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Use technology to attract tenants

Many landlords now carry smart phones and are appreciative of how they can help in the day to day running of their business. But the real secret to staying ahead in the residential letting sector is to invest in smart homes.

Cater for tenant satisfaction

There is an ever growing emphasis for landlords at the top end of the sector to provide something more than just conventional living to tenants willing to take out long term letting agreements on their properties. Many are now getting property insurance quotes on homes that not only offer high speed internet and off road parking but also offer tenants the chance to cut down on the cost of living, lower energy consumption, and generally make life simple. Home automation allows control of a range of electrical items in the home and it is the way of the future. Everyone can minimise the impact they have on the environment by using home automation to get their house under control and lower energy bills, landlords offering such properties will stay ahead of the game.

Make the house a machine

All, or at least most, electrical items, lighting and security can be controlled through one interface and switched on and off remotely. This makes it easy to make sure everything is off when it should be and that lights, for instance, can be switched on ten minutes before arriving home in the summer or ten minutes after dusk in the winter. Basically it will give the impression that someone is home when they are actually out. If it looks as though someone is at home it will hopefully deter a break in and a claim on the home property insurance policy.

Heating any home is now becoming very costly, and heating an empty home for any great length of time is no longer viable. Most homes only take half an hour to an hour to warm up if the heating system is of modern design. A smart heating system can be activated when the tenant leaves work, which will ensure he walks into a welcoming atmosphere without encountering hostile fuel bills.

Compute optimised settings

The best advantage of an automated system is being able to manage how and when heating and lighting are used. The benefits gained through this ability to switch the electrical items or heating on when needed, as opposed to leaving them on, will be significant. Many new systems now give the dweller a chance to monitor his energy output room by room and hour by hour. Software can now be linked from the energy source to a computer that will give a rundown of usage anywhere in the home at any time, allowing the inhabitant to identify where savings can be made.

Has home ownership had its day?

As landlords across the UK report tenant demand is stronger than ever, speculators are beginning to question whether 2011 will mark a sea change in how the British Public at large view home ownership.

The latest letting agent to report burgeoning business, Paragon Rented Sector say that only 4% of landlords reported a drop in tenant interest and the survey showed that landlords are only averaging void periods of 2.9 weeks per year. The figures are eye opening and one can imagine landlord insurance providers being inundated for quotes from eager investors rushing to get on the gravy train.

Banks to blame?

Experts agree that the restrictive mortgage terms offered by lenders since the bank crisis of 2008 is more than a little responsible for the glut of tenants on the lookout for accommodation. Also of course the thousands of job cuts in the public sector have shaken the confidence of house hunters dramatically.

Are we ready for change?

The question now being asked by many in the industry is will today’s seemingly unusually high demand for rented accommodation be the norm from now on? The answer may well be yes. The 20th century saw a great majority of working class people suddenly become homeowners. The selling off of council housing cheaply was the greatest contributor to this, but it could not have happened without the relaxed lending terms unleashed across the financial sector, access to borrowing was the key.

The depressing figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders over the last 2 years shows that the opposite is now happening. Thousands of homes for sale are attracting bids from prospective buyers only for the sale to be scrapped once the vendors go to arrange a mortgage and find they can’t borrow the cash. If interest rates are pushed up by the Bank of England in the coming months many housing experts believe the sales sector will crumble and letting agents will become king. Rented property insurance will be on offer from all major insurance companies.

Figures already show that the average age of new homebuyers is in the 30’s it will not take much more before young couples abandon the idea of scrimping and scraping to raise the money to buy their own home and just settle for long term renting instead