Tag Archives: tenant

Relationship Changes Driving Tenant Moves

As a landlord, it is helpful to know the key factors that drive tenants moving home. Sometimes, there are major events or issues which cause people to leave an area. Job losses, or new jobs opening up in an area will often be the catalyst for many people moving home.

In cases like this, when people need to move quickly, and they want to get to know an area well before making a major commitment, the rental market is extremely busy.

There are many reasons for tenants to move home

However, you also have many personal reasons for people moving home, and again, this impacts the property and rental market.

Sadly, we will be dealing with the impact of the pandemic and lockdown for many years to come. Events over the past year have changed the way people work, live and socialise.

It is also fair to say that the events of the past year have likely changed many relationships, and relationship changes are a key factor in many people moving home and letting property.

Remote working and spending more free time at home has been helpful to some couples and families, but it will likely have placed other relationships under greater stress. There have also been financial concerns to worry about in the past year, and money troubles are also a common factor in relationship breakups.

Why are people moving home these days?

The rental market is still extremely busy in 2021, and Yes Homebuyers conducted a survey which outlines the reasons why people are moving home:

  • Divorce or end of a relationship cited by 23% of respondents
  • Relocating for personal reasons said by 21% of respondents
  • A desire to have more space was said by 19% of respondents
  • 11% of respondents said they were relocating for work reasons

The same Yes Homebuyers study also suggests searches for divorce guidance have increased by 25% due to COVID-19, and enquiries with divorce specialists have risen by 122%.

The housing market will remain active

Some of the other reasons for a property move include:

  • 11% of people said they were moving for financial reasons
  • 6% of respondents said they were downsizing to a more manageable property
  • 2% of people were moving after getting married

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented: “There are a number of key life events that cause us to move home and unfortunately, divorce is one of them. We’ve seen a number of reports around a spike in divorce proceedings and breakups due to the additional stress placed on relationships during lockdown. So it’s no surprise that it ranks as the driving factor for home moves at present with Covid causing restrictions in other areas of life such as marriage and relocating for work. For some, a breakup will mean a double whammy of leaving their partner and a home they love, but luckily the number of us forced to leave a property we would prefer to stay in remains rather low. However, it says a lot about us as a nation of bricks and mortar lovers when having to leave a home is more upsetting than leaving the person we shared it with.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Cleaning Remains Key Issue For Landlords & Tenants In 2021

While there are many reasons why a landlord and tenant might disagree, the cleanliness of the rental property is likely to be the most common factor.

Some of the leading disagreements between landlords and tenants include rental fee arrears, redecorating issues, property damage and garden or exterior matters. However, the most common form of complaint relates to the cleanliness and condition of the property.

At Just Lets Peterborough, we are aware of this, and we work hard to bring landlords and tenants together. We impress on all parties the need to work together to create a suitable outcome.

A clean rental property keeps everyone happy

While it is clear why landlords want a clean rental property, tenants should always have their deposit in mind. Keeping the rental property in great condition is a great way to enhance your chances of receiving your full deposit back at the end of the tenancy.

Information provided by The Dispute Service (TDS), taken from their Annual Review 2020, indicates cleaning is the most common reason for tenancy deposit dispute claims. Other reasons include damage to the property, cost of redecorating the property, rent arrears and gardening issues, but cleaning was the leading issue.

Cleaning resulted in the following percentages of claims against different branches of The Dispute Service:

  • 42% of claims made against TDS Insured
  • 53% of claims made against TDS Custodial
  • 45% of claims made against TDS Northern Ireland
  • 69% of claims made against SafeDesposit Scotland

Tenants are raising disputes against landlords

There has also been an increase in the proportion of disputes cited by tenants. In the 2018=19 review, this was at 67%, but in 2019-20, this had risen to 74%.

Paul Oxley, Managing Director of lettings management software company Decorus for Sage, said: “According to the TDS, many tenants claim that the cleanliness of the property at the start of the tenancy was not clear, or that the tenancy agreement did not make clear what was expected of them. So, it is vital that landlords have a proper inventory prepared and do a thorough check-in and check-out, so they have the right proof of condition at the start and end of a new tenancy agreement. When landlords take the time to spell out tenants’ responsibilities in terms of cleaning and caring for the property, tenants are more likely to conduct their tenancy in a way that is respectful to the property and this minimises any potential damage.”

Paul Oxley also said; “At the check-out stage, the tenant should be made aware of the areas requiring cleaning and the potential cost involved. It is important to remember that the tenant is only obliged to return the property in the same state of cleanliness as at the start of the tenancy, after allowing for fair wear and tear. Landlords should conduct thorough check-in and check-outs at the start and end of the tenancy, supported by a professional inventory. Clear communication on the tenant’s responsibilities when they move into the property will improve the chances of a trouble-free check-out.”

