Full width project banner image

The Blog

  • Show all categories
  • Uncategorized
  • Guides and Tips
  • News and Local Updates
  • Area Guide

Mar 24, 2023

Say goodbye to utility stress with Unihomes: The hassle-free solution for student accommodation

As a student, there are many things to consider when looking for accommodation. One of the most important aspects is making sure that you have all the necessary utilities set up before you move in. This can be a time-consuming and stressful task, especially if you are sharing accommodation with other students. That's where Unihomes comes in. Unihomes is a company that offers an all-inclusive utility package for students, meaning that you only pay a share each per person of the utilities. This takes the hassle out of setting up utilities in one person's name and ensures that everyone is responsible for their fair share of the bill. With Unihomes, you can relax knowing that the utilities will be in place for your start date. All you need to do is complete the order form and Unihomes will take care of the rest. The utilities that are included in the package are Water, Gas, Electricity and Fibre internet, so you can be sure that you will have everything you need to get started. Not only does Unihomes offer a hassle-free way to set up your utilities, but it also offers a great value for money. The cost of the utilities is shared among all the students, which means that you can save money compared to setting up utilities individually. Another great thing about Unihomes is that they offer excellent customer service. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact their customer service team and they will be happy to help. This means that you can have peace of mind knowing that you have support if you need it. In conclusion, Unihomes is a fantastic option for students who are looking for an easy and hassle-free way to set up their utilities. With the all-inclusive utility package, you only pay a share each per person of the utilities, which saves you time and money. So, if you're a student looking for accommodation, consider Unihomes as your go-to provider for all your utility needs.

May 2, 2022

How to Pass a Tenant Referencing Check

Finding your dream rental is usually the easiest and most enjoyable part of moving. But writing your rental application and undergoing tenant referencing isn’t quite as much fun. Unfortunately, it’s all part of the process. If you’re wondering what a letting agent checks during tenant referencing, here’s an overview of how tenant referencing checks work, plus our tips on how to pass. What is Tenant Referencing? Tenant referencing is the name given to the checks a landlord or letting agent carries out before accepting your rental application, and often carried out by a third party, in our case, Canopy or Legal for Landlords. Some aspects of tenant referencing are required by law (like checking you have the right to rent in the UK), but most simply provide reassurance to landlords that you can afford the rent and treat their property well. What is Checked During Tenant Referencing? During tenant referencing, your landlord or letting agent will check three main things, including your: Right to rent Affordability Credit history Some letting agents like ourselves check several other things during tenant referencing, too, which can include: Renting history References from previous landlords Credit history of any guarantors you’ve provided During tenant referencing, you’ll usually need to provide personal information (like your full name and current address), recent payslips, an employment contract and proof of any benefit income you get. How to Pass a Tenant Referencing Check 1.   ONLY APPLY TO PROPERTIES YOU ARE SUITABLE FOR Most people fail tenant referencing because of financially related issues. The easiest way to avoid this is to talk candidly with your estate agent about your savings and income. They can help you apply to properties you can afford and suggest solutions. 2.   BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR RENTING HISTORY Having issues on your rent records (like missed payments) can feel embarrassing, but it’s best not to hide them. Being upfront about issues with your finances or renting history saves time and allows an objective view to be taken. Plus, getting caught in a lie can mean you’ll lose your holding deposit – so it’s better to be honest. 3.   CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORE IS CORRECT Credit score websites usually keep up to date with changes in your history, but things get missed all the time. Issues can still appear on your record when they shouldn’t and some of your financial history can display incorrectly. Before you apply for a new rental, run a quick check of your credit score and fix any issues asap. Better yet, use a service form Canopy to check this for you, completely free. Canopy lets renters prove they’re reliable without having to fill in any paperwork meaning you can move in faster and easier. You can do these checks yourself, through Pre-Vetting, and landlords would more likely favour an offer from a prospective tenant who has been Pre-Vetted over someone who has not. 4.   GET A GUARANTOR If your financial situation isn’t ideal, consider arranging a guarantor. This is someone that can pay the rent for you if you miss a payment. It’s best to ask someone you trust to be a guarantor – like a family member, partner or close friend. Looking For a New Rental? If you’re looking for a new rental in Chorlton or Greater Manchester, we’d love to help. Property Genius are your local property experts and our friendly team can help you find your next rental. Call us today on 0161 881 3028 or email us at contactus@property-genius.co.uk to register your details and receive alerts about the latest properties.

