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Are longer leases required for tenants who work from home more?

A PropTech company has issued guidelines for landlords who want to prepare their properties for tenants doing increased volumes of home working.

Paul Oxley, managing director of Decorus for Sage, says Coronavirus has inevitably increased the proportion of tenants working from home - even outside of lockdown - with recent surveys showing support from both employers and employees for this trend to continue into the long-term.

So how can landlords increase their support for home workers? Here are Oxley’s tips - starting off, perhaps controversially, with a call for longer tenancies:

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- Longer leases: “With the economic uncertainty the pandemic has created, there is growing demand for longer leases, with the average lease length sitting at 22 months. Landlords need to be flexible, allowing tenants to extend their leases or take out take out longer ones” he says;

- Energy costs: Good insulation will help make a property more attractive to tenants faced with increased energy bills because of being home-based;

- Broadband speed: Optimal broadband speed is a key factor for many tenants so it’s worth landlords offering bundles packages to tenants that will give the best value for broadband and utilities;

- Outdoor space: Inevitably this is now more important “so advise tenants on how they can maximise the outdoor space of the property and make it more accessible” he suggests;

 

 

- Viewings: If landlords are attending a viewing, they should be wearing a mask and gloves and limit the potential tenants to a maximum of two people at the same time in the property (from the same household).  Anyone viewing a property should wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitise their hands.  Also ensure all properties are sterilised, ready for new tenants;

- Communicating with tenants: Oxley says: “It’s not easy for landlords to simultaneously manage their properties, keep their tenants happy and safe, stay on top of their finances and ensure their legal and safety compliance alongside. Risks of income loss, property deterioration, missed deadlines, non-compliance and ultimately dissatisfied tenants seriously focuses efforts.”

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    Our whole rental market is based on a 6 or 12 mth AST. To allow longer tenancies we would need a change from mortgage providers and possible in type of tenancy so that current eviction rules (!) still apply.

    My tenants can stay as long as they like as long as they pay their rent & look after the property - no need for longer tenancies here. In my experience it is tenants who have a change of circumstance and want to leave.

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    If they are at home more, then there will certainly be more wear & tear, which will require either a higher rent, or an increased deposit that will cover the extras at the end of the tenancy.

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    Nah nah the ‘Proptech’ has missed out something else vital as well as our mortgage terms. My houses are designed for people that go out to work. So if you work out a typical day that’s 10 hours at least out of the property. 40% less wear and tear compared to a homeworker who will inevitably cause more wear and tear of which we cannot charge.

    So moving forward it’s now high time to be able to offer alternative style tenancies to a normal AST more of a commercial self repair style tenancy that the house can sustain that the LL wants to provide. Anyone saying I’d like to do a home business so effectively using my property as an office or factory cannot be taken on. The prop tech would do well to realise this. Back to the drawing board

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    It is relevant to note that there possibly are three hawks who are keeping an eye on this to rip off landlords. Proptech wakey wakey!
    1.Lender, 2. Property insurers, 3. Councils.
    All of whom will look at how they could increase their takes, while the govt. will sit and look at it and do ZILCH.

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    "Anyone viewing a property should wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitise their hands. Also ensure all properties are sterilised, ready for new tenants."
    Full PPE? What, like a nurse in a hospital? Never read that in any government guidelines. All properties sterilised? Surely not if the property has been empty for a few days, i.e. virus has now died. What is the source of such advice?

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    @DW. Probably made it all up as they went along. Treat this article as usual because it is an advert and not a real article.

     
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    Tricia. Correct I would say 90% of Tenancies are ended by the Tenants usually when they want to move on. The other 10% are filling up the Court backlog because of a reason, there is always a reason normally for not paying the Rent, maybe creating merry hell for you & the neighbours or overcrowding with Council + police on your back after complaints being reported.

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