In the first quarter of 2014, there were 68,000 tenants in severe arrears (more than two months behind on their rent). In Q1 2013, the number was 105,000. This represents a drop of 35% over the course of the year – a very strong improvement, in spite of a seasonal increase of 11.1% from Q4 2013 to Q1 2014.
These figures come from the Tenant Arrears Tracker by Templeton LPA. Their findings also show that the proportion of tenants in serious arrears has fallen, with only 1.4% of all tenancies in the UK in severe arrears, compared to 2.3% in the same period last year.
The findings are consistent with other buy-to-let research, which found that overall tenant arrears have fallen to the second lowest level on record, with just 6.9% of all rent late or unpaid as of February. According to the most recent data, tenant eviction rates have also fallen, albeit less dramatically, but a decrease nonetheless.
Tenant finances appear to be in better shape than they have been for a long while, which in turn has benefitted landlords. Buy-to-let mortgage arrears have fallen 16.2% on an annual basis, now standing at the lowest level recorded since Q2 2008.
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