Oct 19

At one point or another, we've all been victim to unwanted noise in our homes whether it's from traffic, animals or neighbours.

In fact, one of the most searched for topics across the Landlord Library is noise pollution and how to deal with it and with this in mind, lettings platform, Howsy, has revealed what noises cause the biggest impact and how to protect against them.

Neighbours playing loud music or socialising late at night is the number one most hated cause of noise pollution amongst UK tenants, closely followed by road traffic, noise from animals such as dogs, cats or foxes and neighbours arguing – according to a survey of 1,000 UK tenants.

What can you do about it?

You don’t have to suffer in silence and there are plenty of cost-effective tips that both you and your landlord can carry out to ensure maximum peace and quite within your home.

Perhaps obviously, start structurally. Use filler to address any holes or cracks in your walls with a particular focus around things like window frames or other breaks in the wall such as sockets.

It may look nice, but wooden flooring can be one of the main issues when it comes to noise pollution, particularly if you rent out a flat with neighbours below. While a new floor might not be necessary, sorting out any creaky floorboards can make more of a difference than you might think when it comes to cutting out noise pollution.

Now check out your doors. All too often, cheap doors aren’t soundproof and can be replaced by something a bit more substantial where materials are concerned. Once you’ve fixed your new door in place, one handy tip is to bolster your soundproofing with weathering strips which will also make your home more energy-efficient.

Now your doors are sorted, what about your windows? Not the most cost-effective method but replacing old or damaged windows with double or triple paned PVC can work wonders for noise pollution – even a good quality wooden frame will reduce noise dramatically.

From fibreglass to insulation foam or ceiling panels and everything in between, insulating your home doesn’t just help keep you warm in the winter, it cuts out a lot of noise.

It’s within your best interests as a landlord to make sure your property is not only fit for purpose but is appealing as possible for tenants while also doing your bit for the planet and your pocket.

However, there are additional things you can recommend to your tenants that can also make a difference and these range from simple touches such as heavy-duty curtains to help down out the outsides world or a similarly robust rug to cover wood flooring and protect from the noises below.

Rearranging the furniture is also a smart way of minimising noise pollution and putting larger items such as a big book case or cabinet against the sharing wall will help add another layer. Another smart trick is to always position your tv on or by a shared wall as this will at least drown out any noisy neighbours while it’s on. Even a large picture or mirror will play its part and so considering layout is a small but smart step to help reduce noise pollution.

Calum Brannan, Founder and CEO of Howsy, has this advice: “When it comes to the tenant-landlord relationship, it’s often the small things that can go a long way and helping to soundproof your property, even with the smallest of touches, can really improve your tenant’s quality of life.

Of course, there is always work that can be done to improve a property, but you certainly don’t have to break the bank and there is a whole host of innovative tips that you can suggest and that will cost nothing to do.

Not only will you have a happier tenant for doing so, but you’ll have increased your property’s rental appeal which will make it more attractive if or when does return to the market.”

Sep 19

If you hadn't worked it out already, tomorrow (1st October) marks the 30 day countdown to Brexit. And if you're looking to sell your home before we leave the EU, the following list of 30 top tips may be of some use.

With housing sales estimated to increase from 1.19 million in 2019 to 1.3 million sale transactions in 2022, the housing market is due to get more competitive as sales increase, so it’s important to stay on top of your game when preparing to sell your home.

Moving house can be a lengthy and tiring process, so to make it a bit easier, regulated property buyer Good Move has compiled a list of 30 tips that will help you to attract more offers and aim to get your house sold within a month.

1. Fill in any drill holes to make your walls look smoother and save the buyer a job for when they move in.

2. Tidy up the garden, whether that’s mowing the lawn or removing weeds. The front garden is the first thing buyers see of your home, so create a good first impression.

3. Do a deep clean to ensure that potential buyers don’t come across cobwebs or dusty window sills.

4. Take down family photos from around your house for viewings. This makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves in the house.

5. Paint your house using neutral shades. A bright room can be divisive and put buyers off if they think they’d have to repaint rooms themselves once moved in.

6. Give your skirting boards a lick of paint. A fresh white is always more appealing than a neglected off-yellow.

7. Clear the hallways or entrance space to make it appear larger. These are the first areas of the interior that a buyer will see, so it’s crucial they’re tidy.

8. Empty your storage spaces so buyers can see the full area without clutter and mess. Empty storage spaces make rooms look bigger and buyers can visualise where they would put their own possessions.

9. Declutter your home from knick-knacks and things that add noise to your rooms such as toys and magazines.

10. Clean the windows so they look sparkling new and give potential buyers a good first impression. Clean windows let in more natural light and make rooms look more appealing.

11. Add plants around your home as they’re proven to purify the air and improve mood.

12. Bake before a viewing to make buyers associate your house with a positive experience and amazing, homely smells.

13. Add splashes of yellow around the house as it is linked to positivity, confidence and enthusiasm.

14. Make your house name or number visible, so buyers can find and revisit it easily.

15. Repair any inbuilt drawers or cupboards so that the buyer won’t be put off by jobs they would potentially have to do if they moved in.

16. Get rid of bathroom limescale to make the room look cleaner and more attractive.

17. Update and showcase your kitchen as it is worth the most per square foot out of all the rooms in your house.

18. Add mirrors around the house, especially if it lacks natural light or is small, to give the illusion of a brighter, bigger space.

19. Keep your house at a warm temperature to ensure all buyers are comfortable. If it’s too hot or too cold they might be quicker to leave and have negative associations.

20. Get rid of bad smells before a viewing by having a good clean, adding some scented candles and freshening up furniture.

21. Make sure your pets are out of the way during viewings, just in case potential buyers don’t like or are allergic to cats or dogs. Also make sure to clean and remove all loose hair.

22. Dress your windows with blinds or curtains if they’re bare to make your house look more inviting.

23. Show off your selling point, whether it’s a feature wall or chaise lounge - highlight all of the areas you’re most proud of.

24. Paint your front door to make your house look inviting from the outside.

25. Make each room’s purpose obvious - if there’s a storage room filled with clutter it may be hard for potential buyers to imagine what they would use the room for.

26. Use lamps to make sure there aren’t any dark areas in your home.

27. Show off broadband speed, plug sockets and any other in-demand features your house boasts.

28. Make sure there is no evidence of damp or cracks in the walls and ceilings.

29. Fix any dodgy plumbing such as dripping taps.

30. Take your time showing around potential viewers, this way they can explore your home at their own pace in a relaxed atmosphere.

Ross Counsell, director at Good Move says, “Selling a house can be a long and frustrating process, but if you use a few of these tips to refresh your home ahead of a viewing, you should have no problem gaining interest that leads to an offer. However, if you’re still struggling to get some interest, you can always consider alternative methods, such as using a quick house sale company, like Good Move which will complete your sale within three weeks with no chains involved.”