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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

Our charity of the year success story:


Our office in Summertown has been selling the book “It Never Rains in the Magic Wood” written by a local author. This has been a real success and the funds raised from sales of the book our charity of the year, Oxford Children’s Hospital, have manged to purchase a new robot for the school which is located within the Children’s Hospital.

Our Marketing team were delighted to have had the opportunity to visit the Children’s Hospital earlier this year. We had no idea that there were classrooms within the unit, and were very impressed by the way in which they accommodate and provide education to children with chronic illnesses. We were particularly impressed with the Telepresence robots and so we are very pleased that the book sales have enabled the hospital to purchase another.

More information about the robotic technology, in the words of Oxford Hospital:

‘They are Pioneering Technology’

When young patients can’t go to school because of chronic illness it can be devastating. Not only do they lose their interaction with mainstream education, but also their social relationships suffer too. But thanks to a pioneering project, the first of its kind in the UK, robotic technology is being used to keep children in touch with their teachers and classmates.

Telepresence robots allow their users to see, hear, move around and interact in real time with their classmates and teachers, despite not physically being there. The child operates the robot from their home or hospital bed, and can watch and take part in lessons through a camera and speaker. Classmates and teachers can see and speak to the pupil on a live screen feed, and the pupil can move the wheel-mounted robot around the school, between lessons and to the dinner hall, for example, to spend time with their friends.

After a successful pilot, two additional telepresence robots were purchased thanks to the support of Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity and two very special children’s books.

So far this year we have raised £6,262.10 and have more plans for fundraising over the next few months. We aim to raise £10,000 this year for Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Adapting produces better results than chance

At the time of going to print for our previous report we anticipated the outcome of the Brexit process to have been decided by now. While the air of caution has continued, we have also seen real decisiveness in pockets of the market. Aside from Brexit, we have seen some major changes to the market in Quarter 2 (April, May and June) with the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act. While it’s too early to tell whether this put moves on hold or whether rents will suddenly spike, we have noticed some interesting trends across our eight offices.

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The Tenant Fees Ban 2019 – is your agent increasing your monthly management fee?

“If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs…”
You may be aware of the impending ban on charging tenant fees, which will come into effect on 1st June this year (Tenant Fees Act 2019). At the time of going to print, we have so far seen FIVE examples of agents writing to their landlords to tell them their monthly management fees are increasing by anything from 1% to 5% due to this change. The majority of the letters we have seen are from Oxfordshire-based agents.
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Uncertainty brings opportunities


The Letting Market in Oxfordshire has been intriguing in Quarter 1 (January, February and March) 2019. This tends to be a quieter time of year, and although the market has felt broadly similar year-on-year across our eight offices – with the smaller properties letting well – in some areas the family market has come to life much earlier. Overall, our teams have been working hard achieving over 400 lets in the first three months of the year.
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Charity of the Year 2019

Finders Keepers is delighted to announce that we have chosen Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity as our official charity partner for 2019. The new partnership will run throughout the year and we hope to raise £10,000 for the Oxford Children’s Hospital, which is based at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
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You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails

Given the level of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, making accurate forecasts on what 2019 holds for landlords is tricky to say the least. As such, our annual ‘predictions’ will be more of an outlook on the year ahead, based on what has happened across our eight offices over the last few months, and pure common sense.
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Have you got the right tool for the job?

It’s often more convenient to just use the implement in front of you to get a job done rather than spend time (and possibly money) sourcing the best one for the task. For example, you could hammer a screw into a piece of wood but it will likely make quite a mess. In the long run, you would be better off (in terms of both money and time) sourcing the right tool for the job.
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