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Reasons Why Landlords in South Devon End Tenancies

ending tenancy

This two-minute read looks at why landlords end tenancies and the issues and implications around taking such a step.

From toxic tenants to financial friction – there are many reasons why a landlord might want to end a tenancy.

These reasons can include:

  • The tenant has breached their contract by missing rent payments, subletting, or trashing the property.
  • Relations between the tenant and landlord have turned toxic.
  • The property is in need of repair, and it would be easier and less disruptive if the property were empty.
  • The landlord wants to live in the property.
  • Financial reasons mean the landlord wishes to sell up.

Whatever the motive for wanting a tenant out, one rule applies: never act impulsively.

It’s easy to get hot under the collar if you discover your tenant is treating your property like a dump or a drug den.

And it’s understandable if your circumstances suddenly change and you want to take back possession of your property (it belongs to you, after all).

But ignoring your contractual obligations and letting your heart overrule your head could prove costly.

What you can do

Before taking any action, make sure you understand your legal position and, if in doubt, get professional advice.

The steps you take will be influenced by the type of tenancy, the length of term, and the notice period.

Your strategy will also depend on if the tenant has breached their contract (in which case you’ll need evidence) or if you have a different reason for wanting the property back.

Whatever you do, don’t blag it. If the case winds up in court, a judge won’t look kindly on a landlord who has cut corners and ignored procedure.

Have someone in your corner

Having a letting agent manage your property means you’ll not only have a great source of advice at your disposal, but they’ll also do the legwork.

What a relief to have someone else deal with head-banging, anti-social tenants or chase late rent payments

When it’s your property, it’s difficult not to take things personally – and lose your cool.

Having a professional deal with situations in a measured and calm way means less hassle and often proves more effective.

With discussion and negotiation, it’s often possible to avoid messy court disputes and move the situation along quickly.

 Get in touch with us here at Chamberlains to learn more about our property management services.

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What Will the Homes of 2050 Look Like?

2050

Star Trek fans, look away now.

“It’s a home, Jim, but not as we know it.” The original phrase (we’ve replaced life with a home) didn’t even feature in the popular sci-fi show, apparently, but we’re digressing.

If you’re interested in what life will be like in the homes of 2050, keep reading.

A report commissioned by the respected industry organisation the National House Building Council (NHBC) sees experts look into the future and make predictions around how homes will change.

The report, fittingly called Futurology: The New Home in 2050, makes for fascinating reading.

Below are ten forecasts from across the 40-page report.

  • Multigenerational living will become increasingly popular. As property prices increase and people live longer, more families will come together to live under one roof.
  • ‘Green roofs’ featuring grass areas will become the norm to encourage wildlife activity.
  • Electric car charging points will be a feature of every new home and development.
  • Smart boxes will replace letterboxes so that deliveries can be safely and securely left.
  • The homes of 2050 could monitor our health and remind us to go for a walk, take medication, or even let us know if the bathwater is too hot.
  • With demands on homes to be multifunctional, expect to see many more properties with movable walls.
  • Micro living, for people living on their own, will increase. These smaller homes will be part of developments that offer communal areas, shared services, and cycle storage.
  • New homes in 2050 will be highly energy-efficient – featuring several ways of capturing, storing, and distributing energy.
  • Due to climate change, homes will need to be more responsive to weather events. In addition, better cooling systems will ensure homes don’t overheat in the potentially warmer summers.
  • Light switches and electrical sockets could become obsolete as movement detectors and voice controls become omnipresent.

If you’re thinking of moving a little earlier than 2050, maybe even this year, feel free to contact us with any questions you have.

We’ll use our expertise and experience to help you on the journey to a new home in the future.

 

 

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Top Tips for Selling an Empty Property

empty property

This three-minute read looks at the issues around selling an empty home.

Most estate agents will tell you that to secure a good property sale, it’s best to market a home fully furnished. But to quote the Rolling Stones, ‘You can’t always get what you want’.

Whether it be due to a death in the family or a sudden change in circumstances, sellers sometimes find themselves with an empty property to market.

When this happens, what’s the best strategy?

