Property in 2022: what are the experts predicting?

Property in 2022: what are the experts predicting?

Spain United Kingdom , , ,
  • House prices set to continue rising, albeit more slowly (Fabrik Invest)
  • Rents will rise too, while Build to Rent models flourish (Housing Hand)
  • Demand for second homes overseas will increase, with an emphasis on space both inside and out (Taylor Wimpey España)

It’s been a rollercoaster couple of years for the property sector, both at home in the UK and overseas. As living with COVID in our midst becomes increasingly routine, what could this mean for property in 2022? From owner-occupiers and renters to investors and second-home buyers, we’ve rounded up expert opinions on what next year has in store.

The UK housing market

According to Dale Anderson, MD of Fabrik Invest, UK house prices should continue to rise during 2022, albeit at a more sedate pace than during 2021. He comments:

“Despite the Stamp Duty holiday no longer being a factor, I expect house prices to continue to rise steadily in 2022, as there is still a fundamental shortage of supply in the UK. The shortage of building materials, and shipping restrictions and disruption in relation to those raw materials, is likely to push prices of new builds up, as well.”

Fabrik Invest’s CEO, Steve Jacob, believes that increased interest from investment funds and institutions will also continue to feed price increases. The entrance of Lloyds Bank into the residential market, with its aim to become the UK’s largest landlord within the next five years, is testament to this trend.

The private rented sector

The shortage of high-quality rental properties is likely to keep pushing rental prices up in 2022, according to Fabrik Invest’s Dale Anderson. James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development at UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand, agrees:

“Demand continues to outweigh supply in the UK, which means we can reasonably expect that rents will continue to rise. This is also pushing the expansion of Build to Rent models of accommodation. Once seen as more appealing to younger renters, the potential of these kinds of developments for tenants of all ages is becoming more widely appreciated.”

With interest rates so low, Maguire believes that large investors will see the UK as a great opportunity to see a greater return on investment in 2022, with many of them setting their sights on the Build to Rent sector and on Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA).

In terms of accommodation providers, Housing Hand has seen increased demand of late for faster and more secure onboarding of their tenants – a trend which the company anticipates will be important in 2022.

Overseas property in 2022

A perennial favourite with second home buyers from the UK, Spain is a good yardstick when it comes to appetite for international property. According to Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España, there’s plenty of reason for cautious optimism when it comes to overseas property in 2022:

“We are cautiously optimistic about the performance of the Spanish property market in 2022. 2021 is proving to be a very positive year in terms of property sales and we anticipate that this will continue into 2022, with international buyers keen to snap up high-quality new builds.”

That said, he cautions that there are one or two bumps in the road to watch out for, with the main one being that prices of land, building materials and labour are all rising. That means the cost of building homes in Spain is rising, just as it is in the UK and across Europe. 

In terms of what buyers will want from second homes in 2022, Pritchard flags up the importance of open spaces, terraces, communal areas, flexible spaces and light-filled rooms. With COVID still very much present in buyers’ minds, the desire for space will play a big role, as will the need to spend time outdoors. Properties close to the beach and/or golf facilities are likely to be highly prized in 2022.

More information:

Fabrik Invest: 020 8175 9891, enquiries@fabrikinvest.com or http://www.fabrikinvest.com

Housing Hand: 0207 205 2625 or https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Taylor Wimpey España: 08000 121 020 (00 34 971 706 972 from outside the UK) or https://www.taylorwimpeyspain.com/

Housing Hand emerges ‘fighting fit’ from the pandemic, with host of new services and roles

Housing Hand emerges ‘fighting fit’ from the pandemic, with host of new services and roles

United Kingdom
  • New services designed to meet needs of renters, landlords and letting agents
  • Both Partner Portal and House Finder Service resulted from investment during lockdown
  • Further service and partnership announcements expected in Q4 2021

When the UK first went into lockdown in 2020, companies faced unprecedented levels of uncertainty. Few businesses grasped the long-term implications at the outset, believing and hoping that ‘normal’ life would resume shortly. But as the scale of the pandemic began to be understood many companies began to cut costs, shoring up against an increasingly uncertain future.

However, some businesses began to look to the longer-term future, instead of focusing on the immediate situation. One such company was leading UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand. The company quickly grasped the potential of the new normal in terms of preparing to do things differently. As such, Housing Hand has emerged fighting fit from the pandemic, having invested in a host of new services.

