I love this point in the lettings calendar. It’s the time at which the market takes a breather and we have a chance to take stock of what has happened over the summer and to gear up for the busy run up to Christmas. Thankfully 2018 was a strong year for lettings in Surrey. This isn’t surprising when you take into account what’s been going....
We're expanding. Don't worry though we're not moving, just taking on extra space in our existing HQ. Our landmark offices are in the prominent Salisbury House on Queens Road in Weybridge. The imposing period building has been our home since we started in 2014. It provides the perfect hybrid between being an accessible High Street location for our clients without being a traditional estate agency shop front, from which arguably the industry is moving on from. Salisbury House is owned by Portchester Estates who we share it with. This provides a natural synergy between developer and agent. We have a large boardroom and meeting facilites.
With the bad news that petrol prices are at a 3 year high, comes the positive effect that oil companies are doing well and as a result the local rental market is seeing a much needed boost. We reported at the end of last year that oil companies were relocating large tranches of employees to the UK for January 2018. We didn’t know at the time how long this would last but they continue to come thick and fast and this looks set to continue well into the summer. The demand is mainly for family houses in North Surrey and Berkshire from £2500pcm to £10,000pcm. These are great tenancies which tend to last 2-5 years on average. We are doing strong business in this market but there is already beginning to be a shortage of the right homes.
George Osbornes war on landlords has had a powerful impact on the lettings market in this area in the last year. No longer do investors want to build letting portfolios and bring much needed stock to the lettings market. However, as our local sales market slows down and particularly the upper end of luxury homes, we are seeing increasing numbers of developers and private individuals who are unable to sell (at the price they want to!). Many will have lenders breathing down their necks and considerable sums to repay in interest each month. With no obvious light at the end of this sales tunnel some are turning to the idea of letting. Click to read full article...
Stamp duty, Brexit, Trump and a soft sales market are all having an affect on the letting market in Elmbridge. This is right across the board from studio flats to mega mansions. We've been through these markets before and know how to best capitalise on them. Read more here...
Those greedy letting agents, always inflating house prices and pushing the market up, boo, hiss! Hold up, we’re also just as guilty of deflating markets and often unnecessarily pushing prices down. No bites from renters after a month and the agent will be on the phone trying to talk you into dropping the price. Many agents are even targeted weekly on getting price reductions. But is this just lazy agency or is there a better way?
We have some stunning homes, we work in a beautiful county and we love a bit of social media, so it was only a matter of time before we got ourselves onto Instagram. Check us out for some lovely images of Weybridge and our neighbouring towns, some amazing interior design tips or just a photo of our Springer Spaniel Jack snoozing in the office. Follow us @martinandwheatley or click on the icon at the top of our homepage.
We are delighted to announce the arrival of Beverley Wolsey our new property manager who has joined the team at Martin & Wheatley. Beverley lives locally, knows our market inside out and comes with huge experience having previously handled property management at both Savills and Curchods. Welcome on board Beverley! Read Beverleys full profile here http://www.martinandwheatley.com/staff/beverley-wolsey
As part of our ongoing expansion plans I'm delighted to welcome our newest recruit to the office, Jack. Jack is new to the business but will primarily be accompanying viewings, sniffing out new instructions and sweetening deals. He brings a calming presence to what is sometimes a stressful environment! I'm sure you'll be seeing more of him!
Few can deny that the new stamp duty laws to be introduced in 2016 will damage the private rented sector in the UK. However, landlords are already looking at the positive and capitalising on this by buying now before the changes come in.
Parliament has approved the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 - the regulations which looked in jeopardy after a House of Lords defeat last week. The vote, late on Tuesday evening, confirms that from October 1 all landlords in England, will be required to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and test them at the start of every tenancy. Landlords or their agents must also fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with a solid fuel appliance, which includes wood burners and open fires. Click for more information
Martin & Wheatley have won 2 silver awards in this years allAgents Best Letting Agent for Weybridge and Best Letting Agent for KT13 Customer Experience categories. We are absolutely delighted to have received this, especially in our first year of business. This is testament to the continuing effort we put in to ensuring that all our customers and clients receive the very highest level of service with personal care and attention. We treat every property and portfolio as if it were our own and continually seek to outperform our competitors in all areas. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported us.
It went largely unnoticed in the budget last week but the chancellor has scrapped the fair wear and tear allowance for landlords with rented properties. It was announced that landlords will no longer automatically be able to deduct 10% as a tax break for wear and tear as from next April 2016. Instead, they will only be able to deduct from their tax bill the costs they actually incur. However wear and tear is still an important part of your tenancy when working out deposit and dilapidation claims. So what is fair wear and tear? Click for full article
For the most part landlords and tenants have a good relationship. As landlords though we should never underestimate the importance of a happy tenant. It is proven that if you look after your tenant they will stay longer, are happier to bear rent increases and are more likely to accept when there are problems. Its a 2 way street so here's a guide to what you can do to foster good relations.
Last year the Health and Safety Executive released a revised Approved Code of Practice: Legionaires’ disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems, which specifically relates to landlords of rented properties. Our office has seen an increase in questions relating to the disease, it seems that unfortunately many agents and consultants are scaremongering landlords for financial gain. There is a legal obligation to carry out an assessment but this should be a straightforward exercise in ordinary domestic properties and a landlord can carry it out himself so long as they feel competent. Click to read full article
6th April 2015 will see the introduction of new Capital Gains Tax Rule for Non-Resident UK Property Owners. In November 2014, the UK Treasury and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published their response to last year's consultation on the introduction of a capital gains tax (CGT) charge on non-residents who dispose of UK residential property. Draft legislation was published on 10 December 2014 and the new charge is to take effect from 6 April 2015. The new CGT charge on non-residents will focus on "property used or suitable for use as a dwelling", it will now include residential property used for letting purposes. Click to read more.
