With autumn just around the corner, it’s that time of year when a warm and cosy house is a must! We understand that if you aren’t a homeowner it can be a tricky process to make your rental property UK feel like home. It’s easier to change certain things when you’re paying the mortgage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a warm and welcoming space while renting in the UK. We’ve put together some tips that might help you realise the potential of your home.

 

Non-permanent additions tend to be the way forward with rental agreements. Whilst you might think the only way to make drastic changes is to repaint or knock down walls entirely, there are so many other things you can do. Make it your own now, and if you decide to go elsewhere in the future - all you need to do is pack it away. There are no worries when you’re leaving it as you found it! Even though some landlords can be more flexible than others, here are some safe options for adding a personal touch to your rental property UK.

 

Bring the outside in

 

House plants are all the rage and they’re a fantastically easy way of livening up your space. They add an immediate pop of colour to any room. Not only are they great for aesthetic purposes, but they can be used for cleaning the air around you. They remove toxins and can be really helpful for keeping your home a healthy, clear area to relax in. (Unless you don’t have a green thumb and opt for faux plants of course! They’re still just as lovely to look at.)

 

Another way plants can make somewhere feel like home is by carefully choosing the pots they live in. Make a statement by having bold colours and patterns or compliment the rest of your interior design by matching the colour schemes. It’s a great way to start the process of deciding what colours you like and what makes the space seem bigger or more welcoming. They can always be moved from room to room should it not look how you envisioned.

 

Light it up

 

Whilst you might not be able to change main light fixtures, it doesn’t stop you from bringing in some free-standing lamps and alternatives of your own. You can experiment with different sizes and styles here to create some depth. Think about rooms with more space that might benefit from floor lights - you could create a reading corner with a warm, overhanging floor lamp. Alternatively, desk lamps always come in useful for producing a really cosy, autumnal feeling and can also help compartmentalise larger rooms into sections.

 

Candles and coloured bulbs also offer a great source of mood lighting if you want something less harsh than a ceiling light all the time. Smaller rooms may benefit from this change as many landlords will invest in the cheaper option of LED bulbs. These can often be a lot more stark and maybe brighter than your average halogen bulb. If you do find this is the case, dimmer and warmer lighting options are available for you to experiment with.

 

Accessorise

 

Buying your own soft furnishings is normally a given when moving to a rental property UK. While some furniture and white goods may be included - it’s up to you to decorate as you wish. You can be as creative as you like with patterned rugs and pillows. Or if bold isn’t your style, you can even just match things to your colour scheme (if you have one). Simply adding your own flare with small details will make all the difference in a home where you can’t make large alterations. 

 

Something that can put people off renting is if the property is dated. In this case, you might find carpets with bold colours or loud patterns that discourage you from an otherwise beautiful home. Large rugs are a great way forward if you find yourself in a similar situation. Although you can’t replace the carpet, you could certainly cover it up. It will add an extra layer of comfort and warmth too on cold days. Find a nice sized option with a pattern, colour and texture of your choice.

 

Upcycle old furniture

 

If you are bringing furniture with you to a new property, or even buying on a budget - upcycling is a way you can make them fit your style and bring a new design to your rental property UK. Charity shops often have pre-loved items such as draws and side tables that just need some restoration. This allows you to repaint and make changes to pieces that might not have worked with your style otherwise. These are still things you can take away with you if you leave but can be really handy in unfurnished properties. 

 

Simple components like changing the knobs and handles on a chest of drawers or removing doors and shelves from certain pieces will give it a new look entirely. The best thing about this is that if your rooms are painted a fairly neutral colour, you can essentially do whatever you like with the furniture. People will notice the quirks and bursts of colour long before they notice the walls or carpets. 

 

Dress the windows

 

An unfurnished rental property UK might not come with curtains or blinds of any sort. This means it’s up to you to inject your own ideas and create the cosy or open atmosphere you’re looking for. Curtains actually make up a large part of a room’s style. One of the first things people tend to do when visiting a home is look out the windows at the view. This will be the case for any guests you may have too. So they’re going to notice what’s around the windows as well. Make a statement by adding some floor to ceiling curtains or use some netting behind other layers to keep it fresh in the summer and warmer in the winter.

 

However, if the landlord has left curtains up when you arrive, you may be able to keep them stored nicely until you move out and replace them in the meantime. (It’s always worth asking before you take something of theirs down.) Curtains with eyelets are easy to change over and can be used to add a larger pop of colour to the end of a room. It’s also worth taking into consideration the location of your property. As some places can have a lot of light pollution - blackout curtains might be a worthwhile investment - especially in bedrooms.

