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Tenants clock up more arrears while evictions mount

Growing numbers of tenants are in serious arrears, a firm of receivers has reported, and the number of court eviction orders has gone up 9% in the last year.

Templeton LPA, part of the LSL Property Services Group, says that the number of tenants who are over two months in arrears has shot up by 20% on this time a year ago and now stands at 94,400.

The firm says that on a quarterly basis the number rose by 10.2% from the start of the year to the end of March.

Templeton warns that at the current rate of growth, the number of renters facing arrears greater than two months will climb above 100,000 in the next quarter.

Paul Jardine, director and receiver at Templeton LPA, said: “While the general tenant population has absorbed the rising cost of renting in the last two years, a minority of tenants are facing severe financial difficulties – a minority that is growing.

“These tenants have been pushed into deeper and deeper arrears by a combination of rising living costs, high rents and a weak labour market, and are now months behind with the rent cheque.

“In turn, these severe rental arrears figures have been inflated by the ongoing impact of county court closures.

“The closures have prolonged arrears cases, with landlords less able to gain court dates to quickly remove non-paying tenants. This is creating a backlog of tenants in extreme arrears, increasing the amount of rental income lost for landlords or their appointed receivers of rent.”

Court figures show that in the first quarter of this year 24,702 tenants faced eviction notices – an increase of 9% on the 22,634 in Q4 2011.

Source: EAToday 3 April 2012