Despite demand continuing to outstrip supply in today's highly competitive rental market, almost half of renters polled in a new survey said it would be a 'deal breaker' if their landlord failed to demonstrate their green credentials.
"The findings demonstrate that when targeting modern renters, landlords and property managers that offer the desired amenities will be better positioned in a competitive market"
A survey of over 2,000 UK renters commissioned by MRI Software found that younger residents are driving a shift to modern, environmentally friendly properties and want landlords and property managers to demonstrate their green credentials.
Close to three-quarters deemed it important and almost half considered it a deal-breaker when choosing to rent a property, according to the research.
MRI’s Rental Housing Trends and Preferences report also revealed that nearly four-fifths want to own their own property eventually, onsite amenities have become increasingly important to them, and two-thirds would prefer to manage their relationship with their landlord or property manager digitally.
James Lavery, Vice President of Marketing (EMEA) at MRI Software, comments: “The rental housing report provides a wide-ranging look into the mindset of UK residential renters with revealing stats that show their expectations, demands and behaviours.
“The survey also provides a window on what rental trends are developing in the marketplace. One of the most noteworthy findings is that all renters – especially younger renters – now demand that landlords and building managers take a green approach to managing the properties they rent out.”
The MRI survey showed that 72% of renters say it is important that their building be managed in an environmentally friendly way, and 74% say they wanted their landlord or property manager to have technologies in place that ensure their rental properties are green, energy-efficient spaces.
Younger renters were much more likely to agree that environmental credentials were vital, with 75% of those aged 18-24 agreeing, compared to just 67% of those over 65. The findings reveal that 47% of all respondents see the lack of green building management as a deal-breaker, with 59% of 18-24-year-olds likely to take this more rigid stance when renting.
The research also shows that 79% of UK renters want to own their own property eventually and that 80% prefer to live in houses while they are renting – even though just 63% are doing so at the moment.
Most UK renters live in cities, suburbs and towns (90%), although more than a quarter of all respondents (27%) would prefer to be in rural communities, where just 10% currently reside. Rural renters are most satisfied with where they live, with 81% saying they are happy living where they are versus just over 50% of those renting elsewhere.
The survey also found that, as we move further away from the pandemic, some attitudes to renting have changed, as 39% say their expectations are “far greater” in terms of rental amenities such as private parking, access to high-speed broadband, additional storage, onsite security, exercise facilities, and an onsite coffee shop; and nearby facilities such as shopping, nightlife, healthcare services, green spaces and outdoor markets. The survey also revealed:
50% of all renters say having amenities such as a hairstylist, dry cleaner or café onsite, as well as internal facilities such as a gym, party rooms or concierge services, makes living in an apartment complex “far more appealing”
The younger the renter, the more likely they are to see ‘hotel-style’ amenities such as onsite gyms, party rooms, concierge services, hair salons, dry cleaners, and cafés as a difference maker, with 60% of 18-24-year-olds wanting such facilities, compared to 37% of over-65s;
56% of respondents would accept a longer commute for better amenities and their desired property type.
Overall, 66% of renters prefer to manage their relationship with their landlord or property manager digitally and in a self-service manner. This result is weighted heavily towards younger users, with 71% of those aged 25-34 agreeing versus just 37% of those over 65.
When it comes to signing documents, more than half (52%) still prefer to do so in person, but a third (33%) would like to do so via electronic signature on email or through an online portal – although only 29% are able to currently.
Lavery concludes: “The results suggest that online portals and other digital tools have strong potential to become more popular as new generations move into the rental market and other residents are educated on the benefits.
"The findings demonstrate that when targeting modern renters, landlords and property managers that offer the desired amenities, communication tools, payment options, and solid green credentials will be better positioned in a competitive market to win them over and maintain occupancy over the long term.”