How important is the look and feel of a property to tenants?
Whether you’re going ‘budget’, ‘boutique’ or ‘luxury’, today’s tenants all expect a reasonable level of quality and definitely a higher standard of accommodation than they did ten or fifteen years ago.
Tenants with very limited finances are usually happy with ‘budget’ accommodation. As long as they have a legally let and safe roof over their heads, they would rather pay less and live in a more basic home. Those who can afford a bit more - particularly younger working adults and professionals in their 30s and 40s - expect a more ‘boutique’ feel and they’re prepared to pay for a nicer home. And if you’re aiming for the top of the market – such as luxury apartments in major city centres – the look and feel of the accommodation has to be on trend, with high end fittings and décor.
Importantly, every property should feel safe and comfortable, so you must comply with health and safety regulations, ensuring:
- All furnishings meet fire safety standards
- The heating system is adequate and properly certified
- There are no signs of damp or mould
- The property is free from potential hazards (under the housing health and safety rating system, HHSRS).
But before you spend anything on refurbishing and furnishing, do some financial analysis to make sure you get the right balance between how much you spend and the amount of rent you you’ll be able to charge when you’re finished. It might be worth spending a bit more in some areas, whereas in other areas you might be wasting your money.
At the end of the day, if a home feels right, tenants are less likely to move on. That means you benefit from continuous monthly rental income and avoid the costs involved in setting up a new tenancy. Our own research shows that tenants aged from 18 to 44 tend to rent for between 2.5 and 3 years, but many move every 12 months. However, if you can give them an attractive, comfortable, up to date home that perfectly suits their needs, they might stay with you for longer. And with tenants over the age of 45 renting for an average of six years, that part of the market presents a great opportunity for you to secure a long-term rental.
Ultimately, it comes down to three simple steps:
- Be clear about what type of tenant you’re aiming to attract
- Find out what kind of look and feel they want
- Provide it
If you’d like some one-to-one help, just call into your local Your Move branch and one of the team will be happy to advise you on the current demand and the things you should be investing a little more in to secure the best tenants.