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Get Ready For Fall...

Published: 12/09/2017   Last Updated: 12/09/2017 16:10:56   Author: Stephanie    Tags: Property Maintenance, Home Improvements

The best season has arrived, it may be the end of summer but fall is where the magic happens. This is the perfect time of year to incorporate earthly tones and colours into your accessories. Adding some autumn touches to your home will help you transition into a new season with excitement.

Artwork is key to dressing any room…

Looking at a blank wall? Fall artwork can instantly change your mood. Look for some natural themes/abstract art to make a striking statement, with dashes of calming reds, oranges, browns and yellows it will make an outstanding statement.

Dining room table centrepieces…

Nothing welcomes autumn like a dining room table centrepiece, with dashes of colour and a warm welcoming feel, this is a must have accessory this season. Consider designing an edible design, formed of red and yellow apples. For additional visual affect, combining this with table lining will really add elegance to your room and is perfect for any season!

Get cosy and relaxed…

As the temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to get your throws and blankets out of the closet, or even better a cheeky excuse to shop for some new ones! Place them on your sofas and chairs for that extra cosy look. Pair with some complimentary cushions and you have a place to snuggle up to.  
Indulge your senses…

We have our homes visually ready for Autumn but why not involve all our senses? Our sense of smell is a powerful thing, extremely emotive and can affect our overall mood. Introducing warm spices such as cinnamon, apple and pumpkin into your home can help the feeling of calm and acts as a physical and emotional stimulant. Try experimenting with candles and  incense to instantly transport your home into fall.

How to: Stand out from the crowd online

Published: 05/07/2017   Last Updated: 12/09/2017 16:01:46   Author: Stephanie    Tags: Property Maintenance, Property Market, Marketing

The internet has been evolving over recent years and has now changed the way that we buy and sell by becoming the first stop for house-hunters. Research reveals that the use of property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla has reached record highs over the past couple of years.

When marketing your property online it’s crucial to stand out above your competitors but you may be asking yourself how to go about doing this?

Interior styling 
Décor is key; keep your property neutral, decluttered and furnished. If you have bold décor, as appealing as it may be to some eyes you may be deterring others. Neutral shades will allow potential buyers to visualise themselves in your property a lot easier and in turn result in more interest. Bingo!

Let’s get visual
It’s proven that potential buyers respond best to visual images, therefore we need to make them the finest that they can be.
We always recommend using a professional photographer, when choosing your Estate Agent make sure that they will provide you with a professional photography service. A picture says a thousand words and they can’t just be taken on a smartphone, your pictures really need to stand out amongst the competition. You want to encourage buyers to click on your lead photo and view the further details of your property, the lead shot is very important. Therefore, you need a professional camera with a wide lens and photos which are bursting with light to really emphasise the rooms and showcase your property to its full potential.  

Home staging 
Decluttering and professionally furnishing your property will help potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the property. Properties which have been professionally staged for photos and viewings can spend up to 73% less time on the market and can even help to achieve 8% more on the asking price, wow!

Utilise your portals
These online portals will be your most important marketing tool and they need to be used to their full advantage. That’s why when choosing an Estate Agent, you want one who will take all the strain off the selling process. Conduct your research and find out how they plan to maximise the exposure of your property online and generate enquiries and viewings. Choose the agent who will maximise the exposure of your property on these portals through stunning photos, concise descriptions and appealing key features. You need your advert to reach out to people and draw them in, did you know that people only spend up to 10 seconds browsing an advert? That’s right, that’s where your agents job comes in, they will need to produce an advert which is rich, juicy and make the assets of your property shine. If all these things are done correctly, you will begin to see your online views turn into viewing enquiries and you will be one step closer to selling your home stress free!

Happy selling everyone!

Did you hear about the angry pancake?... He just flipped!

Published: 02/03/2017   Last Updated: 05/07/2017 18:12:21   Author: Stephanie Wright     Tags: Fundraising, Local Area

Sorry, that was a bad joke… but we just couldn’t help ourselves and we don’t know about you but it definitely got us in the mood for Pancake Day! Yes it was that day of the year where it’s completely acceptable to stuff your face with a stack of pancakes, get creative with your toppings and basically eat as many as you physically can.

