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Three Nightmarish Buy-to-Let Scenarios and How to Avoid Them

You’ll see plenty of ghosts and ghouls trick-or-treating tonight, but here are three frightening scenarios that haunt landlords all year round.


Being a landlord can sometimes be unpredictable – but the experience is much less scary if you have a good letting agent on your side. Read on to find out why.


Late night emergency

Picture this: It’s past midnight, a full moon is in the sky, and you’re safe and warm in your bed. Then the phone rings. And your cosy evening turns into a fright night.


It’s your tenant calling. She’s in tears because burglars have forced their way into your property. She’s lost valuable belongings, and the property is now unsecured. You’re needed ASAP.


No matter how organised or diligent a landlord is, things can go wrong. And when they do, the landlord has a duty of care to rectify the situation promptly.


But what happens if you’re on holiday or away on business when the emergency occurs? If you have a letting agent managing the property, you can relax – they’ll deal with it. If you don’t, you’ll have to stop whatever you’re doing and take charge.


Red tape horror show

Did you know that there are more than 200 laws that apply to landlords in the UK, covering everything from energy ratings and gas safety to evictions and deposits?


Spend a day or two trying to familiarise yourself with all these regulations and you’ll wind up feeling like a zombie. But you must get to grips with all this red tape, because if you fail to follow the law, you could face a heavy fine or jail.


The alternative is to entrust the job to a letting agent who will be up to speed on all the relevant rules and regulations.


Neighbour from hell 

No doubt you reference check your tenants (if you don’t, what are you thinking?). But unfortunately, a landlord can’t do the same thing with the neighbours.


What happens if a ghoulish person moves into a neighbouring property and makes your tenant’s life hell? If this happens, your tenant will likely turn to you for help.


These situations can be time-consuming and emotionally draining (especially if you need to involve the authorities) and are best handled by a pro.


If you use a letting agent, they’ll help your tenant if problems arise at the property.


From all of us here at Silverspring Lettings, have a Happy Halloween.

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Six DIY Tips That Will Save You Money on Your Energy Bills

With winter around the corner, there’s still time to make changes at home to minimise your energy usage and save on your bills.


There’s no getting around it: we’ll all be paying more for our energy this winter. But by making a few simple changes at home, you can trim back your energy usage.


While much of the energy-saving advice that has been dished out so far relates to behavioural change – things like using your boiler less and turning off the lights – there are also some DIY measures that can help.


And the good news is that these energy efficiency changes will also cut your carbon footprint and save you money for years to come.


Six energy-saving DIY tips

  • Install a water-efficient shower head in your bathroom. This step could reduce your hot water consumption by up to 50%, meaning you use less energy and water. Win-win.


  • If you haven’t already replaced standard bulbs with LEDs, now’s the time. LEDs use 75% less energy than old-fashioned bulbs.


  • Bleed your radiators. It’s best to do this at least once a year to ensure no air is trapped inside, as these air bubbles stop radiators from working efficiently.


  • Install thermostatic radiator valves on all your radiators so that you can adjust the temperature in each room. This is especially useful if you work from home and only need one or two rooms to be warm during the day.


  • Insulate your hot water tank by fitting a cylinder jacket (these are widely available at DIY stores). British Gas suggests that without one, your hot water cylinder could lose up to 75% of its heat.


  • Stop warm air escaping under doors by investing in a few draught excluders (like the ones your granny used to have). Other draughtproofing products on the market include self-adhesive foam strips that you apply around windows and letterbox brush strips that stop the heat from escaping from your letterbox.


For more information and support

Several grants and one-off payments have been made available to assist those struggling with bills. To ensure you’re claiming all you’re entitled to, visit


From all of us here at Silverspring Lettings, thanks for reading.

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Are You Putting Your Rental Investment at Risk?

There’s a lot to think about when you are a landlord.


You’ve got the ever-changing rules around rental property to consider.


Then there’s ensuring your property is well maintained and your tenants are happy.


Add to that the cost of living crisis, pressures on the economy and political instability, and you could be forgiven for thinking, ‘what’s the point?’.


But before you sell up, let’s look at your alternatives.


