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3 First Time Buyer Mistakes – And How To Avoid Them!

3 First Time Buyer Mistakes - And How To Avoid Them!

As a first-time buyer looking at properties for sale in Tower Hamlets you’ve reached an exciting milestone, however, it can also be a daunting and complex process.

One of the critical stages in this journey is viewing places to potentially call home. Yet many first-time buyers make some common mistakes during viewings that impact their buying experience and future investment.

So, how can you avoid first-time buyer mistakes?

The team at City Realtor will help you explore three common pitfalls and provide insights so that you can avoid them, ensuring a smoother and more informed property-buying journey.

You may also be interested to read our guide to buying.

Mistake #1: Failing to Consider Your Needs and Budget

One of the first and most significant mistakes we see first-time buyers make is not considering their needs and budget. Here’s why it’s essential:

  • You’ll waste time on unsuitable properties. Without a clear understanding of your needs and financial limits, you may end up viewing properties that are either too expensive or don’t meet your requirements. This can lead to wasted time and frustration.
  • You could overextend your finances. Falling in love with a property that’s beyond your budget is a common mistake. Stretching your finances to purchase a property can lead to financial strain and potentially put your future stability at risk.

How to Avoid This Mistake: Before you start viewing properties and making offers, create a list of your ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. Determine your budget, including costs like deposits, legal fees, and moving expenses. Stick to your budget and prioritise properties that meet your criteria.

Use our mortgage calculator here

Use our stamp duty calculator here

Mistake #2: Not Asking the Right Questions During Viewings

First-time buyers often underestimate the importance of asking the right questions during property viewings simply due to inexperience. Here’s why this mistake can be detrimental:

  • You might overlook potential issues. Not asking critical questions about the property can lead to missed red flags. Issues like hidden structural problems, maintenance history, or neighbourhood concerns may go unnoticed, leaving you with unexpected challenges post-purchase.
  • The lack of informed decision-making. A lack of questions means a lack of information. Without essential details about the property and information about the area, you may make decisions based on limited knowledge, which can lead to buyer’s remorse.

How to Avoid This Mistake: Prepare a list of questions to ask during viewings. These can include enquiries about the age of the property, any recent renovations, what the neighbourhood is like, utility costs, and any known issues. A good estate agent will be able to provide you with this information or direct you to relevant resources.

Mistake #3: Ignoring the Bigger Picture as a First-Time Buyer

It’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of a property during the excitement of viewings, but failing to consider the bigger picture is a common mistake with long-term consequences:

  • You might overvalue cosmetic features. First-time buyers often place too much importance on superficial elements like decor and furnishings. While these can be appealing, they shouldn’t overshadow more substantial factors like location, potential for growth, and future resale value.
  • You could neglect long-term goals. Viewing properties with only your current needs in mind can be shortsighted. Consider your long-term goals, such as starting a family. Ignoring these factors may result in outgrowing your home sooner than expected.

How to Avoid This Mistake: Balance your appreciation for aesthetics with a practical assessment of the property’s potential. Evaluate the location, proximity to amenities, transport options, and the area’s growth potential. Think about how the property aligns with your long-term goals.

Making the Right Choices on Your First Property Buying Journey

Navigating the property market in Tower Hamlets can be challenging, but you can avoid first-time buyer mistakes during viewings and make a significant step towards a successful purchase.

Remember that working closely with a reliable estate agent in Tower Hamlets, like the experienced team at City Realtor, will be invaluable in helping you avoid first time buyer mistakes and make the right choices during your property buying journey.

If you’re a first-time buyer looking to get on the property ladder and would like advice, we would love to hear from you. Email us at or call us on 0207 790 7702.

Frequently Asked Questions About Other Common First-Time Buyer Mistakes

How can a bad credit score affect my mortgage options?

A low credit score can limit your choices and potentially lead to higher interest rates from mortgage lenders.

Can I afford a higher monthly mortgage payment than what’s pre-approved?

Don’t exceed your pre-approved budget. Mortgage lenders consider your income and credit score to determine a sustainable monthly payment amount.

What should I do to improve my chances of getting a mortgage?

Work on improving your credit score by paying bills on time and reducing your debt. A larger down payment can also strengthen your application with mortgage lenders.

What Next?

Do you require a valuation or no-obligation advice on buying or selling a home in Tower Hamlets? Please contact our expert property team at City Realtor on 0207 790 7702 or email us at, and we will be delighted to help you.

Don’t forget to follow us on our socials for updates and new listings!

Follow us on Facebook, connect with us on X, join us on Instagram, find us on TikTok, see us on LinkedIn, watch our YouTube Videos!

Good luck if you are buying your first home, or considering putting your property in Tower Hamlets on the market. We’ve answered more of your FAQ’s here.

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Maintenance Tips for Landlords: Don’t Suffer The Consequences of Neglected Property Repairs

Maintenance Tips for Landlords

Owning a rental property in Tower Hamlets comes with its own set of responsibilities, and one of the most critical is ensuring regular maintenance.

That’s why we find that maintenance tips for landlords are always welcomed!

Unfortunately, many Tower Hamlets landlords neglect this crucial aspect of property management, which can lead to issues affecting both landlords and tenants.

In this article from the team at City Realtor, we’ll explore the common mistakes landlords make by failing to maintain their rental properties.

We’ll also look at why prioritising property maintenance is essential for a successful rental experience.

