News

How The New Wales Tenant Fee Rules Affect You

As a leading North Wales Estate Agent, Peter Large has always believed in offering a fair and transparent service to both tenants and landlords.

A new law came into force on 1 September 2019 which is a major change to the fees tenants in Wales have to pay, so we are providing the following guidance for both tenants and potential landlords.

Guidance for New Tenants

Here is how the new laws affect new tenants who are taking out a new tenancy agreement or signed an agreement after 1 September 2019.

What you don’t have to pay

New tenants after this date no longer have to pay fees for:

  • checking references or credit checks
  • administration
  • drawing up a tenancy
  • renewing a tenancy
  • amending a tenancy term, for example adding in more conditions
  • requesting or amending a tenancy if one joint tenant leaves and is replaced by another
  • viewing a property
  • drawing up an inventory
  • arranging a guarantor
  • inspecting a property at the end of the tenancy.

Charges you do have to pay

New tenants will still need to pay the following charges:

  • rent
  • security deposits (if required)   
  • holding deposits to reserve a property. This is equivalent to one week’s rent and will be offset against your first month.
  • late payment of rent or breach of a tenancy agreement (known as default payments)
  • any council tax, utility bills, communication bills or TV licence (unless these services are provided as part of your tenancy agreement)

Guidance for Existing Tenants

With regard to existing tenancy agreements that were taken out prior to 1 September 2019, any charges due under your existing tenancy agreement will still apply.

Guidance for Landlords

If you are already one of our landlords, we will have been in touch to advise you of any changes to your agreements with us where needed.

If however, you are a landlord with a property to let, unsure of what costs are involved, why not get in touch?

With the new rules now in place, and very strict guidelines for renting out properties in Wales, many landlords have inadvertently fallen foul, with a number of private landlords receiving large fines.  

Our professional service enables us to guide landlords through the complex maze of letting property in Wales.

We generally let properties more quickly, and attract desirable, high quality tenants with a stable income, which enables us to protect your property investment.  We can take care of every aspect of your property rental, leaving you free to get on with running your business.

For more advice on any aspect of letting your property or taking out a rental agreement on one of our properties, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our professional lettings team.

Abergele office awarded ‘Best Estate Agent in Conwy County’

We are delighted to announce that our Abergele branch has won the prestigious Gold British Property Award 2019 for Conwy County.

The British Property Awards are particularly prized by estate agents – the award sees estate agents judged on a town by town basis, and agents must meet a minimum set of criteria over a number of months. 

In the event none of the agents in a town meets the criteria, no award will be made – and the Gold Winner is the highest award for any given area, so this is very welcome news for our hard-working staff.

A spokesman for the British Property Awards explained:

“We take our jobs very seriously.  At The British Property Awards, our mission is to provide a useful award for the consumer on a local level, highlighting excellence within their town, an award that can be trusted and used as part of their decision making process.

“Gold Award Winner for Conwy, Peter Large, performed outstandingly throughout the extensive judging period, which focused on customer service levels over more than 25 separate criteria.” 

Director and Company Secretary, Avril Large, said the award came as a welcome surprise for the chain’s Abergele branch:

“Excellent customer service is something we pride ourselves on across all our estate agency branches, so it is great for our Abergele branch to see their hard work recognised with this Gold award.  

“I really want to thank the team who work so hard, not to win awards, but to serve our customers to the best of their ability.  I am really proud of them.”

We have also been shortlisted for a number of other national awards which will be announced later in the year – this is great news, not just for the Abergele branch but for the whole team in our North Wales estate agency branches.

How to avoid stress when moving house

Almost two in three adults placed moving house as more stressful than getting divorced! However, there is much that owners can do to mitigate the stress.

Avril Large, Director at Peter Large, explains:

“We help clients sell and rent their homes every day, so helping clients move house is part of our day to day life.  We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t – and are happy to share that experience with our clients.”

Avril’s top tips are:

Want to sell your house fast? Prepare it for sale

It sounds obvious, but you would be amazed at how many homes we visit with our photographer to find a house totally unprepared for sale.  If your home is well presented, the photographer can highlight it’s best features which will help attract more interest in a viewing.

Estate agent body Propertymark has prepared the following tips which will help you prepare your home for a fast sale: http://www.propertymark.co.uk/advice-and-guides/selling-your-home/10-tips-for-selling-your-home.aspx

Preparing your home for sale should also involve clearing clutter.  Clutter will not only reduce your chances of selling, but also make moving harder work and more stressful than it needs to be. 

In short, a little preparation will reduce your stress, help sell your home faster and make the move flow more easily.

Use a High Street Estate agent to sell your home

Those reading are probably thinking ‘well, they would say that, wouldn’t they’.  We would, of course, but the reason why may surprise you.

High Street estate agents understand that an offer for your property is NOT a sale – and it is from this point onwards that experienced estate agents earn their fee – chasing the solicitors, liaising between all parties and generally progressing the sale or let.

Why an online estate agent may not be the best choice for you

Jefferies’ leading residential sector analyst, Anthony Codling, explains:

“Any experienced estate agent will tell you, an offer subject to contract is not a sale.”

Codling’s analysis found that a substantial number of vendors had paid a fee, and received an offer, but failed to complete the sale of their property through a popular online agency. 