So last week in the office whilst we were dreaming out loud about all of the delicious toppings we would have on our pancakes it occurred to us, why don’t we throw a pancake sale for charity! What could be better than making and eating pancakes with our local community and raising as much money as possible for a great cause?

Shelter is a charity that we are very fond of here at Patrick Henry, they work hard to help those facing homelessness and those who have a future which is looking bleak. With the help of Shelter there is now hope for those who are struggling with homelessness or bad housing. Shelter are helping millions of people every year who just need that extra guidance through supporting, advising and legal services.

In order to help this incredible charity continue their great work we wanted to help by holding a pancake sale. All the money we raised is going to Shelter so that they are able to continue helping the millions of people who are struggling each year.

Our Managing Director, Patrick Howell, promised to double all of the money raised on the evening. We are proud to announce that we will be donating a total of £100 to Shelter! We would also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated and came down to show their support. Although we did end up raising more money than actually selling pancakes… maybe we’re not the top chefs that we originally thought!  

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017

Published: 13/01/2017   Last Updated: 19/07/2017 15:49:52   Author: Stephanie Wright    Tags: Property Market, Sales, Lettings

The majority of us would agree that 2016 was a fairly challenging year, from the Brexit vote to as far as the number of unexpected celebrity deaths. For the property market alone this was by far a very difficult year for agents in London and across the UK.

Round up of 2016

Looking back on the year,
The Guardian revealed, the stamp duty changes which were introduced were already beginning to have an overall impact on the top-end of the market. The threshold for buyers of a second home or buy-to-let property were lowered to £40,000 but a 3% surcharge was introduced in April 2016. The treasury was not able to predict the impact that these stamp duty changes would have to the property market. The period from January 2016 to April 2016 found the sales market booming due to many investors looking to purchase before the Stamp Duty changes came into effect.

The shocking political votes in regards to Brexit then effected the housing market even further. The vote created a wave of uncertainty which lead to the growth of house prices slowing down compared to the rate at the start of the year. Many agents were also seeing a decline in the number of properties coming onto the market.

The sales market was negatively affected by the major events of 2016 however the lettings market was steady and in some areas even lead to a positive effect. Tenants were seeking longer lets which are more desirable for landlords due to extra security and guaranteed rent for a longer period of time.

2017 Predictions

It has been feared by many that 2017 would follow suit and be another difficult year. However, Christmas approached us quickly and the sales market began to flourish once again. This was definitely an unexpected turn but positive news for entering 2017.

Research reveals that in January 2016, 41.5% of homes were sold above the asking price but by November 2016 this hit a steep decline with only 23% selling above asking price. It has been predicted that the growth of house prices will slow in 2017. With the levels of demand increasing, especially for buy-to-let properties, this will outweigh and lead to a 3% rise over the year according to many surveyors’ predictions.

As a result of the referendum, many agents had seen a decline in the number of properties coming onto the market but like many there has still be an increased interest in those looking to buy. RICS says London house prices are set to stabilise due to the increased interest of foreign buyers looking to enter the market.

Halifax UK Housing Market Outlook predicts a slowdown in prices, 2016 saw national house prices rise by 6% however Halifax predicts a 1-4% price rise by the end of 2017. With the reductions in interest rates this has made mortgages more affordable than they have been for years leading to 2017 being an overall good year for the property market. Although at a slower rate, the shortage of housing and low interest rates will help keep house prices rising.


Our Managing Director Patrick Howell provided his personal views on the property market last year.

“2016 was the most roller-coaster year that I have experienced in the industry. I have seen sharp rises and falls and I have been through periods of uncertainty and excitement but never have I been through all of them to such an extent over the course of a single year. The new chancellor seems to be more measured than the last and with no large changes in the last budget that would affect the property market. I can imagine a year of more restrained uncertainty and excitement in 2017 with a tamed increased in sales and lettings prices. I write this with a sense of ambivalence as after the year we have just had, who really knows?”


Portal Wars

Published: 03/11/2016   Last Updated: 19/07/2017 16:04:31   Author: Stephanie Wright    Tags: Property Market, Marketing

With (OTM) launching its new portal back in January 2015, estate agents across the country have since seen its fair share of portal wars between Rightmove, Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) and OTM. Everyday usage of the internet has increased year on year and now we are seeing more house hunters beginning their search online as well. Recent research reveals that the use of property portals in the UK has hit record highs and within the last year 47% of the population have used a property search website. For many estate agents this has raised the question of which portal they should be using for their property listings.

