Decent Rents

Welcome to Home Relief Bulletin Board

Post No. 208

by Your Freelance e-Property Letting Agency

What to do for your property to command a decent rent regardless of seasons

 

This week we are working with landlords/ladies and home owners to determine ways of setting up decent rent levels regardless of seasons (including in difficult times like of the coronavirus pandemic).  As it is said this work is with independent landlords/ladies and home owners rather than with property management companies.

Knowing a good renting price

Normally the rental sector uses the jargon of rental yield.  For a property to command a good rent yield, this yield should be between 5 and 8 per cent.  The theory says that yield is worked out by considering the annual rental income of the property, dividing it by the price paid and then multiplying this number by 100.  So, your decent rent should be more or less within the above margin.  It is a level of rent conforming to acceptable or accepted standards.

Getting expert advice about your asking rent

Before issuing a tenancy (for example an assured short hold tenancy agreement), it is advisable to seek expert advice about the levels of rent that your property can generate.  It is important to seek this kind of advice so that you do not charge more or less than what your property really deserves. 

There are benefits in seeking expert advice on the rent level.  One of these benefits is that it helps to avoid any potential conflicts (such as unpaid rents or rent arrears) with tenants over the level of rent you are charging in the course of the tenancy period.  

Where to get rent advice

Rent advice can be obtained from various sources or experts on the rental market.  It can be given by a local rent officer, a letting agency, a rent valuation office, etc. 

You can even get it online through various websites having properties rent valuation features or online rent calculator.  Some of these rent services are free of charge without obligations.

Working with Home Relief to set up a rent policy

This week, what we are undertaking with landlords/ladies is not only fixing a rent for a particular property.  It is also trying to develop a rent policy and structure for our clients so that their properties could command a rent level that is fairly good or decent irrespective of seasons (i.e. Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, busy, not busy, EU exit, Covid-19 time, unlocking of the economy, etc.).  Why?

There are various reasons that contribute to a good rent policy or structure.  There could be changes in the rental market and the economy with ups and downs.  Likewise, your property may not be the same when you last refurbished it. 

In the above circumstances, what can you do for your property to command decent rents regardless of seasons, regardless of lows and highs in the rental sector?  Landlords/ladies need to bear in mind that each property is a particular case that needs to be treated on its own.  There should not be a one-size-fits-all rent policy.

What is a decent recent in times of enduring coronavirus pandemic and economic unlocking

In times of enduring coronavirus pandemic and economic unlocking, it is recommendable to get all the facts and data right and clear before making any decision over the rent.  There are conflicting stories, signs and messages about the performance of the property market and the way the rental market is reacting over this time. 

Any decision made over rent has to be based on verifiable statistics rather than commentaries and speculations made by the mass and social media.  To make the right decision, each property case has to be treated individually with all the determinant market factors and conditions.  This should be done while considering the short, medium and long term changes.  In this consideration, it is better to check the following: the average rent for your property, what is the living rent in the economy, rental prices trend where your property is located, etc. 

If you are a landlord/lady and or home owner and would like your property generates a level of rental income that is respectable or decent but you do not know where to start and how to go about it, Home Relief can work with you to determine the rental value for your property that is in line with accepted or acceptable standards in the rental market.      

To get advice about the decent rent level for your property to let, please contact Home Relief.

To know whether this week’s session on Decent Rents can or cannot work for you as a landlord/lady, please contact Home Relief as well.

If you are looking for an affordable location and home, Home Relief is the people dealing with affordable homes you could consider in your property searches and enquiries.

For more information about our property service to home buyers and tenants, please go to https://homerelief.co/tenants/

For more information about our property service to home sellers and landlords/ladies, please go to https://homerelief.co/landlord

For properties to rent and let, go to https://homerelief.co/property-search/

For weekly property news and updates, please read our weekly posts.

Thank you for reading this post.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits to Home Relief website and to doing business with you throughout the year.

Many thanks!

Home Relief – freelance e-property people dealing with affordable homes

 

Conversion of Rental Enquiries

Welcome to Home Relief Bulletin Board

Post No. 207

by Your Freelance e-Property Letting Agency

 

 

How to convert your initial enquiries into a successful rental later

 

This week, we are dealing with property enquiries made by home seekers to rent a property; enquiries made whether via emails or social media networks or phone calls or in-person visits. 

