There’s likely to be a further surge of new tenancies in the weeks to come, challenging agents’ ability to cope with high demand while meeting the specific safety requirements to cope with Coronavirus.
That’s the view of No Letting Go, the UK's largest provider of inventory services.
It says that the rental sector has already seen high levels of activity, with PropTech supplier Goodlord reporting that the number of completed lets was above the 2019 average for all but six days in June, while new tenancy applications remained 90 per cent above 2019 levels during last month as a whole.
“It's clear that tenants have been buoyed by the recovery of the rental market and that due to the extraordinary circumstances, activity in recent weeks has been significantly higher than the annual average” says No Letting Go chief executive Nick Lyons.
“The combination of those tenants whose contracts are expiring and need to move, those who wanted to move before or during lockdown but couldn't and those that decided they want to move during lockdown, means the next few weeks and months are likely to be extremely busy for agents and landlords.”
Lyons says dealing with the ongoing issues caused by Covid-19 while maintaining high levels of service and compliance will be a big challenge for property professionals.
“First and foremost, agents and landlords need to ensure all safety precautions are taken and government guidance is followed. This in itself has been a steep learning curve for the industry” he advises.
“The balancing act of achieving this while continuing to stay on top of all the administrative processes required to grant a new tenancy marks the next step for agents and landlords to negotiate” he adds.
Lyons cites the raft of legislation that now governs the private rental sector with landlords needing to comply with over 150 pieces of legislation, up from 118 a decade ago according to landlord trade bodies.
“We know from experience that getting all the ducks in a row at the start of a tenancy can help to reduce the chances of disputes or the potential need for eviction. It also increases the chance of a happy tenancy and the subsequent prospects of a long-term residency which benefits all parties” explains Lyons.
“As well as meeting all regulations and carrying out the relevant health and safety checks, it’s important that processes such as referencing tenants, carrying out a thorough inventory check-in and monitoring properties through mid-term inspections are given due care and attention.”
He acknowledges that the workload of landlords who self-manage is likely to be considerably higher for many months to come as they aim to overcome numerous obstacles.
“For letting agents, having an adaptable and dedicated staff will be more crucial than ever. Meanwhile, all stakeholders will need to make sure they work with the best industry suppliers and use technology to increase efficiency to meet compliance obligations while a quality service” he concludes.