Running a successful buy to let business almost certainly relies on the same basic guiding principle that determines the success of practically any other enterprise – delivering what the customer wants.
In the case of a landlord, of course, the customer is the existing or prospective tenant. The tenants’ expectations and aspirations regarding a let property may determine not only whether they are interested in moving in, but the respect with which they ultimately treat the property and the length of time they choose to maintain the tenancy.
Given the potentially critical importance of delivering just what the tenant wants, here at Cover4LetProperty we maintain a constant weather eye on the various surveys that are conducted from time to time about tenants’ current wish lists.
Let’s take a brief look, for example, at a survey published by property managers Landlord Vision on the 24th of February 2022 and a similar study completed by the Letting a Property website on the 19th of October 2021:
Location, location, location
- these are the eternal watchwords for any subject about property, and they apply just as much to let property – even if you can’t do much about it if you’ve already bought your buy to let investment, but make sure to give it a top priority if you’re going to buy;
- remember that your tenants won’t want to be too far away from local amenities, bus routes, shops, work, college, or university;
- post-pandemic, the top priority for many tenants is the ability to work from home (WFH);
- remote working is here to stay for many tenants who are in employment, and they are likely to be looking for more space inside their let accommodation in order to set up their home office;
- a separate working space is highly prized because very few of your tenants will want to sleep, relax, and work in the same space day after day;
- fast, reliable broadband speed will also be a must;
- a further consequence of the successive lockdowns during the pandemic is a craving for your own outside space;
- tenants, too, these days are likely to be looking for a garden – or, indeed, any kind of recreational space outdoors;
- although remote working is here to stay, many workers are being encouraged to return to work in the office – if only for a few days each week;
- dependable, fast, and affordable transport links, therefore, are likely to remain high on the list of priorities for your tenants;
- the availability of parking at or near to rented property was once very high on the list of priorities for prospective tenants but has now probably slipped down that list a notch or two;
- where parking is sought, it probably comes as no surprise that tenants prefer off-street parking to allocated on-street parking, although some surveys suggest that tenants are generally not prepared to pay a higher rent for access to off-street parking;
- according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) private sector rents rose by an average of 2.3% in the 12 months to the end of February 2022;
- it will come as no surprise, therefore, that the cost of the rent will be a key factor for many tenants;
- although the dwindling availability of homes to rent suggests that this is a landlords’ market, if you want to attract responsible tenants who are going to treat your let property with the care it deserves and look forward to a lengthy tenancy, you will want to maintain rent levels close to the going rate for your type of dwelling and neighbourhood;
Age and sex
- most surveys of what tenants want from their let property reflect sightly different priorities according to the particular age group into which tenants fall and whether they are male or female.
Of course, there is no magic bullet that is going to ensure you will always let your property to the tenants you especially want. By taking into consideration these leading surveys of tenants’ expectations and aspirations, however, you may be better prepared to meet the market demand.
In the case of a landlord, of course, the customer is the existing or prospective tenant. The tenants’ expectations and aspirations regarding a let property may determine not only whether they are interested in moving in, but the respect with which they might treat the property and the length of time they choose to maintain the tenancy.
Given the potentially critical importance of delivering just what the tenant wants, we at Cover4LetProperty have conducted our own research into just what this might be:
- our latest data, compiled as recently as October 2014, for instance suggests that the price of the rent is the leading factor, being highlighted by a significant 87% of tenants who responded to our survey;
- this suggests that you pitch the rent you demand at as a reasonable price as possible – after taking into account your outgoing expenses such as mortgage repayments, maintenance and of course landlord insurance;
- location has become something of a watchword when it comes to choosing a place to live – and renters appear to be no different;
- our research shows that an equally significant 80% of respondents gave the location of the let property – and its ease of access to bus routes, work and universities, for example – as a priority;
- a survey conducted by estate agents Savills also put location on tenants’ list of priorities and found that 55% of younger tenants (between 18 and 25 years of age) and 20% of over 45-year olds were prepared to pay a higher rent for being able to live closer to work or university;
- there is a similar convergence of research data when it comes to the provision of parking facilities;
- it may come as little surprise that in the survey conducted by Savills, tenants preferred off-street parking to allocated on-street parking, although it also revealed that tenants are generally not prepared to pay a higher rent for the access to off-street parking;
- this tends to confirm our own findings that there is no direct correlation between amenities and facilities and the level of rent that tenants are prepared to pay – some things may be expected to be supplied by the landlord effectively free of charge;
- the study conducted by Savills found that tenants tend to be renting for longer periods and that more of them are families, including children, than may have been the case a few years ago;
- this reflected accordingly in some of the things that today’s tenants may want – ease of access to childcare facilities and schools, for example, or somewhere outside, such as a garden, in which to play;
Age and sex
- both our own research and that conducted by Savills suggest some re-ordering of priorities according to particular the age group into which tenants fall and whether they are male or female.
Of course there is no magic bullet that is going to ensure you may always let your property to the tenants you especially want. By taking into account these leading surveys of tenants’ expectations and aspirations, however, you may be better prepared to meet the market demand.