Tenants reveal top features in rental properties

By Brendan Wong

Parking, outdoor living space and high-speed internet are three features tenants look for in a rental property, according to a recent survey.

Brisbane agency Bees Nees City Realty surveyed 485 tenants living in Brisbane’s CBD and the surrounding five-kilometre radius.

Tenants were asked to rate 21 features of a rental home on a scale of “essential”, “good to have” or “not important”, according to what they liked to have, and taking into account their budget.

Parking came out on top, which was a rise from its fourth place ranking in the last survey conducted in 2011.

Outdoor living space and storage space came out in second and third place respectively.

The fourth most desired feature was high-speed internet - a new addition to the survey - with tenants reporting that the supply of a simple phone was no longer adequate.

Managing director of Bees Nees Realty Rob Honeycombe told Smart Property Investment's sister title, Residential Property Manager, the survey demonstrated that tenants were not too different from buyers when looking for a property.

“From a landlord’s point of view, there may be a temptation occasionally to cut corners and say ‘This is only a rental home’, but what this survey shows is that tenants do put value in things that are important to them when they’re choosing,” he said.

“If as a landlord you’re buying a property and you’re saying, ‘I couldn’t live there myself’, then there’s a very good chance a tenant won’t want to live there either.”

Mr Honeycombe said the survey also revealed two thirds of tenants wanted to be close to public transport, which ranked higher than parks, entertainment and family.

The features that tenants were not willing to pay for were gymnasiums, Foxtel and pets being permitted.

“Gyms have been consistently ranked very low and I think that’s a case of tenants saying, ‘If I want one, I’m prepared to pay for it but I want it to be a proper one’ and rental homes aren’t seen as having good gyms at all,” Mr Honeycombe said.

He added that the feature of allowing pets in property was more a reflection of the sample group rather than the broader tenant market.

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