estate agents
 
We explore what the rising rate of older renters means for Havering landlords. A two-minute read.
 
Landlords looking to secure reliable, long-term tenants shouldn’t overlook a growing demographic in the rental sector – the older renter.
 
Recent statistics* show that the proportion of people aged 45 to 54 who rent is 16% (up 5% in ten years). During the same period, the proportion of renters aged 55 to 64 rose by 5% to 11%.
The benefits of older tenants
 
There’s no substitute for rigorous credit and reference checks when it comes to tenant selection. But it’s worth bearing in mind the lifestyle and experiences of older renters.
 
Stability – An older tenant is less likely to chop and change jobs or pack it all in to go ‘find themselves’ in the Far East. Once they settle, older tenants tend to stay put (meaning less tenant turnover for landlords).
 
Lifestyle – You can anticipate fewer run-ins with neighbours about boisterous parties or loud music with older tenants. They’ll probably prefer binge-watching a Netflix series to bingeing on booze or illegal substances.
 
Wear and tear – The more settled lifestyle of an older tenant is good news for landlords hoping to minimise damage to their property.
 
 
How to attract older tenants to your property
 
Maintenance and upkeep – Expect older tenants to be less forgiving about broken fixtures and shabby furniture. More mature renters are looking for a home rather than a crash pad.
 
Responsive landlord – Many older tenants are seasoned renters who have dealt with their fair share of absent/disreputable landlords in the past. They’re looking for a landlord who doesn’t cut corners and responds promptly when problems arise.
 
Green modifications – Sustainable features such as double or triple glazing, smart meters and solar panels will impress older tenants who are watching their pennies and keen to save on energy bills.
 
Pet friendly – If their children have flown the nest, an older tenant may be eager to have a furry companion. Allowing pets at your property could be a real attraction, and will signal to a new tenant that you want them to feel at home in your property.
 
For help with tenant sourcing and reference checks, get in touch with us here at Accord Sales & Lettings.
 
*Office of National Statistics, 2021

Things to Think about When You’re Relocating for Work

Landing the perfect job is a dream for most, but what if that opportunity is in a different part of the country? Or abroad?

If this is the case, relocation may be the only solution.

Selling your home when you need to move out of Havering isn’t easy. You’ve got the start date of your new job to consider, selling your property quickly, the general hassle of moving, finding somewhere new in an unfamiliar area… the list seems endless.

So, in this two-minute read, we go through some important things to consider when selling due to relocating for work.

 

Be prepared

Just like the old Scouting motto, a big move takes preparation. For example, if you need to move before your original property has sold, you might need some extra cash in the short term as you’ll be paying two sets of bills. This also goes for costs such as removal companies and legal fees.

Also, if you’ve moved ahead of a sale, be prepared to come back and forth while everything is sorted out.

 

Be flexible

Time pressure is a pain. And if you’ve got your new job’s start date looming, you might be feeling stressed. So, the first thing to ask yourself is: can you afford to move into temporary accommodation while your property is on the market? If you’ve got a family, can you move ahead of them? It’s important to be as flexible as possible in this situation.

Selling a property takes time. Once you’ve got a buyer, there are legal issues to deal with, there might be a chain to consider, and it’s inevitable that something totally unexpected will come up to derail things.

 

Quick sale

There are things you can do to ensure your home is sale-ready:

  • Keep the interior clutter-free and presentable
  • Do minor repairs
  • Depersonalise
  • Keep it neutral
  • Tidy up the outside areas

Speak to us about an achievable purchase price. If you need to move quickly, holding out for the highest price might hold you back. By setting a price you’re happy with – not necessarily the highest – you can get things moving faster.

 

Other options

Do you really need to sell?

Can you afford to rent out your existing property to generate an additional income?

Or is selling the only option?

Renting your property gives you a plan B if the new job doesn’t work out, but you will need to consider things such as managing the property and additional tax responsibilities.

If you need advice on selling your home due to relocation for work, contact us today.

 

Calling all landlords! Have you checked your buy-to-let property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating lately?

