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It seemed so exciting when your home first went on the market. You were full of anticipation around people coming to view, and your agent sounded convincing when they said they had buyers waiting.

But that was months ago, and your home is still for sale. Perhaps the relationship with your agent has soured, or maybe you still feel loyal, but at the back of your mind you’re wondering how long to wait before switching to someone else.

When people have changed to us from another estate agent, the main reasons they felt they needed a fresh start were:

  • Being unhappy with the way their home was marketed.
  • Feeling left in the dark through disappointing communication.
  • No longer trusting the advice they were getting.
  • Losing confidence in their agent’s abilities.

If any of these ring true for you, the good news is your faith can be restored, along with your move. So let’s take a closer look at how things go wrong and how to put them right, so you can get back on track.


Marketing is everything when it comes to selling property. You could have the best home in the world, but if nobody knows it’s for sale or the publicity is poor, your moving plans are at risk.

Some typical marketing let-downs include:

  • Inaccurate pricing: more than a turn-off, your perfect buyer may never know your home exists if your price is too high or too low.
  • Terrible photos: as the first introduction most people have to your home, photography plays a crucial role. Dark, blurred, wonky or unstaged images ruin your chances.
  • Dull descriptions: how your agent describes your home makes a massive difference. It doesn’t matter whether the text is long or short, but it absolutely must be compelling.

There’s no excuse for bad or even mediocre marketing. If you’re anything less than delighted and impressed with how your agent promotes your home, switch to someone who does it better.


The Sound of Silence is a great song, but it’s hardly the service you want from your estate agent. And yet it’s by far the biggest complaint we hear from people when they’re thinking of switching agents. 

Feeling forgotten or left in the dark is incredibly frustrating, leaving you stuck in limbo with little to go on around things like:

  • Feedback after viewings, even if it’s completely negative, so you know what every viewer says about your home.
  • Local market conditions, how many buyers are registering, and which homes are selling.
  • The performance of your strategy so far, and suggestions on improving your chances.

As a final way to add insult to injury, we’ve even heard tales of agents not taking or returning their clients’ calls, probably to avoid a difficult conversation. You don’t have to accept this sort of service.


Promises are easy to make, but when they turn out to be empty, they leave a really bad taste and make you question everything. Perhaps your current agent:

  • Gave you a higher valuation than everyone else with little supporting evidence, and now blames the market for not making a sale while pushing you to reduce your price.
  • Assured you they’d have buyers lining up down the street, but you’ve had few viewings and no offers.
  • Asked you to sign a lengthy sole agency contract of many months, leaving you tied in and stuck.

If this sounds like your experience, you’re unfortunately far from alone. But you don’t need to accept it, and you may even be able to break free from your contract early with some polite but tough talk!


Having complete confidence in your agent is a vital part of selling, and if you no longer feel you’re in good hands, you could have lost faith in their abilities.

Thinking you can do better can come from various experiences, but some of the main ones include:

  • Overhearing with great disappointment the way your agent shows people around your home.
  • Posing as a buyer and seeing whether your agent mentions your home or how they introduce it to you.
  • Getting very little advice around tweaking your home’s presentation for more successful viewings.

It’s worth chatting with your agent to see how they respond to your concerns. If they’re receptive, you might choose to say with them. But if they’re defensive, maybe it’s time to say goodbye.


It’s not always obvious why a home isn’t selling, but if your agent is out of ideas, you might need a new approach. Feel like a hassle? Here are some of the immediate benefits: 

  • Your home is automatically reset to new-listing status as soon as you change agents (otherwise, you have to wait 12 weeks if you decide to take a break  and then remarket with the same agent).
  • New photographs from different angles with different staging can give your home an instant online makeover to attract buyers who may have missed or discounted it before.
  • You can recapture the most enthusiastic time for an estate agent, namely the first few weeks of having a new property listing to sell.

No matter how discouraging things might seem after months on the market, take heart that a fresh start with a new agent can completely change your fortunes.

What’s next for you?

Just because your home hasn’t sold with your current estate agent doesn’t mean there isn’t a buyer out there. There’s no need to feel stuck on the shelf, and we’d love to show you why.

Call us on 0113 460 2416 or email us at for a fresh pair of eyes and a friendly chat about getting your move back on track. Switching agents could be just what you need to sell.

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“Is buy-to-let still worth it?” Hardly a day goes by when someone doesn’t ask us that question.

For a lot of people, the answer is no. Changing lettings law and tax rules have caused many landlords to drop out and sell up, particularly if rent is their main or only source of income.

But here’s the thing: many private landlords are still actively expanding their portfolios, and

large corporations are starting to invest heavily in rental homes. So why is that?

Well, they’re embracing change, and forward-thinking investors are building strong and profitable strategies around the new factors affecting buy-to-let, including:  

  • Tighter financing and lending rules.
  • The rise of energy-conscious tenants.
  • New opportunities with the Renters (Reform) Bill.
  • A switch from short-term yields to building long-term wealth.
  • Competition from corporate landlords.

Another huge change in the lettings world is that almost half of landlords are now aged 40 or under. So let’s look at how a new generation is planning a bright future with buy-to-let.


Getting a mortgage on a rental property has changed a lot, and you now need a minimum of 25% as a deposit. 

That can be a barrier for both first-time and existing landlords, but there are also advantages and ways around it.

  • Borrowing less against a property offsets the impact of higher interest rates, making it easier to cover your costs and achieve a net monthly profit.
  • Injecting more cash into your purchase gives you a larger equity cushion, reducing the impact of paying back the capital at the end of an interest-only mortgage.
  • Previously solo landlords are pooling their finances with friends, family and associates to generate larger deposits quickly and create new partnerships.

So although all the talk is about the death of 95% buy-to-let mortgages, most investors don’t borrow at that level anyway, and having less debt makes for a more solvent business.