For many years the market has been dominated by two main players, Rightmove and ZPG. Rightmove is the most visited property search website and ZPG has taken its position in second place with its presence continuing to grow. However, it cannot be denied that both portals are being challenged by their new competitor OTM. The new property portal set up by estate agents was designed to break the duopoly which had formed and reduce the costs of listing properties online.

At Patrick Henry we have noticed that a large number of clients are now instructing agents based on which portals they use to advertise properties. As local agents ourselves, we are regularly asked which portals we use and why? For us, the lower number of visits which OTM receives compared to both Rightmove and ZPG is the main factor for our decision. We market our properties on the two leading portals to ensure that we receive maximum exposure for our clients. ZPG alone receives an estimated 50 million views a month, while Rightmove leads the way with an average of 120 million monthly views. Of course, we understand that the tables may turn as it will take time for the new portal to grow and claim its place amongst the leaders.

OTM have designed a strategy to help them achieve just that. In order for agents to begin using OTM they first have to choose to advertise through either Rightmove or ZPG as you are not able to use all three portals. For many agents they decided to drop ZPG and this meant that a quarter of agents left ZPG within the first month of the new portals launch. Conversely, over the recent months we have seen that those who were trialling OTM are now actually beginning to return to ZPG. This is a result of many agents not being satisfied with the number of leads they were receiving from the site.

However, only time will tell as to how far OTM can go. Will they successfully destroy the powerful duopoly which has so famously formed in the property sector? Let’s wait and see.


Calling all night owls

Published: 01/09/2016   Last Updated: 05/07/2017 18:10:05   Author: Stephanie Wright    Tags: Local Area, Property Market

Calling all night owls. It is official, the Central and Victoria lines are now running a 24 hour service during Fridays and Saturdays. This is as a result of the increasing levels of passengers using the services, with 70% more passengers using the service since the early 2000s’. It has been predicted that property developers both large and small are going to invest in land close to the stations running the new night tube. While I was trying out this service over the bank holiday weekend, I wanted to know what this will mean for property prices amongst these areas.
For those looking to buy near the night tube stations we suggest you carry out your research, it is predicted nearby house prices are set to rise in the near future. We have taken some time to observe house prices and how the night tube has already effected those around the stations. Many locations have seen high price increases just for being in close proximity to a station, therefore property prices within a 10 minute radius are expected to rise considerably.

It is predicted that first time buyers looking to purchase in the capital are expected to conduct their property search in areas at the end of the night tube lines due to their prices being lower than in the city but still within close proximity to a station. The improvement of transportation links across the Capital is known to increase property prices and improve accessibility to local amenities. The launch will benefit a range of people from zones 1-4 and beyond which will make all areas across the tube lines more attractive to buyers.

With house prices on the rise what does this mean for the rental market?

Rent across the night tube stations in zones 3-6 have already seen a rental rise of 20% over the last couple of years. However, this is still forecasted to increase further over the next coming years. The new transportation links have improved access in and out of the city and this in turn will result in rental price growth. Although the night tube has only just launched, properties near stations on the central line have seen the biggest increase in rental prices than any other station along the central line since the night tube plans were revealed. The Victoria line provides excellent transportation links for those living by Walthamstow Central and has resulted in rent prices increasing by 21% since 2014 and this is set to grow. These areas will ultimately become more attractive for landlords to invest in and benefit from the increasing rental prices.

Calling all night owls

Although it is only being trialled on the Central and Victoria lines, those who live on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines will have access to this 24 hour services from autumn. Depending on the success of the trial we could see services operating on parts of the Overground and Docklands Light Railway as well. 

If your looking to explore London this weekend, find out all the information on the night tube services this weekend here!


