Placebuzz for iOS: a new property search mobile app

Exciting news: we’re thrilled to announce the launch of Placebuzz for iOS, a new property search mobile app!

Placebuzz for iOS will be able to do things like access and create new saved searches, see Google Streetview, and book viewings within the app, just like you already can on a desktop or mobile browser. The app also makes it easy and quick to book viewings with agents, and request free, zero-obligation valuations.


The Placebuzz app was designed to offer a seamless experience to returning users as well as new visitors. If you already use the desktop or mobile web versions of Placebuzz, you just need to enter the email address you used to register and verify it within the app. The app will automatically link to your existing account.

The Placebuzz app also features:

  • Searches for property within a specified radius and conduct pinpointed searches
  • Intuitive search filters including number of bedrooms, budget, and more
  • Easily-managed push notifications to notify users when a new property matching their saved search is added to Placebuzz
  • Access to Placebuzz account settings
  • A history of user enquiries

Over a million people rely on us each month to easily discover and connect with places to live, and we hope our new iOS app will make using Placebuzz even easier. “The new Placebuzz app provides users with additional functionality in a simple and intuitive interface that is in line with our mission of helping people to easily discover and connect with places to live,” says Placebuzz Co-Founder Andy Hatoum. “Our Android app is in the works and we will be bringing innovative new features and tools to help our users find their dream home.”

Want to keep track of the ways we are working to make property searching easier, or tell us an idea you have that will improve Placebuzz? Looking to stay up-to-date on property news? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


Competition: Win a £100 or £50 Amazon Gift Card!


graphic 3

Bad flatmates – we’ve all had them. You get out of your parents’ house for the first time and you think you’re finally free – no more dealing with your sister’s long hair in the shower drain, your dad’s nagging about the dishes, or your mum’s friends spilling wine on your favourite chair (or was that just our family?). So you find a nice technically-a-double-but-really-rather-small room in a flatshare that seems friendly enough, or – heaven forbid – you decide to buddy up with your best mate.

And that’s when the nightmare begins.

Share your story about the worst flatmate experience you had. Make us laugh, cry, or both and you have a chance to win a £100 Amazon gift card (first prize) or a £50 Amazon gift card (second prize).

Haven’t had a terrible flatmate? Lucky you! Instead, share a photo of an object you’ve taken with you every single time you’ve moved.

The contest will run from April 10th to May 31st, and the winner will be announced on June 5th.

How to enter:

  1. ‘Like’ us on Facebook
  2. ‘Like’ the competition post and comment with your #WorstFlatmateEver story, or post it on our page (and photos and passive-aggressive tagging of the offender are encouraged!)


  1. Like our page.
  2. Post a picture of something that you’ve taken with you each time you’ve moved house with the caption ‘The one object that survives every move is ______.’

We’re looking forward to reading (and seeing) them!

Terms & Conditions:

– The prize is a prize of a £100 Amazon Gift Card for our favourite entry and a £50 Amazon Gift Card for the runner-up.
– Entrants must be a resident of the UK.
– Entrants must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
– One entry is allowed per person.
– Only the winning entrants can be a recipient of the gift card.

– The competition will run from 10/04/2016 until 31/05/2016 and the winner will be announced on 06/06/2016
– If a winner does not respond within 7 days of the winner announcement, the prize will be allocated to another entrant.
– This competition is not open to employees of Placebuzz or any associated companies or their immediate families.
– This competition is run independently by Placebuzz on their chosen social networking platforms and is not endorsed by, associated with or sponsored Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Amazon.
– Placebuzz reserves the right to close the competition early and to change the T&Cs at any point during the competition.
– Placebuzz can duplicate any entries into the competition on any of their hosting platforms, i.e. website or social media accounts. Entries may be edited for length or clarity.


Know your renters’ rights – Part 2

This is Part 2 a two-part blog post about your UK private renters’ rights. Part 1 covered tenancy agreements, your right to know who your landlord is, property conditions, and tenancy deposit schemes. See Part 1 here.