Demand for more efficient homes keeps increasing through a combination of higher energy bills and greater climate awareness. And the good news is that demand always equals opportunity. 

  • Imagine if spending a few thousand on energy efficiency improvements would net you just £100 extra per month in rent – how many investments offer that rate of return?
  • Even with the most scaremongering estimates of £15,000 to upgrade extremely sub-standard homes, a £1,200 (or 8%) yearly return trumps any ISA or savings account.
  • Almost every industry has proved that people will hunt down and pay more money for sustainable and eco-friendly credentials to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Even the 11% average rent increase since April 2022 is dwarfed by recent soaring energy prices, focusing tenants even more on homes with lower running costs.
  • A recent LRG survey found that 56% of people specifically seek out energy-efficient homes, rising to 61% among those aged 25 to 34 – the biggest group of tenants.

So from an ethical and financial standpoint, there’s a win-win for everyone: increased rent for landlords, better homes with lower bills for tenants, and fewer carbon emissions.


The Renters (Reform) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 17th May 2023 and aims to make it law that every rental property is comfortable, warm, efficient and safe. Is that so bad? 

It is for investors with poor-quality homes, but it’s also an opportunity for responsible landlords to start or expand their portfolios for less money.

  • Many landlords are choosing to sell up to avoid the new legislation, bringing homes to the market with ready-made tenancies and instant income.
  • Those landlords need to sell at prices that reflect the need to bring their properties up to scratch, making it easier to find homes for less than their full value.
  • It’s far less disruptive and more cost-effective to incorporate energy efficiency measures in a property you’re already renovating.

Finally, the Bill will make it easier to get your property back from tenants who cause damage or stop paying rent – a major step forward from the current very flawed system.


Buying to let is no longer a get-rich-quick scheme, but being a landlord is still a sound way to build long-term wealth, a legacy for your retirement, or plan inheritance tax.

  • There’s no definitive answer on whether shares or property perform better, but bricks and mortar are certainly safer and less volatile.
  • Rents usually rise by at least the rate of inflation every year, giving you an appreciating capital asset with a lifetime income that regularly outperforms the cost of living.
  • Setting up a limited company to buy rental homes, and appointing family members as directors, can help you pass on assets with a lower inheritance tax liability.

All of these combine to make a solid foundation of reliable investments to create a secure financial future for you and your family.


It’s no coincidence that large institutions are getting in on buy-to-let – they see pound signs. And while their strategy will include economies of scale, there is another way.

  • Most tenants aren’t delighted at the prospect of dealing with faceless corporations, and private landlords can play a completely different game.
  • You can carve out a niche for your homes through standout design and personal service against the inevitable cookie-cutter corporate rentals.
  • You could also build to rent by working with other landlords, developers or builders to buy land and save money on buying costs, stamp duty and materials.

Tenants want more than copy-and-paste homes, and private landlords can use that to their advantage by cultivating the natural attraction and loyalty towards independent businesses.

What’s your next step?

If you’d like to join the next generation of landlords and build long-term wealth with profitable rental homes in Leeds, we’d love to help.

Call us on 0113 460 2416 or email us at  or a friendly, expert chat about the local market and demand, and let’s start making plans!

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How do you feel about adding thousands to your home without making a single improvement?

One of the magic words in property is ‘potential’, and getting planning permission to increase the amount of accommodation is a great way to add more value and widen your audience.

Among the many possibilities and things to consider are:

  • Getting planning permission or building regulations approval.
  • Loft and garage conversions.
  • Home extensions.
  • Redeveloping a house or land.
  • Inspiring buyers with your plans.

So this week’s blog is all about turning potential into pounds and using planning permission to boost your home’s value, without ever picking up a paintbrush.


However you plan to increase the size of your home, you’ll need either or both planning permission and building regulations approval from your local authority.

This means submitting detailed plans, so look at the aspirations of local buyers and show them that your home can deliver.

  • If you’re repurposing your loft or garage, you generally only need simple building regulations approval, unless you’re planning to extend beyond the current building line.
  • A large home extension will almost certainly need full planning permission, but something smaller could get around that under Permitted Development rules.
  • Homes in conservation areas will have stricter limitations on altering their external appearance, particularly the street-facing elevations.

In general, and unless you’re planning something radical, most applications go through smoothly, particularly for the tried and tested examples we cover in this article.


Garages and lofts have long been favourites for increasing a home’s accommodation, and some of the most successful designs we’ve seen include:

  • a luxury bedroom suite in the roof with a private bathroom and possibly even a terrace – peace for parents above the mayhem!
  • a pair of children’s loft bedrooms with a shared shower room to ease the strain on the main bathroom – great for growing families.
  • a dedicated office, wellness space or guest room at the top of the house.
  • an attached garage becoming a natural extension of the ground floor with an additional living room, den for the kids, granny annexe, or study.
  • a garage at the end of the garden turned into the perfect studio or workspace away from the hubbub of the house, but still close to home.

Converting a garage or loft into living accommodation requires insulation, electricity, natural light, ventilation and heating, so remember to include estimated costs alongside plans.


Have you ever envisioned turning your kitchen into a fabulous open-plan family space, or noticed the potential to add another floor and more bedrooms? Has a neighbour done it really well?

Extensions can truly transform a property’s place in the market, and some of the best examples we’ve seen include:

  • adding one or more bedrooms over an attached garage with a first-floor extension that blends seamlessly with the house and the street.
  • filling in the side return of a period home to widen a kitchen and create a spacious and modern family hub across the back of a house, often with bi-folding doors spilling onto the garden.
  • building an extra floor at the back or pushing out from the roof line with a large dormer to create more or bigger rooms.

If you’d like to know which extensions add the most value to a property in Leeds, call us to chat about the homes we’ve sold and the features buyers adored.


