parking car park

Tenants want parking, furniture and a balcony, says new report

Giving tenants what they want can be a key part of successful property investment, and parking came out as a top priority for today’s renters. 

While many aspects of property investment remain constant, such as prioritising location and property quality in order to attract the best tenants, new trends continue to emerge among renters in terms of what they want from their ideal home.

Many surveys recently have revealed that energy efficiency is becoming one of the biggest must-haves for tenants, which is no surprise as energy costs have climbed in recent years. The home-working trend has also changed people’s attitudes towards work-life balance and home space.

However, the latest research from Redmayne Smith has named parking as the number one concern for tenants, reporting that searches for rental property with parking have risen by 214% in the past month. This could be linked to lifestyle changes during Covid, the report notes, with some people now living more rurally.

Prioritising parking?

The UK is currently working towards reducing carbon emissions and air pollution in built-up areas, with London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) being expanded this week to include all of the city’s boroughs, including outer London. Drivers of non-compliant vehicles must now pay a daily fee to drive in this zone.

For many, this may mean increased reliance on public transport or other modes of travel, such as cycling, rather than owning and driving a car where possible, while others may have no option but to pay the fee. Whether this will lead to a reduction in cars – and therefore the need for parking – remains to be seen.

Other city areas have similar schemes, such as Birmingham which operates a ‘clean air zone’, while Greater Manchester has a scheme under review that could have an impact on the number of people using cars in the area.

Many city centre rental properties, including new-builds and those under construction, still come with a parking space/spaces, or access to an electric vehicle charging point. Meanwhile, for tenants living away from these areas in towns and villages, parking is likely to remain more of a priority.

What else do tenants want?

If you’re a buy-to-let landlord, you might want to think about investing in some furniture for your next property, or buying one with a balcony, as these came in second and third place in Redmayne Smith’s report as the most desired property features for tenants.

The search volume for fully furnished properties was similar to parking, but had seen an 18% increase over the past year. Balconies may have increased in popularity due to more tenants seeking some form of outdoor space in their home.

Next on the agenda for tenants was being located in a good school district, with large numbers of families with children relying on the private rented sector and wanting to be as close as possible to highly rated education options. Often, families stay in their rental homes for longer because of this, offering stability for the landlord.

This was followed by rental homes with bills included, which has seen searches increase by 176% in the past month. Tenants are seemingly keen to have more predictable financial outgoings in the current climate.

Gordon Dutfield, CEO at Redmayne Smith, said: “As the UK’s housing market continues to grapple with soaring mortgage rates and a challenging financial climate, an increasing number of aspiring homeowners are turning to rental properties, seeking attractive alternatives to achieve their housing dreams.

“By understanding what renters are prioritising, and sharing this insight, we can identify properties that offer the best opportunity for long-term growth and profitability, to help our clients achieve their investment goals.”

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