Codling’s analysis found that of those who supposedly ‘sold’ their homes through Purple Bricks, only 14% progressed to completion.  In a 2017 note to market investors Codling warned:

“We hope that for their customers the saying ‘all comes to they who wait’ is true. The lucky 14 per cent who have sold their homes waited on average around 4.5 months between selling subject to contract and actually selling. For the rest, the wait has been around 6.5 months so far and the clock is still ticking.”

There is nothing more stressful than waiting for something to happen.  Choosing a high street estate agent means you have someone on your side, speeding up the process.

Use a professional moving company when moving house

Self-moving is often a false economy – and as for relying on a pal or family member, we’ve seen countless promises of help fall at the wayside on the day, leading to stress and panic at an already stressful time.

A professional mover may sound expensive but that’s because self-moves don’t factor in many of the costs.

Once the costs of fuel for multiple trips, hiring a van and time are factored in, the cost difference for hiring a professional may still be more but the difference is actually far less than you’d expect.  Self-moves also risk a human cost, with common injuries from moving including broken fingers/toes, back injuries, shoulder injuries and damage to your property and furniture too. 

A professional moving company is worth the cost.  They will help you pack, do all the heavy lifting and help you get started on unpacking at the other end.  You don’t have the stress of racing to get a van back on time, either.

However, if you have no option but to self-move, a little preparation can go a long way.  This helpful video has lots of hacks to make the move less stressful:

We hope our clients find these tips helpful and get you on the right track to moving home.

Life is stressful enough – we’d rather you were able to simply enjoy your new home.

Relocation agent specialist joins Peter Large Estate Agents

Hayley Bardsley, Keeley Westwell & Jackies Roberts from Peter Large Estate Agents in Rhyl are celebrating after becoming an accredited Relocation Agent Specialist.

The accreditation was awarded by Relocation Agent Network and is achieved by completing a comprehensive online training programme, The Importance of Service.

A national network of independent estate agents (of which Peter Large Estate Agents is a member), Relocation Agent Network introduced the training programme to ensure each of their members provides the very highest customer service to those relocating around the UK.

To be successfully accredited, participants must complete three phases of learning, which begins with four training sessions on the importance of customer service. This is followed by three online seminars covering the Relocation Agent Network Referral Process and how best to help customers who are relocating around the UK. Finally, participants must convert their theoretical learning into a practical skill set by delivering assistance to three relocating customers.

By working with fellow members across England, Scotland and Wales, Relocation Agent Network members provide an exclusive relocation referral service to customers. For those relocating to Rhyl, Peter Large guides their customers through the daunting task of moving to an unfamiliar location. This includes local area information on schools and amenities, popular neighbourhoods and (of course) finding the right property for them. The introduction of a Relocation Agent Specialist to the Peter Large team, ensures that this process is made even smoother.
Peter Large said, “We take staff development very seriously and Hayley’s, Keeley’s & Jackie’s Relocation Agent Network accreditation is a great example of what can be achieved when staff are supported properly to improve their skill set. Of course, having a Relocation Agent Specialist in the team is also great for our relocating customers.”

Relocation Agent Network’s Managing Director, Richard Tucker said, “Selected by us as the best independent estate agent to represent the Network in Rhyl, Prestatyn & Abergele, Peter Large Estate Agents have proved themselves as the area’s Local Expert. So with the addition of an in-house Relocation Agent Specialist, they have gone one step further to provide relocating buyers and sellers with the very best customer service.”

Brexit, and so we are set to leave!

After much debate and speculation, history was made when the UK people voted to leave the European Union. The Margin of victory for the ‘Leave’ campaign was narrow, at 51.9% to 48.1%, the turnout of 72% was high by the standards of recent General Elections. The UK will therefore leave the EU at some point in the next few years, becoming the first member to leave the Union. This came as a surprise to many people. No one really knows what the full impact of this decision will be. Apart from the predictable impact this has had on the strength of the pound and the Stock Market. We may not see any significant changes for a few years whilst the details are worked out.

What will happen to the property market? Interest rates will play a key role. Mark Carney the governor of the Bank of England has stated the UK’s financial system is much more robust than was the case at the time of the financial crisis. Banks are better capitalised and have been stressed tested using scenarios more severe than that implied by Brexit. The next scheduled Monitory Policy Committee is due to meet on the 14th of July and it is likely that the current bank rate will remain on hold at 0.5% and is expected to remain at this well into 2017. The Bank of England have said that they will do whatever it takes to keep the economy on an even keel and that they have the funds to do so.

It may well be that interest rates may fall further to an all time low allowing more first time buyers to enter the market. The fundamentals of the UK property market are that there is a shortage of supply; we live on an island with a limited amount of accommodation and an increasing population. Over a period of time, it is most likely that values and rents will continue to rise. We are members of the Relocation agency network with over 600 offices in the UK. Are immediate network neighbours in Cheshire, Wirral and Shropshire, whilst having seen a slow down prior to Brexit, all report more enquiries and improved sales after Brexit. The message from us is to keep calm and carry on and we intend to do so.

Insurance and Risk Management for Landlords

…Protecting your investment property Peter Large Estate Agents in association with HomeLet

Peter Large Estate Agents can advise on insurance cover and risk management services for Landlords available in association with HomeLet. HomeLet are insurance and risk management advisors to the lettings industry. HomeLet offer landlords and tenants specialist insurance cover and advice to help protect their investment against any unexpected risks they may face when letting.

Continue reading “Insurance and Risk Management for Landlords”