 

Create your own gallery

 

Art and photos are a must-have when turning somewhere into your own. One drawback of a rental property can be the inability to hang pictures. Command strips are a fantastic invention that doesn’t leave a trace. Again, it may be worthwhile checking with the landlord before using strips or anything similar, but usually, it won’t be an issue as it doesn’t leave a permanent mark. Alternatives like washi tape and blue tac could allow you to stick photographs and light decorations onto the walls without breaking your rental agreement. 

 

Heavy picture frames are probably a no-go when renting. Although, it leaves you to embrace your creativity and produce some pieces to hang in your at-home gallery. If you have children, bright paintings and drawings are memories that could go anywhere in the house. Or if you’re artistic yourself - light canvases and printed photographs will hang nicely with the non-permanent alternatives to hooks. There is so much potential for you to make somewhere rented feel like home. So don’t shy away from putting your stamp on it.

 

Find a rented property UK with Beals

 

Most people dream of getting onto the property ladder someday, but renting is a great alternative that gives you the freedom of your own space, without the struggles of a mortgage. It can be hard to make somewhere that isn’t ‘yours’ feel like home - but we’ve seen in this article that there are plenty of ways to make changes. It may take a bit of creativity, but over time, it is completely possible to transform your space.

For almost three decades we have been at the heart of the local community, delivering our special brand of property sales, rentals and financial services. From humble beginnings and just 26 people, we have grown into Hampshire's leading independent estate agent, with offices in 10 prime locations. We have a dedicated team of 150 property experts waiting to help you achieve your dreams. Our independence makes us unique because we can provide a personal service from our many high street branches without being controlled remotely from a head office located on the other side of the country.

We offer an unparalleled experience which is why we have so many repeat customers, we know how to get it right every time. Whether you be a buyer, seller, landlord or tenant, we've got you covered. Contact us here by submitting an enquiry form or call one of our dedicated branches, the individual contact numbers for each can be found here

Our step-by-step guide to successfully selling your property

1. Getting a valuation

Selling your home is never an easy decision. You’ve probably spent hours considering the pros and cons, but now you’ve reached the stage of getting a valuation. 

Our dedicated professionals value hundreds of homes across Hampshire every week, so if anyone can give you clear guidance, we can. Our knowledge, skill, and passion are just a few reasons why we are renowned for achieving the asking price across a vast range of our client’s properties. 

2. Why choose Beal’s?

How do you choose the right estate agent? What should you be looking for? What is it that sets one agent apart from another? 

Beal’s has been delivering for almost 3 decades. Thirty years of successfully matching buyers to homes. 30 years of delivering on our promises. There is no substitute for experience. You can’t buy it, gift it, or fake it. 

It only comes from 30 years of living and breathing property sales.

 We have the longest opening hours of any other agent on the high street. On average, our branches are open an hour longer each day, which means across the week, you literally get an extra day’s worth of marketing. 

We have professional photographers, interactive floor plans, drone videos for a bird’s eye view of your plot, glossy, highly detailed brochures, exposure in the biggest shop windows like Rightmove and Zoopla, and so much more. 

There is nothing we cannot deliver when it comes to selling your home. So, what else do we do?

3. Choosing a solicitor

You might think instructing a solicitor is not necessary when placing your property on the market. It might be how every other agent works, but we promised we were different, and this is one of the ways we can demonstrate it. 

We believe you should be legally prepared because to be prepared means you are in control. Nothing is left to chance. We can cater to all eventualities. 

Possible scenario

Seller A places their property on the market and waits until they find a buyer before instructing a solicitor. It takes a week to organise, and then the legal pack needs to be prepared. This takes another few weeks before it is ready to send to the buyer’s solicitor. 

The buyer’s solicitor has nothing to work with until the legal pack is received. Seller A risks adding a 4-week delay to this process, slowing down the property sale.

The average sale time in England and Wales takes a minimum of 12 weeks, so why risk delaying it further? Get the legal paperwork done in the early stages before a buyer is found. The minute a sale is agreed, your solicitor has a legal pack ready to send to the buyer’s solicitor, and you save 4 weeks on the sale process. 

But how is this possible?

Our recommended solicitors operate on a no-sale, no-fee basis, so if your sale fails to reach a legal exchange of contracts, you don’t pay any legal fees. Zero. Nothing. Not a penny!

Our solicitors are dedicated, professional, friendly, approachable, and above all, effective and efficient. No other estate agent can match this service. No other estate agent champions getting legally prepared like us. 

It’s another reason why we are so unique. 

4. It’s all about the presentation

Our presentation is second to none. We pride ourselves on attention to detail, and when it comes to presenting your home for sale, we ask that you do the same. Before placing it on the market, our property experts can advise you on the best ways to maximise your presentation. 

We then work our magic with professional photographers, interactive floor plans, glossy property brochures with the highest level of detail, property tours, and drone footage. 

5. It’s all about the advertising

When we started 30 years ago, selling property was vastly different. Today, everything is instant, available 24/7, and nothing seems to stand still. Luckily, we have moved with the times.

