What Do Tenants Look For in a Rental Property?

Posted On Saturday, 05 September 2020 20:43

What do tenants look for in a rental property? If you’re a landlord or property investor in the making, this is inevitably going to be a question that comes up a lot. After all, fluctuations in average wages, trends, technology, etc. all lead to a set of rental preferences that can feel like it’s constantly in a state of flux. This can make it difficult to know what to do with your property to attract prospective renters, which is especially significant for those trying to rent out properties in crowded markets.

Working alongside a team of Melbourne property managers, we decided to hunt for some answers. So, what do tenants look for in a rental property, and what can you do to make your’s stand out?

What People Often Get Wrong About Tenant Preferences

Whilst it may feel like renters are going to be wowed into spending exorbitant amounts of money by luxurious additions such as pools, spas, home theatres, etc., the reality is rarely that cut and dry. These are certainly appealing features, I doubt many people will be upset that their new home comes with such extravagant inclusions, but they are only appealing once the base needs of your renter have been met.

People need to think first and foremost about what they will need on a day-to-day basis, and if you can’t provide the essentials that will make the practicalities of life simpler for these people, then you’re unlikely to win over longterm tenants with just the icing on top. With that said, let’s take a look at a few of the features that renters care about.

Suburb/Area

Before you can start thinking about the specific features within a home, you first have to think about where that home is. The suburb/area that your rental property resides in will have an enormous impact on how it is perceived by renters, as they will always prefer to live in a place that suits their lifestyle needs. Whilst there are some common elements that are desirable to most people, the ideal area will also be influenced by the type of property you’re trying to lease.

For example, if you have a larger property with multiple bedrooms, your primary market will likely be family units who either have or are planning on having children. Therefore, desirable suburbs will be ones with low crime, easy access to good schools, and family activity options. Conversely, a small flat is more geared towards students who will often require public transport for their school obligations. When buying, it’s important to check out the area first to ensure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Parking

When asking questions like “what do tenants look for in a rental property?”, you have to think about what factors are most likely to impact a renter’s day-to-day life. For those that are trying to rent out flats and units, a lack of parking spaces can severely limit the number of options you have in regard to potential renters. Most adults living out on their own will have reason to own a car, and if they don’t have a place to park at home, then they are inevitably going to be forced to look elsewhere.

If you’re looking to invest in property, keep this in mind and try to find properties that offer adequate parking. For those that already have a property that doesn’t have adequate parking, there may still be options available to you. In some suburbs and areas, for example, you may be able to buy or rent a parking space close to the property and offer it as part of your rental package. It’s not an ideal solution, but it could be the factor that ends up swaying a renter.

The Furnishing Question

When asking what tenants look for in a rental property, there will always be different answers for units and houses. It makes sense of course, as people that need a lot of space such as those with families will often have different needs and preferences to individuals and couples living in smaller dwellings. This is a factor to consider when deciding whether to furnish your property, as this can be a make-or-break factor on both sides depending on your target demographic.

In general, furnished spaces are more suited to those that need to move around a lot and, therefore, don’t have a lot of furnishings of their own. This is great for students, travellers, and those on short-term working Visas, but for people that have a lot of roots and, in turn, possessions, the prospect of an already-furnished space isn’t always quite as alluring. Just remember that, if you’re going to furnish your property, it needs to be done well. You don’t want your furnishings or styling choices to detract from your property.

Heating & Cooling

Earlier in the piece, we talked about how luxuries aren’t going to draw people in as much as the necessities of day-to-day life. Heating & cooling systems are somewhere in the middle, with them becoming a practical necessity of life depending on where you live and what season it is. Anyone who has gone through an Australian summer without any sort of effective air conditioning will definitely be hesitant to do it again, and if you can provide this sort of system as part of your rental agreement, it will be much easier to convince people to sign the dotted line.

There is a number of answers to the question of “what do tenants look for in a rental property?” that we won’t be able to cover in one blog, but the takeaway here is that renters need to be able to imagine themselves actually living in a space. So, if you can provide them with the things they need to live happily and comfortably, you’re already off to a great start.

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