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:
- 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.”