4 in 10 Tenants Struggling to Keep Up With Payments

Published: 14 July 2011 By Julian Stone Leave a Comment

In a recent member survey conducted by the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), more than half reported rising rents over the last six months – squeezing many tenants and leaving them struggling to pay.

Renting property vs a mortgageRenting instead of buying offers many people more flexibility, and if you don’t qualify for a mortgage it’s pretty much your only option.

It’s also becoming much more common. Demand for rented accommodation has soared in recent months according to a new survey by ARLA – and it has driven prices up.

As a result, 42% of tenants report that they are struggling to pay their rent.

56% of ARLA members said that rents had risen over the past six months, compared to 53% of members three months ago – suggesting that rents have been rising steadily for most of the past year.

The most significant rise has been in the number of members reporting greater demand for rented accommodation – contrasted with a short supply of homes. 74% of ARLA members reported that there were more prospective tenants than there were properties available – up from just 10% two years ago.

The rental situation is most dire in London, where 82% of lettings agents said that the supply of properties did not meet demand, up from 8% in 2009.

ARLA’s operations manager, Ian Potter, commented: “As many parties are reporting, there is a clear shortage of homes to buy in the UK. Faced with this, many people are turning to rental homes as a more flexible option than buying.”

Moneyhighstreet comments: “As the high proportion of people struggling to pay their rent indicates, renting isn’t necessarily the cheapest or even easiest option. But with mortgages harder to come by, the fact is that more people are turning to rented accommodation – and that’s increasing demand.

“If you’re struggling to find a place to rent, it might be worth considering mortgages available for first-time buyers. With many lenders now offering 95% mortgages and lenders like Saffron targeting renters with their new mortgages, talk to an expert to see if you could make the switch.”

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