Good news for landlords – most tenants are happy with their homes

September 02, 2022

Despite frequent suggestions from prominent critics of the private rented sector that the opposite is true, major new research has revealed that the vast majority of tenants are happy their homes.

The survey of more than 950 renters by global property consultancy JLL found that 88% of tenants are happy with their homes, while just 12% are unhappy.

When it comes to income to rent ratios, the situation was also better than has been widely reported, with 60% of respondents spending between 30 and 40% of their income on rent.

The research found that there are some common themes between tenants and buyers, with a strong longing for private outdoor space and easy access to leisure, entertainment and open space. Furthermore, tenants are placing increased importance on energy efficiency and the running costs of a home – understandable when you consider energy prices are soaring and the cost-of-living crisis is beginning to bite.


A lockdown legacy

JLL’s survey found that memories of lockdown continue to influence tenants in their views on outside space, with just over half (52%) saying private outside space was more important to them now than pre-pandemic. This compares to under 10% of respondents rating it as less important. 

In addition to private outdoor space, closeness to shared green spaces was also high up on tenants wish lists, with more than half of those surveyed putting higher importance on access to shared green space and parks. By contrast, fewer than 8% saw this attribute as less important.

Despite the positive view of their rental homes, it’s also the case that tenants are feeling the pressure from rising inflation and the increasing cost of living.

So much so, that some 66% of survey respondents now rank energy efficiency and running costs as more important than pre-pandemic.

With another increase to the energy price cap taking place in October this year, JLL believes tenants will pay more attention to the energy efficiency of the homes they rent in the future, which is good news for those landlords with more efficient properties. Such homes are typically new or recently built ones.

If your home doesn’t add up when it comes to energy efficiency, you may want to take steps to improve this, to increase your home’s appeal to tenants. 

JLL’s analysis of EPC data found that homes in bands A-C will be paying on average £3,246 less per annum on their energy bills than homes in band G. 

Core features remain important

They survey found that tenants still prioritise connectivity and location, with just over half of those surveyed still considering proximity to public transport as more important now versus pre-pandemic. By contrast, only 5% see it as less important. What’s more, despite most tenants working from home an average of three days a week, the distance of their home to the workplace is more important now than it has been before. 

Location is also vital – not just in terms of easy access to transport links and workplaces, but also the general feel of the neighbourhood and the quality of local pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops.

After the long months of lockdown, most tenants want to live centrally and experience the vibrancy of living in a city or town centre, with only 11% of respondents believing the quality of pubs and restaurants in their neighbourhood is less important now than pre-pandemic. By contrast, 36% rate the quality of local amenities as more important now.

Dream features

The survey also explored the amenities tenants do not have in their current property but would be willing to pay more for. Over a third of those surveyed said they’d be prepared to pay more for private outside space, while 28% would pay extra for a swimming pool and a further 23% for a gym.

Fewer tenants were interested in paying extra for co-working spaces, but more than 400 respondents did say it would be nice to have as remote working continues to be high.

There was a similar story when it came to a residents’ lounge/bar (typically found in Build to Rent properties), shared outside space and smart home tech.

Demand for rental homes is expected to remain high as the PRS continues to grow in size, with more than 60% of tenants expecting their next home to be another rental property.  

Here at Farrell Heyworth, we operate in the busy North West towns and villages of Southport, Lancaster, Morecambe, Preston, Bolton, Ormskirk and Chorley. To find out how we can assist with pleasing your tenants and staying compliant on your lettings journey, please get in touch with us today.

We encourage all our customers to register with our My FH portal, which will give you access to the most up-to-date information; remotely and at your convenience.

You can also find out how much you could be charging on the local rental market by requesting a free and instant online valuation today.

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