Posts with tag: letting a property

The Truth About Using Airbnb to Let your Property

Published On: August 17, 2017 at 9:42 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

Airbnb is fast becoming the preferred method of accommodation for leisure and business travellers. For Airbnb hosts, it can be an easy way of making some extra cash, especially if your property is awaiting new tenants or is on the market. But is it really that simple?

Recently, there have been a number of stories where guests have damaged properties, people have been injured at Airbnb homes and hosts have been left with a lot of clearing up to do.

Nicole Rogers, of DAS Law, answers the most important questions for existing Airbnb hosts and those thinking of letting their properties through the platform:

If your property or belongings are damaged or stolen, will your home and contents policy cover you?

The Truth About Using Airbnb to Let your Property

The Truth About Using Airbnb to Let your Property

“It is unlikely, as the insurer will usually not have catered for paying guests when arranging the policy. The host would need to clarify with their insurer as to whether their cover would be sufficient to cover losses. Airbnb does offer a host guarantee, whereby the firm promises to reimburse hosts for damages of up to £600,000; the company adds that hosts should not consider this as a replacement for owner’s or renter’s home insurance.

“Whilst a host is not required to take out specific landlord insurance, it would be advisable to speak with a specialist broker or insurer to ensure sufficient protection.”

Could sharing your rental or leasehold property with Airbnb cost you your tenancy or home?

“Millions of Airbnb users may have unknowingly breached the terms of their leases, leaving them vulnerable to legal action or losing their tenancy.

“The vast majority of tenancy and leasehold agreements are likely to state that the property in question may only be used as a private residence. This would prevent tenants from renting out or sharing their flat or home for short periods. It should be considered by anyone letting their property out through Airbnb to check their tenancy or leasehold agreements first.

“It is not just those renting that should be wary of breaking contracts; mortgage companies may also take a dim view of homeowners offering short-term lettings of their property. It would be wise for owners to contact their mortgage company before offering their home out, as they may very well be breaking their mortgage contract. Whilst buy-to-let mortgages allow for assured short-term tenancies, short-term is often defined as six months; clearly Airbnb stays are considerably shorter than this.”

What are the tax implications for the income you receive? 

“Money received from hosting is generally regarded as income; therefore, it is likely that Income Tax will be payable, so the host may need to declare their earnings to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It is possible that a host may be entitled to certain tax reliefs or allowances, so it is advisable to take tax advice regarding this.”

What precautions do you need to take to comply with health and safety legislation?

“Hosts must ensure that the premises are reasonably safe for visitors. With regards to fire safety, landlords should inform visitors of a fire evacuation route. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 makes landlords responsible for taking steps to protect the people using your premises from the risk of fire. This means that a host should carry out a fire risk assessment, if necessary, improve the fire safety measures and keep the risks, and fire safety measures, under review.

“If a visitor has suffered an injury at a host’s premises, he/she may seek to pursue a personal injury claim, particularly if the host has breached its duty of care to the visitor, which subsequently has caused foreseeable injury.”

As an Airbnb host, do you need to have public liability insurance?

“There is no legal obligation to take out public liability insurance to host via Airbnb. However, it would be worthwhile to do so in order to protect yourself, the host, in the event of an injury claim from the visitor.”

Before deciding to let a property via Airbnb, make sure you’re aware of your legal obligations and responsibilities – don’t get caught out!



Fill your Property with the Nation’s Favourite Household Smells to get it Sold/Let!

Published On: August 9, 2017 at 9:24 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

While we all know that keeping living spaces clean and uncluttered is vital to a quick property sale/let, the smell of a home can also determine how popular it is with viewers – these are the nation’s favourite household smells…

Fill your Property with the Nation's Favourite Household Smells to get it Sold/Let!

Fill your Property with the Nation’s Favourite Household Smells to get it Sold/Let!

The summer is traditionally a slow time for the property market, as people head off on holiday and put their house hunt to one side. But with the warmer months coming to a close, now’s the time to start thinking about marketing your property again.

Whether you’re a landlord trying to get your rental let to new tenants, or a property owner putting your home up for sale, how you present your property is essential in how quickly it gets snapped up (and for what price!).

In the estate agency business, newly brewed coffee and fresh bread are the typical smells that are associated with selling/letting a home quickly and effectively.

But times may have changed – what do prospective homebuyers and tenants want to fill their nostrils when they view a property in 2017?

Leading cleaning experts Dr. Beckmann has revealed the nation’s most popular household smells in its Cleaning and Laundry Bible, and they may just help you achieve a successful sale/let!

Here are Britain’s favourite household smells:

  1. Laundered clothes
  2. Freshly baked goods
  3. Freshly mown grass
  4. Scented candles
  5. Flowers
  6. Freshly brewed coffee
  7. A clean bathroom
  8. Toiletries (e.g. bath bombs)

So the old favourites did make the list! It appears that you can’t go wrong with a cup of steaming coffee or a fresh loaf of bread in the oven, but there are other options that could appeal to the modern home hunter.

