There are currently unprecedented numbers of people working from home due to the pandemic, with many in rented accommodation and at over half indicating that they want to permanently work from home for most of the week – an almost six-fold rise since the start of lockdown.
Furthermore, it is estimated that the 23.9 million Brits working from home are saving around £1.1bn each week between them.
Workers are making significant savings by cutting out things like commuting and buying lunch out – up to £44.78 a week. However, they are facing rising costs as a result of working from home, such as heating, electric, water and broadband.
Paul Oxley, Managing Director of Decorus for Sage comments: “Advances in technology, changing organisational cultures and the pandemic have led to working from home becoming commonplace in the UK.
“With 13 million renters in the UK, a significant proportion of those working from home are tenants. It’s important that landlords communicate with tenants regularly through the lockdowns and when they are lifted.
“This is not easy when landlords are simultaneously managing their properties, keeping their tenants happy and safe, staying on top of their finances and ensuring their legal and safety compliance alongside. Risks of income loss, property deterioration, missed deadlines, non-compliance and ultimately dissatisfied tenants seriously focuses efforts.
“A cloud-based, property management software which delivers a complete solution for a landlord’s business will bring great benefits. These systems are designed to support property management, accounting, and marketing, strengthening existing processes.
“Decorus for Sage enables users to pro-actively manage all aspects of property and tenant administration. The software provides a comprehensive property management package for varied portfolios and is fully integrated with Sage, allowing users to build on their finance systems.”
Decorus for Sage has put together some tips for landlords:
Energy costs – Brits working from home are spending more than £65 million-a-month on extra energy – so good insulation in the property is vital to help tenants cut their costs.
Longer leases – with the economic uncertainty the pandemic has created, there is growing demand for longer leases, with the average lease length sitting at 22 months. Landlords need to be flexible, allowing tenants to extend their leases or take out longer ones.
Broadband speed – Optimal broadband speed is a key factor for many tenants so it’s worth landlords offering bundles packages to tenants that will give the best value for broadband and utilities.
Outdoor space – is now more important for tenants – so advise tenants on how they can maximise the outdoor space of the property and make it more accessible.
Viewings – If landlords are attending a viewing, they should be wearing a mask and gloves and limit the potential tenants to a maximum of two people at the same time in the property (from the same household). Anyone viewing a property should wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitise their hands. Also ensure all properties are sterilised, ready for new tenants.