You may also be interested to read 8 Things Every landlord Should Know

The Consequences of Neglected Property Maintenance

Neglecting property maintenance can have far-reaching consequences that affect landlords and tenants. These are some common issues, along with our maintenance tips for landlords:

Deteriorating Property Value Due to Neglected Repairs

When landlords fail to invest in regular maintenance, the property’s condition naturally deteriorates over time.

This decline can lead to a significant reduction in the property’s overall value. A poorly maintained rental property becomes less appealing to prospective tenants and can also result in lower rental income when compared to well-maintained properties in the same area.

Additionally, the resale value of the property may decrease, making it difficult to realise a profit if you decide to sell.

Tenant Dissatisfaction Due to Neglected Property

Tenant satisfaction plays a pivotal role in the success of your rental property business. A neglected property can lead to tenant dissatisfaction, and unhappy tenants are more likely to terminate their agreement early or report maintenance issues, creating additional stress and expenses for landlords.

Unresolved maintenance problems can also lead to legal disputes and potential fines if the property violates government regulations.

Increased Maintenance and Repair Costs Over Time

One of the most significant mistakes landlords make is postponing necessary repairs and maintenance tasks. When minor issues are ignored, they escalate into more extensive and costly problems. For example, a small leak can lead to water damage, mould growth, and structural issues if left unresolved. Regular inspections and timely repairs prevent costly scenarios, ultimately saving landlords time and money.

The Importance of Regular Property Maintenance

Now we’ve discussed the consequences of neglecting rental property maintenance, let’s delve into why regular maintenance is crucial for landlords. Our property management service includes the handling of maintenance and repair issues!

Longer Tenant Retention

Happy tenants are more likely to stay long-term, reducing void periods and turnover costs for landlords. Regular maintenance ensures that the property remains in good condition but also fosters positive tenant-landlord relationships.

When tenants see that their landlord is proactive in addressing maintenance concerns promptly, they are more likely to renew their tenancy agreement.

Legal Compliance Met

Landlords with rental properties in Tower Hamlets are legally obligated to provide safe and habitable living conditions for their tenants. Neglecting property maintenance can result in legal repercussions, including fines and penalties. To stay compliant with local housing regulations, it is essential to conduct regular inspections, address maintenance issues promptly, and keep thorough records of maintenance activities.

Enhanced Property Value

Maintaining a rental property’s condition and appearance attracts quality tenants and enhances its market value. Well-maintained properties are more appealing to prospective renters and potential buyers.

By consistently investing in property maintenance, landlords can secure higher rental income and achieve better resale value when the time comes to sell the property.

Tips for Effective Property Maintenance

To avoid the common mistakes associated with neglecting property maintenance, here are some tips for landlords in Tower Hamlets:

Create a Maintenance Schedule

Establish a regular maintenance schedule that includes routine inspections and preventive maintenance tasks.

This schedule should cover essential areas such as plumbing, electrical systems, roofing, and heating systems. Regularly inspect appliances and address any issues promptly.

Prioritise Tenant Communication

Encourage open communication with your tenants regarding maintenance concerns. Provide tenants with clear instructions on how to report issues and respond to their requests efficiently.

Make sure tenants are aware of their responsibilities in maintaining the property, such as reporting minor problems and promptly addressing any damages they may cause.

Budget for Maintenance Expenses

Set aside a portion of your rental income for maintenance expenses. Having a dedicated budget for maintenance ensures you can cover the costs of repairs and improvements without dipping into your personal finances.

Remember that proactive maintenance is an investment that will save you money in the long run.

Property Maintenance is a Responsibility Landlords Must Embrace

Regular property maintenance is not just a choice. It’s a responsibility that Tower Hamlets landlords must take seriously.

Neglecting rental property maintenance can lead to financial losses, legal issues, and tenant dissatisfaction.

Need expert landlord advice?

If you’re a landlord who would like more information on how to enhance your rental property value, attract and retain quality tenants, and maintain legal compliance, our team at City Realtor would love to hear from you.

Require a valuation, or searching for property management services in Tower Hamlets? Contact our team on 0207 790 7702 or email us at, and we will be delighted to help you.

Don’t forget to follow us on our socials for updates and new listings!

Follow us on Facebook, connect with us on X, join us on Instagram, find us on TikTok, see us on LinkedIn, Watch our YouTube Videos!

In the meantime, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preventative Maintenance Tips for Landlords

What are essential property maintenance tips for landlords to prevent costly repairs?

Essential property maintenance tips include creating a maintenance schedule covering plumbing, electrical, roofing, and heating systems, promptly addressing tenant-reported issues, and budgeting for maintenance expenses to avoid dipping into personal finances.

How can landlords ensure a well-maintained property to attract quality tenants?

Landlords can maintain a well-kept property by conducting regular inspections, addressing minor maintenance issues promptly, and hiring professional contractors for specialised tasks, enhancing its appeal to prospective renters and buyers.

Why is it important for landlords to develop mutually beneficial relationships with tenants through property maintenance?

By prioritising tenant communication and promptly addressing maintenance concerns, landlords can foster positive tenant-landlord relationships, leading to longer tenant retention and reduced turnover costs, benefiting both parties.

What are the responsibilities of landlords regarding property maintenance in the UK?

Landlords in the UK are responsible for ensuring the property meets safety and habitability standards, conducting regular property inspections, and promptly addressing maintenance issues to comply with local housing regulations and provide a comfortable living environment for tenants.

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10 Frequently Asked Questions When Selling Your Home In Tower Hamlets!

10 Frequently Asked Questions When Selling Your Home In Tower Hamlets!

If you are looking to sell your house in Tower Hamlets, you may very well be feeling a little overwhelmed, and who can blame you? It is a huge undertaking, not to mention an incredibly emotional time for you as a homeowner.

