Landlords around the country are facing the prospect of around three million tenants not paying their rent as they try to pay their Christmas bills instead, according to the housing charity Shelter.
The charity says that nearly 60% of people questioned in a survey said they were struggling to pay their housing costs.
The survey also revealed that one in nine believe they cannot meet their January rent payment and are struggling to pay for their Christmas spending spree.
Tenants unable to pay January’s rent
Shelter is pointing to 'sky high housing costs' as being a big reason for tenants being unable to pay rent in January.
The charity is also highlighting that a predicted interest rate rise will force many more homeowners into financial trouble.
Shelter's Nadeem Khan said: “Many people think they have nowhere to turn and are close to a breaking point when they come to us.”
The charity says that the number of tenants seeking advice on repossession, eviction as well as rent arrears has spiked recently.
The news from Shelter has been underlined recently by the National Housing Federation (NHF) which says that 'squeezed renters' are having to cut back on heating and food bills to help make ends meet.
The NHF says that 41% of people questioned were feeling the strain of dealing with their household finances and were struggling to pay for their home.
Scottish tenants are happy
Meanwhile, a new survey has found that 88% of Scottish tenants said they had been treated fairly in their current tenancy.
The survey by Lettingweb also revealed that 86% of tenants had not seen an increase during their tenancy in rent and 90% said the frequency of rent reviews were reasonable.
The survey also found that more than 35% of Scottish tenants had been living in their rented private home for more than a year while 10% had lived in their property for more than three years.
Lettingweb's head of research, Dan Cookson, said: “Our report destroys many of the sector's preconceptions and the overwhelming picture is that landlords treat tenants well.
“The private rental sector has supplied good property at rents that tenants are willing to pay and that any rent increases have been lower than inflation for more than eight years.”
Scottish Government warned to take notice
The chairman of Letscotland, Malcolm Warrack, said the survey underlines the need for the Scottish government to listen to 'the voices of tenants' as the country moves towards introducing a new type of tenancy agreement for the private rental sector.
He warned the government that their planned changes must not interrupt the supply of rental property from reaching the market as this will lead to an increase in rents and problems for tenants looking for homes.
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