Apr 25, 2022

How Much Notice Do I Need To Give Tenants Before Visiting?

As a landlord, you have a right to visit your rental property. But your tenants also have a right to quiet enjoyment while living there. That’s why landlords should always have a reason for visiting and must give notice in writing before turning up at the door. If you don’t give notice, your tenants can refuse your entry. If you’re not sure about your rights to visit a property as a landlord, we’ll provide an overview in this article on the circumstances you can visit, and how much notice you need to give. How Much Notice Do Landlords Need to Give Tenants Before Visiting? To visit your rental property, you need to provide your tenants with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice. Written notice is generally required, as a tenant can refuse your entry if it’s not provided in writing. For this reason, it’s best to send a text or write a quick email to request the visit rather than asking over the phone. You also have to arrange your visit for a ‘reasonable time of day’. This is subjective, but ultimately means you shouldn’t book a visit too late, early, or at unsociable or undesirable times for the tenant. What Reasons Would a Landlord Need to Visit a Rental Property? Generally, you shouldn’t visit your tenants unless there’s a specific purpose for the visit. Since all tenants have a right to quiet enjoyment, regardless of whether it’s written in the lease or not, you or your letting agent shouldn’t be visiting the property very often or interfering too much with their lives. As a landlord, you should only visit the property for things like: Carrying out repairs – including routine and emergency Undertaking maintenance on the property Undertaking a safety inspection – like a gas, electrical or energy performance assessment or inspection Carrying out a mid-term inspection – to check your tenants are keeping the property in good condition Undertaking viewings – which, of course, would only be suitable if the tenancy is ending or you are selling the property with sitting tenants If you’re selling the property and want to host viewings, you need to be conscious of the impact this will have on the tenant. This is particularly important if they haven’t served you notice and you’re either selling the property with them as sitting tenants or you’ve served them notice. Keeping a property clean and tidy for strangers to view when they’re not home can be a disruption and an inconvenience, especially if they are only made aware of the viewing 24 hours’ before. To make it easier for them, try to arrange with your letting agent for viewings to be made in batches on certain days of the week. Need Help Letting Your Property? If you need help booking and managing visits to your rental property, Property Genius are your local property experts in Chorlton, Manchester. With our expert property management services, we can help your tenancies run smoothly – keeping you and your tenants happy. To learn more about our letting and property management services, get in touch with our friendly team today.

Apr 18, 2022

How to Make Your Rental Application Stand Out: Get the Property You Want!