Many home movers find it extremely difficult to keep their personal feelings separate from their business brains when it comes to selling their homes, but that being said, you can successfully sell your home without letting your emotional attachment to the property hinder your efforts.

However, it’s good to be as informed and prepared as possible before you start marketing your property in Tower Hamlets, so let’s start with our ten most frequently asked questions when selling your home.

10 Frequently Asked Questions When Selling Your Home

1. What time of year should I sell my house?

This is a very important question as there are key times in the year when people are more likely to be looking to buy a new house. Traditionally, springtime is the best season to sell your home, with the first two weeks of May traditionally having the highest sales figures. The least effective months to sell your home are October and December, as fewer people want to go on viewings after work when it is cold and dark, plus many are preoccupied with Christmas.

2. How long will it take to sell my house?

Unfortunately, this is similar to asking, “How long is a piece of string?” with many factors influencing how quickly or slowly your home will sell. These include:

  • Your listing price
  • The condition of your home
  • The condition of the local housing market
  • How you market your home
  • General factors such as political matters

Rest assured, though, that here at City Realtor, we are proactive year-round and will market your property effectively, whatever the season or climate!

3. How much is my house worth?

Of course, you will need to know roughly how much your house is worth before you put it on the market. The simplest way to gauge how much your house will sell for is to ask us for a free, no-obligation market appraisal. You may also like to do some research of your own by looking at comparable sales in your local area.

4. How much will it cost me to sell my house?

There are, of course, costs that you will incur when selling your home, including your estate agent’s commission, solicitors fees, stamp duty and any removal costs. We are completely transparent with our seller fees and you can view them here.

5. Should I make repairs or sell my house as it stands?

This is a tricky one as some home buyers are looking for a project property (albeit one at a knock-down price), and others may want a property that they can move into immediately with minimal fuss.

As a general rule, any small cosmetic repairs that will not cost a lot of money should be carried out before you show any potential buyers around. For larger, more costly projects, you can either carry out the work yourself or ensure your asking price reflects any work that the new owners will need to carry out.

6. Should I hire an estate agent in Tower Hamlets?

An estate agent will have sound property knowledge, access to marketing resources, potential buyers and local market data that are invaluable in helping you sell your property, so it is advisable to hire a professional just like us! Give us a call on 0207 790 7702 for an informal chat to see how we can help you and find out why you should choose us!

7. What should I do if my house is failing to sell?

There could be several reasons why your house is not selling as quickly as you would have hoped. These include:

  • Your asking price is too high
  • Repair issues are putting potential buyers off
  • Your property listing is not up to scratch

This is why it’s always best to speak with an estate agent in Tower Hamlets who can advise you on the best course of action. You may also be interested in 7 essential tips that can help you sell your property.

8. How can I prepare my home for sale?

When it comes to making your home as appealing as possible to potential buyers, it really is a case of sticking with what works, namely the idea of baking bread and arranging fresh flowers around your home! It may sound silly, but making your home smell nice and inviting really can make a difference to how a potential buyer feels about your home.

Other top tips for presenting your property include:

  • Clearing away any clutter
  • Applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls
  • Tidying your front garden to improve your kerb appeal

9. Should I be present during viewings?

This is an easy one. No, preferably not! It can be very uncomfortable to listen to a potential buyer point out what they don’t like or what they would change about your home, not to mention the fact that they may not feel comfortable talking to your estate agent about your property if you are standing right next to them!

Therefore, for all parties involved, it is better if you make yourself scarce during all viewings.

10. If I accept an offer on my home, is it legally binding?

Your estate agent is legally required to pass on all offers on your property to you, although you can reject any offer outright if you are not happy with the price offered.

If you do accept an offer, you are not legally bound to it. If you receive a higher offer or simply change your mind, you are within your rights to decide not to sell your home to your buyer, although this is always a distressing situation for the other parties involved.

Need expert advice?

Require a valuation or no-obligation advice on buying or selling a home in Tower Hamlets? Please contact our expert property team at City Realtor on 0207 790 7702 or email us at, and we will be delighted to help you.

Don’t forget to follow us on our socials for updates and new listings!

Follow us on Facebook, connect with us on X, join us on Instagram, find us on TikTok, see us on LinkedIn, Watch our YouTube Videos!

Good luck if you are selling your home or considering putting your property in Tower Hamlets on the market. We’ve answered more of your FAQ’s here.

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Property Valuations in Tower Hamlets: Is The Highest Valuation Of My House The Best?

Property Valuations in Tower Hamlets

What a great question this is! Data from the ONS shows that on average properties in Tower Hamlets sell for £454,000 with 50% of properties selling for less than the original valuation! However, a good estate agent in Tower Hamlets will value your property accurately so there should be no need to reduce the asking price.

These figures represent good news for sellers who want to achieve the best price for their home. But many sellers still choose to use the estate agent that simply provides the highest valuation for their property!

Does that seem like a sensible decision?

It may seem like a no-brainer to choose between the estate agents who give you higher property valuations in Tower Hamlets above the others. But there are factors to consider before you make your final decision. The team at City Realtor want you to know how crucial it is to understand the importance of a correct valuation. We want to help you make a properly informed choice when considering valuations for your home in Tower Hamlets.

