The National Residential Landlords Association has slammed Citizens Advice for over-egging rental default levels, but the charity tells LandlordZONE it stands by its figures.

Citizens Advice has today stood by its claim yesterday that 2.6 million tenants have already defaulted on their rent or were expecting to when the next rent payment deadline arrives.

Speaking to LandlordZONE, the charity said about 4.9% of the overall population has missed, or is expected to miss, a rent payment to a private landlord as a result of Coronavirus.

This is based on a poll of 2,016 UK adults, 15% of whom were renters, and found that 99 had missed or would miss paying rent.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) insists that rent default issues are not as bad as bad as this and has crossed swords with Citizens Advice over its latest data.

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And it says that Citizens Advice’s small, generalised survey has produced different results from a recent, specialised survey of renters reported in The Guardian recently, which revealed that only 2% had missed a rent payment, although 12% were struggling to pay their rent.

Chris Norris, NRLA policy director, calls the Citizens Advice data “a crude simplification”. He adds: “It’s potentially very misleading to extrapolate figures from such a small sample.”

He says that while most tenants are continuing to pay their rents in full and on time, it will continue to call for greater support for those struggling to pay.

“This should include ensuring benefits cover entirely the cost of people’s rents where they need it and scrapping the five-week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit.”

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