Where are the BTL locations with the highest arrears due to the pandemic?

Property Reporter
9th October 2020
Question 709

Recent figures released by Shelter have shown that 227,000 private renters have fallen into rental arrears due to Covid-19, meaning the total number of tenants in arrears has doubled on an annual basis to 5% of private renters.

On the back of this data, lettings management platform, Howsy, wanted to find out where landlords have been impacted with the highest arrears due to the pandemic.

The firm looked at what this 5% equates to nationally, as well as at local authority level, based on the number of private dwellings in the rental sector and the total arrears incurred by landlords on a monthly basis.

The figures show that across England there are just over 4.5m private households in the rental sector, meaning an estimated 226,757 have fallen into rental arrears since the start of the pandemic.

With the current average rent at £843, that’s an estimated £191m owed to landlords in a single month.

Ribble Valley, Rutland and Malvern Hills are home to the lowest estimated number of properties in arrears, but they’re also home to the lowest loss in terms of monthly rental income.

In Ribble Valley, Howsy estimates that just 84 properties have fallen into rental arrears since the start of the pandemic, costing a total of just £57,842 to landlords each month.

Rutland is estimated to have the second-lowest level of arrears, with 121 homes and a monthly loss of £97,808 in rental income.

Malvern Hills has seen an estimated 135 homes fall into rental debt with a monthly cost of £94,729 in rental losses.

South Bucks (144), Ryedale (159), Selby (172), Castle Point (174), West Devon (188), Stevenage (189) and Tamworth (189) also rank with the lowest estimated level of rental homes falling into arrears as a result of the pandemic.

Ryedale (£105,775), Selby (£107,907), Copeland (£124,684), Tamworth (£128,278), Hyndburn (£128,670), West Devon (£129,190) and Hambleton (£134,561) rank amongst the some of the best areas in terms of the lowest level of monthly rental income lost as a result of pandemic rental arrears.

Calum Brannan, Founder and CEO of Howsy, commented:

“The current pandemic has impacted landlords across the country and the extent of this impact will differ from one landlord to the next, as well as from one area to another.

"Of course, the varying degrees of rent charged means that areas with the lowest level of arrears aren’t necessarily home to the lowest financial impact. However, opting to invest in an area that offers both will ensure the best chance of avoiding or reducing any loss of income due to tenants unable to pay their way.

"Although the eviction ban has now been lifted, the current plight of many tenants is one that will no doubt remain for many months and continue to impact the buy-to-let market. Unfortunately, there still remains little help from the Government for landlords across the nation and so many are left with little choice but to ride out any loss of rental income.”

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