A survey of 2,750 tenants by a prominent PropTech firm suggests a quarter are concerned about not being able to pay their rent.
At the same time, large numbers are considering moving to a new property as working from home becomes the norm and financial situations shift.
Goodlord says that its survey shows that 12.5 per cent of the 2,750 say they have either missed rental payments due to COVID-19 or have made alternative arrangements in order to pay their rent.
An additional 12 per cent say they are concerned about their ability to pay their rent going forward.
Over a quarter of tenants believe their current income isn’t secure or are unsure about its security and only 40 per cent of renters “definitely agree” their income is secure.
Those aged between 18 and 34 are showing the most financial strain.
Over a quarter say they are considering moving house as a direct result of Covid-19; of these, 24 per cent believe they will move to a different part of the country.
With just over half of tenants stating that they expect to be working remotely, either full-time or part-time, over the next five years, many are exploring a move to more rural or suburban areas.
Some 55 per cent of current renters still expect to be renting in five years time, with only 45 per cent expecting to buy a property within this period.
Tom Mundy, Goodlord’s chief operating officer, comments: “The pandemic has been life-changing for a huge number of people. We are definitely seeing that more tenants are generally anxious about their finances. As a result, many letting agents and landlords are working closely with tenants who might be struggling to pay their rent; whether that’s through payment plans or other remedial measures.
“Both financial strain for renters and the overall impact of lockdown is translating into some macro shifts for the wider property market. Tenants are seeking new, often cheaper properties, in more rural or suburban areas.
“There’s been a significant rise in demand for new properties with gardens or proximity to nature as home working looks to become a long-term fixture and the need to be near urban centres diminishes. Overall, tenant behaviours are starting the shift on all fronts as a result of the pandemic.”
Goodlord currently works with over 700 letting agents, processing more than 20,000 tenancies per month
This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.