It’s all about exposure across as many media platforms as possible. Rightmove, Zoopla, our dedicated property website, social media, text alerts, emails, you name it, and we cover it. 

From the moment you instruct Beal’s to market your property, we tailor a marketing strategy to make the process as easy, pain-free, and swift as possible. From day one, we are on a mission to achieve the best price with the best buyer. 

Success is the result of planning, hard work, and persistence, not luck.

And we never lose sight of the fact that you are our number one priority. Keeping you happy throughout the process is the single most important factor.

6. When you get an offer

When we get an offer, we will inform you right away, both verbally and in writing. We also let you know if there are any special conditions attached to the offer. Sometimes buyers ask for specific items to be included in the sale. 

At this stage, we won’t ask you to make a decision. We still have to establish the buyer’s ability to proceed and their financial situation. 

Only once this is complete will we ask you to decide. 

7. Sale agreed

After you accept the offer, there is still plenty to do before we can start toasting your success. So, what is left to do?

What happens next?

Once your solicitor receives confirmation that the sale is agreed, they will send out a draft contract to the buyer’s solicitor so that they can prepare their enquiries. 

You should also get a date for the survey and a preliminary exchange and completion date, so you have a focus to work towards. 

Our work doesn’t end with an agreed offer. We continue to support and advise you, negotiating the path to completion. We are your point of contact, keeping you in the picture every step of the way. 

Our target is to liaise between the solicitors, resolving problems, and keeping the sale moving, because until the exchange of contracts happens, nothing legally binding. 

8. You’ve done it!

Once the contracts have been signed by both parties and the 10% deposit has been paid, by banker’s draft or telegraphic transfer, the completion date is set. Here is a brief rundown of how we got to this point: 

So, you’ve exchanged contracts! All the questions and queries are settled, and both solicitors are happy.

9. It’s moving day

Completion only happens when the seller’s solicitor receives the remaining funds (typically 90%). They get confirmation that funds have cleared, and they contact the seller to confirm the release of the keys. 

They also call the estate agent, who then contacts the buyer, informing them to collect the keys. 

Congratulations! You’ve done it.

Your step-by-step guide to renting a property

1. Make contact with us

The first thing you should do is make contact with us. You can either register your details in person at one of our 10 high street branches, or you can phone or email us. 

Registering your interest in a property online is great if you are pushed for time. We will call you back at a convenient moment, discuss your requirements in more detail and book you to see the property. 

2. Understanding what you want

Our rentals experts know how to zero in on what’s important to you, so an informal chat will put us in the picture. The better we understand what you are looking for, the more accurate we can be when we contact you with details of the perfect place. 

3. It’s out there somewhere

So, we have established your wants and needs, and now all we have to do is find the perfect property. We may have something available that ticks all the boxes right away. In which case, bingo, you are in luck. 

If not, we turn every stone to find the right place, and the minute we do, you can be assured we will contact you via phone, SMS message or email. If you see our number pop up, take the call.

4. Type of tenancy? 

The type of tenancy is crucial when matching a property to your requirements. If you are looking for a short-term tenancy, expect it to be 6 months or less and likely a stop gap to another move. Maybe you are renovating a home and need some temporary accommodation?

The great news is short-term tenancies come with all the utility and council tax charges built into the rental price. You don’t need to worry about setting up your own accounts. 

However, if you want something more permanent, you might be better with a long-term tenancy. They are always 6 months or longer and give you the peace of mind that your home remains your home for the foreseeable future. 

5. Fancy a managed property?

If you want reassurance when renting, it might be an idea to go for a managed property. An increasing number of people like this option because it brings certainty and peace of mind. 

You get a property manager to liaise with should there be any issues, an emergency contact should you need help in an emergency, and the satisfaction of knowing that your property meets all the current legal and safety laws. This includes the Gas Safety, Electrical Safety and the Furniture and Furnishings Act. 

6. What you should be asking

So, you’ve contemplated all of the above, and you're still confident that renting is the path for you. Before diving in with both feet and booking a viewing, try and think about the questions you should be asking. 

Knowledge is king, so what things should you ask?

Now you’re ready for your first viewing. 

7. I like it and want it 

So, you’ve seen something you want to rent. Great news! What’s next?

You can make an offer to the agent there and then. In fact, with rentals, the sooner, the better because new properties coming onto the market are always popular and snapped up quickly. It really is a case of first come, first served. 

If you like it, there’s a fair chance someone else will too. Speak to the agent and if you want it, make the offer. 

Once the offer is made, we will ask you to fill out an application form, and then we will communicate the offer to the landlord. At this point, you have the opportunity to make clear any unique conditions of the offer, and we will ask you for references. 

8. It’s a yes

The landlord is happy with your offer and wants to accept it. We will arrange the following regardless of whether the property is managed or not:

9. You’ve done it!

It’s completion day. Your references checked out, and everything has gone to plan. You can now get your keys. If the property is managed, you will also get the contact details of your dedicated property manager. 

