Rent arrears rise as tenants fall victim to rate of inflation

Published: 04/04/2013

Landlords may consider minimising their rent rates as a way to avoid rent arrears after latest figures revealed tenants are struggling to cover their cost of living.

Rental rates have been steadily rising; in Greater London the average monthly rent is now £1224 following an increase of 6.7%. However while both rent and inflation have seen significant jumps, income increases have seen minimal movement, causing an obvious strain on many tenant’s budgets.

As a result tenants may either be forced to move to cheaper rental areas or even fall into arrears.

GW LET’s John Jones offers legal help and advice to landlords facing the threat of rent arrears:

“We may have officially avoided a triple-dip recession but for many of us, including landlords and tenants alike, times remain financially tough particularly in the capital where rents are more than double than those in other areas of the UK.

Rent arrears are a landlord’s worst nightmare. While there are no guarantees when it comes to letting property, there are several things a landlord can do to potentially pre-empt such a situation including fully vetting tenants, securing a guarantor agreement and keeping in regular contact in order to understand your tenant’s situation.

“As soon as a payment is late, you should contact your tenant immediately. It is essential to send the right message and to nip it in the bud as soon as possible; failing to do so could send a tenant the wrong message and encourage similar behaviour.

“Should the problem persist and you feel the need to evict the tenant, make sure you follow the correct procedures. The legal professionals at GW LET can help you serve a Section 8 Notice on your tenant and, if necessary, obtain an order for possession from the court for your property. Under no circumstances can you just ‘take back the property’; such action could actually leave the tenant to potentially claim compensation against you.”

Content correct at time of publication

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