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What are tenants looking for?

What are tenants looking for?

A recent report reveals the top priorities for renters when searching for a new home. How will your properties match up to the renter’s needs, and what can you do to improve the experience for your tenants and maximise profits?

When looking for your next property investment or a first buy to let, it can be difficult to know how to attract tenants and, with a saturated market, how to filter out your competition. The Social Market Foundation (SMF) recently conducted a report titled ‘Where next for the private rental sector’, surveying more than 1,300 renters on their preferences for rental properties. The results are as follows:

  1. Monthly rent cost
  2. Number of bedrooms
  3. Unfurnished
  4. Outdoor space
  5. Permission for pets
  6. Noise Level AND Off-street parking
  7. Double glazing
  8. Modern appliances
  9. Privacy

Perhaps unsurprisingly, monthly rental costs are what will sway tenants most. 55% surveyed placed this in their top three priorities, followed by the number of bedrooms, which gained a 35% vote.

Outdoor space is only slightly behind, at roughly 19%, putting it in their top three priorities. The number of bedrooms and outdoor spaces as top priorities for homes mirrors the trends that we have seen emerge in the market since the pandemic. As hybrid working gained popularity following lockdowns, many workers are looking to stay further afield from the commuter zones. This has meant that the property market as a whole has seen more demand for rural areas, homes with more space, and access to the outdoors, and as such, it is no surprise that many renters are still prioritising these factors.

The permission to keep pets also ranked in the top five, with 18% of renters placing it in their top three priorities for a rental property. However, Government statistics reveal that as little as 7% of landlords market ‘pet-friendly’ properties despite this demand. While it’s understandable for landlords to want to avoid pets to keep the maintenance of the property low and the quality high, it could mean investors miss out on higher rental rates from tenants willing to pay extra to keep their pets.  

The tenants were also asked what they held important in terms of the location of the property. For 38%, proximity to their work was a priority, followed closely by access to public transport facilities at 37%, and local shops at 36%.

These responses illustrate the need for comfortable, long-lasting, and reliable rental homes, in which tenants can picture themselves remaining in the property for a longer time. Mortgages Managing Director at Paragon Bank, Richard Rowntree, spoke of the need for these types of homes: “With a shortage of stock seen alongside high demand for privately rented homes, this need for affordable housing reinforces the importance of investment in the private rented sector”.

“The SMF study showed that tenants are likely to stay in a property for the long-term and they want to make it a real home, so we would encourage landlords to consider how they can facilitate that. […] By listening to tenants and working to meet their needs, we can help to provide houses that people will be happy to call home which benefits the renters, landlords, and wider community”.

As Rowntree points out, renters are proving more and more to be reliable long-term tenants, with a recent report showing that in March of this year, tenants stayed in their properties for an average of 23 months, a statistic supposedly on the rise. While it may be unfeasible to meet all the priorities listed above, it should prove useful to prospective landlords looking to diversify their portfolios on what to focus on, or even how to boost their current properties to meet the wants and needs of tenants. Either way, having the correct property finance in place to manage your property investments will put you in the best position for success and maximise your profits. Submit an enquiry today to speak with one of our expert brokers or call us on 0345 345 6788.