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An Access Legal Report compiled by surveying 2,000 landlords through OnePoll in August 2015 found that almost half (40%) of landlords have been subject to a tenant not paying rent. It suggested that UK landlords are subject to a £9.9 billion bill every year due to unpaid rent arrears and damage to properties.
The worst areas in the UK for rent arrears at the time of the report’s publication included Cambridge, Newcastle, Oxford, York and Manchester.
The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 continues to mean that a private landlord cannot by law take possession of another person's possessions in lieu of rent owed, even if the tenant has apparently disappeared. The only legal way to recover rent arrears remains going through the court.