As we moved through April we saw the vaccination programme growing successfully and the number of Covid cases falling significantly – signs we were at last beginning to gain a degree of control in this unprecedented health crisis.
We also began to see the economy reopening and at times it felt like the nation was breathing a collective sigh of relief.
As the country appears to return to some form of normality, we can reflect on the challenges we have faced but also start preparing for the way ahead.
There’s no doubt that the property market has experienced a tumultuous period during the pandemic, not least those involved in the rental sector, whether that be landlords or tenants.
While there have been some difficult aspects to deal with for all parties, from a landlord perspective there have been some specific challenges.
Adhering to the existing rules and regulations of renting a property was already a complex area to navigate, but there was also the additional matter of tenants going through difficulties, and managing a range of government policies that were put in place to help mitigate the impact of Covid.
And we need to remember that the majority of landlords are not large, wealthy organisations, but in many cases individuals who may just have one property to let, possibly inherited, which they rely on for income.
Rental sector extremely resilient
On a positive note, it is clear that the rental sector has proved to be extremely resilient during the pandemic, meeting the challenges head on and providing a vital service in this time of crisis and uncertainty.
This was also true of the sector following the 2008 financial crash.
There has undoubtedly been a significant increase in demand from those looking for larger, family-sized rental homes and rural areas – certainly the rise in home working and reduction in the need to commute has been a key contributor here.
Lockdown also appears to have made people more appreciative of space and having room to roam.
As a result of this growing demand, landlords are experiencing very quick and short void periods with the consequence being that there is now a serious shortage of stock in and around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Becoming a landlord can be a daunting prospect, especially with the various regulations in place.
There are bound to be a multitude of questions and concerns, but the important thing to realise is there is plenty of professional help available to ensure that the process is a smooth one.
There are also further incentives around, such as Aberdein Considine’s rent guarantee and legal expenses scheme.
With an economic recovery hopefully on the way, there is demand for rental properties and this is growing.
If you are considering becoming a landlord, there’s probably never been a better time.