Some 100,400 tenants in England and Wales were in severe arrears in Q2 2012, a year-on-year rise of 24 per cent, according to Templeton LPA’s latest Tenant Arrears Tracker.
The figures are the highest since the company, which is part of the LSL Property Services group, began tracking the market in 2008.
The number of tenants in severe financial difficulty climbed by 8 per cent in Q2 2012, with more than 7,000 more tenants over two months in arrears than in Q1 2012
The increased number of tenants in severe arrears has also driven a rise in the number of tenants being evicted through court orders.
In Q1 of this year, 26,060 tenants faced eviction notices – 6 per cent more than in the previous quarter, and 5 per cent more than in the same period of 2011.
Templeton LPA director and receiver Paul Jardine says that as the private rented sector grows, the number of tenants in dire financial straits is steadily climbing, with falling wages in real terms compounded by rising rents.
Jardine says: “The wider rental market currently includes a much higher proportion of financially comfortable tenants who would have been buyers before the initial credit crunch, reining in general arrears across the market as a whole.
“However, this will be no comfort to the growing minority of tenants several months behind with their monthly rent cheques.”