“From shaping new roles within the business to mapping out enhanced and additional services, we have used the pandemic to design Housing Hand around long-term growth potential and operational health. The result is that the business has emerged from the pandemic fighting fit thanks to careful planning and investment in the future. This means we can better serve landlords, letting agents, student renters and working professionals alike.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

Headlining the new launches is the House Finder Service, which provides agents and landlords with a free platform through which to connect with would-be tenants. The ability to specify the kind of tenants they are seeking (i.e. students or working professionals) means less wasted time for all concerned, as does the fact that all properties listed accept Housing Hand as a guarantor.

In addition to taking the pain out of finding properties with its House Finder Service, Housing Hand also announced earlier this year that it had launched a new Partner Portal, designed to support accommodation providers to increase their revenue.

All of this means that Housing Hand is now particularly well placed to serve landlords, letting agents and tenants across the UK and Ireland over the months and years ahead. The expanded range of services means an enhanced rental experience for all parties – one that factors in the new economic uncertainties brought about by the pandemic.

Covid-19 introduced significant turbulence for businesses across a wide range of industries. However, we are delighted to have responded robustly with new roles – including my own! – and new services that will improve the rental experience for all those involved in it. We’re also thrilled to be on the brink of sharing additional service and partnership news in the coming months.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Housing Hand reports ‘extraordinary surge’ as record number of students scramble to find homes at last minute

Housing Hand reports ‘extraordinary surge’ as record number of students scramble to find homes at last minute

United Kingdom
  • Uncertainty over Covid and Brexit has caused many students to book at the last minute
  • Universities introducing a range of measures to keep staff and students safe
  • Hopes high that coming academic year will be more normal than past couple

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has reported an ‘extraordinary surge’ in business, as a huge number of students race to book their university accommodation at the last minute.

We’ve not seen a rush like this before. The summer months are always our busiest period for student bookings, as young people arrange their homes for the coming academic year. However, this summer we’ve seen a record number of students leaving things to the very last moment before booking their accommodation. Brexit and Covid have created the perfect storm in terms of delaying decisions around committing to the expense of accommodation for the year ahead.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

Housing Hand is the largest and only award-winning provider of rental guarantor services in the UK. Students from the UK, EU and any other part of the world can use the company as a guarantor for their rent. This avoids the need to pay rent upfront, as the landlord is provided with the comfort of knowing that the rent will always be covered. Housing Hand also provides a free House Finder Service, which connects young people with student-friendly landlords and letting agents across the country.

As students scramble to find homes ready for the start of term, universities themselves are doing all they can to prepare for an academic year that looks a great deal more normal than the past couple have. Different institutions are taking different measures to keep their staff and students safe, with a number of innovative schemes and incentives in place to ensure that as many young people as possible have been doubled jabbed by the time lectures start.

“With the prospect of a more normal academic year finally a reality, students are rushing to find the homes that they need in time for the start of the autumn term. It’s entirely understandable why so many have left it so late, but it certainly adds to the pressure in terms of getting everything done in time for the new academic year.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Could rising self-employment spell trouble for the rental market?

Could rising self-employment spell trouble for the rental market?

United Kingdom
  • Record rise in solo self-employment projected for 2021
  • Number of self-employed women has risen by 57% in past 10 years
  • Housing Hand offering solution for both landlords and self-employed renters

More people than ever are leaving the traditional 9-5 behind and going down the self-employed route instead. Towards the end of 2019, self-employed workers in the UK surpassed the five million mark for the first time. According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), it is women who are driving the growth, with the number of self-employed women rising by 57% in the past decade (compared to 25% for men).

Meanwhile, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has projected a ‘record rise in solo self-employment’ in 2021.

While some individuals have been forced into self-employment through Covid’s impact on the jobs market, IPSE’s research has found that many of those opting out of working for someone else have done so for positive reasons.

“We have also found they are going into self-employment for overwhelmingly positive reasons like having more freedom to choose where they work (83% of freelancers said this was a factor), when they work (84%) and having a better work-life balance (73%).”

