Archives July 2021

What To Look For When Viewing A Property

Moving home is exciting. Whether it’s for work, because your family is expanding, or simply because you want a fresh start (or all of the above), searching for a new home is a great opportunity to get exactly what you want. Of course, some compromises will need to be made – there are no perfect properties, even if your budget is a large one – but there are some things that you will need to look out for and be aware of when you are viewing a property, no matter what you are looking for and where you are looking.


Damp can cause untold damage to a property, and therefore should be something to watch out for when you are viewing different potential homes. If the property has been empty for a while then there is more chance of finding damp, but even if it has been lived in, or is still lived in, it could be there.

Look out for plaster or paint flaking from the walls and ceiling, and watermarks on the walls too. If there is wallpaper, is it peeling? Is there a musty smell in the house? Put your hand against the walls; if it feels cold and wet, then there will be damp, even if it has just been repainted. Although this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy the house, it does mean you should proceed with caution, and that you will need to have work done once you own it. This could be a good negotiating angle, so bear it in mind if you’re looking for a bargain.

The Roof

It can be easy to overlook the roof of a property since you won’t be able to see most of it much of the time. However, this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. If you can see holes, or there are tiles on the ground that have clearly fallen, there could be a problem. See if you can go into the loft when you are viewing a property as this can also give you plenty of clues.

viewing a property
Image by Frank Winkler from Pixabay

If you’re not sure, ask an expert to come and check it out for you. The expert will immediately spot any issues and be able to let you know what the cost might be to have the repairs done. When you have the report, you can speak to the realtor about the problems. It might be that the owners were unaware, but they are willing to get the problem fixed, or reduce their price.


The rooms might be a good size and the garden could be lovely, but is there enough storage? This is an important point – the last thing you want to do is move in somewhere and then find there is no space to put your clothing, the food in your kitchen, or bed linen and towels that also need to be stored, no to mention toys and games if you have children.

You will need to take the amount of storage into account when you are viewing a property. It should have at least what you have now, if not more. Otherwise, you will need to be willing to reduce the amount of possessions that you have. Sometimes this can be a wonderful idea, especially if you don’t want the stress of packing everything up.

How To Rent Out Your Investment Property

If you have bought an investment property, then you will want it to be rented out as soon as it is ready, otherwise you will be losing money. Here are some of the best ways to ensure that you can rent out your investment property quickly and that you find the right tenant at the same time. 

Research The Market 

Something that will put prospective tenants off choosing your property to live in, or even view, is the price. You may have a rent in mind that you want to achieve, but that doesn’t mean that price will be possible. You need to check to see what else is available in your area and compare those properties to your own. Find as many similar houses or flats as you can and note the rents they are asking for. This way, you can get a good idea of what you might be able to achieve. Be prepared to be flexible though when you want to rent out your investment property, as you may need to reduce your price over time or take an offer if you think it can work for you. 

rent out your investment property
Image by Shahid Abdullah from Pixabay

Work Out The Costs 

Once you know how much rent you are likely to achieve, you should work out all the costs. For example, depending on your situation, you may be taxed on your rental income, which would be at 20 percent (or 40 percent for higher earners). This can make a big difference to your profit. There will be other costs associated with the property as well, such as the mortgage (if you have one), landlord’s insurance, and the cost of maintenance. If the rent you could get won’t cover these costs, you may need to look at alternatives such as selling the property or converting it into a multiple occupancy property that you can charge for by the room rather than as a whole. 


Unless people know that your property is up for rent, they won’t ask to see it. Therefore, you need to do as much as possible to advertise it if you want to rent out your investment property. If you choose to go with a lettings agent, they will do this for you, but of course they will also charge. If you prefer to do everything yourself, you can use social media to your advantage to begin with. You can share the details of your property and ensure that as many people see it as possible by boosting the posts to your chosen audience. You can use presentation software to put together all the benefits of renting your particular property so that prospective tenants can see everything they need to before contacting you. This saves you (and them) time because only those who are really interested in the property will need to see it. 

Local press can also be a helpful way to advertise your property, as can word of mouth. Really, the more ways you can promote it, the better, as the right tenant will spot it quickly, and you will be able to move them in sooner. 

Get Insurance 

Although the tenant will deal with the contents insurance, since you are the property owner, you will need to organise buildings insurance. You will also need landlord’s insurance. Landlord’s insurance is in place to protect you from non-paying tenants, for example, and will ensure that you don’t lose money in the long term. 

3 Useful Social Media Tips For Letting Agents

These days, every sort of professional — including letting agents – is active on social media. So, whether you’re new to social media or searching for methods to improve your online presence, you’d be wise to put in some extra work in this particular arena. 

