What do today's tenants want?
The rental market is growing in the UK, and with it grows the need to keep up with the competition. Landlords now need to be acutely aware of not only getting the basics right, but also keeping up with rental trends, which may just get a letting over the line in a crowded marketplace.
So what should you consider when getting a property ready for the lettings market?
1) Location – this remains the number one selling point for both the sales and rental markets.
A property is only as desirable as its location, and you’ll need to consider who is likely to be your demographic for renting in a particular area so that you can tailor the property for their needs. For example, a suburban property is likely to suit families or commuters, so you need to be sure to point out transport links, schools in the area or access to green spaces.
There will be some key factors that most renters will be looking out for when it comes to location, including access to local amenities like shops and GP practices and whether the area feels safe.
Everyone wants to feel safe in their home, regardless of whether they are renting or are homeowners. This isn’t limited to make sure the property is fitted with the right locks and any security systems, but also needs to account for living safely within a property. Landlords have a legal duty to ensure their properties are fitted with a smoke alarm on each floor, as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing solid fuel burners. Electrics should be checked regularly to ensure they pass safety standards and Energy Efficiency standards must be met.
3) Flexible spaces
The rental market has already changed since COVID-19 hit in 2020. Renters are looking for flexible multi-purpose spaces. Hybrid workers want somewhere they can set up an office, and potentially the ability to pack it away again and convert a space into somewhere they can relax or exercise or entertain. Open plan living is here to stay and lends itself to adaptability. Whatever the size of your property, offering flexible living solutions could just give you the edge in the rental market.
4) Access to green space
We all know the benefits of green spaces and access to nature for our health and mental wellbeing, as well as for our planet. Renters in today’s market, particularly those who may not have access to a garden during lockdowns, are keen to make sure they have a slice of the good life. This can be achieved whether your property has an ample garden, or even if you are renting a city centre flat.
Be sure to make sure that access to greenery isn’t too far removed – it could be as simple as highlighting your proximity to a local park, investing in some window boxes or making sure you have a good display of plants during viewings. Studies show that any exposure to greenery is beneficial and will help you achieve your goal.
Keeping a rental property in good condition is an absolute must. Tenants quite rightly demand clean and well-looked after homes. The most used areas, bathrooms and kitchens, should be cleaned and maintained between lets to ensure they are habitable, and to achieve the best possible rent.
Inadequate storage can be a deal breaker when it comes to property rentals. Offering clever solutions so that tenants can tidy away their belongings is particularly important for long-term lets, so renters can live clutter free and enjoy their space. If you are letting a furnished property, consider furniture that offers built in storage so that not an inch of space goes to waste.
7) Parking or transport nearby
This may or may not be within your control, but obviously access to a parking space or to transportation is highly desirable for property lets. When marketing your property, consider what options there are for transport and highlight them in your advert so tenants can make an informed decision about whether a property will work for them.
8) A good landlord
Finally, a great landlord is the backbone to a great let. Landlords should be as flexible as possible so that tenants feel at home, increasing the chances of a long-term let and a good landlord-tenant relationship. It’s important to be available, so tenants feel in safe hands if something needs repairing, but not so available that they feel they can’t relax in their home.