Let’s think about visuals 

Empty homes tend to ‘stick’ because we humans are visual creatures. We find it easier to imagine ourselves living in a property that looks ‘lived in’. Photographs of empty rooms don’t ‘tell a story’.

Buyers also struggle to judge the size of a room without everyday items, such as beds or sofas, to provide visual perspective.

Bearing this in mind, if you’re selling an empty property, here’s what you should do. 

Create a blank canvas

Invest time into presenting the property as a blank canvas onto which a buyer can quickly stamp their own personal touch.

  • Remove junk from inside and outside and give everything a good clean. (Empty doesn’t have to mean grotty.)
  • Patch up the walls and paint them in a neutral colour.
  • Clean the carpets or, if they’re beyond saving, pull them up and tidy up the floorboards.
  • Cut back any overgrown bushes in the garden.

To stage or not to stage

Once you’ve got the bare bones of your home shipshape, consider whether to ‘stage’ the property.

You could go big and rent furniture and furnishings from a professional staging company. While this will require a financial outlay, if your property is in a high-value area, it’s a move that could make you money in the long run.

If this isn’t a realistic option, you could still bring in some furniture – borrowed or nabbed from your own home – to help buyers understand the layout. Think beds in the bedrooms, a table and chairs in the kitchen, and a sofa in the living room. It’s a kind of ‘staging lite’ approach that can give a property an extra push.

A final word about security

Whatever you decide to do, prioritise security ­– thieves and squatters target empty homes. Check the locks and make regular visits to the property to remove any tell-tale signs that it’s empty. Install lamps that operate on a timer, so that the lights go on at night.

For more advice on marketing your Teignbridge property, contact us here at Chamberlains.

 

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Reasons to Be Cheerful for Home Sellers in South Devon

home sellers

In this two-minute read, we share how homeowners thinking of selling can avoid feeling down in the dumps on the year’s most depressing day.

Next Monday is, according to social scientists, the most depressing day on the calendar.

It even has a name. Such is the doom and gloom attached to it – Blue Monday.

It’s the perfect storm of wintry weather, festive spending credit card debts coming in, New Year’s resolutions falling by the wayside, and Christmas being a memory that’s fading fast.

We all feel down from time to time, and it’s important to share with people we trust how we’re feeling.

All our relationships here at Chamberlains are built on trust, and we like to think that’s why we know what gets home sellers feeling blue.

The good news is we have the answers to the five main things that get people involved in property transactions feeling down.

1 – Home won’t sell – A home that’s been on the market for a long time is a headache for the seller. It’s usually because the price is unrealistic or it is being poorly marketed.

2 – Apathetic agents – Choosing an estate agent to sell your home is a big call. And when you get it wrong, it can be the source of a lot of stress and anxiety. Look for local agents who know the local property market, are experienced, and have good Google reviews and testimonials.

3 – Slow solicitors – There’s no getting away from it, an inefficient conveyancing solicitor can hold up your sale and cause no end of frustration. Always go with recommendations from people you trust who have successfully used the solicitor themselves.

4 – Vanishing buyers – There’s very little in the property selling business as annoying as buyers who make an offer you accept only to vanish for whatever reason. The best way around this is to work with an agency that properly qualifies every offer to see if the person making it is in a position to actually proceed.

5 – Overvaluations – This goes back to point two and highlights the importance of choosing the right agency. A common tactic used by unscrupulous agents is to deliberately overvalue a property to get the chance to sell it. More often than not, a price reduction follows as the property won’t sell and attracts little interest. Ask for clear, comparable evidence to back up an agency’s valuation of your property.

If you have anything property-related weighing on your mind this Blue Monday or any day come to that, give us a call. We’re here to make selling a home a happier experience.

 

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Shhh… Get Rid of Unwanted Christmas Gifts Without Anyone Finding Out

christmas

In this two-minute read, we give you our best ideas for unloading your unwanted socks, smellies, toys or slippers.

Now we’ve all eaten our weight in turkey, pulled some crackers, and snoozed in front of the TV, it’s time for the great post-Christmas tidy-up.

