Nearly one in three people are spending more than they bring in every month, meaning that many tenants are not meeting their basic costs such as paying their rent.
In December, total rent arrears rose for the second consecutive month to 11.7%, while the Association of Residential Letting Agents reported that 40% of landlords had noticed an increased number of tenants struggling with payments in Q4.
This increase in rent arrears is partly down to seasonal spending but tenants have been under increasing financial pressure in recent months.
At present 28% of people have an average shortfall which stands at £165 a month, with the most common problems including failing to meet fuel bills, living costs, mortgage payments and rental payments to their landlords.
Campbell Robb chief executive of Shelter commented: "Recent research from Shelter showed that over two million people are now turning to their credit cards to pay their rent or mortgage, showing the desperate measures people are being forced to take."
The survey Mr Robb refers to found that six per cent of people have either borrowed money or used a credit card to make rental payments over the last 12 months.
Published on: February 2, 2011