Letting your property doesn't need to be stressful, take it from us

Published: 10/08/2016   Last Updated: 05/07/2017 18:18:30   Author: Stephanie Wright    Tags: Property Maintenance

Before you can begin marketing it is essential that you are preparing your property for new tenants. As soon as it is launched online your property is in the spotlight and fingers crossed the viewings will start flooding in so it needs to be ready beforehand. First impressions are key for securing the right tenants, prospective tenants will be viewing a lot of properties in a short space of time so it is essential that your property stands out. It is important to focus not only on the internal surroundings of the property but also the external as well, the communal areas and the outside of the property should be consistently maintained to a good standard. There are also various legal responsibilities that you acquire as a landlord and tenants often ask questions about these on viewings so it is imperative that you are compliant with all of them before the tenancy starts. So where do you start we hear you asking? How do you prepare your property? What exactly do you need to know to successfully let your property?

It is vital that you optimise the appearance of your property, focus on the exterior as this is the first sighting of the property that your potential tenants will have. Make sure that all aspects of your property are meeting expectations in order to maximise chances of finding the right tenants. Start by imagining you are the potential tenant, try standing on the opposite side of the road to the property.


Follow some of these useful to help improve your properties appearance:

Ensure that the garden is maintained and kept tidy, your tenants will have to keep it to the same standard as well throughout the tenancy. Even a few small jobs will make a big difference. Start removing any weeds, trimming back hedges and adding attractive flowers to bring a dash of colour to the entrance. Maintaining the front garden will lure potential tenants and create positivity before they even enter the property.


• Driveways and patios need to be well managed, cracks and holes should be filled. Use good quality outdoor flooring, such as decking or natural stone. Using similar materials to those on surrounding walls will give the exterior area a unified feel. If you are facing uneven surfaces it is often best to use gravel to the level out the ground.


• All windows and doors of the property should be given a fresh lick of paint and the glass should be kept clean, resulting in the entrance becoming more welcoming.


• Debris needs to be hidden and out of sight from the entrance as this can be a strong turn off to potential tenants.


When potential tenants view your property it is important that they view the property at its best. It is a regular occurrence for estate agents to conduct viewings with properties being left with dirty dishes, laundry left all over the floor and personal belongings cluttered around. The best way to attract good tenants is to dedicate some time to cleaning and tidying the property, it will make such a difference and tenants won’t have any obstacles in the way whilst trying to imagine themselves living in the property.


Our Property Manager, Jenny Armes believes “that whilst your property is being shown to prospective tenants you should literally picture your property as a show home. The property should be thoroughly if not professionally cleaned and if possible presented as minimalist or homely (depending on the amount of furniture you are providing). Tenants can either picture their own belongings at the property or be drawn in by the homely feel”. Make your property stand out!


What else needs considering? Not only do you have to consider the cleanliness and contents of the property but as a landlord you need to maintain the structure of the property and ensure all major repairs are completed. This covers anything from the exterior to the plumbing, gas, the structure of the property, electrical issues, heating and hot water.

All soft furnishings must comply with the Fire Safety regulation 1988 and be fire safety compliant. It is important to check your furnishings, this can be done by looking for the fire safety label attached to your furnishings, if you do need further information or a breakdown check out


• All gas appliances, fittings and flues need to be safe to use. The installation, maintenance and safety checks need to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Once this has been successfully completed you will receive a CP12 gas safety certificate, this must be copied and issued to your tenants. REMEMBER: By law these gas safety checks must be carried out annually.

• Electrical equipment must be safety checked as well. As a landlord it is your legal responsibility to ensure all these regulations are being completed, failure to do so is a criminal offence. You must also supply your tenants with copies of the operating instructions for appliances included in the property.

You may be asking yourself what it costs for letting your property. You need to ensure you budget for the following expenses:

Mortgage repayments


• Solicitor fees


• Letting and management fees


• Costs to complete required health and safety standards


• A budget to hand for any repairs or maintenance that may occur

Letting your property successfully is a tough job, many landlords choose to work with an estate agent as it reduces the stress and can help them with the following:

 Advertising your property efficiently across a number of platforms in order to reach thousands of potential tenants who are looking to rent in the surrounding areas.


• Local agents have local knowledge of the market, including the levels of demand and the rental prices.


• Organising all viewings, attracting the best tenants for your property and negotiating the best rental price for your property.

Finally, once you have found your tenants you then need to decide whether you want to manage the property yourself or whether you would like to hire a managing agent. If you are looking to hire a managing agent give your estate agent a call as many agents provide this service. Using this service will benefit you by:

Fully vetting tenants by completing their referencing, credit checks and obtaining all bank account information.


