Private renters are more discerning about the type of property they are prepared to rent than they were a generation ago. This means landlords are no longer able to offer rundown properties, throw in some second-hand furniture and simply expect the rent to come in. But above all else, many young tenants expect high-speed, reliable internet connection.
In the London, 73% of tenants consider good connectivity an important consideration when choosing a property to rent, and 70% of those who work from home at least one day a week say that they would be likely to reconsider renewing their current contract if they were not satisfied with the connectivity in their homes.
The study also found that almost 60% of those living in the capital would expect some discount in rent as compensation for poor connectivity, and close to one in five would request a 10% decrease.
Unfortunately, slow and unreliable internet connections plague many residential properties in the capital, according to the research, which was carried out in partnership with YouGov.
The report says that London currently ranks 30 out of 63 UK cities for the number of premises covered by ultrafast broadband, and is positioned in the bottom five UK cities for 4G coverage, which is clearly unacceptable for many renters.
John Gravett, head of infrastructure at Cluttons, said: “As London’s property market becomes more competitive, it is important for landlords to think of their tenants as customers and offer them properties that meet current demand.
“While traditionally it would fall to tenants to find the best offering from broadband service providers, now landlords are realising how important it is to make sure their buildings are well connected.”
The research found that half - 49% - of landlords are already working to improve connectivity in their buildings and of those surveyed, 72% said this is as a direct result of tenant demand.
Gravett continued: “Good connectivity has knock-on effects to many aspects of our lives, from how we communicate with each other to maintaining flexibility and therefore diversity in the UK’s workforce.
“Despite this, the British capital not only lags behind other UK cities, but it also ranks poorly compared to other European hubs as well. In fact, London ranks 29th out of 30 EU cities last year for 4G speeds.”
He added: “We believe connectivity is now a utility, not just a nice to have, and our research clearly shows that there is a commercial benefit to both commercial and residential landlords in prioritising it as such.”