Coronavirus: A quarter of Brits worried about their ability to pay rent

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·2 mins read
About 13% of tenants have already missed rental payments due to COVID-19 or had to make alternative arrangements in order to pay their rent, according to a survey. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images
About 13% of tenants have already missed rental payments due to COVID-19 or had to make alternative arrangements in order to pay their rent, according to a survey. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

A quarter of tenants in the UK are concerned about paying rent in the upcoming months, according to a study.

About 13% of tenants have already missed rental payments due to COVID-19 or had to make alternative arrangements in order to pay their rent, as lettings agents report a rise in rental arrears, a survey of 2,750 UK renters by property technology company Goodlord found.

Meanwhile, an additional 12% are “concerned” about their ability to pay their rent going forward.

Over a quarter (28%) of tenants believe their current income isn’t secure, or are “unsure” about its security, with those aged 18 to 24 being under the most financial strain. Only two in five tenants “definitely agree” their income is secure, the research found.

READ MORE: Brits get more joy from family and finances than relationships in COVID-19 pandemic

The research also found many Brits are considering moving to a new property, as working from home becomes “the new normal” and financial situations shift.

Over a quarter (27%) of tenants said they are considering moving house as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Of these, just under a quarter (24%) currently live in London, the research found.

With over half (51%) of tenants expecting to be working remotely, either full-time or part-time, over the next five years, many are exploring a move to more rural or suburban areas, leading a quarter (24%) to consider moving to a different part of the country.

COVID-19 has had an impact on the way tenants are looking for a new home to rent — over half (52%) of respondents said they would make an offer on a property they hadn’t viewed in person, with a third (32%) saying they would make an offer on a home they had only viewed virtually.

READ MORE: Women take eight months longer to save for first home

A third of tenants said they would prioritise different features when looking for their next property, as a result of the pandemic.

The study also found over half (55%) of current renters expect to still be renting in five years time, with only 45% of tenants likely to buy a property during this time.

Those aged 25 to 34 are most likely to be able to buy a property, despite being the age group demonstrating the most signs of financial strain, the data shows.