Accommodation.co.uk, the national lettings agency, has seen first-hand how the COVID pandemic has affected the lettings industry and recent rental data has shown that two-thirds of Londoners who moved left the capital as tenants are leaving cities as many are choosing to work from home long term. More than half (53%) of tenants are also requesting flexible rolling contracts, with agreement terms of less than 6 months.
Recent rental data also showed an increase of 34% in August compared with the previous year, an increase that is in part likely to reflect the lack of tenants moving during lockdown but the increase in activity is also tenants reconsidering what they need from their homes and where they want to live.`
Tenants living in the hub of the city they work and play in have spent the last 6 months stuck in their property, which for many was no more than a ‘crash pad’ as they lived a busy urban lifestyle, whilst paying a premium for the pleasure. Many of these tenants have realised that they can save money and afford a larger property outside of cities.
The UK rental industry was already a complex and archaic system pre-COVID-19 and the pandemic has highlighted these historical issues and just last week the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, requesting the powers to freeze private rents in London for two years as the economic fallout continues.
Recent rental searches showed an increase of 34% in August compared with the previous year, an increase that is in part likely to reflect the lack of tenants moving during lockdown but the increase in activity is also tenants reconsidering what they need from their homes and where they want to live.
Accommodation.co.uk has developed a tech system that simplifies and automates the letting process whilst giving tenants and landlords control. The solution manages every part of the complex process from financial data, reference information, property details, inventories and even an automated solution to advertise the property allowing our clients to adapt as the market does.
Aaron Short, CEO at Accommodation.co.uk added, “The COVID pandemic is accelerating the modernisation of the rental market especially in city centres. The market was in an early stage of change as proptech solutions offered both tenants and landlords an easier way to rent. Some of these solutions included bespoke build to rent accommodation that offered deposit free renting, flexible contracts and a choice of shared living extras including bars, pools and gyms.
The future of urban renting will be an offering that gives tenants a much more flexible solution allowing them to be more transient, similar to the Airbnb model used for holiday lettings.
Along with flexible contracts, flexible buildings are going to change the way we live in our cities. They could offer high street units that switch easily from shops to offices to pop-up restaurants in order to reflect our changing demands. The same will be true of private rental accommodation as people choose to live as couples, groups or individually, they can seamlessly move to new apartments and properties that mirror their changing lives. As demand changes so will shared living solutions offering an array of services from creches, bars, cinemas and so much more.”