• Providing tenancy agreements.


• Arranging inventories, professional cleans and safety checks.  


• Collecting rent from tenants and ensuring it is paid on time.


• Providing advice and guidance throughout the tenancy.


• Managing any maintenance issues.


• Access too many contacts at potentially cheaper prices, such as engineers, plumbers and contractors.

• Handling deposits and submitting them to a protection scheme.


• Sorting any disputes between parties, particularly when discussing the deposit at the end of tenancy.


'Calm before the storm'

Published: 30/06/2016   Last Updated: 05/07/2017 18:11:30   Author: Stephanie Wright    Tags: Property Market, Local Area, Sales

There has been good news for the property market throughout the year with strong growth for UK house prices, the growth was particularly strong in June regardless of the looming EU referendum. It has been reported that house prices have been increasing month on month, furthermore Nationwide’s index shows an annual growth rate of 5.1% in June alone, this is up compared to May’s growth rate of 4.7%. These increases have been a result of low mortgage rates and higher buying demand.

The looming EU referendum vote didn’t appear to have a negative impact on the time it took to sell properties, research reveals that the average time to sell a property is at the lowest level since 2010. The average number of days to sell a property in June was 57 days, making it lower than the previous month. However compared to last year this has decreased massively as the average was 65 days. 


What does it mean for the housing market following the UK’s decision to leave the EU?

Howard Archer, Chief economist at HIS Global Insights reported that the “Housing market activity and prices now look to be at a very serious risk of a market downturn following the UK’s vote to leave.” This in turn will affect the overall economic activity as well as consumer confidence in the market. There appears to be uncertainty amongst those contemplating putting properties up for sale. Since Brexit, the numbers of new sellers coming on to the market is 5.3% lower than the monthly average of this time last year. Many fear that there will be a decrease in the number of property sales across the capital for the rest of the year. There are predictions that house prices could be 5% lower in the next six months due to the vote and another 5-7% lower in 2017.  

It is uncertain as to how much things will slow down but this uncertainty will inevitably lead to more investors sitting back before making any decisions. This could result in fewer transactions being made and it has been argued that London could be hit the most. Charlie Campbell, analyst at Liberum Capital believes, “London might be more resilient than we all first thought”. Oversea landlords play a massive role on the capital than anywhere else and it is very difficult to predict what this could mean to the London property market in the months to come.

Our Managing Director, Patrick Henry Howell had this to say, “Of all the challenges that the London property market has faced over the past eight years, no hurdle has been more challenging than uncertainty. We have sailed through a credit crunch and soared by whilst wars were emerging, skipping on as other European countries have asked for financial help. All of these seemingly – albeit apparently not - devastating factors took a swipe at our stock market and job sector, casting an economic shadow over the U.K. Meanwhile the London property market marched on, slowed down only by potential changes rather than actual structural issues.

This is again the position that we find ourselves in. As a nation we are uncertain what will happen over the next few weeks, months and years and so instead of pushing on with our plans to buy or sell, we hold off. If history repeats itself this will lead to a humble rally as the murky political waters subside, as was the case during and after the past two general elections and most noticeably the stamp duty reforms.

I am sure that there will be speculative cries of an impending, economic downturn which will wipe a substantial percentage off of the U.K’s house prices, however I believe that as long as London remains an economic hub, properties are not being built fast enough and as the population grows the London property market will remain as one of the most profitable and consistent purchasing options worldwide.”


Make a wise move and choose your local estate agent

Published: 06/06/2016   Last Updated: 05/07/2017 18:14:59   Author: Stephanie Wright    Tags: Local Area, Property Management, Local Area, Sales, Lettings

Looking to sell or let your property? Not sure where to begin? Don't worry, here at Patrick Henry we understand the struggles of putting your property on the market.


So where does it all start? Firstly you need to choose your agent and with so many names out there it can be a daunting task to decide which of them is the right one for you. We recommend that your first decision should be between either instructing one of the big players in the industry or instructing you local independent estate agent. Perhaps you want the best of both worlds and are considering multiple agencies? But we'll discuss the pros and cons of that later on...


