A fifth of UK renters would pay over £1K more a year for smart home tech

Tech is now so important in our lives that a fifth of UK renters say they’d fork out up to 10 per cent MORE in rent each month for smart features in their home, an industry poll has found.

Wise Living, a build-to-rent (BTR) provider which creates purpose-built homes for the private rental sector, surveyed 1,000 renters across the UK to find out what people look for in a new home – including their attitude to technology, eco-features, and landlord services.

According to the latest rental stats from Rightmove[1], the average UK rent (excluding London) is £982. Using Wise Living’s research, that means renters would be willing to pay an extra £1,178 in rent a year for a home that has integrated smart features. When you look at renters living in the Greater London area, this jumps to an extra £2,302 a year, where the average renter pays £1,919 PCM.

Nearly 85 per cent of all those surveyed wanted instant connectivity, including access to superfast broadband and TV packages, in a rental property – while 75 per cent would look for smart lighting and heating, with another 74 per cent wanting to see smart security systems included in rental homes.

While the trend is being driven by 18 to 34-year-olds, there’s a clear appetite for smart home tech among older age groups too. The study found that almost half of over-35s would be willing to pay up to five per cent more for a tech-friendly rental property.

Head of Customer Experience at Wise Living, Anne Malone, believes the pandemic has accelerated UK renters’ appetite for smart technology integrated within the home. She said:

“Our findings demonstrate that people want more than the basics from their rental homes – they’re looking for a place that gives them a good quality of life too as for many their home is now also their office. Super-fast broadband, in particular, is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’ but an essential utility for many households.

“The Covid-19 lockdowns influenced our attitudes towards technology as we depended on it for remote working and streaming entertainment services but it’s not the only reason.

“In fact, the survey results reflect the wider changes that have been taking place in the rental market for several years.

“We’re seeing growing numbers of families and older couples opting for purpose-built rental properties in the suburbs, so it’s not just younger professionals living in city centre apartments. This is usually because they’re looking for flexibility and convenience – which explains why they want their homes kitted out with the latest technology too.”

Wise Living is a build-to-rent (BTR) specialist, delivering new communities of purpose-built homes. Its developments can be found across the UK, including in Wolverhampton, Mansfield, Coventry, Rotherham, Telford and Birkenhead.

For more details about the survey, visit https://www.wiselivinghomes.co.uk/BTR-whitepaper


[1] https://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/rental-price-tracker/