London lets: Are new-builds better than ‘period’ properties?

London is currently awash with new-build developments rising, shiny and new into the capital’s skyline in almost every district. Many of the individual properties within these developments are being snapped up by landlords and in some cases as many as 70% can be destined for the lettings market.

And yet for many landlords new build properties are seen as less attractive than solid period properties that come with a rental track record and are within proven property markets.

So if you can’t decide between these radically different buy to let offerings, here’s a guide to each type’s pros and cons, courtesy of London estate agent James Pendleton.

New-build properties

For

  • Fixtures, fittings, equipment and appliances are totally up to date and meet the latest requirements.
  • Leasehold lengths tend to be longer than older properties.
  • The buying process is easier because there’s no onward chain.
  • Developers often offer ‘buy to let’ packages including multiple property purchase discounts, furniture packages and property warranties.
  • New homes are more energy efficient than older ones and therefore cheaper to heat.

Against

  • Annual service charges within new-build apartment blocks can be pricey.
  • New-build blocks tend to flood the local rental market with properties, potentially weakening local average rental yields.
  • New-build properties can require a lot of post-purchase remedial work, which may annoy tenants.
  • New-build properties are often more expensive to buy than older ones.

Period properties

For

  • Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian homes are more sought-after than newer ones.
  • Period features such as tiled fireplaces, cornicing and bay windows have timeless appeal.
  • Room sizes and ceiling heights are usually more generous than new-build ones.
  • Walls and ceiling thicknesses are larger, making neighbour noise less of a problem than new-build homes.

Against

  • For apartments, leaseholds are more likely to be shorter unless the lease has been extended recently.
  • Maintenance and renovation bills will be higher and more frequent than new-builds.
  • Heating bills may be more expensive than for new builds.
  • Planning permission for extensions can be difficult to win if the property is listed.

To enquire about making a buy to let investment or for questions about rental property contact London estate agents James Pendleton here.

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London estate agency makes an unusual promise

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There are nearly 5,000 estate agents in London and it can be tricky to choose between them. Using a marketing campaign backed up by company-wide action, one agent in South West London is making a determined promise to truly ‘go that little bit further’ for their clients.

James Pendleton, one of London’s fastest-growing estate agents with nine branches in the Capital, has launched an unusual advertising campaign to highlight its commitment to customer service for those selling their homes.

The campaign launched in March and includes a recent light-hearted Easter banner. It focuses in a light hearted way on how the South West London estate agents is well known in the Capital for ‘going that little bit further’ and plays on how this frees up time for sellers to focus on other parts of their lives. Posters featuring the new campaign can be seen at sites in Fulham, Balham, Wandsworth and Battersea and have been created following research by the James Pendleton into what its customers really want from an estate agent.

“We found that people selling their homes are more interested in the standard of service offered by their estate agent than any other factors” says Managing Director Lucy Pendleton.

The new adverts reflect the company’s internal culture of going that little bit further to ensure excellent service; helping people move into their new home when a removals company let them down; spending several hours late on a Saturday dismantling furniture in a soon-to-be sold property and helping a vendor who had locked themselves out of their home on a Sunday.

“Ever since the business began we’ve put extraordinary customer service at the heart of it and we wanted our next advertising campaign to reflect this while at the same time retaining our signature tongue-in-cheek tone,” says Lucy.

 

The six qualities of a good lettings agent

Late Spring and early Summer are the two key periods in London’s lettings market because it is during these balmier months that many more tenants decide to move home and the number of homes available to rent increases.
But if you are a landlord, how do you know which estate agent to use as the crescendo of market activity looms? Here are the six qualities that will help you spot the ideal lettings agent within London’s crowded rental market.
1. Marketing: Do they have both local knowledge but also a large enough branch network to market your property through effectively?  Do they have strong online presence and a strong, branded website (it’s not all about the portals-ask the agent how many visits their site receives).  Picture quality is also vital to ‘stand out from the crowd’.

2. Customer service: Every time your letting agent shows someone around your property they should offer prompt and insightful feedback about the viewing.

3. Paperwork: A good agency is there to consistently ensure that you as a landlord fulfil all of your legal requirements, such as EPCs, Gas Safety Certificates and deposit protection.

