It’s that time of year again – often the holidays mean landlords are subsidising the festivities for tenants who are late with the rent.
Christmas came early for many landlords in November as research by financial charity the Debt Advisory Centre revealed one in six tenants were so broke they had to pay their rent by credit card.
Another 1 in 12 are also in arrears on their mortgage and rent.
Nevertheless, says the charity, many will carry on borrowing or dodging their bills to spend on Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Those aged between 18 and 24 are most likely to resort to borrowing to pay housing costs, says the study.
A third confessed they had already done so to avoid missing a mortgage or rent payment.
Of these –
- Two-thirds were one month in arrears
- 20% were between two and three months behind with their mortgage or rent
- 14% were in serious arrears of more than three months
Debt charity spokesman Ian Williams said: “Housing is a key priority, so it is worrying to find so many people had to borrow money in October to make their November payment. It is certainly a sign that their finances are in crisis and that they need to take action immediately to avoid further deterioration.
“In many cases, people have enough coming in to make their payment but have prioritised other bills – such as credit card or loan repayments. In this case it is important to remember that housing costs should be paid before any unsecured creditors.
“If you are tempted to borrow to cover food, housing costs or utilities, you should seek money advice first. An advisor can help you re-prioritise your budget and help negotiate with lenders on your behalf.”