Archives March 2022

Working From Home & Covid-19: What Happened To The Rental Market?

When many workplaces were forced to close because to the Covid-19 outbreak, an extraordinary shift toward working from home occurred. In order to accommodate their new work habits, tenants had to reevaluate what they required from their rental property, which had a big influence on the rental market.

What Adjustments Did Tenants Want To Work From Home?

As a result of individuals working from home, whether they were renting or owning, three essential aspects of their residences changed:

• Work area

• A place to relax and unwind in the fresh air


For many families, there was a need for more than one person to work at the same time. For those who wanted to work from home, more room was required. Employees wanted an additional room for a home office, but the option to set up a particular workspace or desk in an existing room also made a significant impact.

working from home
Photo by Edward Jenner

People also wanted more outdoor space in addition to more inside space. When individuals were not permitted to leave their homes, having a garden or even a balcony became a necessity. For both physical and emotional well-being, even when constraints have been relaxed, getting up and moving about throughout the course of a long day at a home desk is a need.

Finally, people’s ability to live altered as well. To save time and money, they no longer had to drive to cities or commuter suburbs to go to work.

Renters, in particular, have the freedom and flexibility to pick where they want to reside based on their work schedules. As a result, a large number of city dwellers relocated to the countryside or small villages outside of the city centre in search of more affordable housing with the additional room they sought.

What Happened After Lockdown?

Expectations are high that things will revert to pre-pandemic status, including those of tenants, at some point in the near future. Even still, according to YouGov, 60% of British employees would like to work remotely from time to time, so the need for space and desire to live in distant areas may be here to stay.

However, when businesses reopen, there seems to be a resurgence in city life. According to a recent BBC article, the urban rental market has seen an uptick in demand due to people returning to work gradually and covid restrictions being loosened. This year’s January demand was 76% higher than in the prior four years.

Landlords who own homes in cities and bigger towns will be pleased to hear this news. However, they must take into account the fact that many renters will continue to work from home, which will have an impact on their choice of property.

Looksy Inventories Is Here For You

Contact Looksy Inventories now to learn more about how our local team can become your inventory partner and ensure that your property continues to be attractive to today’s tenants.

Why Is Landlord Communication So Important For Tenants?

Good landlord communication is vital. Landlords must establish a relationship of trust and open communication with their tenants if they want to be successful in managing their properties.

Whether you’re in a relationship with a spouse, a friend, or a tenant, communication is essential. In order to create trust and define responsibilities in a relationship, you need to communicate effectively.

The most essential thing you can do as a landlord is establish a relationship based on mutual trust and open lines of landlord communication with your tenants. It takes the right people, at the right time, with the appropriate knowledge to communicate effectively.

landlord communication
Photo by NEOSiAM 2021 from Pexels

Why Do Landlords Need To Do This?

Landlord communication that is open and honest helps develop trust and creates long-lasting partnerships.

Good communication between parties reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings.

When Should Landlords Start?

Transparency is critical right from the get-go. This should begin before the tenant comes in and continue during the tenancy. Make sure your tenants know how to get in contact with you and what your expectations are.

Who Is Responsible?

With your tenants, you have a duty to communicate clearly. In order to have a strong connection, both sides will need to speak with each other. Landlord communication needs to work both ways.

What Method Of Landlord Communication Is Best?

There are various methods to communicate nowadays, including conventional letter writing, phone calls, and visits to the tenants, as well as email, SMS, and other social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages for landlords when it comes to interacting with their renters.

However, there are occasions in which specific procedures are preferable, such as serving legal documents or an eviction order, which necessitates documentation. If you want to remind a tenant of a forthcoming tradesperson appointment or schedule viewings, utilise channels like text messaging or WhatsApp. It’s a good idea to use email to communicate tenancy documents, such as a lease or inventory.

Depending on the severity of the issue, a landlord may resort to making emergency phone calls. Landlords often forget to contact their tenants, yet doing so may help fix issues much more swiftly.

How To Communicate Effectively

Putting a face to a name helps to establish trust and a connection right away.

If you utilised any experts or tradespeople, such as an inventory clerk, please let the tenant know. This will save time and alleviate issues in the future.

Let them know what their obligations are as well as yours, and be upfront about it.

Tenants want to know you’re accessible if they have issues or concerns.

Keep your end of the bargain by adhering to inspection dates and completing maintenance tasks.

Keep in mind that connections are continuous, so don’t be afraid to remind or notify ahead to scheduled maintenance appointments or inspections. Take requests seriously and respond promptly.

Having a written record of conversation will be helpful for future reference, and it will protect both parties if they do so.

In order to make your work simpler, you should make use of a property management site that provides you with the necessary resources.

The Pros and Cons of Owning A Listed Building

One of the most thrilling and gratifying properties to buy is a listed building. Owning a historically significant structure, however, comes with a slew of challenges. There are both advantages and disadvantages to owning a listed building; read on to find out more.

What Is A Listed Building?

A listed building is one that is regarded to be of unique architectural or historic interest, as well as being of national significance.

The older a structure is, the more probable it is to be a listed building. Most buildings constructed before 1700 that are still in their original state are likely to be listed. Most structures constructed between 1700 and 1850 are likely to be listed. Buildings constructed after 1945 are less likely to be listed. Buildings that are less than 30 years old are unlikely to be classified since they are not regarded to be of significant architectural or historic importance.

Not only buildings can be listed, but so can battlefields, monuments, parks, gardens, telephone boxes, milestones, shipwrecks, and other locations.

