16:12 PM, 29th September 2011, About 11 years ago
Tenants who cannot afford to pay their rents are overwhelming helplines with SOS calls.
The number of tenants in rent arrears has almost doubled since the start of the credit crunch according to debt advice charity National Debtline.
The charity reckons calls from tenants with financial problems has soared by 84% since the start of the credit crisis in 2007.
The charity warns tenant finances are not likely to improve, rents and living costs keep rising and more renters are moving into buy to lets because they cannot save enough cash to buy a home of their own.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, which runs National Debtline, said: “It is clear high rent costs are becoming increasingly difficult for people to meet. A few years ago many people in today’s rent market would be planning to buy their first home, but now it seems they are struggling to even pay the rent.
“The chances of these renters being able to save the many thousands needed for a deposit are very slim indeed, which will only increase the demand for rental properties and lengthen the spiral into higher and higher rent costs.
“On top of those people who call National Debtline with specific problems in affording the rent, there will be even more who are cutting back sharply elsewhere to make sure they can cover rent payments. This in turn can lead to other debt problems, with credit cards, overdrafts and loans being relied upon to pay for food and other essentials.”
Meanwhile, comparison portal MoneySupermarket.com reports that concumers are so stretched financially that a quarter (26%) confess they are stressed whenever they receive a bill.
The report has found that the rising cost of bills for utilities, credit cards and store cards has led to increasing consumer worries over how they will pay them every month.
One in four has cut spending, with 47 per cent buying less food and drink, while 56 per cent have stopped saving to pay bills instead.