Everything UK Landlords Need To Know In 2024

The UK property management landscape has always evolved rapidly, but the last couple of years have seen change accelerate significantly, and 2024 is set to be no exception. Much like in any other business, it’s imperative for you as a landlord in Gloucestershire to stay updated on the latest trends, regulations, and market shifts to thrive in 2024.

If you do this right, then the 2024 rental market changes could play in your favour, but for this to be the case, you’ll need to understand the changes that are forecast for 2024. Thankfully, we’ve done the research so that you don’t have to; in this article, we’ll investigate UK landlord guidelines and explore the key insights and considerations that landlords in Gloucestershire should keep in mind this year. Read on to get in the know!

Understanding Current Market Trends
As a landlord in England, you will already be aware of the rising costs of rental properties in Gloucestershire expected in 2024, but this is far from the only thing to consider. The world has changed significantly in recent years, and if you increase your rental prices without considering changing trends in the rental market, you could potentially limit your revenue. Let’s break down some of the major market trends that you need to be aware of.

Embracing Sustainability
From government initiatives to public activism, sustainability has been a hot topic that affects everyone over the last few years, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a buzzword. Prospective tenants are increasingly seeking eco-friendly properties in Gloucestershire equipped with energy-efficient features, for both environmental and financial reasons.

Many prospective clients will be seeking sustainability in their rental property in Gloucestershire to combat rising energy costs, while also doing their part to save the planet. Ignoring this factor could cost you many clients. For this reason, you should consider applying sustainable upgrades to your property, such as energy-efficient appliances and mindful waste disposal. Not only will this make your property more appealing to tenants, but it will also reduce your long-term operating costs.

Leveraging Technology
In the past, the landlord-tenant relationship tended to be a bureaucratic nightmare, but it no longer has to be this way. The adoption of innovative technology is making all areas of our lives simpler, and this includes administrative procedures, communication, and payments. All three of these areas are staples of being a landlord in Gloucestershire, and you’d be daft not to adopt the latest technology solutions to make your life easier!

While most landlords are already using online property portals to source prospective tenants, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of technological software and hardware solutions available that have the potential to streamline not only landlord tasks but improve your tenants’ rental experience too. These include:

  • Using modern communication platforms such as WhatsApp
  • Leveraging online portals for rent collection and maintenance requests
  • Installing smart home technology to increase the appeal of your property
  • Using technology-driven security systems to give your tenants peace of mind

Financial Planning and Tax Considerations
In addition to evolving market trends, it’s imperative for you to become familiar with changes in your responsibilities as a landlord in 2024. These include tax considerations, the anticipated Tenant’s Reform Bill, changes to the Office for National Statistics operations, and more. Let’s take a look!

Changes to the Office for National Statistics
The first financial consideration that you’re going to need to take may sound complicated, but it’s actually very positive for you as a landlord. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has always been a valuable resource for British landlords, ensuring they have the data they need to keep up with the latest pricing and rental trends. However, a recent announcement has outlined some significant changes to how the ONS will release such information.

Thankfully, this is good news; the ONS has greatly expanded its provided data points, offering a far more granular level of rental price statistics, instead of the generalised conclusion from past statistics. This will allow you to gain far more valuable insights into the best way to operate your business as a landlord, and best of all, it’s free to access! This is a secret weapon that many landlords are unaware of, so use it to your advantage and stay ahead of the curve!

Renters Reform Bill
Another significant change due to affect landlords in 2024 concerns the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill. This is set to benefit the rights of tenants while, unfortunately, making your life as a landlord somewhat more difficult. But as long as you’re aware of the bill’s implications, it shouldn’t be a problem. This new bill hasn’t yet been officially confirmed, but it is anticipated to be passed in early 2024.

Ultimately, the Renters Reform Bill will affect evictions, preventing landlords from evicting tenants unless their contract is over or there is a serious reason to do so. As long as you are aware of this in advance, it’s no big deal – you’ll simply need to plan ahead. Thankfully, it could still benefit you, as your tenants will be comforted by this enhanced accommodation security, a prospect that could foster an excellent landlord-tenant relationship and boost tenant retention.

Overall, the constant changes to the rental market can be intimidating, especially right now when things are changing so fast, but hopefully, this article has shown you that there’s nothing to worry about as long as you stay informed. By focusing on these critical aspects, you can navigate the dynamic rental market in 2024 with confidence and achieve long-term success in property management in Gloucestershire.

However, it’s important you don’t become complacent with this information, as it wouldn’t be surprising if further trends, bills, or even tax changes affect landlords in 2024. Keep your eye on resources such as the ONS and conduct regular research, and you’ll be taking steps that many other landlords haven’t even considered, helping your business to thrive!

