While choosing a property to rent, the majority of tenants make their decision based on cost, location, garden, consent to keep pets and parking… but as a landlord, do you ever wonder what renters do not want to find in their new rented home? What are the most off-putting factors that can deter prospective tenants from renting your property?

The most recent study into the biggest interior design pet peeves for tenants, revealed that for almost half of the respondents (49%) a dirty property was a deal breaker when renting new home.

Bad smell and damp also topped the list of the biggest turn-offs when looking for a new home, with 46% and 43% of prospective tenants respectively naming these two factors as deal breakers.

Overgrown garden and badly decorated property would put off more than a third of respondents, closing off the list of top five reasons why they would not rent a property.

Don’t underestimate property decor

While the fact that a significant number of tenants wouldn’t choose a dirty or damp property for their future home doesn’t really surprise, the fact that 35% of them would reject a property which has not been tastefully decorated might. Would it cross your mind that the colour of the walls in your property could determine its ability to rent?


Aesthetics and decoration of a property seem to have gained importance as one of the deciding factors whether to rent a property or not. According to the findings, an old fashioned kitchen would put off 48% of surveyed renters, followed closely by an old fashioned bathroom – 47% respondents.

A significant number of tenants (28%) wouldn’t rent a property with an old fashioned bedroom or brightly coloured walls (27%) or bright/patterned carpets (26%).

Tick ideal rental boxes

The good news is that often all these issues can be prevented in the first place or easily rectified once they have occurred. Fixing them doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank or involve too much time and effort. Sometimes simple tricks and upgrades to the property (lick of fresh paint in neutral colours, updating accessories, like new curtains or blinds) can do wonders, bring the property up to scratch and attract more prospective tenants at the same time.


Paul McGuiness, owner at home furnishing retailer, Terry’s Fabric who conducted the study, said: “It is clear that the look and feel of a property can have a big effect on how prospective renters feel.”

He added: “Rather than investing in a brand new kitchen or bathroom suite, a quick update of the property’s decor could make all of the difference. Adding more accessories such as soft furnishings and blinds or adding a lick of paint might be the difference between securing a tenant or not.”