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Are you giving tenants what they want?

Saturday 01 September 2018

Over the generations, the amount of people being able to get onto the property ladder has decreased due to inflation of housing prices and living costs, making renting the only realistic option for many to live on their own. But are lettings agents giving tenants what they want?

New research from GoCompare found 59% of current tenants would like to buy a property but cannot afford to.

57% of those aged 45+ have been living in their rental properties for more than 10 years, meaning that for many renting is no longer just a short-term solution. This means finding the right property is paramount; from location, the number of bedrooms, and its proximity to good schools and stations.

Perhaps the most interesting and useful aspect of the research is that which looked at what the renting population of the UK are looking for in a rental property and what letting agents and landlords actually offer in their advertisements. The research, conducted with a sample of 1000 tenants, is presented as an interactive tool comparing survey results which have been broken down nationally and by age group - allowing for greater insight into the world of renting. Survey questions included thoughts around the importance of quality of the area, number of bedrooms, and additional amenities such as cleaning or concierge services.

These results were compared against rental ads on RightMove which were crawled for common words and phrases to show what landlords are actually advertising. A summary of some of the key findings is given in the table below:

Property Features

What Tenants Want

What Landlords Offer

Difference

Unfurnished

60.29%

14.29%

46.00%

Distance to Schools

23.16%

15.33%

7.83%

Parking Space

22.72%

11.00%

11.72%

Garden/ Roof Terrace

22.64%

44.63%

-21.99%

Gym / Pool

18.28%

13.00%

5.28%

Quality Aesthetics of Area

17.00%

39.92%

-22.92%

Close to Work / University

16.88%

58.34%

-41.46%

Cleaning Service

16.21%

3.04%

13.17%

En-Suite

15.78%

20.12%

-4.34%

Furnished

12.78%

34.41%

-21.63%

No preference for furnished/unfurnished

11.00%

5.37%

5.63%

Concierge Serviced Accommodation 

6.54%

2.70%

3.84%

  • 50% of all UK renters believed that the number of bedrooms was very important when looking for a property.
  • 60% of the UK wanted their properties to be unfurnished, despite only 14% of landlords advertising this, and 51% of advertisements having no furniture description at all.
  • 40% thought that being close to work or university was somewhat important, with 25% of people believing that is was very important and 11% believed that is wasn't important at all. Over 58% of landlords advertise whether their property is close to a university or work locations to attract potential renters.
  • Just 3% of landlords mention whether a cleaning service is available, but 16% of the UK would like a weekly cleaning service available in the property, with renters in Leeds wanting cleaning services the most at 30%.
  • Only 7% of the UK would like to live in a property with a concierge or serviced accommodation, Gloucester had the highest amount of renters who wanted this service with 29%.

Despite signs that the housing market may be slowing down, house prices still remain relatively high, meaning renting is the only viable option for the majority. With the number of renters looking for properties increasing year on year, you can get more of the share of the market by making sure you offer what tenants want. When used in conjunction with your own local lettings market knowledge, GoCompare’s latest tool may help provide an insight into what tenants are looking for and how you should be advertising your landlords properties.

View the interactive tool here