How have tenants been impacted by COVID-19?

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How have tenants been affected by COVID-min

It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the property sector, but what about tenants specifically? The following is a snippet of the data collected from respondents of our Big British Property Survey and collated in Reapit’s newly released interactive 2021 State of Lettings Report.

COVID-19 has significantly impacted the housing market in many ways over the past year, and this has been especially true for tenants. This blog looks at what support tenants received from their landlord or agency during the pandemic, and whether COVID-19 influenced their plans to buy, sell or rent a property.

Did tenants receive any special support from their landlord or agency?

Many tenants faced (and continue to do so) financial difficulties as a result of job losses or income reductions. We asked tenants if they’ve received any special support, such as reduced rent payments, rent holidays, grace period, or rolling monthly contracts.

Results revealed that the majority of respondents (almost 80%) either did not require or were not offered any support from their landlord or agency as a result of the pandemic.

Has your landlord or agency offered any special support

Of the tenants who did receive support from their landlord or agency most responses cited rent reductions, deferred payments or were told they could pay back their rent when they next could (either for the tenant themselves or for a co-tenant on furlough). In addition, several landlords and agents checked in on their tenants to so see how they were managing – emotionally and financially. There was also a slightly higher willingness amongst Private Landlords to offer support than when a property was managed through an agency.

Did tenants feel that sufficient precautions were taken to protect them from COVID-19?

Over 80% of respondents to our survey felt that their agency or landlord did indeed take sufficient precautions to protect them from COVID-19 either in-branch and/or during viewings.

Do tenants feel that they were protected during viewings or in branch

However, clearly not all tenants were satisfied. Respondents who felt that their agency or landlord did not take sufficient precautions mainly took issue with inadequate cleaning of the property prior to a viewing, or that the landlord/agent was not wearing a mask during the viewing. Some respondents also said that poor or inadequate communication was also an issue and that stricter rules should have been in place for those in need of self-isolation, quarantine, or COVID-positive.

Has COVID-19 affected tenants plans to buy/sell or rent a property?​

Almost half of respondents (47.68%) said that their plans were not affected by COVID-19. However, the breakdown by age shows that some groups were slightly more affected than others. This perhaps reflects the different stages of life that respondents found themselves at.

Has Covid-19 affected tenant plans to buy, sell or rent a property - vs age
For respondents who indicated that COVID did indeed affect their plans to buy/sell or rent a property, the survey revealed that the majority (48.75%) decided to stay in their current property. Running up behind, 22.50% chose to rent a different property to better suit the ‘new normal’, perhaps reflecting the changes to consumer priorities that have evolved during COVID-19.
If yes, how has it affected your plans

Would you like to learn more about how tenants view their experience in the lettings market? Discover what else tenants had to say, along with more insights collected on tenants, landlords, and individuals living with parents in Reapit’s interactive 2021 State of Lettings Report.

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