TG Sales & Lettings are rental property management specialists in Gloucestershire.

Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to find out how we can help you stay ahead with UK landlord guidelines 2024.

Maintenance Tips for Landlords: Don’t Suffer The Consequences of Neglected Property Repairs

Owning a rental property in Gloucestershire comes with its own set of responsibilities, and one of the most critical is ensuring regular maintenance. That’s why we find that maintenance tips for landlords are always welcomed! Unfortunately, many Gloucestershire landlords neglect this crucial aspect of property management, which can lead to issues, affecting both landlords and tenants.

In this article from the team at TG Sales & Lettings we’ll explore the common mistakes landlords make by failing to maintain their rental properties. We’ll also look at why prioritising property maintenance is essential for a successful rental experience.

The Consequences of Neglected Property Maintenance

Neglecting property maintenance can have far-reaching consequences that affect landlords and tenants. These are some common issues along with our maintenance tips for landlords:

  1. Deteriorating Property Value Due to Neglected Repairs

When landlords fail to invest in regular maintenance, the property’s condition naturally deteriorates over time. This decline can lead to a significant reduction in the property’s overall value. A poorly maintained rental property becomes less appealing to prospective tenants and can also result in lower rental income when compared to well-maintained properties in the same area. Additionally, the resale value of the property may decrease, making it difficult to realise a profit if you decide to sell.

  1. Tenant Dissatisfaction Due to Neglected Property

Tenant satisfaction plays a pivotal role in the success of your rental property business. A neglected property can lead to tenant dissatisfaction, and unhappy tenants are more likely to terminate their agreement early or report maintenance issues, creating additional stress and expenses for landlords. Unresolved maintenance problems can also lead to legal disputes and potential fines if the property violates government regulations.

  1. Increased Maintenance and Repair Costs Over Time

One of the most significant mistakes landlords make is postponing necessary repairs and maintenance tasks. When minor issues are ignored, they escalate into more extensive and costly problems. For example, a small leak can lead to water damage, mould growth, and structural issues if left unresolved. Regular inspections and timely repairs prevent costly scenarios, ultimately saving landlords time and money.

The Importance of Regular Property Maintenance

Now we’ve discussed the consequences of neglecting rental property maintenance, let’s delve into why regular maintenance is crucial for landlords:

  1. Longer Tenant Retention

Happy tenants are more likely to stay long-term, reducing void periods and turnover costs for landlords. Regular maintenance ensures that the property remains in good condition but also fosters positive tenant-landlord relationships. When tenants see that their landlord is proactive in addressing maintenance concerns promptly, they are more likely to renew their tenancy agreement.

  1. Legal Compliance Met

Landlords with rental properties in Gloucestershire are legally obligated to provide safe and habitable living conditions for their tenants. Neglecting property maintenance can result in legal repercussions, including fines and penalties. To stay compliant with local housing regulations, it is essential to conduct regular inspections, address maintenance issues promptly, and keep thorough records of maintenance activities.

  1. Enhanced Property Value

Maintaining a rental property’s condition and appearance attracts quality tenants and enhances its market value. Well-maintained properties are more appealing to prospective renters and potential buyers. By consistently investing in property maintenance, landlords can secure higher rental income and achieve better resale value when the time comes to sell the property.

Tips for Effective Property Maintenance

To avoid the common mistakes associated with neglecting property maintenance, here are some tips for landlords in Gloucestershire:

  1. Create a Maintenance Schedule

Establish a regular maintenance schedule that includes routine inspections and preventive maintenance tasks. This schedule should cover essential areas such as plumbing, electrical systems, roofing, and heating systems. Regularly inspect appliances and address any issues promptly.

  1. Prioritise Tenant Communication

Encourage open communication with your tenants regarding maintenance concerns. Provide tenants with clear instructions on how to report issues and respond to their requests efficiently. Make sure tenants are aware of their responsibilities in maintaining the property, such as reporting minor problems and promptly addressing any damages they may cause.

  1. Budget for Maintenance Expenses

Set aside a portion of your rental income for maintenance expenses. Having a dedicated budget for maintenance ensures you can cover the costs of repairs and improvements without dipping into your personal finances. Remember that proactive maintenance is an investment that will save you money in the long run.

Property Maintenance is a Responsibility Landlords Must Embrace

Regular property maintenance is not just a choice, it’s a responsibility that Gloucestershire landlords must embrace. Neglecting rental property maintenance can lead to financial losses, legal issues, and tenant dissatisfaction.

