There has been a dramatic reduction in the number of tenants who are in arrears despite rising rents across the UK, it has been claimed.
Agent Your Move says 8.4% of its tenants were in arrears during January, down from 12.4% in December and significantly less than six months ago when arrears peaked at 13.7% of its tenants.
It’s also much lower than the post-financial crash figure of 14.6%, which Your Move recorded in February 2010.
Tenant arrears are improving despite rising rents, which Your Move says have increased by 2.5% across England and Wales over the past 12 months to an average of £829 per property, just under the Bank of England’s current reported inflation figure of 2.8%.
But the company says this figure masks regional differences. Rents increased by 2.9% in the North West but dropped by 2% in the North East.
The data follows our report yesterday that the number of managed rental properties dropped by 8% during January, which ARLA blamed on the government’s recent tax increases for landlords and said would lead to increased rents.
And the shocking difference in rents between London and the rest of the UK continues, Your Moves says. At £1,276 per property, London’s monthly average rent is two and half times the North East’s.
Your Move also says more of its tenants are moving to long-term renting as the property ladder becomes more difficult to get on to, and that agents need to adapt to accommodate them.
“With more tenants seeing renting as a long-term option, landlords, with their letting agent’s support, should identify features to encourage longer tenancies,” says Martyn Alderton, National Lettings Director at Your Move (pictured).
“For example, our recent tenant survey has found that more than a quarter of tenants would pay on average £24 more a month to live with their pets. “Tenants are also prepared to pay more for communal living extras, such as a shared garden, childcare facilities or a gym.”