Walton & Allen featured in Best Estate Agent Guide 2021

Walton & Allen has been featured in the Best Estate Agent Guide 2021.

The Best Estate Agent Guide is an independent company which surveys estate and letting agents across the country. They have teamed up with Rightmove to map out the perfect customer experience for sales and lettings across the country.

To do this they conduct the ‘biggest mystery shopping review process ever undertaken of the property industry’.

The criteria they looked for is as follows:

  • How well properties perform and are marketed on Rightmove
  • Time taken for the listing to go ‘SSTC’ or ‘Let Agreed’.
  • How good the customer service is via email and telephone
  • Market share compared to other agents

Analysing over 25,000 branches across the UK, Walton & Allen featured in the top 5%.

Walton & Allen achieved the “Exceptional” rating. According to the Best Estate Agent Guide, branches with this rating ‘showed an outstanding level of service and care towards prospective clients’.

You can find out more by going to their official website, www.bestestateagentguide.co.uk.

Do you have a property to sell or to rent out to tenants? Call us today on 0115 924 3304 or email info@waltonandallen.co.uk to see how we can help you too.

New 2020 Help To Buy scheme announced

A newly reconfigured Help To Buy scheme will open to applicants from 16th December 2020.

The equity loan initiative will run from 2021 to 2023.

As with the previous scheme, buyers will be able to borrow 20 per cent of the cost of a new build home. Buyers will be required to pay a further 5 per cent.

This loan is interest free for 5 years.

The new scheme is very much the same as the old one, except regional price limits will be set. This will be at 1.5 times the average first time buyer price in each area of England.

This means that the cost of these homes will be closer to the average first time buyer price in each area.

Home builders will also have to follow more rules this time round if they wish to be eligible for the Help to Buy scheme. They must agree to follow rules set out by the Consumer Code for Homebuilders, the New Homes Ombudsman, the Building Safety Charter, and fulfil planning permissions and building regulations.

Are you a first time buyer? Walton & Allen estate agents can help you find your dream home. Talk to us to discuss our available properties for sale or to receive first time buyer mortgage advice. Just call 0115 924 3304.

Gedling Selective Licensing: What you need to know

Gedling Borough Council will soon introduce licenses for Colwick, Carlton Hill, Daybrook and Newstead Village

Gedling Borough Council are soon to introduce Selective Licensing to other areas of Nottingham. The City Council introduced a similar scheme for most of their district in 2018, with Gedling Borough soon following suit for Netherfield. Now they are planning to expand to cover further areas.

To talk to our team about Gedling Selective Licensing, please call 0115 924 3304.

What is a Selective Licence?

A Selective Licence is a mandatory scheme for landlords who rent their property to tenants in specific areas of Nottingham. The Council is concerned that many tenants in Nottingham are renting properties which are not safe or of a ‘decent’ standard. The aim behind the scheme is to ensure all properties are kept to good standards.

The scheme also aims to ensure that all properties are managed by ‘fit and proper’ landlords.

Does my property need a licence?

If you own and rent out a property to tenants in Colwick, Carlton Hill, Daybrook or Newstead Village then it is likely that you will need a Selective Licence.

When will the scheme begin?

The licensing scheme is estimated to begin in 2021. A 12 week consultation period will run from 12th October 2020 to 4th January 2021.

After this consultation period the Council will publish more information on the scheme and suggest a start date.

You can have your say about the scheme by visiting https://www.gedling.gov.uk/slphase2/.

What is the cost of the licence?

There are several different costs for the Gedling Borough Council Selective Licence, depending on your circumstances as a landlord.

The fee is split into two different payments; the first when you apply and the second when your draft licence is issued. The total fee lasts for 5 years.

Standard fee

Total = £700
Part 1: £520
Part 2: £180

Accredited landlord fee

The proposed licence holder is accredited with either DASH, NLA, RLA, Unipol or equivalent landlord accreditation body.

