Whether you’re looking to buy a new property for your portfolio or want to give your current properties a boost in the rental market, it’s important to understand what tenants look for when finding somewhere to live.
Different tenants will have different needs - students will look for certain features, while families will want others.
But there are some universal truths when it comes to appealing to tenants of all kinds. Here are 11 to keep in mind.
- Best buy-to-let areas in the UK
- October’s new buy-to-let regulations set to give landlords a headache
- What tenants want when settling into a new rental property
- What is landlord liability insurance?
No matter what kind of tenant you’re hoping to attract, lots of natural light will go a long way. It helps a property feel more open and spacious, and though tenants might not list it as a top priority, it’s one of those things people often look for unconsciously.
Extra natural light is difficult to introduce to a property you already own, but if you’re looking to expand your portfolio then keep this in mind during your search.
2. A clean and clear look and feel
This one is usually a more conscious decision by tenants. A grimy property doesn’t appeal to anyone, so keeping yours clean and clutter-free is important when you’re looking to rent it out.
Modern fixtures and fittings tend to go down well with tenants, but if you own a period property then the kind of tenants you’re likely to attract will generally prefer the fixtures and fittings to match.
However, in most properties, if your interior is looking dated, then sprucing it up can make all the difference. This doesn’t have to be a total kitchen re-fit, it could just be a new lick of paint, but if you’re struggling to let it out, or are looking to bring in more rental income, then a more intensive overhaul might be called for.
It’s worth noting that tenants will usually want to make a place feel their own, and that’s easier to do with a blank canvas. Neutral decoration helps with this, and lighter colours will help amplify what natural light the property has.
3. Transport links
Transport links are important for would-be tenants, but what these look like will depend on the location of your property.
For inner city locations, nearby bus and tube or tram stops are a boon to any property. Further out, easy access to major roads is a plus, especially in commuter towns, where having a train station nearby can also boost a property’s attractiveness to tenants.
4. Local amenities
This one almost goes without saying, but it’s worth thinking both about the kind of tenants you’re looking to attract, as well as the shifting digital world we live in.
If you want to rent to students, for example, then proximity to the local university - or a bus that goes directly to it - will be appealing, while families are going to be more interested in nearby schools.
Having a supermarket or shopping centre nearby is becoming less and less important as people increasingly choose to shop online, but a small corner shop for when they’ve forgotten the milk can still be very appealing.
5. Outdoor space
Many tenants prioritise outdoor space, whether it’s a garden, a patio, or a balcony.
Green space will be important for those with young children, but having to take care of a garden can be a chore, so properties with communal gardens that are tended by someone else will usually be highly sought after.
6. Storage space
Storage space can be a really important commodity, especially for those looking to let long term. Students will naturally have fewer possessions - or at least leave them all at their parents’ house - but for those planning to settle, storage is key.
For properties you already own, think about how you can maximise storage. Do you have a shed? Can your turn dead space into a cupboard? Are you going to give tenants access to the attic? Providing tenants with a variety of storage options, whether it’s for kitchen utensils or Christmas decorations, is going to help let any property.
7. Space in general
Generally speaking, the more space you have in your property, the more favourably tenants will look at it.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the proeprty has to be bigger, just that the rooms should be. A property with 10 small rooms can feel much smaller than one with five large rooms, even if it technically has a bigger footprint.
Not only will tenants feel like they have more space, but bigger rooms often feel lighter and brighter, so if you do have a property with quite small rooms and don’t fancy knocking down any walls, make sure to maximise that natural light.
8. High speed internet
In an increasingly connected world, high speed internet is becoming more and more important. Whether it’s for work, study or fun, tenants of all kinds will want a decent internet speed.
While most urban locations will have this as a given, if you’re looking to purchase property in the countryside then do take this into account. Even if your tenants want the fresh air and rolling fields of the british counties, they’re often still after the download speeds of the city.
Parking is almost the opposite of broadband speed, where you’re almost certainly going to find it in the countryside and it can be much harder to get in the city.
Outside of London, most people will want to keep at least one car, and even in the capital there are people who prefer to drive. Parking of any kind, but particularly off-road parking, will add value to almost any property.
10. Pet friendly
Even if your tenants don’t have a pet when they move in, if they’re looking to settle for a while then a pet-friendly rental is a huge bonus.
Whether they want to keep chickens in the garden, give their children a pet hamster, or have two cats they can’t be separated from, there are lots of different people out there looking for a home for their animals.
If you’re still not sure about the idea, check out our articles on the pros and cons of allowing pets in your rental property.
11. White goods
Many tenants expect white goods as standard these days, especially if they’re not looking for somewhere long-term. What student wants to buy a fridge if they’re going to move out at the end of the year?
Particularly, though, washing machines and tumble driers can make all the difference. If you’re sparing your tenants a weekly slog to the laundrette, they’ll almost certainly be happy to pay more.
Got a top tip for making your property more appealing? Let us know below in the comments.