Edinburgh has a thriving private rental market - with many people choosing to live in the city on a short-term lease for years at a time. But the cost of renting here has reached a new high, as the price for a standard two-bedroom home in some parts of the city approaches £1000 per month. This follows news that across the UK there has been a 150% increase in rent arrears since 2007 - which includes a 13% increase in the last 12 months.
According to data from debt advice charity the Money Advice Trust, rent arrears appear to be the fastest growing debt problem in the UK. From January to October this year, the free advice helpline received nearly 20,000 calls for help from people with rent arrears, compared with just 8,000 over the same period in 2007.
Calls from people with rent arrears have increased 37% over the last two years and 13% in the last 12 months. Additionally, figures suggest renters have faced a growing number of broader debt problems, with renters now accounting for 57% of total calls to National Debtline, compared to 43% in 2010.
In the EH3 postcode - which includes part of the New Town, Tollcross and the West End - the cost of a two-bedroom flat is now an average of £1025 pcm - an increase on last year's figure of £908.
Speaking in the Daily Telegraph last week , Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter said: ' With nine million people now renting from a private landlord, high rents are stretching many ordinary families to the limits of what they can afford.
'Until we put an end to the housing shortage that's driving up prices, things are only going to get worse.'
Blair Cadell are a leading firm of Edinburgh solicitors, dealing in a wide range of property, business, tax and personal legal services.