Dunstable Town Centre

Managing Health and Safety for Landlords

Owning a rental property is a great way to make extra income, but it comes with a few responsibilities. One of the biggest issues for landlords is managing health and safety, so today we’re going to be looking at what you’ll need to do to ensure your tenants are safe in their new home.
 

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety

First things first, you’ll need to ensure that there’s a fire alarm installed on each floor of the property, and if you have any appliances that burn solid fuel – such as a log burner or coal fire – then you’ll need to provide a carbon monoxide alarm in the room they’re in. You might also want to provide fire extinguishers; for larger properties with multiple people living there, this is mandatory.
Any furniture and soft furnishings you supply must be fire safe, and don’t forget to think about exit routes from the building in the event of a fire – how quickly could people get out, and is anything blocking a potential fire escape? Fire safety regulations must be adhered to, and you can read up on them in more detail on the Residential Landlords Association website.

Gas Safety

You’ll need to get a gas safety certificate if you have any gas-powered appliances, such as the boiler, oven, hob or gas fire. Gas-powered equipment needs to have been installed and maintained by an engineer who’s on the Gas Safe Register, who’ll also need to perform an annual safety check on the equipment. You should give a copy of the gas safety certificate to your tenant before they move in, or within 28 days of the inspection.

Electrical Appliances

If you’re providing electrical appliances as part of the rental – a fridge and washing machine, for example – you will also need to make sure these are safe and in good working order. The same goes for the electricity supply to the property in general, such as sockets and light fittings.

Other Health and Safety Considerations

Having covered fire, gas and electricity safety in your property, there are still a few other health and safety considerations to bear in mind before you rent it out:

  • Overcrowding: allowing more people to live in your property than there are rooms or space available for constitutes overcrowding and breaches the Housing Act 1936. Tenancy agreements should name each person permitted to live in your property.

  • Smoking: if you let your property to multiple tenants – in a student let, for example – bear in mind that communal areas are covered by the National Smoke Free Legislation and smoking should be prohibited. If you want to ensure that tenants don’t smoke anywhere in your property, make sure it’s written into their tenancy agreement.

  • Asbestos: if anyone entering your property – a tenant or otherwise – comes into contact with asbestos, you could be held liable. You should ensure that you have an asbestos risk assessment carried out and make sure that any remedial work is carried out by a competent contractor. Read more about this here.

Finally, no matter how diligent you’ve been about health and safety, there’s still the possibility that something unexpected could happen to your property. Talk to us about landlords building and contents insurance and make sure your assets are covered in the event of the unforeseen.


 
 

 

DEAKIN-WHITE GAZETTE

We are so proud to announce our latest feature, a Bedfordshire lifestyle paper that covers area events, restaurants, attractions, new businesses, and for sale properties. We have estimated readership of 25,000+ and distribute to local businesses and residential areas.

RECORD MONTH

In the month of September we sold a record number of homes. With our stellar team we are set to break that goal for the month of October!

BREXIT 

Many are still wondering, with two years passed since the vote, how fair it is to ask how Brexit has affected the property market.

In 2016, the housing market in the United Kingdom was valued at an estimated £6.79 trillion. This is a figure that is 3.65 times the level of GDP and as such, it is hugely important to the economy. There were negative predictions for the UK property market after the Brexit vote. Yet, house prices have risen since the EU vote. April 2018, the average price of property in the UK was classed as £226,906. This is a 3.9% rise on the April of 2017 figures and it is a 6.6% increase on the figure from the time of the European Union Referendum. In this regard, Brexit hasn’t had too much of a negative impact on the UK property market. UK housing market is in competitive shape, and there is no need for negativity or despair. We officially leave the EU in March 2019, and are hopeful that the outcome will produce even greater results for the housing market.

 

HIGH STREET RENOVATIONS

What is this? It is a £1 million capital fund, set aside from our Market Town Regeneration Fund, to deliver a high street improvement scheme that will revitalise market towns through improvements to shop fronts and tackling vacant retail units.

