Furnished or unfurnished? Landlords need to cater to tenant demand

Furnished or unfurnished? Landlords need to cater to tenant demand

All buy-to-let landlords should know how important it is to meet the needs of their tenants, but there could be a discrepancy between what tenants want and what’s on offer.

New research from comparison website GoCompare has revealed that while only 14.29% of landlords offer their properties unfurnished, a huge 60.29% of prospective tenants said that they’d prefer an unfurnished rental, meaning there’s a 46% gap between what’s available and what’s required.

It also showed a big discrepancy when looking at a property’s location. Almost a quarter (23.16%) of tenants wanted their properties to be close to schools, while just 15.33% of landlords mentioned this in their listings; but 58.34% of landlords mentioned proximity to work or university as a property asset, despite this being on the wish list of just 16.88% of tenants.

Cleaning services were something else at the top of 16.21% of tenants’ priorities, but this was mentioned in just 3.04% of property listings.

How to be a good landlord

While the GoCompare statistics only used data from 1,000 tenants surveyed in June, and compared this to 1,546 rental listings on Rightmove – which is of course a tiny proportion of the overall market – it does serve to highlight the importance of landlords fulfilling their tenants’ needs for optimum success.

When embarking on property investment, whether you’re a business landlord or an accidental one, it’s important to keep the tenant in mind at all times. For locations that would attract higher numbers of families, such as ‘safe‘ areas close to schools, landlords should prioritise a garden, parking and distance to nearest schools in their property listings to attract this tenant type.

Meanwhile, in city centre locations, it could be assumed the property will attract more young professionals, so the landlord could consider offering a furnished property, and mention aspects such as local bars and restaurants, gym facilities and public transport options to cater for this demographic.

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