Published On: Tue, Apr 14th, 2020

Research reveals worrying figures for renters – are you up to date with the new measures? | Personal Finance | Finance

Coronavirus has impacted people’s finances in a multitude of ways. Income and employment has been hit and lockdown rules have limited people’s options. Renters could be particularly affected as their living situations may not be as secure as homeowners.

Research from Opinium, the strategic insight agency, highlighted just how concerned renters are.

According to their findings, nearly half (48 percent) of UK renters are worried about the impact of coronavirus on their living situations.

This is understanding as 58 percent of renters who were working before the outbreak have reportedly had their employment impacted in some way.

Of these impacted renters, 43 percent have struggled to pay rent, bills or other essential costs and a quarter of them have had to either leave their home to move in with parents/friends or request that their tenancy end earlier than planned to avoid paying rent.

READ MORE: Council rent-free weeks 2020: When are the rent-free weeks?

On top of this, 43 percent of renters are unaware that the state will increase the housing element of Universal Credit to cover the cheapest 30 percent of rents in an area.

Just under a fifth of renters are also completely unaware that the government has banned eviction proceedings at all.

These are worrying figures which have caught the attention of some property and housing experts.

David Cox, the Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark encouraged affected people to seek out support: “It’s worrying to see that the vast majority of renters and landlords are concerned about rent payments.

“Unfortunately, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more people may see changes in their income which could leave them stressed about affording rent whilst providing for themselves and their families.

“However, there is lots of Government support available that should allow tenants to continue to pay their rent and landlords to have an income if rent payments do stop.

“Clearly not enough is being done to explain and highlight these policies, but we would urge everyone to look into these and understand what help they may be eligible for.

“Both renters and landlords should take full advantage of the Government schemes available during this difficult period.”

James Endersby, the CEO of Opinium commented on the current sad state of affairs that these figures revealed, highlighting that taking advantage of the available measures could turn the tide: “Our research shows that renters are finding it particularly tough.

“Many have found their employment situation has changed, but their rental payments still remain, and this is already becoming a struggle for some. 

“A substantial number of renters have had to use savings or financial help to get by, and if we are in this predicament for the long term then their problems will only get worse.

“It’s clear that renters do not have the full perspective of their rights and entitlements that are crucial in guiding them through the outbreak, but these measures could make all the difference.”

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