Looking to the future, 37% of landlords are worried that they will experience more arrears in the coming months.
NLA research shows that an average landlord with 12 lettings will have four tenants in arrears. The average cost of these arrears is £2,363.
The NLA is advising landlords to work closely with tenants to help reduce the problem.
David Salusbury, NLA Chairman, says: “It is a sign of the difficult economic conditions that so many landlords are experiencing rental arrears. In these circumstances, landlords should work with their tenants to minimise the impact of financial stress.
“Short term instances of arrears can often be resolved with a sensible repayment plan or a temporary reduced rent arrangement. It is in landlords’ best interests to help tenants through tough financial times where possible.”
The NLA is advising landlords to make sure they carry out appropriate background checks on prospective tenants.
Landlords can also protect themselves by taking a deposit and making sure that it is placed in a government licensed scheme.
Sometimes, despite a landlord’s best efforts, payment problems persist.
In such cases it may be necessary to bring a tenancy to an end. If a tenant fails to pay his rent for two months, the landlord is entitled to initiate possession proceedings with a Section 8 Notice.
This is usually a last resort but it may be necessary to ensure the viability of a valuable rental property.