Gen Z renters seek sustainable properties

What you think Generation Z want from a rental property and what they would actually like may surprise landlords hoping to target students, recent graduates and young professionals.

While Generation Z have a reputation for living their lives voraciously – and rather superficially – via social media, their property wishes are far more considered and cautious. A new survey of more than 2,500 people aged between 16-25, featured in an article published by PBSA News, set out to establish what was important to them in a rented home.

Flashy luxuries took a back seat to more sustainable aspects, illustrating that Generation Z is far more prudent and eco-conscious than landlords may believe. The headline statistic showed that 80% of Generation Z said it was important that their home had sustainability credentials – a figure that rose to 86% among the international Generation Z community based in the UK. In fact, only 6% of participants said sustainability features would not be important when deciding on their accommodation.

When it came to specifics, those taking part in the survey had a clear idea on how their home should be energy efficient. Good insulation to cut down on energy bills was important to 67% of respondents, while 35% said they would like to see solar panels installed.

Smart technology that can help save the environment and money was most important to 16 to 18 year-olds, with 57% of this age group expressing a willingness to pay more for smart tech as opposed to a concierge (35%), gaming room (39%), cinema room (46%), pub or bar (41%) or communal dining room (37%).

Landlords should also take heed of some other interesting findings – especially those looking to make new property investments. Becoming more self-sufficient was a surprising desire, with 22% of young people saying they want outdoor space to grow their own produce. And for landlords offering furnished properties, it’s worth noting that 73% of those surveyed would be comfortable living somewhere with second-hand or upcycled furniture.

The new findings follow a set of similar survey results released earlier in 2022. When questioning younger generations, E.ON found the majority (83%) of Generation Z and Millennials (the latter who are aged between 28-41) would be more inclined to speak to their landlord about installing a heat pump, than those in Generation X (those aged between 42-56). E.ON’s survey also revealed 8 in 10 from Generation Z would reject properties that didn’t meet minimum energy efficiency ratings, compared to only 6 in 10 Generation X who would do the same.

With tightening EPC standards set to be phased in from 2025, landlords should be preparing now in order to market more sustainable, legally-compliant properties in the future. For landlords who are early-adopters, a more energy efficient buy-to-let will appeal to a growing group of sustainably minded Generation Z tenants. If you would like advice on improving the energy efficiency of your portfolio, please get in touch.