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Have you overlooked these rental checks or has your landlord?

Landlords are being reminded about the list of checks they need to do before renting out a property.

Lettings agents Douglas & Gordon have put together a handy list that landlords can work through to help the rental process go as smoothly as possible.

It includes checks such as making sure legal documents are obtained, including an energy performance certificate. 

It also suggests getting a thorough inventory that can help avoid potential disputes further down the line.

Landlords are being urged to make sure they up to date with the regulations and steps they need to take before renting a property

Landlords are being urged to make sure they up to date with the regulations and steps they need to take before renting a property 

Warren McCann, of Douglas & Gordon, said: ‘A happy tenant will stay in a property for longer, reduce void periods and set up costs of a new tenancy. 

‘Avoid the unnecessary conflicts that can easily escalate when the basic needs are not fulfilled. Do the basics and have a plan.’

Meanwhile, North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf said: ‘Landlords have to be so careful when letting property, particularly if they are considering managing it themselves as there are said to be 160 rules and regulations which impact the lettings sector.

‘Mistakes can be costly, not just in terms of losing money but prison sentences can be on the agenda too.’

Our checklist for landlords includes some useful information about the importance of inventories

Our checklist for landlords includes some useful information about the importance of inventories

He added: ‘Lettings agents have become more like compliance officers, trying to find the balance between the interests of landlords and tenants.

‘Some landlords believe that self managing means they are more likely to be off the hook for any offences than would be the case if agents are involved but this is simply not the case.

‘Landlords employing the services of an agent must ensure they use one who is suitably qualified and experienced so that they reduce the risk of having a dodgy tenant who does not pay the market rent or leave when you want them to.’ 

Here is the checklist for landlords, from lettings agent Douglas & Gordon… 

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

A property needs an energy performance certificate before it can be put on the market.

These certificates rate the energy efficiency and environmental impact of a property, on a scale from A to G. Landlords need an energy efficiency rating of E or above to rent a property.

An EPC is valid for 10 years and only needs to be renewed after this amount of time.

Electrical Installation Certificate Report (EICR)

Another legal document that a landlord must have before renting out their property is a satisfactory EICR report.

These last for five years, but must be compliant with the 18th edition of the wiring regulations. . The 18th edition of the wiring regulations is the most recent update to the national standards that electrical installations need to comply to, as set by the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The electrician will test 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the wiring in the house and will also test sockets, switches, lights and the fuse board.

Any remedial work will need to be carried out before the tenancy can begin.


A property must also have a valid gas certificate making sure all appliances are safe to use.

These last a year, with your chosen estate agent and tenant required to have a copy of the valid certificate.

Portable Appliance Testing

Portable appliances should be safe for tenants to use.

Douglas & Gordon suggests making sure this is the case by booking in a PAT test, which it says only needs to be done once a year.

Smoke and carbon alarms

All properties require a working smoke alarm on every floor of the property.

And carbon monoxide alarms are also necessary where there is an open flue or wood burning appliance.

If the property requires a licence, the Local Authority may require a hard-wired smoke alarm.

Fire and furnishings

In line with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988, landlords need to make sure that all furniture in your property has the necessary labelling to prove that it is fire safe. explains Douglas & Gordon

This includes any upholstered furniture, as well as items such as beds, mattresses, pillows, and headboards.


Landlords are also advised to get all tenants referenced to ensure they are the best suit for your property. It may also highlight any issues that could be a problem further down the line.


There are three types of licencing in accordance with The Housing Act 2004.

Mandatory House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) is nationwide and applies to properties with five or more occupants from two or more households.

Additional HMO Licensing is borough dependent and applies to properties with three of more occupants from two or more households.

Selective licencing is borough dependent and depends on the street the property is on.


It may be tempting to skip this item on this list as some landlords may see it as an unnecessary expense.

However, a professional clean can set the tone for how landlords expect the property to be kept – and left when the tenants move out.

As Douglas & Gordon explains: ‘This helps with the inventory and sets a standard for the tenants when they move out.’

Inventories (check ins and outs)

In the busy period of arranging a tenancy, an inventory can often be overlooked.

However, a professional inventory can prove to be one of the most useful documents if carried out by a trusted third party.

This is because it can help minimise any disputes about the condition of a property when a tenant leaves – and how it differs from the condition of the property at the start of the rental.

A trusted third party can go through the inventory and complete a check-in and check-out schedule.


Landlords have a duty of care to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken to avoid stagnation of water that could lead to the growth of legionella.

These includes flushing out the system prior to letting the property if it has been sitting empty and avoiding debris getting into the system – such as ensuring the cold water tanks, where fitted, have a tight fitting lid.

It also includes setting control parameters – such as setting the temperature of the hot water cylinder to ensure water is stored at 60°c – and making sure any redundant pipework is removed.

Blind cords

New blinds with looped cords must have child safety devices installed at the point of manufacture or sold with the blind.

However, blinds installed earlier may not have these features.

Landlords are urged to make them safe by fitting a tidy, tensioner or a cleat. Tidies and tensioners should be firmly fixed to an adjoining surface so that the cord or chain are permanently held tight.

