Whether you’re looking to buy a new property for your portfolio or want to give your current properties a boost in the rental market, it’s important to understand what tenants look for when finding somewhere to live. Different tenants will have different needs – students will look for certain features, while families will want others. But there are some universal truths when it comes to appealing to tenants of all kinds. Here are the ones we think you should keep in mind.
The Tenants view
A clean and clear look and feel
This one is usually a more conscious decision by tenants. A grimy property doesn’t appeal to anyone, so keeping property clean and is important when you’re looking for a new tenant. Modern fixtures and fittings tend to go down well with tenants, or at least to suit the property style. However, in most properties, if your interior is looking dated, then sprucing it up can make all the difference. This doesn’t have to be a total kitchen re-fit, it could just be a new lick of paint, but if you’re struggling to let it out, or are looking to bring in more rental income, then a more intensive overhaul might be called for. It’s worth noting that tenants will usually want to make a place feel their own, and that’s easier to do with a blank canvas. Neutral decoration helps with this, and lighter colours will help amplify what natural light the property has.
Many tenants expect white goods as standard these days, especially as so many properties have integrated appliances and therefore, they do not move with the tenant. If your property does not have integrated appliances and it is a deal breaker the investment in purchase is not always then worth the spend on maintenance or repair, therefore we recommend installing only and gift it to the tenant, so the maintenance is their responsibility. This is usually worthwhile with washing machines or free-standing fridges.
Transport links are important for would-be tenants, but what links there are will depend on the location of your property. For inner city locations, nearby bus and tube or tram stops are a boon to any property. Further out, easy access to major roads is a plus, especially in commuter towns, where having a train station nearby can also boost a property’s attractiveness to tenants.
This one almost goes without saying, but it’s worth thinking both about the kind of tenants you’re looking to attract, as well as the shifting digital world we live in. If you want to rent to students, for example, then proximity to the local university – or a bus that goes directly to it – is crucial, while families are going to be more interested in nearby schools. Having a supermarket or shopping centre nearby is becoming less and less important as people increasingly choose to shop online, but a small corner shop for when they’ve forgotten the milk can still be very appealing.
Many tenants prioritise outdoor space, whether it’s a garden, a patio, or a balcony. Green space will be important for those with young children but having to take care of a garden can be a chore, so be aware, that as a Landlord they may not be an advantage to you.
Even if your tenants don’t have a pet when they move in, if they’re looking to settle for a while then a pet-friendly rental can be attractive. Bear in mind our tenancy agreement does not allow pets without prior approval and involves a larger security deposit to protect against Pet Damage on top of any tenant deposit. Make sure you are clear on your instructions on this issue. So how important is each aspect to UK Tenants according to a Knight Frank recent survey.
Interesting Fact: The total amount of rent paid by tenants in Britain soared to more than £50bn in 2017, more than double the level of a decade ago, and may soon eclipse the entire sum paid out by homeowners for their mortgages.