Home Property One in four concerned about paying the rent

One in four concerned about paying the rent

by LLP Finance Reporter
22nd Sep 20 1:19 pm

Newly released figures have revealed that there has been a rise in the number of letting agents reporting rental arrears with huge swathes of tenants admitting that they are anxious about meeting their rental obligations following the pandemic.

The data, collated from a new survey by property technology company, Goodlord, also found that large numbers are considering moving to a new property as working from home becomes the norm and financial situations shift.

Rise in arrears as the pandemic hits finances

A quarter of the 2,750 tenants expressed concerns about paying the rent, with 12.5% saying that they had either missed rental payments due to COVID-19 or had to make alternative arrangements in order to pay their rent. An additional 12% said they were concerned about their ability to pay their rent going forward.

Over a quarter of tenants (28%) believe their current income isn’t secure or are unsure about its security. Only 40% of renters “definitely agreed” that their income was secure. Those aged between 18-34 were showing the most financial strain.

Lockdown sparks desire to move

27% of tenants said they were considering moving house as a direct result of Covid-19. Of these, 24% said that they would move to a different part of the country. 24% of those considering a move currently live in London.

With 51% of tenants stating that they expect to be working remotely, either full-time or part-time, over the next five years, many are exploring a move to more rural or suburban areas.

Almost a third of tenants said that they would prioritise different features when looking for their next property as a result of the pandemic.

55% of current renters still expect to be renting in five years time, with only 45% of tenants said that they expected to buy a property within this period. Those in the 25-34 age group were most likely to say that they expected to be able to buy a property, despite being the age group demonstrating the most signs of financial strain.

A rise in virtual viewing

Covid-19 might have also had an impact on the way tenants look for a new home to rent. 32% of renters said they would make an offer on a property they had only viewed virtually. 48% said they wouldn’t make an offer on a property they hadn’t viewed in person.

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord said, “The pandemic has been life-changing for a huge number of people. We are definitely seeing that more tenants are generally anxious about their finances. As a result, many letting agents and landlords are working closely with tenants who might be struggling to pay their rent; whether that’s through payment plans or other remedial measures.

“Both financial strain for renters and the overall impact of lockdown is translating into some macro shifts for the wider property market. Tenants are seeking new, often cheaper properties, in more rural or suburban areas. There’s been a significant rise in demand for new properties with gardens or proximity to nature as home working looks to become a long-term fixture and the need to be near urban centres diminishes. Overall, tenant behaviours are starting the shift on all fronts as a result of the pandemic.”

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