The first place to start (once all that wrapping paper has been cleared away) is with your unwanted presents. Don’t just shove them under the bed or at the back of a cupboard. Get savvy, get rid, and get a little richer.

Donate them to a good cause

The guilt-free option for getting rid of something you know you’re never going to use. Charity shops benefit from new and unopened items, and you can feel happy in the knowledge your unwanted pressie is doing some good in the world.

Regift them to someone

You may feel a bit cheeky doing this, but in the grand scheme of things you’re actually doing your bit to help save the planet, avoid waste, and bag yourself some pennies.

Swap shop

Get online and swap your presents. Sites such as Preloved or Swapz let you find items of a similar value and arrange a swap. No money, no clutter – win-win. Alternatively, if you fancy hosting a little get-together, organise a post-holiday swap party where everyone brings an unwanted gift and swaps it for another guest’s present.

Sell online

There are so many online selling sites to choose from, your granny will never know you sold her gift of embroidered handkerchiefs, we promise. Obviously, there’s eBay, but check out other sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Amazon Marketplace, or Gumtree.

Return them

Now this is easy if you’ve got a gift receipt, but there’s hope even if you don’t. Most retailers have a returns policy that allows an exchange or will offer a credit note but there’s no law that forces a retailer to accept non-faulty items. Remember, in most cases you’ve only got 28 days to return something in store.

Things that can’t be returned include perishable items such as food and personalised items.

Give them away

It might not be a good idea to stand outside your house offering strangers a pair of brand-new flannel pyjamas, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Make use of sites such as Freecycle, Freegle, and Trash Nothing to offload your unwanted gifts.

Whatever you decide to do with those extra presents, we at Chamberlains hope you’ve had a great festive period.

 

 

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Top Tips for Choosing an Estate Agent

Top Tips for Choosing an Estate Agent

How to Choose an Estate Agent to Sell Your South Devon Home

In this two-minute read, we look at how to select the best estate agent to sell your home.

When it comes to selling a property, it pays to do your research before choosing an agent to manage the sale.

Now you might think that all agents are much of a muchness (they all flog homes, don’t they?), but you’d be wrong!

A great agent won’t just sell your property; they’ll sell it for the highest possible price (which is the whole point, obviously).

A mediocre agent will go through the motions and probably secure a sale – it is a seller’s market after all – but won’t go the extra mile to get the absolute best deal.

Given that you’ll most likely only sell a property once or twice in your life, why wouldn’t you go with someone who will secure the best transaction for you?

Here are six things to look for in a good estate agent.

Track record. Go with an agent who has a good local reputation and experience selling properties like yours. And don’t just take the agent’s word for it; a good agent will have client testimonials.

Fees and costs. It may be tempting to go with the agent with the lowest fee – but be wary. Low-fee agents skimp on marketing and photography (it’s the only way they can do the job for such a low price and stay afloat). That might be good for their business model, but it’s terrible for your bank balance.

Professional marketing. Buyers do so much of their research online that an agent must have a professional digital presence. Compare how local agents in South Devon present properties for sale. Look for good quality photography and well-written property descriptions.

Read the fine print. Be wary of agents who want to tie you in for an excessive period. It suggests they don’t have confidence in their own abilities.

Valuation. If an agent vows to sell your property for a sum that is jaw-droppingly higher than market value, be suspicious. Most likely, they’re over-promising to lure you in and will have to drop the price later when savvy buyers don’t fall for it. This tactic just wastes time. Go with an agent who is optimistic but realistic.

Gut instinct. Do you trust the agent or feel like they’re pulling a fast one on you? Follow your instincts.

For a free property valuation or to find out more about our selling track record, contact us here at Chamberlains.

 

 

 

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Why Sellers in South Devon Need to Act Now for a Christmas Move

Christmas

Now’s the Time to Sell if You Want a New Home for Christmas

A two-minute read.

The summer holidays have ended.

The kids are back to school, and the distractions of Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics have gone.

What have we got to look forward to? Easy, Christmas.

Yes, we know it seems a long way off, but if you’re thinking of celebrating it in a new home, it’s time to get things sorted.

