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02 Nov, 2023

What Are Buy-to-Let Red Flags for Tenants?

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    Tenants Reveal What They Want and Don’t Want to Find in a UK Rental Property

    If you are a landlord looking to invest in a buy-to-let property or improve an existing property in your portfolio, you’ll need to ensure the home is desirable for tenants.

    Luckily, Uswitch has conducted a survey to uncover red flags deterring UK renters and highlighting what tenants value most in a property.

    The survey results can help landlords increase the home’s appeal and the value of their property investment.

    Learn more about buy-to-let investment properties and the UK housing market below.

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    What Are the Biggest Red Flags for Renters

    According to the survey, the biggest red flag for respondents was evidence of mould and dampness – 79% cited this as a deterrent. 

    Currently, 11% of properties in the private rented sector have issues with damp and mould.

    Meanwhile, 67% indicated that bad smells would put them off a property, while 62% said clear signs of physical deterioration would also affect their decision.

    Another big red flag for renters was single-glazed windows. 58% said they would be put off if the home did not have double-glazed windows. After all, tenants would pay more in energy bills due to heat lost through single glazing.

    41% of respondents also said that a prepayment energy meter would also make them less likely to rent a property, suggesting smart meters or credit plans are more attractive to tenants.

    Renters also suggested that noise, lack of natural light, and a lack of storage and white goods would also put them off a property.

    Red FlagPercentage of Respondents Agree
    Mould and damp79%
    Bad smells67%
    Physical deterioration62%
    Lack of natural light60%
    Single pane windows58%
    Lack of storage47%
    Prepayment meter41%
    No white goods38%

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    What Do Tenants Want to See in a UK Buy-to-Let Property

    Speaking about the research results, Uswitch buy-to-let mortgage expert Kellie Steed had the following to say:

    “When putting your buy-to-let on the market, ensuring you meet demands on a renters’ wishlist can heighten your confidence in finding tenants. You can also tailor your property to attract the type of tenants you want.

    “Additionally, it offers flexibility in what you charge for rent, allowing you to maximise the return on your investment.”

    According to the Uswitch buy-to-let survey, more than half of the respondents (66%) consider location the paramount factor when selecting a property.

    Safety is a top priority not only for tenants with respect to the neighbourhood but also for the property’s security.

    Safety and security are leading the list of considerations for 35% of UK renters, with a focus on a double lock for the front door (48%) and window locks (44%).

    Desirable QualitiesPercentage of Respondents Agree
    Good location66%
    Safe area61%
    Managed by landlord60%
    Double lock on the front door48%
    Window locks44%
    Good location for local amenities39%
    Public transport links38%
    Good EPC rating32%
    Broadband speed32%
    Mobile service23%

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      How to Ensure Your Property Is Desirable? Consider Off-Plan Property Investment

      With tenants avoiding mould and a lack of storage and favouring things like EPC ratings and location, buy-to-let investors may want to consider off-plan property investment.

      This type of investment involves purchasing an apartment straight from a developer before the complex has been built. Some people regard this as one of the more Safe investments to consider in property development.

      Developers do an extraordinary amount of research in the UK housing market to build homes in areas that will appeal to tenants. As such, an off-plan property is more likely to be close to public transport links or local amenities. Why not research some of the buy to let investment properties in Liverpool that are available.

      In addition, most off-plan properties for sale will often come with favourable EPC ratings due to modern fixtures and technologies in the building. Landlords can also purchase furniture packs so tenants can look forward to a fully-furnished apartment. Some off-plan properties come with white goods like refrigerators and cookers.

      Because those properties will be brand new, they also won’t have any mould, damp or unsavoury smells that would otherwise put off a tenant.

      Stay up-to-date on the latest UK property market news with RWinvest! Our daily insights, backed by the latest data and analysis, will help you make informed property investment decisions.

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      Dale Barham

      Dale is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Dale helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.

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