Depending on the size and location of your home, you might get a higher price by selling to a developer or business who’ll turn it into something else. Here are some possibilities worth exploring.

  • A large double-fronted home could be turned into separate houses or apartments, or even knocked down and replaced with a new building.
  • A large garden could support building another house on it if convenient access is possible, and you might even be able to sell just that portion of your garden if you don’t want to move.
  • A change-of-use application to turn your house into a nursing home, hotel, or even offices could attract commercial buyers.

Before you make a formal application, have a chat with your neighbours. Addressing their concerns early on could smooth the wheels to getting permission with zero objections or delays.


Selling the potential of planning permission is about more than just bricks and mortar. It’s about painting a picture for buyers and getting them excited about something they can’t see yet, so make sure you:

  • invest in good quality plans from a reputable architect to demonstrate exactly how your home could offer a buyer the lifestyle they aspire to
  • get two or three quotes from recommended local contractors to give buyers a clear idea of the budget required.
  • ask two or three local estate agents for their thoughts on how much value your plans would add to your home.

And when you do come to sell, you need to work with an estate agent who’ll fill buyers with confidence about your home’s potential  – so grill them on how they’d sell the future to be sure you’re in safe hands.

Could your home have thousands in extra potential?

We’d love to help you with ideas and inspiration, and we can even recommend local architects to draw up plans and advise you on the application process.

Getting the right planning permission for your property in Leeds could help you seriously upgrade your next move, so call us on 0113 460 2416 or email us at to see what’s possible.

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What’s your biggest fear about being a landlord? For many, it’s the prospect of getting locked in a lengthy dispute with their tenants while trying to keep their cool.

It’s rare for any landlord or tenant to set out looking for conflict, but sometimes the unexpected causes disagreements and discord. And when a problem strikes, having the tools to deal with it quickly and effectively can truly preserve your sanity.

From proactive measures to reactive steps, it’s worth getting a handle on things like:

  • Setting your property and tenancies up to be problem-free.
  • Disputes over damages and security deposits.
  • Handling neighbour and nuisance issues.
  • Getting late and unpaid rent back on track.
  • Serving notice and evictions.

The good news is that, with the right info to hand, tackling issues is less stressful than you might think. So let’s look at how you can fix conflicts and disputes without losing your head.  


Removing the potential for future problems is the best way for landlords to avoid disputes, so here are seven ways you can set your tenancy up for success:

  1. Conduct thorough referencing, prepare an inventory with photos, use a proper tenancy agreement, and protect the security deposit within 28 days of check-in.
  2. Ensure all safety checks and certificates for gas, electricity and fire safety are kept up to date throughout the tenancy.
  3. Go for durability and years of service, from interior fittings, to washable paint, to the highest quality appliances that reflect the value of your property. 
  4. Respond quickly to your tenants’ requests for repairs and maintenance and keep in touch about contractors visiting.
  5. Make regular inspections throughout the tenancy to check in with your tenants, check up on your property, and nip problems in the bud.
  6. Have an out-of-hours number for tenants to call in emergencies – as a managing agent we offer this as a standard part of our service
  7. Cover yourself with insurance for landlord contents, public liability, and rent guarantee – the peace of mind is priceless.

All of this is buy-to-let 101, and having these steps in place will make problems less likely to crop up in the first place, and easier to handle when they do.


Nuisance and noise disputes are fortunately rare and usually sorted amicably without landlords ever finding out. But in case you do end up getting involved, here are some things worth knowing:

  • For tenants leaving bikes, personal belongings or trash where they shouldn’t, restating the rules usually sorts this out (particularly if they’re already in the tenancy agreement).
  • Landlords are not legally responsible for noisy tenants, but mediating can help you maintain relationships with your neighbours by showing you’re on the case.
  • Tenants are often unaware (and embarrassed) about causing problems like loud music, booming voices or heavy footsteps – simply saying something often gets things solved.

Unfortunately, we Brits often suffer in silence through fear of confrontation, but most neighbour issues can be quickly resolved by taking the initiative in a friendly but firm fashion.


If your tenant pays their rent late, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve gone bad. People sometimes experience financial hiccups, and there are quite a few options for finding a solution. in a firm but fair way.

  • Text or call within a day of the due date to show your commitment to getting things back on track. 
  • If you don’t get a reply, send a formal letter requesting immediate payment, then follow up within a week giving 24 hours written notice that you intend to visit and discuss the arrears in person.
  • If your tenant can’t pay everything immediately, see if you can find another way to clear the arrears, perhaps with a payment plan to bring them down over a few months.
  • Ask your tenant if they’d find it easier to pay the rent on a different day – the date they get paid may have changed, and they may be having difficulty budgeting.
  • Some landlords offer temporary rent reductions for tenants they’re keen to keep and have known for a long time (and where the problem isn’t expected to be permanent).
  • You could offer to let your tenant out of their tenancy immediately so you can re-let your property and restore your income.

The goal for both of you is to find a solution that avoids going to court, but it’s worth keeping a record of all communication in case legal action becomes necessary.


General wear and tear at your rental property is an inevitable outcome of people living there. Damages, however, are another matter, and while accidents do happen and can be inconvenient to fix, they don’t need to become a drama. 

  • Protecting your tenant’s deposit at the start of the tenancy will allow you to reclaim damages and avoid being liable for up to 3 months’ rent as compensation.
  • Use the signed inventory with photos from the start of the tenancy to prove your case. Remember: no inventory = almost zero chance of winning a dispute.
  • Supply the tenant with estimates for repairs and replacements when telling them how much you wish to hold back from their security deposit.
  • If you can’t agree on an amount to be deducted within ten days of the end of the tenancy, using an arbitration service can often resolve things without legal action.

Too many landlords lose disputes unnecessarily, so take a look at our previous Deposit Disputes blog to put yourself in the best position from the start.


