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What landlords need to know about renting to millennials

Millennials form a ready-made market for buy-to-let properties, but in order to fully reap the benefits, landlords need to understand their target market.

Renting to millenials

Article summary:

  • Millennials value flexibility and freedom, and are thus more likely to delay long-term commitments such as home ownership.
  • Millennials are environmentally conscious and tech-savvy, and properties aimed at millennials should cater to these needs.
  • Properties aimed at millennials should be well-suited to a “lock up and go” lifestyle.

It’s no secret that millennials are in less of a rush to get married or buy a family home than their predecessors were at the same age. Research from Momentum Corporate shows that only 40% of millennials are interested in home ownership, and a Deloitte 2018 Millennial Survey of over 10 000 people born between 1983 and 1994 found flexibility to be key workplace priorities, indicating a desire for freedom that is more suited to the tenant’s lifestyle. (source)

This is all good news for landlords, as millennials form a ready-made market for buy-to-let properties. But in order to fully reap the benefits, landlords need to understand their target market. Millennials have grown up in a very different world, and thus have very different requirements from their forebears.

Here are some of the things landlords should keep in mind about renting to millennials:

Millennials are environmentally conscious

The greener your property, the better. Energy-efficiency, and easy access to recycling facilities, should be a priority. A lot of new developments include such features, so you should be looking at properties in more modern buildings if you’re hoping to attract millennials.

Millennials need Internet

Forget about installing a landline phone, and focus on internet capability instead. To millennials, internet is as important as electricity and water.

If the apartment has built-in fibre, all the better. Investing in properties located in new developments is a safe bet here as well, as many of them are likely to include internet capability as well as internal service providers, while some may even incorporate various smart technologies.

Market your properties online

The old methods of advertising properties aren’t going to work here. You need a presence on social media in order to reach millennials, particularly Facebook and Instagram. It also helps to have a website, or at least to ensure you purchase properties in blocks that have websites with availability listings.

Flexible and easy to maintain

As mentioned, millennials strive for flexibility, and this applies to properties as well. Since millennials are more likely to delay settling down in favour of travelling, the ideal property will be well-suited to a “lock up and go” lifestyle.

Shorter leases are also a good strategy when marketing to millennials, since the research shows that they generally avoid long-term commitments, and prefer the option to up and move when a new opportunity presents itself.


The surroundings are more important to millennials than the size of the apartment. In fact, they are generally drawn to small apartments in vibrant neighbourhoods with café culture and nightlife. An apartment block that incorporates amenities such as a gym, laundromat and restaurants is also a plus; and many newer developments, such as 1 on Albert in Woodstock, aim for this hotel-style design.

Whether you’re interested in taking your first step into property investment, or you’re an experienced investor looking to expand their portfolio, bear in mind that ooba home loans – South Africa’s largest home loan comparison service, offers a range of tools that make the process easier. Start with their home loan calculators; then use their free, online prequalification tool, the ooba Bond Indicator, to determine what you can afford. Finally, when you’re ready, you can apply for a home loan.

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