If you’re a landlord, you can’t ensure that your current tenants will have recently laundered their clothes when you have a viewing, but you could ask them to light a few candles around the property before you bring new tenants round, and insist that they keep their home clean.

If you’re living in the property you’re trying to sell or your rental is empty, you can go to town on enticing the senses when guests view your property – simply putting a vase of fresh flowers in the hallway or mowing the lawn before a viewing could make all the difference.

What are your favourite household smells?


The Front Door Colours Most Likely to get your Property Sold/Let

Published On: July 3, 2017 at 8:08 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,

Something as simple as painting your front door can have a huge impact on how easy it is to sell/let your property. So which front door colours should you choose?

Landlords looking to get their property let quickly and for a good rent price can also use the tricks used by estate agents to sell a house, which will boost rental yields.

The Front Door Colours Most Likely to get your Property Sold/Let

The Front Door Colours Most Likely to get your Property Sold/Let

Aside from figuring out your finances, de-cluttering the home and being competitive with rents, there’s one thing that could help you shift your property more quickly and get you a higher offer from tenants.

Most homebuyers/tenants form their first impression of a property within seconds, so kerb appeal is vital when trying to get your property let. According to a band of estate agents, the right front door colours could make all the difference.

Property expert Sarah Beeny explains: “Front doors are the first thing potential buyers see and first impressions really do count, so I’m a huge advocate of making them look brilliant when preparing a home for sale.

“In terms of on-trend colours, there’s two routes – bright or muted. Bright yellow, pink and turquoise are all huge at the moment, and can really transform a property from drab to fab, giving it the wow factor buyers look for.”

She adds: “Then there’s the more traditional, muted colours which are really popular, including deep blue, dark grey and sage green. These colours are timeless and create an impression of grandeur, which buyers love.”

However, some of the nation’s most respected agents believe there’s more to it than just picking a colour.

Country Life reports that the shade that will sell/let your property is completely dependent on where it’s located.

For those that live in country villages, they advise avoiding paint altogether. Instead, the experts suggest a slick of varnish on bare wood, to complement the natural environment.

Or, if your home is by the sea, choosing a colour that matches the ocean will fare best.

Likewise, those who live in the chilly north or inner city Victorian terraces can be bolder with their choices, as creating a cheery entrance is key.

“Extreme colours only work for the few; orange, lime green and pink are all out there, but are not likely to have a broad appeal,” says the Head of Savills’ Country Department, Lindsay Cuthill.

That being said, whatever shade you decide on, revamping your front door colours can make your properties irresistible to potential tenants.

Cuthill adds: “If you want to get the maximum price for your home, it’s time to get the paintbrushes out and make your front door a real centerpiece that buyers will love.”

Get Free Property Listings for Landlords Online

Published On: April 11, 2017 at 8:14 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

Get Free Property Listings for Landlords Online

Get Free Property Listings for Landlords Online

Houses In Sale is a free advertising service website for estate agents, landlords, direct homeowners and other real estate related entities who want to sell or rent a property in the UK.

It tries to make online property finding a fun experience, connecting  buyers, sellers and estate professionals, all to give you the listings and resources you need to make your buying or selling experience as easy as possible.

Why listing with them?

Making properties visible online is its goal. There is no getting around the fact that over 90% of consumers start their real estate search online.

– Each user can list unlimited properties

– Possibility to add floor plans to properties

– Edit, delete, view stats, pause property listings

– You have full property listing management

– Listing visible on desktop, tablets, mobile

-Free property listings

-You can list your house for sale using its simple Add New Property page, after registration or send them an xml or bml file with your properties

Get in front of buyers and sellers and get more leads with Houses In Sale, the real estate portal where you can list and find properties for sale and for rent in the UK.
















10 Steps to Choosing the Best Letting Agent

Published On: March 23, 2017 at 10:45 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

Choosing a half decent letting agent to manage (probably) the single biggest investment you’re ever likely to make can seem a daunting prospect. But don’t worry; we have produced a mini guide that will help you find a letting agent that’s just right for you.

Choosing the right letting agent could be the difference between finding a really great tenant or having your property sitting void for weeks on end and you losing a large amount of rental income. Whilst there are some very good Rent Guarantee Insurances available to landlords, these products won’t cover you before your tenancy start date and won’t cover properties in between tenancies. Below, with the help of Carol Lewis from the Estate Agents London news site, we discuss the difference between a good letting agent and a bad letting agent:

  1. Remember the agent works for you

A letting agent earns money (usually called a commission) once they let your property. If they don’t have your property on their books, they can’t make any money. You’re the landlord and therefore you’re the one in control. It’s worth remembering that at all times when discussing your property with the letting agent.

  1. Should you choose a sole agency or go multiple agency?

If you were selling your property, the number of agents you have marketing your property will directly affect the fee you are likely to pay.

When it comes to letting your property, however, the number of agents you use doesn’t always matter. You can have as many letting agents as you want to help find you a good tenant – their fees do not usually increase depending on the number of other competitors also marketing your property.

  1. Asking family and friends for recommendations

Personal recommendation is probably still the number one way of acquiring new business for a letting agent. More and more letting agents are relying on landlords who have multiple properties to let and friends and family members who have properties they also wish to let. So ask around, it can’t do any harm.

