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Which room rents your property?

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Which room really rents your London property? Hint: it’s an old favourite.

The kitchen is still king! At least that’s what the majority of London tenants believe. From the trendy white gloss kitchens in fashionable high rises to the charming country style kitchens in period conversions, the kitchen still rules the roost. Quite literally.

We recently conducted the largest survey in our 50 year history and received an overwhelming response from 33% of our tenants. Nearly 1400 London tenants took the survey, of which 60% were 25 to 40 year olds, the majority of whom were young professionals. Over 17% were expats who had relocated to London for work. The survey revealed some surprising trends that we hope will prove to be insightful to landlords looking to understand what tenants look for in a rental property.

Kitchens have long been regarded as the heart of the home and our research revealed that nearly 35% tenants consider the kitchen to be the most important room in a rental property.

The 21st century open plan kitchen diner is a reflection of the kitchen’s evolution from a primarily utilitarian space to cook food into a pseudo living room. There’s a practical reason for their popularity, with compact living spaces being an unavoidable reality for London’s renters. An aesthetically pleasing and well-appointed kitchen is a big draw for women who are key influencers when it comes to renting a property, it can also incentivise prospective tenants to offer a higher rental. Kitchens today have evolved into stylish living spaces designed to a high specification with stainless steel integrated appliances, chic tiled splashbacks, trendy breakfast bars and sought after island units; spaces where friends and family gather around to grab a quick breakfast or savour a leisurely weekend brunch. However, you don’t need to break the bank to create a fresh and inviting space. Get rid of worktop clutter and bulky appliances and invest in multi-purpose savvy storage solutions including concealed storage that seems to appear out of nowhere.

33% of our tenants ranked the living room as most important in a rental property, while 21% chose the bedroom. Presentation is key if you want to attract sought after corporate tenants who look for a welcoming and uncluttered space. We’ve found that well-furnished properties often let within a few days. If you’re working to a tight budget and schedule, it makes sense to focus on the rooms that are most important to tenants. It’s also equally important to consider your target tenant-the living space should be a reflection of their style and personality, and not necessarily yours. While families are more inclined to favour the kitchen, young professionals are drawn to an open plan living room to unwind after a busy day at work. Most of our corporate tenants have generous budgets with over a third willing to spend up to 40% of their income on renting, a poorly presented property is often a deal breaker for them, which is why we advise our landlords not to compromise on home furnishings and décor.

As experienced residential letting agents, we understand that doing any kind of remedial works can be quite daunting. But it needn’t be.  From full or part-refurbishment to providing high quality furnishing packages, we can help. Updating your rental property will generally result in a quicker let and usually increase the rental value. All of our workforce is employed so you can be assured of the best quality and continuity of service.  Contact your local branch for more details.



About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 14 international offices.