If you’re a landlord who would like more information on how to enhance your rental property value, attract and retain quality tenants, and maintain legal compliance, our team at TG Sales & Lettings would love to hear from you. Please contact us at rachel@tgres.co.uk or call us on 01452 300822. We are waiting for your call.

Which is Better – Natural or Artificial Grass?

Will An Artificial Lawn Be A Positive Selling Point?

There’s no doubt that a beautiful lawn helps to make any home more appealing. However, keeping natural grass in top condition takes effort, money, and time. It’s no surprise that many homeowners in Gloucestershire are now considering investing in artificial grass to reduce ongoing maintenance.

However, if you plan to sell your property, will an artificial lawn be a positive selling point, or could it be a drawback? Here, we look at whether prospective buyers prefer natural grass over an artificial alternative.

Natural Grass And Its Benefits

  • Natural grass looks and feels good, providing a welcoming and soft space ideal for pets and children.
  • Natural grass adds to any property’s aesthetic appeal while providing positive environmental benefits.
  • Natural grass reduces air pollution while regulating temperatures and producing oxygen.
  • Natural grass absorbs and filters rainwater, reducing runoff and helping to prevent flooding.
  • Natural grass helps boost our well-being. Spending time outdoors in a natural green space helps reduce stress and improve mental health, and natural lawns are just more visually appealing than the fake alternative.

Furthermore, a survey by UK Property Price Information & Advice discovered that 19 out of 20 prospective purchasers prefer natural grass to the alternatives. Evidence shows that artificial grass is often seen as a deterrent, especially for those pursuing an eco-conscious lifestyle, since the artificial grass manufacturing process produces a considerable carbon footprint.

Are There Any Advantages To Using Artificial Grass?

Natural grass may have lots of benefits; however, it comes with some disadvantages. Maintaining natural lawns takes effort and time, which isn’t ideal for all prospective buyers, especially those who are less mobile or incredibly busy. Maintenance costs can also be high, which can be off-putting to some buyers.

  • Artificial lawns are more durable and capable of withstanding a lot of foot traffic, so they can be ideal for families with pets and children who will spend a lot of time outdoors.
  • Artificial lawns won’t go brown in the sun, so they will always look great.
  • Artificial lawns will always look tidy.

Should I Preserve My Natural Lawn Or Invest In Artificial Grass?

If you’re a homeowner in Gloucestershire, it can be difficult to decide whether to stick with your traditional natural grass lawn or invest in an artificial alternative, especially if you plan to sell soon.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you, and you’ll need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of both to determine which option best suits your circumstances. Whichever you choose, you can be sure that both artificial and natural grass can look good and provide an attractive and functional outdoor area for future owners to enjoy.

If you’re ready to sell your property in Gloucestershire, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at TG Sales & Lettings. As specialists in the Gloucestershire property market, we’re your top choice when it comes to finding the right buyer and getting the best price for your home. Call us on 01452 300822 or send us an email at rachel@tgres.co.uk. We’re looking forward to working with you.

What Are Title Deeds? A Buyer’s Guide

Title Deeds Are The Record Of A Property And Land’s Ownership

If you’re ready to buy a property in Gloucestershire, it’s important to be aware of the importance of title needs. While most prospective buyers have heard about title deeds, a surprising number of people that we work with here at TG Sales & Lettings aren’t sure what they are or where to find them.

That’s why we’re bringing you this article today, so you can gain a better understanding of what title deeds are, why they matter, and whether or not you should purchase a home without title deeds.

What Are Title Deeds – An Overview

First, let’s take a look at what title deeds are.

Essentially, a property’s title deeds are the record of a property and land’s ownership. While it may sound as if there is just a single document involved, in fact, any home’s title deeds may comprise several different documents to not only prove who is the current owner of the property but also to show the home’s entire ownership history.

Title deeds documentation may include any or all of the following:

  • Leases
  • Wills
  • Mortgages
  • Contracts for sale
  • Conveyances

Is It Legal To Sell A Property That Has No Title Deeds?

There is no law to prevent a seller from selling their property without having the title deeds in place, but that doesn’t mean that the process will be a straightforward one.

Usually, sellers who don’t have title deeds for their property obtain possessory title deeds instead. These are given if there is no way to definitively prove the Absolute Title (an unequivocal right of ownership to the property), which is why it is also known as a perfect title. Buyers will have the peace of mind of knowing that the property they are purchasing is free of any legal weaknesses. in cases where the original title deeds have either been damaged or lost, for example, in a flood or fire. In some cases, sellers may provide a statutory declaration to the buyer (and the buyer’s mortgage lender).

Attempting to sell a property with no Absolute Title to hand may often result in the process being long and drawn out which may be inconvenient for the buyer, however, it’s possible that the property may be sold at a lower price due to this inconvenience and the potential risks that the buyer will be taking.

