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Hard to believe as it feels like only yesterday, but it was over two months ago we were sitting down for Christmas dinner and partying the night away for New Years. I know what you're all thinking, time flies when you're having fun, but who really had that much fun in bleak old January and cold February? Well have no fear, March is a month of celebration, sunshine, and finally springtime!

The lettings market is often described as a stable market, something of a sensible investment and an even more sensible business to work in. To an extent this statement is true, great investment potential and we all love working in such an interesting and changing business. But as we all know, the changing of seasons can have a huge impact on everything, and lettings is no different. The quietest season the lettings market traditionally suffers with is Winter, although this year we have noticed a significantly reduced dip in both new properties to the market and tenant enquiries. Year on year, I am pleased to report rent increases across the board in West London, and this is working hand in hand with increased demand for good quality rental properties. As we approach Spring this is when things really start to pick up, a great time to have a rental property available to let or be a tenant searching for a property, the market is so buoyant the speed at which properties are let is astonishing.

In previous articles I have frequently mentioned the need for sensible decision making with regards to rental increases. Whether large, small, or no rent increase at all, the choice has got to be made based on what you are comfortable with and the level of risk you wish to take. Maximum return on investment with minimum risk should always be your goal. A reputable Lettings specialist, perhaps Thorgills, will always offer the right guidance regarding the best price you can achieve, and secure quality fully referenced tenants that you are happy with.

If you're a tenant, it can feel like it is becoming more and more difficult to find a suitable property. As I have already mentioned, rents have increased and there are even more tenants in the market, so it can really feel like you're in a dog fight to find that perfect property. This is the time when it is most important to select the right lettings agent to help you. You want an agent that is going to be in regular contact, talking to you two or three times a week to update you on new properties becoming available and any changes to the market that may affect you. It is also worth considering your requirements if you are finding it difficult, perhaps that garden you want isn't essential, or being that one stop further out on the train line wouldn't be the end of the world. What I really want to offer if nothing else, is a simple thought for you to consider. When listing your requirements, try to aim for what you need rather then what you want, in this very competitive market I think you'll find it will help you secure a property a lot quicker.

It's wonderful to finally be in March, it's personally my favourite month of the year (nothing to do with my birthday falling later in the month). There is such a great buzz, we have said goodbye to the coldest of our weather for the year, we have Easter to look forward to and lots of Chocolate eggs, we have St David's Day, St Patricks Day, and mothering Sunday all to celebrate this month. The sun comes out, the flowers begin to bloom and Thorgills Mobile Website has gone live, meaning any smart phone or device can now instantly search all of Thorgills available properties at the click of a button whilst on the move.

Whilst in this month of celebration, we thought it only right to offer something further to get everyone excited. I am pleased to tell you that this month you will find on Thorgills facebook page a competition to win a new Apple iPod. It's free for anyone to enter, and its' a bit of fun trying to find Captain Thorgills (The lettings industries first super hero - we think) iPod that he has hidden somewhere in his house. So take a look now and enter Thorgills Easter iPod Hunt!

If you are a landlord or tenant and require any advice whatsoever please contact your local Thorgills Branch. Remember we are voluntary members of both the National Landlords Association and the Property Ombudsman, so our work is always carried out to the highest standards. Thorgills advice and valuations are free so please do not hesitate to get in touch.