Total = £585
Part 1: £430
Part 2: £155

What if I don’t have a licence?

The Council can prosecute you and issue criminal proceedings. They are also able to fine you an unlimited amount of money.

What are the licensing conditions?

The licence holder will be subject to conditions to keep both the property and tenant(s) safe. Below is a summary of these conditions.

  • If gas is supplied to the property then the property will need a valid gas safety certificate
  • Supplied electrical appliances should be kept safe and have PAT tests where necessary
  • The licence holder should ensure smoke alarms are working and maintained throughout the tenancy
  • Supplied furniture should be safe and fire safety labels left in place
  • A carbon monoxide alarm should be installed in any room in the house which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance
  • The licence holder should ensure that repairs are dealt with in a timely manner
  • Any unwanted household items or garden rubbish should be removed
  • Security issues should be dealt with within 24 hours of being reported
  • Security locks and systems should be kept in good working order at all times
  • The tenant should be supplied with security alarm instructions if one is fitted in the property
  • Lock changes should be made for new tenancies if the previous tenants fail to return all keys
  • The licence holder should provide written information on bin collection dates, bulky waste collection services and what each type of bin is used for
  • The licence holder should ensure that the tenants’ right to enjoyment of the property is respected
  • At least 24 hours written notice should be given to tenants before entering the property
  • Inspections should be carried out every six months to ensure the property is fit to live in. A written log must be kept and provided to the Council within 7 days, if requested.
  • At the beginning of a new tenancy, the licence holder must provide the occupier(s) with written information, including contact details, explaining how they can make a complaint about the property and the arrangements in place to deal with emergency and other repairs. Complaints should be dealt with within a reasonable timescale
  • At the beginning of the tenancy the licence holder must provide an information pack which includes a true copy of the property licence, emergency contact details and copies of safety certificates where applicable
  • Written terms or a tenancy agreement must be provided
  • The licence holder should comply with all lettings and landlord laws during the tenancy
  • References need to be sought for each tenants and written evidence kept, should the Council require them
  • Information on the deposit scheme you use, if applicable, should be made available to the tenant(s)
  • The licence holder shall ensure that all reasonable and practical steps are taken to prevent and respond to anti-social behaviour
  • The licence holder must inform the council within 21 days of any material change in circumstances including change of address, change of management or ownership, any criminal charges or any proposed changes to the property layout
  • The licence holder must attend training every 3 years which covers lettings law and legal requirements

All these requirements can be managed on your behalf using our fully managed lettings service. To find out more, call 0115 924 3304 or email info@waltonandallen.co.uk.

Need more advice on Selective Licensing?

If you need more advice on this scheme then you can contact the Walton & Allen lettings team. You can call us on 0115 924 3304 or email info@waltonandallen.co.uk.

Helping you move during local tier restrictions

At Walton & Allen estate agents, our top priority is the safety of our staff and clients, both new and existing. We realise, however, that many of you still need to move home during the COVID-19 tier restrictions.

Walton & Allen estate agents are continuing to operate during Nottingham lockdown restrictions, but with safety measures in place.

Property valuations

We are still conducting property valuations (sales and lettings) and we are still placing new property listings on the market.

Valuations are still taking place in person. Our Senior Valuers have been supplied with plenty of PPE gear including masks, gloves and hand sanitiser. Valuers are also strictly following social distancing guidelines when they visit a property.

We are also offering video call valuations if you would prefer to communicate online at this time.

Please call us on 0115 924 3304 to arrange a property valuation.

Property viewings

Where possible, we are asking those who are interested in buying or letting a property to first view a video tour.

We may have limited access to some properties currently. For example, if there are large families or a large number of tenants in the property then we will be restricted to when we can visit with interested parties.

When attending a viewing, we will ask you to wear a mask at all times. We will also ask you to refrain from touching any handle or surface.

All our staff attending viewings will be provided with PPE for your safety and theirs.

