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Tenants could not pay rent if they were too ill to work

19 May 2016

Tenants could not pay rent if they were too ill to work
Millions of buy to let renters lack the money to pay their landlords if they are too ill to work, according to new research.

Many hope housing benefit would top up their wages so they could pay the rent, but did not realise welfare cuts would leave them short.

The worst scenario would be tenants facing eviction because they had no money coming in due to illness.

The revelation comes from a survey by financial firm Royal London.

The research found a third of renters in work had no idea how long they could pay bills without an income.

Close to two thirds (60%) believed they could get by for up to three months.

More than half have no savings and would rely on benefits (53%), another 47% would cut their spending, while 39% would dip into savings.

Just over a quarter of tenants in work (27%) disclosed they knew a renter who had lost their home due to illness.

Debbie Kennedy, head of protection for the firm, said: “Renters who assume housing benefit will be there when they need it could find the reality is different. Housing benefit cuts mean more people would not get their rent paid in full if their income fell unexpectedly.

“Falling seriously ill is bad enough without the anxiety of getting behind with the rent and facing possible eviction.”

The report also explains that economists predict rising numbers of people will rent their homes over the next decade.

The forecast is 59% of households headed by 20 to 39 year olds will rent a buy to let home, compared to 45% in 2013.

Meanwhile, the number of homeowners will fall as properties rise in price and mortgages are more difficult to find.