Partners and Suppliers Jack Vlasto 01/06/2024

What do tenants look for in a rented home?

When it comes to selecting tenants, it shouldn’t just be about finding anyone to fill the property. Finding tenants quickly can help to minimise income loss due to void periods, but in the long run it can be beneficial to take your time to find suitable tenants that are more likely to stay in the property for a longer period.

Long-term tenancies reduce the likelihood of void periods that can occur when you’re looking for new tenants. Keeping tenants for longer periods can also allow you to build a rapport with them, which can help make the day-to-day management of your property simpler.

But how can you convince reliable tenants to choose you and your property as their long-term landlord and home?

We’ve taken a look at what tenants are after in a rented home.

Setting reasonable rent prices

One aspect of finding and keeping tenants can be setting rent prices that are suitable for the location and the property. You’ll want rent prices to be profitable for your business, but don’t make them so high that they discourage potential tenants or cause your current ones to move elsewhere. If your rent prices are set too high for your tenants to afford, they may struggle to pay them and end up in rent arrears.

If they do go into arrears, rent guarantee insurance can help. Rent guarantee insurance is designed to help protect landlords from the financial losses that can occur as a result of tenants failing to pay their rent. This insurance can typically help with rent arrears and legal costs associated with the eviction of a tenant who has not paid their rent.

As can be the case with any insurance policy, landlords should carefully review the terms and conditions to ensure the cover is suitable for their needs. It’s also important that the policyholder meets and adheres to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy, otherwise a claim could be invalidated.

As well as setting reasonable rent prices, there are other steps to consider to help you find and keep reliable tenants who might make your house their home for a longer period.

What do tenants look for in a rental property? 

Knowing what renters look for in a property can help you know what features to promote prominently in listings, and what upgrades you might be able to make to your property to attract more renters.

In December 2023, online mortgage company Molo surveyed 253 UK renters to evaluate what features they look for in a rental property. The results revealed the following top five features:

1. Size of rooms

Larger rooms can mean more space for storage, furniture and belongings, as well as providing a feeling of spaciousness. Tenants don’t want to feel cooped up in their own home. If you have spacious rooms on offer, make sure to include the dimensions and use high-quality, well-angled photos to show this off.

2. Double glazing

Double-glazed windows reduce noise, improve insulation and, in turn, can reduce energy bills. You can list double-glazed windows as a feature or, if your property doesn’t have double glazing, consider upgrading.

3. Private outdoor space

A private garden, patio or other outdoor spaces can add a lot of value to a property. Particularly since COVID lockdowns, a lot of people have realised the true importance of having an outdoor space to relax in and enjoy the fresh air, as well as being able to entertain guests during warmer weather. In fact, in the NRLA’s 2022 Tenant Survey*, 22% of respondents said that having an outdoor space has become more important to them since the pandemic.

4. Energy rating

If tenants are responsible for paying their own bills, then they may be interested in ways to reduce their energy costs. So, when looking for a property, its energy rating can be an important factor. Improvements such as adding insulation and, as mentioned earlier, adding double glazing can help to improve a property’s energy rating. You can also select appliances and lightbulbs, for example, with a better energy rating.

However, it can also be worth considering including bills in the price of the rent, as renters may be willing to pay more for bills included.

5. Proximity to work

It’s not just the property but also its location that can be an important factor when choosing a rental property. As well as considering factors like shops, schools and entertainment, renters list proximity to work as something they look for in a property, which can help to shorten commute times and reduce travel costs.

But has this factor become any less important with more people working from home since the pandemic? In the NRLA’s 2022 Tenant Survey*, 9% of respondents said they no longer needed to be close to work, while 22% and 17%, respectively, stated that internet connectivity and a dedicated workspace at home have become more important since the pandemic. 

What do tenants look for in a good landlord?

It’s not just the property that renters should assess when choosing where to live, but also the landlord. A good landlord-tenant relationship can help to keep tenants in your property, while a poor relationship could drive tenants away even if they’re otherwise happy with the property.

As a landlord, it’s important to be responsive to your tenants’ issues and requests. If they report that something needs repairing or replacing in the property, you should respond and aim to resolve the issue in a timely manner. If an issue is left unaddressed, not only could it become a more serious problem, but it could also leave your tenants dissatisfied with the property.

While it can be beneficial to perform periodic inspections on the property and check in with tenants occasionally, it’s also important to be mindful that it’s their home you’re entering. If you constantly check in and even show up unannounced, you risk making your tenants feel uncomfortable, and you may even be infringing on their rights.

Legal Expenses and Rent Guarantee Insurance from Rentguard

You can take every step to make your buy-to-let investment successful, but despite your best efforts, some situations are unpredictable. Legal Expenses and Rent Guarantee Insurance can help to provide peace of mind that if issues out of your control occur, such as a tenant failing to pay rent and remaining in the property, you have suitable cover in place.

Or speak to our specialist team on 0333 000 0169.

*NRLA Summer 2022 Tenant Survey (01.07.2022-31.08.2022), consisting of 2,016 participants.

The sole purpose of this article is to provide information on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Rentguard and National Residential Landlords Association, an Introducer Appointed Representative of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited, accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.
National Residential Landlords Association is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909. Rentguard is a trading name of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited.
Jack Vlasto

Jack Vlasto Head of Business Development, Rentguard Insurance

Jack oversees the business development team at Rentguard; he has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the Landlord Property insurance sector. Jack has been at Rentguard for over a decade. Jack’s key responsibility is to ensure that quality products and services are delivered to NRLA members.

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