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HouseMark releases the first sector-wide impact report 07/05/2020 Labelled as Consultation, Scrutiny

HouseMark has launched the first sector-wide impact report as part of a three-month COVID-19 impact analysis exercise, enabling landlords to contextualise the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, forecast likely future implications and take targeted action early to support recovery. 


The first report, that represents feedback from landlords from across the UK, including 21 Local Authorities, starts to show the immediate scale of the impact and challenges for the housing sector. In March 2020, 1.3 million (26%) tenants have been identified as vulnerable across the UK and a further 800,000 tenancies (16%) are at risk of falling into arrears due to financial insecurity linked to the pandemic.


Compared to the same period in 2019, headline findings include:

  • Arrears levels have already increased by 5% representing £33 million across the sector.
  •  Lettings sign-ups decreased by 11%. New government guidance advising landlords to pause non-essential allocation and transfer activity is likely to result in further drops in April and May. 
  • HouseMark forecasts a longer-term impact on void loss from a sector average of 0.94% of rent lost due to vacant dwellings to an end of year figure to more than double that (2.17%)
  • The number of gas safety certificates renewed before expiry dropped to 96.6%, compared to a more usual performance of 99.9% This relates to an additional 10,000 properties without a valid gas safety certificate.


The report also outlines early impact on housing staff:

  • Staff sickness has increased by 65%, providing a real challenge for some landlords with specialist services that cannot easily be back-filled.
  •  Around 50% of landlords have furloughed staff (representing 8.8% of all employees).
  • More than half (52.3%) of employees are working remotely. Around a third (31.6%) essential front-line workers are still in contact with other staff and/or residents. 


The full analysis report is exclusively available to participating organisations, however you can access the executive summary here.


Landlords interested in participating in the April exercise can find out more on HouseMark's website here or by contacting Please note, the exercise is available exclusively to HouseMark members.

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