Revealed - What renters really want from a home

Aligning your letting business with what tenants want is a recipe for success for landlords.

To find out whether landlords are offering tenants the homes they want to live in, consumer watchdog Which? took the results of a tenant satisfaction survey and linked the results with more than 1,500 homes for rent to see if they fitted the bill.

Surprisingly, many fall short of the mark, which could explain why some homes have a rapid turnover of tenants or remain on the market for lengthy periods.

Which? recommends five golden rules for buy to let landlords:

  • Attract better tenants by offering property with features that are in high demand
  • Set a reasonable rent that’s comparable with other nearby rentals
  • Choose the right level for a security deposit so as not to discourage tenants
  • Boost your home’s appeal with a lick of paint and a deep clean
  • Credit check tenants and ask for work and landlord references

If you are buying to rent, set a budget, make unemotional business decisions and think about what your tenants want from the property as you won’t be living there. Do however remember that this will be the tenants home so making it as attractive as possible can help them feel comfortable in the property, maybe even resulting in a longer term tenancy and greater rental yield.

Different tenants will have different requirements from a property. For example, the needs of student tenants and families will be very different from working professionals. Thinking of letting your property to student tenants? Find out more about students want from a property.

Which? list the top nine desires that they found tenants look for in a private rented home – and how homes to rent squared up with their wishes:

Property Feature % of tenants who say feature is ‘important’ % of homes with feature Difference
Unfurnished 60.21% 14.29% 46.00%
Close to good schools 23.16% 15.33% 7.83%
Has parking 22.72% 11.00% 11.72%
Has garden/roof terrace 22.64% 44.63% -21.99%
Has access to gym/pool 18.28% 13.00% 5.28%
In an attractive area 17.00% 39.92% -22.92%
Close to work /university 16.88% 58.34% -41.46%
Offers cleaning service 16.21% 3.04% 13.17%
Has an en-suite 15.78% 20.12% -4.34%

Source: Which?

According to the latest government survey, millions of buy to let tenants say that they are in fact happy with their homes! Ensure your tenants fall into this category by identifying what your tenants really want from their rental home and following the five golden rules for buy to let landlords.


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