The National Residential Landlords Association has sought to allay concerns over a possible “surge” in evictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, with research showing the vast majority of private tenants have continued to pay their rent as normal.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a number of concerns for the UK economy in general and the housing market in particular, although there are now some encouraging signs that the sector is returning to normal activity.
One of the factors buy-to-let property investors have had to take into account is the risk of private tenants not being able to pay their rent because of reductions in their earnings. However, recent research has provided positive signs on this front.
Landlords and tenants working together
Independent polling for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has allayed fears of an “eviction surge”, with nearly nine out of ten tenants (87%) paying their rent as normal throughout the pandemic.
An extra 8% said they had agreed a reduced rent, a rent-free period or some other arrangement with their landlord or letting agent.
Only 3% of tenants are building arrears that they are unable or unwilling to repay, according to the findings, and less than a third of those in arrears (2% of all respondents) had been served with a possession notice.
Survey results also suggested that landlords are working to keep tenants in their homes, with more than half (55%) of landlords who had agreed to deferred rent or a rent-free period saying they planned to absorb the losses from their own savings.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “Consistent with our previous surveys, this latest data demonstrates that the vast majority of landlords and tenants are working together constructively to sustain tenancies, and critically that the overwhelming majority of tenants are paying as normal.
“Eviction is not, and need not be, an inevitable outcome where tenants have struggled to pay their rent due to Covid-19.”
Stability and satisfaction
The latest findings follow earlier research from the NRLA, which concluded there is “no eviction crisis looming” for tenants in the private rented sector.
Published in June, the survey showed that 90% of tenants in England and Wales had been able to pay their rent as usual during the Covid pandemic, with 82% doing so without having to ask their landlord for support.
The NRLA also welcomed data from the English Housing Survey for 2018/19, which showed that 84% of private tenants were satisfied with their accommodation, up one percentage point from a year earlier.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of private renters were satisfied with the way their landlord carried out repairs and maintenance, compared to 67% of social renters.
Mr Beadle commented: “It is good news that private renters are increasingly satisfied with their housing and is a testament to landlords and the improvements in standards that we have seen in the sector.”
The well-publicised barriers to getting a mortgage and buying a home in the UK mean private rental property will continue to play a vital role in satisfying demand for housing in 2020 and beyond.
If you’re a buy-to-let investor looking to learn more about current opportunities in the market, contact Experience Invest today.