This week’s activity concerns mostly those home seekers with very limited incomes, low income earners, ordinary people and families, those who are making enquiries for properties where prospective tenants can part pay the rent and part claim housing benefit, etc.

Understanding the process of rental enquiries

Rental enquiries here should not be confused with a Property Enquiry Certificate (PEC) which is a standard report on information (often required when buying or selling a property) regarding Statutory Notices and other legal orders and regulations that affect a property.

A rental enquiry is one of the initial steps in trying to find a property to rent.  If this initial step is badly handled, this could sometimes jeopardise the rest; meaning that everything could stop without one or both parties (those making rental enquiries and those responding to those enquiries) to proceed further. 

This is why it is vital to get this right from the beginning.  Particularly, when you are on limited income or earning capacity it is in your interest to well handle the property enquiries process in order to maximise your rental chance and get your target property.

What to consider in order to maximise your rental probability

To proceed with rental enquiries, we are going to look at the following:

√ What preparations home seekers need to make before they start enquiring about a property to rent

√ Enquiries content (what you should or should not include in your enquiry and why)

√ How to follow your enquiry in order they can be converted into an effective buy

From the above general enquiries, we will then deal with specific enquiries related to home seekers’ target properties to rent.

How to enquire for and identify your target rental property

We all want to rent or live in ideal or target property.  Target property is a property that a particular home seeker is aiming at renting at a particular location, at a given market price and at a determined time.

But, can we afford it?  Especially, when one is on low income brackets, it could be unrealistic to get their target property outside their budget constraints.

This is why this week we are trying to e-work with home seekers, under the topic of conversion of rental enquiries, in helping them to bridge the gap between the requirements of their target property and affordability.  This e-work with them is also part of Home Relief’s Help to Rent.

Items for discussion with home seekers 

To support home seekers in achieving or reaching their goal/target property, the following items will be discussed together with them:

√ Target property rent versus affordable rent

√ Preferred location versus circumstantial location

√ Prospective landlords/ladies or letting agents

√ Types and sizes of properties

√ Tenancy terms and conditions

√ The influence of COVID-19 on rental enquiries

Our support to home seekers via Help to Rent is accessible to all types of home seekers: students, young working professionals, professional couples, families, universal credit and housing benefit claimants, retirees etc.  We will be supporting them to convert their initial enquiries into achievable and realistic rental outcomes and goals.

How to convert your rental enquiries into an effective let or rental

Most importantly for this week is to explore with home seekers skills, techniques and strategies to convert their initial enquiries to a successful let or rental.  It is important since we keep noticing that so many renters do enquiries and sometimes these enquiries end without any tangible outcomes or results.

Converting rental enquiries into a let is the means or process by which one can achieve their goal of getting their target property.  However, to achieve this goal conversion must happen.  There could be various reasons that make this conversion happen or does not happen.

This week, we are going to e-work with them to get the enquiry process right from the onset so that they can mitigate the reasons that militate against enquiries conversion.  By doing so, one can hope that when looking for accommodation to rent they can save the following:

√ Time

√ Money

√ Energy

√ Pressure

Particularly at this time of enduring coronavirus pandemic and unlocking economy, it does not make sense wasting time through enquiries without reaching any rental goal or deal.

If you have a problem in making rental enquiries and or to find your target property, Home Relief can help you to improve the way you are making your enquiries and, most significantly to convert your enquiries into a let/rental by getting your target property at an affordable rent and location. 

You can e-work with Home Relief for the conversion of your rental searches and enquiries as Help to Rent is available to all home seekers.      

To make rental enquiries, convert them into a let and get your target rental property, please e-work with Home Relief. 

 

If you are looking for an affordable location and home, Home Relief is the people dealing with affordable homes you could consider in your property searches and enquiries.

For more information about our property service to home buyers and tenants, please go to https://homerelief.co/tenants/

For more information about our property service to home sellers and landlords/ladies, please go to https://homerelief.co/landlord

For properties to rent and let, go to https://homerelief.co/property-search/

For weekly property news and updates, please read our weekly posts.

Thank you for reading this post.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits to Home Relief website and to doing business with you throughout the year.

Many thanks!

