There are lots of pros and cons to renting. The benefits include being able to rely on a landlord or management company to fix and pay for costly repairs, ability to move around freely and the financial freedom that comes from not having a mortgage. On the other hand, there are downsides that come with living in a private rented home; namely the restrictions that come with decorating, rent fluctuations and sadness that may be felt when you inevitably need to move on.
As the Private Rented Sector (PRS) continues to grow, so does the need to address these key issues. We are fast becoming a nation of renters, with tenants paying a record £51.6bn to landlords in the form of rent in 2017 – more than double the £22.6bn paid out in 2007. As a large proportion of the UK faces a lifetime of renting, it is crucial that industry leaders and landlords make living in rented accommodation as attractive as possible.
New research has shed some light on what it is that tenants want from their rental homes, putting pets, high-speed internet and communal facilities such as a gym at the top of the list.
The study showed that 28% of tenants would be prepared to pay an average of £24 on top of their monthly rent in order to keep a pet, whilst 41% of respondents would pay up to £20 for a gym facility, and 21% would pay an average of £19 extra each month for high-speed internet.
Others said they would be willing to pay a smaller amount more for laundry facilities, communal outdoor space, a communal games room, concierge and bike storage space.
As a nation of animal lovers, though, it is unsurprising that being able to have a pet hit the top of the list. For as long as anyone can remember, animals have lived alongside man – offering comfort, companionship and love. Data from Statistica shows that the estimated pet population in the United Kingdom is 51 million, with a staggering 26% of the population owning the UK’s most popular pet in the United Kingdom, the dog.
The fact that many renters are facing a future of living in rented homes that refuse to allow pets (often of any kind) is a problem that needs to be addressed alongside the sustained growth of the PRS. Should landlords and management companies soften their view on our four legged friends there is a chance that they will benefit as well as tenants themselves!