Rent arrears reducing

The proportion of landlords experiencing tenants in rental arrears has fallen to its lowest level since this data was first recorded in 2017, research undertaken on behalf of Paragon Bank has revealed.

A survey of over 750 landlords, carried out by market researcher BVA BDRC for the specialist buy-to-let lender, also found that the proportion of vacant rental properties is the lowest in the past six years.

The research highlighted how less than a third, or 32%, of landlords stated in the final quarter of 2022 that they have had at least one tenant in rental arrears during the previous 12 months. This figure was down from the 34% recorded in the previous quarter.

It’s great to see that that the proportion of landlords experiencing tenants who are behind on their rent has fallen to the lowest levels since the metric was first tracked in 2017,” Richard Rowntree, managing director for mortgages at Paragon Bank, remarked. “We do know, however, that the cost-of-living crisis will not impact tenants in the same way, and it is likely that paying rent will be a real challenge for some.

“From speaking to landlords, we also know that many have good relationships with their tenants and are often open to working with them to overcome any financial issues.”

Meanwhile, fewer than a quarter, or 24%, of landlords experienced a vacant rental property in Q4 2022, a decline of four percentage points since the quarter before.

During the same period, a drop from 82 to 70 days was also seen in the average void duration. Interestingly, the data revealed that landlords managing larger portfolios, those with 11 or more lets, tend to report having properties vacant for shorter periods of 44 days compared to average.

It’s extremely encouraging to hear that voids reported by landlords are at their lowest level since 2017,” Rowntree commented. “This is unsurprising given the demand for privately rented homes, also at record levels.

“This adds further weight to the argument for investment in affordable housing across all tenures, something that buy-to-let landlords should be recognised for making an essential contribution towards.”

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