Serious rent arrears up 13.8%

Serious rent arrears up 13.8%

According to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker by estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains, the number of tenants seriously behind on rent has risen by 13.8% on a quarterly basis.

There are now 84,200 tenants more than two months behind with paying their rent, as of Q3 2015, compared to 74,000 in the second quarter. In absolute terms this represents a quarterly increase of 10,200 additional households in potentially serious financial difficulties. On an annual basis, this means 13,200 more households are in significant arrears than a year ago, or an annual increase of 18.6% since Q3 2014, when this figure previously stood at 71,000 across the UK.

On a historical basis, the latest deterioration in serious tenant arrears remains relatively mild, remaining considerably below the record 116,600 such cases seen in Q3 2012. However the latest figures for Q3 2015 represent the highest levels in more than two years.

In part, the increase in absolute numbers of serious arrears due to the overall growth in the size of the UK private rented sector. As a proportion of all private tenancies, just 1.6% are in serious arrears of more than two months, as of Q3 2015. This compares to a peak proportion of 2.9% of tenants in Q1 2008. However this proportion has also increased marginally from 1.4% in serious arrears as of Q2 2015.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, comments: “The chance of an individual tenant falling into serious arrears remains very low. In general, renting works for most people. Over the last decade the private rented sector has expanded at an unprecedented pace, providing homes for millions of households at the same time as absorbing the worst financial crisis in living memory.

In the current climate, optimism feels increasingly reasonable. Most households are beginning to earn more, the cost of living is stable and the chance of falling into unemployment is diminishing. For the majority of tenants, paying the rent is becoming easier rather than harder. But beneath this rising tide there are inevitably some households and individuals who are not yet feeling any new economic buoyancy. As others bid rents higher there will be a minority who are still struggling to keep up. Landlords and tenants have a mutual responsibility to be aware of this small but significant risk.”


Eviction rates yet to mirror higher levels of serious rent arrears

In the same quarter of Q3 2015, there were a total of 26,712 court orders for the eviction of tenants, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is 4.3% lower than was seen in Q2, when seasonally adjusted eviction orders stood at 27,909, and 7.8% fewer evictions than 28,959 a year before in Q3 2014.

Landlord finances stabilise with lower arrears than in 2007

Breaking eleven previous consecutive quarters of improvement, landlords’ own finances have remained in stable health between Q2 and Q3. In the latest figures there are currently 5,700 cases of buy-to-let mortgage arrears, the same level as was seen in the previous quarter. On an annual basis, this represents less than half the 12,500 cases of buy-to-let mortgage arrears seen in Q3 2014, or a drop of 54.4% over the last four quarters.

Adrian Gill concludes: “Landlords and buy-to-let lending have been targeted from a variety of angles in 2015 – under a harsh political spotlight, subject to new taxes and freshly scrutinised by regulators. There could be a real debate about the role of landlords, and indeed the urgent need for more investment to keep up for demand for homes to rent. However this should be done constructively – and any worriers about the financial health of landlords should consider the reality of buy-to-let mortgage arrears at record lows.

In the context of resurgent tenant arrears, landlords are the buffer delaying a parallel peak in evictions. And healthy landlord finances make that tolerant approach more likely. So while penalising landlords may win easy political points, making investment in new homes to let harder could be counterproductive – especially in the face of new challenges.”

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Latest Comments

AbbieP.
AbbieP. 22 Jul 2016

"While house prices in the most expensive eleven boroughs have declined values in the cheapest eleven boroughs continue to rise" - not a nice way to even out the price range. London is overrated as it

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AbbieP.
AbbieP. 21 Jul 2016

And try to profit from your decisions, I may add

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 19 Jul 2016

Retirement investment has always been one of the biggest draws of buy to let. And the buy-to-let demographic is, on balance, older. (Over a third of our applicants are over 50 at the time of application.) It...

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Forrest Wheatey
Forrest Wheatey 11 Jul 2016

I find the time perfect for ever home-owner wannabe. Prices should slowly, but steadily drop, at least for the inner buyer. Making it harder for outsiders to buy properties (the whole Brexit thing means...

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property guru
property guru 11 Jul 2016

Why should Ajay even have to be looking for it. It should be public knowledge. Why is not just publish each years and to were it is and be AUDITED. Accountability.

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property guru
property guru 11 Jul 2016

Surprise suprise

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 30 Jun 2016

This is great news for buyers and investors in a period of significant uncertainty. The 10-year buy-to-let fix at 3.99% in particular is excellent, a clear 100 bps ahead of the nearest competition. Though...

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Lee
Lee 30 Jun 2016

Let's see what happens to north-east property prices when Nissan announce they're leaving.

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DmitriKara
DmitriKara 29 Jun 2016

I just read another article about eviction rising and this was exactly what was on my mind, Housing has become "cat and mouse"...

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DmitriKara
DmitriKara 29 Jun 2016

I am really not surprised. I've seen one too many impudent tenants and in my humble opinion renters have one too many privileges and options to abuse heir landlord in so many ways...

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DmitriKara
DmitriKara 29 Jun 2016

There is still so much uncertainty and I will surely step back and see what's happening before I could make any decisions on my end.

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ChristinaReedUK
ChristinaReedUK 20 Jun 2016

I don't understand why it's always a war between the two sides. Either, way the landlord is probably keeping a detailed inventory and will see the changes you've made. I just don't understand why there...

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