Once it became clear that there would be no fast ride through a global crisis, governments all around the world stepped in to provide specific measures to lessen the pressure on tenants.
In the US, most of the steps were taken at the state and local levels. According to JLL research
, 34 out of 50 states decided to prohibit any evictions during the pandemic. Many mortgage payments were put on hold, and lots of large construction projects were temporarily frozen (except essential ones, like medical facilities).
The government has also recommended reducing the number of viewings and carrying them out with some sort of pre-screening process, where possible. This took the major share of the rental market online, and lots of viewings are now held virtually. Video tours, 360 virtual tours, and professional photoshoots are now helping managers and landlords to reduce physical and social contact.
All these measures have helped to keep the rental market from experiencing a complete shutdown, but the long-term impact of the pandemic is still yet to be discovered. For one, as the market recovers and society gets back to its normal life, apartment rental demands will start to increase slowly, again.
On the contrary, however, tightening of market regulations will result in an inevitable rise of rental prices in big cities, making housing in urban areas more expensive than ever.
In 2021 the government will need to ensure that the emergency measures taken in 2020 don't become new bottlenecks for the apartment rental industry.