Renters reveal top ‘deal-breakers’ when looking for rental property

Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2024

Barclays Property Insights data shows that the cost of rent and mortgages stabilised considerably in June, increasing by just 1.5% year-on-year – the slowest rate of growth since March 2023.

The Barclays research also reveals the top 10 attributes that renters consider non-negotiable or ‘deal-breakers’ when assessing a rental property, as well as the qualities that landlords require in prospective tenants.

Almost half of renters (46%) say that the presence of damp and mould is a ‘deal-breaker’, while a third consider access to a living room (34%) and outdoor space (32%) as necessities. One in three (32%) also feel that the property should have at least double-glazing on its windows, likely because double-glazed windows retain heat more easily, which can save on energy bills, and because they’re better at blocking out unwanted noise.

Landlords and property developers looking to make their homes more attractive should consider whether they’re able to check off more of these items, in order to appeal to a broader range of applicants.

Renters’ top 10 deal-breakers when house-hunting
1 No damp/mould present 46%
2 Living room/lounge 34%
3 Private garden and/or outdoor space 32%
4 Double glazing on windows 32%
5 Fast internet/broadband capabilities 24%
6 Pets allowed 23%
7 Off-street parking 21%
8 Large bedrooms 17%
9 Likeability of landlord or property agents 17%
10 Private from neighbours/isn’t overlooked 16%

From a landlord’s perspective, the qualities most commonly cited as being mandatory in prospective tenants are cleanliness and proof of income (both 27%). One in three landlords (33%) also say they would accept less rent from existing tenants who look after the property, rather than finding new tenants who’ll pay more. In addition, one in four (23%) landlords would accept an offer below the asking price for an applicant that’s flexible on the move-in date.

In a crowded market – 20% of renters feel there is too much competition for rental properties in their area – those looking for an edge over other applicants should look to highlight these qualities in their applications, where relevant. Similarly, one in three landlords (34%) say that personal communication from prospective tenants would make them more likely to consider accepting their application. However, only a quarter (23%) of renters say they’re willing to try this, which gives applicants another opportunity to stand out from the pack.

Landlords’ top 10 required qualities for tenants
1 Cleanliness/hygiene 27%
2 Proof of income 27%
3 Quiet tenants 24%
4 Employed in a permanent job 22%
5 Strong character references 21%
6 Likeability of people 17%
7 Strong employer references 17%
8 Can provide a guarantor for rent 17%
9 Strong landlord references 16%
10 No pets 15%

Mark Arnold, head of savings and mortgages at Barclays, said: “Our latest spending figures paint an encouraging picture for UK consumers – rent and mortgage payments are stabilising, energy bills are coming down, and confidence is on the up.”

He added: “The research also reveals how prospective tenants can stand out in a crowded market by highlighting sought-after attributes such as willingness to take good care of the property and having strong character references. Meanwhile, landlords looking to upgrade their properties can choose from a range of desirable improvements, many of which don’t require significant remodelling, such as damp-proofing, installing double-glazing, and sourcing faster internet.”

Phil Spencer

Phil Spencer, TV property presenter, commented: “Given the uncertainty around the housing market in recent months, understandably both renters and homeowners will want to avoid surprises when it comes to the standards and upkeep of their property.

“With fierce competition for accommodation, renters should think carefully about how to make their application stand out if they want to secure their non-negotiables, such as a private garden or a parking space.

“Similarly, landlords face competition when it comes to appealing to top-tier renters, who can offer more than simply matching the asking price – a little investment now to secure stable, long-term tenants could pay off if it means spending less money down the line on repairs and having fewer gaps between occupants.”


Via @PropertyIndustryEye