More tenants failed to pay rent last month because of a toxic cocktail of wage freezes, high rents and the rising cost of living, housing charity Shelter warned today.
As much as £326 million in rent payments were either late or went unpaid in December according to the latest figures from the LSL Property Services' Buy-to-Let Index.
That's up from £241m of late or unpaid rents in November and equates to over 10 per cent of all rent across England and Wales.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said he was not surprised at the findings given the awful state of the economy.
"This time of year is particularly difficult for many families as bills coming in from Christmas take their toll on finances already stretched to breaking point," he said.
Joint secretary of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) Andrew Fisher said a cap on rent must be part of the solution to Britain's housing crisis.
"We need massive programme of council house building to meet demand, alongside tough rent caps to stop landlords exploiting tenants and housing benefit subsidies," he told the Star.
"Building council housing would address the demand of 4.5 million people on waiting lists, create jobs, and mean housing benefit would go to councils instead of profiteering landlords."
Rent fell to August levels in most of the country, but the report dismissed this as a "seasonal blip," and rents were still up 3.2 per cent on last year.
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Official inflation figures understate the real extent of rising costs, but even the government's own CPI scheme lays bare the ongoing misery for working people and those dependent on benefits.
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