What Do Tenants Look For When Renting

As a landlord (possibly with a few properties), you may know what you like and think you know what your tenants want. But at Rentila, we have our finger on the pulse of what tenants are looking for in a rental property. So read on to ensure you keep up with current rental market trends.

Location and transport links

It might be a cliche, but when it comes to property, it often comes down to location. Whoever your tenants are, they all need basic amenities such as local shops, a GP surgery and a pharmacy. Transport links are also important, whether it’s roads, bus routes or train stations. If you rent a family house, local schools will also be important, or the university if it’s a student house. For many renters, a parking space is a deal breaker. Having somewhere off-road and safe such as a guaranteed car parking space or a garage is not just convenient; it brings peace of mind and can keep car insurance fees to a minimum.


Everyone wants to feel safe, particularly when we are in our own homes. You will certainly be able to pick up rental properties in high-crime areas at a reduced price, but you may struggle to find tenants.

Regardless of the area’s crime rating, it’s essential that the property is as secure as possible. Doors and windows should be sturdy with good locks, and a peephole in the front door is always a good idea. An alarm system and CCTV are also options so tenants can feel safe.

Open plan space

It’s always a question as to how to offer a property. A separate kitchen and lounge mean you are offering a home with an extra room as opposed to a downstairs that is entirely open plan comprising an open-plan kitchen and dining and lounge area. However, the trend is definitely for open plan. If the downstairs is open plan, this gives tenants more freedom to move furniture and create an office or even a gym area for a weights bench.

Open-plan spaces are great for houses with multiple occupants, students and small homes and may only take knocking down one wall in many houses.

Outdoor space

An outdoor space is a big plus for tenants. It’s not always possible, but it’s something to look out for if you are buying. Even a balcony allows tenants to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. If you have smaller properties with a very small yard, you can still make the most of this by ensuring it is neat, tidy, and cared for. Adding some garden furniture takes minimal effort but makes the space look inviting for warmer months. Another possibility is to renovate or add a garden building, such as a cabin or shed, so it can be used as a home office. This would appeal to many home workers and can always be used for other things, such as a children’s play area or the quintessential man shed.

Any outdoor space will also mean that smoking tenants are far more likely to smoke outside, causing less smoke to stain or accidentally burn indoor areas.

Fitted appliances

Fitted appliances are favored in rental properties. Very few renters, even if they are renting an unfurnished property, expect to move with appliances that need disconnecting and reconnecting, such as washing machines, ovens, and dishwashers. And a kitchen with spaces in it is never a good look when advertising the property. Ensure you provide good quality fitted appliances; the newer, the more efficient the appliance and the less likely it is to break down and require costly repairs.

Good condition

Of great importance is that the property is in good condition and easy to maintain. Newer properties are usually in better condition and require less work. If you are buying an older property, make sure the walls, doors, windows, boiler, bathroom, and kitchen are updated. And you can easily make a property look fresher by cleaning scrupulously and repainting.

Pet friendly

You may very well be shaking your head at this one. Even if you are an animal lover yourself, this rarely trickled down in the past to allowing your tenant to nurture and love a pet in your rental property as you do in your home. In fact, in 2020, GOV.uk stated that only 7% of rental homes were advertised as pet-friendly. However, new rules will likely force landlords to accept renters with pets as long as they are responsible owners.

The Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation Protection bill is currently making its way through parliament with bipartisan support from members of both houses and the public. It is one of the few positive benefits of Covid in that the pressures of being isolated at home have highlighted a well-known fact that pets are great for mental health.

Previously, if you were to accept a plea from a tenant to allow them to bring their pet to your property, you could legitimately increase their deposit to cover your concerns about damage. However, with a maximum 5-week rent deposit becoming law, that is no longer an option. You can insist and ask for proof that the animal is insured for causing damage in a pet insurance policy. You can also charge more for rent if pets are living at your property and cover any additional wear and tear that way.

While this isn’t law yet, it is likely to pass soon enough, so you may as well get ahead of the game and advertise your property as pet friendly. This will make it highly appealing to pet owners, especially when only one in ten is currently advertised as accepting pets. Benefits to landlords are that you can charge higher rent and have damage insured against as part of a pet policy. And renters with pets are more settled and tend to stay for longer. You can also schedule quarterly checks to ensure the property is kept clean.

What do tenants look for when renting?: Things to Remember

Here’s a brief summary of what tenants in 2022 and beyond are looking for:

  • Never dismiss the importance of location but make sure you consider if your tenant is likely to be a student wanting to get to Uni on the bus, a single person wishing to drive to work or a family with children attending school. Make sure there are local shops and amenities too.
  • You should also make the utmost effort to make sure that the property is as secure as possible with strong doors, windows, and locks. You can also consider CCTV or an alarm system.
  • Consider knocking down a wall to create a bright and open downstairs area with more space and options, such as a home office.
  • Look for properties that have an outdoor space and make the most of any outdoor area by pruning and tidying any garden. You can also provide garden furniture so tenants can get out and enjoy warmer weather.
  • Fitted appliances are preferred and could be a deal breaker, so ensure you provide an energy-efficient and good-quality oven, washing machine and fridge.
  • The property should be in good condition and easily maintained. And finally, before you are forced to accept pets, you may as well start accepting them now and advertise your property as pet friendly. You are entitled to charge a higher rent and can always make routine inspections as a condition of having pets.

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