UK house prices: The number of tenants in serious rent arrears improves in final quarter of 2015

Kasmira Jefford
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The number of people behind on rent has improved, despite a tough winter (Source: Getty)

The number of tenants falling seriously behind on rent fell in the final quarter of 2015 after worsening in the previous three months, according to figures released this morning.

There were 82,900 households behind on more than two months’ rent between October and December, down from 84,200 in the third quarter, the latest data from estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains shows.

This means that a net 1,500 tenants have moved out of serious rent arrears, an improvement of 1.5 per cent.

However, this still represents worsening conditions on an annual basis. with the number of tenants in serious rent arrears 19.5 per cent ahead of the same quarter last year.

The latest total still represents just 1.6 per cent of total tenancies across the UK private rented sector. This compares to a peak proportion of 2.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2008.

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “An individual tenant is still extremely unlikely to fall into serious rent arrears.

“In fact the proportion of renters getting seriously behind on payments has dropped considerably over the longer term. But absolute numbers are now going the right way too. With fewer people at risk from more serious consequences of struggling to pay the rent, this is great news.”

During the quarter, there were a total of 26,676 court orders issued for the eviction of tenants on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is down by 0.4 per cent on the previous quarter, when seasonally adjusted eviction orders stood at 26,775.

Cases of landlords falling behind on their own financial commitments are also diminishing. As of the last quarter of 2015, there were 5,500 examples of buy-to-let mortgage arrears, down by 3.5 per cent from 5,700 in the third quarter.

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