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    MINIMUM EPC RATING TO CHANGE IN 2025?

    The Government is in current consultation to bring forward the change in EPC ratings from E to min ‘C’ from 2028 to 2025.

    With climate change being a prominent factor in the news at the moment, the government is keen to do their bit.

    From 2025 all new builds will be banned from putting in gas boilers to drive us away from gas as a carbon-based fuel. They are looking to replace these boilers with a heat source air pump.

    The government introduced a ‘Green Homes Grant’ in September 2020, where they would pay two thirds of an invoice and the public paid one third with a cap of £5000. However, this was closed on 31st March 2021 due to various hitches and lack of skilled workforce. There is talk of them looking at another type of grant– let’s hope so!

    Landlords will not be able to issue new tenancies unless their property is rated ‘C’, just like we did with the current system when they banned F and G ratings from the rental sector in April 2018.

    The older the property, the more likely you are to be a D or E. I would highly recommend you looking at your current EPC and seeing if you have a potential rating of ‘C’ and what the recommendations are on how to achieve this.

    If they insist on landlords upgrading properties to the pump system, this could have a negative impact on the rental sector as it just wouldn’t be affordable for many landlords and the return on investment could take several years to recoup! As they say, ‘watch this space’.

     

    Have a good week!

    Sharon Canning

     

    If you would like a friendly, no obligation chat regarding buying, selling, renting or investing in property, then please email sharon@moveon.biz   or telephone 01202 711169.

    Blog Articles

    Possession Notices Back to Pre-COVID Length

    When COVID hit us back in March 2020, none of us had any idea of the impact this would have on our lives and how every sector would be affected – good or bad (there are always winners and losers after all).

    As it became apparent that COVID was going to be around for a while and many people furloughed, the Government deemed it necessary to bring in additional measures to stop any tenants being evicted from their homes, especially as there was nowhere to go: hotels, etc. were all closed.

    The extension of the possession notices from 2 months to 6 months caused huge ramifications to landlords who already had tenants in rent arrears.

    Some landlords have been incredibly generous to their tenants where COVID had an impact, and either came up with a payment plan or, in some cases, gifted a month’s rent.

    There will always be people who like to use the system, thankfully this is not the majority of tenants.

    The government then confirmed that, from the 1st of October, possession notices would revert to as they were in to pre-COVID times, meaning landlords can now give their tenants 2 months’ notice to vacate the property through a Section 21 notice for the time being. Section 8 notices have also reverted to pre-COVID rules.

    If you need help or advice on your tenancy management then please do not hesitate to contact us. We are not just good; we are amazingly good!

     

    Have a good month!

    Sharon Canning

     

    If you would like a friendly, no obligation chat regarding buying, selling, renting or investing in property, then please email sharon@moveon.biz   or telephone 01202 711169.

    Blog Articles

    Rental Market Update: Bournemouth and Poole

    You couldn’t miss headlines throughout 2021 of the increase in sales property prices. However, news on lettings and rental prices has not been as common.

    The last three or four years have seen the rental market pretty static, but this has dramatically changed over the last 12-18 months. Tenants are staying longer in their properties, which in turn means there are less properties coming to market. This has created a shortage and pushed prices up.

    Gardens have been very much sought after and this has seen an uplift of hundreds of pounds in monthly rentals, which is adding thousands to yearly totals for landlords.

    So how does a landlord approach this with their existing tenant, especially if they have been long-term and good tenants? This is where a letting agent should shine and act as negotiator between the two parties. Most tenants expect a yearly increase in their rent, but when a significant increase, this can cause distress to the tenant.

    We have successfully negotiated larger-than-normal rent increases with our tenants, giving our landlords that extra revenue.

    It is important for landlords to keep up repairs and maintenance of their properties as this also has an impact on not just the amount of rent that can be achieved, but also the quality of the tenant.

    Rental properties are a business for landlords and not a charity. You can still be a great landlord and go the extra mile but, at the end of the day, the money left in your hand impacts your living standards. Tenants will always look at the market to see if there are properties better and cheaper for them, this is where we need to make sure it is a win-win for both sides.

    If you would like us to help negotiate a rent increase with your tenants then please phone for an informal chat.

     

    Have a good month!

    Sharon Canning

    For more information or help with your rental property, email sharon@moveon.biz   or telephone 01202 711169 today.

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    Is Your Property Protected Against Fraud?

    Is Your Property Protected Against Fraud?

    Your property is probably the most valuable asset you own. That’s why it’s important you do whatever you can to protect it from the risk of fraud.

    Property fraud happens in many ways, but typically a fraudster will impersonate a homeowner and forge documents to try to persuade Land Registry to transfer the title into their name. They then either sell the property or use the property to raise a mortgage from a bank – and disappear with the money.

