Everything you need to know this October

Everything you need to know this October

Whittlesey Street, London, SE1 | £2,275,000

This delightful Regency home (1823) is located in Whittlesey street, Waterloo. One of Central London’s most desirable and recognisable streets.

Click here to read Whittlesey Street, London, SE1 | £2,275,000.

Ability Place, London, E14 | £900,000

Alongside the outstanding large private terrace, the apartment features floor-to-ceiling windows which illuminate the entire apartment with natural light, whilst also fully complementing...

Click here to read Ability Place, London, E14 | £900,000.

<span style="font-weight: bold; text-align: left; display: block; width: 100%;">Southbank Tower, 55 Upper Ground, London, SE1 | £2,350,000</span>

The fabulous apartment encompasses a fully fitted impressive kitchen, 1364 sq ft, with an open plan, reception room designed to entertain.

Click here to read <span style="font-weight: bold; text-align: left; display: block; width: 100%;">Southbank Tower, 55 Upper Ground, London, SE1 | £2,350,000</span>.

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-size: 18px;">Understanding estate agency fees</span>

If you’re thinking about selling your property, it’s always best to do so with the help of an estate agent, and this will require paying a fee from the percentage of your sale. To help you understand the cost of estate agency services and how they fit with the overall cost of selling, we’ve pulled together a guide on estate agency fees.
How much are estate agent fees?
The current average estate agent fee in the UK is 1.42% of the final selling price, which includes VAT. For example, if your property sold for £275,000 then your estate agent fee would be 1.42% of the final sum, which is £3,900. *
However, this average figure only applies if you enter into a sole agency agreement. If you choose more than one estate agent, the fee would typically be higher – 3% higher, to be exact. It’s important to take this added cost into account before entering into a multi-agency agreement.
What do estate agent fees usually include?
It’s important to ask what will be included in the fees, as services can vary by agent. In general, you should expect that your agent will provide the following:
  • Valuation of your property based on expertise and extensive research.
  • Drawing up floor plans.
  • Accumulating interest from their own list of appropriate buyers.
  • Marketing on property portals (such as Zoopla and Rightmove) and other traditional advertisement outlets.
  • Organising viewings.
  • Negotiating a suitable sales price.
  • Professional photographs of your home.
  • Installing a For Sale sign.
  • An enticing written description of your property.
When do you pay estate agent fees?
In the event that the estate agent is unable to sell your property, you will not be charged. Most high-street estate agents work on what is known as a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis when selling properties. Therefore, you should only pay the estate agent the fee once the property has been sold and contracts have been exchanged.
Should I choose the cheapest estate agent?
Selling a property means placing your most valuable asset in someone else’s hands. Therefore, you want to feel confident that you have hired the best possible people for the job.
If an estate agent is offering to sell your property for a suspiciously low commission fee, this is a clear red flag and the reasoning behind the small fee will soon become clear. The best agents will most likely charge higher fees as the value is reflected in the quality and efficiency of the service.
Moreover, paying a higher fee for a reputable agent will benefit you more in the long run, as they may be able to sell your property for a higher amount than a cheaper estate agent. In this case, while you may be paying a higher commission, the amount of money gained from your home’s achieved price could be higher than that of a cheaper estate agent who would have sold the property for a lower amount.
There’s no guarantee that the most expensive agent on the market will be the best one, which is why thorough research is so important before choosing an agent that is right for you. Take your time reviewing your options, always check online reviews, and make sure any agent you consider has your best interests at heart.
Have you been looking for an agent? Get in touch to discuss selling your property today.
*Home Owners Alliance

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-size: 18px;">First-time buyers: What deposit will you need?</span>

