Long gone are the days when run-down rental properties, shabby student quarters and basic bedsits with inadequate amenities were commonplace among renters.Today’s tenants expect a high standard of living with low levels of discomfort, so make sure your property is rental-ready for the 2015 market with these top tips from the experts at Belvoir.
√ Comfortable and clean
What tenants want has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and what they expected a decade ago is totally different from today.
When viewing a property for the first time tenants want to see that it is clean and has been well maintained. Peeling wallpaper and bubbling paintwork is not desirable and in most rental properties is thankfully now a thing of the past. In fact, many landlords now choose to commission the service of cleaners and decorators to ensure the property is pristine between exiting and arriving tenants.
√ Modern and move-in ready
Tenants want the property to be modern and move-in ready so they haven’t got to worry about doing anything once their tenancy starts. They want to be able to move their furniture in and ‘live there’ immediately.
Neutral walls and neutral carpets are usually expected. And avoid injecting your own personality into the décor – a tenant wants to live in their home, not yours!
√ Warm, safe and secure
When a tenant views a property they will be looking to make sure that there are adequate amenities to keep them warm in the cold winter months. A good central heating system is a must, as are well fitting windows and insulation.
A tenant will also want to know that they will be safe and secure during their stay.
Most tenants will be looking for a well-presented property in a good neighbourhood with a low crime rate. They’re also looking for double glazing, outside security lighting, secure locks on doors and windows, plus burglar alarms. Some even ask for CCTV.
√ Eco-friendly and economical
Some of today’s tenants are eco-conscious and will want to know that the property is environmentally friendly. Some tenants like to look at the EPC too so they can see how much it is likely going to cost to live there.
A property which is economical to run is a priority for many tenants, ultimately to save costs. Thermostats and timers can be useful, as can draft excluder (certainly in older properties), plus loft and cavity wall insulation.
√ Kitchens and bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms can make or break the desirability of a rental property and are often inspected carefully by potential tenants..
Many tenants want the property to have white goods already installed in the kitchen. These should be modern, clean and fully-functioning, and you should pass on their instruction manuals too if possible.
The bathroom should also be modern in style (no avocado suites!) and clear from mildew and mould. There should be adequate ventilation, either from a window or extractor fan, which should be in good working order.
√ Parking premium
Most tenants have a car and many couples or families have more than one so parking is valuable currency in the rental industry. Tenants who have parking included in their rent might be paying about £50 or £75 more per month, but if they were going to hire parking separately the figure could be in excess of £150.
√ Technology tips
One of the top questions we are now asked by tenants is ‘does the property have Broadband facilities, has it got Internet access?’ Some also ask about Broadband speeds in the area. Many want Sky too. It is not the first question they ask but it could be a selling point for your property if it is already installed.
√ Clear and concise
Tenants expect regular, clear and concise communication with their landlord or the managing agent.
Good communication is vital to a successful tenant/landlord relationship and will enable quick responses to maintenance issues or problems that arise during the tenancy. If a landlord acts on something quickly it won’t escalate into numerous phone calls and a frustrated and unhappy tenant.
√ Home from home
In recent years there’s definitely been a mood change about renting. We’re now seeing an increase in long-term renters, the arrival of ‘generation rent’ and an increase in rental prices – and, as rental prices have increased, expectations have too.
While tenants would once have been more tolerant of an undesirable property because they were renting it, they now expect rented accommodation to be of the same standard as if they were buying their dream house and owning it.
Today’s tenant’s are looking for a lot more luxury… and, ultimately, they’re looking for a ‘home’.