In addition to setting profiles on the web’s most popular social networks, you’ll need to produce fresh material on a regular basis to keep your audience interested. While this may appear overwhelming to social media beginners, maintaining a significant social media presence does not have to be an endurance test. The following suggestions can help letting agents who want to use social media to their advantage.

social media
Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Provide Links To Your Website 

Social media networks may be an excellent way to promote your own website. Prospective customers will have a clear idea of your company procedures and professional ethics, as well as the sorts of properties you usually work with and your approach to the lettings industry, by visiting your website. You could also include links to pieces you’ve written for well-known property websites or magazines for the most outstanding results. So, if you have any blog entries or instructive articles that you are really proud of, don’t be shy about sharing them.

Use Keywords 

When creating content, make a point of using keywords that your target audience is likely to look for. For example, if you want people to see a certain listing, consider putting in phrases that people are likely to search for, such as ‘two-bedroom house in Sevenoaks‘ or ‘flat close to Edenbridge station‘ might get your posts seen by those who aren’t part of your standard following base. Because the search capabilities on social platforms work similarly to traditional search engines, keyword integration might be beneficial to your social media exposure efforts.

Interact With People 

The ability to quickly engage with companies and the public is one of the handiest elements of social media. This, of course, also applies to letting agents. The more responsive you are when it comes to people’s comments and questions, the more friendly you look – and the more approachable you appear, the more likely it is that clients will use you the next time they need to find a home or a renter.

It is critical to be careful of your tone and word choices while communicating with individuals on social media. When you are not engaging someone face-to-face, it is extremely easy to come across as abrupt or nasty, and you should keep this in mind whenever you react to a remark or inquiry on social media. Additionally, try not to keep them waiting for too long for a response. No one likes being kept waiting, and the longer you take to reply, the less prospective consumers will believe that their requirements are important. So, if a question is asked within normal business hours, try to answer as soon as feasible.

What Happens When Losses Are Claimed In Excess Of The Deposit Value?

A landlord’s or their agent’s losses after a tenancy may surpass the deposit value in rare cases. When a landlord or letting agency seeks to collect more than the deposit value, the landlord and agent may believe that moving to court is essential. However, it’s actually essential to understand that litigation is always a last resort. 

Even if the alleged losses certified by an inventory service business exceed the deposit value, it may be wise and cost-effective for a landlord or agent to first use an Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) service and then recover the balance in court.

By doing so, a landlord and agent have demonstrated that they have made all reasonable measures to avoid going to court and, as a result, have complied with the Overriding Objective of the Civil Procedure Rules. In such cases, an adjudicator’s review of the deposit claim would generally end after the deposit monies are depleted.

Tenant’s deposit, inventory check-out evidence, and landlord’s claim

For example, if the deposit value was £500.00 and there were valid claims for cleaning (£150.00), redecoration (£350.00), and tenancy rent arrears (£300.00) based on the checkout inventory report, an adjudicator cannot award more than the £500.00 deposit value, and the adjudication will end before all claims are resolved.

A landlord may have little choice in such a case but to seek compensation for their additional losses in court. Some schemes will enable landlords or renting agencies to choose the order in which claims should be evaluated; as a result, landlords and agents should be conscious of which claims they want the ADR service to consider first and which claims they want the ADR service to consider last.

A complex damage dispute based on an independent property inventory report, for example, might be resolved through ADR, but an easy rent arrears claim could be resolved in court after the deposit funds are depleted. In any case, a landlord or renting agent must consider the expenses, dangers, and time involved with court procedures and determine whether it is economically or sensible to proceed.

deposit value
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Clear inventory checkout evidence

Suing a tenant who does not have any money may be futile since, while a landlord or agent may be successful in getting a judgment, the terms of payment may require the tenant to pay back the judgment over a long period of time. In contrast, if a tenant desires to file a counterclaim, the only method to do so is through the courts, as most ADR firms would not accept counterclaims against the landlord or agent. This is because deposit protection ADR businesses only deal with claims against deposits.

For example, once an inventory clerk has produced an inventory check report outlining tenant obligations, a tenant may seek to file a claim against the landlord or the agent for failing to preserve a deposit. Such a claim would not be considered by an ADR firm and would have to be decided by a judge.

In any instance, the parties would be advised to seek legal counsel before proceeding to court.

Interior Trends To Watch Out For In 2021

If it’s time for you to make some changes to your investment property because your last tenant has moved out and your next one has yet to be found, you can help make that search a much shorter one. As a landlord, it’s wise to keep your properties looking good, and even to redecorate every time a tenant moves out. With that in mind, here are some of the big interior trends to think about in 2021.