The scheme offers grants to high street businesses to make improvements to their business premises to create attractive shop frontages that attract more visitors and shoppers onto the high street. The scheme, which will be delivered from March 2018 takes a managed approach in partnership with town councils and this partnership will be critical to the success of the scheme. Taken from: (http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/business/developments/high-street-improvement/overview.aspx)

We have seen great improvement to some of our favourite places on the High Street. We are focused on the outcome with such a big project, and fully support this endeavor for the town of Dunstable. This scheme will attract new buyers and provide more of a housing market. With such a vast plan in motion, Dunstable will be an even more up and coming town with a beautiful, modern, facelift.



DECORATING YOUR HOUSE IN AUTUMN

October is the perfect month to start decorating for Autumn. With the changing of the leaves, it is appropriate to not only decorate the outside of the house but the inside as well. With this change of season brings festive wreaths, pumpkins, and harvest produce. These items bring a change not only in colour, but in warmth too. Try changing the colour of a focus wall in your house to a deep rust red, or a bright mustard yellow to add a pop of brightness before the winter months. A trendy metal to bring to your home this time of year is copper. With its shiny and bright tones, it adds coloured “heat” and also goes well with other metals. Copper is a reminder that this season constitutes transitions, not only for the weather, but for households to embrace this holiday time of year. Try copper dining table chargers or a nice vase, or a gilded fruit centrepiece. 

Selling your home can be a challenging process but it is possible to make the task easier. At Deakin-White, we are pleased to say that we have helped many home owners sell their home in a confident and effective manner. No matter what stage of the house selling process you are at, we are here to help you out and here are some selling your home tips.

The right estate agent makes a massive difference

This will sound like an obvious tip coming from an estate agent but hiring an experienced professional will make a massive difference when selling your home. We have skills and experience in this field, and we can offer advice and guidance that is relevant to your needs. We know the most likely buyers in the local area and when it comes to promoting your property, local agents are the specialists you can trust.

Be aware of the gap between asking prices and sales prices

The gap between asking prices and sales prices has been growing of late, and it is essential that homeowners are aware of this and that they manage their expectations. It is also important to be aware that average property prices are a good starting point, but they may not be relevant to your home.

It is best to have a specialist review your home and create a price that considers the quality, condition and nature of your home. When you are fully informed about your property, it becomes easier to make the right decision, which helps you appeal to the right buyer.

Be aware of the importance of kerb appeal and the outside of your home

The outside of your property has a massive role to play in attracting buyers and helping persuade prospective buyers to make an offer. Ensure that the outside of your home is as appealing as possible, adding colour; plants and vitality as much as you can. Occasional accessories will also be of benefit in creating a stylish exterior that appeals to buyers.

Declutter as best you can

There are two very strong reasons to declutter your property. When you declutter, you create space and space is at a premium when it comes to attracting buyers. You will also minimise your personal effects and influence around the home when you declutter, and this makes it easier for any prospective buyer to see themselves living in the home.

Other quick tips to consider when selling your home include:

·        Carry out all repair work and think about the little touches

·        Ensure that every room has a theme or purpose

·        Let the agent take the lead for viewings and liaising with prospective buyers

Another thing to remember is that not every offer is equal, and that the best offer is not necessarily the most expensive offer. There will be times when a slightly lower is more appealing, perhaps that buyer isn’t part of a chain, so make sure you accept the offer that best suits your needs.

Even though selling your home is a challenge, it can be an easier process when you plan and get help. At Deakin-White, we are here to assist you sell your home in the best possible manner, so contact us on 01582 343 548 for more details.

When it comes to selling your home, it is natural to call on the services of a skilled and experienced estate agent. At Deakin White, we’re property market specialists who have developed skills and expertise in selling homes. However, we also know that the market has evolved and there is a significant level of importance associated with online property portals and transactions.

