Covid-19 causes shift in priorities for London renters


Newly released research from letting and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has revealed how the ongoing threat of Covid-19 is shaping the UK rental market and the priorities of those who rent in the capital.

A new survey over 1,700 tenants which asked them to rank several rental property features on their importance, before comparing this to the same survey results from last year, has shown that fast broadband is the most sought after feature as a potential future of working from home looms, although this was still the second most sought after feature in the previous survey before the pandemic.

The more significant changes have been the prioritisation of outside space and the availability of nearby green areas such as parks. These features now rank as the second and third most important to tenants, while in the previous survey they were only the seventh and ninth most important features.

A concierge or onsite security remains relatively unchanged in importance. At the same time, excellent transport links within a nine-minute walk used to be the number one priority but now sit as the fifth most important.

More social features, such as a cinema room or gym, came in as the least important, whereas previously they ranked mid-table.

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves said, “There’s no doubt that the spread of the coronavirus has had a notable impact on the property prioritisation of tenants. These emerging trends are likely to continue with talk of a second wave and many preempting another potential lockdown.

“That’s not to say that tenants don’t want the traditional facilities such as an on-site gym or social area to relax in. However, the ability to work successfully from home, while also having the option to take some time out in the fresh air, is undoubtedly the biggest draws at present. This is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future, although we should see a seasonal adjustment as the long sunny days start to disappear. ”