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Landlords favour referenced tenants over higher rents – Hunters research reveals

Ensuring potential tenants have passed reference checks came in as the top priority for landlords when selecting an agent to let their property, according to new research by Hunters Estate Agents, which surveyed 2,506 landlords across the country.

The survey, undertaken by one of the country’s leading estate agents, shows that nearly 70 per cent of landlords cited this as a highly important consideration.

The new report found that rent achieved on a property did not appear in the top three factors taken into account by landlords when selecting an agent, with speed of let and trained staff cited as the second and third priorities. The research comes at an interesting time, with the latest ONS figures indicating that private rental prices grew by 2.6 per cent in England, with all regions across England experiencing price increases.

Forty one per cent of landlords cited finding long term tenants as a key factor, indicating that landlords value reliable and consistent tenants over those that will pay higher rents. Unsurprisingly, 66 per cent of landlords surveyed also mentioned speed of let as a key priority, reflecting the need to avoid empty properties to evade loss of income.

Carrie Alliston, head of lettings at Hunters Property Plc, said: “It is undeniable that the UK has a growing market for lettings, with more people renting than ever before, whether this is because they are struggling to get onto the housing ladder or enjoy the flexibility renting gives them.

” It is therefore highly important to ensure that although the market is widening, agents are still doing the necessary procedures to protect both landlords and tenants. At Hunters our staff are trained to find the most reliable tenants to ensure our landlords receive rent in good time, their properties are well looked after and are unlikely to be left empty at short notice. ”

Carrie added: “Whilst it is important to ensure our investors are achieving a good return on their properties, it is reassuring to see that despite rental price increases across the country; our landlords have not cited marketing their properties at the most expensive price possible as a priority for them.

“This indicates that the increase in rental prices across England is due to wider market factors, such as house price increases or the additional stamp duty charges introduced in April, rather than landlord greed.” 

Having opened its first branch 23 years ago in York, Hunters is rapidly becoming one of the major players on the national property scene and estate agency franchising, with over 170 branches now nationwide.

The Group, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2015, recently announced a successful trading update, confirming excellent pace of roll-out and a strong pipeline for opening new branches throughout 2016.

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