4. Contracts: A legally watertight tenancy agreement is vital and a good letting agent will work with a landlord to tailor it to the property and tenants. Bad ones simply print off ‘standard contracts’ and don’t bother to chase up tenant references properly or in time.

5. Diligence: Pick an agent who ‘goes that little bit further’. For example, good lettings agents should be able to help landlords plan their tax and know the different ins and outs of tax rules. Does the agent have a dedicated ‘Move in’ team?  Is your agent thinking about every step of the process from offer acceptance to actual move-in?  The latter is a vital area often overlooked by agents and failing in this area could result in the let falling through.

6. Value for money: Does your lettings agent offer a ‘full service’ for their fee? It should include making arrangements for the property’s Energy Performance Certificate and Gas Safety Certificate as well as the placing of the tenant’s deposit within a government-approved scheme.
“Letting a property through an agent is understandably a popular choice with landlords given the number of boxes that need ticking before a property can be let,” says Tanya Yates, Associate Director at South London lettings agent James Pendleton.

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James Pendleton Lettings Associate Director Tanya Yates

“We believe clarity is one of the most important qualities to look for in a lettings agency and above all, as a trusted point of contact, an agency should always treat its clients with respect and honesty.”

Be property prepared this New Year!

kings place

2014 is just a handful of days away and the property market is about to undergo its annual holiday hibernation as property owners and searchers alike put their feet up in front of the fire and browse for investment ideas on their smartphones.  Don’t be fooled, though, by a quiet Christmas market: while the festive season is typically one of the year’s least active periods the New Year is known for being quite the opposite.

Plenty of time to think and browse at home coupled with the inevitable New Year’s Resolutions will soon see homeowners rushing to sell in droves, buyers renewing their search with a new energy and landlords taking advantage of the annual post-Christmas flood of tenants.  The expected bustle is always great for the market as a whole but individual clients can find an increase in pace and choice daunting.

That’s why we advise registering with a sales or lettings agent now to take advantage of the automatic property alerts offered by good London estate agents like James Pendleton.  Searching for your dream home is the ideal pastime when the Turkey sandwiches are out and the re-runs are on, and automatic updates tailored to your search criteria remove the need to navigate busy property feeds.

Our advice to property owners is, naturally, to get prepared now to get your property out there ready for the New Year.  Now is not the time to wait-when the whole market is thinking the same thing it pays to be an extra fortnight ahead!

If you’d like to find out how to make the current property market work for you it makes sense to contact your local estate agents in London to speak to an expert.

James Pendleton welcomes a new Angel!

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South West London property experts James Pendleton have expanded their popular Angel department with the addition of a new team member.  With nine Estate Agents’ offices in South West London the company is well established throughout the area and is nationally recognised for service innovations.

One such advance introduced over the past few years is the Angel department.  Run by experienced property expert Zara Salih the department was introduced with the aim of extending the service offered during a sale or rental to cover the period from move-in onwards.

By speaking to a James Pendleton Angel a new homeowner or tenant can find solutions to the variety of questions and issues arising during what can be a chaotic time.  On move in day a representative from the department will provide a welcome pack and introduction to the property and local area. There is also an opportunity to leave keys with the secure Angel key holding service, a free concierge style initiative which allows residents to organise access to their property remotely as well as arranging contractor visits through the department’s recommended list of contacts.  This service is extended to buyers for the entire duration of the property ownership.

Joining the Angel team this autumn is experienced property administrator and local resident Sarah Vorley.  Sarah has already made a fantastic impression with local residents and company representatives alike and has proved to be the perfect new addition to a department known for outstanding customer service.

To find out more about the Angel department contact 020 7501 1045.

James Pendleton opens a ninth office in Wandsworth Town

Estate Agents in Wandsworth Town

With offices throughout South West London including a recent expansion to Fulham and Parsons Green, James Pendleton are delighted to be extending their service with the opening of a second, larger Estate Agents in Wandsworth Town to accompany the existing office at 503 Old York Road. Look out for the spacious new office on the corner of Old York Road and Ebner Street.

Since the opening of the independent Estate Agents’ Clapham South and Balham office ten years ago the team has expanded rapidly, accumulating numerous awards as well as 9 locally staffed offices including the Wandsworth Town Estate Agents’ office on Old York Road.  This office has proven a very popular hub for property hunters in search of their perfect London home; Wandsworth Town is a wonderfully diverse area comprising a variety of property styles from charming Victorian terraces in the Tonsleys to sleek riverside apartments.