Overpriced property valuations in Tower Hamlets may make your property become ‘stale’

Some estate agents in Tower Hamlets are prepared to do whatever it takes to get new business. This includes overpricing your property to persuade you to list with them. We understand it’s tempting to choose the estate agent that suggests you list at a high asking price. But remember that if they have overvalued your home, it could sit for months on the market without any buyer interest. Essentially, it becomes a stale property. Eventually, you’ll need to reduce the asking price to ensure you sell your home in Tower Hamlets. And that never looks good to prospective buyers and won’t help you sell!

The importance of realistic property valuations and price banding

All prospective buyers have a budget they’ve set for themselves and usually view properties for sale in Tower Hamlets fitting only that criteria. When a property is overpriced, you may miss out on prospective buyers searching for a house like yours. They won’t see it in their searches because it’s been valued above their maximum budget.

Realistic property valuations in Tower Hamlets will bring your home within the budget of more potential buyers. If there’s enough interest, you could also find that your home is the subject of a bidding war. This is where purchasers will push their financial boundaries to secure a property. This approach could see you achieve a higher sale price for your home than if you’d opted for the higher valuation in the first place!

Getting an expert appraisal

Choosing a reliable estate agent in Tower Hamlets is essential when listing your property for sale. A trustworthy agency will always be honest, transparent, and straightforward with their valuation. At City Realtor, we use our local knowledge alongside information about the current property market conditions to give you the most accurate and realistic valuation for your home.

Property Valuations in Tower Hamlets

For no-obligation advice on buying or selling a property in Tower Hamlets please contact our expert property team at City Realtor on 0207 790 7702. Alternatively, get an instant valuation here. We look forward to helping you move home.

Don’t forget to follow us on our socials for updates and new listings!

Follow us on Facebook, connect with us on X, join us on Instagram, find us on TikTok, see us on LinkedIn, Watch our YouTube Videos!

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April 2024 Property Market Update

April 2024 Property Market Update

With the first quarter of the year now behind us, April 2024 has brought a positive forecast as some of the uncertainty of the past 12 months is starting to ebb away. Thanks to the latest developments in the economy, the property market is looking brighter for the next few months as we move forward towards summer.

Inflation Set to Impact Mortgage Rates

According to the Office for National Statistics, March saw the Consumer Price Index fall to 3.2%, taking the UK’s economy ever-closer to the target of 2% set by the government. This looks like good news for the property market, thanks to the influence it will have on mortgage rates.

The most up-to-date data from the Bank of England shows that the flurry of initial activity seen at the beginning of the year has now begun to calm. February saw a significant increase in the number of mortgage approvals as mortgage rate cuts prompted market activity. However in March, the number of agreed sales dropped to 2% above 2017-2019’s average, down from February’s 13% above.

Since mortgage rates now are almost back to the same level as seen in late December, it looks unlikely that the pace of activity seen so far this year will be maintained into the summer months.

Potential Action on Leasehold Maintenance Contracts

Homeowners locked in private new-build communal area maintenance contracts have a glimmer of hope on the horizon as over 40 Conservative MPs call for a ban. As the Leasehold Bill slowly works through Parliament, the Housing Secretary is now under pressure to include a “Fleecehold” ban to help the millions of people living under this model and facing steep estate fees.

The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) has also recently recommended bringing an end to this model too, putting forward a proposal that local councils be required to adopt new housing estate public amenities once complete. According to the housing minister, the government is now paying careful consideration to this report, which also suggests introducing a property agent regulatory body to address leasehold issues and raise standards across the industry.

With news of homeowners facing shocking increases as high as 274% in their annual service charge bills for 2024, the prospect of the some positive change in the status quo can only be cause for cautious celebration.

Watering Down of Renter Reform

The news isn’t so good for renters, though, as the government set out changes to the planned protections in England for renters following concerns from a number of Conservative MPs that the original proposal would be too much of a burden for landlords.

The latest alterations include requiring tenants to commit to at least a 6-month contract rather than being able to end their tenancy with 2-months’ notice from day one and, most controversially, delaying the no-fault eviction ban on existing tenancies pending the outcome of the justice secretary’s assessment of the court system’s ability to handle repossession claims.

One positive proposed change, however, is the introduction of a right to local council homelessness support for tenants who find themselves evicted under the new grounds for possession.

While this watering down of the Renters (Reform) Bill is sure to be received negatively by those tenants who are aware of its existence, recent research published by the TDS Charitable Foundation shows that a surprising 83% of people who are currently living in a rental property lack any awareness of the Bill’s proposals. Of those who know about the proposed reforms, most are pessimistic about their ability to result in tangible changes. 42% believe the Bill will change little about the rental sector, while 37% believe it is unlikely to be implemented at all.

Good News for Landlords as Tenants Stay Longer

While tenants may be less than thrilled with the latest developments in the property market, things are looking up for landlords as The DPS (The Deposit Protection Service) released its research that revealed tenants are staying in their properties for a third longer than in 2020.

Today’s typical tenancy is now lasting for 924 days, a significant increase over the 706 days seen four years ago. It appears that a combination of the cost-of-living crisis, high rents, and a competitive market for new rental properties are leading to renters remaining for longer periods in their homes.

In further positive news for landlords, Octane Capital reports that the typical buy-to-let property yield has now increased to 5.8%, up from 4.9% over the last two years, and while running costs have gone up over the same period, landlords are still enjoying attractive net profits overall. This report, paired with the proposed delay in the no-fault eviction ban, is likely to encourage existing landlords to remain in the market for the foreseeable future.

As we move further into the second quarter of the year, time will tell how the property market will develop. Traditionally, spring sees more homes being listed for sale, so we will wait with anticipation to see what May has in store!

What Next?