Inventories benefit landlords and tenants

There is no denying that a reliable inventory check, carried out at the start of the tenancy, benefits both the landlord and tenants. This document should act as the benchmark for what is expected in the property, which should provide comfort and support for all parties.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a dependable inventory check, or you want to ensure your next lets start off in the correct manner, please get in touch with Just Lets Peterborough.

Paul Oxley continues: “The common mistakes in landlord inventories are essentially lack of detail. Landlords often write just a brief shopping list and often do not have the appropriate photographs and videos, along with accompanying written descriptions to show the condition of the property and its contents.”

Paul concluded by saying; “If the landlord finds the tenant fails to agree to the deposit deductions, they need to ensure they have the evidence such as a thorough and fully detailed inventory, copies of which are given to the tenant at check-in and check-out. It is imperative that tenants sign their acceptance of the contents of the check-in within seven days of the move in, and this signed copy should be retained by either the landlord or the landlord’s agent.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Tenant Disputes And Dealing With Them

These are tough times for everyone, and disputes are likely to occur. However, there will always be disputes between landlords and tenants.

At Just Lets, we aim to help you manage these disputes, and hopefully minimise the disruption at your rental property.

The headline figures, according to recent data provided by The Dispute Services, TDS, are as follows:

  • The private rented sector (PRS) remains larger than the social rented sector in England, while smaller in Wales.
  • The number of private rented homes has risen in England from 2.13 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2018 and in Wales from 90,000 to 204,000.
  • The value of tenancy deposits has increased year on year from £885,098,501 in March 2008 to a total of £4,307,902,071 in March 2020.
  • The value of the average deposit has increased from £880 in March 2010 to £1,040 [a drop from £1,108 in the previous year] in March 2020.
  • There has been an increase in protected tenancy deposits with 924,181 protected in March 2008 to 4,141,467 protected in March 2020.

Dispute numbers have risen in recent times

  • Adjudications completed by all tenancy deposit schemes has risen from 458 in 2008 to 34,993 in 2020.
  • Since 2013, the percentage of total deposits protected resulting in a dispute, across all tenancy deposit protection schemes, has remained low, ranging between 0.82% and 0.92%.
  • Currently the rate sits at 0.84%.

Reasons for disputes in England and Wales

  • Of the cases submitted to TDS Insured in 2019-20, cleaning appeared as a reason in 42% of cases, with damage arising in 41%.
  • 74% of disputes raised with TDS Insured were raised by tenants in 2019-20, with 19% raised by the agent and 7% raised by the landlord.

Reasons for tenancy deposit disputes in TDS Insured in 2019/20

  • Cleaning 42%
  • Damage 41%
  • Redecoration 39%
  • Gardening 23%
  • Rent arrears 14%

This information should be of benefit to landlords and tenants. Tenants should be looking to reclaim all or most of their deposit, so it makes sense to focus on the problems that often lead to disputes. This should see tenants cleaning the rental property on a regular basis.

There is also a lot to be said for landlords encouraging tenants to maintain clean standards in the rental property. Regular visits are a common tip, but some landlords have achieved great success by buying cleaning products for the tenant.

If you consider this as an investment, it will often pay off in less time and money wasted, making the changeover period easier.

If you have to waste time cleaning property at the end of a tenancy, this will delay you from moving a new tenant in. Void periods cost landlords money, so you should look to minimise this time, and encouraging tenants to clean throughout the tenancy can deliver fantastic results.

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Dealing With Changes In Tenant Demand

A good landlord knows what tenants are looking for, and works hard to attract tenants, and make sure their current tenants are happy.

However, when the things tenants are looking for are changing, it becomes harder for landlords to stay on top of what matters most to tenants. At Just Lets Peterborough, we aim to provide you with as much support and guidance as we can offer in this matter.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn the COVID-19 pandemic is creating new demand in the rental market. Some of the most pressing demands in major cities now include:

  • More space
  • Access to a garden
  • Access to a balcony space
  • Having a local park or open space nearby

There has also been some analysis which indicates people are leaving larger cities, such as London.

With remote working offering greater freedom for people, it is likely that people will leave the capital. There might not be the exodus some media experts predict, but there is a strong chance that areas such as Peterborough benefit from greater demand.

The only region of England which has seen rents fall in the past year is Greater London. Conversely, the only region of England which has seen the typical time on market rise is Greater London. Compared to this time last year, it takes, on average, four more days for a landlord to find a tenant here.