The expansion to a second Wandsworth Town office on Old York Road was made with client convenience in mind.  The new space is located on a corner, giving a greater feeling of accessibility, and more space means a larger team are available at all times.  The office is in the heart of the Wandsworth Town neighbourhood and the area’s excellent transport links mean easy access from central London.

To find out more about this award winning Estate Agents in Clapham, Battersea, Fulham and Wandsworth and the new office opening contact James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Fulham and Parsons Green office on 020 7183 4000.

James Pendleton’s Award Winning Lettings department: what the judges thought

Regular blog readers will probably already know about the James Pendleton Lettings team’s fantastic performance at the recent Sunday Times & The Times Lettings Agency of the Year Awards.  Our Lettings department consistently shows a high level of expertise and enthusiasm when handling properties to let in Wandsworth, Fulham, Battersea and Clapham and while there were many incredible Estate Agencies from across the UK present we can’t help taking particular pride in a team who walked away with not one but four accolades!

Shortly after the Awards ceremony itself Estate Agency Events released the Judges’ Report in full.  In it, the panel of property experts whose job it was to select the winners give their carefully explained reasons for doing so.  We thought we’d share the comments they made about James Pendleton; the full judges’ report can be found here.

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Customer Service

When it came to Customer Service there were several reasons we walked away with Silver.  Our Angel department won us particular acclaim for its recent ventures into making tenants feel more settled in; our after sales care service works on the brilliantly simple premise that our clients would benefit from greater support during and after the move in process.  Our Angel department’s Lettings branch is improving by the month and the judges’ compliments show that we’ve been doing the right thing thus far!

Also in the limelight was our speedy post-viewing feedback delivery; as a service led Estate Agency we always endeavour to provide full and prompt accounts to our clients as soon as we possibly can.  We believe that service is paramount for the well-being and security of our clients; this belief is reflected in the successful handling of our large and diverse portfolio of properties to let in Wandsworth, Battersea, Fulham and Clapham.

What the judges said:

“The James Pendleton way is to create unique roles for staff to accommodate their strengths and this, in part, is what led to the creation of the ‘angel’ customer service concept. Winning a silver award in the innovation category of our sister awards -Estate Agency of the Year – in 2012 – the ‘angel’ idea has successfully been incorporated into lettings as well, with the employment of a second angel sealing its success. With the tenants feeling cared for, James Pendleton’s main lettings team can continue looking after its landlords. Post-viewing feedback is sent to landlords within 24 hours; there is a round-the-clock account login facility via the website; and a programme of reduced fees and payment holidays.”

Marketing

The Marketing category at the Sunday Times & The Times Lettings Agency of the Year Awards was perhaps the most heavily contested so we’re delighted to have reached the top three.  Our ‘WE LET…YOU RELAX’ campaign offers landlords exclusive reduced fees and reminds both landlords and tenants of our focus on providing a seamless service.  Letting property can be extremely stressful when handled clumsily; our team have a sterling reputation and a number of ARLA qualifications to back up the promise that with James Pendleton, ‘WE LET…YOU RELAX’.  If you’re a landlord or tenant seeking a reputable Estate Agents in South West London you need look no further.

What the judges said:

“What marked James Pendleton out from a crowded list of submissions in this category was its micro-campaign solely targeting landlords and tenants. The ‘We let, you relax’ narrative is a brilliant stand-alone creative that communicates a message quite simply – personifying the ‘less is more’ idea. James Pendleton was clear that it wanted landlords and tenants to know that using them for lettings would be a stress-free exercise. The friendly font and use of lifestyle images reflect the young, vibrant mood within James Pendleton, and also serve to set the mindset for tenants and landlords consuming the artwork.”

Property Management Agency

We are delighted to have such a strong Property Management team: led by Associate Director and experienced Property Manager Simon Quinn the team is a fantastic example of different skillsets coming together in a mutually beneficial way.  It’s this solid teamwork that has allowed us to focus our approach, stay organised and ultimately come out on top in both our own size category and the overall Property Management category.  We handle hundreds of properties to let in Wandsworth, Clapham, Fulham and Battersea: and as our awards show, we do so better than anyone else!

