Two million households will struggle to pay rent in the coming months amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to a recent poll.
The survey of more than 1,000 renters conducted by ideal flatmate shows that 40% of tenants worry they won’t be able to pay their rent, rental payments given as the number one concern of tenants during the pandemic.
Renters other fears included paying council tax, financial instability and ‘survival’.
According to the Office for National Statistics tenants who privately rent spend 34% of their gross household income on rent.
Many renters are furloughed or face wage cuts as the economic fallout of the pandemic worsens.
The government introduced measures to protect renters during the crisis; evictions have been suspended for three months and those struggling with rental payments due to the coronavirus can apply for a three-month payment holiday.
But this has not been enough to allay many tenants’ fears. Tom Gatzen, the
co-founder of ideal flatmate said the findings brought tenants’ worries “into focus” as he urged them to communicate with their landlord if they felt they were struggling.
“It is very important that renters get in touch with their landlords as soon as possible if they feel they may not be able to keep up with their monthly payments and we would encourage all landlords to be constructive in their conversations with any tenants who are struggling through no fault of their own during the current crisis,” he said.
On a more positive note, the study also found the lockdown had given renters more of a community spirit, with 42% of tenants saying they were keen to socialise more with people on their street.
Understandably given the current restrictions, having a garden or some outside space was listed as the number one thing renters would change about their existing place.