Landlords face a 'serious issue' with rent arrears
Landlords are facing a ‘serious and real issue’ if rents continue to rise and tenants fall behind with rent payments, one organisation warns.
Estate agency RentalStep says landlords should begin taking notice that some of their tenants may be finding it more difficult to meet their rent, which could cause problems for buy to let investors.
The issue is not just rising rents but stagnating wage growth, the firm adds.
They say that the number of tenants who are in arrears has risen for four consecutive months, according to data from Your Move, between January and April.
The firm also says that the proportion of its own tenants who are in arrears has risen to 9.4% from 8.4% during this period.
Rent arrears are costing landlords around £900 million
RentalStep points that rent arrears are costing landlords around £900 million every year.
The firm's chief executive, Mike Georgeson, said: “Rent arrears are a serious and real issue for landlords and they need to protect themselves from being affected.
“Industry commentators are predicting that rents could increase because of the upcoming ban on tenant fees and landlords should be aware of how this could impact on their rent and prepare."
He said it is crucial that landlords carry out thorough checks on a prospective tenant, even though this can be expensive and time-consuming to carry out correctly.
Could the heatwave cause subsidence in your property?
Meanwhile, landlords are being warned that the prolonged heatwave could increase the risk of subsidence to their property.
The warning comes from specialist insurance firm Hamilton Fraser who say that the longest heatwave in five years may create a greater risk for some properties of subsidence.
They say that in some extreme cases, the damage could lead to the rental property becoming uninhabitable until repairs are completed.
‘Cracks appear in a property for a range of reasons’
The firm's chief executive, Eddie Hooker, said: “Minor cracks appear in a property for various reasons, mostly unrelated to subsidence and should be dealt with routine maintenance.
“If the property is in shrinkable clay then cracks up to 5mm wide can appear during dry spells to be treated with redecoration and will close again when normal wet winter months arrive.”
However, he warned, that if these cracks don’t close or open beyond 5mm, then it's likely the property has a long-term issue and the landlord should consult with their insurance company.