One of the most important aspects for any online seller is to be found and one of the best ways you can increase the chances of being found by the right people is through keywords. Keywords are the words, terms and phrases people use when looking for something and if you have what people are looking for, knowing these keywords, and then using them in the promotion of your product or service helps people to find you.

Keywords ensure the right buyers find your home

When it comes to property listings, knowing what words are important for prospective buyers when they search for homes is essential. At Deakin White, we know who are looking for homes in the local area, and this helps us reach out to these buyers. We also stay in touch with the latest trends from the leading property portals and it is interesting to note that Rightmove have recently launched a keyword sort tool.

This tool allows users to enter terms that are important to them and then it presents the prospective buyer with relevant properties that match these words. If you want your home to be seen by the right buyer, you need to have the right keywords in your listings and this is something that can help you sell your home.

People looking for external features when searching for homes

As you would expect, Rightmove haven’t said too much about the keywords people use when searching for homes, they will probably monetise this later, but they have announced that some of the most popular features users search for include swimming pools, gardens and garages. These are all aspects outside of the home, which further reinforces the importance of first impressions and having a good exterior area at your property.

The fourth most popular search term is “homes with a sea view” which of course will only be applicable for certain homeowners with “detached properties” coming in fifth on the list of popular keywords.

This tool should reinforce the importance of property listings and making sure that every feature and benefit of your property is made to clear to prospective buyers. There is no sense in hoping that once people see your home they will fall in love with it, you need to make sure that you encourage people to take an interest in your property or that they arrange an appointment to see it. The right keywords online, on social media and on property portal listings can help you reach out to buyers and encourage them to arrange an appointment to view your property.

When it comes to ensuring prospective buyers finding your property, Deakin-White knows what is required, so contact us on 01582 343 548 and we will help you sell your home.

 

 

The 23rd of June 2016 was the date when the UK population voted to leave the European Union and now, more than two years further forward, many people are suggesting that we are no further forward. There has been an enormous impact on life in the United Kingdom and there will likely be further shocks and alterations that the country will have to deal with. However, with two years passed since the vote, it is fair to ask how Brexit has affected the property market.

In 2016, the housing market in the United Kingdom was valued at an estimated £6.79 trillion. This is a figure that is 3.65 times the level of GDP and as such, it is hugely important to the economy. Of course, there is also the small mater that the housing market shapes where people live, making it an essential component of everyday life in the country.

 

There were negative predictions for the UK property market after Brexit vote

 

In the immediate aftermath of the vote, there were many specialists predicting a tough time for the UK property market. In the initial shock, the value of the pound dropped, and uncertainty is bad for the UK housing market. With a rising cost of raw materials leading to the cost of building houses rising, lenders re-evaluating who they loaned money to and many households deciding against moving until there was greater clarity surrounding the economy, there was a stalling of the market.

However, the fall of the £ encouraged foreign investment with buyers from abroad, who were able to obtain better value for money in the UK. This stabilised the market, in the short term at least, and over the past two years, it would be fair to say that the property market has remained robust.

 

House prices have risen since the EU vote

 

There have been localised shocks and the London housing market has eventually slowed down, or seen prices fall in some areas, but as of April 2018, the average price of property in the UK was classed as £226,906. This is a 3.9% rise on the April of 2017 figures and it is a 6.6% increase on the figure from the time of the European Union Referendum. In this regard, Brexit hasn’t had too much of a negative impact on the UK property market.

Even though the rental market in the UK is growing, there is an acceptance that property is still regarded as one of the smarter investments during these challenging times. The benefits of bricks and mortar provides comfort and confidence for investors, which is another factor in how the UK property market has remained in a stable condition throughout the political and economic upheaval.

 

While the uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues, the UK housing market is in competitive shape, and there is no need for negative or despair. If you are keen to make a move, contact Deakin-White on 01582 343 548 and we will do our best to assist you.

 

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