More than 100,000 PRS tenants in 'severe arrears'
More than 100,000 tenants in the private rented sector in England and Wales are in severe arrears, according to figures from a firm of chartered surveyors.
Templeton LPA’s tenant arrears tracker say the number of tenants in severe financial difficulties went up by 8 per cent – 7,000 more tenants - in the second quarter of this year from the first three months.
‘Severe arrears’ is defined as arrears of more than two months.
In the second quarter of 2012, an average of 100,400 tenants in England and Wales were in severe arrears – an increase of 24 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. This is the highest number on Templeton LPA’s records, which extend back to 2008.
Kay Boycott, director of campaigns, policy and communications at housing charity Shelter, said: ‘This is yet more evidence of the crushing impact that rising rents and stagnating wages are having on family finances.
‘Shelter research found that average private rents are now unaffordable for working families in over half of England, with many paying up to half of their income each month.
‘And with homeownership out of reach for so many, hundreds of thousands of families are beginning to realise that renting looks set to be a way of life, not just a temporary stopgap.’
Paul Jardine, director and receiver at Templeton LPA, said: ‘As the private rented sector grows, the number of tenants in dire financial straits is steadily climbing.
‘Falling wages in real terms have been compounded by rising rents, pushing a greater number of rented households over the edge financially.
‘With the instability in the labour market and wider economy, and public sector cuts still to come, the section of renters in multiple months of arrears is likely to continue its expansion.’
Templeton LPA also reported that the number of court orders to evict tenants went up 6 per cent in the second quarter of this year from the first – a total of 26,060 tenants faced eviction notices.