How has lockdown affected the rental market?

By 28th August 2020 Landlords

Lockdown has had a major impact on all segments of the UK economy, and the property rental market is no exception. Government restrictions on the rental process, including suspending people’s ability to move house, led to a big dip in demand during the spring and summer, but now that the restrictions have eased, we’re beginning to see how the recent crisis has affected the rental market overall, and how it might continue to do so in the future. So what exactly has lockdown meant for the housing market, and what does this mean for landlords?

A surge in demand

Now that property viewings and house moves are back on the cards, the rental market has seen a surge in people looking for properties. Part of this is due to the backlog of people who would have been house hunting during the more stringent lockdown months, and part of it is due to people’s living situations changing. Whatever the reason, data from property rentals platform Rightmove suggests that the rental market is now pretty much back to where it was when lockdown began, and in some places demand is even outstripping supply. So, if you’re a landlord with a property to rent, now is the right time to put it on the market.

New locations are popular

Lockdown seems to have created a shift in priorities for many renters, and more and more people are looking for properties outside of major cities. Many of the major draws of living in a big city – e.g. night life, arts and entertainment, dining and sports – have been suspended during lockdown, and as a result, suburban and countryside living has become more appealing. The increase in working from home has also meant people may be less concerned about a longer commute, so if you’ve been considering renting out a property on the outskirts of a city, or even further afield, now could be a good time to do it.

Renters want gardens

The extremes of lockdown showed us all how important spending time outdoors can be, and many people who may not have been worried about having a garden before have now added this to their must-have list. As a result, properties with gardens are particularly popular, so any property that can boast outdoor space stands a much better chance in the rental market right now. If you have a property with a garden, check out our blog post about letting properties with gardens to make the most of this growing trend.

Looking for office space

Most of us have had to work from home during lockdown, and many are continuing to do so, and this has caused a rise in demand for home office space. Home working could continue to be a reality for lots of people for a long time to come, and so it may be more savvy to advertise a spare room as a potential home office rather than a spare bedroom, as this will be high on many house hunters’ priority lists. If your rental property is also in an area with good broadband or fiber internet, it’s worth mentioning that in your property description too, as this is a real staple of home-working life!


Do you have a property to let in Bristol? Gough Quarters will be happy to guide you through the process – contact us today to find out more.

Cover photo by Andreas Haslinger on Unsplash

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