When you’ve found your dream rental, there’s nothing worse than finding out the property is in high demand – and you’ve got competition. If multiple people are applying for the house or apartment you want, you may be wondering, “How can I make my rental application stand out?”. In this article, we’ll share our advice on making your rental application stand out from the crowd when you’re applying for a rental property in Manchester. 1. Speak to a Letting Agent First, it’s best to speak to the letting agent before applying for the property. Ask specifically what information you’ll need to include in your application and take notes. Your letting agent will likely know the landlord well, so it can’t hurt to ask if they have any tailored advice about how to make your application stand out. 2. Apply Early Sending your application in early is always a good idea. Once you’ve viewed the rental property and told the letting agent you’re interested, they’ll be expecting your application. The sooner you send it to them, the more serious they’ll think you are – which could help your application get accepted. You can even in some cases apply for a property based on the virtual tour, but confirm with your agent when the tour was created to make sure you’re comfortable with proceeding on this basis. 3. Don’t Miss a Thing The worst thing you can do when sending a rental application to a letting agent is to have key information missing. For example, missing references, email addresses that bounce back, absent documents and so on, missing contact details etc. This can delay the application process and make you appear disorganised to the landlord, so double-check that you’ve included everything before hitting send. We’ve made our application straight forward but please don’t miss anything out! 4. Make it Personal Writing a personalised message in your application form to your landlord is an excellent way to make your rental application stand out. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself and highlight all the important things. We suggest that you: Introduce yourself with a high-level summary of your living and employment status Share some details about why you’re interested in the property Add a polite closing summary 5. Put yourself in a strong position The landlord will looking for the following: Equal to, or higher rental amount than the asking price Moving in date close when the property will be available from (this reduces void period with unpaid rent) Long term tenancy (most landlords are comfortable starting at a 6 month agreement but would prefer long term tenants)

Apr 11, 2022

Property Market Update: March 2022

Interest rates have increased again, the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme has launched, and one major lender has reported record annual price rises. Read on for all this and more in our March property market update. With the clocks going forward at the end of the month, lighter evenings and Easter just around the corner, the traditional Springtime boom could also be on its way! And none too soon as there is still a desperate shortage of housing stock. Here are some of our predictions for what to expect next month… Now is the time to sell Figures recently released by property portal Rightmove have revealed that the UK’s average property price saw its most significant month-on-month increase for 20 years between January and February this year. According to their stats, the average asking price of a property rose by £7,785 in the first two months of the year, as sellers have increasingly been taking advantage of a shortage of homes for sale. The figures have also revealed the startling increase in house prices since the start of the pandemic, with average asking prices having risen nearly £40,000 in the past two years, compared with a rise of around £9,000 in the two years prior. For homeowners who have been considering selling their property, now is a great time to bite the bullet. Spring is traditionally the best time to list, with the most active buyers on the market, and with COVID-19 restrictions now lifted and house prices expected to cool off over the next few months, it could be the last opportunity to take advantage of increased asking prices. Nationwide reports record cash rise The UK’s biggest building society, and one of its biggest lenders, has reported a record rise in the cost of a UK home. According to figures released by Nationwide, the cost of a typical home rose by £29,162 in the past year – the biggest cash increase in property prices since they started collecting comparable data in 1991. This means the average asking price across the UK reached £260,230 in February, with the increased cost of living appearing to have little effect on house prices. The findings are bad news for first-time buyers struggling to get onto the property ladder, although with many property experts forecasting a slowdown in house prices in the coming months, there may be some respite for those looking to take their first steps. Buy-to-let mortgages becoming more appealing for investors Research from Mortgage Broker Tools has shown that affordability for buy-to-let mortgages is at its highest point since they started collecting data. According to their figures, average maximum loan sizes have increased by 13% in the past year, with the average currently being a little over £421,000, which represents a £20,000 increase in the past two months. And in further good news for potential landlords, figures released by Moneyfacts show that there are currently 2,235 mortgage products available to first-time investors – a considerable increase on the 1,311 products available at the same point 12 months ago. Government launches Homes for Ukraine scheme In response to the war in Ukraine, the UK government has launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which asks people who can, to offer a room to refugees fleeing the conflict. You’ll need to confirm that your home is available for at least six months, and you’ll be entitled to a monthly payment of £350 for up to 12 months, although you won’t be expected to cover the cost of food and living expenses. To register your interest in the scheme, just visit the government website. Interest rates rise again The Bank of England has increased interest rates for the third time in four months to try and lessen the effects of the continued cost of living increases. The rise will directly impact around two million homeowners who have either a variable or a tracker mortgage, as they’ll see their monthly repayments increase again. For homeowners with a £200,000 mortgage, this will mean around a £42 increase to their monthly repayments. And Finally… Homes for under £10k While asking prices may have hit record highs and youngsters feel increasingly uncertain they’ll be able to get onto the property ladder, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom for would-be buyers. A recent post by major property portal Zoopla has revealed a list of 14 properties for sale for £10,000 or less. While some will need extensive work doing to them, and some will fetch higher at auction, it does show that there are still bargains to be had despite the significant increases in prices over the past couple of years! For more property news and updates and a more detailed overview of Greater Manchester area, get in touch with Property Genius. We are your local property experts.

