Petersfield Landlords – Electrical Safety Standards

We know being a landlord is often a trying position. There is a considerable amount of work involved with the process of being a landlord, and we know it is hard to keep up with regulations. At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to provide a service which ensures you remain up to date with all regulations, which is why we are keen to inform you of The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.

While the House of Commons and the House still have to approve the regulations, it is very likely they will come into effect from the 1st of July 2020. All new tenancies which begin on or after this date are required to have a five-year electrical certificate in place. This test must be carried out by a registered electrician.

Landlords must renew the certificate by the stated date in the report

While the standard renewal period is five years, if the certificate recommends the property be tested in less than five years, this will be the relevant renewal date that landlords must abide by. All new tenancies is set to include renewals, and tenancies which become statutory periodic tenancies.

All existing tenancies must comply with the regulations from the 1st of April 2021.

If landlords are familiar with the regulations associated with Gas Safety, they will have a good understanding of what is required from them with Electrical Safety. When the landlord receives the certificate, a copy must be provided to the tenant within 28 days. At the start of a tenancy, the landlord must provide a new tenant with a copy of the certificate. During the letting phase, potential new tenants have the right to request a copy of the electrical safety certificate.

Local authorities can request a copy of the electrical safety certificate

Landlords should be aware local authorities have the right to request a copy of the electrical safety certificate. If a local authority requests a copy, the landlord should provide a copy within seven days.

When remedial work is required in a rental property, it must be carried out within 28 days or by the date stated in the report. The date which comes first is the relevant date for carrying out work. When remedial work has been completed, landlords should receive written confirmation of the upgrades. A copy of this confirmation should be provided to tenants and the local council, if requested.

Any landlord that fails to comply with the new regulations faces a fine of up to £30,000; which will be imposed by the local council.

We know landlords must comply with a lot of regulations, and having more matters to comply with is far from ideal. However, many people in the industry, including landlords, have been calling out for this style of test. If you are a landlord in or around Petersfield, and you need support in managing your rental property, contact Williams of Petersfield, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Tips To Sell Your Home Effectively In 2020

In the aftermath of the General Election in December of 2019, there was a significant spike in mortgage searches. It is likely this increased level of buyer demand will continue in 2020, which means if you are considering selling your home, 2020 is the year to do so.

Of course, more buyers usually lead to more sellers in the market, so it will likely still be a competitive time in the property market. Therefore, if you plan on selling your home, you should be looking for ways to enhance your chances of selling your home quickly and without too much effort.

At Williams of Petersfield, we are pleased to say we have assisted many clients in selling their home, and here are our top tips to sell your home effectively in 2020.

Choose a traditional agent, not an online estate agent

There is no denying online agents have affected the property market, and that some vendors have found their service to be of benefit. Over time, the importance of online agents will increase, but right now, the market isn’t quite in a position where you should opt for an online agent over a traditional agent.

Online estate agents are still more likely to list your property and expect you to sell it, as opposed to selling your home for you. This isn’t a suitable standard of service for most vendors, and we believe you will be much better off relying on an agent who has helped many people sell their home.

We believe choosing an agent with demonstratable experience and expertise in your local area, with your type of home, and with buyers who are likely to show an interest in your home is the ideal starting point in selling your home quickly and effectively.

List your property at a realistic price

While selling your house for as high a price as possible would be a tremendous outcome, this shouldn’t be a strategy you start off with. If you place too high an initial price on your property, you will struggle to attract attention.

Therefore, it is best to call on a local agent to evaluate your home before coming up with a value. External factors such as supply and demand, and local facilities, influence property price as much as the condition of the property. Therefore, it is best to call on an expert who understands the local market, and who can place an accurate value on your property.

Evaluate each offer on its own merits

If you are fortunate enough to receive more than one offer, don’t just assume the highest offer is the best offer for you. You should consider if the highest offer is part of a chain, or it comes from a first-time buyer. A buyer who isn’t part of a chain is likely to be a more appealing buyer to you, as chains add risk when selling your home.

