October News Letter!!

October 2017 Newsletter


Welcome to the Househandlers Newsletter!

We launched our bimonthly Newsletter earlier this year and will publish newsletters every other month. Our newsletters are specifically designed to update our Landlords about the property market. The newsletter will also contain links to important property news articles and updates within the Househandlers office.

Gillian and The Team



What the market is doing…

There has been much talk of property market crashes since the Brexit vote last year. There is no doubt that the property market, both rental and sales, has slowed down over the last 15 months. The events over this period starting with the Brexit referendum and followed by the uncertainty arising from the unexpected General Election in 2017 (and not forgetting the lingering impact of the stamp duty hike from 2014) have produced uncertainty about the prospects for property in Britain’s uncertain future.

As a general rule, markets dislike uncertainty and the property market is no exception. The sales market has seen a considerable fall in the number of newly registered buyers and viewings and a decrease in the number of properties coming to market. Rental levels have remained reasonably stable, but without the increases seen in previous years.

The overall picture, particularly here in London, is one of subdued house price and rental growth. Looking forward, we have to consider the impact of changing mortgage interest rates; increases seem imminent according to noises from the Bank of England, but how quickly and how far will they rise? There may be some good news from the Chancellor in his Autumn Budget (due in November) on stamp duty, due to better than expected budget deficit numbers. The Chancellor may look to use some of the windfall to provide a stimulus to the property market by reducing stamp duty. We may then see a knock-on effect of a general feeling of economic stability and even growth, giving rise to increased confidence and willingness to invest. All of which could have the effect of providing the stimulus needed to help a slow, stagnant market stabilise and strengthen as we end 2017 and a new year begins.

What are we doing at Househandlers these days?

As Autumn draws in and Winter isn’t too far away, our thoughts turn to, what else, but heating systems!

We will be asking your tenants to run their boiler on the heating programme if they haven’t already done so. This will help us identify and deal with any boiler issues in a planned – and less expensive – fashion. It helps avoid last minute frenzied calls to our office at 6pm to tell us “we have no heat!”  Needless to say, it’s easier and cheaper to book a plumber in advance rather than to try and engage one late on a Friday evening. But it does happen and it’s times like that that we are grateful that we work with our panel of dedicated professional tradesmen who understand the importance of customer service. They support us here at Househandlers in our efforts to deliver a superior customer service experience not only to our landlords but to their tenants too.



Hot Topic – Fire Safety & White Goods 

We will all be aware of the dreadful tragedy at Grenfell Tower and that it was quite likely started by a faulty fridge freezer.

As most landlords supply white goods including fridge freezers, washing machines and clothes dryers electrical safety is something we must all take seriously.

Figures from the Association of Chief Fire Officers (ACFO) show that a massive 17,065 house fires were caused by domestic appliances in England in 2015/16 alone – almost one a day in London. Around 8% of that figure were caused by washers and dryers (the majority starting as a result if cooking equipment such as ovens or hobs). Firefighters say that although human factors can come into play, most fires caused by washers and driers are as a result of faults beyond the control of the tenant or homeowner.
Manufacturer Whirlpool is currently undertaking a major modification programmed after issuing a safety notice relating to two types of dryer under its Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Proline & Swan brands. We contacted all our tenanted properties when the warning was issued by Whirlpool asking them to advise us of any such machines in our managed properties. We identified one dryer which fell under the product recall order. Whirlpool offered to replace the machine at a reduced price which the Landlord did take up  – problem solved.

London Fire Brigade are lobbying to have one central recall register which would it make it easier to check if an appliance is affected. We are very much in favour of such a register.

What are we doing about this issue at the moment? If a problem were to occur, who is responsible? If the tenant has done nothing to cause the problem, it could be argued that if the appliance is inherently faulty and the landlord had failed to heed product recall notices that the landlord is liable. Or if the problem has occurred in the appliance due to faulty power socket or poor installation on the part of the landlord.

Here at Househandlers we work to protect our Landlords’ interest and our tenants’ safety. We keep abreast of any product recall notices and take action where necessary. We are currently reviewing our managed properties appliances to ensure they have instruction manuals so that the tenants know how to correctly look after the appliances in their homes.  And to ensure the tenants know to report any issues to us in a timely fashion.  We recommend that any self-managing landlords adapt similar practices.



Househandlers Cleaning Services
It’s been a busy summer at Househandlers Cleaning.Did you know that as well as our End of Tenancy or Pre-Tenancy Cleaning Services we also offer regular domestic cleaning and carpet cleaning?We understand that no two homes are the same so have designed a service that will meet your individual cleaning needs. So how do we do this?Firstly, we visit you to assess and agree your cleaning needs so that we can understand the type of cleaning you like to be done. Do you want ironing included, do you like the beds to be changed, etc. We also learn about any special cleaning requirements you may have. For example, hard wood floors that should not be mopped with a very wet mop or any rooms that you do not wish the cleaner to go into. We will then match your personal requirements with one of our team of referenced and trained cleaners and agree a regular time slot for your cleaner to come.
All our cleaners can hold keys if you would like the convenience of not having to be there when they are coming.

On your first clean either Albena our cleaning supervisor or Gillian will bring along your cleaner to introduce her to both you and your home. We will ensure that she understands the jobs that need done and any individual requirements we have agreed when we met. This can include explaining alarm settings if the cleaner needs to hold keys, or where your products and cleaning tools are stored.

If you’re thinking of having an end of summer clean up and want to combine it with carpet cleaning, we know just the carpet cleaner for you. He comes highly recommended but books up fast!

Contact us to discuss your requirements, we will arrange a convenient time to visit you at your home to understand the type and extent of cleaning you require, to allow us to deliver the cleaning service you want.




Did you know Eric Clapton used to use Kingston as his busking ground before he became famous!


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