Should I Buy A Property That Has No Title Deeds?

Technically, although it’s possible to purchase a property that has no title deeds, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. If you buy a property that has no title deeds, you’re taking a significant risk. While every property purchase comes with some risky elements, if you purchase a property that has no title deeds, you must bear caveat emptor (buyer beware) in mind.

You must be completely certain that your conveyancer knows what they’re doing, and be willing to pay more for the additional work that they’ll need to do to make sure that everything is legal and above board before exchanging contracts. If you decide to go ahead with buying a property that has no title deeds, you should also ask that indemnity insurance is included to cover you for any restrictive covenants that may be unclear.

If you’re interested in buying a property in Gloucestershire that has no title deeds, it’s important to get expert advice. Contact our team at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 to find out more

Are you Ready to Sell in 2023?

If you’re thinking of putting your Gloucestershire property on the market, you’ll want to make it stand out from the crowd and generate as much interest as possible to ensure you achieve the full asking price.

The team at TG Sales & Lettings is highly experienced in property and will always make sure we give our utmost attention when accompanying viewings on your property, but there are always little tweaks you can make to your home to make sure it’s in outstanding condition and ready for the most discerning viewer!

The TG Sales & Lettings team have put our heads together and want to share with you the top nine things you can do to get your property ready for a sale!

  1. Neutralise Your Home

There’s nothing wrong with injecting your personality into your home, but if you’re selling, then garish paint and leopard print feature walls won’t be to everyone’s taste. If this sounds anything like your property then give some serious consideration to some light redecorating, ideally using neutral colours such as off-white, magnolia, greys or pastels.

It’s far more appealing to potential buyers and it will also allow them to visualise their own ideas better if they have a blank canvas to work with.

  1. Lighten Up

Following on from our first point, there are some simple lighting tricks you can do to make your home feel brighter, which in turn will make it feel more spacious and appealing to potential buyers.

It can be as simple as putting up a mirror opposite a window to reflect the light or ensuring you have high-voltage light bulbs fitted. If you have blackout blinds or curtains in your bedrooms then make sure these are open before any viewings, to avoid rooms appearing dark or gloomy.

  1. Declutter

We all tend to throw empty boxes in cupboards (just in case) and gather ‘stuff’ as the years pass. If you’ve been hoarding items, then selling your property is the perfect time to eliminate unwanted items and declutter. It’ll help your home appear more spacious and there’s potentially the added benefit of making a few pounds selling some of your old belongings.

  1. Deodorise

Did you know that your home has its own distinctive smell? Obviously, not all houses have strong smells but if you regularly smoke or vape indoors or you have a cat or dog causing a whiff, then no matter how beautiful your house may be, this is likely to be the first thing a visitor notices when they walk through the front door – and it can be very off-putting. If your property has a strong smell to it then give it a good deep clean before any viewings or get professionals in if you need to.

  1. First Impressions are Everything

It’s rare that you’ll make a sale at first glance, but you can definitely lose one! If you have an overgrown garden, a grubby front door and a broken gate then it’s time to get your gardening gloves on and tidy it all up.

Kerb appeal is important not only because many potential viewers will do a ‘drive by’ to check out the property before booking a viewing, but first impressions are what always form the basis of someone’s opinion of your property. Things that can damage your home’s kerb appeal include having dirty wheelie bins on display, smeared windows and chipped paintwork, so spend a little time maintaining your outdoor areas and be sure everything is up to scratch before the viewings start.

Adding little extras like a potted plant or a lamp to light up your entrance can make a big difference too. You don’t need to do anything extravagant, just remember, it’s all in the details!

  1. Show Off Your Home Assets

Step room to room in your home and check for little things that may detract the attention of a viewer:

  • If you have a study or a room you are using as an office, ensure your desk is tidy and your paperwork is filed away so that viewers can see an organised workspace.
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s not being blocked by toys or extra bits of furniture that you haven’t stored away so that viewers can imagine themselves cosy by the fire.
  • If you have a dining table – a common dumping ground for pretty much everything – make sure it’s clear of any paperwork or household bits that have been piling up so that viewers can see there is a defined place to eat.
  • If you have a utility room, remove piles of laundry and tidy away detergents so that viewers can appreciate the extra space catering to the needs of a family.

When it comes to our homes it’s easy to take some of the features we see every day for granted, but to a viewer they may be just what they’re looking for in a home, so be sure to highlight all the best features of your property. 

  1. Be Prepared

Think back to when you bought your property. What questions did you have for the estate agent? If a buyer were to ask how old the windows are and if they have a guarantee would you know the answer? What about the last time you had the boiler serviced? When was the central heating checked? Be prepared and find your paperwork and service history relating to your home before it’s requested to save time!

