A year of lockdown in the UK has changed what tenants want from a rented property, and some landlords in central and urban areas are finding it is taking longer than usual to find the right tenants.
Even as the country unlocks (hopefully for the last time!), tenants have different assumptions about what the future might hold: more working from home, more demand for green spaces and more space to keep their emergency supplies.
Luckily, adapting your rental property so that it gives tenants what they want can be simple. This list of tips will help your property stand out in the post-covid rental market.
1. Home Entertainment
Lockdown has changed everyone’s relationship with the consumption of content. Having a great home setup for watching films and playing games is a big plus for tenants who have spent a year binging on films and Netflix series.
Furnishing your property with a great new TV could be the wow factor that makes a good tenant choose your property over someone else’s. You could even invest in a projector and give the tenants a little demo during their viewing.
They can be surprisingly cheap (well under £200) depending on which model you go for. A smart investment if you are facing low tenant demand.
2. Change the Greenery Scenery
The importance of having a garden has been permanently stamped into the psyche of an entire generation of renters, meaning it’s more important than ever to make the most of any outdoor space you have.
You don’t need to spend £20,000 on landscaping to optimise the appeal of your green space. Some basic weeding and mowing, combined with a bird feeder to attract the nature that tenants now crave, can transform any garden.
Once you’ve done this, pick some hardy flowering plants up from the local gardening centre and try to bed them in a few weeks before your plan to take your property photos and conduct your viewings. Add a few sun loungers to complete the blissful scene.
3. Bring Some Outside in
No garden? No problem. Few landlords would think to furnish their properties with house plants. They’ll only die, right? Sure. But that doesn’t matter. If your home has some nice plants in when the tenants come to view and you take your advert’s photos, it will help your property chime with the post-pandemic zeitgeist.
Not convinced? Our fellow digital disruptors Patch saw a 500% increase in houseplant sales during lockdown, showing tenants truly are keen for the green.
4. Bums on Seats
Our changing relationship with our home has also catapulted the humble sofa from bum-rest to centre-piece. A comfy new sofa will resonate with tenants who spend more than a year trapped in their living rooms. This is another item which you should invite tenants to try out at the viewing for maximum impact.
5. Include great internet in the rent
Covid accelerated many trends that already existed: the demand for high-speed broadband is no exception. Tenants hate faffing around with bills. (That’s why we built our tenant concierge service, to set them up on the best contracts before they even move in.)
But with increased working from home and the memory of home schooling not disappearing any time soon, slow and patchy internet simply won’t cut it from here on out. If you can tell potential tenants that the best broadband in the area is already supplying the property, and it’s included in the rent, they will be very happy indeed.
6. Let them decorate!
Can you imagine what it was like spending a year locked down in a house without even being allowed to decorate it properly? Bad is the answer. Very bad. The pandemic has made tenants more interested in DIY and decoration than ever before. Letting them run with this will be a huge plus and make your property stand out.
We’re not talking about knocking through walls. But permission to hang up picture frames, repaint tired walls, and throw away undesirable old furniture will make tenants leap for joy — and then leap right into your property.
7. Pet Project
The surge in pandemic puppies and corona cats bought (and adopted) to keep humans company during the UK lockdown is well documented. As a landlord, you can make your property a lot more desirable to tenants by saying you will accept pets.
In fact, doing so is more important than ever — especially as the government makes tentative steps towards forbidding landlords from barring pets! You don’t have to take in five greyhounds. Even accepting one small dog or cat will give your property a huge competitive advantage over other properties in the area.
OpenRent lets you tick ‘pets accepted’ when you create your ad, so tenants with pets can easily see your home is available to them.
Ready to find new tenants?Advertise now
8. Invest in Storage
Remember the supermarket madness of March 2020? Just like your nan keeping a few candles as an overhang from her Blitz blackout experiences, today’s tenants will forevermore value the benefits of storage space.
Large freezer chests, ample cabinetry and outdoor storage like garages and sheds are now big pluses for any rental property. If you’re not sure where to start, why not make sure that the fridge you provide is big enough for the number of tenants you expect to rent to?