UK Buy-To-Let Market Central Housing Group

Rental sector relatively strong despite Covid and eviction issues

The latest survey of buy to let landlords suggests a relatively healthy private rental sector notwithstanding the challenges of the Coronavirus and the evictions ban.

The survey – by Vesta and Property Tribes – was conducted amongst 157 landlords between June 23 and August 21 and showed that 35 per cent received a request from a tenant for a rent reduction or payment holiday because of Covid-19.

Just over three quarters of landlords had collected more than 90 per cent of rent due to them between March to June 2020; only three per cent of landlords collected less than half of rent due.

However, a third of landlords are suffering tenants with arrears – a higher figure than reported in most similar surveys in recent months.

Despite the difficult circumstances, 66 per cent of landlords believed their rents would increase or at least stay the same over the next 12 months.

In terms of tenancy occupation, some four fifths of landlords said 90 per cent or more of their rental properties were currently fully tenanted. This compares with typical void periods in the UK prior to the pandemic of around three weeks per year, equivalent to an occupancy rate of approximately 95 per cent.

Russell Gould, Vesta’s chief executive, comments: “There is a lot of negative press and headlines about a very small minority of rogue landlords that do not treat their tenants fairly and with empathy.

“The results of this survey and the actions taken demonstrate that the vast majority of landlords have worked with, empathised with and have supported their tenants during the pandemic. Many landlords are retired and rely on rent as their major source of income so many have taken a significant financial hit to help their tenants impacted by COVID-19.”

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