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Renters prioritise pet-friendly homes

Estimated read time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, September 05, 2019

The most desirable feature in a potential property for tenants is pet friendliness, according to new research by buy to let mortgage lender Landbay.

The survey of 2,000 renters found that the ability to keep pets was the most sought-after attribute for a home.

Next on the list was an unfurnished property, while access to a garden was third.

‘Interesting reading’ for landlords

The researchers found that a pet-friendly policy is hugely important to renters, with one in seven ranking it as their most important requirement. In the North East, that rises to more than one in four renters. However, London appears to have the fewest pet owners, where just 3% of renters prioritise this feature.

Women are more than twice as likely as men to look for pet friendliness, at 18% compared to 8% respectively.

Deborah Mudway, Landbay director, said: “This will make interesting reading for landlords, who could be forgiven for believing little luxuries like a dishwasher, dryer and even a king-sized bed make all the difference for tenants. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.”

She went on to add that “aside from a deeper clean at the end of a tenancy, this really isn’t hard for landlords to implement”. She pointed out that landlords knowing what tenants want can result in a “happier, more prosperous relationship” benefitting both parties.

Renters prefer their own furniture

The second most desirable feature in a new home for renters is an unfurnished property, with 12% putting it first.

It was also found that those over the age of 55 are almost twice as likely (22%) to prioritise a property that’s unfurnished.

Landbay suggested to landlords that “what may work for one renter may not work for another”, so it’s worth considering letting tenants bring their own couch, bed and dining room table. The lender highlighted that leaving a property unfurnished would save landlords “money, time and energy”.

The researchers also pointed out that in many cases, those who prefer unfurnished properties crave long-term stability and request longer tenancies. However, landlords preferring to rent to students or young professionals might find a furnished property to be a better option.

Gardens and parking important

Access to a garden was found to be a close third, with 11% of potential tenants rating it as the most important feature to them. Parents were more than twice as likely (15%) to say they wanted a garden than those without children (7%).

Next on the list was off-street parking, with 9% putting it first. The quality of décor was a potentially surprising fifth-place entry, with 7% of renters saying this was their most desired attribute.

At the bottom of the list of wishes for a new home were a dryer (1%), king-sized bed (1%) and balcony (1%). Survey respondents also were less interested in having a dishwasher (1%) or living in a new-build property (2%).

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