  • Service the boiler
  • Check the central heating system
  • Find any guarantees and warranties
  1. Fix up, Look Sharp

Keeping on top of the maintenance of your home is crucial when you bring your property to market. If you haven’t regularly maintained your home, now is the time to get all those little niggly jobs done. Make sure everything’s as well maintained as possible, whether it’s fixing a damaged fence or just replacing a broken lightbulb, these minor details can make a big difference to potential buyers. It shows that your house is well looked after, and it will give viewers fewer excuses to negotiate. Make your property as flawless as possible – touch up paintwork and don’t forget to check gutters and drainpipes to get rid of leaves and debris.

  1. Depersonalise

Buyers want to imagine themselves living in a home, so seeing pictures of strangers all over the house can actually have an off-putting effect, even though it’s your home!

Don’t remove every family photo, you’re still living there of course, but there’s a fine line between making a home look lived in and loved and showcasing it as someone else’s dream home! Think about putting a few photos away before viewings. The space created will allow viewers to get a better idea of what they would do with the space and to imagine it as their own.

For no-obligation advice on buying or selling a home in Gloucestershire please contact our expert property team at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822

Family Offset Mortgages: Are They A Good Way To Help My Kids Get On The Property Ladder?

Many parents in Gloucestershire are keen to help their children get onto the property ladder, but if they don’t have a large lump sum available to hand over, they often believe that there’s nothing they can do to assist.

However, that isn’t actually the case. At TG Sales & Lettings, we often advise clients who are searching for property solutions for their kids, and one of the options we recommend is a family offset mortgage.

Family Offset Mortgages – What Are They?

A family offset mortgage is one of the types of offset mortgage on the market today. All kinds of offset mortgage work by offsetting savings against the home loan to reduce its total amount and, thus, reducing how much interest is paid overall.

There are three key points to note when it comes to family offset mortgages:

  • The total capital repayments stay the same, but the amount that interest is charged on, will reduce.
  • The linked accounts won’t earn interest.
  • A family offset mortgage may not have as competitive an interest rate as a standard mortgage.

Bearing these three points in mind, it’s important to work out the advantages and disadvantages before going for this option.

How Much Do I Need To Have In My Savings Account To Apply For A Family Offset Mortgage?

All lenders have their individual criteria when it comes to applying for a family offset mortgage, but in general, you’ll need around 10% of the property’s purchase price. With some lenders, the levels will be significantly higher. There may also be extra stipulations, for example, a minimum yearly income.

Can I Make A Family Offset Mortgage Application?

If you have sufficient savings, there are some other considerations to keep in mind when determining whether you can make a family offset mortgage application. Approval will depend on your credit history, your debt-to-income ratio, and even the type of property being purchased.

Does Every Lender Offer Family Offset Mortgages?

There are some lenders who offer this type of offset mortgage, but many of the big-name lenders don’t offer these specialised products. Other lenders offer them but call them by a different name! It’s therefore essential to seek professional advice if you’re interested in taking out this kind of mortgage.

Should I Opt For A Family Offset Mortgage?

There are a number of advantages in applying for a family offset mortgage as a way of helping your child buy a property. They include:

  • Less interest will be paid overall.
  • There is more flexibility so the mortgage duration could be shorter or lower amounts could be paid each month.
  • Most family offset mortgages accept overpayments.
  • If you’re a higher-rate taxpayer, this mortgage could potentially benefit you.
  • Your savings can still be accessed.

On the downside though:

  • You’ll receive no interest on your savings.
  • The interest rate will likely be higher.
  • You will be restricted to only a few lenders.
  • The terms may not be especially attractive.
  • The LTV ratio may be prohibitive.
  • You may not have enough savings to make it worth your while.

With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why talking to a mortgage professional is so important. However, once you’ve made your decision, or if you need advice about finding a suitable property for your child to help them onto the property ladder in Gloucestershire, don’t hesitate to give our team at TG Sales & Lettings a call on 01452 300822.

Buying a home in Gloucestershire: Budgeting for Fees

Out of all the purchases you make in your life, your home is likely to be the most expensive, but it’s not just the price of the property you need to take into account. When you purchase your new home in Gloucestershire, you’ll have fees and other costs associated with the move to take into consideration. Make sure you budget well so that you don’t end up with a nasty surprise!

If you are looking to buy a home in Gloucestershire, do make sure you take into account all the associated fees with your purchase. To help you, we’ve created this handy guide to the most common fees.

