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What tenants want now: Findings from survey of 2,000 renters

The findings of a survey conducted with 2,000 tenants give an insight into what renters want now, eight months on from the start of the pandemic.

The study was conducted within London by Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, one of the capital’s largest lettings agencies.

It shows:


- 66 per cent of tenants say affordability is the most important factor;

- 82 per cent feel they have security over tenure in their rental homes;

- 58 per cent believe outdoor space is now more important; and

- 71 per cent of tenants are happy with their rented home.

Despite all of the economic uncertainty the pandemic has created, there is a high demand for longer leases, and KFH data shows that the average lease length sits at 22 months. 

Some 38 per cent of tenants surveyed prefer leases of 18 months or more, with over a third seeking leases of three years or more.

Alongside affordability, there has been a shift in other tenant preferences this year: as more people are spending time at home, 58 per cent of all tenants believe that access to private outdoor space is paramount. 

In terms of working from home, optimal broadband speed is a key factor for 48 per cent of tenants, whilst a dedicated space to work is important for 44 per cent of tenants surveyed.

Many tenants are also rethinking their commute times, and this is a considerable factor for 51 per cent of respondents. 

As a result, London tenants are happy to keep their options open when looking for a rental property. Some 44 per cent of tenants living in Zones 1 and 2 would consider moving to Zone 3, while 46 per cent of tenants in Zone 3 are open to moving to Zone 6 and beyond.

The Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward London Tenant Barometer 2020 was compiled using research based on survey responses from over 2,000 tenants currently privately renting in London.

KFH has 60 branches across the capital handling lettings, block management, financial services, survey professional services, commercial property services and property conveyancing.

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  • George Dawes

    What about security for the landlord ?

    These 'tenants' aren't living in the real world

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    Longer leases, fine, most of my tenants stay longer than 3 yrs, but there has to be a trade off here, a quick and easy way of evicting non payers.

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    This is another bubble. These agents manage Central London to zone 3/4. The rents are sky high, the property prices are sky high and the agent fees are high. The people renting from them are rich or have rich parents. This survey is not representative of the country.


    The agent fees are not high, they are zero. It is illegal to charge them.


    Agent fees are paid by landlords, and passed on to tenants as increased rents. No one expects to work for nothing.

    Matthew Payne

    Its a good point Pat. KFH operate in very middle class London suburbs and tend to deal with good quality middle market stock that attract a similar quality tenant. Their coal face will look very different to most agents.

    An agent told me and a landlord client the other day on a zoom call that they only deal with the "highest quailty tenants". This actually was a negative for him, as his initial reaction was that they would have very little experience in dealing with problems that are inevitably going in increase next year whether rent arrears, or probelmatic tenants. He obviously wants good quality tenants, but he wants an agent who knows how to deal with them and equally those that don't turn out to be, or when these good quality tenants fall on hard times and change their behaviour.

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    • 25 November 2020 11:19 AM

    - 66 per cent of tenants say affordability is the most important factor;
    If they cannot afford it, then get out now!

    - 82 per cent feel they have security over tenure in their rental homes;
    If they take care of the property then they can have 100% security.

    - 58 per cent believe outdoor space is now more important; and
    Then move to a property that gives them that - I cannot magic extra garden space.....!!!!!???

    - 71 per cent of tenants are happy with their rented home.
    And the other 27% are generally stealing thieving crooks

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Tenants prefer - want a Rolls Royce for the price of a Mini - don't we all - get real, get a job and save for it like everyone else.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The 82 % happy with their Tenure really sticks a huge pin in the Abolish Sec 21 argument bubble, doesn't it !

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    .. I prefer to live in Hollywood, but there we go !
    Landlords want a Guarantor and an awful lot of tenants are going to find difficulty finding ANYWHERE to rent, let alone a shopping list to boot !


    Not just any old guarantor either, one with a perfect credit history, a well paid job and a home owner, the dross are going to find life very hard.


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