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Monday 10 June 2024

Check-Out Guide For Southampton Tenants

As we all know, moving home can be a stressful business.

But you can avoid a frantic panic on the big day by starting your end-of-tenancy preparations sooner rather than later.

With a little bit of planning and forethought, you can streamline the process and avoid a last-minute scramble.

Once you’ve agreed on a moving date with your landlord or letting agent, follow this guide.

Check out your check-in report: Review the inventory you received on moving-in day. This will outline the property’s condition at the start of the tenancy. It’s your responsibility to return the property in the same condition (excluding fair wear and tear). 

Read your tenancy agreement: Re-read your contract (it may have been a while since you last looked at it) so you’re clear about what’s expected of you.

Change of address: Tell your friends, family, bank, phone company, broadband provider, local authority and utilities that you’ll be moving. Notify them of your check-out date and new address.

Garden maintenance: If the property has a garden, ensure you’ve completed all necessary maintenance (such as weeding, mowing or raking up leaves) as specified in your contract.

Pack: Start early by packing away clothes and other items you won’t need in the immediate future. Give away or dispose of any belongings you won’t be taking to your new place.

Talk to your landlord/letting agent: Call your landlord or letting agent to get a clear idea of what to expect at check-out and finalise last-minute details.

Clean: Deep clean the property making sure you don’t overlook often-missed areas, such as windows, shower screens and the inside of the fridge.

Remove your possessions: Take your furniture and belongings to your new home. 

Reconfigure: Ensure the furniture that was in the property when you moved in is put back in its original position and replace any missing/faulty lightbulbs.

Have the keys ready: Make sure you have all sets of keys (including those for the back door and windows) on hand to return to the letting agent or landlord.

Meter readings: Take final gas, water and electricity readings and forward them to the relevant utility provider.

For more advice about end-of-tenancy expectations, contact us here at Belvoir Southampton.

Tuesday 4 June 2024

How Does The General Election Affect Southampton House Prices?

The recent announcement by the British Prime Minister regarding the next general election set to take place in early July 2024 has inevitably stirred discussions about its potential impact on the Southampton property market. Historically, general elections are periods of heightened uncertainty, often leading to speculation about their effects on house prices and transaction levels. However, examining past trends reveals a relatively stable market, with only minor fluctuations in transaction volumes.

House Prices To Remain Steady

Data from previous election cycles indicates that UK house prices, as measured by the Land Registry figures, have shown resilience in the face of the last five general elections. In fact, the trend has generally been one of stability or even growth. However, the Land Registry data, by its very definition, is six months out of date, as they measure sales that were agreed upon six months previously.

However, new data by Denton House Ltd shows that measuring the £ per square foot of the house sold in a specific month matches the Land Registry rate five or six months later (with a 92% correlation). This means that we can accurately measure the effects of a general election both prior, during and after to ascertain its impact on the property market to house prices

The statistics of £/sq.ft for Jan 2019 to Dec 2020, covering a year on either side of the last general election, show some interesting information on the graph. During the autumn and winter of 2019, the average pound per square foot figure drifted downwards from £275 per square foot to £270 per square foot (meaning house prices were dropping). However, looking at the graph, you will see that post-election house prices went up (even before the pandemic hit)

This pattern suggests that the Southampton property market is robust enough to withstand the uncertainty typically associated with general elections.

Temporary Dip in Property Transactions Before the Election

While house prices remain stable, the number of property transactions (i.e., home selling) usually experiences a temporary dip in the weeks leading up to a general election. This phenomenon is primarily driven by potential buyers adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach, delaying decisions until after the election results are clear. However, this could be a time to strike and grab a bargain because a surge always follows this dip in transactions as pent-up demand is released once the political landscape stabilises.

Post-Election Market Catch-Up

Post-election periods typically see a catch-up in the number of transactions. Postponed transactions due to election-related uncertainties usually proceed shortly after the election, leading to a rebound in market activity. For example, there were 218k property transactions (house sales) in the three months before the last 2019 election and £286k in the three months afterwards. This pattern has been consistent across multiple election cycles, indicating that while transaction volumes may fluctuate temporarily, the overall market equilibrium is maintained.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the general election’s impact on the Southampton property market is minimal regarding house prices, which have shown a tendency to remain steady or even increase during election periods. The primary effect is a short-term dip in the number of transactions promptly rectified post-election. This resilience underscores the British and Southampton property market’s robustness, reassuring buyers and sellers that political events, while temporarily influential, do not drastically alter long-term market dynamics.

