While our office is pretty crazy most of the time I feel at the moment as if the world is going pretty crazy too. With tragedy all around us is hard to keep a straight head.
But strangely life goes on. Some of the news affects us more than others and certainly the fire in the tower block I believe has given a serious jolt to some agents and certainly landlords. Never has it been more important to check the safety of your tenants and the regulations are increasing and improving all the time so its even more important to have an agent on your side to check the regulations and put them into practice.
I dont think landlords can afford to try and manage properties without professional guidance as things stand. Case in point. The government introduced the requirement to install smoke alarms on every floor. We were given 10 days to do this. Not long. Needless to say Amazon were very busy.
One subject that hasnt been explored further as yet but will be is the 'right to rent' checks. We now have to check that a tenant has a 'right to live in the uk' before we let to them and more importantly we check properties to ensure that they are not being sub-let to other people. How many in the tower block were sub-letting to others resulting in us never knowing who they were, as the police have advised.
The key with all these things is to get the best possible tenant into a property and then ensure its managed well, regular inspections, tenancy up to date along with any safety checks then god forbid anything happens we have done the best we could to protect and care for our tenant.
I am regularly attending meetings at ARLA and receiving update with changes and we spend our lives working in this enviroment. Sometimes its difficult however to try and persuade a landlord they need us when they want to save a few pounds.
House sales........ I finally feel we are making cracks into the local market this year. We dont fit in with the High Street Estate Agent that charges you 2% to sell your house but neither do we fit into the Purple Bricks mould, pay a flat fee whether the house is sold or not.
We can very often match the online agents in fees but we only get paid if we sell.........what could be better than that.