The impact of Covid-19 on rent and arrears
The impact of Covid-19 on tenants' financial security
Lettings professionals worry about landlord exodus
Sentiment towards future decreases amidst legislation and stock concerns
Lettings professionals and tenants in stark opposition on Renters' Reform Bill
Lettings industry embraces technology
Impact of pandemic on tenant movement lessens
While lettings-focused estate agents made up half of our respondents, those who also work on the sales side got in on the action. Private landlords and those in the build-to-rent sector helped to round out the respondents.
The number of lettings professionals reporting an increase in arrears over the past year has halved since our previous survey, from 64% to 32%. However, 48% of respondents reported that arrears had stayed at the same level over the past year, which would indicate that arrears are still higher than usual for many agencies and individuals.
Four percent of tenants said they had missed some payments or organised a payment plan in the past year - double the number of tenants who said the same in 2020. However, the vast majority of tenants - 81% - said that the pandemic had not had any impact on their ability to pay rent in the past year.
While some levels of attrition are to be expected in a normal year, almost half of respondents said more than 5% of their landlords had left the sector in the past year. More than a quarter - 28% - said between 5-9% of their landlords had left the sector and 14% said between 10-19% of their landlords had left.
Winning more landlords remains a priority for lettings professionals, but finding new ways to generate revenue has taken on much more importance since our previous survey.
Almost the same percentage of tenants - 54% - say that the end of section 21 - or so-called “no fault” evictions - will have a positive impact.
More than half of respondents - 53% - saying automation would accelerate in their businesses, though the majority - 36% - said this would have a limited impact on workforce reductions.
Only 16% of tenants said they had moved or considered moving as a result of Covid-19 - a decrease of 11% on the previous year.