Tenants Reveal What They Want From Buy to Let Homes

According to a report, renters have a checklist in mind when they hunt for a buy-to-let home. And landlords who know what their prospective tenants are looking for have the edge in the market. 

The Tenant Survey 2018, which asked nearly 3,800 renters of all ages across the country about their views on renting a home, lists the most important factors. 

The survey also asked tenants what services their landlords do not offer - and how much extra they would pay each month if they could have them. 

The 16 most important factors renters consider when viewing a home are:

  • Condition of the property
  • Is the home value for money?
  • What is the landlord like?
  • Easy communication with the landlord or letting agent
  • Property and neighbourhood security
  • A nice neighbourhood
  • Length of tenancy landlord is offering
  • What’s the parking like?
  • Is there plenty of storage?
  • Is the home low maintenance?
  • How much is the deposit?
  • How far is the daily commute?
  • Close public transport links
  • Is there a garden?
  • Is the home near family and friends?
  • What are the local schools like?

“Investors will find this survey extremely useful in understanding what tenants actually want, rather than thinking about this in isolation. The key takeaways for investors will be the need to cater for a broad range of tenants and to be flexible in their approach,” said Alastair Carmichael, Head of Real Estate Finance & PRS Lead at GVA. 

The ten services that tenants are willing to pay for - and how many tenants want the service and how much they are ready to pay for them - are:

  • Pets (32%) - £24
  • High-speed internet (31%) - £19
  • Parking (29%) - £20
  • Garden (27%) - £25
  • Satellite/cable TV (22%) - £23
  • Cleaning (17%) - £28
  • Balcony (15%) - £23
  • Parcel collection/onsite drop box (10%) - £8
  • Cycle storage (6%) - £10
  • Onsite management (5%) - £15

View Related Handbook Page

Rent Setting

The landlord and tenant should mutually agree on the initial rent. During the first six months of a tenancy, tenants can refer the rent to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber - Residential Property) for review if they consider the rent above the market rent. This is, however, very rarely done.

Investing in a Property

Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.