    There is an increased risk of fraud when:

    • Your property’s mortgage has been paid off
    • Your property is empty or you’re letting it
    • An owner is spending time abroad or is absent
    • The owner is infirm or in a nursing or care home
    • A relationship breaks down

    So what can you do about it?

    Land Registry have stopped hundreds of fraudulent applications on properties worth millions of pounds, and have a dedicated fraud team and work closely with the police and other agencies to reduce the risk of property fraud.

    You can sign up to get property alerts if someone applies to change the register of your property, for example if someone tries to use your property for a mortgage. This won’t automatically block any changes to the register but will alert you when something changes so that you can take action. You can get alerts for up to 10 properties – there’s no fee. You can do this by visiting https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk/

    If you’re worried you may be the victim of property fraud, contact Land Registry immediately. You should also get legal advice and contact the police. For more information please go to http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/property-fraud.

    Have a good week!

    Sharon

     

    If you would like a friendly, no obligation chat regarding buying, selling, renting or investing in property, then  please email sharon@moveon.biz  or telephone 01202 711169.

    Blog Articles

    Selling Tenanted Properties

    Selling Tenanted Properties

    Why being a specialist in selling tenanted properties is important versus the general high street agent!

    Over the years, we have sold many tenanted properties and we are very successful in doing this. We understand the lettings industry compliance side and because of this we know and understand why it is important to get it right from day one.

    Selling tenanted properties is a win-win for all parties involved. The seller, the buyer and the tenant!

    THE SELLER

    The Seller wants to sell the property with the tenant in situ normally for a couple of reasons. They have long standing tenants and do not want to disrupt their lives or the seller may have a mortgage on the property that would be financially difficult to cover if they were to sell the property empty.

    Solution – selling the property with the tenant in situ will mean receiving rental income up to the day of completion.

    THE BUYER

    Dependent on the experience of the buyer, there can be some anxious moments. Typically, a new landlord will have the following questions:

    1.      Will I really achieve the rental amount being quoted by the agent?

    2.      How long will it take until a tenant can move in, how long will my void period be?

    3.      What kind of tenant will the property attract?

    Solution – buy a property with a tenant in situ and receive rent from day one. You will meet the tenant, you will know exactly how much rent you will achieve and you should receive a rental statement showing them paying their rent on time each month.

    THE TENANT

    The tenant will automatically be worried as soon as the property is advertised. They will worry they will have to leave their home, they will worry about being made homeless. The lack of security may persuade them to move out as soon as they find somewhere, leaving the seller with no rental income.

    Solution – Liaise with the tenant, work with the tenant, be transparent and let them know an investor is being sought.

    When all sides work together, the outcome is a win for sellers, a win for buyers and a win for the tenants.

    COMPLIANCE

    Because we have sold so many, we also know that it is absolutely vital to make sure all paperwork is in order at the beginning and our expertise can help ensure the smooth process of a completion, with hopefully no nasty surprises down the road. We will look at the tenancy paperwork and the compliance certificates along with proof certain paperwork were issued to the tenant at the correct times including the prescribed information and Deposit certificates. If the paperwork is not in order, this can cause fines later down the road or unable to gain possession of your property if the need arose (for example the tenant not paying their rent).

     

    ABOUT US

    Move On Sales and Lettings area multi-award winning agency and have been established for 15 years under the ownership of Sharon Canning. Sharon became a landlord at the age of 19 and has worked in the real estate industry for 36 years and personally owns a portfolio of properties that also include HMO’s and Service Accommodation/Holiday lets. Selling or buying to live in or rent out is Move On’s speciality.

    Blog Articles

    Thinking of Changing Estate Agents? Our Smooth-Move Guide

    Thinking of Changing Estate Agents? Our Smooth-Move Guide

     

    A great agent will be focused on selling your home at the best price, in a timeframe that suits you. If everything goes well, they’ll p

    ut the right value on it, market it effectively, then negotiate and progress your sale so you can move on to your new home as planned – and they’ll make the whole process as pain-free as possible. That’s what we strive to achieve for every one of our clients, and it’s what every seller hopes their experience will be. Read more “Thinking of Changing Estate Agents? Our Smooth-Move Guide”

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    NOTICE PERIOD CHANGE FROM 1ST JUNE TO TENANTS

    NOTICE PERIOD CHANGE FROM 1ST JUNE TO TENANTS

    If there is one thing that has kept letting agents busy over the last 3 to 4 years, it is the continuous changes within legislations.

