Apr
17


According to the Office of National Statistics approximately 13% of people in the UK now work from home. With home-workers accounting for 3.8 million people in the UK, there are now more people looking for a more flexible way to work than ever before.

Along with the South East of England and Scotland, Wales is one of the areas in the UK that has seen the sharpest rise in home-workers. This rise has led to an increased demand for estate agents in Cardiff and the surrounding areas to take the needs of home-workers into consideration when renting or selling property.

Unsurprisingly, an increase in home-workers means potential homeowners are reconsidering what they should look for when buying a house.

For families looking to rent or buy property in cities such as Cardiff, good schools and low crime rates are a still a key deciding factor. Although these aspects are important, the recent shift in the number of people working from home has seen more looking for properties with that extra bit of space.

Working from home is becoming an appealing alternative for people from many industries and walks of life. Although traditionally associated with working mothers, almost two-thirds of home-workers are male. Many budding entrepreneurs start their enterprises from home and create space for a makeshift office in those important first months. A number of freelancers and creative people also find that they are better suited to working at home, as they may find working in an office restricting.

Home working has become increasingly popular with those who rent or buy properties in areas such as Barry and Penarth, which are within close proximity to the city centre. Being able to commute in at ease is essential as the majority of home workers still travel to an office regularly.

Despite a city centre office appealing in many ways, there are many benefits to working from home. It not only saves on the cost of commuting and childcare but also gives people flexibility in regards to their work life balance. Home working enables people to work when they like, meaning they can fit it in around their families, friends and day-to-day lives.

Home working can potentially be isolating and less social than an office environment, which makes it even more important to create a space that is enjoyable to work in. Having one section of the home dedicated to work, whether it’s a study, conservatory or a converted garden shed, allows people to separate their office from the home to maintain a good balance between their social and work lives.

Properties in areas such as Cardiff Bay, which tend to be more modern, are ideal for creating an office space at home. These properties are deliberately crafted to feature natural light and have a spacious feel, so rooms can replicate a contemporary open–plan office. With little structural work needed, modern rooms can be easily decorated which allows creativity when creating a workspace.

If you work from home and are considering buying or renting a property, the ACJ team are on hand to ensure you find the right space which allows you to completely benefit from home working.

Please contact: (029) 20 41 51 61 to speak to our sales or rental teams.


Apr
03

With more people renting and staying in one property for longer than ever before, it’s crucial to know your rights as a tenant, including how to get a deposit back.

Make an inventory

Whilst many people believe a landlord can keep their deposit because of wear and tear, in fact landlords can only retain a tenant’s deposit due to serious incidences such as unpaid bills, rent or excess damage.
As a result, when you move into a property, always remember to make a comprehensive inventory of fixtures and fittings. This should accurately describe the appearance of the property, with any marks or damages noted before you move in and importantly, it can help prevent landlords from exaggerating claims against you.
It is a good idea to complete this inventory with the landlord when you move in and out, so everyone is on the same page. An added tip is to attach dated photographs of the property, fixtures and fittings and ensure both you and the letting agency keep hardcopies on file.

Keep everything in writing


Even if your landlord has given you verbal permission to change your property, make sure you also get written permission. Verbal permissions are easy for landlords to forget or deny. By having written communication, it’ll ensure everything is documented and will make fighting your case for the return of your deposit easier.
Throughout your tenancy keep detailed written records, noting any damage or repairs undertaken whilst you live in the property. It is important to find out who is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property and this should be set out in your tenancy agreement and agreed upon before your move in. As a result there will be no confusion about what you are liable for.

Deposit protection schemes


If you rent your home on an assured short hold tenancy that started after 6th April 2007, your landlord must put your deposit in a government backed tenancy deposit protection scheme. These schemes will make sure you get your deposit back, but only if you meet the terms of your tenancy agreement. If you think your deposit is being unfairly kept, then the scheme will protect your deposit until the issue is resolved with your landlord, even after you’ve moved out. Make sure you get a receipt for your deposit; this will confirm how much you have paid and how much you should get back.
If you are unsure or need any advice about renting and deposits then there are many impartial organisations and professionals who are trained to deal with the renting process. For example, our Managing Director Tony Jones, is the Welsh representative of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). ARLA can help you find an accredited landlord who will follow a strict code of conduct. In addition, Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter or a Solicitor will be able to offer you help and information, as well as providing sample inventories and legal support.

We hope this has provided you with enough information to help you whilst renting a property.