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What are the three things tenants value most? New survey gives answers

Tenants value location, flexibility and direct landlord relationships according to new research from specialist lending bank OSB Group. 

The Future Tenant Standard report highlights that many renters say they are feeling the squeeze of the housing stock shortage, rising rents, and negative interactions with landlords and letting agents.

Some 76 per cent of the 2,500 past, present and future renters surveyed say their current rental tenure suits them. Fifty four per cent live in their preferred area, and 74 per cent say they are satisfied with the level of security. 

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Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of tenants feel they have been impacted by the lack of available housing and more than a third report difficulties finding their existing homes. 

The research shows that while tenants cite the flexibility of renting as an advantage, only 26 per cent say they would prefer to be renting today with the majority hoping to own their own home. While the lure of homeownership is strong, 71 per cent say they are frightened by the size of borrowing required to afford a property.

Jon Hall, group managing director of mortgages and savings at OSB Group, says: “The private rented sector is housing the nation. With landlords and tenants across the country facing the challenges of navigating a higher cost of living, and higher interest rate environment, it's important to look at what is working and what needs to change to help the sector thrive. This research reinforces our ongoing view that the journey to the professionalisation of the private landlord sector is key to helping them deliver the best experiences for the nation’s renters.”

The research highlighted that when tenants and landlords have a direct relationship, satisfaction levels are significantly higher. Just under half of tenants deal with their landlord directly, and of those, 82 per cent feel like they are treated fairly, and 72 per cent trust their landlord. 

Independent landlord Suzanne Smith, a founding member of the OSB Group Landlord Leaders Community, agrees that forging strong relationships is fundamental: “The key is having a good relationship with tenants. We are providing their home.”

However, the research shows 59 per cent of tenants have experienced rule breaches like unreasonable financial demands or discrimination from their landlord and a fifth feel the poor quality of their property has impacted their health.

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    Location and parking seem to be the most important things for most of my tenants.

    A couple of mine are trying to buy at the moment but have had chains collapse and have had to start again.

    Several more have the financial ability to buy but are scared of buying the wrong house as the second stepper costs are huge. For now they have decided it's better to carry on renting and save a bigger deposit, get some pay rises and then hopefully avoid one or two rungs on the ladder.

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    The majority of the tenants we deal with either buy, relocate for work or separate! We are aware of some landlords who self-manage and guarantee that their tenants do not fall in the satisfied category. Communication is the key. We sold a property last year and before we even had it valued, discussed it with the tenants. Throughout the viewing process, they were cooperative and we reminded them that at any time they could say no to a viewing if it was not convenient. They were perfect tenants, letting us know early of any problems so we could arrange repairs or replacements as appropriate.

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    Given what’s going on at the moment 🆘🆘 I feel tenants will be happy just to have a roof over their head 🏡🙏🏻

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    So, Tenants value location, flexibility and direct landlord relationships. I just had 100 enquiries in 3 days. I did over 20 viewings as I do try to be fair. Some said I was the only actual landlord they had met, which was interesting. I don't know what they mean by flexibility, presumably they want a landlord who is willing to accept rent arrears? Hey ho.

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    By flexibility perhaps they mean tenants want to do whatever they like in your property ie have pets, "redecorate", make holes in the walls, never clean the oven, mess up the flooring, mess up the garden etc etc?

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    I think what tenants may mean by flexibility, is the availability of properties in different locations so they can move for work or to access appropriate schools. This is a traditional element of the prs that has been destroyed by the government/local authority/shelter/media, witch hunt again tenants are the real losers.

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    EPC not high on the list then.

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    LOL. Tenant don't even look at them or remember receiving them come to that!

     
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    Probably not as high as not becoming homeless, no. But that doesn't mean it's not important does it.

     
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