Visiting our office

We are currently operating on an appointment only basis. Please contact us on 0115 924 3304 or email info@waltonandallen.co.uk to arrange a suitable time to visit us.

Unless medically exempt, you must wear a mask at all times when you enter our office.

Our phone lines and emails are operating as normal and we are working to our normal opening hours.

Highest house price rise in 16 years

House Prices

New figures released by Nationwide reveals house prices are increasing year on year by 3.7 per cent and in the last month alone by 2 per cent. This means that the annual rate of increase has more than doubled since the Coronavirus lockdown.

This is the highest monthly property price rise since February 2004 and has pushed the average UK house price from £224,123 to £220,935.

One of the main contributing factors for this is likely to be that demand for property is currently outstripping supply. Some home owners are still reluctant to put their house on the market even though they wish to move. So, as more buyers fight for the same property, offers are rising.

Nationwide state that they feel momentum has fully returned to the housing market and they feel that it has recovered fully from the Covid-induced downturn.

From Walton & Allen’s point of view, almost every one of our available sales properties have been snapped up quickly since coming to market. We had record sales figures for the months of June, July and August and we expect this to continue for a much longer period.

Mortgage Applications

Mortgage brokers across the country have reported a record number of applications post-lockdown.

Due to this, lenders have increased interest rates slightly to try and deter new applications. The lenders hope that this should help to reduce demand and will provide them with more time to get through their backlog.Interest rates could continue to rise so we would advise to act now if you’re looking for any form of mortgage, whether it’s a first time buyer mortgage, buy to let or remortgage.

How much is your house now worth?

It’s very likely that you will have made money on your current home in the last few months. If you’re considering moving and want to know more you can find out how much your house is worth in several ways.

Either call our Senior Valuers, Richard and Joe, on 0115 924 3304 or email salesteam@waltonandallen.co.uk.

If you would prefer to simply find out how much your property is worth online, you can use our estate agency online valuation tool.

Nottingham Property Market 2020

The property market is booming.

Since the lifting of Coronavirus lockdown restrictions we have seen a huge influx in sales and lets agreed.

Many estate agents across the country are running out of stock as there are more buyers and renters coming to the market than actual properties.

This has also pushed up sales and rental prices. An increase in demand means that prices are rising.

We need more property

The current surge in interest has seen us sell and let property faster than in the last several years. Buyer and renter demand is outstripping stock by a long way.

Are you considering selling or letting a property? Talk to us today on 0115 924 3304.

New stats from Rightmove

Don’t just take our word for it! Rightmove have released some stats to back this up.

Sales are on the up

  • The average asking price of property has hit a record month; up 2.4 per cent since pre-lockdown and the highest increase since December 2016
  • Year on year buyer enquiries up by 75 per cent
  • 44 per cent of properties which were listed in May have sold already (compared to 34 per cent the previous year)
  • Number of monthly sales agreed up 15 per cent
  • Some low deposit mortgages are now being introduced again for first time buyers

Record rents outside of London

  • Asking rents have achieved a record average price of £845 per month outside of London
  • Demand for rental property is 40 per cent higher than the same time last year

Nottingham Property Market

Hometrack have released their latest report on UK house prices. Nottingham now stands at the top across the whole of the UK for property price growth in the last 12 months.

Nottingham prices rose by 4.3 per cent over the last year. In second place was Manchester with 3.9 per cent growth and in third place was Leicester with 3.5 per cent growth.

How much is your property worth?

How much have you made on your property post COVID-19? Find out by calling us on 0115 924 3304, email salesteam@waltonandallen.co.uk or use the form below.

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    Stamp Duty Cuts 2020

    Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced a ‘holiday’ on stamp duty up to 31st March 2021.

    This is part of a Coronavirus recovery package to kick start the housing market following the lockdown period.

    Stamp duty will be axed for any property purchase below £500,000. This is to be kept in place for the next eight and a half months and starts immediately from 8th July 2020.

