What are Renters Looking for from a Property in 2020?
2020 has been as interesting a year for the property market as it has been for just about every other sector of the economy. Covid-19 has influenced the behaviours of buyers, sellers, and renters, whose priorities may have shifted drastically. Let’s take stock of the shape of the change.
There’s nothing like a few months of forced lockdown to make you appreciate the value of outdoor spaces. Renters who found themselves cooped up in a gardenless flat between March and June may have made the switch to a property with a garden, however small it might be.
We’re not talking about tiling here. Given that we’re spending more of our time at home than ever before, it only makes sense that we should want to put our own personal stamp on things. It’s unfeasible to allow a tenant to actually redecorate, but providing an unfurnished property will allow them to bring in their own dining tables, chairs and sofas – and thereby afford them greater comfort in their living space.
There are certain bulky items which everyone needs. A fridge, a washing machine – these are obligatory. A tumble dryer, a dishwasher: these are at the very least useful. In each case, the item is expensive to buy and extremely cumbersome to move from one property to another. By throwing these in, landlords remove a great deal of hassle. If the property in question is at the top of a block of flats whose elevator is broken, then this is especially the case.
Many landlords still don’t allow pets in rented properties. The rationale behind this is quite straightforward: pets create mess. They scratch, gnaw, bite, and leave unpleasant smells. With that said, with less going on outside, and restrictions on how we socialise, pets provide a valuable source of companionship. Thus, landlords who are inflexible on the no-pets rule might find themselves choosing from a very limited pool of potential tenants.
Working from home was, just a year or so ago, a fringe behaviour. Now, it’s one that we’re all familiar with. Many workers will have found themselves spending at least part of their working week in a home office, and thus it’s critical that the space is fit for purpose. Offering a second or third bedroom with built-in ethernet facilities, and plenty of natural light, might be a deal-maker when it comes to attracting professional (and reliable) tenants. As a side-note, reliable internet was an absolute must before the lockdown, and this is only likely to continue to be the case. Many major employers have already taken the decision to allow workers to telecommute on a long-term basis, and downtime can severely hamstring that ambition.