Cords should be fastened in a figure of eight after every use of the blind, making sure all the spare cord is secured on the cleat.

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Hottest property markets revealed: Homes in Liverpool take just 17 DAYS to sell – half the typical average

  • Liverpool and Manchester homes selling the fastest, Zoopla data shows
  • Cheaper homes in demand while four-beds are taking longer to sell  

Homes in Liverpool and Manchester are the fastest selling in England, new data reveals. 

While properties in the North West are seeing rapid average sales times, those in southern England, Wales and the Midlands are taking almost two weeks longer to sell than in 2022.

Across England, homes are on the market for an average of 34 days before securing a sale, figures from Zoopla claim. 

Rapid sale: Homes in Liverpool and Manchester are selling quickly, Zoopla says

Rapid sale: Homes in Liverpool and Manchester are selling quickly, Zoopla says 

Homes in Salford, Basingstoke and Deane and Sheffield are also selling reasonably quickly, with an average timeframe of up to 24 days. 

Waltham Forest is the only London borough to see homes selling faster than the national average for England, with sales agreed in around 24 days. 

Two-bedroom terraced houses are the fastest selling property type in four in five regions, while four-bedroom homes are taking the longest to sell. 

In London, pricey detached homes with four or more bedrooms are taking around 59 days to sell, the findings suggest.  

In hotspots like the North West, the fastest selling type of property is the one-bedroom flat, taking 21 days on average to sell, and with prices around the £100,000 mark.

Meanwhile, four-bedroom homes in the North West are typically taking around 53 days to sell, with higher price tags at around £477,000. 

In the North West and North East, the average home is between £72,000 to £125,000 less expensive than the national average, according to Zoopla.

Quick sale: New data suggests it only takes an average of 17 days to sell a home in Liverpool

Quick sale: New data suggests it only takes an average of 17 days to sell a home in Liverpool

Higher interest rates on mortgages and the rising cost of living have been causing some buyers to ponder for longer when it comes to property purchases.

Izabella Lubowiecka, a senior property researcher at Zoopla, said: ‘Over the last 12 months, the time to agree a sale has increased by almost two weeks. 

‘This is due to a few factors: there are fewer buyers in the market alongside cost of living concerns and higher mortgage rates which has meant many have had to pause a search for their next home. 

‘However, we are now simply seeing a return to more normal market conditions experienced in the years leading up to the pandemic. 

‘Anyone thinking about selling should bear this in mind and be prepared that it may take longer to sell their property than in recent years.’

Data published by Nationwide on Wednesday revealed house prices defied expectations by rising 0.9 per cent last month.

But the index showed that house prices remain 3.3 per cent down compared to October last year.

House prices also remain 5.23 per cent, or £14,328 below their peak in August 2022, before mortgage rates began to rapidly rise.

The average home increased in price from £257,808 in September to £259,423 in October, Nationwide said.

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Choco: Revolutionizing The FoodTech Industry With Innovation & Sustainability | EU20

By Clint Bailey

— In the rapidly evolving world of food technology, European startup Choco has emerged as a pioneering force. With its website,, this Berlin-based company is transforming the way food industry professionals operate by leveraging innovative digital solutions. By linking restaurants, distributors, suppliers, and producers on a single platform, Choco is streamlining the supply chain process while promoting sustainability.

Let’s explore the journey of and its impact on the overall foodtech industry.

  1. Company: Choco Technologies GmbH
  2. Website:
  3. Head Office: Berlin, Germany
  4. Year Established: 2018
  5. Founders: Choco was co-founded by Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer, and Rogerio da Silva.
  6. Industry: Choco operates in the foodtech industry, specifically focusing on digitizing the supply chain for the food industry.
  7. Funding: Choco has secured significant funding rounds from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners & Coatue Management.
  8. Market Presence: Choco has a strong presence in several European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London & Barcelona.
  9. Mission: Choco aims to revolutionize the food industry by leveraging technology to simplify supply chain management, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.

Simplifying Supply Chain Management

One of the core focuses of Choco is to simplify supply chain management for food businesses. Traditionally, the procurement process in the food industry has been cumbersome and inefficient, with numerous intermediaries and manual processes. Choco’s digital platform replaces the traditional paper-based ordering system, allowing restaurants and suppliers to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Choco’s platform enables restaurants to place orders directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes, or emails. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors and miscommunications.

By digitizing the ordering process, Choco improves transparency, making it easier for restaurants to compare prices, track deliveries, and manage inventory efficiently.

Streamlining Operations For Suppliers & Producers

Choco’s impact extends beyond restaurants. The platform also provides suppliers and producers with valuable tools to streamline their operations. By digitizing their product catalogs and integrating them into the Choco platform, suppliers can showcase their offerings to a wide network of potential buyers.

Suppliers benefit from increased visibility, enabling them to reach new customers and expand their market presence. Moreover, Choco’s platform helps suppliers manage their inventory, track orders, and plan deliveries effectively. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable food system.
YouTube Channel

Promoting Sustainability & Reducing Food Waste

Choco recognizes the critical importance of sustainability in the food industry. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of the world’s food production goes to waste each year. By digitizing the supply chain and enabling more efficient ordering and inventory management, Choco actively works to combat this issue.

