A rental property building firm has managed to collect an impressive 98% of rents from its hundreds of tenants around the UK during lockdown.

PRS REIT’s extraordinary rent collection figures are in stark contrast to the recent Shelter report showing how thenumber of private tenants in England who have fallen behind on rent has grown during the pandemic, to 442,000.

Even the bullish Belvoir property group has reported that at least 5% of its tenants are in arrears.

Tenants at PRS REIT’s smart rental properties are made up of families, downsizers and early retirees – and prospective renters are checked to make sure they can reliably cover the rent.

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A spokesman tells LandlordZONE: “We’re pleased that rent collection has remained resilient during the lockdown period.

“This reflects the continued significant demand for our high-quality product, which is supported by market-leading customer support for residents.”

The real estate investment trust, which invests in new-build homes for the private rented sector, reports that rent collection “wasn’t materially impacted” by the national lockdown, with 98% of rent due in the quarter to the end of June collected – down from an even more impressive 99% in the quarter before lockdown.

The firm says it’s agreed payment plans for those households that needed help and reports that the equivalent of just 0.49% of annual rent was in lockdown-related rent arrears.

PRS REIT recently finished building its 2,000th home and has another 2,900 in development.

It’s blamed COVID-19 on a slowdown in home completions, which fell to 135 new rental properties in the last quarter, down from 330 in the previous quarter, because construction had been suspended or disrupted. And while the pace is now slower, due to social distancing requirements, it expects about 450 new homes to come on line by September.  

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