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What the judges said

“The judges felt that James Pendleton had just edged ahead of the other gold winners in the property management category. The agent has clearly defined the geographical area in which it operates, and has opened offices and employed staff accordingly. This means they are always just a few minutes away from a landlord or tenant, paving the way for a rapid response and personal level of service.”

Our Property Management team was thrilled to win two gold awards for their hard work, Ruth Edwards, Property Manager said:

“Winning the Property Management awards has made me so proud to be part of the team here at James Pendleton.

We all work really hard together as a team, ensuring that we can deliver a good service to our Landlords, so to have this recognised in the form of two awards is extremely satisfying and uplifting!

I think we set ourselves above the rest in the way that we look after the properties as if they were our own, and always have our Landlords’ best interests at heart with any decisions made. Landlords need to feel that they can trust their Property Managers, and I think bearing this in mind ensures that we provide a better service.

Also, the 24 hours service that we provide means that Tenants can contact us on the emergency telephone if there is anything urgent that needs to be dealt with. This ensures that our Landlords and Tenants have that peace of mind that any maintenance issues are going to be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

I think that the benefits of this award are not only the recognition of winning, but that the general public can see we are always striving to better ourselves as a company and stand out from the rest.”

To find out more about properties to let in Wandsworth, Fulham, Clapham and Battersea contact our Lettings Managers today on tanyayates@jphomes.co.uk or paulspencer@jphomes.co.uk.  If you’re interested in our Property Management service don’t hesitate to give the team a call on 020 8772 2099 or email simonquinn@jphomes.co.uk

A fantastic achievement for a South West London Lettings agency

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The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards is a pivotal time in the annual calendar for Lettings and Property Management companies across the country.  This is a time for innovation and achievement to be shared for the greater good of the industry and a celebration of successful business.  As popular Lettings Agents in South West London James Pendleton won a number of accolades in last October’s 2012 Estate Agency of the Year Awards and fingers were crossed for similar success at the Lettings event.  In the end, the team scooped an incredible 4 awards: Bronze for Best Marketing, Silver for Best Customer Service, Gold for Property Management and Best Overall Property Management, as well as being shortlisted in the Best Medium London Agent category!

Sponsored by Zoopla, the ceremony was held on Friday 24th May 2013 at the prestigious Lancaster hotel beside Hyde Park and was well and truly packed with property businesses hoping to earn gold, silver, bronze or a shortlisting in numerous local, national and specialist categories.  Finding tenants, managing let properties and marketing properties to let in Battersea, Fulham, Clapham and Wandsworth is second nature to the James Pendleton team, whose focus on providing comprehensive and outstanding service at every juncture secured awards for London Estate Agency, Prestige Property, Innovation and Training and Development at December’s 2012 Estate Agency Awards.  The team of delegates present at the ceremony were therefore excited but anxious to repeat last year’s phenomenal performance.

The awards ceremony was preceded by a highly informative seminar featuring talks from several prominent business and property professionals.  Influential businesswoman Karren Brady was the morning’s celebrity speaker and gave a fantastic talk on her vast experience of running successful businesses.  Brady headlined a strong group of presenters including representatives from ARLA, Rightmove, Property Academy and Google as well as inspirational performance optimisation expert Floyd Woodrow.  A particularly interesting part of the morning was Property Academy’s quickfire list of 2013’s Lettings innovations, in which Estate Agency Events’ Managing Director Peter Knight gave a countdown of the year’s revolutionary property ideas.  James Pendleton were thrilled to be mentioned twice as well as being identified as having a well-honed marketing campaign in an earlier talk by Rightmove (a hint at the Bronze Marketing Award that was to come).

The ceremony was packed to the rafters with companies representing all areas of the UK in attendance.  Karren Brady returned to the stage to hand out plaques and congratulate the winners.  From their stage side table the James Pendleton Lettings team had a perfect vantage point and less of a walk when their first win, a silver for Customer Service, was announced.  Tanya, Paul and the rest of the Lettings team amply deserve this award as testimonials show: when it comes to properties for rent in Battersea, Wandsworth, Clapham and Fulham the service offered by James Pendleton Lettings is truly outstanding!

