Amenities – Which amenities are most important to have near a buy-to-let property? Will this increase its rental value?
Different tenants will usually request different amenities according to their priorities and situation. Good transport links are essential for most people and the majority will want to be within a ten-minute walk of a tube station. But it pays to explore new areas, too – we discovered an interesting trend recently when we carried out research and found some areas that used to be hard to reach by public transport are increasing in popularity amongst tenants because they are near a ‘Boris Bike’ docking station, enabling them to cycle to their closest tube or overground station. Some of these previously-overlooked areas are now seeing huge jumps in rental returns.
Generally, younger tenants want plenty of local amenities nearby such as shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and sports facilities. Families have different priorities. They’ll want good shops and cafés too but even more importantly, they’ll want to be in the catchment area of good schools and are happy to pay a premium for this. Good local parks are also important. Another clear priority for families is a safe neighbourhood and ideally a sense of community. Single female tenants will also prioritise safety and security. If you are renting to students then choose an area close to good universities.
Certain facilities – good schools and transport links – will usually mean a property attracts a higher rental, but ticking other boxes on a tenant’s wish list, while perhaps not increasing the rent, will often mean a property lets more quickly, reducing voids and increasing its overall rental yield.
Finally, don’t forget that affordability is a key issue and also determines tenants’ decision on where to rent. Many are happy to move a little further out, if the property is close to a tube station, to find a more affordable rental property. Areas on the fringes of central London are now becoming real rental hotspots.
Marc von Grundherr
Lettings Director, Hammersmith Branch
Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings