Private landlords have been urged to consider credit and reference checks on tenants after an increase in the number of rental accommodation users leaving without paying owed rent.

According to research by buy-to-let mortgage lender Paragon Mortgages, around a third of private landlords never conduct tenant credit checks.

This comes despite research by the National Landlords Association in December which showed that 71 per cent of landlords predicted rental arrears to become more of a problem in 2009.

In addition, John Heron, managing director at Paragon, said more tenants are now bailing out of their rental accommodation to escape rent payments after being affected by unemployment and financial difficulties amid the recession.

"Tenants leaving a property without paying rent is a more common occurrence than people think,"he commented.

"Carrying out a tenant assessment for prospective tenants should be part of a landlord's everyday business plan,"Mr Heron advised.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19042300-ADNFCR

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