A fifth of private-residential landlords have had tenants in rent arrears over the last three months, according to new research published today by the National Landlords Association (NLA).

During Q2 2010, just over 21 percent of landlords experienced rental arrears. This represents a small improvement on the previous quarter when 24.5 percent of landlords reported the same. However, the average amount of outstanding rent arrears has dropped significantly from £978 in Q1 to £799 in Q2. This could indicate that financial pressures on tenants have started to ease as the fragile economic recovery continues.

David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, said: “Rent arrears are a serious problem for landlords all over the UK. It is good to see the latest data which represents a small improvement in that more tenants are keeping up with their rent payments and not putting pressure on their landlords who may well have mortgage repayments to consider.

“It is critical that tenants and landlords communicate and work together to tackle financial problems before they result in a loss of rent or even the tenancy.

“Where problems do exist, the NLA’s new service is designed for landlords who need a helping hand in guiding them through what can be particularly stressful and complicated procedures which must be carried out correctly. NLA Rent Arrears provides a structured and cost-effective route for resolving such situations.

“NLA Rent Arrears is an online facility whereby landlords are able to instruct our Rent Recovery Team to collect outstanding rental amounts from tenants.”

Acting on a landlord’s behalf, NLA Rent Arrears will contact tenant(s) by telephone or letter, visit them at the rental property, serve notices (where appropriate) and undertake possession proceedings. Whichever service is required, the NLA guarantees a professional approach to landlord and tenant alike.