We are delighted to bring you our property market updates each month. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in Tower Hamlets, please get in touch with us at City Realtor on 0207 790 7702 or email

Don’t forget to follow us on our socials for updates and new listings!

Follow us on Facebook, connect with us on X, join us on Instagram, find us on TikTok, see us on LinkedIn, Watch our YouTube Videos!

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8 Things Every Landlord Should Know

8 Things Every Landlord Should Know

There are a whole host of things every landlord should know, yet many opt to set up their rental property as quickly as possible, disregarding this essential knowledge.

So, when questions start getting asked about unpaid rent payments, legal responsibilities, and other frustrating circumstances, these landlords are left scratching their heads, wondering how they got into such a position in the first place. Read our lettings jargon buster here!

Whether you’ve just bought your first property in Tower Hamlets or your fifth, being a landlord is a role where you can continually keep learning new things and facing new challenges.

Other than keeping abreast of what’s happening in the property market, you also need to ensure that you’re following all the latest rules and requirements for landlords.

At City Realtor, we’ve got years of experience working with landlords and dealing with the property market, so we’ve pretty much seen it all!

To help you keep on top of all that you need to be aware of, we’ve created a handy list of the eight most essential things that every landlord should know.

8 Things Every Landlord Should Know

1. Remain aware of what’s happening in the property market

The conditions of the housing market are continually changing. First and foremost, a good landlord should keep an eye on property market conditions.

This will help inform you on how to market your property, as well as give you an idea of what price you should be expecting for it. You’ll also have a much better idea of the competition if you regularly do your market research

2. Understand the facilities in your property’s location

Knowing the local neighbourhood that your property is located in can significantly affect how well you position your property. For instance, here in Tower Hamlets, there are some excellent schools in the area, so you may want to market your property as a family home.

Likewise, if it’s located on the commuter belt, you could think about converting it into separate flats to accommodate four individual tenants instead of just one household.

3. Ensure that your property is up to scratch

When you rent out a property, you need to ensure that it meets certain requirements. You must ensure that it is a liveable space with a safe environment for any tenants that move in. Some of the things you need to consider are:

  • Does it have the necessary smoke alarms?
  • Are there any safety hazards?
  • Are electrical and gas certificates up to date?

Ask our team at City Realtor, as we can help you understand all the requirements your property needs to meet before you can rent it out.

4. Work out your taxes

Before you start getting rent paid into your bank account, you should register with HMRC to ensure that you’re taxed accordingly. You’ll be taxed on all rental income after the first £1,000.

It’s important to mention, too, that there are different tax rules for landlords depending on the type of property you own. Look into this on the HMRC website to ensure you’re doing all that’s legally required.

5. Set aside some money for emergency funds

As a landlord, you should always be prepared. To remain within your budget, set aside a small amount in case anything goes wrong. For example, if your property is unexpectedly vacant for a short period, you should ensure that you can cover your mortgage payments without rental income. 

Set some money aside for any unexpected issues as well. No matter how new a property is, wear, tear, and weather conditions may lead to the need for maintenance and repairs.

6. Comply with all legal requirements

There are many legal requirements that you must follow as a landlord to ensure the safety of your tenants and to avoid fines and penalties. These include:

  • Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Subsequent Amendments. These state that all gas appliances must be safe and checked annually.
  • The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. The landlord is responsible for ensuring that their property is fitted with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. Under these regulations, the landlord is required to make sure that all electrical appliances in the property are safe to use.
  • EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) & MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards). These state that all landlords must provide a valid EPC certificate to their prospective tenants.It’s rare, but sometimes landlords also experience problems with tenants. Perhaps it’s late rent, or creating problems for other tenants. Without the relevant experience, dealing with situations like this can be challenging. In the event a legal approach is required, don’t worry, we’ve got it covered!

7. Check whether your local council requires any specific licences

Contact your local council to check whether any other licenses are needed before you rent out your property. Some councils will have specific mandatory rules and regulations above and beyond the ones mentioned above.

8. Learn each tenancy agreement like the back of your hand

Becoming a landlord has plenty of benefits, especially when you have fantastic tenants. However, even after conducting a detailed risk assessment and deeming them as suitable, not every tenant is stress-free!

When you are faced with a situation where tenants in one of your rental properties are causing you issues, it’s crucial that you know the tenancy agreement inside out to know what your options are.

Whether it’s the notice period, the tenancy deposit protection scheme, rent arrears, or anything in between, having this information is crucial for ensuring you are acting firmly but fairly.

Need expert advice?

Require a valuation, or searching for property management services in Tower Hamlets? Contact our team on 0207 790 7702 or email us at, and we will be delighted to help you.

Don’t forget to follow us on our socials for updates and new listings!

Follow us on Facebook, connect with us on X, join us on Instagram, find us on TikTok, see us on LinkedIn, Watch our YouTube Videos!

In the meantime, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Local Property Market in Tower Hamlets

What factors influence property prices in Tower Hamlets?

Property prices are primarily influenced by location, demand, economic conditions, and local amenities.

How can I estimate the fair market value of a property and its rent potential?

Fair market value is typically determined through comparative market analysis, considering recent sales of similar properties in the area.

What are common challenges when renting a property in the local market?

Common challenges include market fluctuations, property conditions, and effective marketing strategies to attract potential tenants.

We’ve answered even more of your frequently asked questions here

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How to Update Your Home On A Budget!

How to Update Your Home On A Budget!

When you want to update your home, you might assume it’s going to cost you a lot of money. However, there are a number of ways you can give your home a makeover that won’t cost you the earth. As estate agents in Tower Hamlets, we see some fabulous homes every day, so if you’re on a tight budget, simply follow our tips.

