Good news – only small rise in late rent payments so far, shows survey

There was just a two per cent rise in late rental payments over the last month according to figures from an analysis of the lettings market.

PropTech firm Goodlord has looked at what it calls a representative sample of 20,000 rental properties across the UK and over 120 agents.

The firm says the small increase in late payments suggests the vast majority of tenants are continuing to pay rent, and likewise only a small fraction of landlords are processing rental insurance claims, indicating that they are not yet out of pocket.

The analysis was of rental payments since March 11 until the middle of this month and used the criterion for late payment as being rent owed at seven days or more beyond the usual due date.

The rise was from the customary four per cent to six per cent.

Likewise, claims from landlords against rent protection insurance policies remain comfortably below one per cent of rented properties covered.

However, 84 per cent of the 124 letting agents surveyed have reported confusion amongst tenants, with many not realising they remain under obligation to pay rent.

Of those surveyed the majority – 70 per cent s- aid that they have agreed payment plans with fewer than one in 10 tenants so far, further indicating that the financial impact of the pandemic has yet to impact the ability of most tenants to meet their rental obligations.

Some 40 per cent of letting agents noted that the landlords they work with are being particularly supportive and are working with tenants to address rent payment plans, rent reductions, or supporting late payment plans where necessary.

Tom Mundy, chief operating officer of Goodlord, comments: “The late payment figures for the rental industry are so far fairly steady. They show that the overwhelming majority of tenants are still able to meet their obligations and we believe the government’s furlough scheme will no doubt be playing a key role in this continuity.

“At the same time, agents and landlords are gearing up to offer more support in the months to come. Many agents, along with their landlords, are thinking about how they can offer flexibility, support, and guidance to tenants who might start to struggle.”

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