5. You have the right to live in the property undisturbed

The landlord does not have the right to come bursting in unannounced. He or she must provide 24h notice before entering your property, and visit at a reasonable time of day unless there’s an emergency. Your landlord should absolutely not be letting himself into your flat in the evening without warning. He or she also may not harass you, or attempt to drive you out or discourage you from insisting on your legal rights. Finally, you must be given adequate notice before being removed, which the landlord cannot do by force – they must go through the courts.

6. Your landlord must give you the following information:

7. Your landlord must not discriminate against you

  • Your landlord cannot discriminate against you based on your age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or related issues (e.g. service dogs), religion or belief, race, and pregnancy or having an infant

8. Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

  • If you share a toilet, bathroom, or kitchen with other tenants and there are at least 3 tenants from more than one household, you are in an HMO
  • Large HMOs, at least 3 storeys tall and containing at least 5 tenants, need a license from the local council
  • The landlord is responsible for maintaining common areas in an HMO


Who to contact if you have a problem

Unfortunately, even if you do everything right, problems can arise. When they do, it’s important to know who to turn to for help, and how to best handle the issue without making it worse.

  1. If there’s a problem with the property:
    • Speak to your landlord first. Most likely, they will want to resolve the problem as much as you want them to.
    • If you can’t resolve the issue with our landlord, raise your concerns to a local councillor, your MP, or a tenant panel next.
    • If your home (in England) isn’t fit to live in, contact your local council. They carry out Housing Health and Safety Rating System assessments, and must act if the home is unsafe.
    • If your landlord isn’t doing repairs, contact the environmental health department at your local council, or the Private Rented Housing Panel in Scotland
    • If you’re in an HMO and there are hazards – The local council is responsible for enforcing standards
  1. If you have financial problems
    • Speak to your landlord first, and then contact Citizens Advice or Shelter if you need more help
    • If you’re being forced out illegally, call the police. Your landlord cannot remove you by force – they must go through the courts.
  1. There is anti-social behaviour at the property
    1. Contact your local council – they can take over property management or create a selective licencing scheme if there is antisocial behaviour in several houses in an area

Although many of us might prefer not to be renting, the reality is that a lot of us will have to for several years before we’re able to get on the infamous property ladder. Renting will always have its downsides as opposed to owning, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Knowing your rights – and responsibilities – as a tenant can help ensure that you have a good landlord-tenant relationship, which goes a long way toward a good quality of life. 

Much of the information in this post was compiled from the government’s guidance on private renting, Shelter, or Citizens Advice. For more information, you should visit the websites of these organisations.

This is Part 2 a two-part blog post about your UK private renters’ rights. See Part 1 here.


Know your renters’ rights

This is Part 1 a two-part blog post about your UK private renters’ rights. Check back next week for Part 2.

Bad flatmates, rent increases, and short tenancies – life can be hard for Generation Rent. But there are still some basic renters’ rights you are guaranteed as a private renter – and you can’t be penalised by your landlord for insisting you get them. These will pertain to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), which include all tenancies starting from 28 February 1997. These renters’ rights are guaranteed to you regardless of whether you were provided with and signed a written tenancy agreement.


  1. Your tenancy agreement must be fair and legal

Although tenancy agreements don’t legally need to be written in England and Wales, they usually are. Because it can be harder to enforce oral agreements, we recommend that you get your agreement in writing, and keep a copy after you’ve signed it. Your written agreement should include:

  • names of people involved
  • rental price and method of payment
  • information on how and when rent is reviewed
  • deposit amount and protection, details of when the deposit can be withheld
  • property address
  • start and end dates of tenancy
  • tenant or landlord obligations
  • bills you are responsible for
  • when and how to end the tenancy early (a break clause)
  • who’s responsible for repairs (that the landlord isn’t legally responsible for)
  • whether you may sublet

In order to change the terms of your agreement during your tenancy, both you and your landlord must agree to the change. This might come up if you ask for permission to have a pet although your agreement forbids it (you should definitely not keep a pet without your landlord’s permission!), or if your landlord wants to raise the rent. Keep in mind that if your agreement has a rent increase procedure, your landlord must follow it. Otherwise:

