Rise in Rent Arrears

published Sunday Sunday, December 22, 2013

Although many reports would have UK residents believe that the majority of the financial crisis is at an end, worrying figures released by the Money Advice Trust suggest that all is not well for the millions of tenants in the UK.

The figures which have been collected and collated since 2007 show that there has been an increase of 150% in rent arrears in the last 6 years. Among this figure is a rise of 13% in the last twelve months.


Growing Number of Calls

According to the charity, rent arrears are now the fastest growing debt problem in the UK.

They also confirm that the number of calls to Debtline, a free advisory service, has grown significantly. According to their figures, the number of calls received from January to October 2007 which related to rent arrears was 8,000, whilst they logged 20,000 calls for the same reason during the same period in 2013.

Significantly, in the period when many are reporting improvements for the economy, it is the last two years which have seen the largest leap in calls to the advisory service. These calls, specifically from people with rent arrears have increased over the last two years by 37%.

In addition, there are fears that the problems experienced by renters may be more far reaching. Callers are asked to identify their domestic status in terms of home-owner, renter or living with parents/family at the beginning of a call and the number of renters calling the helpline for a number of reasons has also risen sharply in the period. Whilst renters accounted for 43% of the overall calls to the helpline in 2010, they now account for 57%.


"Debt Landscape"

Joanna Elson, the Chief Executive of the Money Advice Trust discussed the worrying figures, "The long term trend for rising rent prices is clear and its impact on the debt landscape is significant. Rent arrears are now the fastest growing debt problem we help people with at National Debtline, and we are in danger of falling into a rent debt crisis. Housing costs are the most important household bill of all, and to see such increasing numbers of people falling behind on rent payments is indicative of how the cost of living squeeze has hit many families very hard since 2007. We hear from thousands of people every month about the difficult decisions they have to make just to hold their family finances together."

She went on, "The risks of falling behind on rent payments are stark and it is vital anyone concerned about their ability to pay the rent seeks free, impartial advice as soon as possible. Advice is available online through My Money Steps, over the phone at National Debtline, or face to face at your local Citizens Advice Bureau. If you are a struggling buy to let landlord you can also get free, impartial advice from Business Debtline."


Prev < House prices increase year on year

Next > Rental Prices in London Expected to Rise in 2014


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