What are tenants’ top priorities in 2023?
According to the latest research by property portal Rightmove, searches for properties with all bills included in the rent leapt by 36% this year – the fastest rise in demand for any rental property feature. “Bills included” is now the second most popular search term for prospective tenants, only beaten by searches for pet-friendly properties.
Demand for properties with outdoor space is also still rising after a surge in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Searches for “balcony” and “communal garden” tied for the second fastest growth this year at 22%. A growing number of tenants are also looking for properties with a zero deposit option, potentially opening up a new stream of commission for agents if they refer tenants to deposit replacement schemes.
Why go all-inclusive?
Renting an all-inclusive property saves tenants the hassle of dealing with utility companies and makes their monthly expenses more predictable – particularly when energy costs have shot up over the last year.
But it can be a tough sell for landlords for exactly the same reasons. The number of all-inclusive properties plummeted last year as energy costs rose and landlords’ margins on all-inclusive rents shrunk.
Even so, now may not be a bad time to start offering all-inclusive rents again. The Chancellor extended the Energy Price Guarantee in this month’s Budget, and energy consultancy Cornwall Insight forecasts that the energy price cap will fall to just over £2,100 in Q3 and Q4 2023, bringing bills down from their current highs. Landlords who offer a 12-month all-inclusive tenancy now could see their margin improve throughout the year.
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