Rents are rising in many parts of the country

Areas where rents have risen, caused by a shift in the imbalance between supply and demand, include:

  • A 9.5% rise in the East Midlands
  • A 6.7% increase in the North East
  • A rise of 11% in the North West
  • A rise of 14.7% in the West Midlands
  • A rise of 8% in Yorkshire and Humber
  • A rise of 1.4% in the South-East

Director Doug Shephard said: “While homeworking is not an option for all, this lifestyle change is now a key trend that is reshaping rental demand. Since the Greater London rental market represents nearly half of the UK lettings market, any refocusing of demand towards the regions will have a dramatic effect on the balance of supply and demand. This is why we are witnessing dramatic rent hikes in most English regions, Scotland and Wales.”

Doug Shepherd continued by saying; “In fact, Welsh rents, and home prices for that matter, are rising to such an extent that locals fear of being priced out by newcomers. Wales will certainly not be alone in feeling the knock-on effect of the exodus from the UK’s largest cities.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

7 Essential Tips for New Landlords

Becoming a landlord for the first time is an exciting prospect, with not only the opportunity to bring in some additional income but also the chance to expand your portfolio further and perhaps even start up your own property business.

However, it can be tricky to know where to start once you have invested in your first property and you don’t want to be making too many costly mistakes.

Fortunately, you can avoid the most common landlord pitfalls by simply following our seven essential tips for new landlords.

 1.  DO YOUR GROUNDWORK

Before you start to market your rental property and look for potential tenants, if you haven’t done so already, you first need to research the local area thoroughly.

Is your property near good local schools? Is it near a university or college?

This can be helpful in deciding what type of tenants your property will appeal to, for example, families, students or working professionals.

It is also a good idea to find out how much similar properties in the area are currently renting for, as this can act as a benchmark for your own chosen monthly rental price.

2.  TAKE OUT INSURANCE

Although landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement for renting out a property, it is highly recommended as it covers everything from accidental damage to structural issues caused by hazards such as fire, snow or strong winds.

You may also want to take out rent guarantee insurance which protects you if your tenant fails to pay their rent. It can also cover the cost of any legal fees if you need to evict a tenant.

Your tenants are responsible for taking out their own content insurance to cover their belongings.

3.  FIND RELIABLE TENANTS 

One of the easiest ways to find good tenants is through word of mouth. Speak to your family, friends and work colleagues to see if they are aware of anyone who is looking to rent a property. You can also advertise for tenants on a variety of reputable websites or use a letting agency.

To attract the best possible tenants, ensure your listing describes the property in full and includes good quality photographs as well as advertising your property at a competitive market rate.

You should always check a potential tenant’s rental history and credit score, as well as perform a criminal background check. If the results are preferable, it now comes down to your natural instincts.

How do you feel about the tenant in question? Do you feel like you can trust them?

If yes, you’ve found your first tenants. Congratulations!

4.  CREATE A TENANCY AGREEMENT

Once you have found your tenants, you now need to draw up a written tenancy agreement which details all the terms and conditions of the tenancy and gives you as the landlord, and your tenants rights.

This is extremely important as it will ensure the protection of your property, set out the obligations of your tenants and help prevent any future disputes.

If you have found your tenants through a professional letting agency, the tenancy agreement can be professionally drawn up through the agent.

5.  PLACE THE DEPOSIT IN A TDP SCHEME

Landlords are now legally required to place their tenant’s deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme. This was created to stop rogue landlords from refusing to give back their tenants’ deposits after they have moved out.

You must place your tenant’s deposit in a scheme within 14 days of receiving it and you also have to inform your tenants of which scheme you have chosen within 30 days.

6.  ENSURE YOUR PROPERTY IS ENERGY EFFICIENTE

You should also strive to improve your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), to reach the minimum energy efficiency standard (effective April 2020).

Ways in which you can make your property more energy efficient include:

  • Upgrading your boiler
  • Sealing windows and doors
  • Installing double glazing
  • Installing loft and wall cavity insulation
  • Using energy efficient light bulbs
  • Installing smart meters

Since April 2016, tenants have the right to ask their landlords to make their properties more energy efficient, and furthermore, as a landlord, you are legally required to make adequate improvements.

7.  MAINTAIN A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TENANTS

Arguably one of the most important aspects of becoming a good landlord is ensuring that you are able to build and maintain a healthy relationship with your tenants. Effective communication, on both sides, is crucial if you want to avoid any problems or disputes.

Try and respond as quickly as possible to any requests from your tenants and listen to any concerns that they may have. Once you find reliable tenants who pay their rent on time and look after your property, you don’t want to lose them!

If you are considering letting your property in Peterborough call our team at Just Lets on 01733346255 for friendly help and advice on all rental aspects.