What are tenants looking for in a rental property?

With more and more people choosing to rent for longer rather than buy a property of their own, the type of property features tenants go for is beginning to shift.

New research by Go Compare has uncovered what appeals to generation rent when they’re looking for a property, how it compares to what landlords are currently offering, and where you can take advantage of the gaps.

Unfurnished properties popular among tenants

One of the biggest differences between what tenants want and what landlords are offering is furnishings.

60 per cent of tenants said that they want unfurnished properties, while only 14 per cent of landlords describe their properties as unfurnished.

This isn’t to say that landlords aren’t offering unfurnished properties – over half of all advertisements don’t actually state whether the property comes furnished or unfurnished.

How important is location?

At the other end of the scale, 58 per cent of landlords advertise when their properties are close to a university or work location, but only a quarter of tenants indicated that this would be a deciding factor when looking for somewhere to rent.

Landlords also tend to advertise the aesthetics of the area where their property is located, but only 17 per cent of tenants say that’s important to them.

Full breakdown of what tenants want

The table below shows the percentages of what’s important to tenants, what landlords offer, and what the difference is.

Property Features What Tenants Want What Landlords Offer Difference
Unfurnished 60.29% 14.29% 46.00%
Distance to schools 23.16% 15.33% 7.83%
Parking space 22.72% 11.00% 11.72%
Garden or roof terrace 22.64% 44.63% -21.99%
Gym/pool 18.28% 13.00% 5.28%
Quality aesthetics of area 17.00% 39.92% -22.92%
Close to work or university 16.88% 58.34% -41.46%
Cleaning service 16.21% 3.04% 13.17%
En suite 15.78% 20.12% -4.34%
Furnished 12.78% 34.41% -21.63%
Concierge serviced accommodation 6.54% 2.70% 3.84%

How can I capitalise on this?

If you want to make the most of this research, look at the areas where there’s a disconnect between what tenants what and what you’re offering.

Advertise features that attract tenants – if your property boasts some of the features that particularly appeal to tenants, make sure to highlight those when listing your property online (or instruct your letting agent to, if they manage advertising for you).

Consider adjusting your property to match tenant expectations – some things can’t be changed, like whether your property has a garden or not. But if you’re currently advertising a furnished property, it might be worth considering letting it unfurnished insead.

What do you make of the research? Let us know in the comments.

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