Houses are in High Demand

Following the re evaluation of tenants’ priorities following lockdown – and a continuing of restrictions on those of us living in the central belt of Scotland – it appears that houses are currently in higher demand than flats or apartments both in Glasgow and across the rest of the UK.

According to research from Howsy which looked at rental data across 22 major cities across the UK, demand for houses is currently at 29% whilst demand for apartments and flats is an average of 26%. Here in Glasgow the demand for houses is currently 59% with flats and apartments at 41%. The overall tenant demand currently stands at 42%.

Regional variations show that Belfast was as much as 69% as tenants look for more inside space to accommodate home working and spending more time at home, and a need for outside space as for many people socializing in the garden is the only way they can see friends and family at home.

However, there were some cities where flats and apartments remained the most popular option with Manchester showing the highest demand at 57% so for some major cities, the demand for apartments remains robust.

As Scotland returns to some form of normality – which looks like next year at the earliest – demand for flats and apartments should increase, especially in university towns and cities. This will be welcome news for landlords.

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Supporting Tenants in Scotland

There is some good news for private tenants who are experiencing financial difficulties and unable to access certain benefits or support that will help them to meet their rental payments.

A sum of £10 million has been allocated to the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund with details of who is eligible and how to apply will be announced soon, with the loan set to be accessible from November.

An extra £3 million is being pumped into the Discretionary Housing Payment fund, which has been implemented in order to assist tenants already in receipt of benefits.

The Discretionary Housing Payment fund was originally a £60 million budget set up to mitigate the impact of the bedroom tax in Scotland. It has now been increased by £19 million including the latest £3 addition.

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart believes that these measures will ensure no one is left in a position where they cannot access support to meet their rental payments. During the same announcement, the Housing Minister extended the current ban on evictions (due to end on September 30th) to March 2021.

This means that regardless of the type of tenancy, or what kind of notice is served, or for whichever reason, all eviction proceedings will be placed on hold.

The only exceptions to this are cases involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse.

Find out more: Scottish government’s support for tenants.