Mortgage Introducer October 2020

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The changing face of tenant demand Bob Young chief executive officer, Fleet Mortgages


any will be hoping that the last months of 2020 are uneventful. Unfortunately, local lockdowns and

have also benefited from the further catalyst of the stamp duty holiday. Through this, all manner of societal and demographic changes have resulted in people reviewing whether what they believed to be important to them preCOVID has changed. Landlords may have encountered issues with tenants finding it difficult to pay through lockdown, furlough or unemployment, but those same tenants

their portfolios, and reconsider what properties they purchase in the future. Even with a vaccine we are likely to see the importance of certain factors change for individuals, especially if working arrangements remain changed. So we come back to that word again: flexibility. Landlord clients will be aware that demand for rental property is likely to remain strong, but the question will be around what type of properties, and where that demand is going to appear. Landlords may well need to have a much more diversified portfolio in order to cover all bases. The good news is that, with their adviser’s help and a well though-out plan of action, access to mortgage funding is available.

...with our experienced team of manual underwriters. stricter measures are coming in across the UK as COVID-19 cases rise.We are not back to a point of national lockdown, but we can’t rule it out, and we must all maintain the flexibility and resolve that has got us through so far. ‘Flexibility’ is a key word here. We find ourselves in an odd situation whereby government support has effectively done its job, and the housing and mortgage market has not been as adversely impacted as it might have been, and certainly not as much as other sectors. The end of lockdown unleashed pent-up demand, and we



are likely to be changing their thinking in the same way as homeowners. CHANGING TIMES

Do I need to be in a city centre if I can work remotely? Do I need to be close to a train station? Am I in the right type of rental property for remote working? Given the restrictions, is a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) the right choice? Do I want to live closer to family or other ‘support bubbles’? Private rented sector landlords may well have to react to how these changing housing needs impact


As lenders we are also showing a greater level of flexibility, encouraged by landlord appetite but also responding to the changing circumstances of landlords and their tenants. Our appetite to lend in this sector is undiminished, and we are here to respond to landlords’, and in turn tenants’, changing needs. We will work together to find the necessary solutions that create profitable portfolios. Advisers who can support clients effectively in this environment will make significant strides. We will be there to help them at every step. M I