HouseMark COVID-19 impact data shows 75% of landlords plan to use pandemic as a catalyst to improve services

Latest analysis from HouseMark’s COVID-19 Impact Monitoring shared today (Thursday, 30 July) shows that 75% of landlords plan to use the pandemic as a catalyst to improve services as key activities including gas safety, repairs and lettings bounce back after some testing months. The membership-exclusive report is the fourth in the only UK wide series of monthly reports with data up to the end of June 2020.

Headline findings include:

Reimagining services

- A staggering 75% of landlords are planning to take a different approach to service delivery in the new normal with only 8% electing business as usual.  Maintaining improved customer sentiment is high on the list of priorities.

Virtualisation is the new normal

-Despite most absent employees having returned to work, 56% of all staff are continuing to work virtually.  This signals a fundamental change in how and where we work.  Overnight channel shift has led to significant changes in behaviour for organisations, employees and customers.

Repairs

-The number of reported non-emergency repairs doubled over June as landlords resume full service – with landlords completing 62% of those reported.

Lettings

-The number of lettings doubles over the month bringing them close to March levels – the freeze on non-essential lettings led to 54% fewer lettings in the sector and there are now 50,000 (twice as many) properties empty but available to let in the sector - this equates to almost £5m in lost income for every week these properties are un-tenanted.

Arrears

-Arrears increased again (by 2.9%) and average sector arrears now sit at 3.47%. This compares to increases of 5%, 10% and 3.3% in March, April and May respectively, highlighting that the sector is past the initial spike, but a further increase is forecast when the Government’s job retention scheme ends.

ACCESS THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY HERE

Talking about the latest report, HouseMark Chief Executive Laurice Ponting said:

“Accessing real time data to make evidence-based decisions has never been more crucial. We have seen a remarkable response from across the sector to HouseMark’s COVID-19 Impact Monitoring, and the insights have been used by our members as they start to reimagine services and begin the recovery process. Now in month four, we have introduced additional measures to shift the focus to the impact of recovery action and we are starting to see the shape of the sector’s new normal emerging.

 “There are opportunities to be seized for landlords that are bold and agile, and we are seeing considerable evidence that these are being taken. The fact that three-quarters of landlords are using the pandemic as a catalyst to improve services demonstrates the sector’s appetite to make the ‘new normal’ more positive for their communities.”

The full report, including detailed analysis and best practice from landlords across the UK, is exclusively available to participating organisations. Organisations interested in finding out more about HouseMark’s COVID-19 solutions should contact jonathan.cox@housemark.co.uk to find out more. 

By Emily Dixon

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