Art Deco

Art deco is distinguished by geometric forms and bright colours. Art deco elements may be seen in tiles, on the staircase, carpets, and light fixtures.


When it comes to interior trends, consider the colours cream, white, grey, and beige. Neutrals are timeless, simple, and relaxing.

interior trends
Photo by Ali Naaz from Pexels


This year’s colour trend is sage green (pastel green blended with grey). It’s been spotted in homeware stores and high-street fashion.

interior trends
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels


Layers, textures, and patterns in bohemian homes are relaxed. Because it is a personal style, no two bohemian-inspired homes will ever be the same.


This year’s interior trends include wooden doors and highlight beams, as well as chunky furniture and original flooring.

Negotiations When Buying An Investment Property

Typically, investors strive to buy properties for below market value (BMV). Paying less for homes can play a significant role in determining how profitable investment property is. Unfortunately, in an increasingly digital and open world, purchasing a home below market value is becoming progressively impossible.

Investors who want to maximise their returns on their investment property must master the art of negotiating. Experienced landlords and investors will aim to bargain in order to purchase properties at the lowest possible price. Such investors can purchase properties at or below market value by haggling the price down as much as feasible.

Unfortunately, the art of negotiating does not come readily to many people. If you are one of these folks, here are some useful tips for buying an investment property at a good price.

investment property
Image by Aly Baku from Pixabay

Know Your Seller

Negotiating without first knowing the seller’s motivations might be a recipe for disaster. When viewing a property, try to schedule a viewing with the owner in attendance. If not, take the time to get to know the selling agent. It is critical to understand why the owner is selling the property and how this may influence their selections.

When seeing the home with an agent, ask if you may speak directly to the seller before submitting an offer. The opportunity to communicate directly with sellers and develop a connection will enable you to discover more about their goals and ambitions. If there are numerous purchasers, you may be the only one with whom they are directly communicating, giving you an advantage.

Let The Seller Make The First Move

Making the seller move first can be advantageous. After you’ve established a connection with the owner or agency and persuaded them that you’re a serious buyer, it’s occasionally worthwhile to ask the seller what they’d genuinely sell the home for. By doing so, you are requesting that the seller reconsider the price they are willing to accept for the property. In most cases, they will reconfirm the list price. They may, however, return with a cheaper price, in which case the goalposts will have already shifted in your favour.

Look For Emotional Anchors

Anchors are used by negotiators to reframe a seller’s perspective. A seller may have a specific price in mind, but if you start with an unexpectedly low offer – preferably one supported by a historical comparison – you can utilise this to subliminally peg their expectations to a lower value. Simply said, a low offer that is shockingly low can cause sellers to reconsider their own value assumptions. You must exercise caution not to make an insultingly low offer. Making an offer that is 20-25 percent below the advertised price, on the other hand, might be a beneficial approach when attempting to negotiate a lower price.

Establish A Range

Rather than selecting a precise anchor point, establishing an emotional range might be beneficial. Instead of making a single low offer, which might put sellers on the defensive, you can make a variety of offers. While their house is advertised for £150,000, other residences in the neighbourhood have sold for £120,000 to £140,000. The seller will still accept the lower end of the range, but making an offer as part of a range will make it more appealing.

Don’t Use Monetary Terms

While most individuals are motivated by the exact selling price, it is not often the sole consideration for sellers. You may utilise this to your advantage if you understand the vendor and what they want to achieve. If they want to relocate but haven’t located the appropriate property yet, you might offer to rent the house to them for a year with a one-month break clause. If they are purchasing a home that needs renovation, offer to put them in contact with a reputable builder you know. In every case, look for ways to offer non-monetary value. When you do this, the seller will see that you are making every effort to provide them a bargain that works for them.

Use Odd Numbers

Precision is provided by odd numbers. When making bids for an investment property, buyers tend to round up to the next thousand. People frequently become fixated on much bigger rounds than this, gravitating for offers to the closest £5,000 or £10,000. The issue is that this encourages vendors to push you to the next rounded offer.

Consider making an out-of-the-ordinary offer as you approach your price limit. Instead of rounding up to £200,000, offer £196,493, for example. The accuracy of this amount can disarm salespeople and persuade them that you have reached your financial limit, deterring them from asking for more. Such offers can be particularly successful when accompanied by an investment statistic.

investment property
Photo by SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS from Pexels

Give The Seller Control – In Part

It is human nature to feel more at ease when you have control over a situation. Surprisingly, this can be a valuable bargaining weapon for purchasers. Buyers can obtain the results they seek by asking calibrated questions rather than delivering replies. Ask the seller questions that make them feel in control of the discussion while also encouraging them to come up with ideas that benefit you.