Thus, Southampton homeowners, landlords and buyers can confidently approach the upcoming election, knowing that any temporary disruptions will likely be swiftly relieved. Should you have any questions about the Southampton property market, feel free to drop us a message or pick up the phone on 023 8001 8222.

Rental Red Flags: Warning Signs Southampton Landlords Should Look Out For

If you’re a landlord, you can probably think of nothing worse than your rental sitting empty.

The prospect of covering the mortgage and utility bills in between tenancies may keep you awake at night.

And there are security implications too: a lengthy void period may invalidate your landlord insurance and increase the risk of squatters moving in.

But in a desire to get new tenants in, it’s essential you don’t let your guard down.

Because while an empty rental is bad, having a tenant who is a fraudster or serial rent dodger is worse.

So, if you hear any of the excuses listed below, proceed with extreme caution and seek advice from a trusted professional, such as a letting agent.

Rental red flags to look out for

‘Let’s do a deal on the spot’

Someone wants to move into your rental property ASAP – but there’s a catch. They need you to drop the usual credit and reference checks and agree to a deal today. Don’t succumb to this pressure. Always stick to your safeguarding and referencing procedures.

‘The dog ate my ID’

If a tenant can’t show you their bank statements, references or passport, alarm bells should start ringing. If they can’t prove who they are, how do you know who they are? 

‘I can’t make the viewing – but my mother/brother/cousin can’

It’s important to meet any prospective tenant face to face. Be suspicious if someone can’t view the property in person but is willing to send a go-between to do it for them. 

‘I’ll pay you cash in advance’

Someone is willing to hand you wads of cash, provided you don’t ask questions about their background. Why are they initiating a transaction that will leave no paper trail? Don’t wait to find out. Send them packing without further ado.

‘Don’t bother with a viewing; I’ll take the property sight unseen’

This line is problematic for two reasons. First, you can’t meet the tenant in the flesh. Second, what kind of person commits to a long-term contract on a property they’ve not seen? What are they running from? And how reliable will they turn out to be? You probably don’t want to know.

The solution

The good news is that there is a way you can sleep easy at night – by using the services of a respected letting agent.

An experienced agent will help you attract high-quality tenants and oversee the referencing process.

They’ll also help you carefully manage your property to minimise void periods and maximise returns.

Contact us here at Belvoir Southampton today to learn more about our tenant referencing and property management services.

Monday 3 June 2024

Seven Must-Ask Questions For Your Estate Agent In Southampton

Choosing the right estate agent is a big step on the road to successfully selling your home. 

But with so many agents making big promises to win your business, how can you identify the genuine professionals from the wheeler dealers?

Meeting different agents at the start of the process can leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused. 

But by asking these seven questions, you’ll find it easier to spot the best from the rest.

How will you determine the value of our home?

Understanding the valuation process is key. A good agent will consider local market trends, recent comparable sales and your home’s unique features to provide an accurate and realistic price.

Who will be our main point of contact?

Consistent communication is critical in the home selling process. Confirm that you will have a dedicated contact who is familiar with your property and can keep you updated regularly.

What strategies do you use to attract the right buyers?

An effective marketing strategy ensures the right eyes see your home. Ask about their advertising methods, viewing arrangements and network to target potential buyers accurately.

Can you talk me through the terms of the contract in detail?

Knowing the length of the contract, the notice period and any other significant clauses can prevent future complications. Make sure you understand what you’re agreeing to. Be wary of contracts that tie you in for an extended period.

How frequently will you update us on the progress of the sale?

Regular updates about marketing efforts, viewing feedback and any offers are important. This question assesses their commitment to transparency and client engagement.

What makes you different from other agents?

This helps you gauge their unique selling points, such as their sales track record, client service or innovative marketing techniques.

Can you provide testimonials or references from recent clients?

Don’t just let the agent tell you how good they are. Find out what past clients say about the agent’s strengths and professionalism.

When it comes to asking these questions, don’t be shy.

Selling a home is a huge financial and emotional undertaking. It’s important to have all the facts so that you can make an informed decision.

A good estate agent will have no qualms about answering any of the above questions.

For more advice on selling your home, contact me today.