We believe that the best way a landlord in Leeds can run successful rental property portfolios is to

work with an experienced, knowledgeable and conscientious letting agent.


Now, more than ever, landlords must know what they are doing and have access to expert advice.


Below is an example of what can happen when that doesn’t take place and how much it can potentially cost a landlord.


The wrong (and right) way to find ideal tenants

Mr Smith is a landlord. He has marketed his property himself, putting it on a local Facebook group. He rented it to the person willing to pay the highest monthly amount.


Mr Smith didn’t bother with references as the person paid a deposit, and he also ‘saved’ himself money by using an online tenancy agreement template.


What Mr Smith didn’t realise was that he limited his number of potentially suitable tenants by only marketing in one place. He also didn’t check his tenant’s background and employment status.


If he had, he would have realised his tenant has a track record of falling behind with their rent, leaving properties in bad condition and generally being problematic.


Now, we must stress most tenants are responsible and reliable.


But by cutting corners to save a few quid, Mr Smith has potentially cost himself thousands of pounds in lost rent, the cost of court proceedings and damage to his property.


A good letting agent would have marketed his property across multiple platforms to showcase it in its best possible light and to the widest possible audience.


This creates demand for the property and gives Mr Smith several suitable tenants to choose from.


A good letting agent would then advise Mr Smith on the most suitable tenants (not just someone willing to pay the highest rent). Then, stringent referencing checks covering employment, rental history and financial backgrounds would ensure the risk of the tenancy turning sour is dramatically reduced.


Not only that, but once a tenant is in place, a good letting agent can manage the maintenance and repairs of a property so that small issues don’t become big, costly problems. Again, saving a landlord thousands.


We believe the key to unlocking your rental property’s potential (and saving you time, money and hassle) is working with an agency like us, now, more than ever.


So, if you are a landlord who wants to do things the right way, contact us today.


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Make Your Rental Stand Out with These Techy

It’s fair to say that tenants’ needs have changed in recent years. With more people working from home than ever, has your rental property got the tech to appeal to top tenants?


In the current digital age, there are countless smart apps and devices that can help your property stand out in a crowded market.


In this quick read, we look at some easy ways to become a tech-savvy landlord, attract the best tenants and save money. 



Let’s start with the basics. Everyone wants to be connected, so ensuring you offer the fastest broadband at your property is a must. While there’s no obligation to provide tenants with broadband, it’s much better to get it installed before a property is occupied rather than receiving irate calls from fed-up tenants struggling to connect (or letting them do it themselves).


Smart meters 

If your rent includes bills, then a smart meter is an excellent way to understand how much you’re paying and identify potential savings. Similarly, if your tenant is responsible for bills, a smart meter will make them aware of their energy usage and spending. Smart meters are being rolled out to anyone responsible for paying energy bills and are an essential budgeting tool in the current cost of living crisis.


Smart heating

This wireless thermostatic device is a great way to save money and energy. It allows tenants to control the property’s heating from their phones, so if they’re going to be home later than expected, they can adjust the thermostat accordingly. The temperature can be controlled on a room-to-room basis and uses artificial intelligence to learn people’s heating needs.


Smart doorbells 

These not only improve the security of your property but make a home more attractive to renters as they can see who’s coming and going and manage deliveries. With the added ability to record and store footage, this is a great safety feature.


Smart lighting 

Smart lighting is a great asset if you own an HMO with communal areas. It allows you to control the times when lights come on and off or when motion is detected – saving money and reducing energy expenditure. Landlords of high-end properties can take smart lighting to another level, offering tenants mood lighting – all controlled by an app.


Smart smoke detectors 

Installing smoke detectors is a legal requirement for all rental properties. But why not go one step further and install a smart smoke detector that will notify you if there’s a problem. This is helpful if your property is vacant or your tenants are away, as you can act quickly to ensure the safety of your rental.


If you’ve got a property to let out, contact Silverspring Lettings so we can find you the right tenants.





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World Smile Day: Why Grinning is Winning

They say the best things in life are free, so here’s a quick and easy way to brighten someone’s day that won’t cost you a penny – but will make you feel good.


