Whilst your tenancy agreements may not differ too much from one agreement to the next, no two tenants are the same.
The priorities of one cannot, and should not, be taken to be the requirements of them all. To do this would be very dangerous, as it could lead you to become disconnected and alienated from what your tenants really want and need from you.
New research carried out by Upad, an online letting agent, sheds some light on just how far the chasm between expectations of tenants’ needs and their actual needs can be.
The results speak for themselves…
Unsurprisingly, the study found that the most popular priority among tenants was the allowance of pets. In total, 1 in 4 survey participants would be willing to pay more rent - or a greater deposit - for the approval of their favourite pooch or feline friend in their rental property.
Pet ownership is a notoriously sore spot for many landlord-tenant disputes. Yet for landlords, this could mean up to an additional £50 per month, according to Upad’s report.
The next highest-ranking priority was a garden, with 18% of the total vote, and guaranteed parking as a close third with 17%. For these amenities, tenants would be happy to pay £69 and £50 extra per month, respectively.
Furnished properties also demonstrated a high demand with 15% of the overall vote, and with tenants willing to pay an average of £163 a month more.
The remaining percentage of voters opted for the following features as their top priority; other (12%), high-speed internet (6%), house cleaning services (4%), balcony (3%), satellite/cable TV (3%), and bike storage (1%).
Reassess your approach
Are there certain rules that mean less to you than they once did, and would you concede on them if it meant making your tenants happier, or if it could increase your property’s worth in their eyes? These are just a few of the questions that you need to be asking yourself the next time that your rental property is back on the letting market.
Pets, gardens, parking, and furnishings. Granted, some of these cannot be as easily amended as others! Nevertheless, that does not mean that you cannot re-evaluate your tenancy agreement, or have an open a discussion with your future tenants about their individual priorities.
Whether you decide to alter your rental rules or not, think about how you can show your tenants that you are interested in making their experience with you a positive one.
What this means…
The bottom-line is that you pay for what you get, and tenants are becoming increasingly aware of this. In this day and age, people expect speed, efficiency, and a tailored service, and they are much more willing to pay additional fees for an easier life than you might think.