Some recent research from Zoopla has revealed the 10 features renters are most looking for in a property. Zoopla analysed the keywords potential tenants are most likely to use when searching for a new home, comparing UK-wide results to those from individual regions.
The rental market is very strong at the moment, outstripping inflation in all parts of the UK in Feb 2019, but some landlords may still struggle to find tenants. If your client is finding it difficult to let out their property, or would like to increase their rental margins, these are the best areas of improvement to focus on.
When it comes to choosing a property let, UK renters seem to care more about their cars than themselves. Numbers 1 and 2 on the list were ‘Parking’ and ‘Garage’ respectively. Parking was the most frequently searched feature across all areas of the UK.
When renovating a property to make it more attractive, parking may not be the first thing that landlords consider. But this research clearly shows that investing in a driveway or applying to drop the kerb outside their house could really pay off.
Tenants are becoming more concerned about finding a property that allows pets, placing it third on the list of most popular search terms. This keyword has grown in popularity since last year, when it was fifth on the list, and has appeared in the top 10 most searched terms for London rentals for the first time.
Landlords are often reluctant to allow pets in their properties, for fear of potential damage or wear and tear to the home. However, considering that nearly half of UK households own a pet of some kind, they could be missing out on a huge chunk of potential tenants. A survey from the Dogs Trust found that 78% of pet owners have experienced difficulty in finding accommodation which accepts pets.
‘Furnished’ was the fourth most common search term across the UK, and the fifth in the London region. Renting a property already furnished can increase both its likely income and its pool of potential tenants, but landlords do have to do their research before making a decision.
While students or young professionals are usually looking for a furnished flat, families may prefer to bring their own furnishings. In many areas of London, where rental fees are high, tenants will expect high quality furniture and tatty beds or sofas are likely to put people off more than a blank space would.
The demand for outside space continues to be high, with ‘Garden’ at number 5 on the overall list, but number 2 in London. Rental properties’ gardens can often be quite neglected, but the importance placed on them by tenants suggests that it could well be worth investing some time in sprucing them up, or even paving them over to keep them low-maintenance.
While it’s not usually possible to create a garden if one doesn’t already exist, other forms of outside space sometimes can be made. ‘Balcony’ is at number 4 on the list of Londoner’s most popular search terms, suggesting tenants in the capital would settle for some form of outside space. Converting flat roofs into terraces or installing Juliet balconies might be worthwhile investments to boost the value of rental properties.
The search terms ‘Gym’ and ‘Ensuite’ appeared on this year’s list of the most searched terms for London properties, although they were not on the list for any other region.
Londoners generally pay a premium in rent, and tenants in the Capital are increasingly looking for high quality amenities and luxury features. Demand for these features appears to be growing and landlords who can supply this market could significantly boost their rental income.
|Across Great Britain
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