Mar 21, 2022

Property Market Update: February 2022

Interest rates have increased again for the second time in quick succession, and a quiet Wiltshire town has leapt up the property hotspot list! In good news for tenants, the government has announced new reforms to protect renters. Read on for all this and more. WHAT CAN SELLERS ENTERING THE MARKET IN MARCH 2022 EXPECT? With all COVID-19 restrictions being lifted by the end of March (if not sooner), and spring just around the corner – which is traditionally a hot time of year for the property market – here are some of our predictions for what to expect next month… HOUSE PRICE GROWTH SET TO SLOW After a strong start to the year, house prices are forecast to stabilise over the coming months. The UK’s biggest building society, Nationwide, reported a sixth consecutive monthly increase in January, with prices rising 0.8% on the previous month and 11.2% annually. Competitor Halifax also announced increases of 0.3% from the previous month and 9.7% annually. However, despite these consistent increases over the past 12 months, both lenders have predicted a cooling of the housing market in 2022, with the cost of living increases and limited supplies of new housing stock coming onto the market being cited as major factors. Movers and Shakers CORSHAM NAMED AS A TOP PROPERTY HOTSPOT The picturesque country market town of Corsham in Wiltshire has been named as the UK’s newest property hotspot. The town might not be instantly familiar by name, but TV fans will recognise it, as it’s appeared in numerous period dramas, from Poldark to Lark Rise to Candleford and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. And with demand for more open spaces and work from home offices remaining strong, the town on the edge of the Cotswolds is seeing a big increase in buyer activity. Figures released by major property portal Rightmove show an increase in buyer demand of 124% compared with 12 months ago. Average prices have inevitably increased too, with a jump of 6% year on year. The majority of buyers are Londoners seeking more bang for their buck, and with average prices in the town of a little under £330,000, it’s no surprise that it’s attracting many out-of-towners. First-Time Buyer News AFFORDABILITY ISSUES REACH RECORD HIGHS One of the UK’s biggest lenders, Nationwide, has announced some startling figures which affect first-time buyers’ affordability. While it’s widely known that house price growth has outgrown wage growth, the building society has laid bare just how much price increases have outpaced wages since the pandemic began. Their figures reveal that a 10% deposit on a first home is now equivalent to 56% of total gross annual earnings, which is a new record high. Buy-to-Let News SECTION 21 TO BE ABOLISHED In a move that will protect renters, the Government has announced plans to abolish Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without any reason. The plans are part of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, which is aiming to help poorer communities become more prosperous. Other changes that are planned include ensuring that privately rented properties meet minimum standards, and the introduction of a landlords register, with an aim to crack down on rogue landlords. Latest news for Landlords ALMOST 1/3 OF TENANTS ADMIT TO KEEPING HIDDEN PETS! A recent survey has found that 27% of tenants have admitted to hiding pets from oblivious landlords for more than three years. The most commonly hidden pets are birds and rabbits, while somewhat surprisingly, horses are in third place! We’re not sure entirely how you hide a horse – suggestions on a postcard, please! The number one way to avoid landlords discovering pets during an inspection was to take them out for a walk, which was followed closely by asking friends to look after them, and then asking a neighbour to keep hold of them during inspections. The study also revealed that the most pet-friendly landlords are in Norwich, with the least friendly being in Edinburgh. Mortgage News INTEREST RATE INCREASE FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THREE MONTHS The Bank of England has announced an increase in its base interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5% – the second increase in just three months. The increase will mean a rise in monthly mortgage repayments for around two million homeowners with variable-rate mortgages and will add around £24 per month to a £200,000 mortgage. The rise comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s announcement that energy bills will increase by 54% this year, as millions of households face a squeeze on the cost of living. And Finally… A home with a rather unusual feature in the front garden made headlines on social media recently. The 2-bedroom bungalow in leafy Nursling, Hampshire, has a spacious back garden with views across lush green fields, but it’s the enormous telephone pylon in the front garden that really caused it to go viral. You can check it out here, but hurry – the property’s already sold, subject to contract. Property Genius are your local property experts for the Chorlton, Manchester area. Call us on 01618813028 or email contactus@property-genius.co.uk to find out how we can help you buy a new home or sell your property.