Friday 31 May 2024

Top Tips For First-Time Campers In Southampton

If you’re planning to sleep under canvas for the first time ever this summer, here are some tips to make the most of your maiden camping experience.

Plan ahead

Do your research before you book a campsite as you’ll find a considerable variation in facilities and price.

Some sites have all manner of mod cons, such as on-site bakeries and Turkish steam rooms (yes, really). Others are just a field in the middle of nowhere for those seeking to totally get back to nature.

Before you book, read online reviews and check a site’s location on a map (so you don’t wind up sleeping a stone’s throw from a busy road).

First-time campers may find it helpful if there’s a shop and pub nearby to stock up on provisions or sit out a heavy downpour.

Borrow what you can

One of the best things about camping is staying in remarkable locations without blowing your budget. So, don’t get carried away before you go by buying loads of kit (that you may only use once if you decide camping is not for you).

Borrow from friends and family wherever you can or pick up free or low-cost items online.

Don’t forget to pack these items

It can be the little things that make or break a camping experience. So, as well as taking the basics (such as a tent, sleeping bags, waterproofs, torches and stove), think about the less obvious items that might come in handy.

A bottle opener, vegetable peeler, sharp knife, cooking oil, loo roll, sunscreen, washing-up liquid, earplugs, spare batteries (for torches), and a mallet (in case the ground is hard) can make camping life just that little bit easier.

And if you’re taking children, pack marshmallows and skewers for fireside treats at night.

What to remember on the big day

Be prepared for loading the car to take longer than expected, as fitting everything in can be akin to solving a Rubik’s cube (and the source of many arguments between couples).

Pack the tent near the top so that when you arrive, you can put it up first, then unload the rest of your belongings straight inside.

Set off as early as you can. You want to arrive in daylight and nab a good pitch (one on high ground and not right next door to the toilet block).

Once your tent is all set up and you’ve unloaded your kit, you’ll be ready for your adventure in the great British outdoors. Enjoy.

Wednesday 29 May 2024

Why It’s Vital To Know Your Buyer’s Position When Selling Your Southampton Home

It’s an exciting moment when a buyer puts a good offer on the table.

After all your hard work to prepare your home for sale, it feels like everything is finally falling into place.

But before you agree a price in a rush of giddy delight, it’s important to ask a few questions – especially if more than one buyer is interested.

This is because you need to understand a buyer’s position to evaluate how good an offer really is.

While price is obviously a massive factor in deciding who you sell to, it’s not the only issue to consider.

Your goal is to turn a good offer into a completed sale, so you need to do some digging.

Here are some issues to consider before accepting an offer.


Can the buyer demonstrate how they’ll fund the purchase? Do they have proof of deposit and a mortgage deal in place? Or are they a cash buyer? These are helpful questions to help you weed out timewasters.

Unfortunately, some buyers get carried away and make promises they can’t keep. Others jump the gun and talk about money before doing their sums or speaking to lenders and, as a result, overestimate their budget.


A successful sale is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle; you need to get all the pieces in place.

If you’re in a chain, knowing what timescale your buyer is working to is critical. Otherwise, the seller of the property you’re buying may grow impatient if you can’t complete quickly enough.

Alternatively, if your buyer is desperate for a speedy deal and you’re selling a probate property, you may be working to conflicting timescales.


Knowing why your buyer is moving will help you assess if they mean business. For example, are they moving to be closer to good schools, family or work? It’s also worth gauging how long they’ve been property hunting and how well they know the local area.

If a buyer has yet to list their property, sort their finances or instruct a solicitor, there’s a good chance they like the idea of moving more than the reality of it.

Here at Belvoir Southampton, we can take some of the stress and uncertainty out of selling your home. Contact us today on 023 8001 8222.

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Southampton Buy-To-Let Property Market: A Southampton Landlord’s Perspective On Recent Trends

Over the past few years, the UK rental market has experienced significant fluctuations, with rents increasing dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic. Between 2020 and 2022, demand far exceeded supply, driving rents to unprecedented levels.

In the South East for example, the average rent has risen from £1,283 per calendar month (PCM) to £1,600pcm YTD in 2024.

However, the last 12 months have seen a slight increase in the number of properties available for rent, both nationally and regionally, leading to a more balanced market. This article will explore these trends and see if the same is happening in Southampton.

