For a landlord to be successful they must put their tenants first and ensure they cater to their needs. It’s not always easy to know what today’s renters are looking for, and priorities will differ depending on which sector of the rental market you’re targeting. For example, a student tenant may have different priorities to that of a corporate tenant, and likewise with a family who are looking to set up home for the long term.
A top priority for a landlord is sourcing good tenants, so making sure the rental property is attractive to the widest range of people within the area of the market you’re targeting is essential to help achieve this. A property in a great location for the market, in an excellent state of repair and at a competitive price are of course three things that will boost the popularity of the property - that goes without saying. However, beyond these three obvious points there are other factors that can help influence the success of a landlord.
Lending platform Landbay recently surveyed 2,000 current renters in the UK in a bid to find out the top things a tenant is looking for from a rental property.
According to the survey, 14% of tenants say this would be the most important requirement. Delving deeper into the results, it was proven that the important of allowing pets largely depends on the location. In the north-east of England, 27% prioritised pets being allowed, while in London that drops dramatically to 3% - which is to be expected within large cities as typically less people will own or hope to own a pet.
Allowing pets or not is a personal choice for a landlord to make, though at times the allowance of pets may be restricted to varying degrees making the decision for you - such as within some apartment blocks - so it’s always wise to be aware of any rules that may be in place for your property. There are pro and cons a landlord must consider when making the decision, such as the pros of attracting a wide range of tenants by allowing pets against the cons of a higher potential risk of pet-related damage to the property.
This is a conundrum for many landlords who specifically target working professionals or a particular age group. The Landbay survey revealed that 12% of tenants see an unfurnished home as the main selling point, though again there was a split in results for different age groups. Over a fifth (22%) of over 55s had a strong preference for unfurnished, compared to just 4% of younger tenants.
In today’s market, the average age of a renter is a lot older than it used to be, with homeownership not happening later in life than ever before. In the past, landlords may have primarily targeted youngsters, but now there is a strong demand for unfurnished homes that are more attractive to mature tenants who want to furnish the property to their taste - potentially resulting in a much longer tenancy and fewer void periods.
Be sure to check out our in-depth article for more on the furnished or unfurnished debate.
A garden is another priority for many tenants, with 11% making it their number one requirement for the house hunt. It’s not always possible or affordable to offer a garden or outside space with your rental property, often due to location and its prices, but if families are your target tenant then it’s worth considering a location where this is made possible. Parents in particular place extra priority on a garden, with 15% listing it as a desirable quality, compared to 7% of non-parents.
If offering a garden is simply not an option then being close to a green space such as communal outdoor gardens is still beneficial, and a useful luxury for city centre properties where many young professionals will be looking for flats and apartments.
As highlighted by Deborah Mudway, director at Landbay, it appears most tenants in the UK want to make their property feel like home by bringing their pets and furniture with them. For those looking to invest in a buy-to-let property, these are two simple things that a landlord can be mindful of. Ultimately, a landlord must consider their target market, do their research and make decisions based on the things their potential tenants will want.Looking to invest in Cardiff? Our letting experts here at CPS Homes can offer both first-time investors and seasoned landlords alike priceless advice to get the very best from your buy-to-let property. Contact us today on 02920 668585, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into one of our three Cardiff branches.