  1. 10 Steps to Choosing the Best Letting Agent

    10 Steps to Choosing the Best Letting Agent

    Search online reviews

Reviews are the in thing right now. A number of high profile estate agents, such as London letting agent Foxtons, have recently followed the online revolution and have started to embrace review sites such as Trustpilot.

“Reviews and online reputation management help drive customer acquisition and also help us to better understand customer needs and areas we need to improve,” says Ajvinder Singh, Managing Director of London estate agent Aaron J Barclay.

However, you should read reviews carefully to see which ones are real reviews. There are tell-tale signs. Are they overly gushing in their praise of the agency or do they look like they are from a genuine customer who wants to share their experience?

  1. Choose a local agent

This can seem pretty obvious at first. However, a lot of the new online-only or hybrid agencies claim to have local property experts who know the local market. On closer inspection, some of these local experts are covering large parts of the country, so cannot truly have local knowledge. It’s worth bearing in mind the high level of local knowledge a local agent can have. If coupled with a database of local clients who have registered locally, this can make a powerful combination and help you find a tenant pretty quickly.

  1. Choose someone who’s relevant

This applies to those landlords with unique properties to let. If you have a cosy one-bedroom flat in central London, there’s no point appointing a Surrey letting agent who specialises in luxury countryside barn conversions. A lot of letting agents find that specialising in a particular niche works for them – it could work for you too.

  1. What is their marketing like?

Are they any good at their actual job? The photos should be professionally taken (and edited) and should show your property in a good light to maximise its potential. The description of the property should be comprehensive and well written.

  1. Are there many let boards around town?

The sign of a good agent is having lots and lots of let property boards scattered around town. Be wary though of some agent leaving their boards up too long to make it look as though they are doing better than they really are.

  1. Narrow your search down to three good agents and see how good they are

Invite three letting agents around to your home to give you an appraisal and to see what levels of service and value they can offer you. Ask the agent how many comparable properties they have on their books and how they can justify their figures. Also ask what professional qualifications they have, as that is important to understand what their minimal legal obligation is towards you as a customer. There are many professional bodies that deal with letting agents including ARLA (the Association of Residential Letting Agents), NAEA (the National Association of Estate Agents) and TPOS (The Property Ombudsman Scheme).

Always ask if there’s a plan B – what would your letting agent do if your property wasn’t getting the desired interest? Evaluate what answers they give you and decide if it’s something you can work with.

Ask them all which portals your property is going to be marketed on. Rightmove is the clear market leader when it comes to property portals, followed by a distant Zoopla. On The Market is a new portal and is a similar distance behind Zoopla and compares favourably with Prime Location, which is owned by Zoopla. Listing on the big two will ensure your property receives the best exposure.

  1. Finally…

Choose a letting agent you are comfortable talking to, because you could end up having to communicate a lot. Don’t fall for the classic over-valuing of your property by an agent just to gain your confidence at an unrealistic level. This ploy doesn’t work and will only become evident when there is a lack of interest in your property and the inevitable call asking you to lower you rental price. Take into account what the letting agent is charging, but don’t get hung up on it too much. If they are offering good value for money and the commission includes some generous extra, then go ahead with the agent you feel most comfortable with.

If you’re unsure about something, then ask; agents expect all sorts of questions and it’s their job to alleviate your concerns.

Landlords want mandatory client money protection

Published On: October 26, 2016 at 1:39 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

New research has revealed over four out of five landlords believe that client money protection (CMP) should be made compulsory when using a letting agent to rent out property.

The investigation., conducted by Total Landlord Insurance, asked organisations to provide a response on whether they think CMP should be made mandatory in 2016. Of 85% of landlords who use a letting agent, 81% think it should be made compulsory.


Recent data released by YouGov revealed that hundreds of thousands of pounds of landlord and tenants’ cash are at risk, as they are not protected by CMP.

At present, letting agents in the UK currently hold more than £2.7bn of landlord and tenants’ money in the form of rent and tenancy deposits. However, it is believed that around one in five tenants will not be able to recover funds should their agent steal them, or uses it for fraudulent purposes.

Steve Barnes, associate director at Hamilton Fraser, noted: ‘Client money protection, like redress scheme membership, should be compulsory for this sector. This change would give the consumer added protection and ultimately raise standards throughout the industry.’[1]

Landlords want mandatory client money protection

Landlords want mandatory client money protection


The Government has moved to establish a working group with colleagues from the House of Lords to assess if CMP schemes should be made mandatory. This is being led by Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Palmer and Labour’s Baroness Hayter.

These schemes, which hold cash independently, are voluntary, with the Government estimating that only 60-80% of agents use them.

Sean Hooker, head of redress at the Property Redress Scheme, said: ‘With an increasingly growing rental sector and the money involved, the risk of serious economic damage that could easily occur without adequate safeguards, is something we cannot be complacent about.’[1]

‘These figures clearly show that landlords see this protection as essential to ensure they deal with safe and professional agents that they and their tenants can trust,’ he added.[1]