  • Your landlord can only increase the rent during a fixed-term tenancy if you agree, otherwise it can only go up at the end of the term.
  • If you have a yearly tenancy, you must have 6 months’ notice of a rent increase.
  • For a periodic tenancy (weekly or monthly basis), the rent can’t be raised more than once per year without your agreement, and you must have a minimum of a month’s notice.
  • Rent increases must be fair and realistic, which means they’re in line with average local rents.
  1. You have the right to know who your landlord is

Maybe you worked with a letting agency or a management company, and you’re wondering who your landlord is. There are a number of reasons it might be good for you to know who they are and how to contact them, whether it is to raise a dispute, in the event of an emergency, or to verify whether a person wanting access to your home has the right to enter. You can make a written request to the person who collects your rent and they are required to provide you with the landlord’s name and address within 21 days.

  1. The property must be safe and in good repair

The landlord must ensure that the property is in good condition. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be beautiful, but it does have to be safe and usable when you move in, and kept that way throughout your tenancy.

  • Gas safety – installation and maintenance of gas equipment by a Gas Safe registered engineer, annual gas safety checks by a registered engineer, provide a copy of the gas safety check record before moving in or within 28 days of the check
  • Electrical safety – your landlord must ensure the electrical system is safe as are all appliances
    • Fire safety – safety regulation compliance, you need a smoke alarm on each storey, a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with a usable fireplace/woodburner, access to escape routes, fire safe furniture and furnishings, and fire alarms/extinguishers (if a large House in Multiple Occupation)

The landlord is always responsible for the property’s structure and exterior, basins/sinks, baths, pipes, drains, heating and hot water, gas appliances, flues, ventilation, electrical wiring, and any damage they cause while attempting repairs, and usually common areas in blocks of flats. You can’t be forced to do repairs that are the landlord’s responsibility.

  1. Your deposit must be returned at the end of your tenancy

Your tenancy agreement should outline in what instances part or all of your deposit can be retained by the landlord – generally, this would be if you were to cause damage to the property or any fittings inside it that belong to the landlord, like a carpet or a curtain. Your deposit cannot be retained over normal wear and tear to the interior, however. In many cases, your deposit must be protected by a government-approved scheme. Your agreement should provide the details of the protection scheme, which you can turn to if your landlord refuses to return your deposit. It is in your best interests to be aware of this information.

This is Part 1 a two-part blog post about your UK private renters’ rights. Check back next week for Part 2.


The top 4 places in London for homesick Americans

Maybe you chose the expat life. Maybe the expat life chose you. Either way, Americans in London are bound to get homesick at some point. One day, you’ll wake up wondering where you are, with a powerful craving for Pop-Tarts. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow. But someday. Placebuzz has got your back.

  1. Five Guys, Soho, Covent Garden, & more

Photo via

You need some fries. Not ‘chips’. Fries. Served with a double-patty burger as the standard option. Soda galore, and free refills – just like the Founding Fathers intended. Thank God for Five Guys Burgers & Fries.

  1. Starbucks Drive-Thru, Heathrow

not this kind of drive-thru

Coffee. You need coffee. But not just anywhere, like at the Starbucks on your corner – you need to drink it in a car. All is not lost. You’ll have to get to the airport, but it’s not so terrible. Heathrow is, technically, in London, and you won’t have to go so far as to board a plane headed for Newark, New Jersey to get your fix. Heathrow has a drive-thru Starbucks. Close your eyes and inhale that aroma of fuel exhaust and bitter coffee. You’re home.

  1. American Food Store, Holland Park

Photo via Yelp

Are you feeling weird this morning, Americans? Is your blood coursing a little too easily through your unclogged veins? Did the English breakfast you ate, which weirdly involved tomatoes in non-ketchup form (whyyyyyy??), leave you feeling a bit too even-keeled? Then you need to get your butt over to the American Food Store for some £3.95 Pop-Tarts. Feel that sweet, sweet sugar rush once again. It feels like Freedom.

