The financial crisis of recent years may have changed things forever. People in the UK have always aspired to owning their own homes and it was something that the Thatcher regime of the 1980s positively encouraged. The trend continued but whether it will get back on track as prices begin to grow again is questionable. Even though first time buyers are getting help in getting onto the property ladder, home ownership has dropped to its lowest level since Thatcher’s era. Just a decade ago, 71% owned their own home; it is now 65%. The number of people renting has risen in that time from 2.2m to 3.9m. It adds up to a genuine opportunity for landlords to find tenants. This is now ‘Generation Rent.’
People who may never have thought of becoming landlords before may even begin to think along those lines. It can mean a second income as the trend to rent may not reverse. The recent Budget announcement allowing people to release their pension pots rather than buy an annuity may even see the elderly buy property to rent for that second income. After all interest rates are not conducive to living off the return.
With the opportunity comes the need for investors who develop property for rental to consider good design and best use of floor space. Demand is coming from singles, couples and families. It is not a case of wasting space, yet in today’s world everyone expects quality. When it comes to a bathroom that translates into a good shower that does not take up too much space yet provides that quality.
The days of soaking in a bath may be receding. The property owning population tends to be older and it is with them that the bath was the norm; over a third of owners are at retirement age. Young renters may not even expect to see a bath, especially if they live in the centre of towns and cities where the majority of rental property exists.
Many investment properties need some attention and modernisation in order to be attractive to renters. One of the first things that people look at when viewing property is the bathroom. That and the kitchen can help tip the balance between accepting and rejecting a property. Bathrooms may be compact but there are companies that have the ingredients of a completely up to date facility.
It is important to look at the budget for any renovation that will be required to a property before it can be attractive for rental. Every landlord has legal responsibilities but likewise each will aim to get good tenants and keep them. Obviously the best way to do that is to provide somewhere those tenants will be keen to stay. That involves location but even more importantly a comfortable interior.