He may have been known as ‘Cranky Franky’, but crooner Frank Sinatra is responsible for popularising a very cheery message that has stood the test of time.


Sixty years ago, he enjoyed a hit with When You’re Smiling, a tune best known for the catchy lyrics “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you”.


Cynics may think the song’s theme is a little cheesy, but research has shown it’s actually true. Smiling is contagious and good for our health. Let us explain why.


The science behind smiling

Researchers have discovered that when we smile, our brain releases the feelgood chemicals serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. In other words, flashing a cheeky grin improves your mood and lowers your blood pressure and anxiety levels.


And as we humans are hardwired to mimic the mannerisms and facial gestures we see around us, chances are the person you smile at will smile back – and also enjoy a dose of positive chemicals.


World Smile Day

This brings us to World Smile Day, which is today (7 October). The event was started by Harvey Ball, who designed the iconic yellow smiley face image that has appeared on countless badges and t-shirts (and inspired the smiling face emoji).


Ball created the image in 1963 but never trademarked it (he says he was never money driven). However, by 1999, Ball felt that the original meaning behind the symbol (friendship and kindness) was getting lost, so he started World Smile Day. It aims to encourage people to spread good cheer through random acts of kindness.


So now it’s over to you. How will you mark World Smile Day? You could:

  • Flash your pearly whites at passers-by as you go about your daily business.
  • Give up your seat on public transport to someone.
  • Stop to chat to a neighbour who you rarely talk to.
  • Dish out thoughtful compliments to people whom you encounter in person and online.
  • Donate to a local charity that is doing positive work in your community.


From all of us here at Silverspring Lettings, stay safe and keep smiling.



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Why You Need Generation Z to Rent Out Your Property

They’re young, they’re moving out of their parents’ homes, and they could be your next tenants. We’re talking about Generation Z, the workforce of the future and a generation that’s ready to pay rent.


Over the next three years, it’s estimated that Gen Z (born between 1996 and 2012) will pay a larger share of the UK rent bill than any other age group, as found by property giants Hamptons.


While it’s true that some 20-somethings choose to stay in the comfy nests made by mum and dad for a bit longer than other age groups, more and more are cutting the apron strings and venturing into the rental world. So, what do you need to do to attract the best Gen Z tenants?


  • Get connected

Gen Z don’t know a world without the internet. Wireless technology, smartphones and streaming are the norm. (Most won’t have ever seen a cassette tape. A Walkman? What’s that?)


Fast, reliable broadband is a necessity. In fact, not having broadband already installed in your property would probably be a huge drawback for Gen Z tenants, as much of their life revolves around being connected.


  • Office kit-out

At this age, some might be starting their first jobs, but others already make up the army of employees totally used to working from home. With this in mind, location and proximity to transport links may not be as important as they once were to tenants. In fact, Gen Z has been described as the first generation of digital nomads (able to work from anywhere).


So, now what really matters is home office space. Furnishing a rental property with desks and chairs or a cool breakfast bar (for coffee shop vibes), having enough plug points, wireless internet and so on will help boost a property’s desirability.


  • Communicate

Described as a generation of savvy consumers who value integrity, sustainability and ethical buying, Gen Z tenants are likely to be passionate about things like home improvements, tenant rights and eco-friendly properties. So, to be a good Gen Z landlord, it’s important to keep an open line of communication and be prepared to be challenged if you fall short of your obligations.


  • Use a reputable letting agent

If you want your rental property to reach potential Gen Z tenants, the best way to do so is by working with an experienced letting agent. They’ll have tried and tested marketing strategies to target young professionals looking for rental properties (and access to a marketing budget which you might not). Take advantage of their skills and expertise by hiring a team that can find you the best tenants for your property.


If you need tenants for your rental property, contact Silverspring Lettings to get the search started.


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Chemical-Free Cleaning Is Easier Than You Might Think

Sometimes (or very occasionally), there’s nothing better than doing a big clean. But have you ever thought about what you’re cleaning with? Every polish, spray and cleaning solution we use contains hundreds of chemicals, yet we liberally spray them all over the surfaces we cook on and eat off.


