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UK landlords worried about increase in arrears in 2009

New research from The National Landlords Association, which provides landlords with a tenant referencing service, has found that 71% of landlords believe that they will experience an increase in arrears during 2009.

Of those questioned, just 1% felt that rent arrears would decrease next year, while 28% thought there would be no overall change.

The research also revealed that 67% of landlords have experienced problems with rent arrears in the past, while 37% are having payment difficulties with current tenants.

The results show that many landlords are clearly concerned about the effect the credit crunch is having on their tenants' ability to keep up with rental payments.

At a time when everyone is keeping a closer eye on their finances, landlords need to be able to rely on the steady income received through rent – the consequences of not receiving rent could be very serious in terms of potential repossession and impact on housing supply.

'Landlords are clearly concerned that tenants will be unable to keep up with rent payments over the next 12 months. It is a worrying situation to be in and landlords need to do all they can to ensure they are regularly receiving rent. Regular communication between both parties is essential to head off major problems,' said David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA.

'The money received through rent is vital and with 71% of landlords predicting that rent arrears will rise in the next 12 months, it is more important than ever that landlords are able to make an informed decision about the financial worthiness of the tenants they are taking on. A simple credit or tenant reference check before they make a decision will give landlords some additional peace of mind that their tenants can be relied upon to meet rent payments,' he added.