If you are looking to sell your home in 2020, contact Williams of Petersfield, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

 

Caring For Your Home This Winter

Whether you are a landlord, a vendor or you have no intention of selling or letting your home soon, there is something which unites us all. If you own a property, you must make sure it is cared for in the winter period. Challenging weather conditions put homes under greater pressure, and if your home isn’t ready for winter, the inhabitants are in for a miserable few months.

At Williams of Petersfield, we encourage homeowners to be proactive when it comes to caring for their home this winter. If problems arise, you should act quickly, but it is better to act now and ensure problems don’t arise than it is to deal with issues. We are here to provide you with guidance which will minimise the likelihood of problems arising this winter.

Have your boiler serviced

Repairing or replacing a boiler is expensive, and it is obvious why many people would rather not worry about their boiler until an issue arises. However, this is the wrong attitude to have because if something does go wrong with your boiler, it can be a disaster.

When a boiler isn’t working, the property is cold and miserable. If you are a landlord, you will have a very unhappy tenant. Also, when a problem arises, the cost of replacing the boiler, and calling out a plumber in an emergency, is often very expensive. It is far more cost-effective to be proactive than reactive.

Protect your pipes

If your pipes burst or freeze, you are again in for a miserable time. It is vital you lag your pipes to protect them from cold snaps, and to maintain a level of consistency in their heat. You can buy commercially available lagging, but you can also use material that you have in the property. Lagging your pipes don’t have to be stylish, but it must be effective.

Review the roof

Quite often the roof is out of sight and out of mind, but if there are problems with your roof, you will suffer in winter. If rain or wind gets in, the house will feel cold and miserable. Energy bills will sky rocket, and there is a strong chance people will suffer ill health.

Therefore, it is imperative you call on expert to review your roof, and if any changes need to be made, you should make these changes.

You should also take the opportunity to clear your drains and gutters. If these are filled with leaves and debris, water is blocked and will be diverted. This may see water flow into your home, and this can cause considerable damage. Clearing your drains isn’t a job most people like, but it is one you must take care of.

When it comes to caring for your home in winter, it is better to act now than wait for a problem to arise. If you need assistance in managing rental property, or you want to learn how to care for your home before selling it, get in touch. At Williams of Petersfield, we are pleased to say we support the local community, and we look forward to helping you.

 

What Do Home Buyers Want?

If you are planning on selling your home in 2020, there is no harm in planning what you want to do. You will likely have some thoughts about the sales process, but the most important thing to remember is you want to appeal to the buyer. When you know what home buyers want from a home, you are in a much better place to provide them what they are looking for, which helps you sell your home.

At Williams of Petersfield, we are pleased to say we have helped many local vendors sell their property. We help connect vendors with people looking to buy a home, and we know how to provide them with what they are looking for. Our local knowledge and expertise make a massive difference in selling homes in Petersfield, and if you are looking for guidance, we are here to assist you.

Do you know what buyers love to see?

We also stay in touch with the latest studies and findings relating to the property market. A recent survey carried out by Hyperoptic indicates the following issues are very important for buyers when they look at property:

  • The number of bedrooms in a property is an important factor
  • Having a fast and reliable internet connection is crucial for buyers
  • Buyers want to be located close to a pub

While the importance of a local pub may change for some buyers, it is easy to see all three factors matter when it comes to selling your home. The number of bedrooms in a property has always been crucial. When a buyer searches for property, one of the criteria they normally search on is the number of bedrooms.

Broadband connectivity is crucial for buyers

It is also fair to say that a fast and reliable internet connection is essential these days. So much of modern life is dependent on the internet, and a lot of people will struggle if there is no reliable broadband at home. Whether someone wishes to work, or they want to stream live sports and the best boxsets, internet connectivity is a crucial factor for buyers.

