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The Tenant Revolution: What Tenants Really Want in 2022

New research has uncovered the key features tenants really want from their rental properties in 2022. Traditional key selling points such as great transport links, parking or a garden that usually rank high in tenants’ preferences have been blown out of the water by one key request…

Against the backdrop of record rents and increasing household bills, new insights have revealed the new must-have for tenants in 2022 is for all bills to be included. The research found that requests for this facility have shot up by 36 per cent in the last year, and now outrank all the other key features.

It is hardly surprising that ‘bills included’ has emerged as the most in-demand feature for tenants at the moment as the nation battles to keep up with the rising food and energy costs it is experiencing.

Source Rightmove

Rightmove’s latest data shows that many landlords have recognised the challenges of rising household bills for tenants and are keen to support and hold on to their clients with two thirds (63%) saying they kept the rent the same over the past year, while the remaining 37 per cent increased their prices.

Source Rightmove

The new analysis, which looked at the requested features in over 20,000 build-to-rent listings on one of the UK’s leading property portals Rightmove also found that tenants are securing longer tenancies than usual – with lease renewals up 18 per cent year-on-year; locking in a good deal rather than facing increasing prices as rents hit record levels.

Source Rightmove

The new study of almost 1,300 landlords found that the most common length of tenancy is now over two years. The researchers link this emerging trend to the fact that asking rents are rising at the fastest pace ever recorded, up 11 per cent year-on-year to a record £1,088 per calendar month outside London. It is a similar story in the capital where rents are up over 14 per cent to £2,195 pcm.

Rightmove’s data also reveals that there is more than three times the number of tenants enquiring as there are rental properties available at the moment, making it the most competitive rental market ever.

Properties with balconies, communal gardens, those allowing pets and offering zero deposits all came equal second, with enquiries jumping by 22 per cent.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, commented: “A shortage of rental homes and strong demand for the properties available has led to a greater number of tenants choosing to renew their leases and stay put, rather than re-enter a competitive rental market. People who had been waiting to see what happened last year are now being faced with record rents and so are seeking out properties where they can have more certainty over their outgoings, with all bills included becoming increasingly sought after.

“Landlords may have been tempted to put their rents up given the high demand from new tenants, but many understand the affordability challenges of rising rents and bills, as our study shows that the majority are charging their tenants the same as a year ago. Many landlords build up a relationship with their tenants over a number of years, and they will want to keep a good tenant for longer if they can rather than cash in on a rent rise in the short term.”

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Alex Wright, Editor