Its a fact, more people are paying their rent on time
Within the UK there has been a reduction in the overall number of properties in the rental sector however there has been an even greater reduction in the number of people in arrears with their rent.
Recent research looked into how many people had been in arrears with their rent during the preceding 12 months. This research found the following reductions between 1993 and 2003:
Social sector tenants in arrears reduced from 17% to 12%
Private sector tenants in arrears with rent reduced from 9% to 6%
However there have been some notable exceptions to this trend, in particular 1996 to 1998 when tenants in arrears increased for two successive years and more recently the number of tenants in arrears fro the private sector has started to increase again from 2003 to 2004 (the most recent data found).
The higher percentage of people in arrears with their rent in the social sector may be explained by the percentage of tenants in employment, for example recent research data identifies:
Social sector (reference person per household)
26% in full time employment
15% in part time employment
Private sector (reference person per household)
67% in full time employment
11% in part time employment
Given these differences is seems remarkable that so few social sector tenants are in arrears with their rent, however other factors to take into account are government benefits made available to those not in employment and in particular people classified as “economically inactive” which are reported to be 45% within the social sector and 17% within the private sector.
Another factor to consider is the typical income for people within the social and private rental sector, research for 2003/4 identifies some very significant differences:
Mean income for the household reference person
Social sector £11,900
Private sector £23,300
This data suggests that those in the private rental sector may earn almost twice as much as those in the social sector. Further, for people who own (or are purchasing) their home the average income appears to be almost 3 times that of people in the social sector.
Overall some interesting data here, but what can be concluded from this? One positive factor is that there is a definite trend in the reduction of people who are in arrears with their rent. One question this raises is how this trend is achieved within the social sector when the percentage of those in employment is so low, and the mean income so far below the national average? Perhaps there is also a message for landlords here, why not consider more tenants claiming housing benefit for the private rental sector? There are many examples of people claiming housing benefit who are excellent tenants. www.simple2rent.co.uk will allow you to select “housing benefit accepted” as a searchable option on all properties advertised.