Even if you aren’t too bothered about staying close to a pub, it is correct to say most buyers are looking for the chance to shop locally. When there is a sense of community in the local area, people feel at home, and this allows people to make the most of life. Online shopping provides flexibility for people, but there is no getting away from the importance many people place on shopping locally and meeting people.

Other factors which were cited in the study include living close to a train station and having a post box or post office close to the property. If you have these elements in your local area, make sure you inform potential buyers of their availability, as this may draw additional attention to your home.

If you are looking to sell your home, contact Williams of Petersfield and we will be more than happy to assist you. We are pleased to say we have helped many local homeowners connect with buyers, and sell their home.

Petersfield Landlords – Utilise Void Periods

Ideally, landlords don’t want void periods. When you have a void period, you don’t generate rental income, and this means you don’t bring in any money. If you depend on rental income to pay your buy-to-let mortgage, a period with no money coming in could place you at risk. Therefore, you should do what you can to minimise the impact of void periods.

However, if you do have void periods at your rental property, it is vital you maximise the return from this time. If you make the right changes at the property, you can set yourself up to deal with a better standard of tenant while improving the rental income you receive each month.

When a tenant is in your home, you often don’t have the chance to carry out major improvements. Therefore, when the rental property lies empty, you have an excellent opportunity to impose a new style on the place, and take care of the tasks that have been left unfinished for far too long. We are pleased to say we have helped many Petersfield landlords improve their rental property, and we have some tips which will likely be of benefit to you.

Carry out a deep clean in void periods

When the rental property has been cleaned to a high standard, you can be confident about attracting tenants. When potential tenants look through listings and see photographs of your property looking fantastic, they will stop scrolling and start paying attention to what you offer.

This may help you reach out to a better standard of tenants, or you could even charge a higher rental fee. It is vital you maximise the potential return of your property, and having clean rental premises is a fantastic way of achieving this goal.

Another strong benefit which comes from cleaning the rental property to a high standard is it increases the likelihood of your tenant maintaining this high standard. If a rental property is messy when the tenant moves in, they are not motivated to clean the property. However, if they enter a spotless property, they are far more likely to maintain this high standard. In the long-term, this provides you with less work to do, and it should better maintain the standard and condition of your rental property.

We know hiring a professional cleaning company to carry out a deep clean at your rental property incurs a cost, but it also provides benefits. If you are looking to increase your returns, this is a smart investment, and we can help you arrange the cleaning process at your property.

Carry out safety tests

You must ensure you offer a safe rental property. When you don’t have a tenant in place, you have an ideal chance to welcome qualified engineers to carry out tests. Your property should receive an annual gas safety test and if you supply electrical appliances in the rental property, it is worthwhile having these tested too.

If you are a Petersfield landlord and you need assistance letting or managing property, contact Williams of Petersfield and we will be happy to help.

Reasons To Sell Your Home This Winter

Selling your home is one of the biggest decisions you will likely make in your life. Therefore, you probably don’t have just one reason to sell your home, you will likely have a lot of reasons. While there will be personal reasons and circumstances which influence your decision to move, there are many common reasons to sell your home this winter, and if you are looking to sell, Williams of Petersfield is here to help.

We know that spring is traditionally the busiest time of year when it comes to selling homes in England. However, in recent years, there has been an evolution in the marketplace. The emergence of online property portals means it has never been easier for buyers to review homes from the comfort of their own home, or wherever they access the internet.

Winter is a busy time of year

You’ll find the run-up to the festive period, you are busy with a lot of things. The thought of preparing your home for a sale may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, as soon as Christmas Day is over, people are looking for their next adventure or activity, and moving home becomes a priority for a lot of people.

There is a phenomenon called The Boxing Day Bounce. It initially referred to the retail sector, with consumers spending a lot of money on Boxing Day sales. Nowadays, it refers to the huge influx of people landing on property portals between Boxing Day and New Years Day. Rightmove have issued figures for recent years which suggests there is a massive volume of buyers at this time, and this means vendors should hold an interest in selling their home.