No?

Unfortunately, there have been some legal changes that might mean you’ve got some work to do (and money to spend), so you need to keep reading.

An EPC details how energy efficient a property is, recommends how to improve efficiency, and gives a general idea of associated costs.

At the moment, a rental’s EPC must be a rating of E or above as per the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and should be updated every ten years. However, the government looks set to increase this to a rating of C or above for all newly tenanted properties by 2025, and for all existing tenancies by 2028.

Sounds like a long time away, right? In actual fact, if your property is below a C, you may have some serious upgrades to do. So it’s worth getting on top of them now. Ignore it, and you’ll be facing a hefty fine.

In this quick read, we look at ways to upgrade your current EPC rating.

Double glazing

There’s no point in doing anything inside the property unless you’ve got good glazing in place. Double glazed windows reduce energy loss. While most new buildings have them as standard, if you own an older property, you may still have single glazed windows in place.

Insulation

Although one of the most expensive energy efficiency measures, it’s a good investment if you’re newly refurbishing a property and plan to hold onto it for the long term. Wall and roof insulation have a significant impact on energy efficiency and help to reduce heating bills.

Better boiler

An inefficient boiler is the number one culprit when it comes to a low EPC rating, so it’s worth fitting a new one to meet the EPC requirements. Good boilers can cost anywhere between £1,000 and £4,000 but will last for many years and save energy and money over time.

LED lightbulbs

This is by far the quickest and easiest way to boost your energy rating by a few points. Make sure all those old halogen bulbs have been binned and switch to eco-friendly LED ones instead.

Extras

- Smart meters are a great way to understand how much energy a property is using.

- Renewable energy sources such as solar panels sound complicated, but you can get government funding to help with costs.

At Accord Sales & Lettings, we will remind you about the upcoming EPC changes as the time draws closer. If you decide to sell your rental in advance of the deadline, please get in touch with us on 01708 981229.

This three-minute read looks at the changing rental market and what it means for landlords.
 
 
With the rental market changing enormously over the past decade, savvy landlords need to stay on their toes to make the most of their investment.
 
General trends
 
1. Since 2010, the sector has almost doubled in size; these days, about 19% of all households rent.
2. Many tenants are renting for longer.
3. Renting is no longer all about young singletons. An increasing number of renters are aged 35 to 44 and have children.
4. Increased red tape: the number of laws relating to landlords has jumped by about a third in a decade.
 
What tenants want
 
Smart, clean interiors: The explosion of social media means tenants now expect more when it comes to décor. Landlords don’t have to spend a fortune, but a property must be maintained to a high standard and look fresh and modern. Grotty appliances and broken furniture won’t cut the mustard.
 
Location: Tenant priorities have shifted, particularly during the pandemic. The work from home phenomenon has seen some tenants prioritise access to open space and nature over proximity to commuter transport. It remains to be seen how this trend will pan out in the future.
 
More space: As more people with children are renting, demand for properties with outdoor space has increased.
 
Broadband: Flexible working, and the rise of streaming and gaming, means good broadband is a must.
 
Safety: Besides good locks, and secure doors and windows, tenants expect landlords to take every precaution when it comes to gas and electrical safety.
 
Pets: With more people viewing renting as a long-term lifestyle option, demand for permission to keep pets has surged, too.
Implications for landlords
 
Today’s rental landscape presents a real opportunity for landlords who can build a good rapport with their tenants. Happy tenants are more likely to stay put, meaning a landlord can save on the costs and stress of regularly sourcing new tenants.
 
However, increased red tape means there is more scope for landlords to trip up – and wind up in court or with a hefty fine. Note too, today’s tenants tend to be well informed about their rights and have access to an array of tenant action groups for support. Cutting corners or being lax when it comes to repairs and maintenance can prove costly.
 
Key takeaway
 
To enjoy a good return on your investment you need to put in the legwork. If work or family commitments make this a stretch, get an experienced letting agent to do it for you.
 
For more on maximising your rental returns, contact us here at Accord Sales & Lettings.
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