With buy-to-let investing as popular as it’s ever been, and tenant demands changing rapidly, we’ve been hearing one question on repeat – what features do tenants want in rental properties? Understanding tenant trends can amplify your chances of renting out your property quickly, and for the best price. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question, but at Centrick we’ve been able to pinpoint five recurring features that searching tenants have been particularly interested in.
‘Pets’ is the number one searched keyword on Rightmove lettings, with the ability to bring along your companion to your next rental property a dealbreaker for many pet owners. With over 3.2 million pets purchased in lockdown, it’s becoming increasingly likely that moving tenants will have a furry friend to move with them. Explicitly advertising your rental property as a ‘pets allowed’ listing will appeal to the broadest possible range of potential tenants. Even better, tenants are willing to pay more to bring their pets with them, with research indicating that landlords could earn an average of £50 per month more if they allow pets. Centrick recommends requesting a pet reference from a previous landlord or veterinarian, and perhaps even asking to meet your tenants and their pets prior to signing any contracts.
For those with or without pets, outdoor space is very important to tenants. When looking at Rightmove trends over the last year, it is evident that any form of outdoor space is becoming increasingly important for residents – the terms ‘balcony’ and ‘garden’ respectively are now the 2nd and 3rd most searched for terms on Rightmove Lettings. This is a marked increase in searches, with pre-pandemic trends seeing ‘furnished’ and ‘garage’ taking priority over outdoor space. However, even before the pandemic, the Knight Frank 2019 Tenant Survey saw a desire from tenants in New Build developments to have communal gardens and outdoor spaces, with most tenants stating that this was a key priority for them. With the direct association between outdoor facilities and both mental and physical wellbeing, it’s no surprise that tenants are looking for a place to unwind. Don’t have a garden or balcony? Fear not – ask your Centrick lettings agent to list the nearest parks and outdoor spaces to your property in your listing to demonstrate that your future tenants will never be far from fresh air and greenery.
Speaking of outdoor space for mental and physical wellbeing, having access to fitness facilities is also important to many tenants, especially since the pandemic led some of us to set up home gyms. Professional renters between 25 and 40 are particularly interested in saunas, gyms and exercise facilities, according to research carried out by Prism, with under 25’s feeling similarly passionate about these on-site facilities. Although these facilities are more commonplace in BTR and New Build developments, that’s not to say that other forms of residential property can’t offer fitness amenities. Ensure that any outdoor space is clean and well-maintained for your tenants to set up their own exercise area, or place some yoga mats or weights in any spare bedrooms to show how the space can be utilized.
What about the occasions when we need to leave the house? With hybrid-working becoming more popular post-pandemic, and with plenty of social events for us to catch up on, the need for local transport links has never been greater. However, being close to a train station or bus stop isn’t quite going to cut it: research indicates that tenants want adequate parking facilities for optimised mobility. Residents will actually pay an estimated average of £50 extra per month to have a parking space included with their rent. For extra appeal, Centrick recommends looking into electric vehicle charging points, which we anticipate will become increasingly popular in the years to come – they are already mandatory for all New Build homes.
Flexibility for furnishings is vital for ensuring that your tenants have a seamless transition from their original property to your property. For those wanting furnishings, tenants will pay on average £169 extra per month for the inclusion of said furniture, with 15% of tenants surveyed by Upad saying that furnishings were the most important feature when looking for a property. Landlords that are able to offer high-quality furnishings, or at least be flexible with furnishing options, make the moving process much easier for tenants. Stuck for furnishing options? Centrick’s Lettings Team will be able to help you find the best pieces and appliances for your rental home.
Centrick’s award-winning team of experts is here to find the best tenants for your property – whether you’re a seasoned portfolio landlord, or simply dipping your toe into the world of property investment, we’re here to help! For more advice, or to schedule a lettings valuation for your property, contact Centrick using the form below.
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