Inna Yordanova, Senior Researcher, IPSE

So far, so positive, but being self-employed has wider implications than just work/life balance. Chief among these is the difficulties that self-employed individuals can sometimes experience in accessing rental properties.

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has been working with self-employed renters for years. Around 15% of those who have asked the company to act as a guarantor since 2018 have been self-employed.

There’s no denying it can be trickier to access rental accommodation when you’re self-employed but it’s just a question of being prepared. Landlords, quite rightly, need to know that their tenants can afford a long-term commitment to renting the property. For self-employed renters, this may mean providing some form of extra reassurance, such as a guarantor.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

As a rental guarantor service, Housing Hand is able to guarantee the rent for the whole of the tenancy – precisely the kind of reassurance that landlords need. Having this service in place can avoid situations where landlords ask for six months’ rent upfront (or more).

“For landlords, having to arrange to get six months’ rent upfront is far from ideal, and for many renters, it’s just too big an ask. With the number of self-employed people rising, we need strategies and solutions in place that provide both landlords and tenants with solutions to ensure that renting a home is a smooth and hassle-free process.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Triple uncertainty puts the brakes on international students’ plans to study in UK

Triple uncertainty puts the brakes on international students’ plans to study in UK

United Kingdom
  • Housing Hand reports international students are “holding back”
  • Travel restrictions, potential double vaccination requirement and housing shortage all causes for concern
  • New immigration route provides option for international graduates to launch UK careers

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has raised concerns that international students, especially European students, are holding back their plans to come to the UK to study.

“We are working with many international students looking to study in the UK. However, the uncertainty around travel restrictions/quarantine requirements and what universities will be offering in terms of face to face, blended learning or virtual lectures is leading to some students holding back. The additional uncertainty over whether students will need to be double jabbed to attend lectures has created a further cause for concern for many of those due to start courses in the UK this autumn.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

Travel restrictions are the first hurdle to overcome. Changing rules around quarantine requirements are creating plenty of uncertainty and making it difficult for international students to plan ahead effectively, though the recent announcement around EU and US travellers not needing to quarantine if they have been double jabbed should help somewhat. There’s also the uncertainty of how easy it will be to return home for the holidays, once they’ve arrived in the UK to commence their studies.

“We’ve seen that when the guidance is clear, it leads to increased activity. When Portugal was added to the UK’s travel green list in May, we saw high demand from Portuguese students. They were second only to UK students in terms of applications here at Housing Hand for our rental guarantor services. International students need that level of clarity in order to plan ahead.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

Recent confusion over whether or not students will need to be double jabbed before they can attend lectures and stay in halls isn’t helping. Education Minster Vicky Ford has so far said that students won’t need to be fully vaccinated but also that being fully vaccinated, “is the way that they can have that freedom and confidence that they’ll be able to have that full university life.”

“This lack of clarity over the need to be fully vaccinated has thrown up another barrier to international students, who now have to worry about whether they will be allowed to attend lectures or stay in halls. Even for those who have had both jabs, there will be the worry of how they will be required to evidence this in a format that is acceptable to the UK authorities.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

Despite all of this, UCAS has seen a record number of students – including mature students and those from overseas – apply for university places for the 2021/22 academic year. The total stands at 682,000 applicants, of whom 311,000 are UK 18-year-olds (another record, and an increase of 10% over the 281,000 who applied last year).

This creates a further issue for international students: housing. The UK has a well-documented shortage of housing for its growing population – a situation made worse by the pandemic.

“This year we’ve seen a sharp decline in the number of rental homes coming onto the market. Would-be tenants are now faced with significantly less choice, which in turn is pushing up rents. And with many landlords having multiple offers on the table, half of investors have been able to increase the rent they charge.”

Aneisha Beveridge, Head of Research, Hamptons

Add into the equation those landlords turning their properties into short-term lets to take advantage of the staycation boom, and questions quickly arise about precisely where these record numbers of students are going to live.

Housing Hand’s free House Finder Service at least goes some way to addressing this. The new service matches students with agents and landlords who are specifically seeking student renters, easing the process of finding accommodation in the UK. All of the agents accept Housing Hand as a guarantor, meaning that students won’t face the stumbling block of not having a guarantor when they find the property they want to rent.

