First, the good news. Despite Covid-19, rent prices are stable and the vast majority of tenants are renewing their contracts. This May was our busiest on record, while April and May renewal rates increased by 25% compared to last year. The number of tenants that have given notice between June to August is nearly identical to last year (actually it’s a few less!), while the overall number of Paramount tenants has grown.
Rest assured - the perception that there is a mass exodus going on is just not true. Where we are seeing a change is in people’s reasons for leaving, as returning overseas and the ability to work remotely out of London have become more common. We’re also pleased to report that even with the restrictions of the last few months our stock levels are comparable to last year. This means that despite recent challenges we're still keeping that gap between tenancies to a minimum!
We’ve just developed a new style of video tour that has everything a renter could want to view a property virtually. Renters have quickly come to rely on these – time and again we’re seeing applicants sign contracts before ever stepping foot in their new home.
But Covid-19 has also created a new breed of renter that can be more demanding. According to Rightmove, the new deal-breakers are access to a garden, fast broadband, a spare room, more leeway on pets, parking, and access to a good local park. Well-being and a good work-from-home set-up are the new priorities for people and their families.
Get used to renters requesting break clauses to protect against an uncertain job market. And don’t expect your property’s proximity to a Tube station to impress people as much as it once had.
It’s not just tenants whose priorities are changing: more of our landlords are switching to our full Property Management services since lockdown began. Our team can respond quickly and deal with their tenants safely, make sure their properties are well-maintained, and keep steps ahead of compliance requirements.
We’re proud that our landlords trust us to take some of the weight off their shoulders during this crisis.