5 Ways to Update Your Home on a Budget

1. Make your kitchen look like new

When it comes to decorating your house, the kitchen is usually the most expensive room to upgrade because there are so many fittings and appliances. However, you can give your kitchen a makeover while on a tight budget by:

  • Covering the kitchen doors in vinyl or repainting them in chalk paint
  • Covering old flooring with vinyl tiles
  • Adding a new splashback or painting tiles
  • Adding a small kitchen island
  • Replacing door and drawer handles
  • Replacing small appliances such as kettles and toasters

While you may not be able to afford a full kitchen renovation, just carrying out these jobs won’t take much time or money and can make a huge difference particularly if your property in Tower Hamlets is for sale.

2. Bring your bathroom up to date

A dated bathroom can ruin the look of a house, and whilst an entirely new one might be out of your price range, there are ways to refresh your bathroom on a budget.

If you have an old suite that really needs replacing, you can often buy one cheaply in a trade store, then get a plumber to fit it. Most people can learn to tile, and there are plenty of tutorials online, while floors can be easily covered with vinyl or similar to make them look fresh and new.

If you’re painting your bathroom, always use specialist bathroom paint that can stand up to steam and humidity, otherwise it will soon start to peel.

3. Open up and light the space

A home that’s full of dusty items and clutter will soon feel dated and depressing. Spend some time decluttering, and you’ll soon see a big improvement to your home.

Many people complain that their homes are too small, but a bit of re-organisation and tidying up can give the feeling of space.

Once the space is opened up, make sure you have adequate lighting. Rooms look smaller if they have dim corners, and ceilings can appear lower if they aren’t lit.

Add some corner lamps and your home will look lighter and more contemporary.

4. Find second-hand supplies and furniture

Look on Facebook marketplace and you’ll find lots of local people selling DIY bits and pieces they no longer need, or have changed their minds over. You can easily buy paint, wallpaper and second-hand tools for just a few pounds, so there’s no need to put off certain projects.

Second-hand furniture is also easy to find online, and if you rent a van for a weekend, you can fill your home with new furniture for much less than the retail price.

Many people sell sofas, dining sets and beds that have barely been used, as they get bored with them or decide to go for a different look.

Some of the bigger charity shops also sell furniture, and while some of it might be a little dated, it can easily be revived with some chalk paint or varnish to make it appear more modern.

Some people don’t like the idea of second-hand furniture as they’re worried it might be dirty. It’s easy to rent an upholstery cleaner and clean up a sofa to get it looking like new, or you can use antibacterial kitchen sprays on most surfaces.

5. Change your colour scheme without redecorating

If your room is a little dated, but you don’t have the time or money to redecorate, then simply switching some of your décor can work well. For example, try covering old flooring with a rug, or adding splashes of colour with vases, plant pots, ottomans or other accessories.

While it’s not quite the same as a full makeover, it can help refresh the space while your property is on the market.

Painting or wallpapering a feature wall can also change the look of a room without needing to completely redecorate. It also means that if you go off a colour, or it goes out of fashion in a few months, it’s easy to change it again.

Need Help Sprucing Up Your Living Space?

Your home is your castle, but there’s no point in maxing out your credit card just to give it a makeover!

There are plenty of ways you can get the look you want without spending a fortune, whether it’s hunting for vintage finds or using some of your DIY skills and before you know it your home will be ready to place on the market and welcome viewers.

What Next?

For no-obligation advice on buying or selling a property in Tower Hamlets please contact our expert property team at City Realtor on 0207 790 7702. Alternatively, get an instant valuation here. We look forward to helping you move home.

Don’t forget to follow us on our socials for updates and new listings!

Follow us on Facebook, connect with us on X, join us on Instagram, find us on TikTok, see us on LinkedIn, Watch our YouTube Videos!

Frequently Asked Questions About Budget-Friendly Home Renovation

What are some budget-friendly ways to update old light fixtures in my home?

You can easily update old light fixtures by giving them a fresh coat of paint or replacing them with affordable, modern alternatives available at local hardware stores or online retailers.

How can I enhance my home’s kerb appeal without breaking the bank?

Improving your home’s kerb appeal on a budget can be achieved by painting or varnishing your front door, adding decorative door hardware, and installing cost-effective outdoor lighting fixtures to highlight your home’s exterior.

What inexpensive options are available to create a focal point in a room?

You can create a focal point in any room by repurposing existing furniture or artwork, incorporating affordable decorative pieces like stylish cushions or rugs, or arranging furniture to highlight architectural features such as fireplaces or alcoves.

What strategies can I use to maximise natural light in my home without extensive renovations?

To maximise natural light, consider using light-coloured window treatments, trimming foliage near windows to allow more light in, strategically placing mirrors to reflect light, and opting for sheer curtains or blinds to maintain privacy while letting sunlight filter through.

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7 Essential Tips That Can Help You Sell Your Property In Tower Hamlets


Keen to sell your home in Tower Hamlets as quickly as possible? Worried that your Tower Hamlets property is still on the market? 

Although finding the right estate agent is a crucial part of getting your property sold, there are a few things you can do to help move the process along. Try these tips, and it won’t be long before you have offers coming in, and you can enjoy the search for your next new home!  

Read on for our seven essential tips to help you get your property off the market quicker: 

Let’s start with the simplest (albeit slightly tedious) thing you can do to help stage your home for viewings. It’s time for a deep decluttering session! 

