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Tips for landlords: how to retain strong demand for buy-to-let properties

New research reveals demand in the rental market is at a five-year high after the release of COVID-19 restrictions. Here are some tips to help landlords keep their properties in high demand moving forward.

Following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, demand for private rental accommodation has increased. New research released by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) in partnership with BVA/BDRC revealed 39% of private landlords surveyed said that demand for rental homes had increased during the second quarter of 2021.

This is an 8% rise on the first quarter of this year. Additionally, this figure is the highest seen in five years. Demand only reached a similar high in the first quarter of 2016. The research consultancy BVA/BDRC observes that this increase in demand is predominately due to the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and a more buoyant economic outlook.

As demand is on the rise, rents are also increasing. These favourable market conditions are likely welcome news for landlords. But how can landlords keep their rental properties in high demand among their target tenants?

Even with rental demand high, investors still need to think about ways to make their rental property stick out and attract the right tenants. Here are a few tips to help landlords keep their properties in demand moving forward.

1. Consider changes to location preferences

Being located close to professionals’ workplaces has become less of a priority with the rise of remote and hybrid working. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many renters have rethought their living situations and where they want to live.

Recently, the London exodus has picked up speed. Many tenants are moving to commuter towns or to areas in the north of England and Midlands. These areas can provide more affordable living and the ability to enjoy a higher standard of living.

When considering a property investment location, choose a location that’s up and coming instead of one that’s already at its peak. This will help you maximise the potential of your property investment. Prioritise areas with high rental demand as you will have a wider choice of tenants. Think about the social scene in the area and transport options.

2. Invest in mod cons

Tenants today expect more from their rental properties. Mod cons can make a property more comfortable to live in. High speed WiFi in particular has become a top priority for modern renters. Staying digitally connected is of the utmost importance, especially as homeworking and flexible working has become more commonplace.

New and greener appliances are now on many peoples’ wish lists. Additionally, adding smart technology to a rental property is another way to catch tenants’ attention. This includes smart thermostats, lightbulbs, doorbells and security cameras. These small touches could even make tenants want to stay longer.

3. Offer flexible space

Landlords need to ensure they understand the needs and priorities of their target market. Consider how these could change over time, so offer space that is both practical and flexible. And allow tenants to adapt the space to their needs and make the property their own.

4. Consider welcoming pets

Tenants with pets generally find a shortage of pet-friendly rental accommodation. By allowing pets in your property, even on a case-by-case basis, landlords could open their property to a wider market of tenants.

As finding suitable rental properties that allows pets can be challenging, pet-owning tenants will often stay in a property for longer. This can reduce vacant periods and lead to shorter void periods.

5. Think ‘green’

Energy efficient properties and more sustainable and green features are becoming top priorities for tenants. The more eco-friendly the property is, the lower the tenants’ bills will be. This can be a major selling point.

Landlords of properties with better EPC ratings can even secure better mortgage rates. If you’re looking for your first or next property investment, new-builds offer the most energy efficient options.

6. Keep the property up to date

With changing rental trends, it’s important to stay up to date with what modern tenants want in their properties. This can also help ensure your property remains in high demand among your target market.

BuyAssociation has a range of property investment opportunities available for all investors types. Take a look at our investments page, and for more information, sign up as a member for free.

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