Twice as many tenants seek money advice doubles

Renting a home may have long been considered an interim move while saving for a deposit, but tenants are increasingly struggling to make ends meet, let alone putting cash aside, the debt advice charity Money Advice Trust has warned.

The number of calls from renters to its helpline has soared in the past five years. From January to August 2007, the free advice helpline received just over 6,000 calls from people with rent arrears, compared with 12,000 over the same period this year – an increase of 99 per cent.

The figures suggest renters face a growing number of broader debt problems, with tenants for the first time accounting for more than half of all calls to National Debtline, said Joanna Elson, the charity's chief executive.

"Where there is limited supply and greater demand, rising prices will follow," she added. "However, rising rents are not only making it harder for people to save for a deposit, they're also pushing more people in debt.

"This is a dangerous spiral; with increasing numbers of people entering the rental market, and fewer leaving it, it is hard to see how the situation will improve. Anyone struggling with finances should seek free, impartial advice as soon as possible."

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