79% of Scottish landlords plan to use pandemic as a catalyst to improve services
According to the latest data from HouseMark Scotland, 79% of landlords in Scotland plans to use the pandemic as a catalyst to improve services.
Landlords have voiced their dedication to such improvements as key activities such as gas safety, repairs and lettings have bounced back after the testing months of the coronavirus lockdown.
HouseMark’s COVID-19 Impact Monitoring survey found that just 7% of Scottish landlords questioned would be resuming busienss as usual and would not be taking a different approach to service delivery in the ‘new normal’.
For the other 79%, maintaining improved customer sentiment is high on the list of priorities.
The survey also found that non-emergency repairs reporting increased by 18% from the May low-point. Despite the increase, restrictions on work inside the home mean that non-emergency repairs reporting was 85% down on pre-pandemic levels.
Reports of anti-social behaviour rose by 17% between May and June bringing the rate of new cases per 1,000 properties managed to 96.6 in June. Comparing to historic HouseMark data, this figure is around 30% higher than we would expect in the middle of summer.
The data also indicated that across the UK as a whole, 56% of all UK-wide staff are continuing to work virtually. This signals a fundamental change in how and where we work. Overnight channel shift has led to significant changes in behaviour for organisations, employees and customers.
HouseMark also found that UK-wide arrears increased again (by 2.9%) and average sector arrears now sit at 3.47%. This compares to increases of 5%, 10% and 3.3% in March, April and May respectively, highlighting that the sector is past the initial spike, but a further increase is forecast when the Government’s job retention scheme ends.
Laurice Pontin, chief executive of HouseMark, said: “Accessing real-time data to make evidence-based decisions has never been more crucial. We have seen a remarkable response from across the sector to HouseMark’s COVID-19 Impact Monitoring, and the insights have been used by our members as they start to reimagine services and begin the recovery process.
“Now in month four, we have introduced additional measures to shift the focus to the impact of recovery action and we are starting to see the shape of the sector’s new normal emerging.
“There are opportunities to be seized for landlords that are bold and agile, and we are seeing considerable evidence that these are being taken. The fact that more than three-quarters of landlords in Scotland are using the pandemic as a catalyst to improve services demonstrates the sector’s appetite to make the ‘new normal’ more positive for their communities.”
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