Are you looking to sell your home in winter?

Some of the leading reasons to sell your home in winter include:

  • A reduction in competition in winter, as there are homeowners who don’t want to sell their home
  • There is a welcoming nature to good homes in winter, which means many buyers will fall in love with a property
  • If a buyer arranges to view a home in winter, it indicates they are committed to the process
  • With many buyers looking to involve their children in the buying process, there is a demand for viewings during school holidays
  • Anyone looking to enjoy a fresh start in the New Year should be motivated to start the sales process as quickly as possible

All these reasons are hugely important in why you may wish to sell your home in winter. There is demand for buyers, and you will likely have some motivation to move on. When these elements combine, it makes sense to act upon it, and enter the sales process.

While many people prefer to focus on Christmas, if you can balance these different aspects, you will enhance your chances of reaching out to a buyer.

If you’re looking to sell your home, contact Williams of Petersfield, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you. We are pleased to say we have assisted many local landlords in selling their home, and we are keen to help you, so get in touch today.

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient Before Selling

If you are selling your home, you should know you need an Energy Performance Certificate, an EPC. While this document is a legal requirement, it is also an extremely useful document. In a competitive market place, you need to make a compelling argument for prospective buyers to fall in love with your home. Continue reading “Make Your Home More Energy Efficient Before Selling”

Documents You Need When Selling Your Home

Selling your home isn’t easy, and there is a lot of work to do to ensure your property is ready to appeal to buyers. It is likely you are focusing on presenting your home in the right manner, and on the moving process. There is a lot of physical work needing taken care of around the property when you sell your home, but don’t overlook documents relating to administrative and regulatory matters.

There are documents you need when selling your home, and at Williams of Petersfield, we are here to help. We have helped many local homeowners sell their home, and we know how the process works. If you want a company who takes you from start to finish, while making the process easier for you, get in touch with us.

Documents you need include proof of identity

Before you sell your home, you need to show your solicitor identification which proves you are who you claim to be. Documents which provide photographic identification, such as a passport or driving licence, and something which states your address, such as a utility bill, is sufficient.

There are strict anti-money laundering rules in place, which require professionals in the industry to carry out these checks. If you are looking to sell your home, these documents are vital. Having them close to hand will speed up the process.

Basics first: to sell your house, you’ll need to provide your solicitor with some ID to show you are who you say you are. This is usually proof of your current address, such as a recent utility bill, plus photo identification (e.g. passport or driving license). Other documents may be accepted, so check with your solicitor or conveyancer beforehand.

You must provide the title deeds

It stands to reason that if you are looking to sell your home, you must prove you own the property. If you cannot find your title deeds, don’t panic. The solicitor who helped you buy the property should hold a copy, and if they don’t, your current solicitor should be able to obtain the official deeds from Land Registry.

Of course, if you don’t have them to hand, it may take some time to arrange copies or the official document, so this may slow down the sales process.

Freehold or leasehold?

Whether your home is a leasehold or freehold property, you should have documents stating what is appropriate. It will be helpful to have these documents available during the sales performance.

You must offer an Energy Performance Certificate

Vendors are legally required to provide the Energy Performance Certificate, EPC, for the property when selling it. If you don’t have an EPC in place for the property, arrange for the evaluation to be carried out.

At Williams of Petersfield, we are pleased to say we have helped many local vendors sell their home. If you need assistance taking the stress out of the sales process, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Should I Buy And Sell Property At The Same Time?

It is perfectly natural for a homeowner to buy and sell property around the same time. If you already own a house and it is time to move on to a new one, it is very likely you need to sell property as well. However, if you are weighing up your options, is this the right approach to take?

You may feel as though you have no other option. After all, you need a place to stay, and you are only selling your current home because you are moving to a new one. If you didn’t plan on buying a new home, there would be no need to sell your current home. So, the process goes hand in hand, even if attempting both activities at the same time makes for a stressful time.