For those international students who can overcome the hurdles of travel restrictions, potential double vaccination requirements and finding housing to access higher education in the UK, there is good news to look forward to when they graduate. As of 1 July 2021, a new immigration route means that international graduates can remain in the UK for up to two years to kickstart their careers.

Designed as a talent retention scheme, the graduate route doesn’t require applicants to have a job offer and there is no minimum salary. Graduates can switch jobs and work flexibly during their stay, providing plenty of potential to build their careers. There is also some Covid-related flexibility around when students must arrive in the UK, with those who start courses this autumn having until 6 April 2022 to arrive in the UK.

“The deadline extension sends out a strong message to those looking to complete their studies and launch their careers in the UK. Now the government just needs to boost that messaging by providing international students with the clarity and certainty they need in relation to travel, quarantine, vaccinations and housing – and it needs to do so fast.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

New House Finder Service makes renting easier for both tenants and landlords

New House Finder Service makes renting easier for both tenants and landlords

United Kingdom
  • Agents, landlords and tenants all benefitting from Housing Hand’s new service
  • Free to use platform is helping partner agents increase their revenue
  • Working professionals and students both eligible for free House Finder Service

Hot off the heels of the launch of its new partner portal, UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has revealed its new service to connect tenants and agents across the UK.

The free House Finder Service allows agents to set preferences for the kind of tenants they are seeking, such as students or working professionals. Those looking for accommodation can then register with the service to connect with agents and find the perfect property. All of the agents accept Housing Hand as a guarantor, meaning that tenants won’t face the stumbling block of not having a guarantor when they find the property they want to rent.

We wanted to take some of the pain out of the property finding experience. Searching for a new home can be a really stressful time, whether you’re moving in order to study somewhere or you’re a working professional simply looking to relocate. By providing a free service to connect renters with agents in a way that matches both parties’ requirements, we’re making renting easier.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand


Housing Hand’s partner agents are based around the UK. The company guarantees rent for more people in the UK than anyone else and works with more letting agents and landlords than any other company. The result is plenty of choice for tenants, while partner agents enjoy increased revenue through the delivery of potential leads.

Renters and agents can make direct connections through the House Finder Service, communicating within the platform or through the contact details that both parties provide.

“Every property that tenants find through the House Finder Service already accepts Housing Hand as a guarantor, so renters have additional peace of mind when using the service, as they know they won’t be dealing with requests for six or more months’ rent upfront. Agents have the peace of mind that comes from knowing their tenants will have a professional rental guarantor service in place. And a free lead is a free lead!”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

The House Finder Service is one of a range of new measures that Housing Hand has put in place to make renting easier for students and working professionals. The company provides a comprehensive knowledge base that serves to educate renters, landlords, universities and others about the role of guarantors. Its partner portal supports agents in the UK and the Republic of Ireland to increase revenue and reduce cost and risk through connecting with renters faster. Meanwhile, its Only My Share company ensures that renters won’t be liable for their housemates’ rent, if one member of the household doesn’t pay.

With the newly launched House Finder Service, Housing Hand has provided an additional tool to make renting easier for all concerned.

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

New partner portal delivers multiple benefits for landlords and PBSA providers

New partner portal delivers multiple benefits for landlords and PBSA providers

United Kingdom
  • Housing Hand reveals new portal, designed to reduce risk and increase revenue for accommodation providers
  • Partner portal is one of a number of new services being rolled out in 2021
  • Best-in-class solutions are raising the bar for rental guarantor services

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has launched a new partner portal to create a slicker onboarding experience for accommodation providers. The new feature supports providers to increase their revenue, by delivering more connections with potential tenants through Housing Hand’s House Finder Service, while decrease their costs thanks to the portals’ speedy process and ease of use.

Accommodation providers can also reduce their risk and enjoy peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that Housing Hand has paid out on 100% of all valid default claims over the past eight years.  

Housing Hand is the only award-winning provider of rental guarantor services in the UK. The trusted, insurance-backed company works with landlords, lettings agents, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) providers, universities and others to support students and professionals into rented accommodation. It does so by acting as a guarantor for the tenant, removing the barrier that the absence of a guarantor would otherwise present.

The new portal, which is packed with video explainers and interactive features, will make it easier and faster for accommodation providers to work in partnership with Housing Hand to ensure that their tenants won’t leave them out of pocket.

