Residential tenants’ wish list revealed: Here’s how landlords can secure reliable rental streams

Residential tenants can quickly tell the difference between a good property (and landlord) and a bad one, say rental experts.

While many tenants are turning into landlords thanks to favourable buying conditions, a large proportion of South Africans will continue to rent. Data from TPN Credit Bureau reveals that 45% of tenants cannot afford to buy property currently. As a result, many of these tenants will rent property for the foreseeable future.

The TPN Credit Bureau conducted a Tenant Wish List survey to find out what tenants consider when looking for rental property. The factors (in order of importance) are as follows:

Read also: Is buy-to-let investing in SA still a good idea? Here’s what the data says about tenants

1. Price

Nearly 50% of tenants surveyed consider the property price to be the most important consideration. It goes without saying that well-priced properties are more likely to be snapped up as soon as they hit the market.

Tenants conduct extensive research before viewing a property. They know what the rental trends are in a specific area and can quickly spot properties that are overpriced.

Although vacancies are in double digits, properties priced between R4,500 and R7,000 per month have a vacancy rate of 10.34%.

Property portals such as Property24 and Private Property provide a wide range of listings in various areas. Looking for similar properties in your area will give you a quick indication of current rental trends and rates.

If your property has been on the market for a long time, it could well be overpriced.

2. Security

Coming in as the second-most important factor for tenants is security.

About 32% of the respondents in the survey said that one of their greatest requirements is to feel safe in their homes. Robberies on residential premises increased to 5,760 between July –September 2020 from 5,308 in the same period last year. This is according to the South African Police Service Crime Statistics released last month.

For this reason, many tenants rent in sectional title developments.

Read also: It’s getting cheaper to rent property, with Western Cape most expensive – average rent snapshots

3. Pet-friendly

Residential tenants (approximately 7% of those surveyed) want the option of a property that will accommodate their pets.

Most sectional title complexes only allow pets on the ground floor, while many others don’t allow pets at all. Some complexes have size restrictions for dogs or there will be a limit to the number of pets that a tenant can keep.

As a landlord in a complex, you should familiarise yourself with the rules of your estate before listing your property for rental.

4. Space and property size

Advertising a modern one-bedroom apartment for rent is not enough. Tenants need to know the square metreage of a property before they can make a decision to rent.

Landlords need to specify the exact size of the property in order to attract the right tenant.

Read also: Micro apartments: chic small homes designed for city living appeal to savvy investors

5. Distance to work

With increasing traffic volumes, tenants want to be able to get to and from work with ease. They also want to live closer to work to save on fuel and time, aside from the many other benefits it offers.

When buying an investment property, it’s important to consider whether your property is near popular office hubs, shopping malls and schools.

Other factors that tenants look for include a private garden, well-maintained property, internet access, brand new developments and shopping centres. Additionally, residential tenants want green properties, deposit-free incentives, and extras such as a fridge, dishwasher and a washing machine.

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