Location, transport links, amenities – these are all things prospective landlords consider when buying a rental investment property. But what about broadband speeds? Less than ten years ago, internet speeds rarely figured in a tenant’s wish list when looking at a property to rent in London but today, few of us could live without fast internet access.
Professionals working from home, students carrying out research, children doing their homework, even just streaming movies or music – having a good broadband provider is essential in our daily lives. And fast access has a real impact on a property’s appeal to prospective tenants. Students in particular rate internet access a high priority and simply won’t rent a property that doesn’t offer a fast service.
To gauge the importance of internet speeds to tenants, we’ve just carried out our own straw poll amongst our lettings offices to find out how important this issue is to tenants.
Without exception, feedback from across our eleven London lettings offices reported that tenants all expected broadband to be available in a rental property. Not all tenants will enquire whether it’s available before renting, most expect it so all the more reason to ensure that your letting agent knows what is offered. International tenants make up a high proportion of those now renting homes in the Capital. Tenants renting in the City and Canary Wharf in particular often ask detailed questions about internet provision and all students ask questions about the broadband service available in a property before renting. In central London, requests for whether a property has fibre optic broadband is also on the increase.
Our conclusion here is that a fast internet speed is clearly a priority for most tenants, and for students it is imperative. Most expect a fast connection to be available – it’s simply a necessity of modern life and for many, would be a dealbreaker if it wasn’t available.
Thankfully our Property Management Department haven’t received any complaints from tenants about the availability or speed of broadband, however prospective tenants should check access to certain providers or packages in the area they are renting. Some buildings, for example, only have a communal satellite system which may not have access to HD or Sky+.
Tenants should be beware of taking matters into their own hands. Not so long ago, a tenant at one residential development erected his own satellite dish and the developer demanded it be taken down. Not only did this pose a real health and safety issue but, if every resident adopted this approach the sheer number of dishes would be a real eyesore.
There is a simple way to check the broadband speed of a property at this link
All you need to do is enter the postcode of the property and this website will test both upload and download speeds so it’s a good tool for landlords and tenants alike.
Fast broadband speed is becoming increasingly important for renters and remember, the advertised speed is not always the speed that is available. If you’re about to buy a property, maybe visit the property and try out the broadband speed yourself with your laptop or mobile device.
But whatever you do, don’t underestimate the importance of broadband access when buying a new rental property or you could find that it fails to attract a tenant as quickly as you anticipated.
If you would like more information or help about broadband in your property contact our Property Management Department.
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