The question of what tenants are looking for is one that has occupied many landlords for extended periods of time!
In fact, some studies have indicated certain key factors in this area that make interesting reading, including a relatively recent one from ourselves at Cover4LetProperty*.
Reading through the survey and others that are similar, tends to indicate:
- gardens continue to be important for many potential tenants (34%). Amongst females, 65% said that having a garden was at least as important as the rental price;
- slightly surprisingly, only nine per cent of males indicated that the garden was as important as the price;
- it has long been known that potential tenants may form judgments based upon their initial impressions of the landlord. Almost a quarter of those interviewed indicated that the landlord will be a key factor in their final decision;
- rather less surprisingly, location still appears to be extremely important with properties being close to things such as railway stations, parks and shops, being more appreciated than those which are not (60%);
- inevitably perhaps, price continues to be the highest overall rated factor with around 71% saying that it was one of the, if not the, most important consideration;
- it is never easy to base firm conclusions on individual surveys but it appears as if tenants are still looking for a good mixture of appealing factors. Simply getting one of them right, such as offering very attractive rental rates, might not be sufficient to attract the best tenants if other factors such as gardens are missing;
- what this tends to confirm, yet again, is that it is important for landlords to be extremely selective about a property before purchasing it for potential rental income use;
- having a great property in a relatively inconvenient neighbourhood without facilities is likely to lead to disappointment. The same might be true about having a more disappointing property even if it is extremely conveniently located;
- these results also emphasise that while landlords may not necessarily need to qualify for entry into popularity contests, the importance of being professional, polite and courteous continues to be critical. The personality and initial perceptions of a landlord might compensate for some shortcomings in other areas such as perhaps location or gardens etc.
Inevitably, other factors may also be extremely important, such as where the property is advertised and what, if any, level and qualities of furnishings are provided.
Given that at the current time all the indications appear to suggest that renting will be on the increase for the foreseeable future, at least in Southern Britain, surveys may continue to be extremely useful in focusing landlords’ attention on what really counts.
Independent study carried out for Cover4LetProperty, March 2013.