Now you can get on with the important stuff like moving in and choosing what takeaway you want for your first night in your new home.

Make life simpler with our easy-to-follow guide to letting with Beal’s

1. Accurate valuations every time

When it comes to letting your property, there are some factors you should consider above all else. The first is speed. You want to get a tenant in the most timely manner because the longer the property remains unlet, the bigger the void period and the cost to you. 

The second factor is money. We all want the most we can get for our investments, and that includes your rental property. After all, it’s an investment. Your chances of getting the best possible price go hand in glove with speed. 

The faster you let it, the better the price achieved. 

Our lettings experts perform thousands of valuations every month, giving us an unrivalled knowledge of rental prices in your area. It’s the reason why we regularly achieve the asking price and, in some cases, exceed price expectations. 

So, where does your lettings journey start? It begins with making contact. You can call us, email or pop into one of our 10 high street branches to have a friendly chat with our rental specialists. 

2. Why choose Beal’s?

Deciding to rent out your property is an important decision, so choosing the correct agent is equally crucial. What factors should you keep in mind? What are the key questions you should be asking?

Achieving the best price for your rental is not a case of pot luck. We don’t slap a price on and hope for the best. It takes planning and commitment. It takes a strategy that involves the best marketing material, the best online presence on the UK’s leading property portals, and it takes experience. 

We have almost 3 decades of experience to draw from and thousands of rentals every year. We know your market, and we know your property value because we have dealt with hundreds of similar properties. 

That kind of accuracy comes with experience. 

3. What we do

4. Take advantage of corporate services

Beal’s works closely with hundreds of companies searching for properties for their relocating employees. The advantage to you is your property is exposed to the broadest range of potential tenants working for companies eager to pay the top price for a premium service. 

5. Let’s talk property management 

Property management is typically the best way to achieve the highest rental returns. Likewise, many tenants actively seek out managed properties to get the reassurances they need, and they are prepared to pay a premium for this service. 

With Beal’s managing your property, you get the assurance that your home and tenant are in capable hands 24/7. You get a dedicated property manager whose mission is to deal with the day-to-day management of your rental, covering general issues to more involved concerns like dealing with utility companies, emergency maintenance and rent collection. 

6. It’s all about the presentation 

Gaining the right first impression is vital to securing that tenant in the best possible time for the highest rent. 

Preparing for the rental market takes care and attention. It’s worth casting your eye over your property to see if any glaring issues could impact your rental price. Does it need a fresh lick of paint, or are there any outstanding DIY jobs that need completing?

Once you are satisfied, it is time to call in Beal’s dedicated team of professional photographers. From the latest digital imagery, 360-degree tours, interactive floor plans and the most detailed property brochures, we take the time and effort to create that all-important first impression to get you the best tenant at the best price. 

7. Getting ready for tenancy

The first step is to prepare an in-depth inventory to document the property’s condition along with a complete record of everything included in the rental. 

We have dedicated inventory experts who produce detailed reports to protect your property and possessions. 

8. Type of tenancy

Essentially, there are long-term and short-term tenancies. So, what are the differences?

Long-term tenancy (6 months or more)

You are accountable for confirming that the tenants have active accounts with utility companies, telephone providers, TV licensing and council tax. 

Short-term tenancy (up to 6 months)

You keep control of utility, council tax and TV license accounts, as these costs are integrated into the monthly rental charge. The tenant is responsible for any telephone services. 

9. It’s all about the marketing

Achieving the best price and tenant takes exposure. Luckily, we are experts at exposing your property to the widest market. We advertise on Rightmove, Zoopla and our state-of-the-art website. 

From coloured brochures to SMS and email notifications, we have every angle covered. 

10. It’s all about the viewing process

Time is the one thing many people don’t have, so knowing that your letting agent works longer than any other agent on the high street is reassuring. It means that we conduct accompanied viewings in the evenings and at weekends when other agents are sitting down for their dinner. 

That’s why we are so flexible. We fit in around clients, not the other way around. 

11. Getting that offer agreed

When an offer is received, we put you in the picture, from the situation with the potential tenant and the amount they have offered. We can advise you, but ultimately, the decision is yours. 

Once you agree to an offer, we do the following regardless of whether we manage your property or not:

We can also carry out the following services for an additional fee:

Where appropriate, we will hold the deposit as a stakeholder and register it with the Deposit Protection Scheme. This results in a speedy deposit release at the end of the tenancy, removing unnecessary delays.. 

Landlord fees will apply.

12. Completion 

On completion, the keys are either handed to the inventory clerk or the tenant. For managed properties, we give your tenant the contact details of their dedicated property manager. 

Your property has now been successfully let. Congratulations, and here’s to a great working relationship. 

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