If you hit a pricing stalemate, ask the seller, “How can we work together to bring this deal over the line?” Similarly, if the seller appears to be fixed on a specific price, inquire as to why that price is so essential to them. The idea is to get the vendor to feel empathy for you and come up with their own solutions.

When employing calibrated inquiries, avoid starting queries with the word “why,” unless you want the seller to defend an objective that benefits you. The word ‘why’ sounds accusatory and puts sellers on the defensive.

Think About Timing

It may be tough to strike the right balance when it comes to making an offer on an investment property. On the one hand, you don’t want to reply too soon since it would confirm the idea that you were always willing to boost your offer. On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long because it may indicate indifference or allow other bidders to outbid you.

When negotiating, never reply with a counteroffer right away. Instead, inform the seller or agent that you will examine the offer and will need to double-check the maths before responding. Provide a timetable for when you will respond to them. If you are at work, say you will verify the figures when you get home and respond first thing the next morning.

When you receive a counteroffer, you should use the call to express concerns or questions if the price is too high. You should not reject the offer right away. Instead, you might say that it may be tough for you to achieve that amount or that the counteroffer remains rather high.

Use A Surveyor

When you have an accepted offer, you can make it contingent on a building survey. The advantage of doing so is twofold. To begin, having a trained surveyor examine the property will aid in identifying any structural concerns or expenses. Even the finest negotiators will be out of cash if the home is discovered to have severe structural concerns. Second, if small faults emerge, you may use this knowledge to return to the vendor and negotiate a cheaper price.

Walk Away If You Need To

The goal of being a landlord in the cold light of day is to make money. You must buy properties that will provide a significant rental income or capital growth to justify the time you will invest in them. If not, what is the point of devoting so much time and money to the project?

Buyers frequently make the mistake of becoming emotionally engaged in an investment property. You may have non-financial motives for wanting the transaction to go forward for one reason or another. When this is the case, you are more likely to overspend and make an expensive mistake. Calculate the projected return on the property before making an offer. Calculate the price at which you will need to buy the property in order to achieve your goal return and set it as your maximum price. If the discussions go above this amount, you should be firm and walk away.

Your Rental Property: How To Make It Feel Like Home

Even if you don’t own the house you live in, you want it to feel like your own. As a tenant, this might be difficult at times because you must follow the rules that come with renting. But making your rental property feel like home can be done, and it should be done. With that in mind, here are some pointers to help you make your rental seem more like home.

Add Plants

Greenery can breathe new life into a space. They brighten and bring warmth to your rental property. They may also offer the additional benefit of eliminating toxins and purifying the air around them. You don’t need to have a green thumb for your indoor plants to thrive; there’s plenty of low-maintenance vegetation available.

your rental property
Image by Alina Kuptsova from Pixabay

Use Furniture With Added Storage

We are always in need of more space and your rental property is no different. When a home is cluttered and messy, it can feel uncomfortable and be a constant reminder that this is someone else’s house. Purchasing furniture with built-in storage is a terrific method to store all of the extras that don’t have a home. For that extra space, consider employing coffee tables and footstools with hidden storage. Cabinets can provide more enclosed storage, and bed frames with storage under the mattress or on the sides are also available.

Have Rugs

Rugs are an excellent addition if you are dissatisfied with the flooring in your rental property but can’t change it because the landlord says no. They’re also a great way to personalise a room’s decor. They can offer colour and personality, or they can tone out the room, depending on your needs. A wide rug in the lounge room could provide additional seats on the floor while also making the space feel cosier. If your room is missing in colour, Persian rugs might be a terrific way to bring it back to life.

Install Mood Lighting

Make good use of lighting! Whether it’s a giant, free-standing lamp in the living room or smaller lights in the bedroom, these can add personality to any space. Keeping larger lamps in a room’s corners reduces the disruption caused by going from one area to another.

Upcycle What You Already Have

Sometimes the items you already own may use a facelift. Consider painting or decorating existing furniture. This will give your rental property a new atmosphere without the need for new furniture. When relocating or decorating existing furniture, take care not to harm or interfere with the property.

your rental property
Image by AntoMes from Pixabay

Take Pride In Your Rental Property

Take pride in your rental property and treat it as if it were your own. This will only help you as a tenant in the future because of your excellent rental history. Taking care of your home also reduces the possibility of losing your deposit when it comes time to move out. As expert inventory clerks in Kent, Surrey, East Sussex, and West Sussex, Looksy Inventories knows that looking after your rental property goes a long way when it comes to your landlord agreeing to return your deposit, and the inventory report being a positive one.  

Call Now ButtonCall Now