Unemployment among tenants goes up by 5%

Smartlandlord.co.uk says unemployment among new tenants has shot up by almost 5% in the past 12 months.

The property services website analysed data received by landlords from references and checks made when taking on new tenants.

The results show that unemployment among new tenants in the private rental sector has risen from 3.1% in April 2008 to 7.8% this month.

Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that more than 40% of the UK’s two million unemployed are under 25 years old, the age when consumers are more likely to rent than own property.

Regionally, areas outside the South-East and South-West have been hardest hit, with 16.8% of new tenants unemployed in Northern Ireland, 9.7% in the West Midlands and 9.1% in Scotland.

The only exception is the unemployment figure for new tenants in London, which is the fourth worst in the country at 8.5%.

Keshav Thukaram managing director of Smartlandlord.co.uk, says: “With the occupations of tenants diversifying from traditional jobs landlords must ensure they get references from tenants to ascertain they can afford the property and ask for guarantors where necessary.”