Could more than 2 million tenants struggle to pay their rent?

A survey of over 1,000 renters conducted by flatsharing portal, ideal flatmate, has laid bare a potential collision course set to develop between tenants and their landlords and highlights the vulnerable financial position of tenants across the UK.

According to the poll as many as 40% of current renters have seen their ability to pay rent hit by the coronavirus crisis. There are currently 5.8m households in the private rented sector, implying 2.32m could be struggling to pay their rent in the months ahead. According to the Office for National Statistics, those privately renting spend 34% of their gross household income on rent and with the hit to incomes being experienced by millions across the UK it is perhaps no surprise that housing payments are under threat.

The study found that not being able to keep up with rental payments was the number one concern of current tenants, with the ability to pay council tax, financial instability, and ‘survival’ also being cited as key areas of fear during the epidemic.

With the country being on forced lockdown at the moment, perhaps encouragingly in terms of mental health,  72% of tenants responded by saying that they felt their home gave them enough space for privacy and alone time. However, having a garden or some form of outside space was listed as the number one thing renters would change about their existing property.

Landlords may be concerned at the findings of the survey, with fears that tenants may default on their rent payments in the coming months.

Tom Gatzen, ideal flatmate, co-founder said:

“Clearly this is a very concerning time for many renters and the findings of this study bring into focus the worries many tenants have at the moment.

“It is very important that renters get in touch with their landlords as soon as possible if they feel they may not be able to keep up with their monthly payments and we would encourage all landlords to be constructive in their conversations with any tenants who are struggling through no fault of their own during the current crisis.”

Blog Post from Property Industry Eye

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