Tenants often have a set criteria of what they need from their rental property, therefore by identifying these key and recurrent themes, landlords can make sure their properties are suitable and appealing.
Recent research conducted by online letting agent, Upad, has identified a series of themes regarding what tenants really want from their landlords.
We have highlighted five important points which landlords can adapt to make their properties more attractive to tenants, hopefully helping to avoid void periods and increase yields in the future.
Furnished properties in demand
Furnished properties often appeal to tenants because it means the property is ready for them to move into. Often tenants will at least want white goods to be included within the property, however, a fully furnished property can make your property more desirable, especially for student tenants.
Research from Upad found that 15% of tenants said that a furnished property was most important to them and that they would, on average, pay £163 a month more if the property was fully furnished.
If you don’t already you may want to consider letting your property furnished. Despite the initial outlay it may increase your returns in the future and encourage tenants to stay in your property longer.
Letting to tenants with pets
Often landlords are reluctant to let to tenants with pets because of the potential damage they can cause to the property or may instead take a higher pet deposit to mitigate any losses should damages occur. In fact, allowing pets in the property can actually be more appealing to potential tenants who may be encouraged to stay longer and even pay more.
Upad found that 24% of tenants would pay more if pets were allowed in the property. With one in four saying they would pay an average of £50 more a month.
If letting to tenants with pets it is advised that you make additional but reasonable, requirements for your tenant such as adding an additional clause/special condition whereby the tenant accepts any responsibility for any pet damage, or request a higher deposit at the start of the tenancy.
The importance of Wi-Fi
In an extremely digital age, Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly important to help keep people connected and is seen a necessity in many households. Upad found that 33% of tenants expect Wi-Fi to be up and running in their property when they move in, something that may come as a surprise to many landlords.
It may, therefore, be useful to consider installing Wi-Fi, if not already available, and have this working for tenants when they move in making your property more desirable.
Tenants want to talk
Starting and maintaining a good relationship with your tenants is crucial for ensuring a smooth tenancy. Effective communication means that issues in the property can be rectified before they worsen and you can negotiate any problems regarding the property and return of the deposit at the end of the tenancy without the need to raise a deposit dispute.
Effective communication starts before your tenant moves in and can lay the foundations for a good relationship for the whole tenancy. Upad found that a large proportion of tenants (84%) would like to meet their landlord face to face before renting the property. In reality, only 46% actually get to meet their landlord before moving in. Consider meeting your tenants to get the tenancy off to a good start. In addition, 61% of tenants prefer to deal directly with landlords who self-manage their properties themselves highlighting the desire for more tenant-landlord communication.
It is also good to keep in regular contact with your tenants during the tenancy to check that they are happy in the property and there are no issues. This builds a feeling of mutual trust. Always try to be responsive to any queries, fast responses will help to reassure tenants and show that you care. When conducting midterm inspections and check in and out reports of the property offering tenants the opportunity to be present will also help to reaffirm this.
Garden access – a plus point for your property
If your property has a garden, making sure this is well maintained can be a real plus point for your property, leaving your tenants with outdoor space to enjoy. Gardens do require maintenance and therefore it is important to specify in the tenancy agreement whose responsibility it is to maintain it. However, Upad found that 18% of tenants would be happy to pay an average of £69 per month more for a property that was to offer outside space.
It appears that the more flexible a landlord can be the more appealing this is for tenants. Having a landlord that understands the needs of the 2017 tenant can actually help to increase rental yields in the long term. Even small changes such as installing Wi-Fi in your property can go a long way to providing tenants with their perfect home.
Did you know that educating your tenants can also save you both time and money! Check out our expert guides that you can pass on to your tenants here.