The rent debt crisis is set to worsen without UK government support, according to Propertymark following the release of the UK government’s recent Household Resilience Study.
The study showed that between April and May 2021, 7% of private renters were in rent arrears, around 308,000 households, and a further 9% (386,000 households) reported they were likely to fall behind with rent payments in the next three months.
With the private rented sector (PRS) accounting for 4.4 million households in England, the cost of living for many renters has worsened.
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The report also found that 27% of people said it was difficult to meet their heating and fuel costs.
Additionally, 17% of private renters were behind with at least one household bill such as utilities, credit cards or other loans.
Timothy Douglas, policy manager at Propertymark, said: “These figures reiterate what large parts of the private rented sector have been saying for months so it is vital that the UK government take a serious look at recent decisions to remove the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and the freeze to Local Housing Allowance Rates.
“With energy prices soaring and the cost of living going up, the UK government must introduce a programme of support for the 300,000 households impacted by the pandemic which keeps landlords in the market and prevents the build-up of further debt.”