Serious rent arrears worsening towards 2013 highs
- Cases of tenants seriously behind on rent are rising once more – rising 13.8% between Q2 and Q3 2015
- Those more than two months behind on rent now number 84,200 – the most households since Q2 2013
- Landlords absorb arrears spike, as evictions maintain improvement, dropping 4.3% on a quarterly basis
- Landlord’s own finances remain solid, with buy to let mortgage arrears steady at 5,700 as of Q3 2015
The number of tenants seriously behind on rent has risen by 13.8% on a quarterly basis, according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker by estate agency chain Reeds Rains.
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.