A special mention also has to go to this Clapham based Property Management office, whose busy team scooped the prize for Best Property Management (201-500 properties).  Property Management at James Pendleton has been honed to an art form: the office moves at high speed, efficiently dealing with all manner of tasks to ensure that landlords’ investments are in safe hands.  The Lettings Agency award affirms that their hard work has paid off, and what better demonstration of confidence than the accompanying Overall Best Property Management award!

Landlords and tenants alike can also be assured that with James Pendleton properties to let in Fulham, Wandsworth, Battersea and Clapham will be superbly marketed.  In the fiercely contested Best Marketing category the team’s innovative campaigns, superb design and dedication to supporting the local community earned them a spot in the top three agents nationwide. As Lettings Lettings Agents in South West London the James Pendleton team are clearly a fine example of well-rounded professionalism.

To find out about properties to let in Battersea, Clapham, Wandsworth and Fulham contact James Pendleton’s Lettings team by emailing tanyayates@jphomes.co.uk or paulspencer@jphomes.co.uk

James Pendleton –We Live Here Now!

James Pendleton have long been known for going the extra mile to provide fantastic customer service, a fact supported by our recent UK Independent Estate Agency Chain and Employer of the Year titles at the esteemed Negotiator Awards.

In 2013 we are set to go that extra mile more literally by branching out to an eighth office, for the first time north of the river! Our Fulham & Parsons Green office is set to bring a new level of local Estate Agency knowledge to a new part of South West London.  All of our agents live locally and are known for their thorough understanding of life within the SW postcodes and their ability to thoroughly and professionally introduce the area to newcomers.  We look forward to adding Fulham & Parsons Green to the areas we are already able to share.

Our team will be arriving on Wandsworth Bridge Road at the end of 2012.  Look out for our signature home-from-home office décor and purple and blue roundel on the corner of the junction with Studdridge Street and keep your eyes peeled for a fantastic opening event in January.

For more information on our Fulham and Parson’s Green office, visit our website: weliveherenow.co.uk or email lee@jphomes.co.uk

Properties of the Month

As part of our ‘property of the month’ series of posts we’re pleased to bring you two fantastic properties to let!  One is a fabulous four bedroom terrace in a superbly vibrant location, and the other is a spectacular detached two bedroom property to rent moments from Wandsworth Common.  Read on to find out more, and if you’re interested in any of our lettings properties don’t hesitate to contact our lettings team.

Beechcroft Road, Wandsworth Common SW17, £625 p/w

Two bedroom house to rent in wandsworth

Property to rent in Wandsworth Common – Beechcroft road – James Pendleton

This newly built detached two bedroom house offers a completely unique combination of modern open plan design and stylish elegance in keeping with the surrounding properties.  The property is a short walk away from leafy Wandsworth Common and boasts delightful outdoor space comprising a private courtyard garden and a second private garden to the rear.

Inside, a large u-shaped open plan living area flows into a spacious modern fitted kitchen and dining area.  A central staircase leads up to the large master bedroom with a modern en-suite bathroom and a wealth of built in storage. There is a further second bedroom and bathroom to the ground floor of the house.   The property is well connected to central London and surrounding areas, with Wandsworth Common overground station and Balham Overground and Underground stations a short distance away.

Iveley Road, Clapham Old Town SW4, £950 p/w

Four bedroom house to rent situated in the heart of Clapham Old Town

Property to rent in Clapham Old Town – Iveley road – James Pendleton

Four bedroom house to Rent - Clapham Old Town - Iveley road

Property to rent in the heart of Clapham Old Town

Clapham Old Town is known for its village feel and range of quality independent retailers, as well as for being a quiet and pretty hideaway in a bustling and well connected area.  This wonderful four bedroom terraced house is situated in the heart of Clapham Old Town and makes for a comfortable and striking family home.

On entrance you will find an impressive double reception room with high ceilings, a working fireplace and doors opening onto a decked terrace. On the lower ground floor there is a very spacious kitchen/ breakfast room and a dining room with doors onto a small court yard as well as a cloakroom, utility room and a door leading out to the gated parking area.

The first floor features a master bedroom with an en-suite and his and hers walk in wardrobe, a further double bedroom and a study area on the landing. On the top floor there are two additional double bedrooms and a family bathroom.

Clapham Common Underground and Wandsworth Road Mainline stations provide direct links to the City, the West End and outer London. The abundance of cafes, restaurants, bars, shopping and leisure facilities local to the area are also only a short walk from this much sought after property.