  1. Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush & Stratford

Photo via The Telegraph

Step inside this gleaming monument to consumerism, this beautiful temple to the gods of over-consumption. Look at the Lululemon store, side-by-side with a mid-range sedan and a prosecco bar. Take a deep breath – in through your nose, out through your mouth. You smell that, America? Smell that ambrosia of perfume wafting out of clothing stores, mixed with sticky-sweet cinnamon pretzels? It smells like home.

We hope we’ve saved all of the homesick Americans in London an overseas flight. Go forth and overeat, dear friends.


10 Tips For Spring Cleaning







Whether you’re putting your house on the market or have just moved in, having a spring clean can make a huge difference to a home and make it a more attractive place to live (or buy!).

Here are our top 10 tips for spring cleaning:

1, Organising cupboards

Kitchen cupboards can be easily filled with food and culinary extras such as spices that rarely get used. Clearing out the shelves completely, polishing them and then reviewing each item on a ‘throw away’ or ‘keep’ basis is a great way to find more space.

2. Removing stains and marks

The best way ultimately to remove stains is to get rid of them as soon as they happen! If that’s too late then make sure to use a good stain remover and follow the instructions. Here is a great source for advice on removing stains

3. Cleaning your carpet

Focus more on high traffic areas and if possible, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Don’t forget to clean the filter regularly for maximum effect.

4. Re-organising shelves

Even if your bookshelves don’t need reorganising, it’s worth doing this to remove the hidden dust that has settled away out of site. Removing all items fully before dusting and polishing is a great way for a fuller clean.

5. Cleaning wooden floors

Using a damp mop with soap or a steam cleaner is the best way to clean wooden floors. Also consider furniture protector to help protect against scratches.

6. Dusting electronics

Ever get the feeling the TV is dusty within 5 minutes of cleaning it? Electronic items gather dust very quickly. Here are some great tricks to help.

7. A fresh lick of paint

Sometimes a fresh lick of paint is needed to freshen up a room. Don’t try patching up areas on a wall as it can make the room walls look very inconsistent with patches of fresh paint that is possibly a slightly different colour. Paint an entire wall or room fully.

8. Tidying closets

Our tips for spring cleaning wouldn’t be complete without sorting out the closets! They may be a great area to hide away items and clothing but they fill up quickly! Be ruthless. With clothes for example. ask yourself. “Will I wear this item in the next 6 months?” and don’t hesitate to throw away unused coat hangers.

9. Cleaning windows

There are some great products now available to clean windows including the Karcher Window Cleaner to help you quickly and effectively make your windows sparkle. Window cleaning inside and out can be time consuming so consider hiring a window cleaner for a relatively small fee.

10, Changing the mood

We have talked about tips for spring cleaning that involve tidying up and removing stains and marks, but sometimes a fresh appearance can really help to change the mood. This can be as simple as changing towels and linen on a seasonal basis (bright colours in the summer and flowery effects in the autumn for example) or it could be a whole makeover of a room with new curtains and different wall pictures. Some times small changes can have real positive effects!

We hope you enjoyed our top 10 tips for spring cleaning. Feel free to share our advice and ideas with friends and family. Let us know on Twitter and Facebook which are your favourite tips for spring cleaning. We would love to know!


Quotes about home

Quotes about home

To celebrate the arrival of 2016,  we thought it would be good to have a blog article which is fun, yet inspiring for anyone looking to buy or rent a new home in 2016.

Here are our top 10 favourite quotes about home (in no particular order!):

1. Home is where the heart is (by Pliny the Elder)

Home is where the heart is


2. The home should be the treasure chest of living (by Le Corbusier)home should be the treasure chest of living


3. If you go anywhere, even paradise, you will miss your home (by Malala Yousafzai)

Miss your home


4. Seek home for rest, for home is best (by Thomas Tusser)

Seek home for rest


5. A house that does not have one warm, comfy chair in it is soulless (by May Sarton)

A comfy chair

6. Home is the nicest word there is (by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Home is the nicest word

7, A man’s house is his castle (by James Otis)

Mans house is his castle


8. Home is the place we love best and grumble the most (by Billy Sunday)

Home is a place you can grumble


9, Going home and spending time with your family and your real friends keeps you grounded (by Jennifer Ellison)

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10. There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home (by Rosalynn Carter) 

A safe secure home


Now you should be truly inspired and ready to find your next home on PlaceBuzz!

