Severe rental arrears at lowest level since 2011

Around one in five families in England rent from a private landlord

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The Independent Online

 

The number of tenants in severe rental arrears has fallen sharply to the lowest level in two years, according to the latest figures from LSL Property Services.

Between July and September, the number of tenants in severe arrears – defined as people who are more than two months behind on their rent – fell by 25 per cent on the previous three months to 69,000. This is the lowest level since the same time two years ago.

According to the Office of National Statistics,t he number of families renting their home has doubled over the last decade. Around one in five families in England rent from a private landlord.

Paul Jardine, director and receiver at Templeton LPA, said: "This is an important landmark. Tenants in these most severe situations could face eviction, whereas the majority of arrears cases are resolved much more easily. Such a dramatic fall in the number of people potentially losing their homes is not just an excellent signal for the private rented sector but for the entire UK economy.

"Over recent years a small minority of tenants was being squeezed ever harder by harsh economic reality. But now it seems that worrying trend is going into reverse. There isn’t yet any dramatic sign that the cost of living is improving, but we might be on the turning point of a serious and sustained economic recovery."

A poll for housing charity Shelter last month suggested that six in every ten working families paying mortgage or rent are struggling with their payments.

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