The stand out benefit of choosing a local agent is the level of local knowledge they have acquired, especially those working within a single office. Larger national companies tend to have several offices spread throughout a region with their properties being sparse across. These companies are likely to acquire a broad overview of their areas, however they will lack the in-depth knowledge that you gain as a local agent. At a single office the majority of their properties and prices in the area will ensure that they value and market your property at the best possible price. Furthermore local agents will have a solid understanding of how well similar properties perform in the area and can provide you with recent, trustworthy feedback as they have experienced it with previous properties. Whilst some agents may suggest the highest prices possible purely to gain a new client, it is far more important to provide clients with a realistic price for their property to ensure a successful sale or let.


Although larger companies may have a significant number of registered applicants waiting for a quick move this could deteriorate their attention to detail and dedication to your property. Local agencies work in smaller numbers and because of that are able to manage every client in a personable way. Independent agents are very often known for their unique and professional service, whilst with national estate agents you may find that information is a lot slower as they often contact different office to find out the correct information. Whereas working with a local independent agency you will receive regular contact and will become familiar with each member of the team. At Patrick Henry we like to build a strong relationship with our clients so that they feel reassured and are certain they're being well looked after.


Additionally, Local agents tend to have a lower budget for marketing so their focus is on building a great reputation through excellent customer care and a five star service. For us and for many other local agents they majority of our clients are a result of high recommendations of our service. Who better to take advice from than people just like you? No amount of marketing can say it better than a kind and personable recommendations which is why we appreciate them so much.


Sometimes clients decide to instruct multiple agencies and although your property will reach a wider scope there are many downfalls which lead us to always recommend sole agency. Not only is it more expensive for you but you may end up with the first offer available instead of the best one. When the pressure of other agents is added you may find yourself being pushed into offers that you aren't entirely certain of purely because the agents are in competition with each other. Amongst many other downfalls the repetitiveness of your property online may also put off potential enquiries.


We may be slightly biased but we definitely think your local agency is the best way to go!


Think Pastel

Published: 18/05/2016   Last Updated: 05/07/2017 18:19:04   Author: Stephanie Wright    Tags: Property Maintenance

Looking for some Summer inspiration? Why not try using natural and soft pastel shades to embrace this season's trend and welcome a delicious summer taste to your home. Pastel colours are set to be a strong theme this Summer and the use of these gorgeous and vibrant colours are becoming extraordinarily popular.


As well as being this season's style inspiration the use of pastel shades can do wonders to any room, they have the power to instantly soften and boast a natural appeal. Not only that but with the correct use they can transform your room to create the illusion of it being both bigger and brighter!


Create this stylish and romantic look in your home and have everyone's heads turning. We've created some useful tips to help you achieve this trend just in time for summer.


1. Don't go overboard! This can be a very common mistake, especially if you love these soft and soothing colours as much as we do. Don't worry, we are here to the rescue, remember you need to mix your pastel colours with just a few splashes of vibrant bold. This will reduce the risk of having a pastel overload and becoming "in your face". Using these bold colours will ensure that you maintain contemporary style throughout the year. Create that WOW factor.


2. Working on a budget? No problem! You can still incorporate pastel into your look even if you don't wish to spend too much or transform your home too dramatically. We have the answer to give you that fresh feel your looking for. Pastel accessories are the perfect way to achieve this trend on a budget. Why not try adding some pastel cushions and vases to you're home and watch the rooms brighten instantly. Tah dah!


3. Are you classic or modern? You can easily introduce pastel to both of these styles. Does your living room ooze classic style with the furniture and colours you have chosen? If so you can still rock this pastel look, pastel shades work really well with white, black and brown as the new tones will blend in well with one another. However, have you chosen a modern feel to your home? Then why not try blending your pastel colours with solid red and purple tones. It will add depth and a homely feel to your living room. Cosy!


Why not take the leap today and make that pastel purchase, we guarantee you will love it!



