COVID-19 displaces 25,000 People in London, Triggering rise in “Situation Tenancies”


Aston Chase is concerned to see a notable increase in “situation tenancies”, a specific type of rental enquiry that has arisen over the last few weeks since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in London.

Aston Chase has seen a distinct rise in enquiries for furnished turn-key short to medium term accommodation in North West London over the last few weeks due to the number of overseas and UK people displaced or unsettled by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Aston Chase: has estimated that the number of displaced people in the capital needing turn-key accommodation could be as high as 25,000 people.

The agency has had a flurry of Coronavirus generated deals in the last 10 days with affluent tenants paying up to £8,000 per week (£32,000 per month: often paying for the entire tenancy up front) in order to swiftly acquire short and medium term lets, located in North West or outer London, where they can safely isolate themselves during the outbreak.

What is the potential scale of people currently displaced in London due to Coronavirus? Aston Chase highlight that there are normally 2.5 million tourists and overseas visitors in London on a monthly basis; even if just 0.25% to 0.5% of this figure have ended up displaced in London during the Coronavirus crisis this means that between 6,250 to 12,500 people are having to urgently find rental or long-stay hotel accommodation in London over the next 2-6 months. If the figure is as high as 1% this equates to 25,000 people displaced in the UK capital needing turn-key accommodation.

Aston Chase observe that there are five distinct type of “must-let-immediately” tenants that have been generated by the Coronavirus contagion. The first group, which is also the largest numerically, are displaced international people, typically from Italy, France, Spain and Asia, who are unable or wary of returning home, and are seeking short/media term rental accommodation in London.

The second group are domestic Londoners, who normally live in Prime Central London in large “close-confine” apartment developments or townhouses, who have become concerned by the Coronavirus outbreak and have decided to relocate to large gated detached houses in outer London or further afield.

The third group are medical, diplomatic or business people on secondment or emergency duty in London due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The fourth group are ‘at risk’ UK domestic households, aged over 60, who are wanting to relocate temporarily from apartments to detached houses in order to be able to self-isolate safely from neighbours.

The final group are ‘accidental tenants’, people who were in the process of buying a home in London, who are now choosing to rent rather than buy; or have been forced to rent because the vendors have taken properties off the market due to the Coronavirus situation.