Mar 20, 2022

Selling With a Sitting Tenant: Pros & Cons

If you want to sell a property during a fixed-term tenancy, you don’t have to wait until the agreement ends before going to market. Selling a property with sitting tenants is often an excellent opportunity for landlords – and a very attractive sale for some buyers. But, alongside the pros, there are some cons to consider as well. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of selling with a sitting tenant in Chorlton, Manchester to help landlords prepare for a sitting-tenant sale. What is a Sitting Tenant? In short, a sitting tenant is someone who rents a property from you on a fixed-term tenancy agreement at the same time that you decide to sell. Even though you are selling, they can stay in the property until the fixed term expires. Pros of Selling With a Sitting Tenant 1. IT’S ATTRACTIVE TO LANDLORDS While most landlords worry that it’s hard to sell a house with sitting tenants, it can be very attractive to landlords looking to buy. Since there are already tenants living in the property, it means they won’t need to market it themselves or experience any voids in the first few weeks or months after buying. 2. YOU WON’T HAVE VOIDS Selling a property can take several months. If your rental is empty when you’re selling, this can lead to an extended period of voids. However, the benefit of selling with a sitting tenant is that your tenants will be staying in situ, so you’ll continue getting rent payments throughout the selling process. 3. THERE’S LESS RISK OF BREAK-IN’S Empty properties can be at risk of break-ins or vandalism. With a good security system and smart home features that simulate the presence of people, you can often deter burglars from breaking into an empty property for sale. However, when you have sitting tenants, you could be at less risk of a break-in since your tenants will be living in the property as normal. Cons of Selling With a Sitting Tenant 1. LIMITED TARGET MARKET While you can still sell a property with sitting tenants to homeowners, really, your target market is limited to other landlords. This can mean you’ll have a smaller buying pool – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially as a property with sitting tenants can be very attractive to buying landlords. 2. RISK OF LOWER OFFERS IF SELLING TO HOMEOWNERS You can still sell a property with sitting tenants to homeowners, but it likely won’t be as attractive to them. If they buy, they’ll need to follow the eviction process before they can live in the property themselves. This can take time and create extra admin work for a homeowner, so they may undercut you on the asking price to make up for the inconvenience. 3. EXTRA ADMIN It isn’t a huge issue, and working with a letting agent will make the process easier, but extra administration work needs to be done when selling with sitting tenants. You’ll need to issue the buyer with a series of documentation, including all Right to Rent documents, tenancy agreements, gas & electricity safety certificates etc. Plus, you’ll need to transfer the tenants’ deposit to the buyer’s name. Get Expert Advice At Property Genius, we are your local property experts in Chorlton, Manchester. If you need expert letting advice about selling your property with a sitting tenant, our friendly team are happy to answer all your questions. Give us a call today on 01618813028 or browse our letting and property management services at https://www.property-genius.co.uk.

