A survey of letting agencies has revealed that many believe that the private rental market will take a while to adjust to the ‘new normal’ as agents, tenants and landlords get used to renting homes during the ongoing pandemic.
And 40% of those canvassed told the Property Redress Scheme that they are yet to open their branches, not because they are worried about safety, but due to concerns over the viability of their businesses and risks of brining staff out of the furlough scheme too early.
“Whilst we have seen some encouraging signs of a market recovery, agents clearly feel we are far from out of the woods yet,” says Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the PRS.
“I’m also certain that the extension of the evictions ban and the uncertainty of the student market is also weighing heavily on letting agents’ minds.”
The survey also reveals that the lettings industry is set to change significantly following the Covid housing market lockdown.
The 230 letting agents revealed to the survey that 24% are to change their opening hours, 65% are to continue to let their employees work from home and that 44% are to relax their dress code.
The survey also found that virtual viewings are set to be a significant feature of the rental process. While only 20% of agents offered them prior to Covid, 70% of firms say they will now offer a mixture of face-to-face viewings and virtual ones.