31 July 2014

UK tenant arrears topped £250m in May, according to the country's largest lettings agent.

LSL, whose estate agency groups trade under the Your Move and Reeds Rains banners, analysed figures from 18,000 rental properties it handles around the UK

The resulting analysis shows that 560,000 tenants were in arrears - the equivalent of 11.6% of all rents due - and the first steps towards eviction were taken against 133,000 tenants in May.

The figures also show that Yorkshire and the Humber offer landlords the best returns, and Wales the worst. Welsh tenants are also the worst payers.

Of tenants in arrears, one in seven were behind with their rent by two months or more.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL, said: "Tenants on lower rents are usually in lower paid jobs and have found themselves much more vulnerable to the economic downturn."

He said that although the figures look bad, they actually represent an improvement on the picture back in November when the first big waves of job losses in the UK were being felt.

At that time, arrears totalled £278m, equivalent to 13.5% of all rents due; 622,000 tenants had fallen behind with their rent at that time and 151,000 faced possible eviction.

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