Trust and flexibility key to tenant satisfaction, finds new research

Location, flexibility, and direct relationships with landlords are essential for tenant satisfaction, according to OSB Group's latest research.

Related topics:  Landlords,  tenants,  PRS
Property | Reporter
5th December 2023
To Let 855
"This research reinforces our ongoing view that the journey to the professionalisation of the private landlord sector is key to helping them deliver the best experiences for the nation’s renters"
- Jon Hall - OSB Group

Location, flexibility, and direct relationships with landlords are essential for tenant satisfaction, according to OSB Group's latest research.

New research from specialist lending bank, OSB Group, has revealed that 76% of the 2,500 past, present and future renters surveyed say their current rental tenure suits them. 54% live in their preferred area, and 74% say they are satisfied with the level of security.

However, 73% of tenants feel they have been impacted by the lack of available housing and 34% report difficulties finding their existing homes.

Jason, a 30-year-old tenant from London interviewed as part of the research, said: “I felt like I had to pick damaged goods in a bag of damaged goods.” when he was searching for his property.

The research shows that while tenants cite the flexibility of renting as an advantage, only 26% say they would prefer to be renting today with the majority hoping to own their own home. While the lure of homeownership is strong, 71% say they are frightened by the size of borrowing required to afford a property.

Jon Hall, Group Managing Director Mortgages & Savings, at OSB Group, said: “The private rented sector is housing the nation. With landlords and tenants across the country facing the challenges of navigating a higher cost of living, and higher interest rate environment, it's important to look at what is working and what needs to change to help the sector thrive.

"This research reinforces our ongoing view that the journey to the professionalisation of the private landlord sector is key to helping them deliver the best experiences for the nation’s renters.”

The research highlighted that when tenants and landlords have a direct relationship, satisfaction levels are significantly higher. 47% of tenants deal with their landlord directly, and of those, 82% feel like they are treated fairly, and 72% trust their landlord.

Independent landlord, Suzanne Smith, a founding member of the OSB Group Landlord Leaders Community, agrees that forging strong relationships is fundamental: “The key is having a good relationship with tenants. We are providing their home.”

However, the research shows that 59% of tenants have experienced rule breaches like unreasonable financial demands or discrimination from their landlord and a fifth (20%) feel the poor quality of their property has impacted their health.

Ronnell Reffell, Manager, Mortgages Policy at UK Finance said: “In the UK, home ownership is seen as the pinnacle and renting is seen as a second class tenure. But lots of people rent today and they really want to rent.

"It’s great for them, and benefits such as not dealing with property maintenance are important for people. The findings of the OSB Group research support our view that it is better for the sector if it becomes more professionalised.”

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