Here’s why.

Recent research from one of the most respected organisations in the estate agency industry, Propertymark, highlights the need to get your selling skates on if a new abode is at the top of your Christmas wish list.

The organisation’s findings show the average time taken from an offer to exchange is now at 13-16 weeks. This doesn’t consider the period from when your property goes on the market, and an acceptable offer is made.

A statement from Propertymark’s CEO said the average time used to be around 6-8 weeks, but the post-pandemic market across the UK and South Devon is ‘a very different beast.’

This is due to several factors. Record levels of transactions, pressure on solicitors, mortgage companies and even overworked removal firms are slowing the process.

There are just over 15 weeks until turkey time (other culinary options are available), so speed is of the essence.

Here’s a simple ABC plan to put you on the path to opening presents in a new home on 25 December.

  1. Action – Take the first steps of calling in three agents to give you a valuation of your home. Always ask this question of them: How will you go about getting me the price you say my home is currently worth?
  2. Be Ready – Now is the time to get your house in order, literally and metaphorically speaking. Do those little maintenance jobs that have been left for ages. You’d be amazed how off-putting peeling fence paint or missing cabinet handles are for prospective buyers. And get all your paperwork organised. You’ll need warranties and receipts ready to help speed up the legal side of any sale.
  3. Check – We’re expecting a surge of sellers and buyers looking to move in the run-up to the festive season, so it’s worth thinking ahead. Call removal and storage companies for quotes and get dates pencilled in with them. The good moving companies get booked in advance even when the market isn’t as busy as it is now.

If you’ve a dream about waking up on Christmas morning in a new home, get in touch with us on 01626 365055, email mail@chamberlains.co or click the book appointment button and we’ll help make it a reality.

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Advice on Choosing a Good Conveyancing Solicitor in South Devon

solicitor

Choosing the Best Solicitor for Your South Devon Property

This two-minute read will help you learn about conveyancing solicitors and how to find the right one for you in South Devon.

Whether you instruct a conveyancer or a solicitor, they essentially do the same thing when it comes to dealing with a property transaction. The terms are often used interchangeably by people who aren’t working in the industry. This is the person who does the paperwork for you when you are buying or selling a property.

Cheap is rarely cheerful

You know the old adage: you can have fast, cheap, and good; but you can only have two at any one time. This is very true for conveyancers. ‘Fast’ isn’t always the best word to use as there are multiple variables that may slow down the process. ‘Efficient’ is what you’re looking for.

There’s no template

When getting quotes from different solicitors for the work, bear in mind that there isn’t a set template for how those quotes are presented. There can easily be hidden costs. Ideally, you’d find a solicitor who offers a guaranteed fixed fee and a ‘no sale, no fee’ promise. Otherwise, the whole deal can fall through, for whatever reason, and you still have to pay the solicitor.

Get recommendations

And then take them with a pinch of salt. Buying and selling property is something that happens so infrequently in most people’s lives. They may have had a good experience in the past but you don’t know what’s happened in that firm. Maternity leave, staff changes, even holidays can mean that a previously great firm takes a dip for a few months.

TOP TIP: Your estate agent has a great overview of the whole market. They deal with solicitors all day, every day. Ask them for their advice.

Different properties need different work

The advantage of asking your estate agent for a recommendation is that they’re used to dealing with the variety of properties in your area. Flying freeholds, chancel repair liability, coalman’s accesses: these are all things that are completely normal to deal with for some solicitors.

Others have never dealt with them before and can cause massive delays. Even worse, they can advise their clients that it’s a risky issue, simply because they don’t understand the nuances, even causing them to pull out from the purchase.

If you’re looking for a conveyancer or solicitor to help you to buy or sell a property, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can chat you through the options. Get in touch today.

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Advice on Choosing a Good Removal Company in South Devon

Removal Firm

Advice on Choosing a Good Removal Firm in South Devon

This three-minute read gives you a few ideas to consider when choosing your removal firm in South Devon.

Getting the right people to help you move home is so important. This means your estate agent, your conveyancer, and the people that will do the physical heavy lifting. Choosing the right removal firm will make a big difference, not only on moving day itself, but before, and after, your move.