Whether you are thinking about saving for your first house or you have been saving for a while now, the deposit will most likely be the first hurdle on your journey. Here are some of the basics you’ll need to know to help you get a leg up.
What is a mortgage?
A mortgage is a loan taken out to buy a property or land. Most will run for 25 years, but the term can be shorter or longer depending on the property.
The loan is ‘secured’ against the value of your home until it is fully paid off. If you fail to keep up with your repayments, the lender can repossess the home and sell it to get the money back.
How much of a deposit do I need to buy a home?
Before you start looking at properties, it’s best to get your deposit saved first and foremost.
Generally, you will need to save at least 10% of the cost of the home you would like to buy. This figure depends on whether you’re buying alone, in which case you can split the deposit in half. It also depends on current market activity at the time of the purchase. For example, most sellers will ask for a higher minimum deposit during economic headwinds or overwhelming demand, as this ensures that they will achieve the right asking price.
Saving above 10% will give you more leverage for the home you want, expand your choices on the market, and secure you a lower monthly interest rate.
Help for first-time buyers
If you are in a situation where you can only save a small deposit, or you do not have the option to split the cost in half with a secondary resident, there are a range of government schemes available to give you a helping hand on the housing ladder. Options include:
  • Lifetime Individual Savings Account (LISA) – You can use a LISA to buy your first home or save for later life. You must be aged between 18 and 39 to open a LISA. You can put away up to £4,000 each year and the government will add a 25% bonus to your savings. However, there is a penalty for taking money out of a LISA if you are not putting it towards a deposit, or withdrawing after age 60.
  • Equity Loan – This scheme is only available to first-time buyers in England who want to buy a ‘new-build’ house within the relevant regional price cap. You can borrow up to 20% (40% in London) of the purchase as an interest-free equity loan. You do not pay interest on the equity loan for the first five years, but you will start to pay interest in year six. The equity loan payments are interest only, so you do not reduce the amount you owe.
  • Shared ownership – Shared ownership offers first-time buyers the option to buy a share of the home from the landlord, who is usually the council or housing association, and pay a reduced rent on the remaining share. Later, you can choose to buy a bigger share in the property, and ‘staircase’ up to 100% of its value.
Some of these schemes are ending or unavailable in certain locations, so it is important to thoroughly research each one, save as much as possible and seek out bespoke advice about your savings options.
Other costs for buying a home
When saving for a deposit, it’s important to remember that there are other fees and costs you will need to save for, before you can take the plunge.
These include:
  • Survey costs
  • Initial furnishing and decorating costs
  • Buildings insurance
  • Solicitor or conveyancer fees
  • Removal and moving costs
  • Stamp Duty
If you are struggling to save for a deposit
If you are struggling to save up a large enough deposit to move out within a certain timeframe, there are options available to help you.
Family assistance mortgages allow whoever is supporting you to put in a percentage of the money you are looking to borrow into a specific savings account, or they can secure the mortgage against a percentage of their own property.
Looking for advice on your property circumstances? Get in touch today.

<span style="font-size: 18px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Stricter smoke alarm laws are here – Are you ready?</span>

Since October 1st, 2022, the laws around the requirement for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties have changed. If you haven’t already made sure you’re meeting all the necessary requirements, we have prepared a comprehensive guide for landlords, so you can get caught up with the new changes.
Where do the rules apply?
According to GOV.uk, the new regulations apply to all homes rented by private landlords, or registered providers of social housing, unless excluded.
Tenancies exempt from the regulations include:
  • Shared accommodation with a landlord or landlord’s family
  • Long leases
  • Student halls of residence
  • Hotels and refuges
  • Care homes
  • Hospitals and hospices
  • Low-cost ownership homes
  • Other accommodation relating to health care provision
Smoke alarms
Since 2015, all private rental homes are required to have at least one working smoke alarm on each storey where there is a room used as living accommodation. The only change to this area of the legislation is that it will now also apply to all social rented homes.
Carbon monoxide alarms
Carbon monoxide alarms are required to be installed in all rooms of a private rented property where there are any fixed combustion appliances such as gas or oil-fired boilers, except for gas cookers. The smoke alarm must be fitted and in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
How to test if your alarms are in proper working order
You will need to make sure your alarms have been tested and are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. It is as simple as pressing the test button until the alarm sounds, and you should also advise your tenants to do the same regularly. If a tenant reports an alarm is not working during the tenancy and it is found not to be, their agent or landlord is then legally obliged to repair or replace it as soon as reasonably possible. As for battery-operated alarms, it is the tenant’s responsibility to check and, where possible, replace the batteries themselves. If tenants are unable to do so, they should then report this to their landlord.
If the alarm is not working
As stated above, a faulty or broken alarm must be attended to by the landlord as soon as reasonably possible. If action is not taken, the local authority may issue a remedial notice to enforce the repayment or repair, and the agent or landlord must take specified action within 21 days. If the landlord or agent disagrees to the terms, they may make written representations which will suspend the notice for one week. The local authority will need to respond with their final decision in writing within those seven days, or the notice will be automatically withdrawn.
Enforcement for incompliance
Although local authority landlords cannot take enforcement action against themselves in respect of their own stock, they will be expected to ensure their housing is safe and they will be subject to these legislative requirements. Like public authorities, local authorities can be challenged by way of judicial review.
Local authority landlords are obliged to comply with the regulatory regime overseen by the Regulator of Social Housing.
How you can prove you tested your alarms at the start of a tenancy
Make sure you keep a record of when alarms are tested, as the landlord is obligated to do so. The local housing authority must decide whether the evidence provided, proves that the landlord has met the requirements of the regulations.
The most straight-forward procedure, while going through inventory on the first day of the tenancy, is to have the tenant sign the inventory to record that the required alarms have been tested by the landlord and the tenant is satisfied that they are in working order.
We can help you remain compliant. Get in touch to discuss our management packages today.

