Lara Whattam, senior lettings negotiator at Arnolds Keys, explains why first impressions count.

The last year or two have very much been a seller’s market in residential lettings, with as many as 20 applicants for every vacant home. 

But that doesn’t mean that landlords shouldn’t be making an effort to attract tenants, both because the market will always readjust eventually and, even in the current environment, the quality of your tenant is very important. 

So how do you go about attracting the best tenants? What factors are most commonly asked for by applicants? Knowing this can help you prepare and market your property to ensure yours is the most sought-after. 

They say first impressions count, and this is equally true when attracting tenants. They want to see a well-presented, well-maintained and clean property, ideally with fairly neutral decoration. 

Secondly, the impression the landlord gives is important. Tenants want to know their landlord is going to be responsive, both when problems occur, but also in terms of being flexible in accommodating requests (such as being able to keep a pet). 

Eastern Daily Press: Senior lettings negotiator Lara WhattamSenior lettings negotiator Lara Whattam (Image: Arnolds Keys)

Location is of course vital. Prospective tenants will be looking for a home that is convenient for their daily lives, with good schools nearby and decent transport links available.  

With increasing numbers of people foregoing a car, having good amenities such as shops in close by is also a plus. 

Energy efficiency is an increasingly big factor, both for environmental reasons and because an energy-efficient home is cheaper to run. Currently, all rental homes must have an EPC of at least ‘E’; but homes with higher levels of sustainability will be in demand. 

With the seismic change brought about by Covid, space is much more sought-after than it was five years ago. Tenants may well want their home to have a useable space to work from home, and the importance of outside space was very much brought into focus by lockdown – and hasn’t diminished. 

The sixth thing tenants want to see is a quality kitchen and bathroom. For those taking short-term lets, a well-equipped kitchen is important and a good shower with decent water pressure is a must. 

Finally, an allocated parking space is a big draw, especially in the city where on-street parking might be limited. If your property comes with a visitor’s permit, even better. 

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