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As of June 1st the widely publicised tenant fees ban came into effect, but whilst popular with tenants who have over the years been forced to pay in some cases extortionate fees, the move has left some agents and Landlords in the lurch. Fortunately, Anthony James have long practised a fair approach to lettings with minimum fees for both Landlords and Tenants and so now, even with the introduction of the fees ban and many agents having to recover income from increased Landlords fees, we are able to instead transfer some savings to our Landlords too.
We have put together a summary of what the Tenant Fees Ban means for Landlords in general, and how it affects our Landlords at Anthony James.
The Tenant Fees Ban
From 1 June 2019, agents and Landlords will not be able to charge Tenants for setting up a tenancy, for a renewal of a tenancy, or for checking out.
However, if the tenancy was entered into before 1 June 2019 and it was agreed in that contract to pay certain renewal fees, then a Landlord or agent can charge these fees for a renewed fixed-term agreement or statutory periodic agreement up until 31 May 2020. For tenancies entered into before 1 June 2019, the Landlord/agent can also charge for checking out, up until 31 May 2020.
What this means for agents.
It is well known that many letting agencies have generated profit from their tenancy fees, with spiraling costs leading to the introduction of the ban. Many agents have now been forced to recover these funds elsewhere, so you may find your fees as a Landlord have increased to cover the costs of the tenancy for the agent.
The Anthony James Approach
Private housing is a vital resource and we have long been invested in making it a fair and mutually beneficial process for Landlords and Tenants. We have only ever charged minimal fees to our tenants and therefore, with the introduction of the tenant fees ban, have decided to transfer some benefits to our Landlords too!
We are now offering our 'Find a Tenant' service from just £150 + VAT INCLUDING rent evict insurance and rental guarantee with our full managed service! Landlords can also benefit from 50% off inventories and deposit protection scheme, and our Fully Managed Service at only 10% + VAT.
If you just want us to find you a tenant, we now offer a fixed fee of just £300+VAT.
There are still exceptions where a Tenant will be required to pay tenancy related costs to the Landlord. These include:
- Refundable tenancy deposits - The new cap is five weeks rent if your annual rent is less than £50,00,0 or six weeks if your annual rent is above £50,000.
- Refundable holding depositS - capped at no more than one weeks rent.
- Payments to change the tenancy agreement (only if requested by the Tenant) to cover administration - capped at £50.
- Default charges for late payment of rent and replacement of lost keys/security device.
- Charges can be applied for early termination of the tenancy if initiated by the tenant.
To find out more simply visit our services page to see the full breakdown of our Landlord and Tenant Fees or give us a call on 01704 54 34 34.
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When buying a new property, especially if it requires some updating, the bathroom is often one of the most expensive rooms to renovate/modernise. In fact, a modern kitchen and bathroom adds value to a homes asking price, so if you have a limited budget purchasing a home that requires updating in these areas can save you £££ upfront, and you can save up to change them further down the line- a popular tactic for first time buyers! Likewise if you are selling a home perhaps you want to update your bathroom to add value to your home, but the value added with rarely be more than the cost of the bathroom fitting itself.
Whichever your situation, our 20 top tips will help you get a (almost) brand new bathroom on a budget.
1. Peel and Stick Tiles
Hold off on the expensive brand new set of tiles! Peel and stick tiles, or even sheets can be easily installed, best as splashbacks to brighten up your sink, or even to stick to the side of your bath panels for a luxury effect. This is a great tip if your bathroom suite is past it’s best- the tiles will brighten it up and make your bath a feature. They are also great for framing bathroom mirrors for another stand out feature.
Price- From £20 per pack
2. Repaint the Walls
Obvious but essential! Use a good semi-gloss paint that will withstand humidity and freshen up your old bathroom. Using a bright neutral colour can open up a small bathroom or you could be brave and choose a colour that fits with your chosen theme.
TOP TIP: Check out the sales, we have seen 2.5l pots for just £5 in the B&Q sale!
3. Update Your Flooring
Again there is no need to break the bank with the range of waterproof vinyl flooring available these days. Our favourite styles include plain marble tile effect or to really jazz up and take the attention away from a faded suite, choose vibrant Victorian tile style. Your bathroom will instantly be modernised and on-trend.
From £20 per square metre
4. Install a Towel Rail
Whether you don’t have one or yours is old, rusting or plastic, a shiny new towel rail will instantly add a clean and modern touch to your bathroom. Simple chrome is great and can be purchased from just £40 if you check out the sales, or if you can afford it and it suits your chosen style go for a copper or gold rail for an unusual effect.