Aug 9, 2021

4 Simple Home Ideas to Boost Your Lockdown Mood

There’s no denying that lockdown has been a difficult time for many of us in Manchester. Now, with a roadmap out of restrictions, things are starting to look a little brighter but with strict limitations still in place for visiting friends and family, or even enjoying time outside in our beautiful location, it has never been more important to transform your home into the haven you deserve. Whilst big redecoration jobs and renovations are not practical for many of us during this period; there are lots of small steps you can take to transform your home and boost your lockdown mood. The team at Property Genius have come up with five ways to boost your mood and help get you through these strange times while also making your home a place you can enjoy. 1.   DECLUTTER YOUR HOME The simplest, yet arguably the most effective way to boost your mood is to declutter. It’s quite therapeutic you know! In the past year, we have all spent more time at home than ever before, and the importance of having a tidy and organised space has never been more important. Most of us are working, relaxing, sleeping and socialising (virtually) in the same space and no matter the size of your home, it can quickly begin to feel very small! A thorough, ruthless declutter will work wonders for your mental health, and make your home feel more spacious and relaxing. Be patient and tackle each room individually – don’t try and do every area at once. Separating your items into four distinct categories is the easiest method. Things you absolutely cannot live without Items to be resold Items to be donated to charity Things to be thrown away 1. FOCUS ON SCENT Throughout lockdown, especially in the colder months, it can be difficult to keep your home smelling sweet when you can’t throw the windows open wide each day. So, it is important to consciously choose scents for each room which can make a massive difference to your home overall, as well as your mood. For example, rosemary is well known for being the perfect energy booster. Research shows rosemary oil can improve memory and fight muscle fatigue, making it the ideal scent for a weekday pick-me-up. Consider adding a rosemary wax melt to your office or workspace. This will get your home smelling amazing, boost your productivity and make you feel happier in general. 2. USE THE POWER OF PLANTS Houseplants have grown tremendously in popularity over the past decade. Particularly beneficial for those with limited access to a garden, houseplants allow us to bring a small element of the outdoors into our homes. Adding greenery to any room will not only enhance the aesthetics but also leave you feeling fantastic. The beauty of houseplants is that they are interchangeable, and match pretty much any décor. Meaning, you can have fun experimenting with each plant in different areas of your home. Studies show that the benefits of house plants include reducing stress and anxiety and increasing focus. They also undoubtedly improve the air quality in your home, whilst acting as a natural humidifier. Most houseplants require very little upkeep. Place them in front of some natural light, water regularly, and they will thrive. 3. ADD SOME COLOUR Many of us shy away from bright colours, especially when it comes to our walls. We tend to opt for neutrals, adding a splash of colour within our soft furnishings if we feel particularly adventurous. There is a lot to be said for neutrals because they are so versatile, however, there has never been a better time to experiment with a little colour in your home than during lockdown. Painting is therapeutic. Having a physical task to take your mind away from a screen will do wonders for your mental and physical health. The painting process can be a fun activity with the people you live with, or a solo task to help fill the pandemic days and distract your mind. Additionally, having a splash of colour in your home gives an instantaneous high. This does not necessarily mean taking the paintbrush to every room in the house. Try an accent wall by simply cheering up one or two walls to completely transform the look of the space. This also does the job of enhancing your mood and making you smile during these trying times. 4. ADJUST YOUR LIGHTING Although simply not possible in every home, consider your furniture placement and the natural light. Natural sunlight is one of the most vital elements for maintaining focus and positive mental health. Whilst bright, sunny days may be few and far between during the winter lockdown in the UK, it has never been more important to make the most of what is available. Try moving your desk near a window, to allow your mind to reap the rewards of the sunshine. Additionally, consider investing in a sunrise alarm clock or Phillips Hue lighting system. These lights can cleverly and slowly brighten the room to naturally wake you in the morning, allowing your eyes and mind to adjust to the day gradually. This sets the right tone from the off and gives you an immediate mood boost. Staying positive during lockdown can be hard, but the team at Property Genius are here for you. Call us on 01618813028 or email contactus@property-genius.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.