National and Regional Trends in Buy-to-Let

Nationally, the rental market has witnessed a notable shift in the last 12 months. During the pandemic, many factors contributed to the surge in rental prices, including the migration of people seeking more spacious living conditions and the disruption of new housing developments. As restrictions eased, the rental market gradually started to show signs of stabilisation. According to recent statistics, there has been a slight uptick in the supply of rental properties across the UK coming onto the market, which has helped to temper the rapid rise in rents.

In April 2023, 87,592 UK rental properties came on to the market. This number increased by 14.86% to 100,614 in April 2024.

Regionally, the South East is slightly behind this national trend where 12,116 rental properties came on the market in April 2023. This increased to 13,256 rental properties in April 2024, a rise of 9.4%.

In April 2023, the average rent achieved for a new UK rental property was £1,641pcm. The average rent increased by 8% to £1,772pcm in April 2024.

A far cry from the national double digit percentage increases in the mid to late teens only 12/18 months before.

The rent increases in the South East are slightly higher than the national trend. The average for those new properties that came on the market in April 2023 was £1,454pcm. This increased to £1,658pcm for those that came on the rental market in April 2024, a significant rise of 14%.

The increased availability of rental properties has brought some relief to tenants, who had been grappling with steep rent hikes of +20% per annum for some types of properties. Despite this increase in supply, the demand for rental properties remains robust, ensuring that rental yields continue to be attractive for landlords.

The Southampton Rental Market

In Southampton, the rental market followed a similar trajectory in the post pandemic years of 2021/2, as rents surged due to a significant imbalance between supply and demand.

Therefore, let us look at the most recent Southampton statistics to see if that pattern has followed through to us.

In this analysis, we have looked at the first four months of 2023 versus the first four months of 2024. The reason we have done this is because if we were only to look at April of each of those years for Southampton, it would be such a small sample size that the results would not be ideal.

Therefore, looking at the first four months of 2023, 2,475 rental properties came onto the market in the Southampton area (SO14 to SO19) with an average rent of £1,144pcm.

In the first four months of 2024, 2,893 Southampton properties have come onto the market for rent and the average rent has been £1,243pcm, a rise in rent of 8.6%.

Why Southampton Buy-to-Let Remains a Strong Investment

Despite the recent market adjustments, Southampton remains a compelling investment opportunity for several reasons:

  • Strong Rental Demand: Southampton’s rental market continues to benefit from strong demand. The city’s attractive location, good transport links, and quality of life make it a desirable place to live, ensuring a steady stream of potential tenants.
  • Affordable Property Prices: Compared to other regions, Southampton offers relatively affordable property prices. This affordability, combined with solid rental yields and long-term stable capital growth, makes it an appealing option for buy-to-let investors.
  • Economic Growth and Development: Southampton is experiencing economic growth, with ongoing developments in infrastructure and amenities. This growth not only enhances the quality of life for residents but also boosts the rental market by attracting more people to the area.
  • Long-Term Investment Potential: The recent stabilisation in the rental market suggests a move towards long-term sustainability. For landlords, this means the potential for consistent rental income and capital growth over time.

Addressing Southampton Tenant Concerns

It’s important to address the concerns of Southampton tenants who may feel burdened by the recent rent increases. While it’s true that rents have risen significantly, it’s worth noting that these increases have generally aligned with inflation rates over the medium term (since 2016). This means that, in real terms, the cost of renting has not increased disproportionately.

For tenants in Southampton, the slight increase in rental supply offers a glimmer of hope. A more balanced market could lead to more competitive rental prices and better opportunities to find suitable housing. Landlords should be mindful of maintaining good relationships with tenants, recognising the importance of fair and transparent rental practices.

The Future of Buy-to-Let in Southampton

Looking ahead, the Southampton buy-to-let market appears poised for continued stability and growth. Landlords should take advantage of the current market conditions to expand their portfolios. The combination of strong demand, affordable property prices, and the city’s economic prospects make Southampton a smart investment choice.

For those considering entering the buy-to-let market, now is an opportune time. The national and regional stabilisation of rental prices indicates a mature and sustainable market, reducing the risks associated with volatility. By investing in Southampton, new landlords can benefit from the city’s attractive rental yields and long-term house price growth potential.

As a property agent, I like to stay informed about these trends and communicate them to everyone interested in the Southampton property market. By highlighting the city’s potential investment opportunity for landlords whilst addressing tenant concerns, we can foster a healthy and thriving rental market that benefits all parties involved.