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Rental trends – what are tenants looking for in a property?

Mon 21 Oct 2019

As the rental market continues to grow in the UK, landlords are facing even more competition to attract prospective tenants and keep them for the long-term.

And, while the criteria might change depending on whether you are letting to short or long-term renters, there are some aspects that most tenants will take into account when searching for a rental property.

A pet-friendly home was revealed as the most desirable quality in a rental property for the highest proportion of renters, according to research from buy-to-let marketplace lender Landbay. The study, which surveyed 2,000 private renters in the UK, aimed to offer insight to landlords on the wants and needs of their tenants.

An unfurnished home came second, followed by a garden, off-street parking and the quality of décor.

Having a dryer came at the bottom of the list of most desirable rental property features with a tiny proportion of renters considering it key to their home. A king-sized bed, a balcony, and a dishwasher were also unpopular with renters, while new-build properties were also considered a priority by very few participants.

With these latest findings in mind, here at Letting Solutions we outline some of the top factors that potential tenants are likely to consider when renting a home in West Lothian.

A pet-friendly home

A rental home that allows pets topped the list of most desired features in the aforementioned study, underlining how much of a pet-loving nation the UK is. Interestingly, women are more than twice as likely as men to prioritise a pet-friendly property.

Tenants may still consider a rental property that is pet-friendly, even if they don’t have a pet when they move in. As such, going against the ‘no pet’ policy means your pool of potential renters could broaden significantly.

However, it’s also important to remember that allowing pets does come with certain risks and could increase the chances of damage being an issue.

A contemporary home

Today’s prospective tenants favour modern fixtures and fittings, according to the research, with renters increasingly prioritising the quality of décor in a home. If your interior is looking dated, consider sprucing it up with a fresh lick of paint and other small enhancements.

A majority of renters, however, like to make the space their own, with many citing an unfurnished property as a key factor. Tenants aged 55-plus, meanwhile, are five times more likely to consider this a crucial element than those aged 18-34.

If your property boasts a garden, it is likely to attract more tenants, with many respondents rating outdoor space as their most important attribute. Parents are more than twice as likely to prioritise a garden compared to non-parents.

Off-street parking and garages

The findings also show that off-street parking and garages are an extremely popular requirement for tenants, appearing fourth in the table.

Separate research from the British Parking Association also revealed the average motorist in the UK spends 91 hours (nearly four days) every year looking for parking spaces.

This underlines the fact that parking of any kind – particularly off-street parking – will boost the value of almost any property. As a landlord, creating or enhancing parking could be lucrative. 

High speed internet

Living in an increasingly connected world means that renters are ranking high speed internet as one of the most desirable qualities in a rental property.

And, with the influence of smart technology in UK homes, it’s no surprise that quick broadband speed is on the radar for prospective tenants, whether for work or leisure.

Tenants will also be impressed by added extras in the home, such as Sky TV, underfloor heating and other modern appliances.

Transport links

Properties that are near rail stations will almost certainly prove to be more attractive to potential renters, so you will need to highlight strong transport links when you come to let your property.

For example, West Lothian – the area that we’re based in – has four main rail stations. There are trains from Bathgate, Livingston North and Linlithgow to Edinburgh as well as Glasgow (Central) via Shotts.

As many renters tend to commute these days, it’s worth mentioning how well-connected your area is.

A reliable landlord

Lastly, even if your property has all of these factors covered, tenants may still hesitate on choosing your rental property if they can’t gauge how you are as a landlord.

Therefore, you want to ensure that you are friendly and attentive, responding to requests or enquiries promptly and professionally. In doing so, you will be more likely to hold onto your tenants for the long term.

Most importantly, though, a letting agent can help you to manage your property effectively and help you to foster a good relationship with your tenants.

Here at Letting Solutions, West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we use our knowledge and expertise to guide you through the letting process. For more information about our services, please get in touch on 01506 496 006.

We also offer free and instant online valuations to give you an idea of how much you could be charging in rent each month.

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