So, what do tenants want?
We recently asked the Matusik Missive tribe to answer this question.
We had just over 100 replies and thanks to those that took the time.
I like to number things, but acronyms can be fun too.
Here are three acronyms you should know to better understand what tenants want.
SOAP has been around for some time and it is somewhat heartening to see that this old faithful still features high on the rental markets want list.
S = Storage
0 = Outdoor living space
A = Air conditioning
P = Parking (off street)
In recent years there has been a want for other things when it comes to rental accommodation and the PIES abbreviation sums it up nicely.
P = Pets
I = Internet (hi-speed) connectivity
E = Energy efficiency appliances and cost saving installations like solar panels
S = Security measures covering both the house (contents) and vehicles
When it came to pets, most seemed happy to a pay premium to allow them to rent with their pet/s. Our survey confirmed the often cited 10% to 20% additional charge. For more about this topic go here.
Looking forward several of our respondents would like to see changes in the rental space and the four most common appeals included:
L = Longer leases
E = Easy to maintain home
A = Attention to detail
P = Policing
Many renters surveyed are looking to lock into a longer lease – more akin to a commercial lease – with a three or five year terms and set rental increases.
There is also a want to replace carpet with timber flooring (even in bedrooms) and to reduce the level of outdoor maintenance required. These respondents seemed willing to pay a slight premium (averaging 5%) for an easy maintenance rental home and would pick such a property over one which – they think – would take longer to keep clean.
Attention to detail, is a two pronged folk.
On one prong we have renters saying that the rental managers need to improve their level of service and to remember basic details about the property they manage and the tenants occupying them when they make contact or undertake inspections.
And on the second spike, quite a few respondents complained about the small stuff – leaking taps, very worn carpet, poor painting, holes in fly screens (and walls!), windows and doors that don’t open or shut properly and other such remedial repairs.
And finally policing. This was mostly from folks renting apartments and townhouses and their complaints were about the lack of policing the body corporate rules – noise, rubbish and parking violations were the more common grievances.
A now a few words from our survey respondents.
If I could change anything, I would have an extra car park plus more storage space.
It’s modern, easy to clean, comfortable inside and air conditioned. Plus – it’s pet friendly. A must for us.
We have three kids and we need enough room for all the stuff that comes with that (cricket gear, bikes, etc).
I would change the lease tenure giving renters the ability to lock in longer leases.
Three or five lease terms would work better for us and we really want to know what rental increases are expected years in advance.
What would I change? Replace the carpet with polished floorboards and ban morning leaf-blowing.
My building is in need of remedial work – external facade has splitting render, cracking tiles in bathroom and kitchen, efflorescence on balconies, etc.
Stricter body corporate policing is needed to keep the common areas presentable and residents plus guests using their designed parking spots.
If I could change it, I would make the outdoor living space more appealing.
Now I too would like to stop morning leaf-blowers and to be honest I had to look up what ‘efflorescence’ meant.