Goodlord has this evening told a national newspaper that the rent default rate in the UK has increased from 4% to 6.6% since the Coronavirus crisis began.

It has been claimed this evening that more than 300,000 renters in the UK – or one in fifteen of its tenants – were in arrears by at least one week last month.

The analysis for a national newspaper by lettings platform Goodlord was based on surveying agents who look after some 16,000 properties across the UK, which found that 6.6% of them were experiencing rental payment problems.

Goodlord says it previous research during April found a rent default rate of 5.8% and that in normal times the rate is 4%, suggesting rent payment problems have been growing in London as the weeks and months of the lockdown have ticked by.

Commenting on the research, Franz Doerr, CEO of rental payments platform Flatfair, says: “As more firms start to furlough staff and others cease trading due to the economic impact of the virus, swathes of young renters up and down the country will see their incomes plummet and may not be able to pay their rent.

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“The mounting rent arrears crisis will get worse before it gets better.

“This may, in turn, see many landlords struggling to meet their own obligations such as mortgage repayments.

“Landlords and tenants alike need to be given the space to negotiate repayment plans that ensure that everyone is treated fairly.”

Goodlord has claimed that confusion continues among tenants about whether they have to pay rent, with some asking payment breaks even though they have suffered no financial hardship, and many not realising that landlord mortgage ‘holidays’ are in reality deferment rather than waiver schemes.

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