Reviews and recommendations

A good place to start looking for a removal firm you can trust in South Devon is to ask people you know. This could be friends, family, or your property move team, like your estate agent and conveyancer.

After you’ve been signposted to a few companies, it’s time to do some research for yourself. People move home infrequently so it’s always a good idea to check for recent reviews.

If property professionals have themselves used a particular company when moving home, it’s normally a pretty good sign that they’re the best.

Do your research

You’ve looked at the reviews on the company website, social media pages, and an independent review site, like Google Reviews or Trustpilot. There’s a few bad ones but mostly positive. Should you just leave it at that and book with them? Of course, you could but there are a few more recommended steps to take.

  • Ask the company for some previous customers’ contact details. You can then have a real-life conversation with someone to explore the service they received. If the company decline, that’s a red flag.
  • Ask the company what their insurance policy is. Ask them to send you a copy. This is standard practice so if they have any objections, you know this is another red flag.

Check the Ts & Cs

It’s easy for someone to ping you a quote: “That’ll be £5,000 for your move”. What should also be attached are their terms & conditions. It’s important that you get these to look through and that you actually read them.

The British Association of Removers have a set that are good. Even better companies will adapt them to their own requirements.

Extra suggestions

When it comes to arranging a moving date, exchanges and completions can be a moveable feast. One removal firm we spoke to described it as ‘like juggling jelly’. Find out how good the removal firm is at communicating. What methods will they use? Email, phone, text, social media? You need to know that they will keep lines of communication open throughout, what can be, a tense time.

Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover. It helps if the firm has a clear, concise website and if the staff and offices are presented tidily. Check their vehicles are clean and in good condition.

Bonus tip

Did you know? Many insurers will be able to extend your existing contents cover. This means that when the movers are in your home, you’ll have extra cover. It’s always worth taking a ‘belt and braces’ approach.

If you need a recommendation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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Six Top Tips for Camping Trips in South Devon

camping

Six Top Tips for Camping Trips in South Devon

In this three-minute read, we share six top tips for successful camping trips in AREA.

Friday 2 July sees the start of the UK’s National BBQ Week – one of the Great British public’s favourite pastimes. Whether it’s bangers, halloumi burgers or spicy cauliflower steaks on the menu, BBQs are the number one meal option when it comes to camping trips.

We’ve put together a list of essential items for a successful camping trip.

  • Freeze your meat

If you’re short on ice packs, freezing your meat is a great way to keep it safe until you want to cook it. Frozen water bottles also double up as great refrigerators and who doesn’t love some ice-cold water when you’re enjoying the sun in your deck chair.

  • Prepare for all kinds of weather

There’s no such thing as bad weather if you’re appropriately dressed. But a lightweight rain mac and an extra sweatshirt are a good idea if the weather is unkind. A travel-size games compendium might come in handy if rain forces you to retreat inside your tent.

  • Portable power bank

In an ideal world, camping trips should be full of wholesome fun; muddy knees, swinging on tree ropes and marshmallows by the campfire. In reality, the kids still need their Peppa Pig fix or Instagram updates and you might need to keep an eye on work or that eBay auction. To keep you connected, a portable charger is an absolute must-have.

  • First-aid kit

Be prepared for all manner of first-aid needs – nettles, insect bites, BBQ or sun-related burns, grazed knees (we could go on…). Kit yourself out with plasters, antibacterial cleansing wipes, healing cream, and maybe some paracetamol for the morning after. Better to be safe than sorry.

  • An extra loo roll (or two)

Not that we’re endorsing buying more than you need (we still remember the Covid-19 loo roll fiasco), but a couple in reserve is always sensible. They can double up for spills or when the kids need makeshift bandanas.

  • A gadget for everything

Don’t forget the corkscrew, or better still, invest in a Swiss army knife – opening tins is nigh on impossible without a can opener. And you never know when you might need that emergency nail file.

If you’ve got any camping tips to share, or to recommend your favourite South Devon campsite, get in touch with us here at Chamberlains.

© Chamberlains 2021