Home Relief – freelance e-property people dealing with affordable homes

 

‘Mis-renting’ Terms

Welcome to Home Relief Bulletin Board

Post No. 206

by Your Freelance e-Property Letting Agency

How to address wrong or the lack of rental information in the Age of Coronavirus

This week, we are dealing with information that home seekers may need to know before they agree to sign up a tenancy agreement.  This week’s activity is the continuation of appended and punitive terms from our last week.

The main goal of this week’s activity

The overall goal of this week’s activity is to protect home seekers from unfair terms and rental misinformation.  It is also to avoid the coronavirus rental misinformation.

For example, at this continuing time of the coronavirus there could be misinformation and the traffic of wrong terms.  One may need to understand these terms and their implications for tenancy (such as a rent concession letter related to the coronavirus from a landlord/lady to a tenant).  In the case of the letter, to avoid misunderstanding tenants need to know that this letter is a temporary waiver not a permanent situation to the lease.  

The objectives of this week’s session

To achieve the above central goal, the week’s session has the following objectives:

√ Ensure clarity and fairness for both contractual parties, especially but not exclusively for the vulnerable and misinformed home seekers or renters

√ Avoid rental poverty trap in a tenancy that one party has never understood its implications from the beginning, yet they signed it

√ Source out ways of getting out from unknowingly agreed unfair terms

√ Ways of dealing with the issue of financial payments related to unfair terms

√ Briefly, addressing the wrong rental information or lack of fair rental information   

Doing your own research before renting a property

It is necessary and sometimes compulsory that home seekers do their own research before renting a property.  It is equally fair that the other party (or their representative) in the agreement provides prescribed required information (e.g. information related to the Section 21 form if an assured shorthold tenancy agreement will be used) before home applicants sign up an agreement.  There are statutory and non-statutory information that both parties should be aware of, including any change in the law or rental practice as a result of the coronavirus pandemic or any other events.

For example, the law requires to the landlord/lady to provide to their incoming tenants an up to date version of the ‘How to rent’ booklet.  Landlords/ladies are also required to provide a new copy at the outset of any subsequent tenancy, including statutory periodic tenancies, but only if there has been an update to the booklet.  If they do not then no valid Section 21 can be served.  However, with the coronavirus the landlord/lady needs to verify if these legal requirements have changed, especially as documents or print mail transmitted may be quarantined as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus.  The landlord/lady has as well to check if this information can be passed on to the tenants via online or digitally (e.g. a website address link to ‘How to rent’ booklet).

How this week’s activity will be helpful for home seekers

This week’s activity, which is for the home seekers, will help them in the following ways:

√ Understand what they are agreeing on

√ Avoid rental misinformation and COVID-19 misinformation

√ Understand the terms and conditions of their current and future tenancy agreements

√ Beware of fair and unfair terms and take action on unfair terms

√ Know their consumer protection rights

√ Uncover ‘mis-renting’ terms and expressions

√ Be informed about any new rental terms related to the coronavirus situation

Etc.

 

You can e-work with Home Relief on fair rental information as Help to Rent is available to all home seekers.      

Need help to address rental misinformation, why not e-work with Home Relief?   

If you are looking for an affordable location and home, Home Relief is the people dealing with affordable homes you could consider in your property searches and enquiries.

For more information about our property service to home buyers and tenants, please go to https://homerelief.co/tenants/

For more information about our property service to home sellers and landlords/ladies, please go to https://homerelief.co/landlord

For properties to rent and let, go to https://homerelief.co/property-search/

For weekly property news and updates, please read our weekly posts.

Thank you for reading this post.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits to Home Relief website and to doing business with you throughout the year.

Many thanks!

Home Relief – freelance e-property people dealing with affordable homes

Balanced Appended Terms and Conditions

Welcome to Home Relief Bulletin Board

Post No. 205

by Your Freelance e-Property Letting Agency

Balanced Appended Terms and Conditions to the Contract –

 

How to avoid punitive terms to the main contract in the era of Covid-19

 

This week, we are looking at with home seekers the additional terms to the main rental agreement such as assured short hold tenancy agreement.

A tenancy agreement, which is a contract between a tenant and a landlord/lady letting a tenant to live in a property as long as they pay rent and follow the rules, sets out the legal terms and conditions between the two contractual parties.  It can be written or oral.