The controversial judgement in the notorious Superstrike case has now been overturned by law. It means that prescribed information no longer has to be re-served on every renewal. This and other changes to do with deposits come into force immediately. Agents and landlords are also warned that this means the clock is now ticking towards the deadline by which they must protect a deposit taken on older tenancies. The deadline is June 23 and relates to deposits taken before April 6, 2007. Failure to protect such deposits by June 23 could mean penalties and the inability to use a Section 21 notice to gain possession of the property. The rules are now as follows: Click for full details
In recent years many agents have moved away from paper advertising, preferring to put all their eggs in one basket with property portals like RightMove. There is no doubting the power of these portals, how they have transformed the market and the ability to get properties moving. How easy is it to search for a flat during your bosses’ lunchtime on your phone? However, not everyone is like this. Click for full article.
Many landlords already do this as good practice, however from October 2015 Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, under measures announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis (11 March 2015). The measure is expected to take effect from October 2015, and comes with strong support after a consultation on property condition in the private rented sector.
According to the latest findings from the government’s English Housing Survey, only 63% of us now live in homes we own outright or with a mortgage following the 11th successive yearly decline in home ownership. In contrast, as homeownership fell, the private rental sector grew by 19%. The figures show that for the first time there were more outright homeowners than those owning with a mortgage, indicating how much harder it’s become to get on to the housing ladder. Click to read full article
It was recently announced that every property in the private rented sector must be E or above of the EPC scale within 3 years or they will become banned. From April 1st 2018, property professionals across the country must ensure every one of their properties available to let achieves at least a rating of E when it comes to conducting an Energy Performance Certificate. If the property fails to achieve this rating within three years, the property will be banned and made illegal. Below we’ve outlined everything a property professional can do to ensure they meet this rating before April 1st 2018. Click to read more
As keen lovers of architecture, we have been eagerly monitoring the progress of the new Huf Haus showroom being built in Brooklands. It will be the first show house finished in Huf grey and will of course have the signature Huf Haus style integrating the latest building technology and be triple glazed with outstanding energy efficiency. Watch a short video of its progress here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wj9TuJbz4c&feature=youtu.be In the meanwhile if you really need a Huf Haus fix then you can get along to Caffe Kix in the Brooklands business park. Designed in the unique Huf Haus style, it provides a meeting and eating place for workers on the Brooklands Business Park.
This week we met up with photographer Astrid McGechan who popped into our office. Astrid has compiled a beautiful book called The Elmbridge Hundred. A Visual Journey, which shows 100 photographs documenting the many aspects of Elmbridge life, both the people and the environment. Black Pond on the Esher Commons to Concorde at Brooklands, the bluebell carpet at Painshill to the Landscape Garden at Claremont, it illustrates the variety of landscapes and cultures in our borough of Elmbridge. Among the one hundred photographs are the ten winning entries of a photographic competition held for students at Elmbridge schools. With a foreword by Michael Aspel OBE the book complements 'The Elmbridge Hundred' community project that brought together schools, museums, resident societies and communities in a quest to learn about, preserve for future generations and publicise the history and heritage of Elmbridge. If you have any interest in photography or this beautiful borough of ours then I recommend seeking out a copy. The book is for sale in a number of outlets or you can purchase a copy directly via her website. http://www.astridmcgechan.com/ Originally from Germany but now long term resident of Elmbridge, Astrid has been taking photographs since 2004 and her work has lead her to exhibitions in the UK and Germany as well as being invited onto photography judging panels. We hope to you more of Astrids work in the future and wish her all the best of luck with her book.
We are very proud to be a fully licensed ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) Agent as well as long standing individual members of ARLA. This means we are professionally qualified in our field and keep up to date with legislation and you have the peace of mind. ARLA has a code of practice and we are backed up by professional indemnity insurance. We are also members of the Property Ombudsmen redress scheme and we have Client Money Protection. It continues to amaze us that people place their most important financial asset in the hands of unqualified and unregulated agents. We have in depth understanding of the complex legal obligations and housing laws required to help guide you through what can be a minefield. If you would like any advice on your investment, what notice should you serve? Should you have an AST or Common Law agreement? Can your tenant refuse access? We love to talk property so just call us 01932 855801
While building our site we searched high and low for images to go across the top of the page that we hoped reflected our company and community. I stumbled across local award winning photographer Rachael Talibarts website and blog www.rachaeltalibart.com and whiled away much of an afternoon enjoying her stunning pictures. We immediately asked her permission to reproduce some on our site and hope to bring you regular pictures as the seasons change. Rachel often exhibits at Arte gallery on York Road http://www.artegallery.co.uk/about-us/ which is opposite our office and well worth visiting if you're coming in to see us or need to add something beautiful to your walls!
Creating desire and whetting the appetite are important factors in the marketing of your home or investment. Stunning pictures and floor plans will always make your home more appealing. We make sure that all our properties are given the very best chance when viewed on-line by having a good selection of beautifully shot professional pictures as well as full floor plans. Where appropriate we can have drone photographs, 360 degree tours and videos done.