Landlords Urged to Vet Tenants More Carefully

Buy-to-let landlords are being urged to boost their vetting procedures after figures showed the number of tenants in severe arrears increased by almost a quarter in a year.

The country’s return to recession has meant frozen or lower wages and high unemployment. Combine this with rising rents and an increase in the cost of living, and the number of tenants falling into arrears is on the up.  Tenants more than two months behind on rent hit 100,400 in the three months to June.  According to the Tenant Arrears Tracker study, this is the highest number since figures started in 2008.  There has been an 8% rise in the number of tenants in serious arrears in the last three months compared with between January and March this year, triggering a 6% rise in the number of landlords taking non-payers to court to evict them over the past three months.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, advised: “The best thing you can do is try and avoid this situation occurring in the first place.  Vet your tenants carefully and check references to ensure they haven’t missed rent payments in the past.  However, if tenants do fall behind with the rent, make sure you tackle the issue as soon as they miss their first payment, rather than letting arrears mount up and getting to a stage where eviction is the only option.”

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