Given the current climate surrounding the general cost of living, inflation, and the state of the rental market, knowing tenants’ priorities is the key to success. Gaining vital insights into the tenants’ perspective can be used to your advantage, providing you valuable knowledge of how to attract new tenants, and retain current ones.
The tenants’ perspective
For many, renting is a more viable option financially than buying. Despite 37% of landlords increasing their rent prices in the last year (according to Rightmove), many tenants still choose to stick with renting. According to Rightmove, 63% of tenancies last for over 2 years, following the increasing trend of tenants renewing contracts and staying where they are to avoid increased costs by moving elsewhere.
Location is another important factor to think about. Despite the high rent prices, many choose to rent in London. The abundance of opportunity in the city is mainly what draws many in, along with the vibrant social scene. As so many are desperate to live in the big city, long void periods are less likely, mainly due to high demand and current tenants renewing their contracts. For those seeking more affordable options, the North of the UK is an increasingly popular option. Manchester, Liverpool, York, and more are among the most appealing options for both tenants and landlords.
There is a divide in tenant perspectives on whether to rent through a letting agency or a private landlord. However, letting agencies are typically the favourite. Credibility in the letting industry is important, hence why so many tenants choose agencies; they’re seen as the more trustworthy option. It is easier to trust an established company with credibility within the industry, rather than placing your trust in a stranger you know nothing about really. Being part of regulatory bodies, such as The Property Ombudsman, gives tenants the reassurance that they’re protected and safe with their agency.
What do tenants actually look for in a new property? The answer is down to four key components.
Amenities are the first key. A good location is one of the most important requirements for many tenants. Properties which are near local hotspots, such as bars or restaurants, and a good transportation network nearby will stand a much higher chance of attracting tenants. As rent becomes more expensive, tenants will want a property that’s worth the money, so landlords would benefit from keeping this in mind.
Energy efficiency and bills included are the second key to attracting tenants. Energy-efficient houses will mean decreased bill costs, therefore keeping your EPC rating at C or above will be hugely beneficial for retaining or attracting tenants. Legislation surrounding energy efficiency has taken a change, which states by December 2025, all properties in the UK must have an EPC rating of C or above. Landlords would benefit from updating their property to become more sustainable.
Space can be either a deal make or break for most tenants. Cramped, small spaces aren’t ideal for anyone. Spacious accommodation is therefore the third key to bringing in new tenants. As many have converted to remote working since the pandemic, tenants are wanting bigger spaces to set up their home working office. Communal gardens, good transport links, and general larger spaces are also attractive to tenants. No one likes being confined in small spaces, so maximising the space in properties is essential to retain and attract tenants.
The final priority of tenants, and key to attracting them, are flexible tenancies. Rightmove found a 20% increase in requests for flexible tenancies. Tenants don’t want to be imprisoned in their tenancy, stuck with no escape. If you choose to switch to flexible tenancy options, there is the potential risk of increased void periods, and reduced efficiency in tenant screening.
Find out more about the changing rental trends of tenants in our eBook, “Tenant priorities: changes in rental trends”.
*Disclaimer: please note this blog is only intended as a guide, and is not to be taken as legal advice*