From £40 -£120
5. Get or Upgrade Your Vanity Unit
A nice vanity unit adds an extra design feature to your bathroom and means you can tidy away any clutter to keep the overall look fresh and clean. If you have limited space choose a model that fits around your sink. If you have a unit that is a little tired, have a walk round your local DIY stores and pick up some sample paint pots from as little as 10p per pot- a few of these should be enough to give your unit a fresh lick of paint.
Units From £30, Paint less than £5
6. Install a Feature Shelf
Bathroom walls can be pretty boring and is there no reason not to decorate them as you would other rooms of the home. Add a shelf and use as an accessory rather than storage, decorated with candles, nice toiletries or plants as you prefer.
7. Invest in a Bigger Mirror
Particularly if you have a bathroom on the smaller side, a large mirror is not only modern but will make the room look a lot bigger.
8. Replace/Add A Bathroom Blind
A cheap and simple way to add a splash of colour or pattern, and handy to limit the light for those who like to have a nice relaxing bath in a darkened room.
9. Freshen Up Your Grout
Dirty grout screams old and tired and can bring down even the nicest of tiles. Replace your grout and don’t be afraid to use a coloured grout, for example grey or black can make lighter colour tiles really stand out (and will look better for longer than white!). Even glitter grout exists in 2019!
10. LED Lights
Stick on LED strip lights can be added everywhere from below the window sill, around your mirror, around the bases of the walls or the base of your bath for a really modern look. Make sure you choose the waterproof variety.
From £15 for a set
11. Add A Waterfall/Rain Style Shower Head
To change your shower from out of date to up to date simply add a new shower head for that luxury feel.
12. Replace Your Taps
Even if your suite is on the older side, shiny new taps will update and refresh the look of your sink and bath.
From £20 each
13. Get A Bath Caddy
Channel your inner interior designer in the easiest way by getting a bath caddy and simply adding some bubble bath or bath salts and maybe a candle for a look straight out of the next Home catalogue. Again it will also modernise the look of your bathroom suite.
14. Upgrade Your Bathmats
Bathmats get tired and worn pretty quickly through their use, so make sure you purchase a fresh matching set. Depending on your chosen colours for your bathroom update, a bright set can bring some colour to the room or alternatively go for wood if your new bathroom has a natural feel.
15. Invest in Display Towels
An old set will spoil your overlook look. Choose a set of 2 or 3 towels that go well with the rest of your décor, mismatching the colours patterns is modern an up to date or if you feel you have enough features go for variations of your main colour scheme. Just don’t match them to the colour of the wall.
16. Add some Greenery
Proven to boost mood, reduce stress and have an overall calming effect plants are the perfect addition to a modern bathroom as they both look AND feel great. Pop a hanging ivy on your feature shelf add a modern feel or dot around some big leaves such as a cheese plant. For a really modern look stick to leaves rather than flowers in neutral pots of white or metal.
You can get a selection of fake plants for £10
17. Add Some Art
Brighten up plain walls with a few strategically placed pieces – if you have a large wall with no much going on, or above the WC. If you don’t want to splash out on prints find some old frames and paint them to match with your sample paint pots and frame newspaper clippings - great if you have a monochrome look- or leftover wallpaper samples.
£0-£10 depending what you already have at home
18. Get Some Candles
Bathrooms whilst functional are also a place of relaxation, and no bathroom is complete without a few candles. If you have space you could strategically place lanterns with a selection inside, perhaps surrounded by pebbles, or arrange a few of different heights in the corners of your bath. For a longer lasting/safe effect if you have little ones realistic, flickering fake candles are available.
From £5 for a set of 3
19. Plan Your Bathroom Storage
Toileteries and cleaning products can make your bathroom appear cluttered. Smart storage options such as thin boxes that slot down the side of your WC, shower shelves and or even just baskets can help tidy up your products.
20. Jazz up the essentials.
Choose a matching bathroom set such as soap dish, refillable hand wash and toothpaste holder that fits with your theme or colour scheme to smarten up your overall look.
Sets from £5
Just a few of these options will result in a total makeover (we don’t recommend doing every single one!) that will make your home more saleable, or modernise it until you can afford to fit a brand new dream bathroom design. Some of the best places to look for great deals include B&Q, eBay, Amazon and Ikea, and always make sure to check the sale items. Have fun!