    COVID-19 has also had a massive part since March 2020, with how much notice a landlord can give a tenant to gain their property back. In normal times, (pre-COVID) a Section 21 (Form 6a) notice would be given to the tenant giving 2 months notice to vacate. However, the Government extended this notice to 6 months, which in some circumstances across the country caused absolute mayhem. This being particularly difficult for landlords whose tenants were already in serious rent arrears. If there was ever a time for a landlord to have a rent guarantee in place then this was and still is the time.

    From the 1st June, the notice period is being reduced to 4 months and then to 2 months notice from the 1st August 2021.

    Notice periods for the most serious cases that present the most strain on landlords will remain lower:

    1. Anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)
    2. Domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
    3. False statement (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
    4. 4 Months’ or more accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)
    5. Breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (2 weeks’ notice)
    6. Death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)

     

    Bailiffs are also able to carry out evictions from June too.

    If you would like help in managing your rental property then please contact me on sharon@moveon.biz

     

    Remember a good agent is worth every penny when you know you can sleep peacefully at night.

     

    Blog Articles

    £30k FINE IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ELECTRICAL…

    £30k FINE IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ELECTRICAL CERTIFICATE

    LANDLORDS! If you are with an agent or self-managing, please, please, make sure you have an electrical certificate on your rental property.  This became a legal requirement on the 31st March 2021.

    I was shocked to receive a call from a landlord whose property was being managed by another local agent (they will remain nameless). She was ringing me to ask if she could transfer over to me, as she was not happy with the service she was receiving. In these conversations, I also ask them to check their terms of business for giving notice and then go through details of their property. During our chat, she advised she had received an email that week (middle of April) to let her know an electrical certificate was due on the property, I nearly fell off my chair. Why was the agent notifying her mid-April when it should have been done by the end of March 2021? I then had to advise her that they had opened her up to a possible £30,000 fine by not having one in place. She was NOT aware of this!

    Needless to say, we are taking over the management and ensuring she is legally compliant.

    If you are not sure, (you should have received a copy of the certificate) please email/phone your agent today and make sure it is in place and if you are self-managing, please get it done IMMEDIATELY! If you have not been able to gain access because your tenant is shielding, then as long as you have a paper trail of this, you should be okay, but you do need to prove this if you get a knock on the door!

    If you would like a friendly chat, then please email me on sharon@moveon.biz with your contact details and I will happily ring you back.

     

    Remember a good agent is worth every penny when you know you can sleep peacefully at night.

    Blog Articles

    Summer Selling for an Autumn Move

    Summer Selling for an Autumn Move

    Summer is a great time of year to sell your home. With bright, sunny days, gardens at their greenest and flowers blooming, your marketing photos will look fabulous!

    More daylight hours and generally better weather than at other times of year gives people much more opportunity to view your home at its best and brightest. And there’s nothing like a sunny day to put people in a great mood, which means they’re more likely to have a positive mindset when they’re viewing.

    So, how can you best take advantage of the benefits of selling during the summer?

    Snacks on table

    Photographs

    The marketing photographs in your brochure and online advertising play a huge part in enticing buyers to view your home. Importantly, they’ve got to be in line with the season, so if your home’s already on the market and the photos were taken earlier in the year, we’d suggest you replace them with some up-to-date ones.

    Have the interior photographed when there’s maximum daylight outside so the sun streams in through the windows, really boosting the natural brightness of your rooms. And if you’ve got a patio, balcony or terrace, open the doors and have a shot taken looking either inwards or outwards – it can create a really captivating image, with a hint of ‘summer holiday villa’, which could be hugely appealing to many buyers.

    Two great times to have exterior shots taken in the summer:

    1. In the middle of the day, in bright sunshine. If you’ve got a good-sized garden, a shot from the end – front or back – looking towards your home and taking in the lush colours of the trees, flowers and shrubs can look beautiful.
    2. On a clear evening, around sunset. A mid-length shot of the front or back against the twilight sky, with exterior and interior lights on, can be quite stunning.
    Outside shot, back of property
    Picture by Steven Barber

     

    Styling your interior for summer vibes

    The styling of your home is important at any time of year to help buyers imagine themselves living there, and it should resonate with the season. To give your home that summer vibe:

    • Pack away any dark, heavy throws and blankets and replace them with lighter fabrics
    • Floral cushions bring a summer vibe to any room
    • White bed linen will help make bedrooms feel bright and fresh
    • Scented candles are a great aspirational and welcoming accessory all year round, so choose some light, floral scents for bedrooms and living areas
    • Any aroma that reminds people of being on holiday, such as coconut, can boost their positive mood even further! You could have some fresh coconut cake in the kitchen or a coconut diffuser in the bathroom.

