by Daniel Jones

Landlords around the UK should be aware that there is a growing risk of tenants not being able to pay their rent each month.

According to new figures from Citizens Advice, the number of social housing rent arrears reported to its staff between July and September this year increased by 13 per cent in comparison to the same period in 2012.

Despite the improved economic outlook throughout the country at the moment, the national charity noted that the result shows that many households are not yet feeling any benefit as they continue to find it tough just to pay their rent.

Citizens Advice revealed that it helped in 22,412 cases of social housing rent arrears in the second quarter of this year, as well as 2,840 instances of possessions being claimed due to rent arrears, which was 38 per cent up on 2012.

In addition, 2,736 cases involved the threat of homelessness and 3,307 issues of discretionary housing payments were heard, up by 110 per cent on last year.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “We are on the edge of a serious housing crisis. There are simply not enough homes to meet need and the result is yet more pressure on household budgets. Despite the good news, the economic warning lights are still flashing. The emerging trend of increasing social housing arrears is extremely worrying.”

A number of factors are believed to have contributed to the rise in rent arrears, including changes to council tax support.

The charge for under-occupancy has also resulted in a boom in people seeking help, mainly in relation with discretionary housing payments.

Ms Guy suggested that certain reforms have been rushed in without a “proper safety net” being in place first, resulting in this situation.

Landlords should be wary of who they rent their homes to if they feel that there is a chance that they cannot survive without rent being paid on time and arrears building.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801675844-ADNFCR

Published on: December 23, 2013