Sometimes, the only resolution to a dispute is to part ways with your tenant. We cover the legal process of getting your property back in our previous Rental Recovery blog, but here are some tips on keeping it together through an often challenging and protracted time.

  • Avoid getting involved in arguments or using inflammatory language – remain calm, objective and rational, even if your tenant doesn’t.
  • Stay sympathetic to your tenant’s financial difficulties, but be mindful that it doesn’t come at the cost of your own well-being or finances.
  • Remember that most local authorities only house people who’ve been evicted; leaving voluntarily could make your tenants homeless, giving them very few choices.

It often gets lost that landlords don’t enjoy evicting tenants, so if dealing directly with an eviction feels too stressful, ask a managing agent to handle it for you – there’s no need to do everything yourself.

Have you got tenant troubles?

Feeling alone can make handling disputes even more difficult for a landlord, but we’re here to make things easier for you and stand by your side.

Whether you want some quick advice on a current challenge, or you’re thinking of working with a managing agent in Leeds, call us on 0113 460 2416 or email us at for a friendly, expert chat.

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You’ve picked your estate agent, you’re chuffed with your photos and description, and your home is priced to precision. Now all that’s left is your viewings – what can go wrong?

Well, quite a lot! There are plenty of pitfalls to avoid when your viewers arrive, and some of the most common include

  1. Getting your welcome wrong and making your buyers uncomfortable.
  2. Underselling your rooms by not showing off their purpose and potential
  3. Leaving old stains exposed to cast doubt about hidden nasty surprises.
  4. Hiding the best points of your home under cover of darkness and disorder.
  5. Ignoring unsavoury smells and hoping your viewers won’t notice.

As your estate agent, it’s our job to strip away the potential for negative comments about your home, leaving only positive vibes that buyers can’t resist. So this week’s blog has all you need to avoid the biggest viewing mistakes before anyone comes to visit.


Although you know your home better than anyone else, you’re probably not the best person to sell it. But it’s got nothing to do with you personally.

Buyers are too polite to tell you what they truly think about your home, but they will tell us. And their honest reactions are priceless in giving you constructive feedback and tweaking your selling strategy.

  • The best option is to go out so your home is completely calm when viewers arrive, giving them freedom to roam and comment without tiptoeing around you.
  • If going out isn’t an option, open the front door with a warm welcome, then leave your agent to conduct the tour so you’re not tempted to hover or waffle.
  • When you are at home for a viewing, keep the TV off, play some light background music, and find something to do, from preparing food to helping the kids with their homework. Whatever it is, try to keep the activity to one room.

Launch days and evenings can be a really convenient way to get out of the house for multiple viewings, so talk to your agent about whether they’re right for your home. 


Spare rooms can so easily end up as glorified cupboards and dumping grounds, piled high with suitcases, unused furniture and picnic stuff. That’s fine if you’re staying put, but not if you’re selling.

  • Even with the benefit of floor plans, nothing beats giving a room a clear purpose. What was your dream when you first moved in – can you stage it that way now?
  • Awkwardly arranged or too much furniture can block sightlines, shrink rooms and make it difficult to walk around – think effortless flow rather than obstacle course.
  • Changing the layout of your rooms from your photographs can disorient buyers if your home looks different to the one they booked to view – show them what they expect to see.

Still trying to figure out what to do with an underused space? There are some great ideas online around  purposeful styling, including 29 spare room ideas from House & Garden and small spare room ideas from IKEA, which are both full of valuable tips.


Of all the questions you want viewers to ask, “What’s that stain?” isn’t one of them. Yellow watermarks and black spots cast doubt and suggest nasty surprises, which can delay sales and give buyers second thoughts.

In short, they’re bad news, so take a good look around your home to see if anything needs attention.

  • Peer up at ceilings and under windows for signs of leaks. Fix the source, then make good the decor with an oil-based stain blocker before touching up the paintwork.
  • Check for small pools of water or traces of limescale or rust under sinks, baths, the boiler, hot water tank and radiators.
  • Inspect grouting and sealant for mould, particularly behind bottles and dispensers where water can gather.
  • Look at the bottom halves of ground and lower floor walls for signs of damp, like blistering paint and black spots.

To make doubly sure you’ve caught everything, ask a beady-eyed friend over to tell you what they notice – by getting everything straight before calling estate agents, you’ll set the stage for a higher valuation and selling price.


A major block to a home being sold is expecting buyers to see past any chaos that greets them on their viewing. While some have vision, many don’t, and you could lose time and money over things that can be sorted quickly and cheaply.

  • Overstuffed cupboards in kitchens, hallways and bedrooms make homes look ready to burst – store or remove anything that doesn’t fit and that you don’t need right now.
  • Mucky windows and closed curtains block out the light, so fling open your drapes and polish your panes to let the sunshine in.
  • Grubby flooring, grimy bathrooms, and greasy light switches and door frames can make perfectly good fittings look old and worn out, but a deep clean can revive them all.
  • Outside, take any garden junk to the tip, and treat overgrown lawns and beds to a weekend of weeding, pruning and mowing.

If you’re still feeling stuck around clearing your clutter, check out programs like Tidying Up by Mari Kondo and Get Organised with The Home Edit, both on Netflix, for lots of ideas and inspiration.


Every home has an aroma, which often adds an extra cosy touch. But some smells can send buyers running, so let’s look at those nasty niffs and how to send them packing.

  • If smoking is allowed in your home, ban it from now until you move out. Unless the smell is deeply ingrained, you can usually eradicate it by venting your home for a few weeks.
  • Do you have pets? Food bowls, litter trays, cages and fish tanks can all kick up a stink, so clean them often.
  • Avoid musty bedrooms and humid bathrooms by leaving windows securely ajar, and keeping all internal doors open before you head out for work.
  • Kitchen bins, rotten fruit, and dying flowers can all smell bad, so keep an eye – and nose! – on things to avoid unpleasant odours.
  • Do you love to cook? Curry, fish, deep-fried treats – save them for a Saturday or Sunday night to give the air time to clear for your next viewings.
  • Too many fragrances can also be overpowering, so avoid an olfactory overload by keeping any scented candles or reed diffusers to one or two complementing aromas. 