There are reasons to sell property before you buy

If you are looking to sell your current home before you begin the process of buying a new home, there are reasons to do this.

When you aren’t attempting to sell at the same time as you buy, you are in a stronger negotiating position when you sell. Some vendors have found themselves accepting a lower offer than they would like, simply because of the deadlines of the buying process. When you aren’t pushing through a property purchase, you have a stronger position to sell.

When you aren’t buying at the same time as you sell, you aren’t part of a property chain. This is a great asset to have when you eventually get around to buying a home. You will already have sold your property, be free of a property chain, and you’ll look more appealing to vendors. This factor alone may not make the difference when there are many bids in for a house you like, but it may.

Vendors want to avoid a chain, so if there is an acceptable offer from a buyer who isn’t involved in that process, their offer automatically carries additional weight.

Another reason to sell before you buy is you think house prices are going to fall in the near future. If you sell for a high price, and it then becomes more affordable to buy property, you can enjoy a profit on your home. You may use this money to buy a larger home, or you may put it to good use in other ways.

There are reasons to consider selling and buying at the same time

Of course, you must be aware there are reasons to sell and buy property at the same time. While there is a lot to be said for selling first and then buying at a later date if you believe property prices will fall, but what if the opposite happens?

If you sell your home and then house prices rise, you may not be able to buy the home you want, or you could find yourself priced out of the market. It is easy to see why many homeowners choose to buy or sell at the same time, because it minimises problems like this occurring.

There is also the fact many people would rather not rent. When you rent, you spend money that gives you nothing back, and it can be expensive. Therefore, it is best to coincide the buying and selling of property, so you can move from one house to the other.

If you are looking to sell your home, and you need guidance, please contact Williams of Petersfield, and we will do everything we can to assist you with the process.

How Much Rent Should I Charge Tenants?

While being a landlord can be lucrative, it isn’t an easy role. You have a lot of big decisions to make, and it is understandable many landlords need assistance. We aim to help you make an informed decision or decisions on matters such as rent, no matter your situation.

We know setting a rental fee is hugely important for landlords, and if you need guidance in this area, you are not alone. The question of how much rent should I charge is a familiar one for landlords, and it is one our clients ask us. We know it would be great to receive a high rental fee, but in today’s competitive market, this isn’t always possible.

Tenants are savvy regarding rent options these days

Tenants are savvy, and they research their options. If you overprice your rental property in comparison with other homes in the local area, it is likely you won’t generate much interest in your rental property.

You may think a small rental fee increase doesn’t matter much, but to tenants, it can be a lot of money. When your finances are pushed to the limits, an extra £10 or £15 a month adds up. Don’t forget that an additional £10 a month is equal to an extra £120 a year, and for many people right now, this is a lot of money.

How does your rental property compare to local options?

It is helpful to consider the local market, and what rental fees are in place right now. You should look at the average rental fee for your type of home in your area, but this doesn’t mean you should charge this fee. You should know how your property compares with the average rental properties in the area.

If your rental accommodation is better than the average rental home, you can justify charging a more significant rental fee. If your rental accommodation isn’t up to the standard of the average rental fee, you should look to charge a lower rental fee for your accommodation.

The condition of your home, the size of your home and the number of bedrooms on offer are important factors to consider when setting a rental fee. However, there are also factors outside of your control when it comes to the rental fee tenants are happy to pay.

  • You need to consider the following aspects when setting a rental fee:
  • Your location, and the availability of facilities and amenities nearby
  • Your location, and the demand for rental property in this area
  • Your location, and the supply of rental homes in your area
  • Whether the property is furnished or not

All these factors influence the right price for your rental fee, and if you need help in determining the best rental price for your needs, you are not alone.

At Williams of Petersfield, we are pleased to say we know the local rental market. Our knowledge and guidance provide you with insight, which helps you make an informed decision regarding your rental fee. If you are a landlord looking for help to serve your tenants, contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help.