The Lettings Market Surges

The Lettings Market Surges


In line with the UK Government advice our offices are now open for business. We are observing the guidance and should you wish to visit any office, please ensure you have a confirmed appointment prior to arrival. Our phone lines are operating as usual and calls are being answered between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday, 9am and 4pm on Saturdays and between 11am and 3pm on Sundays.

You can also register your interest and details via our contact pages on the website


The Lettings Market Surges Upon Reopening

Due to the nature of lettings, the market tends to be much more agile and recover more quickly than its sales counterpart during times of instability and the market is once again showing its resilience as it surges following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Analysis of the largest property portals has shown that rental properties coming to the market has surged by up to 44% in some parts of the UK as landlords are keen to get their properties back onto the market. The research conducted by Howsy shows that the day after restrictions were eased the market jumped back into action, with London in particular seeing a huge increase in listing volumes.

Callum Brannan, founder and CEO of Howsy, said: “Many in the rental sector will be breathing a sigh of relief with such immediate green shoots of market activity returning to a number of cities following an ease in lockdown market restrictions.

“Of course, other pockets of the market will take longer to see this positive trend emerge as agents and landlords find their feet operationally.

“We’re certainly not out of the woods yet and the ongoing financial and health implications facing many tenants and landlords will continue to be an obstacle. However, now that we as an industry are able to facilitate them on a greater scale, we can at least start to rebuild momentum in the sector.

“Now, it’s vital that landlords receive the support and protection they need from us as an industry, to ensure confidence in their investment and to maintain a suitable level of rental stock to meet demand from tenants who rely on these homes in order to live.”



Returning To Work Safely - Some Top Tips

The latest updates from the government include a return to work strategy with steps for how to do this safely.
 
Understandably, many people have concerns about returning to work including travelling to and from workplaces. Each business is different and will require different adaptations to their operating procedures to facilitate a safe environment, but the same guiding principles will apply. That is to safeguard the health and well being of staff members and customers. Eight separate guides have been published by the government to support different types of businesses - these guides can be found here. We have summarised the 5 key points applicable to businesses returning to work below*:

1. Work from home if you can
The message continues to be to work from home where at all possible. However, it is acknowledged that not all businesses are able to operate from home. Businesses that have not been told to close by government are now able to go back to work. Employers should discuss operating procedures with their staff.

People should try to avoid public transport in their work commute. However, where this is not possible, you are asked to wear face masks where possible.

2. Covid-19 risk assessment
All employers need to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment. This is in line with current health and safety employment and equalities legislation. The risk assessments should be undertaken in consultation with their workers or trade unions, to establish what guidelines to put in place. If possible, employers should publish the results of their risk assessments (all businesses with over 50 employees are expected to do so).

3. Maintain social distancing
Workspaces should be redesigned to respect the 2-metre social distancing guidelines. This can be achieved with staggered start times, one-way walking systems, and changing seating layouts. Designating specific entrances and exits can also minimise close contact.

4. Risk management where social distancing is not possible
It is acknowledged that not all workplaces will find it easy to manage social distancing at 2 metres apart. In this instance, employers should look into putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensuring colleagues are facing away from each other.

5. Reinforcing cleaning processes
Workspaces should be cleaned more often with extra attention to objects with high contact, such as door handles, and office equipment. Hand washing facilities and sanitising stations should be provided at entrances and exits.
For further information please head to the following website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19
 

*These key points have been taken from gov.uk guidance published on 11 May 2020



Our Top Tips On Moving Home

You have found your new property and are excited to finally have the keys in your hand – now you just need to move your possessions from your old home into the new model. We have put together some top tips to make this process as stress-free as possible.

Choose the right removals firm
It may seem like an easy task, but finding the right removal company to help to transport all of your goods will make all the difference. Depending on the amount of items that you are moving, and the nature of the items (for example you may need a specialist if you are moving a high-worth object like a piano) you may need multiple firms to help facilitate your move. Do your due diligence and rely on testimonials, as well as recommendations from your estate agent and, if possible, have a company come and give you a quote based on the items you would like to be transported. We would also recommend booking as early on as time will allow, as often people will want to move on similar dates, such as school holidays.

