We asked some of our most experienced Landlords to state the things that most tenants are looking for in a property. Here are some of the responses we got from them:
To make a decent profit from the purchase of your rental property, you need to understand the profile of tenant(s) you want, what tenants look out for, and how you can ensure that your property meets their requirements. Based on many things that potential tenants look out for before choosing a property to rent, we asked our landlords to state those things that most tenants are looking for in a property. Here are some of the responses we got:
1. Transport links
Having a property that is not far from public transport as well as access to motorways is important. So no matter the profile of tenants you are trying to attract, good transport links will always be crucial. Professionals and students will prefer a property that offers easy access to train stations, bus-stops and so on.
2. Outdoor space
It doesn't always have to be about expensive gardens or large lawn areas; sometimes tenants are just looking for an extra space such as a terrace, garden or even a balcony where they can relax and get fresh air. If you are investing in a property, ensure that you invest additional time and money into providing outdoor space to make it look more appealing to prospective tenants.
3. Local amenities
When choosing any buy-to-let property, proximity to places like schools, playgrounds, parks, shopping centres and restaurants can attract more tenants. You are likely to get tenants faster when your property is close to basic amenities, and there's a bigger chance of getting buyers if you decide to sell the property in the future.
4. Storage space
Many tenants are concerned about the issue of storage. The importance of bike storage has been stressed by city centre properties' landlords. You should expect that your tenants will move in with lots of lots of possessions and a couple of bulky items, and will continue to acquire more while staying in the property; therefore they'll need a space to store all of them. Some effective storage solutions include inbuilt wardrobes, a useable loft, and under-stairs storage.
A parking space is another asset that can improve the rental and salability aspect of any property. When people are looking to buy or rent a property, they are concerned about where to park their cars. Tenants with cars will be discouraged by the idea of having to pay an annual fee to park their car; you can, therefore, maximize your rental yield by providing some sort of parking with the property.
6. Modern facilities
Tenants prefer a property that is complete and move-in ready. Ensure that walls and other things are kept as neutral and simple as possible, so try not to inject your personality into them. A tenant wants a home that appeals to their taste, not yours. Recently renovated bathrooms and kitchens appeal to potential tenants more.
7. Open floor plan
You will always have the option of adopting an open plan or unplanned open-plan. If you have very small rooms, you may want to open them up to get more space, create an open dining and kitchen while leaving the room separate. For buy-to-let properties, it's best to use open floor plan for communal areas. Get rid of any unnecessary walls between the dining room and the kitchen or between the living room and the dining room to freshen up the look of your property.
8. Equal sized bedrooms
Trends over the years have proven that tenants of a buy-to-let property prefer a home layout that features larger, equal sized bedrooms. For instance, tenants would prefer that a three bedroom townhouse is equipped with a layout of 3 equal sized bedrooms plus two ensuites, instead of one that is equipped with a large-sized master bedroom, two small bedrooms, and a bathroom. Families may not have a problem with smaller bedrooms, but young professionals see equal sized bedrooms as a big “plus.” Also, the government is considering setting a national minimum bedroom size. Houses of multiple occupations would have bedrooms with a minimum size of 70 sqft (6.5 sqm), and it would become a crime for landlords to let out smaller rooms.
Two additional things to watch out for:
9. The “Starbucks” or “Waitrose” effect
Corporations spend lots of money just to research their next retail outlet's location. Take advantage of their research, taking note of where they are opening new branches. This will be in areas they have identified as having immense potential.
10. Where new transport stations or links are being added
The introduction of London's Crossrail as well as proposed Crossrail 2 will contribute greatly to the improvement of transport connections in the places they cross, making them more appealing to prospective tenants. Tenants want quick and easy access to tube stations or major bus routes.
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Paul Long (Director & Author of The Sidcup Property Blog)