Sometimes, one party of the agreement (often the landlord/lady or their letting agents) can add other terms and conditions to the main standard legal contract.  However, if this addition is fair and balanced for both parties, then there is no problem.  It is always wise to make sure additional or appended terms are balanced for both contractual parties.  Where it is not the case, then this needs to be addressed.

This week, we are e-working with home seekers on how to avoid punitive additional contractual terms, especially in the era of Covid-19.  Covid-19 has brought additional costs and responsibilities for running and managing a property.  One can hope that these additional costs in terms of property maintenance (such as cleaning) should not lead to unfair appended or punitive terms for either party of the rental process.

Types of punitive terms

Punitive terms could be of various kinds such as

• A request to pay unreasonable amount of money as cover against potential damage (punitive damages)

• Unreasonable right by the landlord/lady or their managing agents to the full access of the property without prior notice while it is rented

• Unfounded reasons restricting the tenants the use of any part of the premises rented

• A demand of exorbitant size of deposit without any sound basis

• Unsubstantiated motives for keeping a room locks while this room is part of the tenancy

• Restriction on mailing address or any other service to the property without any legal basis

• Any unfair particulars related to the Covid-19 situation, that are not related to Covid-19 statutory rules, restrictions and guidance

• Unjustified propositions related to Covid-19 property cleaning and maintenance costs

• Any unfavourably added texts or words (written or verbal) against the tenants but in favour of the landlord/lady or their managing agents

Etc.

These punitive terms attached to the main contract could be written or verbal.

What this week’s activity will include

Our activity on balanced appended terms to the key contract will include the following areas of interest:

√ How to spot the unbalanced appended terms and find out they have been adverse and conflicting clauses

√ How to make any additional provisions to the contract Covid-19 proof

√ How to read, interpret and evaluate added terms and conditions to the key contract

√ How to keep appended clauses to the main agreement stay fair and balanced

√ How to make sure that any of the parties to the tenancy agreement does not influence the contents of the agreement with appended conditions in their favour but against the law

√ How to protect tenants’ and home seekers’ interests via contract terms (both main and appended terms)

√ How to avoid punitive terms, conflicting appended clauses or backstops

√ How to preserve and maintain the legality and integrity of a tenancy agreement

The above activity will be undertaken knowing that some home seekers, especially ordinary income earners, may not be able to pay for the expertise to check their tenancy rights and obligations unless they can find a concessional fee paying or free service to do so.

What’s more for this week’s activity!

This week’s activity will raise home seekers’ awareness about this issue of unfair and unbalanced appended terms. 

It will as well provide some leads regarding tenancy advisory services and resources (both online and in print).   

It will further prepare home seekers to participate when contracts are amended and or extra terms are added to them. 

The week’s activity will finally look at real case studies of unfair and unbalanced appended terms, cases to be brought to our attention by home seekers as well as cases we came across.

We will discuss this case study.

Case study about appended terms

A landlady made a contract with a renter via a letting agent.  It was agreed and added a term to the main contract that the tenant’s deposit was going to be used as the tenant’s last rent.  In the last month of the contract, the landlady changed her mind and asked the tenant to pay the last rent before vacating the premises.  The tenant reminded her the added term to the contract, but the landlady rejected this reminder.  How do you go about this conflicting situation? 

If you have been victims of unfair and unbalanced appended terms and conditions to the tenancy agreement, this week’s activity is for you.  To find out how this week’s activity will work for you, please contact Home Relief.

 

If you are looking for an affordable location and home, Home Relief is the people dealing with affordable homes you could consider in your property searches and enquiries.

For more information about our property service to home buyers and tenants, please go to https://homerelief.co/tenants/

For more information about our property service to home sellers and landlords/ladies, please go to https://homerelief.co/landlord

For properties to rent and let, go to https://homerelief.co/property-search/

For weekly property news and updates, please read our weekly posts.

Thank you for reading this post.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits to Home Relief website and to doing business with you throughout the year.

Many thanks!

Home Relief – freelance e-property people dealing with affordable homes

Property Checks & Inventories

Welcome to Home Relief Bulletin Board

Post No. 204

by Your Freelance e-Property Letting Agency

How tenants can effectively participate in the property checks and inventories in the era of COVID-19

 

This week, we are working with prospective tenants and home seekers to highlight the importance of their effective participation in property checks and inventories.  We shall as well stress the need of building strong evidence relating to the same checks and inventories.