Got a lingering whiff? Try white vinegar. It cuts through odours naturally, from wiping down furniture, washable walls and floors to waving around a drenched cloth for a few minutes. And don’t worry – the vinegar smell soon clears, along with the air.

Are you getting ready to sell?

Then let’s talk about setting your home up for successful viewings from the very start.

Call us on 0113 460 2416 or for a chat with our experienced and friendly team, and let’s get your move underway!

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Having a letting agent who fills you with confidence is an essential part of being a landlord, whether you’re an old hand or just starting out.

But how do you choose who to work with when you’ve got no idea what an agent is really like until you’ve given them your keys? Well, there are some tell-tale signs that make it easy to spot  the best letting agents, including:

  • Expertise
  • Enthusiasm
  • Integrity
  • Attention to detail
  • Competence

These are the star qualities to look for, and in this week’s blog we explore them in more detail so you can pick the best letting agent for you and build a relationship to last for many years.


While being professional and experienced doesn’t always translate to high performance, it is the essential foundation of a letting agent you can have faith in. So use the following five must-haves to build your shortlist.

  • A modern, well-functioning website and an active presence on social media to showcase your property in multiple ways.
  • Homes listed on the major property portals using price strategies to maximise your audience and generate the most interest.
  • Engaging and upbeat descriptions with high-quality photographs that inspire tenants to book a viewing.
  • In-depth knowledge of the local market and ever-changing lettings law to help you avoid unnecessary, costly and lengthy disputes.
  • Pride in their appearance – from a t-shirt and chinos to a suit and tie, making an effort shows they mean business.

The question to ask yourself is: what’s the point in accepting anything less? We don’t think you should, and using an agent with all of these sorted is a great way to get set for success.


You don’t have to wait to give your property to a letting agent to find out whether they’ve got a positive attitude. Before making your choice, look out for things like:

  • the way they react to your property, point out the features that light them up and talk about the perfect tenant and how to find them.
  • their phone or email manner when you book a valuation. You could also pose as a tenant and enquire about a property – how do they come across?
  • your feelings about the prospect of them being your letting agent: are you filled with excitement and confidence, or do you feel like just another number?

Enthusiasm is like sunshine and totally infectious: if your letting agent is enthusiastic about your property and towards their customers, it gives you a lift, rubs off on tenants, and makes everything more enjoyable.


Trust is earned when people do what they say they’ll do and exceed expectations. The same is true for letting agents, and there are lots of little clues that help you gauge their integrity before committing to work with them. Do they:

  • turn up on time for the valuation, or call you with plenty of notice if they’re delayed?
  • confirm their valuation and terms of business in writing in the timeframe they promised.
  • spend their time criticising other local letting agents in an attempt to win your business, or concentrate on your goals and how they can help you reach them?

It all comes down to having an agent who leaves you comfortable and confident at every turn, and their actions speak volumes in showing you their true character.


Getting things right and being thorough costs nothing at all. And when your letting agent pays attention to detail, it makes a world of difference to who ends up living at your property and how profitable it is. So look at things like their:

  • letters and contracts – are they clear and easy to understand, or are they difficult to read and full of spelling mistakes?
  • process for referencing, inventories and check-ins – how do they get you the best tenants and protect you in case of disputes?
  • presentation advice – do they look for opportunities at your property to improve your income and increase the value?

Airtight admin and enlightening advice set the good letting agents apart, so don’t be scared to ask them how they handle things behind the scenes to get the full picture.


The dictionary definition of competence is “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently”. For letting agents, that comes down to the way they’re set up for things like:

  • ensuring that all your safety inspections and certificates for electrics, gas, smoke alarms and energy efficiency are kept up to date and in line with the law.
  • handling inventories, security deposits, renewals, rent reviews, serving notice and disputes.
  • caring for your property with a circle of reputable contractors to deal swiftly with maintenance, repairs and emergencies.

Finally, check how far your letting agent is from your property. From viewings to move-ins and mid-tenancy inspections, they need to be on hand when it counts to be efficient and effective.

Are you looking for a letting agent in Leeds?

Then we’d love you to put us to the test!

Call us on 0113 460 2416 or email us at to talk about your rental property and your landlord goals – we could be the perfect match!

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Power couples, dynamic duos, dream teams… every goal is easier to reach when you’ve got someone on your side.

Selling your home is no different, and by working closely with your estate agent, you’re far more likely to sell faster, secure the right buyer, and have a smoother sale.

There are lots of ways you can join forces to get the best outcome, including:

  • Discussions on price and presentation.
  • Getting a head start on the legal work.
  • How and when you communicate with each other.
  • Making your home available for viewings.
  • Dealing with feedback from your viewers.

And even though you and your estate agent play different parts in your moving story, you both want the same result, so this week’s blog is about how you can work together as a top-notch team.


The last thing you want from your estate agent is any beating about the bush. You’ll get the most from your relationship by having open conversations around things like:

  • The initial valuation – does your agent provide evidence of similar nearby homes that have recently sold to justify their advice?
  • Your asking price – does it use the power of the portals to give you the best exposure and generate the most interest from the right buyers?
  • Odd jobs, minor repairs and presentation tips for photography and viewings – don’t leave any stone unturned in making your home look its best.
  • How your agent negotiates offers from one or more buyers and how they handle bumps in the road.

Remember that you and your estate agent are on the same side. We want exactly the same result as you – a speedy sale at the highest price to make your move a success.