Stamp duty

Currently, stamp duty is payable when you buy a home that costs over £125,001, although if you’re a first-time buyer, you won’t pay stamp duty on the first £300k. The rate of stamp duty increases as a percentage depending on how expensive your home is, so if it’s under £250k it’s 2%, and if it’s under £925k it’s 5%. There are also higher rates payable for people with second or buy to let homes. Stamp duty needs to be paid to the HMRC within 14 days of completing the process of buying a home, and your solicitor will usually deal with this, so make sure you’ve budgeted for it.

Surveyors fees

When you buy a house, a survey is essential, as it ensures you don’t buy a place that’s full of problems. In some cases, your mortgage lender will require you to instruct a survey, which could be a basic survey costing £250, through to a structural survey which can cost from £500 to £1,300 depending on the condition of the property.

Solicitors fees

Whilst you can attempt to do your own conveyancing, it’s one of those things that isn’t recommended as it’s very tedious, involves a lot of legal terms, and if something goes wrong, you have very little comeback. Therefore, you should budget for conveyancing fees, which can vary from hundreds to a few thousand pounds depending on whether you are buying and selling or one or the other.

Mortgage costs

There are a number of costs you need to budget for when it comes to your mortgage.

  • Deposit: This is usually the most costly part of moving. You’ll need to put down a deposit of between 5% and 20% of the property price. If you’re already a homeowner, then the deposit is usually paid out of the equity in your current home.
  • Valuation fee: Some lenders will charge you a valuation fee so they can work out how much they’re willing to lend and some banks will waive this fee.
  • Transfer fee: Many mortgage providers add a fee of around £40-50 to transfer the money to your solicitor for the property purchase.
  • Arrangement fees: These are the fees charged to set up a mortgage, and they can range from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. In some cases, you can find mortgages with no arrangement fee, and some lenders will give you the option to add the fee to the overall cost of the mortgage. Keep in mind that if you add the fees to your mortgage, you’re likely to pay more due to interest on the combined figure.

It’s definitely worth shopping around when it comes to mortgages, and considering using a broker, as fees can vary and you’ll want to secure the best deal.

Removal costs

It’s worth getting some quotes and choosing not just the cheapest removal company, but the one that has the best reputation and offers best value for money. Some removal firms offer extras such as boxes and packing, which can be helpful when you’re busy dealing with all the other paperwork and stress!

Some people choose to hire a van and do the move themselves, but anyone who has done this will no doubt tell you it’s not always ideal. On the day of completion, you’ll be busy dealing with solicitor calls and trying to get the keys to your new home, so you won’t want to have the responsibility of loading up the van and unloading at the other end! Leave it to the professionals.

Repairs and decorating

Even if your new home appears perfect, when you move in, there are bound to be a few things that might need to be fixed and of course you’ll probably want to redecorate, so it’s a good idea to budget for this.
Moving home can come with a lot of fees, not to mention paperwork, but once you’re comfortably settled in your new home in Gloucestershire, you’ll realise that it was worth all of the stress.
For a wide range of properties for sale in Gloucestershire, contact our friendly and professional team of experts at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 and speak with us today about your next home.

Smartphone Apps for Homeowners

There are over two million apps available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, so of course, there are apps out there for every purpose. There are all kinds of apps, such as scheduling apps to help you manage your time, coupon apps to help you find deals, and language apps to help you learn a new language. What you may not have thought of before are all the apps that exist for homeowners, including those that can help stay on top of chores, apps for DIY projects or interior design inspiration, and apps to help you sell your old belongings for cash.

With so many to choose from, it can be daunting trying to search through and find the ones that are the best and most helpful, so here’s our handy guide to the top smartphone apps all homeowners in Gloucestershire should consider.

HomeSavvy (free)

This app is basically like having an assistant to help you with everything to do around the house. All your chores can be organised within this app so you don’t lose track or forget to do them. You can customise your notifications too, so the app sends you alerts to remind you to get your tasks done. You can also customise your schedule so that you can create a plan that fits around your life, making it even easier to stick to your chore list and get everything ticked off. HomeSavvy even has a directory for local businesses in case you need to run to the shop and grab some tools or supplies to help get the job done.

Bills Reminder (free, in-app purchases for premium content)

If you are forgetful, then this is the app for you. There’s no fear of missing important payment deadlines with this ‘bills reminder’. Paying late fees is the worst, so Bills Reminder helps you stay on top of your payments. It allows you to organise your bills in categories and by due date and sends you alerts when it’s time to pay them. You can also use it to make automatic payments if you set it up with your banking information, and it has expense tracking capabilities as well.

