To be a good landlord, you have to get inside the mind of your tenants. And there is no shortage of tenants willing to tell you exactly what they want.
Savills has polled 2,300 private sector tenants in the UK to discover that the top priorities are location (within a five-minute walk of public transport and within easy access of work/university) and the size of property. Out of London, 25 per cent of tenants move to be in a bigger property; in London, it is the motivating factor for 19 per cent.
The under-24s are more concerned about finding a furnished property than wanting to stay put for more than a year, whereas the security of long-term tenancies appeals to nearly 50 per cent of tenants aged 45-plus.
Nearly half of renters with children would be prepared to pay more rent to be near a good school and one in four Londoners would like a garden (rising to one in three living outside London). Rent rises are, surprisingly, not a source of disgruntlement for most tenants; but landlords ending tenancies are.
Someone who knows both sides of the coin, as a tenant and lettings manager, is Maryam Bham of Hunters estate agents in Leeds: “I expect my landlord to give me sufficient notice before entering, for maintenance to be dealt with promptly and professionally, and if there are any issues that may affect me I’d like to be kept up to date.”