Whether for work, study or entertainment reasons, a reliable and affordable broadband connection is likely to be one of the first services that prospective tenants look for in a new home, as it is one thing most people simply cannot live without.
According to a new survey of 3,000 Brits, slow broadband speed at peak-times has been cited as the number one unexpected home-mover bugbear, with many respondents insisting that they would not have moved at all had they known the broadband would be inadequate.
The study suggests that sub-standard broadband connectivity can have an adverse impact on rental values as it can make it harder to attract, and indeed, retain tenants.
Almost half of renters – 48% – surveyed said that they would have avoided a property entirely if they had known that it had poor broadband speeds at peak-time.
For over a third – 36% – flaky mobile signal would have also been a deal breaker, followed by an unresponsive landlord (33%), noisy neighbours (32%) and loud road noise (26%).
When asked what information they would most like to know about a property, which is not readily available from an agent or the website, 34% of respondents to the poll said they wanted to know what broadband speeds they would receive at peak times, another key concern expressed by 28% was the responsiveness of the landlord.
The reliability of the mobile phone signal was important to 18% but not living next to noisy neighbours surprisingly came in at the bottom of the list with just 6% of Brits saying that it would be their top concern.
Steve Holford, chief customer officer at Hyperoptic, the full fibre provider, which commissioned the research, said: “We are hitting one of the busiest times of the year for moving home, but ironically for many the speed of the market won’t be matched by the speed at which they can connect to the Internet when they get into a new property.
“The average property broadband speed that is given from a property website is basically misleading since it does not factor in how much a Fibre-to-the-Cabinet broadband service can reduce at peak times.
“It is time that the property sector woke up to the fact that broadband is not just a standard property amenity – it has the power to turn off a prospective renter and buyer altogether. Brits want and deserve to know how their broadband will perform at the time they need it most.”
Separate research from Gocompare.com Broadband recently found that many Brits now consider internet connection to be more important than heating.
The study by the comparison site revealed that 76% of British adults view broadband as an essential utility, with around a third – 36% – saying they could not live without it.
The study also uncovered how broadband has become a deal breaker when it comes to property, with one in five saying they would not buy a house if it had a poor internet connection.
Younger adults aged 18-24 were most likely to forgo heating in favour of broadband, with 23% of people in this age group willing to go without heating for a week and 15% happy to be left in the cold for a month. However, it was the over 65s who valued the internet the most, with 81% saying they thought it was an essential utility.
Ben Wilson, from Gocompare.com Broadband, said: “These figures highlight just how important the internet has become in our daily lives, with the majority of people now considering it an essential utility, like energy or water.”
“The internet has quietly become a vital part in many people’s day-to-day lives and as such it’s now more important than ever to make sure you’re with the right provider at the right price,” he added.