How to make your property more desirable to tenants

Published: 25/04/2016   Last Updated: 05/07/2017 18:11:48   Author: Stephanie Wright    Tags: Property Management, Property Maintenance

As a Landlord you will be faced with many responsibilities and challenges, the first of which is marketing your property and finding your new tenants. On viewings first impressions are key and your challenge is to ensure that your property is the best it can possibly be. The presentation and condition of the property will heavily influence the way that it is treated by your tenants. As will your willingness to maintain it and see to issues or repairs during their tenancy.
There are a number of key elements which potential tenants often express to us and are big decision makers for them when considering renting a property. These include:
  Neighbourhood facilities
  Transport links, especially via tube
  Distance to work
  Condition of the property
  Quality of furniture if provided
  Layout and room sizes
 These are very important requirements to consider if you are looking for a new buy to let investment as they will lessen the chances of you experiencing any void periods between tenancies. It can be a very risky time when you are sourcing new tenants and it is essential that your property isn't online for too long as it will loose it's appeal instantly. Ensuring that your property meets the majority of these factors will increase the number of viewings and get you closer to securing new tenants.
If you already own your buy to let property then there are methods you can take to enhance its value and appeal to tenants. One of the most important but often overlooked is the general up keep and maintenance. It is understandable that landlords want to keep costs low but ignoring maintenance issues should not be taken lightly. Noticeable maintenance issues during viewings will reduce the chances of tenants making an offer. If the property is due a new coat of paint or replacement carpets then it may also be very worthwhile to get these done. The key goal as a landlord is to acquire good tenants who will look after the property and continue to rent it for a long time.
So where should you begin? The entrance, this is a common factor which is overlooked, especially if it is a communal area. However, this is the first thing potential tenants will see and it can be an instant turn off and effect their opinion for the remainder of the viewing. Firstly, ensure that there aren't any personal items dumped there, that all the rubbish has been removed and that the front door and locks are all maintained. If there is a garden this should also be well kept as this can be a key selling feature.
Check through your property thoroughly, electrical maintenance is key. Ensure that all appliances are thoroughly checked as it is a common issue  where fixtures are missing or burned out. Working lightbulbs should be fitted throughout the whole property and the correct safety checks must be done prior to your tenants moving in. Ignoring these issues can cause concern to potential tenants as it may flag a safety warning and cause you to come across as negligent which is not the right image to create to a tenant.
Another concept which is often overlooked is the importance of having the property professionally cleaned for new tenants. The number of issues created at the end of a tenancy due to the property not being presented professionally cleaned is endless. The great thing is that as a landlord you will only have to pay for the property to be cleaned once, it is custom for the landlord to pay for the clean at the start of the tenancy and the tenants will be liable to pay for a professional clean when they move out. Therefore, if the property is continued to be let each year with no void periods you will always have a clean property!
When considering how you can make your property more desirable to a potential tenant it is important to put yourself in their shoes during the viewing. When viewing a property a potential tenant will be imagining how their lifestyle will fit with the property and whether they can imagine themselves living there. Spend some time dressing your property and making it desirable to the sort of tenants you think it would appeal to.
If you are looking to redecorate then we would suggest focusing on using neutral colours throughout to help improve the size and brightness of the property. Using neutral colours will suit the majority of viewers, if you want to add colour and warmth to the property try doing this with colourful accessories. Doing this will allow the potential tenant to be imaginative and picture themselves living at your property whilst making it their home.
The most important thing about preparing your property for a tenancy is to remember that the condition your property is in when you preset it to your tenants will reflect the condition that they have to return it to you in. It is absolutely essential to have a professional, third part inventory report for each tenancy, otherwise you will not be able to prove any differences in the condition of your property.

Patrick Henry win two awards at The ESTAS, the most prestigious estate and letting agent awards in the UK

Published: 25/04/2016   Last Updated: 05/07/2017 18:17:48   Author: Stephanie Wright    Tags: Property Market, Local Area, Sales, Lettings,

Here at Patrick Henry, we made the official shortlist for three categories at The ESTAS 2016. We have been recognised for our customer service by the largest and longest running awards scheme in the UK.

With great pleasure, we can share with you that we were awarded Gold in the Estate Agent Awards 2016 in London (south) and Silver in the Letting Agent Tenant  Awards 2016 in London (South).
Our mission has always been to be the most personal, professional and knowledgeable estate agents in Clapham South. We are now award winning agents two years running and this indicates that we are well on the way to achieving our goal.
Going forward we are building upon the success by continuing to offer the best service and listening carefully to all the feedback of our clients. We would like to thank everyone for all the support and hope to continue to win awards and achieve further success.


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