Choosing a Buy to Let

It’s one thing looking for a property for yourself, but choosing the right buy to let is a completely different process. This is the time to put your own tastes firmly to one side and try to put yourself in your potential tenants’ shoes. The key to a successful buy to let investment is selecting a property that ticks as many boxes for renters as possible.

The more attractive it is to potential tenants, the higher the rental yield you will be able to expect and the more likely you are to enjoy long-term tenancies. The rental market has evolved rapidly in recent years, and tenants’ expectations and priorities have changed too.

So, what should you be looking for when choosing that buy to let property?

Your buy to let location is key

Before you choose a buy to let, take time to think about the kind of tenants you’d like to attract. The demographic you want to appeal to will have a big impact on the best location for your property. If you’d like to let your property to a family, you might want to go for a property close to a school.

Parents looking to rent with children may prioritise homes in school catchment areas, as well as those within walking distance from open spaces like parks, local doctors’ surgeries, and shops1.

Whatever type of tenant you are looking to attract – bear in mind what they’re likely to need from a rental. For example, young professionals seek good transport links.

Always take time to ensure your property is in a safe area. Check out local crime rates in the area before investing, as you want your tenants to feel as secure as possible in and around their rental property.

Will you be a pet friendly landlord?

We’ve always been a nation of pet lovers, but the pandemic saw a boom in new pets that’s now having a huge impact on tenants’ wish lists.

Rightmove reported that they saw website users searching for pet friendly properties above any other requirement during 20212, indicating that tenants are no longer happy to put off owning a pet until they buy a home.

Have a good think about the pros and cons of welcoming pets before advertising your buy to let, as it may widen your net when it comes to attracting tenants.

Think indoor and outdoor space

With more professionals working remotely, space is more important than ever. One forecast states that 1 office space in 10 will be surplus to requirements by 20273, so it’s looking likely that the changes in renters’ priorities we’ve seen triggered by the lockdowns may be here to stay.

With many people working from home most of the time or even full time, outside space and open plan living have become more important to tenants.

In 2021, Rightmove reported that demand for rental properties with outside space had soared by 39% since the previous year4, while demand for a balcony had risen by 70%.  Space is becoming more important inside the buy to let too, as properties with open plan living are becoming more sought-after5.

A flowing, open space offers tenants more choice when it comes to setting up a home workstation, and they’re great for family living and student set ups.

It’s all about the home office

Speaking of setting up a workstation, it’s worth bearing in mind that many tenants will be looking for an office space for remote working. This might be worth considering when you choose how many rooms your buy to let should have, as the spare room may well be converted into a home office.

Since the pandemic, rental homes that offer an office space have become just as attractive to tenants as those that have their own outside space6. Does the location have access to internet service providers offering superfast broadband speeds?

That means you’re more likely to attract long-term tenants if you pick a buy to let that comes with a designated office area. The last couple of years have seen a quiet space for tenants to work remotely become increasingly important to renters.

This is a marketing article for Towergate Insurance.


1: What tenants want in a rental property

2: Demand soars for pet friendly rental homes

3: Working from home – how it’s changed us forever

4: Demand soars for pet friendly rental homes

5: What tenants want in a rental property

6: Home office – how to give your rental the edge