Year of COVID-19 in the Letting Sector
It is been a year since the pandemic and its regulations in the private rented sector in England. The response of the pandemic has lead to many restrictions and changes in regulations.
Since then, some of the restrictions has remained in place, such as:
- The notice period for landlords to regain possession of a property is six months in all except the most serious of circumstances. These measures are set to remain in place until 31st May 2021.
- Most writs and warrants of possession granted by the courts cannot be enforced apart from the most appalling cases such as those where tenants have committed anti-social behaviour, have obtained a tenancy by providing false information or have built six months or more of rent arrears.
- Court rules introduced in September 2020 are also limiting the number of possession cases being heard.
The impact on tenants:
- 7% had built arrears due to COVID. Applied across the sector that would amount to 840,000 tenants.
- 18% of those in arrears had rent debts of more than £1,000.
- 11% of private renters are now unemployed.
- Younger people are most likely to have been affected with 14% of renters aged 18 to 24 and 10% of those aged 25 to 34 having built arrears since March.
The impact on landlords:
- 60% had lost rental income as a result of the pandemic.
- 14% of all respondents said they had lost more than 20% of their rental income.
- 39% of those who had lost rental income, said the losses were continuing to increase.
- 65% said that the pandemic was likely to have a negative impact on their lettings business.
- 34% said they were more likely either to leave the market entirely or sell some of the properties they rent out.