Deposit replacement service Ome has looked at the impact of the temporary restriction on moving homes that occurred earlier in the year.
It looked at data from mydeposits, the government-approved deposit protection scheme, during March, April and May 2020. This data revealed that during this three-month period there was a 31% decrease in new tenancies compared to the same period last year. The total dropped from 81,055 new tenancy deposits protected in 2019 to 61,972 in 2020.
Ome points out that restrictions on ‘non-essential’ travel and advice to work from home was provided by the Government from 16th March. On 23rd March Prime Minister Boris Johnson instructed the public to stay at home and closed many businesses. Then on 26th March, the Government published The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. These emergency regulations stated that: ‘During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.’
Rules on moving to a new house in England were relaxed on 18th May 2020, requiring suitable safety measures to be taken.
Matthew Hooker, Co-Founder of Ome, comments: “As we head into what looks like a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic it is important to reflect and learn from the initial spring period.
“As the initial impact of coronavirus restrictions hit us the entire nation was having to react quickly to a number of unprecedented changes, and the evidence shows the rental sector was not immune. 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.
“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.”