Welcome to September’s Newsletter

NEWS: Rates up, finances down? Do you believe the results of surveys and polls? After the chaos at the General Election, you'd be forgiven if you didn't. Still, one new survey, released at the end of August, showed that 78 per cent of UK households expect interest rates to rise within 12 months, which is economic food for thought. That said, the dramatic falls of the FTSE in late August — as stock markets across the US and Europe plunged due to fears of a Chinese economic slowdown — should delay any interest rate rises. Yet another survey, from Markit, found that UK households have suffered their sharpest deterioration in finances so far this year in August. Even so, Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, thought that the “improving economic fundamentals and gradually rising income from employment should continue to support household finances through the remainder of this year.” In…
Published on:
September 16, 2015
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NEWS: George's summer surprise

The students are returning to university and, with demand for places rising, many have to live off campus. That's good news for landlords on the face of it. So what are the pros and cons of renting out your property as 'student accommodation'?

Well, it can be very profitable and — as it's a practically guaranteed market — a good way to ensure continuous occupancy; but make sure you first do your homework to find out what kind of property is easiest to rent in a location that's popular with students.

Also, be aware that lots of local authorities have tightened up on rules for new student accommodation, and any property with at least three tenants sharing a toilet, bathroom or kitchen is classed as a House in Multiple Occupation. This means that you, as landlord, may need a licence for this type of property — and you'll also have extra responsibilities. For instance, you'll need to make sure gas safety checks are carried out annually and that electrics are tested every five years. Plus you'll have to install and maintain fire safety measures, including fitting smoke detectors in each bedroom.

If you have any questions, remember to ask your estate agent for advice.

 

Do your homework on student rentals

The students are returning to university and, with demand for places rising, many have to live off campus. That's good news for landlords on the face of it. So what are the pros and cons of renting out your property as 'student accommodation'?

Well, it can be very profitable and — as it's a practically guaranteed market — a good way to ensure continuous occupancy; but make sure you first do your homework to find out what kind of property is easiest to rent in a location that's popular with students.

Also, be aware that lots of local authorities have tightened up on rules for new student accommodation, and any property with at least three tenants sharing a toilet, bathroom or kitchen is classed as a House in Multiple Occupation. This means that you, as landlord, may need a licence for this type of property — and you'll also have extra responsibilities. For instance, you'll need to make sure gas safety checks are carried out annually and that electrics are tested every five years. Plus you'll have to install and maintain fire safety measures, including fitting smoke detectors in each bedroom.

If you have any questions, remember to ask your estate agent for advice.

Best in show

Showing off your property to potential buyers? Then here are some top tips to grab a sale on those first important viewings.

Firstly, declutter. If you've lived in your home for a reasonable length of time, chances are you'll have collected lots of belongings (or 'junk' as some people might call it), which could stop house hunters imagining the place as their own. Secondly, get rid of any unnecessary furniture, and swap large items with smaller ones which can open up the space and make a property feel bigger than it really is. The trick, though, is to keep enough interesting items on display so the rooms do feel welcoming and characterful, and don't feel sterile. Best get sorting.

 

Cooking up some kitchen style

Hooray for (Paul) Hollywood! It's that time of year when the country is gripped by Great British Bake-off madness, with viewers tuning in to marvel at the contestants' cake-baking abilities while simultaneously craving their gorgeous hi-tech, hi-spec workstations.

If your kitchen could do with a Bake-off style re-vamp — which could add value to your home, because it's a deal-breaker room for some housebuyers — don't forget to add lots of easy-to-reach storage, plus functional white units to give a clean and timeless look which you can contrast with a granite worktop (which is both hardwearing and bacteria resistant). Choose an easy-to-clean floor — it's going to get messy, so deal with it —and if you have room for a kitchen island and one of those Bake-off style ovens (where the door drops down and slots away under the oven cavity) even better.

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