Renting As a Lifestyle

From co-living spaces to purpose-built rental developments, the private rental sector is getting a makeover in response to the evolving demands of tenants in the PRS. The sector is impacted by the changing needs of tenants with the rise of generation rent, and the current trend of renting as a lifestyle rather than just a necessity.


As a landlord or building manager, you need to be aware of these changes and the added extras you can offer to attract new tenants.


Generation Rent


As the younger generation is being priced out of the property market, long-term – or even lifelong – renting is becoming a reality for many. Research by tax and advisory firm PwC confirms this, with half of the 20-39 age group expected to be privately renting by 2025. The report also estimates that 25% of all UK households will be privately renting by 2025, which would be a 5% increase on the 2015 figure.


Despite how disheartening these figures may sound, young professionals are embracing renting as a lifestyle. Many see it as a hassle-free option with no ties to a certain place beyond their lease, and peace of mind knowing that they have someone on call when something breaks or needs replacing in the property.


For landlords to capitalise on this trend, the key thing to keep in mind is that tenants want to feel like renting is just as good – if not better – than home ownership, so that they have further incentives to stay in the rental market.


Renting As a Lifestyle

A Lifestyle and a Home


Many tenants are no longer just renting a place to live – they are looking to rent a lifestyle that they cannot afford to buy. Added extras like cleaning services and subscription TV are becoming increasingly commonplace offerings in the PRS, and you should consider them as assets that can increase the value of your property and add a USP.


These added extras will help you compete with new developments that are offering similar things. As renting is becoming as much a trend as it is a necessity, large property developers like the Real Star Group and Greystar have brought over a new model for private renting in the UK


The Real Star Group’s latest project in the UK comes in the form of its UNCLE development in Manchester City Centre. The USP of the development is that by managing and owning the entire building, Real Star has been able to cut the costs associated with agents and landlords – such as booking and admin fees – and can thereby offer guaranteed repairs in 48 hours, along with flexible leases.


The list of amenities included in the rent makes a tempting offer for tenants, and whilst you may not be able to offer an on-site gym and yoga studio or a co-working space, you can still entice new tenants with added extras.


Renting As a Lifestyle

What Amenities Can Private Landlords Include?


Additional services and extras can be costly upfront, but will allow you to raise the rental price of your property. With most services, you’ll be able to negotiate lower prices if you’re looking at equipping multiple properties with the same or similar packages.


Whether you offer these services as standard across your properties, or give your tenants the option to mix and match, you’ll be able to charge your tenants more by taking away the hassle of setting these things up for themselves, and by marketing your properties for the lifestyle they enable.

All-Inclusive Rent: Including bills in the rent will result in a higher rent price, but many tenants enjoy the convenience, because it means that they can deal with the majority of their outgoings in a single payment, and it takes the guesswork out of the cost of living for each month.


Entertainment Packages: Don’t forget to consider luxuries like broadband and a subscription TV package in the rent. You’ll be able to secure discounts by purchasing multiple packages with one provider, so can probably include this extra for cheaper than a tenant could organise by themselves.


Parking:

Parking can be an issue for tenants, especially in city-centre HMOs. By being able to provide guaranteed parking for your tenants, you’ll make the property more appealing to an increasingly mobile workforce. Partnering with a local parking provider could help you to secure a much-coveted city-centre parking space to offer as a bonus to your tenants.


Cleaning Service:Employing a cleaning service on a regular basis will not only be an attractive offer to tenants, but will also give you peace of mind that your property is being looked after. The cost for cleaning services varies between companies, but partnerships with local businesses will prove profitable for both parties.


Repairs: As a landlord, you’re already responsible for carrying out repairs in the properties you own, but you can go a step further by guaranteeing that you’ll deal with any repairs in a certain timeframe, reassuring your tenants that they have someone to contact at any time if fixtures, furnishings, or appliances go wrong in the property.


Other Services and Deals:Large property developers may have an advantage because they have the space to offer facilities such as gyms and co-working spaces on-site, but you can make up for it by thinking outside of the box, looking at what services your tenants would be interested in, and figuring out how you can offer these to them. Why not approach local businesses like carwashes and gyms to see if you can work out a discounted rate with them?


Modern Design for the Modern Tenant


Renting is getting a makeover, so why not give your property one too? Providing high-quality furniture can give your property a more luxurious look and update it to a contemporary finish, which is a key part of selling the idea of a lifestyle. You’ll not only be meeting the demands of generation rent, but also achieve greater yields – read more in our recent blog


Renting As a Lifestyle