    Of course, the glass surfaces in your home should be gleaming whatever time of year you’re selling, but it’s even more important that they sparkle in the summer light. It might be worth having the windows and glazed doors professionally cleaned inside and outside before you put your home on the market and perhaps periodically until you secure a buyer.

    Indoor/outdoor living is becoming increasingly popular, so fling open your sparkling doors and windows before people arrive to view, and have plenty of plants and flowers around your home – particularly near doorways – to help the flow of greenery from inside to outside.

    Flower pots on windowsill

    Showing your garden at its blooming best

    Many gardens are at their finest during the summer, but it’s the time of year when everything is growing quickly, meaning it takes a little more effort to keep everything looking fabulous. Some of our clients choose to get extra help from a gardening services company while their home’s on the market – so why not consider doing the same? It’s one less job for you to do, and you can be confident your garden will always make the best possible impression on buyers.

    Styling is just as important for the outside of your home as the inside, so think about things you could do to show off how you enjoy the garden. If you already have garden furniture, great; if you don’t, then it might be beneficial to buy a reasonably-priced table and some chairs, as that can really help set the ‘lifestyle’ scene outside when people come to view. Put a vase of flowers on the table and lay out some refreshments – even if that’s just a big jug of freshly-made lemonade and some glasses. The garden will look even more welcoming and inviting, which will encourage people to stay longer to appreciate everything your home has to offer.

    Summer garden furniture

    Families on the move

    For growing families, being cooped up together indoors over the winter months often makes them realise it might be time to upsize! And with school-age children on holiday, summer is a popular time for families to look for a new home, as they can all view together, find something everyone loves and then move in early autumn without disrupting the middle of the academic year.

    So, while demand tends to be strong across all types of home in the summer, we usually find the ‘family home’ market is particularly busy – especially for those homes that have generous gardens. As children get older, many families really appreciate having extra space outside, so summer is the perfect time of year to sell homes with large lawns, where viewers can watch their young ones safely running about and enjoying the space.

    And with high demand comes buoyant prices, which means you may be able to get more for your home than if you try to sell in the winter months.

     

    Would an open house suit you?

    Summer is also a great time of year to have an open house, where different buyers can view at the same time over a period of a few hours. In nice weather, buyers can spread out through your home and garden, take their time to view – and, as long as it’s dry underfoot, you don’t need to worry too much about your carpets getting dirty! While it might not be the right strategy for every home, for some it can be very successful in creating a buzz and encouraging great offers, so speak to your agent about whether it could work for you.

    Stylish home entryway

    Moving in the autumn

    Once your summer marketing has led to a successful sale and you’ve found a new home that you love, you can start planning the next exciting step. Moving in the autumn has its benefits, as it won’t be too hot or too cold when you’re shifting all your furniture and possessions in and out of buildings and vans – which removals companies certainly appreciate!

    And here’s a valuable tip if you’re using a removals company: contact them as early as possible, even if you don’t have a firm moving date yet and particularly if you’d like to move on a Friday, as that’s the most popular day. They can come and do their survey of what needs moving, give you a quote and you have the opportunity to negotiate the best possible price.

    While some people find moving house one of life’s more stressful events, doing it in the autumn means you’re nicely positioned between the rush of the summer and Christmas holidays, so you should have some breathing space – and you’ve got the festive season to look forward to!

     

    So, if you’ve been thinking of selling this summer, or perhaps you’re already on the market and are looking for a new approach to secure a buyer in time for an autumn move, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call on 01202 711169 or email sharon@moveon.biz and we can get things moving right away to ensure you take full advantage of the summer buzz!

    Blog Articles

    THE DEBT RESPITE SCHEME – 4th May 2021

    THE DEBT RESPITE SCHEME – 4th May 2021

    The pandemic has had a huge impact on people, their finances and their mental health. The government have looked at this and are introducing from the 4th May 2021 ‘The Debt Respite Scheme’.

    The respite is 60 days breathing space to help sort out the debts that have accumulated. The condition of this is that you must sign up with a debt advice provider authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    If you have a tenant who has fallen behind in their rent and is struggling to keep up with their arrears, then this may help them. As a landlord you will not be able to contact them about their arrears or serve any notices during the 60 days. They must provide proof of the debt advisor and the tenant must have been accepted under the scheme. You can of course still contact them for other things such as Gas Safety Certificates.

    It is important to note that the tenant must still continue to pay their rent during the 60 days, the respite is there for them to work on a payment plan on their arrears. The tenant can only sign up to this once a year.

    If you would like more details on this, then please email me on sharon@moveon.biz.

     

    Remember a good agent is worth every penny when you know you can sleep peacefully at night.