One of the country’s largest lettings operations has outlined the challenges it faced during the Coronavirus crisis.
LSL Property Services’ latest trading statement to shareholders says turnover within the private rental sector generally in 2020 was muted, as tenants tended to stay in their properties.
In its financial statement for last year, LSL - which owns the Reeds Rains, Your Move and Marsh & Parsons agency brands - says its total lettings income decreased by 13 per cent to £57.7m.
Adjusting for LSL’s planned reduction in branches and for the Tenant Fee ban introduced in June 2019, total like-for-like lettings income decreased by nine per cent.
However, given the sales slump in 2020 as a result of the market closure for two months, lettings income as a proportion of LSLs’ total agency-related income actually increased to 46 per cent.
But the agency warns that lettings income was affected by the low volume of buy to let properties coming to market, a suppressed student market during the national lockdown and an excess of lettings stock in Prime Central London, where fewer tourists and corporate lets caused more properties to be released onto the long-term lettings market.
LSL’s total number of managed properties at the end of December 2020 was 24,804, broadly in line with the same date in 2019.