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After our previous success winning Gold for Lettings Agent in Southport, Anthony James Estate Agents have gone onto win the Sales equivalent, The British Property Awards for Southport.
Press Release from The British Property Awards
Their team performed outstandingly throughout the extensive judging period, which focused on customer service levels. Anthony James Estate Agents have now been shortlisted for a number of national awards which will be announced later in the year.
The British Property Awards provide agents throughout the UK with an invaluable opportunity to compare the service that they provide against the service provided by their local, regional and national competition.
Agents who go that extra mile and provide outstanding levels of customer service are rewarded with the accolade, which acts as a beacon to highlight these attributes to their local marketplace.
About the British Property Awards
The British Property Awards are one of the most inclusive estate agency awards providers as they do not charge to enter. This has enabled their award to be structured in a manner that ensures maximum participation, on average judging over 90% of agents that meet their minimum criteria on a local level.
The team personally mystery shop every estate agent against a set of 25 criteria to obtain a balanced overview of their customer service levels. The judging criteria is both comprehensive and detailed exploring different mediums, scenarios and time periods to ensure that agents have been rigorously and fairly judged.
Rober McLean from The British Property Awards said 'Our awards have been specifically designed to be attainable to all agents, removing common barriers to entry, such as cost, to ensure that we have the most inclusive awards. Our award has also been designed to remove and opportunity for bias or manipulation. If an agent has been attributed with one of our awards, it is simply down to the fantastic customer service levels that they have demonstrated across a prolonged period of time. Winning agents should be proud that their customer service levels provide a benchmark for their local, regional and national competition.
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You're very excited to have a sale agreed on your property and it's now time to start thinking seriously about moving... Choosing your potential moving date, chasing Solicitors, arranging removals, at this point we know from experience the process can get a little overwhelming! The AJ Team have put together a checklist to help you get your ducks in a row and take control of the process.
- Instruct your chosen solicitor and let them know that a Sale has been agreed.
- Start thinking about a realistic date when you would like to move.
- Alert companies to your change of address (A great idea is to check your bank statement and see all the companies who you pay direct debits to and may have an account with, not only utilities but car insurance, the DVLA, your gym, even your store cards and loyalty accounts. Don’t forget your council tax and your internet provider too!)
- Arrange a removal company. Book this for the date of your move as soon as you know your completion date. We have some great removals companies we can advise on – feel free to call us for a recommendation!
- Start collecting boxes, labels, tape, newspaper and bubble wrap! Pack methodically per room and label each box.
On the day of the move
- Don’t forget your meter readings so you only get charged the right amount.
- Keep cleaning products in a separate box with you in the car or van so you can clean straight away if needed.
- Call any utility companies if you have new providers.
- Unpack the kettle and radio/tv first, make yourself a cup of tea, and then make your bed so when the sleepiness hits you after a long day, your bed is waiting!
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We all know the clichés about baking bread, but there are plenty of less elaborate tricks that can get potential buyers really interested in your property. Here are our top tips that can get you ready for your viewings!
1. Kerb appeal!
The front of your house is so important to a viewer and it makes a lasting impression. Lots of our viewers drive past before their viewing appointment to see your property and location. We recommend making sure your front garden is tidy and smartening up the front of your house if necessary.
2. Keep your rooms bright.
A bright room looks very appealing. Ensure that all your light bulbs are working, blinds are open and that the house has been well aired.
3. Remove clutter.
Try to put away as many items as possible to keep rooms looking spacious and tidy. It can be difficult to declutter so we recommend asking a friend to suggest some items to remove. Make sure all the beds are made up neatly.
4. Fix minor problems.
Take the time to fix that leaky tap, cracked tile or clean marks off the wall- small jobs that viewers can overestimate!
5. Give viewers space.
Allow viewers time to talk, wander the rooms and have all the time they need to assess your house in peace and start picturing themselves there!
6. Put your pets away.
As much as we love Fido, your viewer may have an allergy or simply be uncomfortable. It's best to keep them at a friends or take them around the block for the duration of your viewing.
7. Don’t forget the nice smells!
Everyone has heard the age-old trick of putting a chicken in the oven or baking bread! We wouldn't say go that far but burning a nice candle beforehand or spraying fragrances can really help your property have a homely feel.
If you have yet to put your property on the market, give our Sales Team a call on 01704 550 048 and they will be able to give you honest, professional advice on how to prepare your home to maximise value, and how much it is worth in the current market.