The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our day-to-day life, from how we shop, to how we interact with other people socially and even to how we move home. For a period, home movers were unable to even look at prospective new homes, but now that lockdown is easing, home viewings are possible again. In this article we have a look at how property viewings have changed and what options there are.

Viewings

As of the 29th of June, viewings of properties was allowed again by the various UK Governments and certain guidelines were put in place to make them safe for all involved:

In Wales only, physical viewings are only to take place if the property has been deep cleaned within or left unoccupied for 72 hours before the viewing.  

  • Estate Agents should assess how serious the potential buyer is and only arrange viewings for those seriously interested in the property
  • Initial viewings should be done virtually where possible       
  • Certain precautions should be taken for physical viewings       
  • Viewings should be done by   appointment only – open house viewings are not allowed                     
  • Internal doors should be opened and if possible open external windows                 
  • Limit the number of people at the viewing to a minimum, if small children are at the viewing prevent them from touching items in the propert                   
  • Bring hand sanitiser or make it available at the property                   
  • The current owners should, if possible, vacate the property for the duration of the viewing                    
  • Practice social distancing and wear relevant PPE such as face masks
  • Clean all surfaces and door handles thoroughly before and after a viewing. Ensure any towels are either disposed of or washed after cleaning                     

Virtual viewings

After you bought your property, refurbished it to the best it can be, but now it’s time to add some furniture to give the rooms some life. Furniture and interior design are one of the most important elements when it comes to marketing your property. You have to see the property through the eyes of the tenant, would they want to spend 6+ months living in that space and is it homely enough for them to feel comfortable in the property.

The Cost Of Dressing And Staging A Room

Now one of the main ways to get a room filled quicker (and at a higher rate) is through dressing and staging the room. It should go without saying, if your property has not had a good quality photoshoot – get one!

A dressed photoshoot is one of the highest ROI activities you can do.

You can furnish, dress and stage a HMO room for around £150-200, this considerably small investment will pay great dividends.

The ROI on this is huge.

Right to Rent checks have been a legal requirement in England since 2016 and were introduced as part of the Immigration Act 2014 to help deal with illegal immigration. The law places a legal requirement on landlords to check whether a potential tenant has the right to live in England and if they don’t then it is illegal to rent a property to them. Right to rent checks have been temporarily adjusted due to coronavirus (COVID-19), to make it easier for landlords to carry them out. In this article we take a look at the advice given to landlords for carrying out right to rent checks during the coronavirus pandemic.

As of 30 March 2020 the following temporary changes have been made:

·         checks can now be carried out over video calls

·         tenants can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals landlords should use the Landlord’s Checking

 

 

Following the Tenant Fees Act 2019 coming into effect on June 1st last year, there was a transitional provision, meaning that for a period of twelve months, the Act did not apply to tenancies and letting agency agreements pre-dating 1 June 2019.

From Monday 1 June 2020, this transitional period has expired, meaning the Act now applies to all Assured Shorthold Tenancies and most residential licences.

The Act shook-up the letting sector with the new rules it introduced applying to both landlords and agents. The penalties for failing to comply are noteworthy and range from financial civil penalties of up to £5,000 for each offence to larger financial penalties of up to £30,000, criminal prosecution and banning orders.

If you’re wondering what will happen to the housing market post-lockdown, you’re not alone. Pretty much everyone with even a passing interest in property is pondering the same question, so we’re going to give you our predictions in today’s post.

Now, before we get started, there’s got to be the obvious caveat applied here. Despite being fairly young in this market, we, like everyone else, can only offer our opinion on what we think will happen. Anyone who claims to know for certain what will transpire at the end of this period is either fooling themselves or trying to fool you.

So, with the crystal ball dusted off, let’s get to it...

Prices will dip, and then bounce back

The property headlines haven’t made great reading of late, with plenty of speculation about house prices taking centre stage. With the property market almost shutting down overnight, house price indices have been left without the necessary data required to compile their regular reports, fuelling fearful forecasting further still.