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-size: 18px;">Things to consider when relocating</span>

It may be really thrilling to contemplate relocating. Daily life might seem like an adventure when you first relocate. There will be fresh places to eat, nearby marketplaces to visit, and friends to make.
However, deciding whether to relocate to a new place is a significant choice, so think carefully before making the leap.
We will offer our advice on the key factors to take into account before relocating to a new area and purchasing a new home.
Do the transportation options meet your needs?
You undoubtedly travel about your community regularly, perhaps even every day. An area's suitability as a place to live can be greatly influenced by its transportation options. Consult the area recommendations on the website of your local estate agents to see whether the location fits your lifestyle.
Are the amenities in the area suitable?
Some people like to live close to a lot of facilities, including parks, shopping centres, colleges, and supermarkets. Others, however, might not consider these factors to be as significant. The facilities you desire in a location ultimately depend largely on your lifestyle. Researching the area and speaking with a knowledgeable estate agent are the greatest ways to learn about the surrounding benefits.
What are crime rates like?
It's a good idea to look into the local crime statistics if you have children, elderly relatives, or any other reason to be particularly worried about the crime rates in a certain area. This is possible online. Just keep in mind that the numbers might not be as alarming as they first appear, so it's a good idea to compare them to your current location before making a choice.
Can you afford it?
First, you need to establish whether you can afford to live in your chosen new area – and which type of property is best for your budget. The best way to do this is to get in touch with a local estate agent. With their help, you can understand what types of properties are available to suit your budget.
Have you been considering relocating? Get in touch to discuss selling and finding your next property today.

Peel Street, London, W8 | £3,395,000

This beautifully presented and substantial 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house is located perfectly in Kensington...

Click here to read Peel Street, London, W8 | £3,395,000.

3 Pearson Square, London, W1T | £1,500,000

A delightful 1 large double bedroom, 2 bathrooms beautifully furnished apartment on the 4th floor in the luxurious Pearson Square development located in the heart of the West End.

Click here to read 3 Pearson Square, London, W1T | £1,500,000.

55 Upper Ground, London, SE1 | £1,195,000

Attention Investors 4.9% yield for this luxurious 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment is available for sale in Southbank Tower. Heavily discounted - must sell!

Click here to read 55 Upper Ground, London, SE1 | £1,195,000.

Ability Place, London, E14 | £900,000

Alongside the outstanding large private terrace, the apartment features floor-to-ceiling windows which illuminate the entire apartment with natural light.

Click here to read Ability Place, London, E14 | £900,000.

Knightsbridge, London, SW7 | £19,500 PCM

The house has been imaginatively remodelled and interior designed to create a light and spacious contemporary home, it is arranged over 228sqm, with state-of-the-art technology and air conditioning.

Click here to read Knightsbridge, London, SW7 | £19,500 PCM.

264 Finchley Road, London, NW3 | £6,000 PCM

We are delighted to present this fabulous 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in the new luxurious development Viridium Apartments on the ground-floor/lower ground floor. Furnished and available from 18/10/22.

Click here to read 264 Finchley Road, London, NW3 | £6,000 PCM.

264 Finchley Road, London, NW3 | £6,000 PCM

We are delighted to present this fabulous 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. This apartment is unfurnished, measures 1257 sq ft and and is available now.

Click here to read 264 Finchley Road, London, NW3 | £6,000 PCM.

264 Finchley Road, London, NW3 | £4,500 PCM

Fabulous furnished 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom penthouse in the new luxurious development Viridium is on the 3rd floor. This apartment also benefits from a lighting system...

Click here to read 264 Finchley Road, London, NW3 | £4,500 PCM.