Centriq (free)

This lifestyle app is perfect for those who throw out or lose product manuals and directions after buying and building a new appliance or furniture. Centriq will store all of this for you and is so easy to get set up. All you have to do is take a picture of the product label or nameplate of your new piece of furniture or appliance and this app takes care of loading it and saving it for you. It also offers information about parts, product recalls, and DIY videos if you need to do a simple repair.

Colour Capture (free)

Planning on renovating or redecorating? Don’t do it without this handy app. If you see a colour anywhere, whether it’s in a shop, at a friend’s house, or in a restaurant, you can take a picture of it with this app and it will match it as closely as possible to a Benjamin Moore paint shade. It’s also useful if you’re undertaking a painting project as you can create colour palettes easily in the app.

The Family Handyman (free)

For fans of DIY projects around the home, this is the perfect app. There’s a catalogue of over 4,000 tutorials and tips to help you with any projects you’re working on so you can get them done quickly and correctly the first time. Although it’s primarily American, there are plenty of handy hints, tips and tutorials for you there.

Bubble Level App and Stud Finder App (free)

Why go digging through your tools for a spirit level or a stud finder when you can just use your smartphone? The stud finder app is so useful when you are trying to hang something on your wall. Simply install the app, calibrate it, and then move your phone along the wall until it beeps, thus detecting where the studs are. The Bubble Level app is also so handy. It’s not just a spirit level, but also a ruler and has metal detecting capabilities to help you find wires behind your walls. These two apps are a great combination for simple DIY projects that every homeowner should have in their phone.

Shpock (free)

If you’re trying to declutter and sell some old belongings but shudder at the thought of holding a car boot sale, Shpock is the perfect app. It’s essentially like having a virtual car boot sale without having to do all the work involved in setting it up. All you have to do is take a picture of the item you’re selling, post it to the app, and wait for interested people to message you.

We’re always interested to learn about new home and property apps that are useful to homeowners, so do let us know here at TG Sales & Lettings if you have a favourite!


2022 Update: EPC Rules are Changing

Energy Performance Certificates (or EPCs) have, until now, been barely significant when it comes to the Gloucestershire housing market. But it’s important to be aware that there are big changes afoot with regard to EPC requirements, and landlords in Gloucestershire need to pay close attention.

So, what changes are coming to the EPC requirements?

What kind of impact will those changes have?

Here, we take a closer look at the facts.

What Are EPCs?

The EPC or Energy Performance Certificate is a building’s official energy efficiency rating. The ratings range from A – the best – down to G – least efficient.

All properties listed on the market must have their EPC included within the sale particulars. Furthermore, all tenants need to receive their rental home’s EPC on moving into the property.

An Old Housing Problem

In Gloucestershire, there are many different house types, and some of them are very old. These period homes often have poor insulation. Stone cottages, for example, have no room at all for any cavity wall insulation to be installed, while houses with unconverted lofts often suffer from poor roof lagging.

For this reason, it’s been estimated that around 60% of all homes in the UK currently have a low EPC rating between D and G. In contrast, though, most modern homes have an EPC rating of A, B, or C.

The Reason Why Energy Performance Certificates Are Becoming Increasingly Important

EPCs are becoming more important for two different reasons:

  • In 2022, electricity and gas prices are going to go up as the cap that the government put on the amount that energy suppliers could charge has been lifted. The result is going to be enormous increases in utility bills. Therefore, energy efficient homes that have excellent insulation will be in higher demand, since less fuel will be required to heat them and thus energy bills will be lower.
  • It’s likely that new legislation will require everybody owning a property, whether a landlord or owner-occupier, to create an energy-efficient home with the aim of helping the UK government meet their emissions targets to combat climate change.

Already, the possibility of this new legislation is having an impact on the Gloucestershire market.

Deadlines And Targets To Improve EPCs

There’s an obvious incentive for owner-occupiers to improve their home’s energy efficiency. After all, a property that has an excellent EPC rating is going to be more attractive to prospective buyers. Younger home buyers will be more attentive to EPCs when compared with older purchasers.

It has been suggested that eventually, taxes such as stamp duty will be linked with EPC ratings, meaning that better EPCs will result in lower amounts of stamp duty to pay and, (at least in theory), a faster home sale.

For landlords in Gloucestershire, these are tough and specific targets.

Currently, a rental property must have a minimum of an E-rating on its EPC. But for all new tenancies beginning in 2025, the government is keen to change this to a minimum rating of C. It is also eager to introduce a minimum C rating across all rental homes by 2028, even for those that have long-standing tenants.

Further, although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, from 2030, a rental property’s minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating looks set to rise to a B.

Will There Be Any Exemptions?

Although there are a few exemptions, there aren’t many.