The biggest source of delays in moving home is the conveyancing process, and you can help your sale to go faster and smoother when you:

  • Instruct a solicitor as soon as you decide to move, even before going on the market, to get the legal ball rolling.
  • Complete all the forms they send you about the legal details of your home, including information on boundaries, improvements, and warranties.
  • Respond quickly to any enquiries your buyer raises during the sale to keep things moving swiftly.

It’s not an exciting job, but it needs doing at some point, and it really helps us to maintain your sale’s momentum if the paperwork is ready by the time we find you a buyer.


Staying in touch and keeping each other informed is a crucial part of the relationship between you and your estate agent, and you can help them to help you by:

  • letting your agent know about your reasons and deadlines for moving so they can find you a buyer whose timescales match your own.
  • keeping them up to date if anything changes (i.e. if the home you’re buying hits a delay and you need more time).
  • agreeing on when and how your agent will update you on feedback from viewings, general progress, and a marketing review.
  • speaking up about any concerns, whether it’s your agent’s photography, marketing or service – don’t let anything fester.

Being left in the dark is one of the biggest complaints we hear from people about their estate agent, but it doesn’t have to be like that. So if you’re feeling unloved by your current agent, we’d love to change your experience.


In an ideal world, we’d be able to give you 24 hours’ notice before every viewing, and you’d never have to tidy up. However, real life doesn’t always play along, so it really helps if you can:

  • keep your home looking fresh, clean, and as beautiful as the photographs every day.
  • make your home available for viewings as often as possible, particularly evenings and weekends, but also during the daytime in the week.
  • accept that some viewings may be spontaneous if your agent is out with a buyer at another property and it becomes clear that your home could be perfect for them.
  • go out if you can, or at least don’t hover if you need to be at home – let your agent handle the viewings and allow people to experience your home for themselves.

You’ll find lots more useful tips around keeping your home ready for viewings every day in our previous Setting the Scene blog.


Only when people come to see your home will you know what captures their hearts, and what needs tweaking. This makes regular and constructive feedback a priceless tool in getting your home sold.

  • Your first four weeks on the market are usually the busiest, so make the most of the time window by listening to the comments from your viewings.
  • Don’t take anything personally – getting an honest and straightforward report on what your viewers say about your home is incredibly valuable.
  • If a regular theme emerges that’s preventing anyone from making an offer, take action to remove the obstacle for future viewings.

It’s worth remembering that fresh eyes see things differently, so expect people to say unexpected things about your home. And as a story unfolds, your strategy can be adapted to turn viewings into a sale.

What’s your next step?

If you’re thinking of selling your home in Leeds, we’d love to be part of your moving team.  Call us on 0113 460 2416 or email us at for a chat about working together and putting your plans in place.

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Buy-to-let is undergoing a massive transformation right now. Poor-quality homes are getting squeezed out by tightening legislation, and short-term profiteering has fallen away through changing tax laws. As a result, many landlords have sold up.

But if you’re in it for the long term, buy-to-let can still be a highly profitable route to financial security, particularly if you can serve an overlooked segment of the local rental market.

Finding a speciality has many sides to it, including:

  • Identifying gaps in the market
  • Looking beyond appearances
  • Playing to your strengths
  • Becoming a popular figure
  • Targeting the very best tenants

There’s plenty to unpack, and we’ve broken it down here into snackable chunks of inspiration and expertise to give you a head start on creating the perfect niche.


Every neighbourhood has at least one gap in the market, from the supply of rental homes to the quality on offer, so a good start in identifying your niche is to look at where there’s room for improvement.

  • Check online listings for the types of property you’re interested in buying, then start picking holes in them – what could you do better?
  • Look for gaps between the sort of people moving to an area, and the kind of homes available.
  • Research whether anything happening locally, like regeneration, improved transport, or a new employer, will bring in new residents, then think about the sorts of homes they’ll need.

Local letting agents are a great first port of call for insider knowledge, so ask them what homes they’re sorely missing, and what features will make you stand out and give you more rent.


Most buyers will modernise a Victorian terrace or three-bed semi because it’s a safe bet, but anything less classic tends to be less popular, which creates an opportunity for the imaginative landlord.

  • Consider flats above shops (or converted from them) – you often get more space for your money, and tenants love their convenience for local life and transport.
  • Don’t limit your search to the swankiest street where everyone wants to buy and with the toughest competition – instead, explore the next-best rather than premium locations.
  • Pebble-dashed terraces and homes from the 50s, 80s and 90s might not be fashionable, but they can make excellent buy-to-lets.

Any home that looks plain or unremarkable from the front can be made more attractive, but the job is perceived as complex and costly. However, changing the windows and front door, or repainting the outside in a new colour, can really change things up, and often for less than you’d think.


Work is more fulfilling and fun when you’re interested in what you do, and that includes being a landlord. Having a connection to your chosen market is a great start, so think about things like:

  • your own lifestyle, either now or in the past – which homes came up trumps, which ones fell short, and what qualities made you want to stay or leave?
  • your talents and tastes – are you adept at finding home improvement bargains, or do friends compliment you on your style and design ideas?
  • your existing knowledge of an area, or your proximity to it, to build local expertise and quickly identify the homes and locations that will make excellent investments.

When you can find connections between the local rental market and your experiences, strengths and passions, you’ll find it easier to create popular and profitable homes that give you a warming sense of pride.


Property is a people business, and the key to being a successful landlord is getting called about the best listings when they come up for sale. So try the following when dealing with local estate agents: 

  • Be a friendly, regular presence and present them with a mortgage offer or bank statements to show proof of funds when you register.
  • Be clear about the sort of rental homes you’d like to offer, be available to view them, and be on time when you go.
  • Be easy to work with – only offer if you’re going to buy; don’t make ridiculously low offers, and perform quickly if your offer is accepted.

