With an ever-increasing percentage of the UK population living in rental accommodation it’s an opportune time for property investors to make the most of the high demand for rental property. With the fall in homeownership leading to an increasingly competitive rental market, tenants are becoming increasingly particular when they choose rental property, as for many it is a long-term decision. Landlords and property investors would be wise to bear in mind the changing demands of tenants in 2018 and adjust to attract the best tenants and the best rental yields.

Tenants have a varied range of needs from their properties, so it is important to consider what your ideal tenant is looking for. In a 2017 survey tenants were asked what their key concern was when looking for rental property, providing valuable insights into what priorities they have. It was found that 44% of renters highlighted affordability, 35% wanted good transport links, 8% wanted to be close to friends and family, 4% chose access to green space or good schools and 3% wanted a trendy area. This suggests that properties with access to transport are worth considering, as well as affordability which is always going to be a factor.

High quality apartments with modern décor, sophisticated living spaces and high-end furniture are proving popular with a wide range of tenants who are planning on renting in the long term. With homeownership looking like a distant prospect, many tenants are prepared to spend a little more to have a property that they are proud of and enjoy living in. Properties which offer premium features like on-site gyms, 24-hour concierge services and high-speed broadband connections are also appealing more to modern tenants.

Location is another important factor when it comes to choosing a rental property. With the UK’s population experiencing a shift towards city centre living, rental property in prime city locations are some of the most desirable. Between 2002 and 2015, Liverpool’s population increased by 181%, Manchester’s population has increased by 149% and Birmingham has increased by 163%, suggesting that more and more people are wanting to live close to the hustle and bustle of the city centre. With more people wanting to cut down on the commute and live closer to work, this shows how important location is when looking for a buy to let property. With the population of cities growing exponentially property developers are deciding to build up, and an increasing number of high rise buildings are changing the skylines of many of our UK cities. Apartments in key cities like Manchester are climbing in value, with property investment specialists like RW Invest offering lucrative opportunities for those looking to capitalise on this trend towards city living.

Making sure your property is as easy and hassle free to rent and move into is a good general rule for letting out a property. With busy work schedules and hectic social lives, many tenants don’t have time to shop around for a fridge freezer, build flat pack shelves or switch their internet provider. Taking these into consideration is a wise move, and if you can offer benefits such as bills included, white goods included or fully furnished options, you should be more likely to attract tenants who can then move in and start paying rent quicker.

Elliot Preece