Could there be a better way? Can you get the same results with chemical-free products? Supermarkets offer many natural, toxin-free products, but why pay through the nose when you can make your own.


Here’s a round-up of some of the best natural cleaning solutions you can use to spruce up your cleaning routine.


  • White vinegar

No cleaning hack is complete without a bottle of the whiffy stuff (not the same as what you pour onto your fish and chips FYI). It’s a miracle ingredient and cleans stubborn kitchen grease and dirt as well as removing stains from clothes. It’s eco-friendly, biodegradable and super cheap.


To make a white vinegar solution, mix 250ml of vinegar with 250ml of cool boiled water. Eliminate the smell by adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil, pour into a reusable spray bottle and get cleaning.


Tip: As white vinegar is acidic, don’t use it on stone surfaces or metallic paint.


  • Olive oil

Not only is it delicious, but olive oil is a handy, chemical-free cleaning product and can be used to polish up items around the house. Stainless steel pans lost their shine? Add a bit of the good stuff to a soft cloth and rub your pots, pans and even your sink. It can also make your patent, leather or rubber shoes shine again.


Tip: Squeaky cupboard door? Spray a little olive oil onto the hinge to get rid of noise.


  • Bicarbonate of soda

Just like white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda comes high on the list of natural cleaning ingredients that are super effective and eco-friendly. It’s also a great way to get rid of bad smells. Mix it with water to get rid of dirt and grease in the kitchen or sprinkle it on a sponge and scrub pots and Tupperware that have got stubborn stains.


  • Lemon juice

While freshly squeezed lemon make a delicious cup of lemonade, it’s also a handy addition to your cleaning supplies. Mixed with water and some rinds, lemon juice can remove caked-on dirt and grime and adds a fresh-smelling scent to your home. Pour it down the sink to clear out your drain or mix it with white vinegar and water for an effective floor cleaner.


What are your favourite natural cleaning products or hacks? At Silverspring lettings we love to hear our customers’ solutions – comment below.






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Seven Tips to Get Young People Reading

In the lead-up to International Literacy Day on 8 September, this article shares ways to promote good literacy skills among children and teenagers.


To quote The Cat in the Hat creator Dr Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”


The good doctor (we use the term loosely, it was a pen name) was right: being able to read and write is economically and intellectually empowering.


On the other hand, illiteracy hampers education and employment opportunities, making navigating everyday life more difficult. If you can’t read or write, you can’t check the labels on medicine bottles, study the terms of a contract or understand road and safety signs.


So, spare a thought for the 750 million people in the world (two thirds of whom are women) who are illiterate.*


Literacy in the UK

You might think illiteracy is only a problem in countries with limited access to education. But 16.4% of adults (7.1 million people) in this country have ‘very poor literacy skills’. **


And education experts fear this statistic could worsen in years to come because many children fell behind in literacy due to Covid lockdowns.


Here are seven tips to help raise a curious reader.


  • Make time each day to read together. If your child is a reluctant book reader, try magazines. Many magazines are aimed at children, so choose one on a topic that matches your child’s interests, such as football, animals, or cars.
  • Don’t forget the importance of talking to your child. Good language skills are associated with good literacy skills.
  • Join your local library so you can borrow numerous books (fiction and non-fiction) for free. Experiment with different genres and authors to find out what your child likes.
  • Send a card or letter in the post – children love to open envelopes addressed to them. Also, encourage your child to write to a loved one.
  • BookTok, a sub-community on TikTok where readers post book recommendations, is hugely popular with teenagers. If you’re struggling to get your teen to read, look at what’s trending on #BookTok.
  • Never criticise a young person’s choice in books. If they’re reading something that engages them, go with it.
  • When watching a film or TV show, turn on the English subtitles. Researchers think this activates the ‘listening’ and ‘speaking’ parts of the brain and helps reinforce our understanding of words.

What’s your favourite childhood book? Let us know what stories inspired you growing up by posting on our social media @Silverspring.lettings.