Taking photos, running a video, recording voices, shooting a short film before moving into a new accommodation

We are focusing on building hard evidence by taking photos, running a video, recording voices, shooting a short film before taking occupancy of property they are renting.

Before giving possession of any rental property, the landlord/lady or letting agents or even an inventory company/clerk will conduct with the incoming tenants a check-in inventory which will then be translated into an inventory report. 

What is an inventory report?

This report documents the property by detailing its current state and conditions including contents, descriptions, age, conditions of fixtures, fittings and furnishing.  The document may or may not be accompanied by digital media.

Both parties (incoming tenants and landlords/ladies or their representatives) would sign this document and their third-parties would witness it.

The relevancy of inventory report

This document, which is the third important document related to any tenancy (the other imperative documents being tenancy agreement and rent payment receipts), can  

√ help the tenants to claim back their deposit

√ be used as a reference for dispute over damages

√ safeguard tenants’ interests against unfair deductions from rent deposit

etc.

Tenants’ active and full engagement to checks and inventories

Because of its importance, the rental practice advises tenants to take active participation in the inventories (both check-in and check-out).  However, before physically participating tenants must take health and safety precautions against the coronavirus pandemic which could include the three followings:

(1) being fully jabbed or negatively tested against COVID-19

(2) be wearing the recommended protective equipment against COVID-19

(3) be aware of any COVID-19 strains attached to the property in which the inventory will be carried out.

Today with the digital and mobile technologies, it is possible and advisable to build hard evidences by adding to the print or online inventory report images, pictures, voices and other information graphic features , without forgetting to date and name those evidences as well as inserting important notes.  You can use rich text media or visuals (such as videos, PDFs, etc.) to strengthen your evidence.

Tenants can do the same documentation by having digital check-in and check-out inventories using a mobile phone, a camera, a tablet, an iPhone, or any digital device, etc. 

Reasons for digital check-in and check-out

The reasons for digital check-in and check-out are beyond convenience, effectiveness and efficiency.  They include the following:  

√ To avoid the problems we mentioned above to occur such as future major disputes over the state and conditions of the property, particularly over any damages which may be already in the fittings, furnishing and fixtures, or which may occur later  as an underlying issue or defect. 

√ To prevent disagreement whether the property and its contents were COVID-19 secure or not. 

For example, responsibility should be clearly established between the tenants and landlords/ladies (or their letting or managing agents) as to who should disinfect the property from any strains of COVID-19 in the check-in and check-out process.

Home Relief’s advice with regard to checks and inventories

Attention to details is not a fault but a gift.  When viewing and taking possession of any property, it is always better to check it carefully before moving in rather than relying on a snap piece of information like a quick tick-box format check-in inventory on some sheets of paper or online mail.  Where possible, run a video call or meeting with the landlord/lady or the inventory clerk about the property inventory, and record your meeting.

As a tenant, you need to fully and actively engage in the preparation and checking of the inventory report to avoid any controversy later.  With low-cost digital technologies in today’s market, it is even cost effective to just use an average mobile phone to take pictures, run a video or record a short film. 

The advantages of using a mobile phone in these circumstances are:

√ to capture any key moments of life (such as moving in a new property)

 to mitigate potential conflicts with the landlord over any damages

√ to create the desirable impact and effect for your security, peace of mind and hassle-free tenancy. 

Don’t forget to insert a short summary or description and date your photos, videos, films and voices!    

Today, there are lots of online resources and sources of information on the matter.  You can go online to find them.

If anyone needs any check-in or check-out inventory or would like to involve Home Relief in checking their property to rent or rented property, they need to contact Home Relief.

If you are looking for an affordable location and home, Home Relief is the people dealing with affordable homes you could consider in your property searches and enquiries.

For more information about our property service to home buyers and tenants, please go to https://homerelief.co/tenants/

For more information about our property service to home sellers and landlords/ladies, please go to https://homerelief.co/landlord

For properties to rent and let, go to https://homerelief.co/property-search/

For weekly property news and updates, please read our weekly posts.

Thank you for reading this post.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits to Home Relief website and to doing business with you throughout the year.

Many thanks!

Home Relief – freelance e-property people dealing with affordable homes