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Affordability is the most important factor for private tenants, study finds

Affordability is the overriding priority for renters of all ages when looking for private rented accommodation, according to a survey of more than 2,000 tenants across the UK.

Almost two thirds of those who took part in the UK Tenant Survey said that affordability was their main concern when compared to location or space in the property.

The research conducted by Intus Lettings, which aims to present a clear picture for landlords of which characteristics could make a property stand out to would-be tenants, found that young renters in particular are more than four times as likely to prioritise finding a cheap rental home than one with access to nightlife, shops and restaurants.

Just 8% of renters prioritised nearby amenities, bars and restaurants or public transport links as a driving force behind their decision on a tenancy, compared to over 40% naming low costs as the most important factor.

In terms of individual features of a home, the most frequent characteristic which renters look for is outdoor space, with almost half - 46% - identifying a garden, terrace or balcony as the feature they would desire most in a property.

Meanwhile, over 40% of renters would be deterred by a property without a parking space, while almost a quarter of respondents - 24% - were put off by dated interiors.

Hope McKendrick, lettings manager at Intus Lettings, commented: “Our figures seem to suggest that renters first and foremost seek practicality over certain features which have traditionally been seen as desirable – especially to younger tenants - such as nearby shops and restaurants or a vibrant nightlife.

“With high rental costs across the UK, many young renters may be forced to prioritise a property which works around their budget and daily routine, as tenants flock to homes which provide ample parking or easy access to city centre jobs or studies.”

Hope added: “We’re seeing a clear trend towards a generation of practical renters – those looking for a convenient, modern-feeling home rather than exciting but potentially costly surroundings.”

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    In Scotland, 3 bedroom properties and bigger cannot be let to more than 2 unrelated adults unless the landlord gets an HMO licence which costs around £2000 for the first 3 years, along with expensive alterations etc. Allowing 3 adults to share any 3 bed property could reduce the cost per occupant by 33% and also save landlords thousands on unnecessary expense on licence fees.

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