IN 2015, Barclays Mortgages conducted a survey to find the features of properties that are most detested by UK house buyers.
Top of the list came the avocado-coloured bathroom suite beloved of Seventies householders, closely followed by woodchip wallpaper.
There is a natural correlation between the likes and dislikes of buyers and tenants — after all, who wants to have a bath in a bathroom which they find visibly repellent — even if it is only over a short-term period?
“In many respects, tenants are probably more particular about the aesthetic quality of a property than a buyer,” said Adrian Moody, head of Savills’ Henley lettings.
“There is an acceptance with most buyers that they will want to make changes to a property they are buying, but these changes will occur over time and at a point when they can best afford to do the work. This is not the case with tenants. If tenants are paying a fair market price for a rental property they expect an updated property in return.”
Indeed, Savills’ country lettings departments have found that having both a new kitchen and bathroom — as opposed to a 20-year-old equivalent — would increase the average rental value of a house by as much as 28.9 per cent and help to reduce void periods.
“Obviously, this is an extreme example of a new versus very old kitchen or bathroom and landlords couldn’t expect the same uplift if they were simply replacing a tired-looking five-year-old white bathroom suite with the equivalent brand new,” added Adrian.
“However, what it does demonstrate is the importance of aesthetics within the lettings market. Tenants need to be tempted into a property — they want to make it their home, albeit for a short period, and landlords want tenants to stay for as long as possible in order to reduce void periods and, by so doing, their costs.”