Estate agents are human beings with a job to do, and it’s the straightforward and purposeful landlords who go to the front of the queue when potential rental investments hit the market. 


When you offer rental homes that people instantly fall in love with and are happy to pay a premium for, you’ll naturally attract the cream of the crop of tenants.

  • Use the highest quality materials and fittings that the local market either demands or has the potential for.
  • Concentrate on timeless, durable and bright interiors – the Scandinavians do this exceptionally well with their off-whites and natural timber.
  • Implement robust referencing criteria to include bank statements alongside credit scoring to identify tenants with plenty of disposable income.

By going for the best of the market, you’ll pull in the tenants who truly appreciate high quality and can comfortably afford the extra rent without stretching themselves.

Are you looking to build your landlord niche?

Then let’s talk! Whether you’re an experienced landlord with a portfolio you want to reposition or expand, or you’re just starting out and looking for your first buy-to-let, we’d love to help!

From what tenants want from a property to rent in Leeds to helping you maximise your yields and stay ahead of ever-changing lettings law, call us on 0113 460 2416 or drop us a line at for a chat with our team.

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Pushing your home’s value to its full potential can make your next move bigger and better. That could mean more space, a larger garden, or a swisher location than you thought was possible.

But where do you start?

Well, we talk to buyers looking for a home in Leeds every day. And from their reactions on viewings, we’ve pulled together the qualities and features they love most to help you make upgrades that count, including:

  • Things you can do for free
  • Low-cost improvements
  • Optimising energy efficiency
  • Extending & remodelling
  • Luxury & design upgrades

So whether you’re selling soon or adding value for the future, let’s take a look at the most popular improvements to bowl over buyers and sell your home for more.


There are plenty of ways to add thousands to your home without spending a penny, and with a weekend of work and thought, you can make a dramatic difference. 

  • Take a picture of each room to see how they look on camera (your phone will do) – we can get used to bulging bookshelves or blocked sightlines, and a photo can act as a new pair of eyes.
  • Rearrange, relocate or even remove pieces of furniture to unlock valuable extra floor space and give any spare rooms a clear purpose and lived-in look.
  • Banish any suggestion of bursting at the seams by clearing excess clutter from storage spaces, including under the stairs, kitchen cupboards, and fitted wardrobes.
  • Check if you have any unused items hidden away that you could use for styling and accessorising to add extra homely touches.
  • Clean everything inside and out – not just hoovering and dusting, but also exterior paintwork, garden paths, both sides of windows, skirting boards, light switches and door handles.

The big takeaway is that a stylish, sparkling and uncluttered home makes great photography and puts a spring in the step of every viewing, whatever the time of year.


Buyers pay more for a home that looks loved because it stops them from worrying about nasty surprises and hidden costs, so look for opportunities to fix minor repairs and make small investments.

  • Repaint peeling or chipped exterior woodwork like window frames, your front door and fence – your kerb appeal has a big impact on how buyers see your home before they even come in.
  • Treat any room with tired decoration to a fresh coat of paint to elevate its look and feel, then use our Photography Secrets blog for extra styling tips.
  • Refresh bathrooms and kitchens by removing mould and limescale from tiles, grouting, sealant and taps, fixing drips, and repainting or replacing rusty radiators.
  • Upgrade outdated or bland handles on internal doors and kitchen cupboards for an instant style lift.
  • Bring your garden or balcony to life with plants, flowers, seating, textiles and lighting for an attractive outdoor space to use all day and night.

For more inspiration, take a look at our previous blog that’s full of ideas to show your home’s heart by highlighting all of its inherent character.


Eco-conscious buyers are here to stay, and with yet another hefty jump in energy costs upon us, your home’s energy efficiency and performance have never affected its value more.

  • Plug up icy draughts by sealing gaps around windows and door frames, then fit draught excluders to letterboxes, keyholes and under doors.
  • Insulate everywhere you can. It’s the foundation of energy efficiency, so check where you can trap in the heat, from the roof to the walls and under the floor.
  • Add smart upgrades to your heating system, including room thermostats, a central control system with zones, and wifi compatibility with access from your phone when you’re in or out.
  • Research switching to solar power or installing a heat exchange system to reduce energy consumption and generate your own electricity.
  • Replace single glazing with double or triple-glazed windows in wood or aluminium – focus on retaining your home’s character at the front, and opening up views at the back.

You can find more tips on turning your home into an eco-friendly oasis with lower running costs in our previous blog, KILL YOUR BILLS.


Banks and surveyors use square footage when valuing property, which makes increasing your home’s size and usable space an effective way to supercharge its value. And there are many options.

  • Integrating an empty adjacent space could add a spacious bedroom suite, extra kids’ rooms, a home office, or a family-sized kitchen hub spilling onto the garden.
  • Attached or integral garages can be turned into rooms, but consider the impact on your home’s value if you don’t have any off-street parking.
  • Loft conversions are firm favourites for adding extra accommodation without having to extend – make sure you install a proper staircase that’s easy to climb!
  • Combining separate rooms and spaces can increase the usable floor area, add more light, and modernise a layout.
  • Even getting planning permission and commissioning architects’ drawings can substantially increase your audience of buyers and how much they’ll pay.

If you’d like some help or suggestions for extending or remodelling your home to attract more buyers and get the highest return, we’re here to help you make a profitable decision.


As well as turning everyday routines into moments of pleasure, adding five-star upgrades can make your home stand out from the crowd, raise the local price ceiling, and even create a whole new market.

  • Install a state-of-the-art designer kitchen with marble or stone worktops and a full range of integrated appliances from premium brands like Miele, Siemens, and Bosch.
  • Add spa-quality to your bathroom with features like a freestanding tub, walk-in rainfall shower, heated floor, natural tiles and high-end taps.
  • Upgrade the flooring in living areas to solid or engineered hardwood to add the rich, durable and timeless style of natural timber.
  • Replace boring radiators and plastic switches with coordinated designer models in modern metallic finishes like brushed steel, brass, or black.
  • Repurpose an under-utilised front lawn into off-street parking, including applying to the local authority for a dropped kerb.
  • Employ a professional landscaper to transform an uninspired garden into a stylish oasis using natural materials with zones for eating, planting and relaxing.

