I was sitting on a train recently and whilst looking round at my fellow passengers I realised they were all staring at or listening to handheld devices, so I put my book down and thought for a minute!
How far have we come in a short space of time? Not on the train, I refer to the over reliant digital age we live in, it raises the question of how would we cope without the Internet, without social media and, for our industry, property portal sites?
This moves me on to how our tenants find us. When new properties to let come on the market I am amazed at just how many calls we get from people who have signed up their requirements to sites like Rightmove, Zoopla and Barbers own website. With 80% of new tenants finding properties this way, clearly the first viewing of a property is done online so the importance of showing off a landlord’s investment is crucial in securing a suitable tenant and getting the maximum exposure. When marketing properties to let, it is essential to have as much information as possible about the house and the local area, together with professional photographs, floor plans and room measurements. Three lines about the house and a front picture simply isn’t enough for the would-be tenant of 2016. With all this information to hand, the viewers will be motivated and want to take the property once they have seen it.
We do urgently need more stock to let in the Newport area to replace the record numbers we have let in 2016. We do have suitable tenants registered with us waiting…
In the last twelve months I have been telling anyone who would listen that the government is clamping down on landlords and letting agents who don’t comply with the legislation. I read recently that a landlord has received a hefty fine and considerable costs for simply failing to give an energy performance certificate to their tenant and not complying with an improvement notice. Together with court costs and inevitable compensation to the tenant, the landlord was ordered to pay a fine in excess of £1,800. Ignorance of the law or simply burying your head in the sand is no defence.
For any advice on lettings law and landlords’ obligations, please email me at email@example.com or call the Newport Office on 01952 820239.
Richard Heath FARLA, FNAEA, CRLM
Lettings Manager, Barbers Estate Agents