Renters are finding it easier to make their rental payments than at the
start of the COVID-19 crisis, but feel less sure about their future
post-pandemic, a survey from rent.com.au has
40% of renters are finding it easier to manage
their rent, against 26% in March
Almost a quarter of renters were successful in
negotiating a rent reduction or deferral
More renters are returning to work, with 24%
reporting unemployment in August vs 33% in March
Just 11% of renters now feel optimistic about life
post-COVID-19, compared to 15% in March
Media release: Renters are
managing their rental payments better, but remain cautious about life post
The impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s rental market
has been felt differently right across the country. In rent.com.au’s most
recent survey, some 800 renters provided insight into the continued impact of
the pandemic on their ability to pay rent, how they felt governments have
supported renters, and their plans and outlook for the future.
Renters head back to work, making rental payments easier
survey offers new insight into the hardship tenants have faced during the
pandemic and shows those circumstances were, overwhelmingly, to lost work and
wages because of the country’s economic shutdown.
Chief Executive Officer, Greg Bader said: "We understood pretty early on that
renters might be in trouble because of COVID-19. This is a market that has been
heavily impacted by economic disruption and a lot of uncertainty.
"Soon after we
ran our first survey, we hit the peak of the lockdown period for most of
Australia, and – to no surprise – the number of renters looking for properties
dropped right off. Towards the end of March and April, we started to see the
real impact of those lockdowns impacting our own customer activities.
restrictions have slowly relaxed across most of Australia (except in places
like Victoria), more renters are starting to re-enter the market, and more have
returned to employment, which is making rental payments easier for much of the
August survey showed fewer renters had (24%) reported unemployment because of
COVID-19, versus 33% who did in March. The natural flow-on effect appears in an
overall improvement in how this market is now managing rental payments. A far
higher percentage of renters said they were "managing ok” in August (40%) –
well above the 26% in March.
More rent reductions approved as pandemic progresses
Not all renters
sought out rental reductions or deferrals during the crisis. Just 28% of
renters surveyed in August said they had requested cheaper rent during the six
months. Of those who had spoken to their agent or landlord, 24% reported a
successful negotiation, up from 17% back in March.
"While we did
see some 55% of renters refused a reduction in August, we know they would have
been required to demonstrate any impact on their income and affordability to
qualify for a reduction,” Mr. Bader said. The August survey also showed far
fewer renters were still in discussions with their property manager or landlord
then they were in March (19% versus 29%).
cent of renters said their property manager or landlord had been helpful and
informative in the crisis (up 3% in March), and another 38% would rate them
positively for how they’ve handled their requests and questions.
Moving plans off pause, but some concern remains for the future
Six months on,
fewer renters have paused their moving plans. Of those who indicated they’d
hold off on plans to shift properties back in March (46%), just 26% are in the
same situation today. Almost 30% intend to move as initially planned.
improvements we’ve seen in this six-month update, the key downward shift has
been in general sentiment and outlook to the future,” Mr. Bader said.
"Interestingly, renters indicated they are generally feeling less positive
about life post-COVID-19 than they were in March.”
Just 11% of
Australian renters said they felt optimistic about the future – a 4% drop from
Thursday, 15 October 2020