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What is a Concierge Service? – London Lifestyle Management Explained

Kiwi Movers provide a range of support services to businesses in London and the south east. One particularly interesting area we specialise in is supporting concierge service providers in delivering their service, but what exactly is a concierge service?

London Concierge Jobs and Duties

Concierge services and lifestyle managers take care of the important tasks that their clients simply don’t have time to do. They are here to help busy individuals make more of their time and run their life as efficiently as possible.

London Concierge services are typically used by busy professionals, those who do a lot of travelling and people who split their time between two locations. The concierge service providers will manage many aspects of their client’s life, from organising travel, arranging deliveries and even booking dinner and making hotel reservations.

Do you require or provide concierge services in the London area? To find out more about how we assist concierge service providers and how we might be able to help you, give us a call on 020 8877 9682.

Removals and Related Services for Concierge Professionals

You might wonder how a luxury service such as a concierge and a no-fuss service like a removals firm would work together. But it’s actually quite obvious when you think about it. We’re experts at moving stuff carefully and safely. We work quickly and we’re flexible. These qualities are exactly the same as those required to fulfil a comprehensive concierge service. Clients need things doing quickly, without fuss and with discretion. We’re not the people to go to for exclusive dinner reservations, but if you’ve got a piece of antique furniture that needs moving, give us a shout.

We come into our own when our concierge client requires removals, shipping, excess baggage delivery, cleaning or logistical support. Our reputation as trusted, professional and no-nonsense movers means our colleagues in the concierge industry know we can deliver.

On the Job with a London Concierge

Friend of Kiwi Movers Vicky Silverthorn owns You Need a Vicky, a London concierge service specialising in servicing high profile individuals, including a number of celebrities. Here she explains what she does and how she does it:

Vicky Silverthorn

Vicky and Kiwi Movers work together on various concierge accounts.

“We offer high level professional organisation services for people who have busy lives and need a hand to implement practical systems and process into their lives. We help create streamlined and efficient homes and we declutter and organise in order for people to enjoy their homes again.

“We help people move home, we pack personal effects with discretion, we unpack homes after a move, methodically, aesthetically but with practicality at the forefront of our thinking. We help families get organised when they are having a baby. We declutter homes and rooms which simply have too much stuff. We juggle kitchens to make them efficient. We design furniture and advise on storage.

“Our typical clients are busy families, whether it’s because they work or just have hectic lives. Anyone who likes to be organised and wants that feeling of calm in their home but hasn’t got the time or inclination to do it themselves.

“We work with Kiwi to ensure our clients get a smooth move from start to finish. It means we are all on the same side and can literally take the stress away from a move. The client could potentially leave their home for a couple of days and come back to a completed and unpacked, (organised) home that not only looks good but actually makes sense.

“With my sister company You Need A PA we can also cover every aspect of the admin side also. It’s the whole package.

Run Your Next House Move like a Concierge

Concierge services don’t match every budget and many people simply don’t need a full service concierge. But almost everyone we know would love to inject a bit more organisation and efficiency into their lives and live as if they had an extra pair of hands helping out. While we can’t magic up that pair of extra hands, we can offer some of our experience and knowledge earned from working alongside a number of London’s top concierge service providers to help you live like you’ve got your own concierge, especially when it comes to moving house.

1. De-clutter

Vicky has one piece of advice for anyone moving home in the near future.

“If you are decluttering yourself then start early and do little by little. Work on a small area of the home each week and start a few months before your estimated move date – almost as soon as you know. You don’t want to take belongings you don’t need with you and you don’t want to pay to move things unnecessarily.

2.Get Good Quality Boxes

Once you’ve de-cluttered, you need some decent boxes. It may be tempting to nip to your local Tesco for some spare cardboard boxes, but these won’t do for everything. Electrical equipment, breakables and anything you wouldn’t happily pack in a suitcase to take on holiday deserves a good quality box. Check out our guide to moving boxes for more information.

3. Clean as You Go

Cleaning just isn’t fun, especially when you’ve got other jobs to do, but if you clean your stuff before you pack it, you’ll save a lot of hassle when you come to unpack. The last thing you want to do is to bring dust and dirt from one house into your next one.

4.Pack Like a Pro

We always recommend letting the professionals do the packing and indeed, we offer a comprehensive and flexible packing service. This can save time, cut costs and more importantly, ensures that everything is insured during the move. Self-packed boxes are often uninsured. If you do elect to pack your own stuff, try to pack as logically as you can to save time at the other end. Use newspaper to protect anything breakable and avoid over-filling boxes, especially the big ones. You often don’t know how heavy a box is going to be until you realise you can’t pick it up, or worse, the bottom falls out (see tip 2).

