Knowing what attracts your tenants and understanding what they want from their rented accommodation, is an important part of being a landlord.
The knowledge gives you vital market information, allowing you to optimise the rent you charge, the priority you attach to given aspects of the tenancy, and allows you to target particular tenant groups.
Above all, perhaps, knowing what attracts your tenants may help you deliver what is wanted in a way that allows you to select the most reliable, responsible, and longer-term tenants.
Finding out what tenants want is essentially a question of asking them. It’s a question of such basic importance that, here at Cover4LetProperty, we do more than arrange landlords insurance, but regularly commission surveys on precisely this subject – our most recent results were published on the 15th of February 2017.
Tenants preferences and expectations change over time – swinging backwards and forwards between key indicators in the relatively short interval of six months between the surveys we conduct. Our most recent findings suggest that:
- rent levels, location, access to and ease of parking, and having a garden appear to be the principal attractions – in that order – for prospective tenants when choosing a property to rent;
- a very significant, but perhaps unsurprising, proportion of 86% of those surveyed said that the cost of the rent was a primary consideration – an increase of some 7% over the previous six months;
- the same proportion (86%) said that the location of the rental opportunity was a major indicator – up by 15% over the past six months;
- access to a garden and easy parking attracted the same 44% of respondents – a figure that represents a decline of 6% as far as a garden is concerned but an increase of 9% on the ease of parking, compared to six months ago;
- fewer tenants (32%) considered an easy relationship with the landlord to be important (down 3% on the previous survey), but more of them (38%) attached importance to the overall state of decoration (up 8% over the past six months); and
- permission to keep a pet in the rented accommodation appears to be significantly less important, with only 20% of tenants now looking to landlords for such approval (down 18% on the previous survey results).
We recognise that no one survey is able to determine the definitive list of tenants’ expectations of rental property – which is why we carry out our surveys so frequently. It is also why we take note of findings from other sources – one of which is the news service Property Wire.
In a press release dated the 13th of February 2017, for instance, Property Wire claimed that one of the principal concerns of tenants is the resolution of frustrations in dealing with the landlord over maintenance and repair issues – the frustrations appear to take on greater significance among younger tenants, added the news service.
In a separate press release, dated the 22nd of December 2016, however, Property Wire identified many of the issues highlighted in our own survey, and mentioned the importance to tenants of value for money in the rent that they pay, the location of the property, the overall condition of its décor and the provision of enough storage space.