The number of tenants in severe arrears fell in the last quarter of 2012, with more managing to keep up with their rents.
According to receivers Templeton LPA, part of the LSL group, the 15.6% drop translated to 16,000 fewer tenants in severe arrears during the last three months of last year.
While that still left 86,000 in serious arrears of two months or more, it was the first fall in a year.
The firm also notes that in the third quarter of last year – the latest for which it has statistical information – a total of 25,756 tenants had eviction notices, a rise of 5.5% on the second quarter of 2012.
During the same third quarter of last year, the number of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of over three months stood at 21,900 – an annual fall of 15.8%.
Separately, property network Move with Us says that asking rents rose 1.9% across the country last year, with an average rent rise of £37 per month.