    Until now, home buyers pay zero stamp duty on the first £125,000 of the property value. They then pay the tax on two per cent of the value of the home up to £250,000 and five per cent on the next £675,000.

    First time buyers are already exempt from stamp duty up to £300,000 outside London and £450,000 in London.

    This could potentially save home movers and property investors thousands of pounds.

    Considering your next move or a buy to let purchase? Have a look at our property for sale or call our estate agents on 0115 924 3304.

    Do you need an EICR when renting a property?

    As a landlord renting a property to tenants, there are many rules and regulations that need to be adhered to. These also vary depending on how many tenants are living in the property.

    One of the questions that often crops up when talking to us as letting agents is ‘do I need an EICR?’. Until June 2020, these EICR certificates were only compulsory if you were renting to tenants who made up more than two households, also known as an HMO.

    Now though, the rules have changed.

    Do you need an EICR?

    From 1st June 2020, every property rented to tenants will require an EICR certificate.The rules state that:

    The rules state that:

    • Electrical safety standards are met when the property is occupied by tenants.
    • Every fixed electrical installation at the property is inspected and tested at least every 5 years by a qualified person.
    • An inspection and test needs to be carried out before new tenancies commence from 1st June 2020.
    • An inspection and test will also be required for existing tenancies by 1st June 2021.

    What is an EICR?

    EICR stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report. Inspections and testing are carried out in accordance with the eighteenth edition of the wiring regulations BS 7671:2918. This is the national standard to which all domestic wiring must conform.

    During the inspection, the following is tested:

    • The adequacy of earthing and bonding
    • Device protection against electric shock and fire
    • Any damage or wear and tear that may affect tenant safety
    • Identification of any damaged electrical fixings
    • Identification of any exposed wiring

    EICR certificates last for 5 years but landlords are encouraged to re-test if there are changes to property electrics since the last inspection was carried out.

    Who can carry out an EICR inspection?

    Any qualified electrician should be able to carry out an EICR check.

    Walton & Allen are able to carry out an inspection on your behalf and provide a certificate upon your property passing the inspection.

    You can talk to us about this by calling 0115 924 3304 or by using this form below.

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      Rightmove see record property enquiries

      Rightmove recorded their busiest ever day on 27th May 2020.

      Last week saw a new daily record for the most visits to the Rightmove website. They also received record buyer and renter enquiry volumes.

      The website surpassed six million visits for the first time which was up 18 per cent on the same day in 2019. Email and telephone enquiries to agents were also up 18 per cent.

      Rightmove state that over a quarter of people (28 per cent) who were not planning a move before the COVID-19 lockdown are now entering the market.

      Why is this surge happening?

      The UK government placed strict restrictions on those wanting to move throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. Now these restrictions have been lifted for estate and letting agents and those who need to move are now looking to do so imminently.

      Another reason for the surge could be due to families spending more time together than usual. Some may now be looking to move due to fall outs or just deciding that they need more space.

      People will always need to move and now seems to be a better time than ever to market your property, for sale or for rent.

      Have property prices changed since ‘Lockdown’?

      Property prices appear to remain strong throughout Nottingham.

      Last month, property prices in Nottingham recorded a 0.0 per cent change, according to Hometrack. The average property price remains at £157,900.

      Nottingham was second across the whole country for property price growth in the last three months. Prices grew 0.8 per cent.

      The city was also first across the country for property price growth in the last 12 months. Prices grew by a huge 4.1 per cent.

      How much is your property worth post-lockdown?

      Find out how much your property is now worth by talking to our experts today for free. Call 0115 924 3304 or use the form below.

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        We are open for business again from 18th May 2020

        Following government guidance on COVID-19, we are reopening for business on 18th May 2020.

        Our phone lines will be open for the following services:

        Our offices will be open but for pre-arranged appointments only.

        Please note that phone lines to our block management are currently still closed and will reopen as soon as possible.

        To book any appointment, please call 0115 924 3304 or email info@waltonandallen.co.uk.