The benefits of using a rental guarantor service extend to all those involved in the rental transaction. By making the process of working with our guarantor service even easier, we are reducing friction and risk at the heart of the rental process. This will enable landlords and other accommodation providers to maximise their revenue, while tenants can enjoy long-term peace of mind.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand


Launched in early June, the new partner portal is one of a raft of new features being rolled out by the Housing Hand team in 2021, as part of the company’s significant growth during the pandemic. Newly appointed Head of Sales and Business Development James Maguire comments:

“We’re rolling out a range of improvements and new services over the course of this year, enhancing the user experience that accommodation providers and tenants have when they work with Housing Hand. We’re flexing the business in response to current and future market conditions, including addressing issues such as lifetime deposits and other aspects of the Renters’ Reform Bill. Watch this space for further developments!”

Landlords, letting agents, PBSA providers and universities are already benefitting from the new Housing Hand portal. As the country’s largest rental guarantor service, the company is keen to deliver best-in-class solutions for its partners, serving to raise the bar across the rental sector.

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Property industry movers and shakers: James Maguire moves to new role at Housing Hand

Property industry movers and shakers: James Maguire moves to new role at Housing Hand

United Kingdom
  • Maguire will oversee strategic partnerships, alliances and sales
  • He joins just as Housing Hand launches revamped partner portal
  • Maguire’s 20 years’ experience, including at Rightmove and Reapit, will support Housing Hand’s growth strategy

Market-leading UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has announced the appointment of James Maguire as its new Head of Sales and Business Development. Maguire will oversee the delivery of Housing Hand’s strategic sales focus for the UK and Ireland, including building key partnerships and alliances to support market demand, as well as managing the company’s overall sales function.

Maguire brings 20 years’ experience of digital sales and marketing to the role. He has spent the last decade working in the property sector, including at Rightmove and Reapit.

“We are delighted to welcome James to the Housing Hand team and to such an important strategic role for the company over the coming years. We have an ambitious growth strategy, designed to support even more students and professionals into rental accommodation that would otherwise not be open to them – or only available with a vast deposit. James will play a key part in turning that vision into reality.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

Based in London, Maguire’s new role will see him working with clients across the UK and Ireland. It will include building partnerships with a wide range of accommodation providers, including landlords, purpose built student accommodation providers, universities and letting agents.

“I am joining Housing Hand at a really exciting time for the business, with the launch of our innovative new partner portal, which will help accommodation providers have full visibility of the tenant journey through Housing Hand. This in turn will assist them letting properties quicker to students and working professionals, as well as giving them access to leads of active tenants looking for accommodation in their areas.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

Maguire will oversee Housing Hand’s experienced field sales and account manager teams, which focus on long-term partnerships with clients, with Housing Hand supporting their growth in letting both student and residential accommodation.

The pandemic has impacted the lettings market in multiple ways. One result is that an increasing number of tenants are in need of Housing Hand’s guarantor services, so I’m delighted to join the business at such an important time.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Universities reach out to rental guarantor services as in-person learning resumes

Universities reach out to rental guarantor services as in-person learning resumes

United Kingdom
  • Housing Hand sees increase in universities exploring commercial arrangements
  • Universities being asked to do more with less, creating financial pressure points
  • Imbalance between returning students booking accommodation and first-years hesitating

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has reported an increase in the number of universities enquiring about commercial arrangements, as Covid-related pressures continue to impact the UK’s higher education sector. The increase speaks to the difficulties that universities are facing as they seek to do more with less, welcoming all students back to in-person learning from 17 May.

Universities have spent the last year in crisis mode. They have had to deal with multiple lockdowns, set up widescale home/virtual learning and manage the impact of students who have tested positive for Covid. All while dealing with the economic fallout of a lower intake of students for the 2021/22 academic year as Covid fears persist (mainly fewer EU and other international students, but also those from the UK).

Universities being overworked and under-resourced is nothing new. Budget cuts were already biting, even before the pandemic. However, Covid has exacerbated the financial difficulties that universities and their students face. Increasing rent relief bills are taking their toll and many universities are now seeking alternative ways to support their students to remain in their accommodation should they experience financial hardship.”

Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director, Housing Hand

 
Many students struggle to provide a qualifying UK rent guarantor when renting in the private sector. Housing Hand partners with universities in order to help alleviate this issue for their students. The award-winning company acts as a rental guarantor service for students from the UK and overseas, covering rent, damages and dilapidations.

The university model enables higher education institutions to partner with Housing Hand as a white label service. The university promotes the service to its students, while Housing Hand provides integration, co-branded application pages with an affiliate link and marketing materials. Students pay a reduced fee for the Housing Hand service, while the university doesn’t need to worry about the admin side of the process.

“The way we work with universities provides a win-win. Students can access the rental guarantor service they need at a lower cost, while the university takes on no financial risk. The risk sits with Housing Hand, and is backed by quality and financially rated insurance products. With some unusual fluctuations in the usual student rental patterns due to Covid, this no-risk approach is inspiring increasing numbers of universities to investigate the role of rental guarantor services.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

Although UK universities expect to re-open for in-house lessons this month, many students are hesitant to enrol for the 2021/22 academic year while Covid remains a threat. This is compounded for European students by Brexit for all international students by the current difficulties in moving between countries.

We can see this playing out across houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), where returning students have provided a steady stream of bookings. However, the purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) sector has been a very low uptake of rooms by its traditional cohort of first years.

“As the UK’s vaccination programme progresses and confidence improves, it’s likely that there will be a last-minute dash for places. This will create a flurry of activity in the accommodation sector, as students rush to secure rooms with far less planning than would usually occur. With costs spiralling and high levels of debt, UK universities are already under significant pressure. They need to do all they can to accommodate a rush of last-minute enrolments, including helping students to find the accommodation they need.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

For more information please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Covid crisis highlights value of rental guarantor services

Covid crisis highlights value of rental guarantor services

United Kingdom
  • Rental guarantor services address key concerns for tenants, landlords and letting agents
  • Eviction ban end to result in further pain for landlords and tenants alike
  • Using personal guarantors now seen as even riskier than previously

The pandemic has seen tenants, landlords and letting agents all suffer in different ways as a result of Covid’s economic fallout. When the eviction ban ends on 31 May, that situation is likely to get worse – and not just for those tenants who have been unable to pay their rent. Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director of UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand, explains:

The delays in the courts for landlords looking to evict non-paying tenants are likely to be unprecedented, with the backlog of evictions having built up since the government first put the ban in place. This piles even more stress onto landlords who are already having to cover mortgages on properties that aren’t providing any income. It also means letting agents going without their cut of the rent for many more months while courts process the backlog. And for tenants, there’s the additional stress of falling even further behind with their rent while waiting to be taken to court. Everybody loses.”

Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director, Housing Hand

While nobody saw the pandemic coming, there are plenty of lessons to be learned about risk avoidance for future major crises. One is the value of rental guarantor services. These are services that the tenant pays for to ensure that, should they become unable to pay their rent, it will still be paid: the guarantor company steps in and pays 100% of it for them. The tenant gets to keep their home, the landlord continues to receive an income and the lettings agency continues to receive its share.

The pandemic has also highlighted the value of rental guarantor services when compared with personal guarantors. Personal guarantors who were in a position to act as such at the outset of the pandemic may now be in very different financial situations. Relying on a personal guarantor for rent payments now carries much the same risk as relying on the tenant.

There are two other options available to landlords looking to ensure that non-payment of rent doesn’t lead to non-payment of their mortgage. One is rental insurance, where the landlord simply buys a policy, then makes a claim in the event of rent not being paid. The other is a company guarantor, which is where a company agrees to act as a guarantor for one of its employees. However, both of these models are flawed, according to Housing Hand’s Group Operations Director, Terry Mason:

“Insurance companies are known for not paying out on every claim. This has the potential to leave landlords unexpectedly out of pocket. Company guarantors, meanwhile, may be in very different financial positions than they were at the start of the pandemic, so carry risks of their own.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

For tenants and landlords looking for maximum protection, rental guarantor services that are underwritten by an insurer offer the greatest peace of mind. Housing Hand, for example, is backed by Lloyds syndicate insurance. It delivers 100% pay-out and continues until the end of the tenancy.

While many landlords – and their letting agents and tenants – have missed out on the benefits of rental guarantor services during the pandemic, those looking for a reliable safety net in future have everything to gain.

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/