While it has been much easier to put the buying and selling market on hold, the nature of lettings means tenancy agreements continue to expire during the UK’s strict lockdown phase. Although Klippa Relocation must stress that tenants and landlords should work together to postpone moves – by extending current tenancies and delaying the start of new ones – we are aware extenuating circumstances may prevent this from happening.
To be clear, official Government advice states: “If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on staying away from others to minimise the spread of the virus.”
If you need to move during lockdown, the way you decide on your next rental property will be a little different. Due to social distancing rules and a ban on unnecessary travel, tenants will not be able to physically visit properties they may consider renting. The good news is there are still plenty of visual marketing tools that will help in the decision making process, as Klippa discovers:-
Videos: marketing property with a video was already gaining in popularity before lockdown. Although there is a good degree of available rental stock with footage shot before the pandemic, tenants are also being encouraged to film the properties they are living in. A video allows you to sit back on your sofa and be taken on a tour – just don’t expect a Spielberg masterpiece!
Virtual tours: some letting agents, thinking quickly before restrictions were introduced, were able to capture their rental stock as virtual tours. This technology allows potential tenants to control their own viewing, with the ability to walk between rooms, spin around 360˚, get up close to fixtures and fittings, go upstairs and even explore outside areas.
Live viewings: while agents are prohibited from visiting the properties they are marketing – bar emergencies – many are offering live viewings with the incumbent tenant as the host. Taking the form of a Zoom, WhatsApp or Skype call on a mobile device, letting agents and movers are joining video calls to create the next-best thing to a physical viewing, with the tenants ‘showing’ the property and the letting agent on hand to answer questions.
Photographs and floorplans: don’t underestimate the most traditional of visual viewing aids. Good quality photographs and floorplans still play a vital role in decision making during lockdown. The latter will especially help tenants make sense of the flow and scale of space, especially when used in tandem with measurements.
If you’re browsing property portals or a letting agent’s own website, look for a video/virtual tour tab or film camera logo, which will denote there are enhanced ways of viewing a given property. If you’d like any help with finding a property or coming to a rental decision, please contact Klippa.