental fees are leaving tenants struggling to meet payments, with some turning to payday loans to cover the costs, according to a new survey by…

Rising rental fees are leaving tenants struggling to meet payments, with some turning to payday loans to cover the costs, according to a new survey by UK charity Shelter.

The research, which surveyed 4,300 private renters, found that 26 per cent were hit with an increase in rental rates in 2012, with two-thirds claiming they now struggle to make payments or are falling behind on them.

As a result of this, borrowing is on the increase as tenants turn to family and friends for money as well as payday lenders – which offer quick access to money at a very high rate of interest. Loans such as this can result in people getting further into debt, further exacerbating the problem.

The survey also noted that one in seven respondents have used a credit card to pay their rent, piling on more debt.

As expected, these money problems are causing people to make drastic cutbacks, with many individuals making sacrifices to family life as a result.

Birthday and Christmas presents have been a major cutback for many. One in three renters now spend less on gifts for friends and family due to having less money to play with. A quarter of families have also decided to visit relatives and friends less as well.

Some six per cent of renters even took the drastic measure of moving house due to being unable to pay the rent.

Chief executive of Shelter Campbell Robb said: "This is proof that the growing cost of renting is hitting families where it hurts, forcing them to make impossible choices about what they can cut back on next."

On average, wages last year remained unchanged, however due to the demand on housing over nine million people are now renting from a private landlord. This has driven up the cost of rent, with an average increase of £300 in England last year.

This makes it very easy for people to fall into debt, with many utilising a debt consolidation loan to free up money for monthly rental fees.

By Joe White

Find out more about money management on the ClearDebt blog.

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