The best return from luxury or design upgrades comes from those that deliver the biggest step up in the experience and lifestyle of your home with a focus on high-quality, elegant fittings and finishes.

Would you like to boost your sale price?

Then let’s talk! If you own a home in Leeds, we’d love to help you achieve the maximum potential value so you can make your dream move with money to spare.

Call us on 0113 460 2416 or drop us a line at to chat about your plans with our friendly and expert team.

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Demand for rental homes rose by around 25% in 2022, and competition among tenants is hotter than ever as potential buyers wait and see what house prices will do.

As rents continue to rise from a shortage of property, more and more young professional adults are looking to share a rental home in Leeds to save on costs without living in a tiny space.

Renting your property to sharers can increase your yield by having an income-earning tenant in every bedroom, but there are some things to get a handle on first, including:

  • Setting up the tenancy agreement correctly
  • Understanding when a shared home becomes an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation)
  • Having the right specification and accommodation
  • Managing a property with multiple tenants
  • Replacing a sharer if one moves out

With that in mind, this week’s blog has all you need to know about renting to sharers, so you can get everything right the first time around.


When you rent to sharers, you create a joint tenancy agreement that includes everyone who’ll be living at the property. The contract can be altered whenever one of the sharers is replaced (more on that later), and the following process will help you ensure you have the best tenants living at your property.

  • Each sharer should be thoroughly referenced for creditworthiness, employment, earnings, previous landlord and ID – even if you already know them.
  • Ensure your tenancy agreement makes the sharers jointly and severally liable for the rent, bills, and any damages. If one tenant doesn’t pay, the others must make up the shortfall.
  • Before they move in, each sharer must pay their first month’s rent and share of the security deposit, then sign the tenancy agreement and a detailed inventory.

Don’t skimp on any of this. Thorough referencing is your best safeguard in accepting only the best tenants; a security deposit is essential in case of damage, and you’ll never win a dispute over the condition of your property without a signed and dated inventory.


Many landlords are still unclear when a shared home becomes a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), but knowing the difference and your legal obligations is absolutely essential. Some things to consider include:

  • A rental property is classified as an HMO as soon as three or more unrelated adults live in it, but that doesn’t automatically mean you need a licence.
  • With five or more unrelated adults in a home with two or more storeys, you need an HMO licence from the local authority.
  • Once you get above six occupants, you’ll also need planning permission and may have to install fire doors and lobbies.

Bear in mind that some councils have selected licensing policies to prevent family homes from being turned into HMOs, so check whether your property is affected before doing anything else.


When multiple adults share a home, the specification needs to be up to the task. Picking the cheapest option is always a false economy, so prioritise years of reliable service to minimise the time and hassle of repairs. Consider the following when preparing your property:

  • Most adults want a bedroom with at least enough space for a 140cm wide double bed, a wardrobe and a chest of drawers. That means a room no smaller than 110 sq ft, or 11m2.
  • Include a large fridge/freezer with a separate shelf for each sharer, a full-size dishwasher, and a washing machine with an 8kg+ load capacity, all from durable brands like Bosch, Neff and AEG.
  • Choose a property with – or find a place for – an additional shower and toilet to avoid morning bathroom battles.
  • Use stylish and durable finishes: think engineered hardwood and tiles for floors, and high-quality washable paint to remove inevitable scuffs without redecorating.
  • Gardens should be low-maintenance with paving, bricks or decking rather than lawns and beds to tend and weed. Or ask your agent if it’s worth including a gardener in the rent.

Finally, make sure there’s enough cupboard space for things like food, a vacuum cleaner, an ironing board and a clothes airer, then take a look at our blog on attracting professional sharers to appeal to high-quality tenants.


When renting out your property to sharers, life is much easier with an agreed system for communication and management, from how the rent gets paid to dealing with the unexpected.

  • One tenant should be the nominated point of contact for things like booking mid-tenancy inspections, carrying out safety checks, and arranging repairs.
  • You’ll need to choose whether to accept multiple standing orders for each share of the monthly rent, or a single payment from a lead tenant. Then stay on top of incoming and late payments.
  • Collect phone numbers for each tenant, so you can contact any of them whenever you need to in case one of them is late with the rent, or the nominated contact is away.

As with all tenancies, being organised, communicating clearly and keeping on top of maintenance and repairs creates a positive rental experience for everyone, where tenants take better care of your property and stay for longer.


In an ideal world, no sharer would ever move out in the middle of a tenancy, but the reality of life is that people move on in all sorts of directions. So expect a few move-ins and move-outs along the way, and use the following pointers to make those transitions as smooth as possible:

  • In most cases, your tenants will find a replacement themselves, then hand them over to you or your agent for referencing.
  • If the new sharer passes the referencing checks, their name is added to the tenancy agreement, and the outgoing tenant is removed.
  • If their references are unsatisfactory, the outgoing tenant stays on the agreement until a replacement is found, even if they move out. 
  • To ensure the new sharer knows how your property should be returned to you, they need to sign the inventory that was prepared at the start of the tenancy.

By ensuring that everyone who ever lives at your property goes through the same referencing process and signs the same tenancy agreement and inventory, you’ll avoid complications later on in the event of disputes or damages.

Are you thinking of renting to sharers?

Then let’s talk! Having an income earner in every bedroom could increase your income and yield, so if you own a rental property in Leeds, call us on 0113 460 2416 or message us at to speak with our expert and friendly team.

Your investment could soon be performing better than ever!