* Unesco

** National Literacy Trust

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Renting for the First Time? Read On

Are you a renting newbie? Are you flying your family’s comfy nest? Well, this one’s for you. Renting your first place isn’t as simple as moving in and unpacking – there’s a lot you need to know.


In this quick read, we help you prepare to sign on the dotted line and start your first tenancy. 


Step 1: Budget

Have you planned your finances? Do you know what you can afford every month? Have you saved enough for a deposit?


Remember, it’s not just rent you must pay; you also need to budget for utility bills and council tax (unless they’re included in the rent), food and travel. Also, when you move in, you’ll have to pay for a TV licence, broadband installation and contents insurance.


Step 2: Search 

If you know where you want to live, research the types and prices of available properties. Think about whether you want to move into a flat share, an HMO, or a place just for you. Speak to a local letting agent to discuss what’s available.


Be ready to move quickly once you’ve found a property, as the rental market can be competitive.


Step 3: Understand your tenancy agreement 

Once you’ve found a place, you’ll need to sign a tenancy agreement. This details your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, your landlord’s responsibilities towards the property and you, notice periods and the rental amount. Keep a copy of this throughout the tenancy period.


Your deposit will be held in a tenancy deposit scheme, which means it’s protected. It will be returned to you at the end of the agreement if there are no disputes around the property’s condition.


Step 4: Moving in

Before you start lugging boxes into your rental, you should be provided with an inventory. This details the condition of the property and any furniture or fittings. Make sure you look at this closely. Tell your agent/landlord if there are any discrepancies between the document and the property’s actual condition. Sign it and keep a copy.


Check that there are working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This is a legal requirement. Make sure you know about any fire exits or safety points.


Step 5: Landlord details 

Your tenancy agreement will contain your landlord’s contact details. It is the landlord’s duty to maintain the property, for example, if the oven stops working or the toilet starts leaking. However, if a lightbulb goes out but it was working when you moved in, that’s for you to replace. Similarly, if you cause any damage during the tenancy, it’s up to you to sort it out.


However nice your landlord is, remember, they’re not your friend. It’s a business relationship. Renting a property is a transaction. So, keep interactions polite and professional.


If you’re searching for your first rental, our team will be happy to help. Contact Silverspring Lettings today.


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Online Games to Play Now Wordle Isn’t Cool

Games on your phone are a great way to look busy and important. They’re also a great way to show off to your social media mates about how cool and relevant you are. If you haven’t heard of Wordle, you’ve probably been living under a rock (or, more likely, you’re far too busy to notice that everyone’s been talking and posting about it).


But if you’re late to the five-letter party, what are the other games you can get unhealthily addicted to?


In this quick read, we say bye-bye to Wordle and look at some of the alternatives you should be playing.


First up… what is Wordle?

It’s a game that started a global trend. Suddenly, social media was inundated with yellow and green grids and people commenting about how many attempts it took to find the word. Baffled? Basically, Wordle is a game where you’ve got six guesses to find a five-letter word. Get one right and it turns yellow, get the letter and position right, it turns green.


What’s next?

  • Heardle

For all you music maestros out there, Heardle gives you six attempts to guess a song. You get a tiny snippet and then submit a random song choice to move on to the next snippet. It’s very annoying but also highly addictive. Every day, you’ll get another song to guess. Perfect for procrastinators with headphones.


  • Sweardle

Got a potty mouth? There’s a game for that. Sweardle is a terrible attempt at making Wordle funny. Four letters, four guesses, but be warned, some of the alleged swear words will have you very disappointed.


  • Worldle

If you’re rubbish at geography, this game is either a great way to learn or the perfect reason to throw your laptop/phone/tablet across the room. Worldle shows you a small section of the global map and you have six attempts to guess where it is. It’s very hard and will have you furiously typing out random country names.


Think Wordle but with numbers (and ridiculously difficult). You need to enter random calculations to see if it’s the right one. Anything that lights up in green means it’s in the right position, anything that goes purple means it’s in the calculation, but you’ve got the wrong spot. Confused? So are we. Not a great idea to start a game if you’re on a quick loo break, you’ll be gone for hours.


What’s your favourite online game? Let Silverspring Lettings know in the comments, we like to test our brains in between viewings!