The rise in cost of living and record rents have made “bills included” the most popular renter search term.
Analysis by property portal Rightmove, found it topped the list of the five most popular search terms in its Keyword Sort in August.
It has overtaken those looking for pet friendly homes for the first time and is more of a priority than a home which is furnished, or has a balcony or garden.
Last August the five most popular search terms were pets, a balcony, furnished, garden, garage.
Rightmove also found the average search area for prospective tenants has almost doubled in size to 137km2 compared with 70km2 in July 2018. This is as a result of a lack of homes coupled with record rents. It also allows people to have a better chance of finding somewhere available within their budget.
While the number of new rental properties coming onto the market is slowly increasing, there is still a significant imbalance between demand and supply.
New rental properties were up 3% in July versus June, but total available rental properties remain 25% behind this time last year.
Rents continue to reach new records, with the average asking rent outside London now standing at £1,126 per calendar month, 19% higher than two years ago.
Sheldon Bosley Knight’s lettings manager Josh Jones said: “It’s no surprise both existing and prospective tenants are looking at ways to cut costs and save cash on their bills.
“However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty around energy prices and the price cap both now and in the future – prices could go up or down.
“As landlords if you would like expert advice or guidance on what to do should a tenant ask for a ‘bills included’ tenancy agreement, please do not hesitate to contact one of our teams as we would be glad to help.”