Feel free to share our favourite quotes. We would also love to know on social media which ones you like most. Why not follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy house searching in 2016! 



How to make your home more appealing to buyers



Here are some great ideas for how to make a house more appealing when selling it to potential buyers during a viewing:

Keep it ‘light’light-bulb-503881_1280
Make sure the rooms in the house are well lit and replace any light bulbs that aren’t working. If a room is badly lit (or not lit at all!) then it can raise concerns that something is wrong with the room even if there isn’t. A well lit house, however, can make a house more attractive by providing energy and life.

Here is a blog with some interesting information about how lighting can make a difference.

Help the buyer visualise
When someone views your house try to help them picture themselves in the house. There are several ways to do this and keeping floor space clutter free is a great start as it allows the viewer to see the rooms more clearly and think about where they might put things if they moved in.

Setting out the dining table with a bottle of wine and candles or having some quiet background music on will also help create a cosy atmosphere in which they can see themselves living in.

Keep it clean and fresh
Sometimes a fresh lick of paint or a tidy up of cables and kids toys can really help to make a house look more attractive. If a buyer is genuinely interested then this could make the decision to buy just that little bit more appealing!

Talk about the good things positively – and be personal
Using the right words and being positive can make a big difference, especially if a buyer is not quite decided. Imagine a buyer likes the garden size and layout of your house and 9813-WIMBLEDON-PLSCEBUZZ-WEBanother one they have viewed and there is very little difference between the two houses. Even though they are both similar, would you prefer the one where you are told the garden is ‘ok and quite big’ or that is ‘ideal for what you want and it’s south facing garden is perfect for enjoying the summer months’?

Someone viewing a house may be able to see some of this when viewing but you should still be positive and point out some of the less obvious benefits – like the south facing garden in the summer!

When describing the great features of your house, it really helps to ‘paint a picture’ with a personal touch. Phrases such as “We love the size of the driveway as there is never any problems when family visit” or “The new heating system has made such a difference in winter and made it a very cosy warm house to relax in” allows the viewer to bond with the house more as they feel reassured by your personal experiences.


How to set the price of your home

When selling your house, getting the right price can be tricky. Set the starting price too low and you could be losing out on thousands of pounds but setting it too high could mean having your house on the market for longer than expected and potentially not selling your house.

Here are 5 ways to help you set the right price:

Get a valuation from more than one estate agent

Getting a valuation from the experts is a great starting point.House price predictions A good estate agent will be up to speed on local house prices and trends and they can share their experience of previous house valuations and how much they have sold houses for. It’s worth contacting more than one estate agent and then compare the differences in the valuations. Two valuations that are very similar will mean that you have a very good idea what price you should be setting for your house!

Compare houses in the area – that are similar

Use a search engine such as PlaceBuzz to see what other houses in your area are selling for. Try to compare houses that are similar to yours. There’s no point comparing a 2 bedroom apartment with a 4 bedroom house with a large garden!


Ask yourself, are the houses locally selling for the prices you expected? It might be that some houses are lower than expected because they need work on them by a new home owner. Similarly, higher priced houses might have recently been renovated or might be closer to a town centre. You may also be able to get ideas on why your house price should be set slightly higher or lower based on the state of your house and its location.

Consider what you offer that stands out to other nearby houses

After researching online and having a valuation done, you will have a pretty good idea what price your house should be sold for, but you may be able to command a slightly higher price. Finishing off that garden landscaping project you started 6 months ago or adding fresh paint to the lounge may not make a huge amount of difference to the price but it will help to sell your house more easily – and possibly avoid home buyers from asking for larger discounts based on the reasoning that they need to spend more money on the house when they move in.

Think about what you offer or what you can change to help make your house more attractive – but beware of spending too much time and money compared to what you get back when selling the house.

