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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”

    Blog Articles

    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.

     

    Blog Articles

    How to add thousands to your home with our…

    How to add thousands to your home with our pro styling tips

    One way to add value to your home is by renovating it; another is through increasing the amount of accommodation, by either building an extension or converting something like the loft or a garage to create an extra living room or bedroom.

    But if you don’t want to undertake that kind of building work, or you’re not able to because of planning or available space, the good news is, there’s another way you can add value – without calling any contractors! Read more “How to add thousands to your home with our pro styling tips”

    Blog Articles

    40% of Tenancies Not Correct

    When it comes to claiming on tenant deposits, Tenant Voice recently claimed 40% of tenancies are incorrect, which often will lead to not only the tenants being awarded in their favour but also resulting in landlords being out of pocket.

    I have worked within the industry for over 30 years and owned Move On for 15 years. When you have been around for this long, there are rules we learn in books and training days, etc. and there are many things you learn through experience. I have got to where we have today due to the rigorous systems put in place. Those systems have been adapted over the years from experience.

    It always fascinates me that no matter how diligent our systems and checklists are, when we recruit a new person, something else will slip through. It does not concern me too much because we just simply add it to our checklist. All our tenancies are triple-audited by three separate pairs of eyes, prior to paperwork going out to be signed. I have often had staff ask me: “Do we have to do so many checks?” and my answer is…

     Yes, always.

    We are not perfect as humans, we are an extremely busy office and it is very easy to be distracted by a phone call or someone walking into the office, so triple-checking has to be done. To get a date wrong, a term wrong or have paperwork missing can result in the landlord not being able to claim through a rent guarantee warranty or in an eviction process as well as thousands of pounds of fines to the landlord and us as an agency.

    Deposits not protected or incorrectly prescribed information will find the landlord out of pocket of up to 3 times the deposit plus the deposit back.

    Renting out properties without the correct license will have the landlord not only fined/banned but also a rent repayment order of up to 12 months of rent.

    There are many agents out there, please don’t go for the cheapest, go for the one that gives you confidence that they absolutely know the law! In the end, the cheapest never ends up being the cheapest when it goes wrong!

    Keep safe,

    Sharon

     

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

    living room with caption '6 simple steps to prepare your home for viewings' Blog Articles

    6 Simple Steps to Prepare Your Home for Viewings

    6 Simple Steps to Prepare Your Home for Viewings

    We know from experience that the better your home looks and feels when potential buyers come to view, the more likely you are to get an asking price offer.

    living room with caption '6 simple steps to prepare your home for viewings'

    For many people, the decision about whether to buy a home is an emotional one, and we’ve found that, more often than not, they make that decision very quickly. By the time buyers see your home in person, they already know the size, layout and location, and the photos have been enticing enough for them to book the viewing. So this step of the buying journey is mainly about them making sure that your home is as good in reality as it looks in the brochure, and that it feels like the right place for them to live.

     

    Open Front Door

     

    Speak with your agent about how they can help.

    You may already have your own thoughts about how your home should be presented for viewings, but it’s always worth speaking to your agent to get their input. We’re dealing with buyers and showing homes every day and can often suggest things that might not have occurred to you.

    The best agents will have stylists on their team, who work together with a professional photographer to make sure that your home is shown in the most attractive light. Remember that these marketing photos are one of the key aspects that help to secure viewings, and that specific look is what your buyers will expect to see. So, while your home is listed for sale, the closer you can keep it looking to the images in your brochure, the better.

    Nevertheless, no matter how neat and tidy you are, there are always those last-minute tweaks and little jobs that need doing before a viewing. So here’s our handy checklist of 6 simple steps to ensure your home is perfectly prepared to welcome what could be your dream buyer:

     

    1. Make buyers feel great about your home before they even step through the front door

    First impressions really do count, so think about how your home looks as buyers approach it. One thing that sellers often forget is to check how the ‘For Sale’ board looks – is it clean and straight? If there’s any damage, let your agent know right away and they can arrange for it to be replaced.

    Try to ensure there’s somewhere for people to park their car, even if it means moving your own fifteen minutes before the viewing. Make sure the path to the front door is clear, the garden looks tidy and you have some welcoming potted plants at the entrance. Don’t forget the door itself – give it a wipe down, clean the handle and letterbox – and check that any outside lights are working properly.

     

    Breakfast at Table

     

    2. Make the space shine

    It’s really helpful if you can try to have the mindset that once your home is on the market, it’s no longer primarily ‘your’ home. You might have been used to leaving projects laid out across surfaces, having children’s toys and play equipment to hand and not worrying about keeping absolutely everything stored in its proper place. But buyers can often ask to view homes at quite short notice, so the cleaner and tidier you can keep each room, the less you’ll have to do at the last minute to get it ready for viewings.

    If you can get used to living in a clutter-free way and manage to stay on top of the housework, then all you should need to do before potential buyers arrive is perhaps run the vacuum around and pop your teacup in the dishwasher!

     

    3. Carry out a ‘fresh check’ on bathrooms

    When it comes to bathrooms and toilets, your two watchwords are: ‘clean’ and ‘fresh’. As with the rest of your home, if you can make sure they sparkle on a daily basis, then you should only have three little things to do before a viewing:

    1. Drop some scented disinfectant in the toilet or spray a gentle air freshener
    2. Make sure the toilet lid is closed
    3. Put out fresh towels.

    Tip: Keep a clean set of towels just for viewings, so that you can make a quick switch and then swap them back out once the viewing is over!

    Property Living Room

     

    4. A little bit of styling can make all the difference

    When you’re selling a home, you’re selling a lifestyle, so think about what little touches will help people feel good about the space and make them want to spend time there. Candles, flowers, high-end magazines and pretty soft furnishings work well in reception rooms and bedrooms, while a fruit bowl and some fresh herbs will add life to the kitchen.

    Use your marketing photos as a reference, and try to keep all these styling accessories in your home so that they just need a quick ‘condition check’ before viewings.

     

    5. Fresh baking really does work!

    It may sound like a cliché, but the smell of home baking really does appeal to buyers. Our sense of smell has a strong association with memory and can be highly emotive, so some freshly baked bread or cake in the kitchen might evoke memories of a happy childhood, while a coconut scent in a reception room, bathroom or bedroom might remind people of being on holiday.

    If you can fill your home with aromas that remind people of happy times in their lives, it will help them feel good about it – and they’ll be more likely to remember it in greater detail after they’ve left. Just remember that less is more, and if you’re going for a fragrance, make it subtle.

     

    Golden labrador sitting in front of a fireplace

    6. Pet patrol…

    Your beloved pet might be regarded as a member of the family, but not everyone is going to be a fan and some people may be allergic. The ideal solution is to take your pet out of your home while the viewing is taking place, but if that’s not possible, try to keep it contained in one room, along with beds, litter trays, etc.

    If relocating your pet is proving tricky, you could ask your agent to tell prospective buyers about it, then let you know if they have any concerns and you can discuss the best solution.

     

    At Move On, our team is always here to help, so if you have any questions about viewings or would like some more advice on creating the best possible first impression on buyers, just call on 01202 711169 or email us on sharon@moveon.biz. We look forward to hearing from you!

     

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