Get planning
Planning for your removal early will help you to deal with any excess moving stress, as you will know that you have everything in hand. Once you have chosen the right firm, you can get planning – from which rooms to start packing first, to how you are going to pack your items up. The only way to truly stay on top of things is through using lists – make a list for each room you are packing up and create a timeline also so you have visibility of how much time you have on your hands. Decide how much material you will need to pack your items in terms of boxes and wrapping to keep items safe – people always underestimate the volume they will require so try to be as generous as possible in your predictions.

Pack!
Of course, packing the actual items up is the name of the game, but it isn’t just a case of throwing things into boxes – there is a subtle art to packing that will help to keep you organised. We would recommend starting from the top of the house and moving downwards – pack up what is in your loft according to the frequency with which you use the items and then move through each room methodically. When packing electricals, pack the cables separately and then bind the wires with masking tape and write on the tape which appliance the cable is for, and with clothes keep them on the hangers and pop a black bag over the top of them using an elastic band to hold the tops of the hangers together.

Create A Fact File
A fact file is such a useful goldmine of information – essentially it is an information document that you put together about your property including details of where the stopcock is for the water, the gas and electricity switches and so on which will help the people moving into your home enormously. Speak to whomever you are buying your property from and have them create one for you using your own as a template – try to include as much information as possible as this will help you in the long run. Information can include heating systems and how to use, any warranties or guarantees on items in the property, bin collection days, reliable tradesmen you have used, burglar alarm details, paint colours around the house – the list is really endless but it should act as a handbook to the property.



Holidays Cancelled? Enjoy the United Kingdom!

For many of us, we will have plans for holidays abroad which are now looking uncertain, and for others an overseas excursion will already have been cancelled. If you are looking to plan your next getaway, why not enjoy a ‘staycation’ here in the UK.

Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, recently announced that holidays within the UK could return as soon as July in a move to boost the tourism sector and allow those who have already missed holidays to take a much-needed break.
“I would love to get the tourism sector up as quickly as we possibly can. We’ve set this very ambitious plan to try and get it up and running by the beginning of July,” he said.

There is also the potential addition of an extra UK bank holiday in October being explored by the government currently in order to account for the two weekends in May with bank holidays which were essentially negated due to coronavirus lockdown measures.

Last year a third of Brits chose to have a holiday in the UK over abroad thanks to the varied landscapes and exciting places to explore right on our own doorstep, so don’t consider holidaying in your home country as a hardship.

If you’re looking for a city break, then London is the obvious choice as it simply has so much to offer, however don’t discount other cities such as Bristol, Edinburgh or Cardiff for a city break as they all provide a distinctly different feel to one another and provide a chance to get to know somewhere new.

Perhaps you are looking for a more traditional seaside break, in which case the south coast of England is the obvious choice due to the more favourable climate and the truly stunning locations such as Brighton, Bournemouth and Cornwall. However, there are also hidden gems such as Nairn in Scotland which is a charming seaside resort and the better-known Rhossili Bay in Swansea which is known for its surfing.

Perhaps it is a touch of peace and quiet which you are seeking on your next holiday, and the Lake District offers this in abundance – known as England’s answer to the Italian Lakes, the vistas in the Lake District are awe-inspiring and the walks second-to-none. When it comes to picturesque landscapes, the Scottish Highlands offer some of the most rugged scenes and idyllic, isolated locations throughout the entirety of the UK – we would recommend basing yourself in Inverness as you are then driving or hiking distance to some of the most wonderful walks in all of Scotland. Wales is not to be forgotten, of course, as its green landscapes and rugged coastline provide plenty of opportunities for a relaxing break – and should you wish to build up a sweat then a trip up Mount Snowdon is just the ticket.