Determine how quickly you want to sell


In some circumstances you may be in a hurry to move. You have found the perfect house and don’t want to lose it, so a quick sale is important and a slightly lower price will help. You must, of course, be prepared to take less money and this may be too much of a price to pay. Alternatively if you have time on your hands then a good strategy is to start with a slightly higher price and consider reducing the price over time if you don’t get much results.

Decide to what level you are prepared to discount

Discounting and negotiation over pricing is a fine art and getting it wrong could cost you thousands of pounds, Added to this, many home buyers are different. Some buyers who can’t decide between two house may like to ‘get a good deal’. They may purchase one very similar house over another because they got a larger discount.

When setting the price, If you are happy to discount then make sure not to set it at the lowest price you want to sell it for. If the negotiations reach a point where the buy won’t buy unless they get a bit of money off then you can at least afford to go that little bit lower on price to finalise the deal.

With this advice on how to set the price of your home you will be able to determine the right price. Make sure to search on PlaceBuzz to find similar properties in your area!



How to find the right property

TWITTER TEMPLATE USE THIS!! (18)Finding the right house can be often be tough.

You might find a great house but in the wrong area or a house that matches everything you are looking for apart from one or two things that put you off viewing the property. Does this sound familiar?

Even after finding what looks like the right house on paper, it may not be so ideal in reality once you have viewed the property in person.

Using an online property search such as effectively can allow you to plan your property viewings better and reduce wasted time visiting wrong properties. Here are some tips on how to find the right property:

Make a list of possible locations where you would like to live

Before starting to search, define where you would like to live and make a list of towns or villages that would be nice to move to. When searching online you may need to be specific (more on this later) but at the same time try to be flexible with your locations. Some properties may straddle between two towns or areas while even a town itself can have suitable and unsuitable areas for your needs (for example if a school or main road is the wrong end of town for you).

If you need help finding the right locations, it’s worth checking out our previous blogs Choosing The Perfect Property Location and 10 Things To Look Out For When Buying A New Home.

Use a property search tool that has plenty of propertiesperson-woman-hotel-laptop

A search tool that has very few properties can limit your options and you may miss out on the ideal house.

Use a tool such as PlaceBuzz with its extensive database of properties across the UK and search filters to search for your ideal property.


Try different location searches to find what you want

Sometimes a property for sale or rent may not be tagged with the same location data that you are using to search. You may search for Southampton, London or Newcastle for example but many towns and cities have regional areas or nearby areas such as Hedge End (for Southampton) or Hammersmith or Richmond (for London). Using a post code search may also provide you with different results to searching by town or city.

Note: If you are looking for properties in London, you can also try our Commute Search to find new areas to live based on your preferred commute time and budget.

Use the right filters, but stay flexible

Too many properties in a search result may be confusing and runs the risk of you glancing over a potentially good property by accident. Make sure to use filters based on your budget, house size and type of house to find what you want but remain flexible in your searches as well. If you are looking to buy a house with 3 bedrooms then it maybe that there are some affordable smaller 4 bedroom houses available, or a 2 bedroom that can be extended.

Note: If you are doing a repeat search, don’t forget to filter by the newest properties to be posted online. That way you can instantly see the latest updates!

Read the details carefully and get a second opinion

If you find a property that may be ideal, make sure to read the description fully to make sure if there are any points you really like or dislike. Visiting a property that wasn’t right from the description is a waste of time for you and all parties involved. Also ask a friend or family what they think of the property online.

Save your search results and subscribe to get new property notifications

Whether you have shortlisted some properties to view or not found anything at all, it’s worth subscribing to get updates on new properties. PlaceBuzz offers this feature so that you can get property updates sent directly to your inbox, and you can be the first to check out the right property when it comes online!

Don’t delay with arranging a viewing!

Once you have found the properties you would like to view, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the right person to organise a visit. Finding the right property for you might sometimes be a challenge and you don’t want all that good work going to waste because a property is sold or rented to someone else!

Now you know how to find the right property, head over to the PlaceBuzz property search. Happy searching!