Pandemic continues to disrupt rental plans for 76% of tenants

Research from the international rental marketplace, Spotahome, has found that the majority of UK tenants feel safe within the rental market, however, 76% have had their rental plans disrupted due to the current pandemic.

The research commissioned by Spotahome analysed 1,322 UK tenants and their feelings towards the current rental market as lockdown restrictions remain in place and the threat of Covid continues to loom.

The good news is that 77% of tenants feel safe renting in the current climate and the latest government announcement will have provided some light at the end of the tunnel, although Covid continues to cause a worry for 23%.

The pandemic has caused disruption for 76% of tenants when it comes to their plans within the rental market.

38% of tenants plan to move but won’t until lockdown restrictions are eased, despite the market remaining open to facilitate this movement.

A further 21% have been unable to move due to the pandemic, for reasons such as shielding, quarantine or being unable to travel to their rental destination of choice.

Finally, 16% can no longer afford to rent their current property due to reasons such as being on furlough or job losses and so have no choice but to move.

In terms of the biggest issues at present, affordability remains a concern. 29% of tenants stated that getting by on their remaining income once the rent has been paid is their biggest concern at present.

20% stated that the state of their property was the biggest issue with their letting agent or landlord failing to rectify problems.

A lack of outdoor space (17%) or the size of their rental home (15%) was the biggest problem for 32%.

Fear of eviction due to rental arrears, inadequate wifi, viewing rental homes under lockdown restrictions (5%) and people not abiding by Covid protocols when viewing (4%) were a far smaller concern for tenants in the current market.

Spotahome Head of Data and Analytics, Jorge Alonso, commented: “It’s clear to see that the impact of the current pandemic continues to influence the decisions of tenants in the UK, with the ongoing restrictions in place causing many to reconsider their place within the rental market and when they plan to move.

The good news is that for the large part tenants feel safe and while finances are a concern, they aren’t the driving issues for the vast majority. Uncertainty, space and quality of living conditions are far more important and this is a trend that is likely to remain as we’re eased back to normality.

Survey of 1,322 UK tenants carried out by Find Out Now (February 18th 2021).