The 10 features tenants most want in a rental property

If you’re hoping to maximise your rental returns, it’s worth making sure you have a property that’s attractive to tenants.

Doing so will mean you’re more likely to have a constant stream of renters willing to sign on the dotted line, and there’ll be fewer void periods when no one is paying rent.

What makes a property popular can vary depending on the area. But there are three common features that crop up time and again, according to new research by property website Zoopla.

Which features are the most popular?

Zoopla analysed data from its keyword property search tool to reveal the nation’s most sought-after features of a rental home. Here they are, in order:

  1. Parking
  2. Garage
  3. Pets
  4. Furnished
  5. Garden
  6. Student
  7. Bills included
  8. Balcony
  9. Bungalow
  10. Detached

Parking was consistently the most searched for term among tenants across Britain, with the search term garage ranked second across the entire country.

It would make sense for landlords who want to maximise their potential pool of tenants to ensure that their property has one or more of the features in the top five.

Ideally, landlords should consider parking and garages when they initially buy a property, as it’s unlikely these features can be added further down the line – although they could always re-landscape the garden to add features like a driveway, if there’s space.

But as the fourth most-searched-for feature, furnishing a property is evidently popular among tenants and a relatively easy option to help boost its chances of being rented.

Allowing pets continues to be popular

Properties allowing pets are also popular among tenants, with the search term ranked third across all regions of Britain. Last year we revealed that allowing pets was a feature that tenants are willing to pay more for.

This search term has grown in popularity in the past year. It’s jumped from fifth place to third in the national rankings, and appears for the first time in the top-10 most searched for rental property terms among Londoners.

Annabel Dixon, a spokesperson for Zoopla, said: “Parking and garages were a consistent requirement for tenants across the nation. While this may not be the most exciting feature of a home, our research clearly shows that landlords can make their properties much more attractive by creating or enhancing existing parking.

“Whether they re-landscape their garden to include a driveway or apply to drop the kerb outside their house, these changes could pay dividends.”

Here are the regional differences

On a regional level, Londoners have the most luxurious requirements, with the terms gym and ensuite featured in the top-10 most-searched-for lettings terms in the capital. These terms didn’t appear in the top requirements for renters in any other region in Britain.

Tenants in Scotland have the less demanding requirement of dishwasher making it to the top 10 for the country.

In the North East and South West, home hunters are after countryside dwellings, with rural and cottage featuring on tenants’ lists of priorities.

Renters in the North West of England seem to enjoy the outdoors as garden and balcony feature in the top-10 list for the area.

Most-viewed property types

Zoopla also analysed viewings data to reveal the most viewed property types across the country.

Three-bedroom houses are the most frequently viewed properties on Zoopla. This is the case for every region except for London, where two-bedroom flats beat three-bedroom houses to the top spot.

Ms Dixon added: “From gyms to balconies, right through to dishwashers, it is fascinating to see how the requirements of renters differ across all regions of Great Britain.

“With Londoners paying a premium in rent, it makes sense that these tenants are focused on high quality amenities and luxury features, while renters in more rural locations are looking for properties that make the most of their countryside setting.

“Three-bedroom houses have come up trumps in our ranking of the most viewed properties by house hunters. These homes appeal to a wide range of buyers and tenants, including young families who are looking for space to grow as well as downsizers who want a more manageable space that can still accommodate visitors.”

Would you consider adding any of the features in the top 10 to make your property more attractive to tenants? Let us know in the comments below.

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