Listed buildings and buildings that have restricted covenants that would have their appearance unacceptably altered by energy efficiency improvements are the obvious exemptions.

Also, some temporary properties, and those used for under 4 months per year, are exempt too.

For landlords in Gloucestershire unable to improve their property to its required minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating, a £3500 rental cost cap has been put in place. This allows them to make the necessary improvements to that amount, then register their exemption as “all improvements made.”

The Impact On The Market

It has recently been reported by Rightmove that those sellers who improved their EPC from a G, F, E, or D rating to a C, received as much as 16% more on the sale price of their property.

Trade bodies representing the rental sector have reported, though, that some landlords have already taken the decision to sell up since they’re afraid of being unable to afford to make the required improvements, particularly on older homes, and particularly if the cost cap of £3500 is increased.

Everybody wants to do their bit to reduce global warming, however, it’s essential to avoid making such strict targets that owners struggle to afford them or find them too disruptive. Fewer properties may, as a result, be available for renters as an unintended consequence, and some flats and houses that are owner-occupied may become challenging to sell.

It’s possible that there will be some softening of the targets, but regardless, energy is going to be an ever-larger factor this year in the housing market, and for the foreseeable future.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to find out more.

New Year…New Agent?

We’ve noticed a trend recently. You love your home, you love Gloucestershire, but you’ve also realised that you need somewhere new. Perhaps somewhere larger, somewhere with a bigger garden, somewhere closer to the countryside, or even somewhere a little smaller.

Yes, it appears you’ve got a dose of ‘ready to move’, and what better time than the New Year – a time often linked with new beginnings and fresh starts.

So, how do you find the best estate agent?

What questions should you ask?

As property experts in the Gloucestershire area, we at TG Sales & Lettings thought we’d give you our seven tips so that you can choose the best estate agent for you.

Phone a Friend
Ask for recommendations. Friends and family can point you in the right direction and equally they can steer you away from the agents to avoid! Ask them if they’ve had a great experience with a particular estate agent, and enquire about how communicative, knowledgeable and friendly the agent was. Did the agent get the job done – and achieve the asking price or above?

Tip: Social media is your friend! If you’re a member of a Facebook community group in a particular area, post your questions in that group. And while you’re there check out local estate agents’ profiles to discover more about their local area knowledge and understand how they interact with the local community.

Read Reviews
Check out estate agents reviews online. Facebook reviews, Google reviews and reviews on Feefo can all give you an insight into other customers experiences. Have a read through to get a good idea as to whether or not an agent is worth shortlisting.

Tip: Always have an open mind when reading reviews, because while most will be genuine, some negative ones (and some positive ones) may not be.

Check the Agents Website
If you have a couple of shortlisted estate agents, check out their websites. Compare and contrast the services they offer and the fees they charge. Research where they market their properties and check out their social media feeds.

Tip: If you’re comparing and contrasting, you need to ensure you know what you want your chosen estate agent to do for you. Write a wish list of your requirements.

Check Fees and T&Cs
When it comes to estate agents, each will offer a slightly different service, and each will have a different way of operating. You have high street offices, internet-based offices, and hybrid agencies that blend traditional with the internet. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your individual requirements, but always check the small print and look at the overall service.

Tip: Do some research and decide whether you want a sole agency agreement, or if you would like multiple agents to market your property. It’s important to read the contractual obligations if you choose the latter.

Review your Agent’s Performance
Remember, your estate agent will be working for you, to get your house marketed and sold. But it’s actually a two-way thing and you will need to do what you can to help them do their job too. Your agent should be prepared to communicate with you if they think things should change, like a review of the price for example. And you should feel confident enough to ask about performance and see results or otherwise.

Tip: Have a clear understanding of your expectations and what you will want to review. Is it the number of people shown your property, or is it the number of hits on property websites? Is it about proactive calls made to prospective buyers, or is it to get an offer within a certain timeframe?

Same Difference
When you are narrowing down your shortlist, have a look at the properties that the agent sells.

  • Are they similar to your house?
  • Do they have any experience selling homes similar to your property?
  • Can they talk with good knowledge about the local area?
  • How accurate are their valuations?

All of these are a must because you need to know that your agent knows what they are doing and can convey that to a prospective buyer.

Tip: If you want to know how much similar properties have sold for have a look online so that you are fully informed.

Trust your Gut Instinct
There’s a lot to be said for getting a feel for whether you have picked the right agent to market your property. Something may simply click into place when you’re having a conversation, or you may know immediately that the agent is for you. Trust your instinct as it may well be right.

Tip: While we say trust your instinct, make sure you also carry out the checks and reviews as well!

For no-obligation advice on selling your Gloucestershire home, please contact our expert property team at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822.