Air France – Deals & Destinations

Choco’s platform facilitates data-driven decision-making for restaurants, suppliers, and producers. By analyzing purchasing patterns & demand, Choco helps businesses optimize their inventory levels, reducing overstocking and minimizing food waste. Additionally, Choco supports local sourcing, enabling businesses to connect with nearby suppliers & promote sustainable, community-based practices.

Expanding Reach & Impact

Since its founding in 2018, Choco has experienced rapid growth and expansion. The startup has successfully secured significant funding rounds, allowing it to scale its operations and establish a strong presence across Europe and other global markets. Today, Choco’s platform is used by thousands of restaurants and suppliers, revolutionizing the way they operate.

Choco’s impact extends beyond operational efficiency or sustainability. By connecting restaurants, suppliers & producers on a single platform, Choco fosters collaboration & encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall foodtech ecosystem and creates a supportive community of like-minded aiming to drive positive change within the industry.

Future Of FoodTech

Choco’s rise to prominence in the foodtech industry exemplifies the reach of sustainability, innovation, and community. Through its user-friendly platform, Choco simplifies supply chain management, streamlines operations for restaurants & suppliers, and actively promotes sustainable practices. By harnessing the potential of digital, Choco is disrupting the future of the food industry, making it more efficient and transparent.

As Choco continues to expand its impact and reach, its transformative influence on the foodtech sector is set to inspiring, grow other startups, and established players to embrace technology for a better and more sustainable food system.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— Compiled by Clint Bailey | Team ‘Voice of EU’
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Want to sell your home over Christmas? Here’s why you should put the decorations AWAY

Across the country, a warm glow is beginning to appear — but might it be from Yuletide decorations destroying the chances of selling your home?

For some people the festive season involves inflatable Santas clinging to windowsills like burglars. Others prefer illuminated reindeers in the front garden.

But if you’re among the 100,000 households trying to sell this Christmas, the advice from many experts is to leave the lights in the garage and the plastic snowman in the loft.

Keep them in the garage: Over-the top decorations

Keep them in the garage: Over-the top decorations

Vendors must avoid anything that handicaps a sale in today’s difficult market.

Rightmove says the average asking price of homes across the UK coming to the market in November is 1.7 per cent down on October, while posh estate agency Savills reports some London prices are now 19 per cent below their peak.

And as buyers struggle to afford mortgages, the number of house sales nationwide this year is expected to be one million, according to Zoopla — or 20 per cent lower than usual.

The Your Move chain of estate agents is clear that decorations should be off the agenda, adding: ‘The key to potential buyers falling in love with a property is them being able to imagine themselves living there.

‘Piles of clutter and decorations make it harder. So make it easier for them by keeping spaces as open as possible.’

The key to potential buyers falling in love with a property is them being able to imagine themselves living there. Piles of clutter and decorations make it harder

The public seems to agree. A survey by GetAgent, a comparison site on which the public can find favourably reviewed estate agents, shows 24 per cent of would-be buyers say they’re deterred from viewing a home with excessive outdoor Christmas lights.

Colby Short, chief executive of GetAgent, advises: ‘Selling at Christmas is no different to any time of year and you have to remember that not everyone will share your tastes, or sense of humour.

‘A blank canvas works best when it comes to attracting potential buyers and if your home is covered in Christmas decorations, it can be hard for them to get a true sense of the property.’

Tasteful: Forget inflatable Santas and pick refined, calming colours if you're hoping to sell a property this Christmas

Tasteful: Forget inflatable Santas and pick refined, calming colours if you’re hoping to sell a property this Christmas

Tips for selling a home over Christmas

GetAgent recommends sellers stick to white lights and not coloured, flashing ones visible on a ‘walk-by’ initial viewing, and no gaudy exterior decorations.

Instead it suggests a festive twist on the smell of freshly baked bread — vendors should use Christmas scents such as cinnamon and mulled wine.

Not every agent is against decorations. Some, like Alex Oliver of buying service Prime Purchase, says they are inevitable and most buyers grin and bear them.

Nonetheless he tells sellers that if they must have decorations, they should follow two golden rules.

Firstly, don’t get a home photographed by agents at this time of year because listings on Rightmove with decorations in the photographs will make a home feel stale in the New Year.

Secondly, take the decorations down soon after the festivities to avoid giving the wrong message.

‘If the decorations were still up I’d be concerned there may be other issues that the vendor has not kept on top of such as maintenance or permissions for any works they may have had done,’ Oliver adds.

But many experts say listing your house now and having it on sale over the festive season has unexpected advantages.

That’s because Christmas is when many families have time to make plans for major events such as house-moving and, sadly, many couples agree to split up.

Agents say anyone preferring to view homes now instead of relaxing is likely to be a serious buyer, while there will also be significantly fewer homes on the market too, so you will face less competition.

Twelve months ago there were a jaw-dropping 51 million visits to Rightmove between Boxing Day and the first working day of 2023.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s data director, says: ‘Traffic to our website more than doubles between Christmas and the New Year, those sellers who get a head start now and have their home ready to launch can benefit.’

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