| Jennifer Tozer

What Tenants Want: The Changing Face of the Rental Market

This three-minute read looks at the changing rental market and what it means for landlords.

 

With the rental market changing enormously over the past decade, savvy landlords need to stay on their toes to make the most of their investment.

 

General trends

  1. Since 2010, the sector has almost doubled in size; these days, about 19% of all households rent.
  2. Many tenants are renting for longer.
  3. Renting is no longer all about young singletons. An increasing number of renters are aged 35 to 44 and have children.
  4. Increased red tape: the number of laws relating to landlords has jumped by about a third in a decade.


What tenants want

Smart, clean interiors: The explosion of social media means tenants now expect more when it comes to décor. Landlords don’t have to spend a fortune, but a property must be maintained to a high standard and look fresh and modern. Grotty appliances and broken furniture won’t cut the mustard.

 

Location: Tenant priorities have shifted, particularly during the pandemic. The work from home phenomenon has seen some tenants prioritise access to open space and nature over proximity to commuter transport. It remains to be seen how this trend will pan out in the future.

 

More space: As more people with children are renting, demand for properties with outdoor space has increased.

 

Broadband: Flexible working, and the rise of streaming and gaming, means good broadband is a must.

 

Safety: Besides good locks, and secure doors and windows, tenants expect landlords to take every precaution when it comes to gas and electrical safety.

 

Pets: With more people viewing renting as a long-term lifestyle option, demand for permission to keep pets has surged, too.

 

Implications for landlords

Today’s rental landscape presents a real opportunity for landlords who can build a good rapport with their tenants. Happy tenants are more likely to stay put, meaning a landlord can save on the costs and stress of regularly sourcing new tenants.

However, increased red tape means there is more scope for landlords to trip up – and wind up in court or with a hefty fine. Note too, today’s tenants tend to be well informed about their rights and have access to an array of tenant action groups for support. Cutting corners or being lax when it comes to repairs and maintenance can prove costly.

 

Key takeaway

To enjoy a good return on your investment you need to put in the legwork. If work or family commitments make this a stretch, get an experienced letting agent to do it for you.