With the ever increasing house prices, it looks as though landlords in England are in the midst of a booming rental market whilst tenants are still struggling to move up the property ladder. Now more than half of tenants would prefer to buy their own house but the larger required deposits seem to make it increasingly difficult.
Suffice to say this is ideal for any landlord and property investor who is able to buy a house. Demand for housing is always going to increase. Tenants want to stay long term in their homes so those new to the rental market drive up the demand for rental properties, allowing landlords and investors to supply them with rental properties. Its all really a simple cycle of supply and demand.
So what is it that tenants want? As a prospective landlord looking to rent out a property, take a look at it from the tenants perspective and see how it can help you find the right tenants sooner.
▪ Tenants want better energy efficiency – Tenants want better energy efficiency, through insulation, newer boilers and double-glazing. However, by April 2016, landlords will be obliged to introduce any ‘reasonable’ energy efficiency measure, such as insulation and double-glazing, that a tenant requests. By 2018, it will be an offence to let a property in the lowest energy efficiency categories (F and G), which currently applies to one in ten rentals on the market.
▪ The deciding factor for choosing a rental home tends to be the number of bedrooms, followed by price and then being in a central location, near local amenities
▪ Top features of a rental property – a garden is the most important to 35 per cent of tenants. Use of a garage is the second most desirable feature.
▪ The biggest off-putting factor – dirt and grime, followed by tired décor.
▪ The Landlord – In recent studies, 15% of tenants asked said having an unfriendly landlord is the biggest deterrent when moving. Despite this, half of tenants have a high opinion of their landlord as an individual – 29 per cent say theirs is helpful and 20 per cent trustworthy. On the flipside, 13 per cent describe their landlord as greedy while 4 per cent describe theirs as ruthless.
▪ Property Maintenance – One of the top complaints was that their landlords do not pay enough attention to routine maintenance, with 17 per cent even saying they had outright refused to carry out essential repairs when requested. Research has found 60 per cent of rental properties have no carbon monoxide alarm fitted while only 30 per cent of tenants said their landlord arranged an annual gas inspection, despite it being a legal requirement. Worryingly, 58 per cent of rental properties do not have a fire alarm fitted while 73 per cent of properties do not have locks on all external windows and doors – but only one in five tenants say security is their number one concern.
Remember, you as a landlord may not be living in that property but someone else will be. So consider how you would feel as a tenant and follow through with those thoughts to help your tenants find their home. A happy tenant will most likely be a long term tenant giving you as a landlord the benefit of achieving your rental income for a longer period – rather than having to go through the ordeal of tenants vacating and finding new tenants.
So respectively, the above mentioned all come as part of the rights and responsibilities of the landlord. All things considered, the landlord has one of two options:
▪ Delegate the task to a specialist lettings and property management company OR
▪ Manage the property themselves
But consider this; do you really have the time? Or would you rather let someone else deal with the hassle of it all? If so, refer back to the first option and give us a call on 01924 477999.