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What do renters want from their property? Top 10 features revealed

Mon 24 Jun 2019

When you’re letting out homes, it pays to have a strong handle on what renters are looking for. After all, a home that has zero appeal to prospective tenants isn’t going to be of much use.

But what are tenants most interested in when it comes to rental properties? Property website Zoopla recently uncovered the keywords potential tenants are most likely to search for when looking for a new home and compiled a top 10 most wanted property features for renters list.

Here, we take a closer look at the findings...

Parking tops the list

The data suggested that people are actually more concerned about their cars than themselves when it comes to finding the right rental property, with parking and garage the two most searched for keywords respectively.

Finding a property which allows pets was also high up on the priority list of many potential tenants, with pets being the third most searched for keyword, up from fifth place last year.

Completing the top five list of the most searched for keywords were furnished – the fourth most popular term – and garden, which followed in fifth place.

Bills included, balconies and bungalows

Prospective tenants are also likely to be searching for student-friendly properties – with ‘student’ the sixth most searched for keyword – while ‘bills included’ took seventh place.

A balcony was the eighth most popular search term, despite only a limited number of properties containing this feature. However, the research suggests it’s an important feature across the UK for many tenants.

‘Bungalow’, in ninth place, might also be a slightly surprising inclusion, given this type of home is typically most associated with people from the older generations – a generation which is typically less likely to rent. However, there has been a rise in the number of middle-aged households renting in recent years, which might help to explain why bungalows are in greater demand from renters.

‘Detached’ completed the top 10, suggesting that renters still value greater levels of space and privacy.

Different demands for different regions

The research revealed that parking was the most searched for characteristic of rental homes for all regions except Scotland, where ‘furnished’ gained top spot, and the North East of England, where ‘garage’ was the most popular search term.

While there are pros and cons to both letting a property furnished and unfurnished, the findings suggest that Scottish tenants are much more likely to be seeking a furnished home – and, as a result, you could be missing a trick if you don’t provide this option.

Although the initial costs involved with providing a good-quality furnished rental home are likely to be higher, you can make this back twice over by charging higher rents and, with demand high, void periods are less likely to be an issue.

Homes allowing pets, meanwhile, was an important feature all across the UK, making it into the top three most searched for words in all parts of Great Britain.

Again, there are pros and cons to allowing pets in your home – we looked previously at whether landlords should allow pets and smokers in their rental properties – but you could find that the demand for your home is higher if you take a flexible, pet-friendly approach.

The findings also revealed that three-bedroom houses are the most viewed property type across all the property portals, in every region except London.

When it comes to rental homes, three-bedroom properties are likely to have appeal to a wide range of prospective tenants – from young families looking for somewhere to house their growing family to downsizers who are seeking both a more manageable space but also one which can accommodate visitors.  

As well as the above, transport links, good local amenities, green space and easy access to major employment and cultural hubs are all likely to be important factors for tenants – something all the locations we operate in here at Letting Solutions offer in abundance.

For more information about us, West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, 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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