1 in 4 tenants concerned about paying the rent, survey of tenants reveals

30 September 2020

A quarter of tenants have either missed rental payments, had to make alternative arrangements to pay their rent, or are concerned about paying their rent in the future, found our survey of 2,750 tenants for our State of the Industry Report.

A survey of 2,750 UK renters has revealed that huge swathes of tenants are anxious about meeting their rental obligations following the pandemic. Alongside this, large numbers are considering moving to a new property as working from home becomes the norm and financial situations shift, found our tenant survey for our latest State of the Industry Report

Rise in arrears as the pandemic hits finances

A quarter of the 2,750 tenants expressed concerns about paying the rent, as lettings agents report a rise in rental arrears. 12.5% of the 2,750 tenants surveyed said 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

Twenty-seven percent of tenants said they had considered moving house as a direct result of Covid-19. Of these, 1 in 4 (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. Less than half of respondents (48%) said they wouldn’t make an offer on a property they hadn’t viewed in person.

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