Alexander May Estate Agents in Bristol

Protecting your rental property investment 

Right now, interest from tenants is rapidly growing across the country, with many deciding to delay buying or coming to the realisation that they need to find a rental with more space.
At the same time, we're also seeing a lot of uncertainty around the UK's COVID-19 response, with the implementation of the second country-wide lockdown just weeks after the three-tier system was introduced.
This has led to an understandably confusing period for landlords and tenants alike.
However, as your leading lettings agent, we wanted to provide you with some relevant tips on protecting your property investments for the foreseeable future.
Communicate with your existing tenants 

Faced with some key changes on eviction notice periods and the likelihood that evictions altogether will be off-limits for months, it's important to maintain a healthy relationship with your tenants.
Since September, void periods have risen from 19 days to 23 days, with all regions reporting an increase over this period.
Now more than ever, it's crucial to avoid conflicts, where possible, with rent arrear and possession cases likely to see further delays.
During this time, we want to extend our support to landlords in need of guidance or looking for someone to act as a mediator when establishing rent repayment schemes with tenants, visit our website to learn more.
Have the right cover 

If your tenants are unable to cover the rent, obtaining a rent insurance policy will provide you with peace of mind and protect your rental income.
Due to the increased risk everyone is facing now, you will need to demonstrate your referencing is vigorous when applying, and you may even experience difficulty finding the right cover.
Point your tenants towards available financial support

If you have renters that are struggling to pay their bills, make them aware of the financial help that is available to them.
Guide them towards organisations and experts who can help them budget, access aid and benefits.

Adapt your offering for the new normal

Having an outdoor area has now shot to the top of tenants' priority lists. Any property with a garden, balcony, roof terrace or proximity to a park should manage to do well after this year.
In the course of the last few months, there's also been a surge in pet ownership, especially for households where tenants are living alone.
If you're willing to be flexible, you should consider promoting this fact, as supply for pet-friendly accommodation is relatively low and you'll stand out in the market.
For more guidance or information on our lettings packages, please go to our website.
The verdict is in, working from home is here to stay!
Government guidelines state that employees need to work from home, where able, over the course of the second national lockdown.
However, when asked, over half of respondents claimed that they would continue to work from home on a permanent basis. Out of those who did not wish to work from home permanently, the majority blame the lack of a home office to operate from.

So, how do you create a suitable home working environment? 
Share space

Look at areas around your home where you can make a room multi-purpose, with the addition of a desk and chair in your spare room, kitchen, living room or dining room.
This will not only use up wasted floor space but offers a practical solution. It is also a great way to prioritise your home décor pieces.
For example, if you are lucky enough to have a spare room, a large double bed that is rarely used can be replaced with a sofa bed.

Re-purpose furniture 
If you have an unused piece of furniture, such as a dressing table, you can re-purpose them into a sizeable desk space.
This option is not only eco-friendly and cost-effective, but super easy, as you can simply transform the current location of the furniture into your office zone.
Our top tips for creating a cosy yet productive home office space is to position yourself away from any distractions like windows, and use plants and candles for a more homely feel.

Staircase solutions 

The area under the stairs is often overlooked, so this can be a great solution to needing a home office.
Ideally, an open staircase without risers is best for this hack, but this can be adapted depending on the space you have to work with. The area under the stairs is notoriously dark, so good lighting is key here – this can be yellow or white light, depending on the vibe you wish to create.
If you want to go all out, bespoke built-in office spaces are a great way to utilise the entire area.
Cupboard office 

This revolutionary workspace solution, nicknamed a ‘cloffice’, is a great alternative to a clunky desk in the middle of a room.
To create this, use a spare wardrobe or large cupboard – this works even better with built-in furniture.
Use shelving to create an area to hold your computer and files, and decorate to your taste. The best part about this hack, is that you can close the doors on your home office after your work is done for the day. Perfect to help maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Utilise outdoor space 

If you’re lucky enough to have a summer house or garage, these can be transformed into a dedicated home office.
Summer house solutions are great for the winter. Just add a heater and invest in a secure locking system to keep your items safe, and you’re good to go!
For a garage, this may be slightly more expensive, but will work all year round. To start, cover the concrete floor with rugs or a fitted carpet to warm up the space and pay attention to the walls, as these may need insulation.
To find out what properties have recently come onto the market in your area, contact us today.

How the lockdown is the ideal time to get your property ready for sale in Bristol

Although the pause button has been pressed for many of us, that doesn’t mean that life has stopped.  Having to spend so much time at home may have even started conversations about future moves when normality resumes.  That being said, we are still having properties come to the market in Bristol and buyers – albeit only serious ones – are still seeking their future home.  At Alexander May we often find that some sellers rush into placing their home on the market, which is why we believe the lockdown is the ideal time to get your property ready for sale in Bristol.

Presentation is key

Your house is your home and, as such, you can often see it with rose-tinted glasses – flaws that can be obvious to a stranger, you could be blind to.  When you’re placing your home on the market presentation is key; you need to alter your mindset and see it not as your home but as a property for sale.  By looking at it as a property for sale you will be able to be critical; you will make decisions that are in the best interest of your property and not because of their impact on how you live.  By getting your home ready for sale you may not only achieve higher offers but you could also sell your Bristol property quicker.

Get organised

We’ve heard people in the town talking about how they are beginning to appreciate the simpler things in life and, because of this, you may find that your attitude to what you really need in your home has changed.  Our homes are filled bits we need, things that we keep, and stuff which, if we are truthful, we should have got rid of a while ago. Now that you’re spending so much time in your home, it’s the ideal opportunity to make decisions on what you want to take to your new home.  No one wants to move clutter from one home to another but, more than that, too much ‘stuff’ can make a room feel smaller.  Declutter your home and you will feel a weight has been lifted, as well as helping your home become more attractive.

Freshen up

How you decorate your home is your choice, but now you’re placing your property on the market you need to give it a freshen up.  Buyers are seeking a property that is ready to move into; they want to visualise living there and imagine how they would mark their mark.  If your décor choices are distinctively yours, then you may wish to tone them down to more neutral shades.  A lick of paint can bring any room alive, whether it’s a touch up, a feature wall or an entire room – why not spend this time getting your home looking its absolute best?

Get it fixed

Now there may be jobs that your handywork can’t muster, but there could also be some DIY tasks that you can resolve yourself.  Stop putting off these little jobs, as flaws such as these can cause buyers to presume there are bigger issues with your property.  You may wish to put feelers out for those jobs where you need professional help; that way, when we can all come together again you can get these done as soon as possible, ready for your home going on the market.

Clean deep


Once all the works have been completed, the time has come to give your home a deep and thorough clean.  From cupboards to appliances, no area should be left unturned – remember, buyers can be a little nosey and will peek inside places you hadn’t expected.  So deep clean your home and your buyers will leave with a sparkling impression.

Design and display

When putting your home back together, think about the best way to display it – does each room have the right amount of furniture?  Too much and the room will feel small and overcrowded; too little and it will feel sparse and lacking in personality.  It’s not only the furniture you need to consider but also how you display your various items, from books to vases, from plants to photos – curate each area thoughtfully, that way your buyers will fall in love with every inch of your home.

Fall in love again


You may find that, after all your efforts, you fall back in love with your home, but should you decide that you wish to move on to pastures new, then give us a call.  We can inform you of the benefits of placing your property on the market now, and those should you wish to wait.  If you have any questions about the Bristol property market, email us for a quick response This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.