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PROS OR CONS: IS A MANAGING AGENT WORTH YOUR MONEY?

It takes a certain character to be a managing agent: the job has a reputation as a thankless task with days full of complaints, emergencies, breakdowns and hassle. And if we’re honest,  rarely does anyone call with news that everything’s just fine. But to be a managing agent is also to be the person who makes everything right. A property that never needs maintaining, or where nothing ever goes wrong, simply doesn't exist and emergencies rarely happen at a convenient moment: not for homeowners, not for tenants and certainly not for landlords. For a managing agent, they’re an expected part of the day.…


Safe and Secure

If you’d been waiting until the new year to put your moving plans into action, you might be wondering whether to put them back on hold. But if you do that, when will you be able to think about moving again? Let’s start by saying that 2021 is very different from the first lockdown of March 2020. This year, the housing market has been allowed to remain open, and not just because of its economic importance: our wellbeing is equally vital, and life doesn’t simply stop. (You need only look at children and how they’ve continued to grow, regardless of a national lockdown and global pandemic.)…


Declutter for Good

DECLUTTER FOR GOOD: START YOUR 2021 WITH A ROOM-BY-ROOM RESET The weeks either side of New Year always involve some sort of clearing out. Whether you've hosted over the season, been a guest somewhere else or stayed at home for a quiet one, there are cards, wrapping, boxes and bottles to throw out, and decorations to take down and put away. …


Christmas Presence

There is no doubt that Christmas 2020 will be unlike any other. Holidays abandoned; family gatherings reduced; office parties cancelled. Even a quick festive drink at the local pub is far from a certain date. But while there are many things we can’t do this Christmas, it doesn’t mean that everything will stop. If you look at the data from Rightmove and Zoopla, Christmas is very much the season to sell your home. Every year, visitor numbers to the portals skyrocket during the festive period, substituting The Wizard of Oz and one last game of charades for scrolling through listings in search of that special somewhere.…


Room at the Top

Spending so much more time at home this year has left many of us looking at our living spaces in a whole new light. Every spare corner has been pressed into service as a home office, classroom, gym or art studio, often juggling multiple roles at the same time. But one space that remains underused, is the attic. Most homes with a pitched roof have some sort of roof space that can be converted into practical, comfortable and even luxurious rooms, but lofts are often reduced to storing dusty suitcases and Christmas decorations.…


RIGHT TO RENT: EVERYTHING LANDLORDS SHOULD KNOW

ntroduced in 2016, Right to Rent had something of a rocky start but has since become an integral part – and legal requirement – of every Assured Shorthold Tenancy. The scheme was initially met with some dismay among landlords who argued that checking people's immigration status was the government's responsibility. In fact, in 2019, a high court found Right to Rent unlawful and racially discriminatory, particularly against people with minority ethnic backgrounds. The ruling was later overturned after a government appeal, and Right to Rent became law. …


WINTER GARDENS: HOW TO MAKE A WONDERLAND AT HOME

Gardens get a raw deal at Christmas. While everyone's thinking about getting together with family and friends, gardens and balconies are left out in the cold, cut off and forgotten behind the curtains with not so much as a passing glance before March.…


ANIMAL INSTINCT

How do you feel about allowing pets in your rental property? Or even in your own home? Are you a card-carrying animal lover with pets who cherish your home as much as you do, or are you simply not a fan and want to avoid the worry of possible damages that are a hassle and expense to fix?…


STANDING APART: 5 TIPS FOR SELLING IN A CROWDED MARKET

The revival of the property market is an inescapable news story right now, with a surge of interest across the UK. While it's excellent news for sellers, the high demand from buyers is more than mirrored by the increased supply of property, making it more of a challenge for people to get their home noticed: whether you are about to put your property up for sale, or if your home has been on the market for some time, one thing for sure is that you are certainly not alone.…


Professional Help

When it comes to human endeavour, most of us could do almost anything if we put our minds to it. We could service our own cars, repair our own washing machines, and even clean our places of work. But are we the best person to do those things, and are they the best use of our time and energy? We’d all accept that a car mechanic would very likely do a faster and better job of changing our brake pads or fixing our suspension, but does the same reasoning apply to using a letting agent to care for your rental investment?…


Green Homes Grant

Ever since the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) back in 2007, the energy efficiency of homes has been a high priority in the minds of homebuyers. Increasing fuel costs, climate change and an all-round awareness of the environment have contributed to a shared responsibility around energy use to minimise our carbon footprint and effect on the planet.…


Cleaning Up

How do you feel about messy people? Not just tenants, but anyone who simply isn't very tidy. Do they make you shudder, or are you completely unphased? Maybe you're a huge fan of Marie Kondo and her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It might have inspired you to live a life free of clutter, or perhaps you find it all a bit sterile and take comfort in knick-knacks and keepsakes.…


Should I Accept

Great news! Someone wants to buy your home, and perhaps you've even received more than one offer. You've made the step from being available to being in demand, and now it's time to decide whether an offer is a good one – and the right one – for you. An offer is so much more than the price put forward. It can be tempting to simply go for the highest number, but it's extremely wise to look at the full picture of every offer you receive to ensure it has the best chance of going through, and in the timeframe that fits your plans.…


Happy Together

As strong as the bonds of any marriage or partnership, our relationship to where we live can take a similar path and have a profound impact on our lives. Having found our perfect match, we look forward to the excitement of living together, making a home and creating memories to look back on with fond delight.…


Asking Too Much

The market is booming, prices are rising, there's a stamp duty holiday and buyers are out in droves: could it be any more of a seller's market? And it's true: we are achieving record prices for property; multiple offers have become the norm and, for many sellers, their home is only available for a matter of days before they receive an offer that is not only acceptable, but more than they dreamed possible…


Before the Fall

There's no escaping it: summer is on the way out, and autumn is around the corner. The nights are longer, the weather is cooler, and evenings on the patio mean hoodies, blankets and socks. As the season changes, there are some checks you can make – and some opportunities to take – in getting your rental property ready for when the temperatures fall, the rains return and your tenants spend more time indoors.…


Golden Days

With a unique set of circumstances and incentives, there has never been an autumn like 2020 with so many opportunities and advantages for selling your home. From the pent-up demand unleashed after lockdown, to the Stamp Duty Holiday announced in July, to the working-from-home phenomenon freeing up more people to view property in the week, it’s very unlikely that such a seasonal combination will ever exist again, which makes it an excellent time to put your plans for moving into action.…


Eviction Ban

With the Government’s last minute extension of the eviction ban on August 21st, we cancelled our blog on the subject that week because, even with the announcement, it felt like there was so much uncertainty around how events would eventually pan out. Even now, it's possible the ban will be extended further and render this article out-of-date fairly soon, but we thought we could at least provide some reasoned commentary on the current state of play and offer some advice where possible.…


Future Proof

You don’t even need to be contemplating a move to think about making the most of your home. Upgrading your surroundings for maximum comfort; opening the door to a place that fills you with joy; adding value for when you come to sell, rent, or refinance: these are all meaningful and valuable considerations for you and your future.…


Costs of Care

Being the owner of a property comes with the associated costs of looking after it, whether it's your own home or a rental investment. Just as with us humans, your property will show signs of age as it gets older, some of which will add a natural character that makes it all the more attractive, and some of which will need regular attention to keep things looking their best.…


Move Faster

Countless surveys show that the priorities of most people selling a property are getting the best price, and finding a buyer fast. Nobody wants to sit on the market for months, particularly with no viewings at all, but neither being told that no-one likes their home.…