Rent arrears up in Q4 2013 as tenants prioritise festivities
The number of tenants in severe rent arrears has risen by 3.4 per cent in the last three months of 2013, according to figures from the Tenant Arrears Tracker by LSL Property Services plc.
There are now 67,000 tenants in arrears, 2000 more than there were in the previous quarter, with many landlords assuming tenants have used their rent to cover the cost of the festive period.
Yet despite this dramatic spike, severe rents arrears remain at a relatively low level; even after the quarterly increase Q4 2013 still represents the second best quarter for tenant finances in two years with 26 per cent fewer tenants in severe rent arrears than 12 months ago.
Rent arrears however are still a very real problem for landlords, many of whom rely on rent to cover the mortgage repayments. Rob Denman, Head of GW LET, explains how a landlord must deal with tenants who have fallen behind on their rent:
“Rent arrears are, without doubt, one of the biggest problems a landlord faces, particularly if that rent pays the mortgage of the property.
“Whilst it may not seem fair the law would appear to protect the tenant rather than the landlord even if the tenant has fallen into arrears. The landlord must follow the strict eviction process to the letter or risk legal ramifications. This means serving a Section 8 or 21 Notice on your tenant before obtaining an order for possession from the court and, if necessary, enlisting the help of a court bailiff to remove the tenant.
“This can be a timely and therefore costly process for the landlord so it is essential you act as quickly as possible in order to minimise the financial impact rent arrears can have.”
GW LET specialises in helping landlords deal with tenants in arrears and has the legal experience and expertise required in the eviction of tenants. Click here for more information about rent arrears and how GW LET can help.
Content correct at time of publication