Last year was a busy time for letting agents, according to Landlord Action, with evictions relating to rent arrears rising by 12 per cent compared to the same period 12 months earlier.
The eviction specialist said that tenants falling behind with their payments now account for around 80 per cent of new instructions, while cases linked to Local Housing Allowance renters increased by 16 per cent in 2010.
Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, explained how, in 2009, 60 per cent more new cases came from lettings agents, while this number dropped to 45 per cent last year, suggesting a rise in landlords managing their own properties.
"Self-managing landlords often try to cut corners in the hope of saving money, by not referencing potential tenants properly or not ensuring that they have adequate landlord insurance," he said.
"This can cost them more money in the long term. We have evidence of landlords having to use their credit card to make mortgage payments due to the failure of their tenant to pay the rent," Shamplina added.
He urged landlords to remain cautious in 2011, despite the low interest rates, particularly if they have high gearing on their property portfolios.
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