New tenancies fell by a third during lockdown according to new research by Ome, which has warned landlords and letting agents that a second wave of the pandemic could have a similar effect.

Using data from Government-approved deposit protection scheme mydeposits, it reveals that in the three-month period from March to May, 61,972 new tenancies were protected compared with the same period in 2019 which saw 81,055 new tenancies protected – a 31% drop.

The Coronavirus restrictions regulations were published on 26th March, stating that, ‘during the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse’. This meant that from the end of March, moving home was prohibited for many, and limits weren’t relaxed again until 18th May.

Ome co-founder Matthew Hooker (left) says that as we head into what looks like a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to reflect and learn from the initial spring period when the rental sector wasn’t immune from having to adapt to unprecedented changes.

“We now know far more about the virus and its wider impact on society and the economy than we did at first, however there is still likely to be a significant period of uncertainty and flexibility required for landlords, agents and their tenants,” says Hooker.

“We’d therefore urge tenants and landlords to start making contingency plans together for the winter just in case the virus rears its head again over the festive period.”      

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