5. Keep a Checklist

There’s no denying it, moving house can be very stressful, even if you’re super organised. Minimise that stress by working to a checklist. There are plenty of jobs that need doing aside from the physical moving of your stuff. These are the sort of things the concierge in you will enjoy taking care of, provided you’re organised; council tax, broadband, phone, insurance – these things all need updating when you move house. Our end-of-tenancy checklist has some great tips for moving out of a rented house, but is also applicable to people selling their own place.

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Incomplete end of tenancy cleaning costs us millions in lost deposits

Private tenants are losing £40 million* per year through deposit disputes with landlords, a Kiwi Movers survey can reveal. Over the past five years, 52% of deposits were either fully or partly withheld by landlords, most of whom claimed insufficient cleaning or the need for minor repairs as the reason for withholding the depost. That’s the equivalent of more than 400,000 deposits a year, or £200 million over the five-year period*.

Over a quarter (28%) of people surveyed said their landlord delayed returning their deposit despite making no deductions, while just 20% said their deposit was returned swiftly without issue.

The importance of end of tenancy cleaning

Avoidable issues such as insufficient end of tenancy cleaning and minor repairs are the biggest reasons landlords give for withholding tenancy deposits, accounting for 62% of all tenancy deposit disputes cited in the study.

Not only will a professional end of tenancy cleaning service give you peace of mind that your property is up to scratch on check out, but a professional invoice is likely to act as a deterrent for any rogue landlords that may otherwise make frivolous claims against a deposit.

You are most likely to lose your deposit if you are;

  • Tenants living with friends
  • Students in rented house
  • Tenants living with partner or spouse

Moving house in London? – Here’s what you need to know about getting your deposit back

London is the capital of deposit disputes, with people living there twice as likely (11%) as the national average (6%) to have their whole deposit withheld, while those aged between 18 and 24 living with friends are the type of tenant most likely to lose out.

Amy Williams, a Digital Producer from Southampton took her London landlord to court and won after he withheld her deposit. “It was only a six month contract and the landlord tried to make us pay for problems that were in the flat when we moved in.

“The court said it was wear and tear, ordered the landlord to return our deposit and told him that wear and tear was something he’d have to get used to. The landlord also choose to hold the court session not in London but on the south coast. But luckily because we won he had to pay for our train tickets too. We were really poor at the time too!”

Tenancy dispute hot spots:

  • London
  • Scotland
  • West Midlands
  • North East

The most common reasons for lost deposits:

  • Minor repairs required – 33%
  • Cleaning required – 29%
  • Items missing from inventory – 19%
  • Unpaid bills – 16%
  • Other – 3%

Kiwi Movers director Regan McMillan said: “There’s been a steady increase in people hiring us to perform end-of-tenancy cleaning alongside our removals service. It’s not that these customers can’t clean for themselves, but a number of them feel that having an invoice from a professional company is the only way to counter what they see as the inevitable attempts to withhold part of their deposit. Our customers tell us they feel vulnerable unless they have paperwork to prove they left the property in an acceptable state. Moving is stressful enough without having to worry about having your deposit unfairly withheld.”

Worst reasons for withheld deposits

Toilet blockage mystery – “It was definitely clear when we left. If it was blocked, it must have been someone from the lettings agency that did it. However, it was £75 from a £1,000 deposit, so I didn’t bother challenging the landlord.”

Burglary damage – “The house had been broken into before we moved in. We gave up reporting the damage to the window that was caused, even though it prevented us from fully opening it. When we moved out, the landlord tried to blame us for the same damage.”

Detergent residue – “I hired a professional cleaning company because I didn’t have time to deep clean the apartment myself. The letting agency still deducted £35 from my deposit because there was detergent residue inside the detergent tray.”

References

*Based on 4.2 million privately rented households (ONS figures, reference 1) paying the equivalent to one month’s UK average rent of £761 (LSL Property Services figures, reference 2) and 6% (252,000) of those households losing their entire deposit, equivalent to one month’s rent.

**Kiwi Movers surveyed 1,034 UK adults between the 20th January 2015 and 11th April 2015.

Reference 1

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/detailed-characteristics-on-housing-for-local-authorities-in-england-and-wales/short-story-on-detailed-characteristics.html

Reference 2

http://www.lslps.co.uk/documents/buy_to_let_aug14.pdf

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