We’re not clutter-shaming. Getting rid of all the clutter allows interested buyers to see the full potential of the space during viewings. And not only will it make your property look more spacious, but it’ll also mean that your eventual packing becomes much easier. We’ve got more tips for presenting your property here.

Although you don’t want your home not to look like a home, you also don’t want it to look too much like your home. You want potential buyers to walk in and be able to easily picture themselves living there.

Removing family photos and more personal items can help make that possible. Viewers will be able to walk around and envision themselves and their own families living there.

Now’s the time to turn to an expert. Trust us: a professional photoshoot organised by an expert estate agent will go a long way in helping your online property listings get a lot more interest.

Most estate agents are affiliated with a skilled property photographer and can offer this service. They’ll light up your home to make sure it’s showcased in the most visually appealing way. No filters necessary.

Another way to make it easier for viewers to picture themselves in your home is to create a more neutral setting. Turn to more muted colours for things such as your bedding and curtains. Remember, loud colours and bold prints may not necessarily be to everyone’s taste. 

An easy way to give your home more mass appeal is to strip any wallpaper and give it a fresh lick of neutrally coloured paint. Opt for lighter colours to reflect light and make your home look more spacious. 

We know. We just asked you to remove personal items and make your home more neutral. But hear us out. 

Although many of the little decor changes mentioned above will help turn your property into a more neutral living space, you don’t want to strip it of all personality.

Add little touches such as soft throws, scented candles and fresh flowers. These are safe options which can help your home look homely without alienating any potential buyers.

Although it’s our job to advertise your property, there’s no harm in you sharing the online listing. We recommend sharing the listing in your network.

You never know; someone on your Facebook Friends list may always have had a crush on your home! 

We’ve saved the most important tip for last. The estate agent in Tower Hamlets you choose will make all the difference in how quickly your property gets sold.

Although you may be tempted to simply go with the one with the lowest fee, this isn’t always wise. Interview and research any estate agent thoroughly before you opt for them.

Find out more about their experience and marketing strategy, and ask how they will market your home. 

Asking all the right questions when vetting estate agents will save you a lot of time (and money) and ensure your property is off the market before you know it!

For no-obligation advice on buying or selling a property in Tower Hamlets please contact our expert property team at City Realtor on 0207 790 7702. Alternatively, get an instant valuation here. We look forward to helping you move home.

Follow us on our socials for updates and new listings!

Follow us on Facebook, connect with us on X, join us on Instagram, find us on TikTok, see us on LinkedIn, Watch our YouTube Videos!

Choosing a real estate agent with a proven track record and expertise in the Tower Hamlets market ensures your property is priced right, attracting serious buyers and increasing the chances of a swift and successful sale.

Maximising natural light in your home not only enhances its appeal but can also positively impact the selling price. Bright, well-lit spaces attract more buyers, making your property stand out in the market.

Decluttering creates a spacious and inviting atmosphere, helping your property attract buyers quickly. A clutter-free space allows potential buyers to envision themselves in the home, making the decision-making process smoother.

The front door is the first impression of your property. Ensuring it looks inviting and well-maintained can attract potential buyers, making them more likely to explore further. A welcoming entrance sets the tone for a positive viewing experience.

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Jargon Buster: Lettings Edition Part 1

After breaking down sales jargon I thought I had to do one for lettings as there’s many phrases that I find myself saying, and realise it’s the first time the other person has heard it. The upcoming terms will be relevant to both tenants and landlords.

Holding Deposit

Commonly mistaken for the deposit. This is a deposit a tenant would have to pay to secure a property for rental. This is most often non refundable so if you are looking to pay this, please make sure you are absolutely sure about the property before paying this, unless you have money to blow. Once you have paid a holding deposit the agent should not be showing the property to anybody else and start referencing. One referencing is complete they will ask you to pay the rest of the move in monies. Holding deposits can only be a maximum of 1 weeks rent under the new law after The Tenants Fees Act was passed on June 1st 2019.


This is most often paid after the referencing is complete along with the rest of the move in monies. Sometimes can be referred to as a security deposit. This deposit is meant to cover the landlord for any damages to the property or loss of rent. As part of The Tenants Fees Act, security deposits are also limited to 5 weeks rent if the annual rent is 50k or less. If the annual rent is more than £50k the limit is 6 weeks rent. The deposit must be protected with a government approved scheme within 30 days of receiving, if this isn’t done, you can be fined.

As a landlord you want to understand the next 3 terms well so that you know what you’re getting yourself into when you take any of these services. As a tenant it’s good to know what service your landlord has taken from the agent so you know how to report things and who to pay rent to after you move in.

Let only

Sometimes known as tenant find or introduction. But how much can you expect your agent to do in a tenant find service. A good agent will try and do all of the following. 

  • Arrange certification including gas, eicr and epc. 
  • Advertise the property on the portals to give it maximum coverage
  • Carry out viewings and reference potential tenant
  • Negotiate terms and arrange bespoke tenancy agreement
  • Possibly arrange pre tenancy work to be carried out to the property
  • Carry out right to rent checks
  • Arrange inventory check in report

Rent collect

Sometimes known as part managed. This service would include everything in Let only as well as the following:

  • Protect the deposit with a government approved scheme
  • Collect and remit the rent throughout the duration of the tenancy
  • Negotiate tenancy renewals
  • Pursue non payment of rent and advise on rent arrears action

Fully managed

This service would include everything in the first two services combined with the following:

