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Covid arrears not such a big problem according to new survey

A major survey of landlords, tenants and letting agents suggests Covid-related arrears may not be the big problem as some fear.

The survey, by rental sector suppliers mydeposits and Ome, was of over 14,200 landlords agents and tenants. It considers factors such as the relationship between different parties, challenges and changes in the market, the impact of the pandemic, regulation and government support.  

Despite reports of large-scale rent arrears, 95 per cent of tenants said they are not behind with rent due to Covid-19. 

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Of those who have struggled, 58 per cent said their landlord had been accommodating, with 31 per cent offering reduced rent or a rent holiday. Conversely, 31 per cent of landlords and agents said their tenants were in arrears due to the pandemic. 

Both landlords and agents also identified rent arrears as one of the greatest challenges in the rental market, as well as legislation. 

Elsewhere in the report, tenants typically rated their relationship with their landlord 7.4 out of 10. Agents and landlords are also overwhelmingly positive, with 60 per cent rating their relationship with their tenant nine or 10 out of 10.   

The majority of landlord respondents (80 per cent) have been in the buy to let sector for more than five years, with 65 per cent feeling that the industry has changed for the worse for reasons predominantly linked to regulation, legislation and tax. 

These reasons have also led to 90 per of landlords and agents feeling unsupported by the government. Yet despite this, 79 per cent still plan to remain landlords over the next five years.

Tenants’ views on whether renting offers value for money are split. 

Some 49 per cent say it does not, citing that renting is overpriced, leaves them unable to save and is more expensive than a mortgage. For some, it is the only option as they cannot afford the initial deposit required to buy. 

The other half of tenants (51 per cent) think renting does offer value for money owing to its flexibility and being absolved from maintenance costs – a view also shared by three quarters of landlords and agents. 

 

However, homeownership remains a long-term aspiration for 67 per cent.

The survey also discovered the most landlords surveyed were self-managed, with 65 per cent managing their own portfolio. Only 13 per cent of landlords used full management via an agent and 16 per cent were both self-managed and agent managed. When questioned, 31 per cent of landlords were very confident with their choice of property management.

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    Other than one commercial tenant who's business failed due to the first lock down I've not had any covid arrears, and I don't know of any local landlords that have, so it seems to me this is project fear once again.

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    Touch wood (yes, I can be superstitious), I've not been affected by covid, and nor has any other landlord I know. The scaremongering is those with a different agenda trying to paint LLs as evil money-grabbers who don't care about tenants so they can try and bring in things like rent controls.

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    You are lucky must be in other regions, not in South East.

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    Well my tenants now owe 4 months rent and not going to pay because they don’t have to!
    I wait 2 more months to serve section 8 and then god knows how long for possession order and bailiffs
    Will never rent out again
    Government have done me over like they intended
    I have no income because this one property was my income
    I can’t even sell it because tenants are sitting in it rent free
    What a sorry mess😡

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    Lia, issue a money claim online NOW (only about £60 to do and dead easy) to each of them, with the threat of a CCJ on their credit history they might just pay, if they don't you still have 6 yrs to go after them, or even apply for an attachment to earnings / benefits, it's not all over until the fat lady sings, as the saying goes, don't let this scum get away with it.

     
    Daniela Provvedi

    I agree with Andrew, Lia. Issue a CCJ asap.

    I've threatened my tenants and their guarantor with a CCJ twice in the 18 months that they've been renting, and miraculously, my rent is paid within days. Luckily they're moving out early October.
    I must say, it's not in my nature to threaten someone, but I also can't stand someone taking the pi**.

     
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    So sorry Lia, not a nice situation to be in through no fault of your own, it so unfair after financing the letting just to put a roof over other peoples heads and now find you are being taken advantage of, it makes me far less sympathetic towards the homeless. The Councils and Government anti-Private LL laws have a lot to answer for.

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    Yes Michael it’s very bad as though we LL are somehow obligated to keep them
    Bit like going to Tesco every day for 6 months and robbing everything and government say it’s okay

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