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Rental demand falls off a cliff as lockdown takes effect

Demand for rental properties has predictably plummeted thanks to the lockdown.

Data from PropTech company Goodlord shows that while a surge for newly available properties took place in early March - ahead of the widely-anticipated lockdown - this fell away significantly during the later part of the month.

Looked at over the whole month, Goodlord says demand sits at around 60 per cent of the figure of this time last year. The number of new applications for rented properties has dropped by 25 per cent since the March 23 lockdown.


Thanks to the surge in contract completions ahead of the lockdown, average void periods dipped across most of the country during March. The average void period for the UK as a whole reduced from 19 to 17 days on average. 

The East Midlands and the North East both saw six days knocked off their average void periods, setting them at a new average of 21 days and 18 days respectively. 

In contrast, London saw an increase in voidage from 10 to 14 days. Goodlord says this may reflect London’s status as the worst hit location for the virus.

The average rent for a UK property increased during March, reflecting the demand for tenancies during the first half of the month. All regions apart from the South West recorded an increase in average rental costs. 

For the East Midlands, Greater London, North East and North West, a rise of one per cent was recorded. 

Wales saw the biggest rise, at five per cent. This was followed by four per cent increase in the West Midlands and a two per cent increase in the South East. 

“Whilst we’ve seen a dramatic decline in the last 10 days compared to 2019, the lettings market is and will continue to be needed. As tenancies expire and contract renewals are needed, agents will continue to play a crucial role in ensuring that this process can still be handled quickly and securely and the temporary changes to right to rent mean that can take place almost entirely remotely” says Tom Mundy, chief operating officer at Goodlord.

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    The entire rental market has been thrown for a loop. No agent we have spoken to seems to know what yo do next during this pandemic which is understandable. However, after asking our agent what they think we should do as we are both on the Vulnerable list due to my having a life threatening infection thanks to medical negligence and my partner’s serious health issues and have been placed on lockdown until September, unable to move, we were served with a Section 21 Eviction notice as a reply! We have never missed a payment, we are model tenants, yet now instead of focusing on attempting to stay healthy, we are being evicted. We are both beyond stressed. Our due date to move was mid June. There are others in the same situation, why are Landlords not adhering to the Government suggested Guidelines? This is insane.

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    • 04 April 2020 12:07 PM

    Though I utterly regret saying this as it goes against everything I believe that tenants should do.
    But you need to advise the LA that as of now you will NOT be paying anymore rent and you will only vacate when removed by a court bailiff.

    It is highly unlikely that civil recovery will ever be made from you.

    You will easily be able to source a new tenancy as referencing is so poor that you will be able to make any old rubbish up as to where you were previously.

    LL simply don't bother with CCJ as they they aren't worth wasting even more money on one.

    It will take about 1 year to evict you.
    During this time save the rent you would ordinarily have paid.
    Retain this in cash away from prying eyes.
    Should you ever be faced with a CCJ then you will have the saved rent resources to settle the CCJ.

    The other point regarding your medical status is that as long as you are paying rent who cares what your medical status is!?

    As a LL my only concern about a tenant is their ability to pay rent.
    You aren't dead yet so why would the LL wish to get rid of model tenants as you say that are meeting their contractual rent obligations!?

    I think this LA is taking instruction from an idiot LL.
    Most LL are pretty thick and don't understand normal things.
    They tend to be kneejerk paranoia type of people.

    I'd love to have you as tenants.
    No requirement to work to qualify for full welfare carrying on for as long as you are alive.
    For me that make you a very sound business proposition.
    That might sound mercenary and it is cos I'm a LL only interested in receiving the contractual rent.
    This you seem capable of doing so why this idiot LL would wish to get rid of you beats me!!


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