  • Instruct approved contractors on landlord’s behalf in the instance of any works needed at the property
  • Insure you comply with any changing legislations
  • Carry out regular inspections
  • 24 hour emergency service for tenants
  • Arrange maintenance and repairs 
  • Pay contractors on landlords behalf
  • Act as liaison between you and your Tenant 
  • Negotiate deposit release 
  • Manage your property through vacant periods

Guaranteed Rent

This is a term that has become very popular in London, especially in the East End over the last 10 years or so even though it has been around for much longer. It generally refers to an agent guaranteeing the rent to a landlord for a specific number of years at a certain agreed rent regardless of its occupancy. This is usually a lower than market rate rent as the agent that’s taking the risk needs to have enough of a margin to take that amount of risk. For example if the market rent for a certain property is around £2500 pcm, then the agent may guarantee around £2000 per month to the landlord and that £500 a month is where the agent makes their margin.  Remember if the property is empty for even one month, that could cost the agent his or her whole year’s commission. So they need to be careful about what they offer and understand the market well.

Rent Guarantee

Sounds very similar to the previous term, but this usually refers to a policy that can be bought from insurance companies. The cost is usually upfront for each year and there may be an excess for each claim. Unlike guaranteed rent, the onus is on the insurance company and pressure is taken off the agent. For a successful claim, landlords would need to make sure all of their tenants are fully referenced.


Short for houses of multiple occupation. This refers to multiple people living in the same home who are not related to one another. In the old days this would only refer to room rentals, where properties will have multiple tenancies attached to it, because the rooms are individually rented out. These days, according to most councils, even if a property is rented out using one tenancy, if the individuals are not related to one another then the property can be considered a HMO. For example in Tower Hamlets, a 3 bedroom property rented to a group of 3 friends can be considered a HMO, on the flipside a 3 bedroom property rented to a family of 10 would not be considered a HMO.

That’s it for this edition of jargon busters. I’ll be back with more soon, if there’s anything specific you want to know, don’t hesitate to contact me via any social media.

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Jargon Buster: Sales Edition Part 1

I find myself using a lot of these words very carelessly, sometimes forgetting that not everyone speaks estate agent. People in every industry are guilty of this and can find themselves getting carried away with their lingo. So I thought I’d put together a few words and terms that I think are handy for you to know the meaning of, especially for those of you that are on the market right now whether you are selling or letting, this should hopefully make things easier to understand. 

Sole Agency/Multi Agency

These terms can apply for sales and lettings and you will most likely come across it when you are looking to sell or rent your property. Sole agency would mean that you are agreeing to market your property through one agent and giving them exclusivity. Multi agency would be (you guessed it) when you allow multiple agents to market your property. Multi agency usually carries a premium as for the agent the risk is higher of putting in work and losing out. Sole agency is therefore cheaper as there is less risk.


This stands for ‘Offers In Excess Of’. You may see this on adverts where it says, OIEO £400,000. This is sometimes used by agents where they want to eliminate low ball offers, meaning offer 400 and above nothing under please. This might also be used when the agent/vendor is not sure how to price the property due to there being not many comparables on the market. Sometimes the advertising price is very low to generate interest for the property.


You will also see this on adverts as well, this stands for ‘Offers In the Region Of’. This is also used when an agent/vendor may not be sure on the price and wants to encourage offers.

Guide Price

On adverts you will see this written something like ‘guided between £400,000 and £450,000. This usually means they are trying to achieve something in between. This is also sometimes used to generate interest where they were able to by advertising at £425k, so by advertising at a guide from 400 you get a whole new set of eyes looking.


This stands for, Price On Application. This again is a tactic used to draw people in by creating a bit of mystery about the property/advert. Your left thinking I wonder how much this property is, so you enquire and then your details are with the agent, now even though price may not be something you are willing to pay, its created enough of a buzz and possibly brought in a buyer for the agent.

Subject to valuation

This term is very widely used, and I urge everyone to use it when making offers on properties. whether you are getting lending or not. If you are getting a mortgage then your lender will surely send a surveyor to make sure the value adds up. As a cash buyer I would still urge you to get a homebuyers survey done so that you are comfortable that the property you are buying is worth what you are paying for it. Either way, if the value doesn’t stack up then you may want to rethink your offer. That’s why it’s important to make offers saying ‘subject to valuation’.

Subject to contract

This is mainly used when accepting an offer. This means you are happy to accept the offer but it’s subject to the contract obligations. This can also be used by the buyer making the offer. 


This is when you may be buying or selling your property and you have reached the second to last stage where your solicitors exchange contracts. The main thing to note here is that the buyer will have to transfer 10% of the purchase price to their solicitor which will be sent to the seller’s solicitor whether the sale completes or not. For a £400,000 property this would be £40,000. If the sale happens to fall, due to the buyer, this amount will be given to the seller and the seller would pay their agent from this. This is why all agents charge their fees on exchange rather than completion.


This is when the property sale transaction is complete. Exchange would have already happened and on this day all the funds get transferred to the seller. If the seller has a mortgage then that gets paid off first and the surplus is transferred into the seller’s bank account. For the buyer, this is essentially when you get to pick up your keys. Exchange and completion can happen simultaneously but are more common to happen a couple weeks apart. In my experience chain purchases with homemovers like to have a gap after exchange. This allows the seller and buyer to be much more confident that the transaction will definitely take place and prepare for the move, whereas BTL purchasers tend not to worry about a gap so much as they don’t need to move. Moving homes is after all one of the most stressful things we do.

I hope this proves useful to some of you. If there are other words/terms/phrases you’ve come across and do not understand, don’t hesitate to ask (email I’ll be happy to explain, and I’m sure I’ll be writing part 2 very soon.