Welcome to your July edition of the Fish Need Water newsletter!

Here’s what we’ve got coming up:

  • Would your home get sold faster if you did the viewings?
  • Landlords: the days of “revenge evictions” are over.
  • All the latest need-to-know news.
  • Top tool: Streetlife (it’s the only life I know).

Show people around your own home and get it sold more quickly!

At Fish Need Water we strongly believe that you’re better at showing your property than any estate agent. After all, you know your home better than anyone else. You know the best places to eat, the prettiest parks, and the as-yet undiscovered cafes… and your enthusiasm will soon have the buyer imagining themselves living in your home.

We definitely don’t insist that you show people around, of course – we know that you might be busy or daunted by the prospect – and we have plenty of experienced and charming estate agents on hand to do the viewings if you’d prefer it.

But we like to give you the choice, which is something not a lot of agents do! If you decide to do the viewings yourself, we’ll still handle everything else, of course. We’ll market the property for you and negotiate with all your potential buyers. Negotiation is an art, and we’re good at it: we beat the asking price over 90% of the time. We also do all the running around between solicitors to see the sale through to completion, making sure that yours isn’t one of the almost 1 in 3 that fall through.

Because you’d be doing some of the legwork, we think it’s only fair to reduce our fee: [click here] to find out more.

Landlords: don’t get caught out by the Deregulation Act!

You probably know all about the Section 21 notice – which you can use to evict a tenant when you want to get your property back, even if they’ve done nothing wrong (so that you can sell it or perhaps move in a new tenant).

But you might not be aware of a new piece of legislation called the Deregulation Act, which prevents you from serving a Section 21 if the local authority has issued an Improvement Notice or an Emergency Remedial Action Notice relating to a repair at the property.

The reason for it is to prevent “revenge evictions”, where a landlord will end a tenancy rather than fix a problem. The Deregulation Act means that a tenant can be confident about making a complaint, because the landlord then can’t end the tenancy for six months after the complaint has been filed.

This shouldn’t be too much of a worry for you: you’re a good landlord and you wouldn’t let an important repair issue go unresolved anyway. What’s more, there are protections in place to make sure you’re not penalised if the disrepair is due to a breach of your tenant’s obligations.

So why are we telling you all about the Deregulation Act? Because it’s now especially important to communicate IN WRITING with tenants regarding repairs: you need evidence that you’ve made an appropriate response to any requests that are made.

When we manage properties for our landlords, we always require that tenants make repair requests in writing. If you’re self-managing, you should make your tenant(s) aware that all requests should come via email (or letter – but who are we kidding!) from now on.

Property news

Lots going on…

Our useful tool of the month

Streetlife is a Crusaders song. It also happens to be the name of a very useful website, which puts you in touch with people in your local community.

Streetlife is essentially a very active online message board, with topics ranging from requests and offers (“Can anyone recommend a good window cleaner?”; “I’ve got a large roll of blue-grey carpet to give away”) to conversations about aspects of the area (crime, roadworks, etc.). You can also use Streetlife to find out about local events, lost & found, and neighbourhood clubs and groups.

It’s a great way to discover local services and good tradespeople – and to build links in your local area.

The end! (Until next month.)