Anyone that has been trying to find a property to let recently will know that the rental demand in Plymouth remains high. As soon as a property is listed on our website, our Facebook page, or Instagram we are inundated with enquiries. There is a definite shortage in rental properties which in turn has pushed rents up to an all-time high.
The competition is ferocious with good quality tenants desperate to secure properties, we as agents feel for applicants and understand the frustration of not being able get their foot in the door. The pace from releasing a property to it being Let Agreed is literally days, sometimes hours.
My advice to tenants looking for properties is to set up alerts on websites, register with letting agents and when applying for properties provide as much information as possible on your current circumstances to include income details. Have your documents ready, generally letting agents will require proof of ID (passports and driving licences). At Cross Keys Estates we like to give everyone a fair chance and encourage them to apply for properties via our on-line portal. All applications are acknowledged and viewed by landlords; we will then let all applicants know the outcome of their application.
Landlords are also feeling the pace having to ensure that properties are turned around quickly for new tenancies. There are many considerations for landlords to be aware ensuring that properties are compliant with Gas Safety Certificate, Electrical Installation Condition Reports and up to date Energy Performance Certificates. In October the new legislation regarding Carbon Monoxide Detectors will come into force. At Cross Keys we help our landlords to ensure that these safety checks are carried out and in place. We are encouraging our landlords to install CO2 detectors correctly now.
Obviously, the question is can this fast moving rental market be sustained. We don’t see it calming down anytime soon. Unless there is a mass influx in rental properties coming to the market in the next month or two, the trend of rents going up and properties letting within hours will continue for some months to come. So buckle up and ride it out!
As many of you will know, the rainy season is already upon us and we have seen some heavy downpours in the last month or so. You may be one of those people that likes the autumn and winter more so than spring and summer but for the majority of home owners / renters / sellers this is the time of year that sees where the faults in your property are.
Have you had a slate from the roof come off? Is there a crack in your render that has now allowed an unsightly damp patch to appear? Has your chimney had any water ingress? Do your windows have cracks in the frames that might be letting water in?
If the answer to these questions is “NO” then count your blessings and move on to the next section where we will talk about energy efficiency. If the answer to any of these questions is yes then please take my advice and deal with them sooner rather than later. A small problem now that is left unresolved can result in catastrophic issues in time to come.
A small crack in your render can easily be chased out and filled rather that in a few month time needing the whole wall being hacked off and re-rendered. Replacing a slipped tile may only take a day or two to get fixed but water coming for a prolonged period could result in the timber starting to rot or ceiling collapsing or the electrics failing where the lighting is.
Water will always find a way, your job is to make it as hard as possible for the water to get in. If the water does get in and the temperature starts to fall, then consider the ramifications of moisture in the fabric of your house. If this moisture freezes, then untold amounts of damage can occur and usually this will lead to expensive and unwanted bills at a time of year where we normally have other important things to spend our hard earned cash on.
Maintenance is not a sexy subject that grips everyone and get them excited but there is an old saying “Prevention is better than a cure” and regular updates on your property is highly recommended to ensure that they are in the best possible condition in order to withstand one of our winters.
Moving on from maintenance, we need to consider the effects of not having enough insulation in our properties. Insulation is relatively cheap but highly effective at keeping our homes not only warm but also energy efficient. There are currently a lot of schemes around that are offering either free or hugely discounted fees for installation of the best quality insulation. Keeping your home warm isn’t just for your comfort but also helps ensure that your property is being looked after because at the end of the day, warm and dry will always be better that cold and damp.
I really hope that you have found this blog informative and helpful, it may seem like these subjects are trivial but trust me, they do help to make sure your property is in its best possible condition for both living in and for selling. If you are a tenant, it is also really important to inform your managing agent or landlord if you have any of these issues or other minor problems, especially if it concerns water or moisture inside of the home. A dripping tap left dripping for a long time could escalate from simply needing a washer to be replaced to needing an entire kitchen unit or worktop needing replacing.
Like they say in Game Of Thrones “Winter is coming” be prepared.