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Following months of rigorous analysis and deliberation, we are pleased to announce Dockside Property Services has won in BUILD’s Real Estate & Property Awards 2015.

We have been named;

Best Local Estate Agency -  Rochester
As the global financial crisis of 2008 showed, real estate and property markets can have a huge bearing on economies worldwide.The Real Estate & Property Awards 2015 celebrate the people and firms whose responsibility it is to shape and steer the industry in what is traditionally a highly volatile and occasionally unpredictable sphere.
Here are my thoughts on ways in which tenants can maximise their chances of getting all of their deposit back at the end of their tenancy:
As the length of tenancies increase, an accurate inventory can hold the key to renters receiving their deposit back at the end of their tenancy. Industry research shows that tenants are remaining in the same property for longer, increasing from an average period of 16.5 months in 2009 to a period of 19.4 months in 2013. 
A detailed and accurate inventory can often make moving out of a rental property a far smoother process. As tenants stay in their rented homes for longer it’s even more important to have accurate information on the state of the property from when you first moved in, as there may be greater wear and tear. This means recording the condition of the property with written notes as well as details of the contents, including fixtures and fittings; tenants sometimes choose to take accompanying photos too, which can also help.
It is also important to agree any inventory with your landlord when you move in. This can be a step that is easily forgotten, but it can be vital when trying to resolve and clarify any situations where items get lost, damaged or stolen.
So, before you move into a new rented property, here are a few things to think about:
1.       Photographic evidence: Images detailing the property’s condition when you moved in can help ensure there are no disputes at the end of a tenancy. If tenants or an inventory provider chose to do this, these should always be agreed with the landlord and copies shared and kept on file throughout the tenancy.
2.       Keep a written record: While images will definitely help in documenting the state of the property and contents when you first move in, it is also useful to elaborate and explain the state of items in a detailed written description. This will help protect you if there is any dispute about the condition of items at the end of your tenancy. Once again it is important to get these descriptions signed by the landlord.
3.       Be logical: To ensure you have covered everything and have the most comprehensive list possible, it is important to be logical in your approach in compiling an inventory. The easiest way to do this is by recording items by room; this will help you to compile an accurate and comprehensive inventory. 
4.       Who’s responsible? Understand who is responsible for the overall upkeep of the property as well as the contents. This information should be in your tenancy agreement, but if you are still unsure ask the landlord or agent and make sure you get the response in writing. This will help resolve any issues at the end of a tenancy where landlord/tenant duties were not specified.
5.       If in doubt use a member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP): More professionalism and credibility can be added to the inventory if you use a fully qualified APIP member. Members of APIP are professionally trained in drawing up an inventory and conducting the check in and check out. All members have passed assessments to demonstrate their abilities.
The Dockside team are always here to help so feel free to contact one of us with any questions you may have,
Spencer Fortag

Lets take a look at a brief 7-point checklist for anyone buying a home:

Leasehold vs Freehold - There are two main types of property ownership in the UK and you should always check which applies to the home you're buying. Leasehold means you effectively own the land on which the property is located for a defined period of time; extending this can incur a substantial fee. For this reason knowing the length of time remaining should be a key consideration. Freehold is more straightforward, although the details of the deed should always be checked over by a reputable solicitor.

Access - Never assume you have automatic access rights to a property, and be sure to check this thoroughly before you buy. Relying on a neighbour's goodwill for access via a shared drive, for example, can be risky and if circumstances change you could be left in a difficult situation. 

Boundaries - A property's legal boundaries may not be listed on the title deed. While physical boundaries (such as a fence or hedge) appear more obvious it is always worth consulting with your estate agent at viewing stage to ensure there is no confusion. Remember, you will be responsible for any trees or plants on your property that hang across boundaries.

What's listed? - Although listed buildings are a fairly well-known phenomenon, their restrictions can be complex, therefore it pays to check what the listing covers. For example, the status of features like fireplaces and windows should be checked before refurbishment.   

Planning Permission - Just because an extension or loft conversion looks the part, doesn't necessarily mean it has planning consent. Always check that any additions to the property have full written planning permission, otherwise you could be left with the cost and responsibility of reverting the property back to its original state.

Block Parties - If you live in a shared block it can be managed in different ways, and this should be something the selling agent can clarify. On occasion, a block may be managed by an external agent, or the other leaseholders may have taken on management responsibilities as a group ('Right to Manage'). In both cases it is prudent to establish in advance what this means for you, both in terms of fees and responsibilities.

Future gazing - Remember to ask your agent if they are aware of any planned developments in the vicinity of the property. Under the revised consumer protection regulations, agents have an obligation to declare any information that consumers need in order to make informed decisions. 

Remember that our experienced Dockside team are here to help, so feel free to ask us any questions.

Spencer Fortag - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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