Among the many housing market predictions made at the start of 2021, several forecasts have been linked to changing rental trends.
Due to pandemic restrictions, tenants living in central London have spent a lot of time at home over the past twelve months, and that has allowed them to re-evaluate what they want from their living spaces.
New research has revealed tenants’ Top 10 ‘must haves’ for the properties they rent, and the results are surprising.
Whether you want to attract tenants to an existing rental property or you are searching for your next buy-to-let investment, these timely landlord tips make essential reading.
At the very top of tenants' desirable features list is a garden, with a balcony taking fourth place. "Rural" takes the ninth spot in the most desirable features list; however, the rural dream is not for everyone.
Most Londoners would be content with an excellent local park, particularly one that offers sports facilities. If you are buying to let, look for a property with a private outdoor space or a communal amenity such as a landscaped garden or roof terrace.
Landlords looking to expand their rental portfolio should consider the local broadband speed; fast broadband is an essential feature for many potential tenants. Two-fifths of renters surveyed wouldn’t consider homes with slow speeds, while 50% would avoid a location where fast broadband speeds were not available.
Fortunately, prime London areas score exceptionally well in the broadband provision, with an average speed of 40 MBPS (figures supplied by Dataloft).
We have largely abandoned public transport during the pandemic, so perhaps that’s why ‘Garage’ and ‘Parking’ appear on our renters’ Top Ten list at numbers two and three, respectively.
An apartment in a property development where parking is provided would be a good BTL investment.
‘Pets’ are number five on our renters’ wishlist. It’s a timely request, as the government has recently changed its Standard Tenancy Agreement, making it the default position for landlords to allow pets in rental properties.
This recommendation hasn’t yet become law, but permitting tenants to keep a well-behaved pet could encourage them to stay for longer.
By coincidence, ‘Flooring’ follows ‘Pets’ as number six on the list. Eliminating carpets in favour of hard flooring could be a wise move if you have tenants with pets, but don’t forget to check your property’s lease, as it may insist that carpets are laid to maximise soundproofing.
"Bills included", "Ensuite", and "Studio" take 7th, 8th and 10th place on tenants' most desirable features list. Ensuite bedrooms are now a must-have for most renters.
The interest in studios (which are generally less expensive) and rental deals where utility bills are included suggest that the pandemic has made some Londoners ultra-cautious about their expenditure. Rentals offering "bills included" may help attract responsible tenants who are aware of the need to budget carefully.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co are letting agents in London who specialise in the luxury property market. We also offer an award-winning block management service.