What Do Tenants Really Want From Their Renting Experience?
Since the early 1990s, the number of people renting privately has more than doubled, and by 2021, it’s estimated that a quarter of the country will form part of the private rental sector. Tenants have become an integral component of the housing market.
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Yet they are still regarded as somewhat of an afterthought in the lettings process. Letting agents often concentrate their focus landlords, as they are the ones with the property.
Over the last few years, however, tenants have been more vocal about what they expect from the renting experience. The Tenant Fees Ban is a prime example of their voice being heard and their ability to effect change.
As more tenants choose to rent as a lifestyle choice, their expectations of the rental market increase. But what do tenants really want from their renting experience?
Tenants want transparency
One of the biggest gripes tenants have with the renting process is its lack of transparency. The Tenant Fee Ban has gone some way to creating a more open renting process, but more needs to be done to meet expectations.
Sometimes, for example, it’s not clear who should pay for professional cleaning or which agent to talk to about maintenance issues. The many different departments within a high-street agency can make even more confusing, and tenants often feel like they are being bounced around from department to another.
The lack of transparency is one of the reasons that build to rent and online agents have come to the fore in recent years. Both methods go some way to offering more transparency, simplifying processes and offering more convenience to the renter.
Tenants want flexible tenancies
Some tenants are happy for a 12-month contract with a break clause, while others prefer to have longer-term security. Younger demographics tend to have a preference for more flexibility, with those 35 and above leaning towards longer lets.
Younger people are likely to have less financial stability, therefore favour shorter contracts — or at least ones with some form of flexibility. Making sure they aren’t placed with a financial burden is one of their biggest concerns.
Older tenants might have a bit more financial security, which is likely to mean that they are more comfortable committing in the long term. They may also lack the desire to up and move sticks once every 12 months, instead preferring to lay down roots in a home and area that suits their needs — especially as this age demographic will start thinking about families.
Tenants want more communication with landlords and faster response times
A growing number of tenants are moving out of their property when the tenancy expires because maintenance issues aren’t being fixed. The result sees them left feeling frustrated and like they haven’t been taken seriously.
Such a scenario is born out lack of communication, and many tenants wish they had more access to landlords. A landlord is providing a service when they let their home, and it’s fair for the tenant to expect a good one in return for their outlay.
Property management companies might offer to take care of the hassle for landlords, but too often there is miscommunication, which comes as a result of using a go-between to fix any maintenance issues.
The property management sector is a billion-pound industry, so it’s not going anywhere soon, and many management companies do stellar work. But it might be time to review the system so that there is more communication with landlords and faster response times.
This is where working with a landlord directly can yield better results – if there is a good level of communication between tenant and landlord, issues around the home should be fixed faster.
Tenants want a home
Most importantly, tenants want their rental property to be a home. They know they can’t refit the kitchen or change the wood floors to carpets, but they do expect to be able to make it homely and, most importantly, not have any surprises.
They know that they don’t own the property, but landlords and property managers need to give them at least 24 hours before entering the home. It might sound like a small requirement, but it goes a long way to helping the tenant feel secure and happy in their home.
Tenants want more respect
Tenants have the right to expect fair treatment and a straightforward process when it comes to renting a property. After all, if they pay their rent on time and take good care of the property, it’s only right that they should get a lovely home to live in with an A-star service from property owners and their managers in return.
At Mashroom, we’re changing renting, providing more transparency between landlords and tenants by simplifying the process. Both landlords and tenants can use our platform to rent and let their home and manage the in-life tenancy with direct communication, maintenance issue reporting, document storing and more.