Types Of Listed Buildings

In England, there are three categories of listed buildings:

Grade I structures are considered to be of extraordinary interest. Only 2.5 percent of all listed structures are Grade I.

Grade II* buildings are extremely significant structures of more than passing importance. Grade II* listed buildings account for 5.8 percent of all listed structures.

Buildings of outstanding importance are classified as Grade II. Grade II buildings account for 91.7 percent of all listed structures. The majority of listed buildings are Grade II.

In England, there are an estimated 500,000 listed buildings.

How to find out whether a structure is listed: Search the National Heritage List for England or other appropriate national lists of listed buildings to see whether a property is listed and if so, what listing it has.

The Pros Of Owning A Listed Building

Owning a listed building can provide various advantages and benefits:

Living in a listed building may provide a one-of-a-kind lifestyle owing to its one-of-a-kind character. Living in a castle, a Tudor farmhouse, or a big Georgian mansion, for example, might provide a one-of-a-kind living experience.

Those who live in historic structures often express a strong sense of being a part of history. They like being a part of the nation’s history and legacy by living in and preserving a listed building for the future.

Listed buildings are often located in desirable urban and rural areas that are in high demand as places to reside in any event.

Listed houses may grow in value quicker than other properties in the same neighbourhood. The availability of listed buildings is restricted, which might assist to drive up prices. As a result, listed structures may be a valuable long-term investment.

The Cons Of Owning A Listed Building

However, owning a listed building has a variety of drawbacks:

You may not be able to make any alterations to a listed structure, or you may be allowed to make only minor changes to a listed property. It may be difficult or impossible to renovate, develop, or expand a listed structure.

To make major alterations to a listed building, you will very certainly need to acquire listed building consent (or LBC, as it may be termed).

Unauthorized work on a listed structure may be considered a crime. The maximum punishment for anybody performing or causing the performance of the work is two years in jail and/or an infinite fine.

Owning a listed building entails a legal obligation to preserve and maintain it. Local governments may issue a repairs notice under Section 115 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 if they believe the owner of a listed building is failing to meet this requirement. In severe instances, they might even issue a mandatory purchase order.

Listed structures may need extensive care and restoration. This is owing to their antiquity as well as the nature of the materials and processes utilised to construct them.

Maintenance of a listed building, as well as any work such as renovation and extension (if permitted), will be more complex and costly. This is due to the fact that specialised expertise and construction materials may be necessary.

Insurance for listed structures is often more difficult to get. Because of the increased expenses of restoring listed buildings, insurance for them is often more costly. On the insurance implications of owning a listed property, it is essential to get advice from a specialised insurer or broker.

Listed structures are often unsuitable for contemporary life. Listed buildings may feature tiny, awkwardly shaped rooms with low ceilings or large, high spaces. They may have poor insulation and energy efficiency, making them frigid in the winter and costly to heat. It is conceivable that efforts to fix these issues will be impossible to complete.

How To Keep Maintenance Costs Down On A Rental Property

When it comes to keeping your rental property maintenance costs low, ‘prevention is the best cure,’ as the adage goes. That means you should make sure the building’s fabric is in excellent repair before renting it out, and then have a continuous inspection and maintenance programme in place to help prevent any significant and expensive concerns. Read on to find out more.

maintenance costs
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Have An Independent Survey

Unless you’re investing in a new home with a warranty, you should always use an independent surveyor to reduce maintenance costs. Remember that the valuation that your Buy to let mortgage lender prepares is just to protect them – not you – and it may be as simple as a surveyor searching up “comparables” online – they may not even visit the property in person.

Surveys are classified into numerous tiers. The ‘right’ one for you will depend on the age and condition of the property you’re purchasing, so consult with a RICS-qualified surveyor to see which is best for you. Make certain that the report include guidance on both current and possible future difficulties.

Do As Much Work As Possible Before You Let It Out

Fixing serious faults or making repairs after you’ve begun renting out your house could be far more difficult and expensive than performing the work before anybody moves in. If problems emerge during a lease, you’ll have to negotiate with tenants about when repairs are made and may have to arrange for them to be relocated somewhere if the project is large. If you wait until the property becomes unoccupied at the conclusion of a tenancy, you could face a lengthy period of time with no rental revenue.

As a result, it’s normally a good idea to do as much work as possible after finalising your acquisition, which should enable you to ‘future proof’ the house for at least the next 10-15 years, reducing maintenance costs.

Carry Out Regular Inspections

Once the property has been rented, it is critical to do frequent inspections – every 6-12 months – to examine both the interior and outside for any indications of deterioration that might lead to difficulties. It’s often a good idea to get an inventory clerk to do this for you. For example, if a roof tile has slid or the guttering has fractured, water might infiltrate the masonry and cause moisture inside. If surface mildew in the bathroom is left ignored, it may spread and develop into a significant mould problem. Depending on the reason, this might need specialised treatment and possibly jeopardise your tenant’s health. In summary, always solve issues as soon as they arise, before they become more expensive duties.

Give Your Tenants A Home Worth Looking After

If you give your tenants a home that is in excellent shape and has a high degree of interior décor, it normally encourages them to take care of it – and this should result in you spending less on maintenance costs and repairs. So it’s worthwhile to invest in quality furniture, repaint the walls every few years, and reply as soon as your renter complains anything isn’t functioning. Not only will items stay longer, but you should be able to charge more rent as a result.

If you’re considering making a new investment or remodelling an existing home, call us and talk to one of the staff about ways to save money on upkeep.

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