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Month: October 2013

Live in luxury with GFW Letting

GFW Letting has brought a gem of a property onto the rental market, encompassing history with everything you need for modern day living.

The stunning four bedroom Sturton Grange Mill is situated within a delightful rural location and is only two miles away from the historic coastal village of Warkworth, combining peace and tranquillity with excellent transport links and all the amenities of Northumberland’s village and market towns.

Once a threshing mill dating back over 200 years, the property has been sympathetically restored and retains all its original character whilst benefiting from all the fixtures and fittings you would expect from a luxurious modern property.

Finished to an extremely high standard and situated in beautiful gardens beside the Grange Burn, the conversion includes a large living room, fully integrated kitchen dining area, four double bedrooms and three ensuites; the master offering a walk-in dressing area. It also benefits from energy saving light fittings, efficient underfloor heating and a fully wired digital audio and visual entertainment system.

Lorna Morris, Lettings Manager for Northumberland at GFW Letting, said: “We are delighted to offer this stunning property to the market. This is a very rare opportunity to rent a historical family home which offers a superb lifestyle and provides the best in modern living whilst still giving tenants the flexibility and freedom you get from renting.

“Sturton Grange Mill’s location is quite simply magical; the property is a true credit to its current owner and must be viewed to appreciate the exceptional quality it has to offer.”

Visit our property page to find out more www.gfwletting.co.uk/properties/

The property briefly comprises:

Being fair should always come first

GFW Letting is founded on the principles of integrity, fairness, and the flexibility to help our clients gets on with living. Our industry has faced an onslaught in the media recently, from exploitation to unscrupulous landlords, letting agents and extortionate admin fees charged to tenants. Whichever way you look at it, letting agents are a hot topic – and for all the wrong reasons.

As a regulated company that prides itself on an open, honest ethos, we are saddened by the news that the minority out there are giving our industry such a bad name. If ever the industry needed a wakeup call, it’s now, and it comes as no great surprise that steps are starting to be put in place to tackle these issues.

From November 1st, anyone advertising a property will have to display fees that would be charged to a tenant. Whilst there are large disparities between what agents charge upfront to tenants, the obligation at present is to be “transparent” and not, as yet, to be fair, it seems.

Following our own research into our competitors’ fees, the norm in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne area is to charge half a months’ rent per property. The level of work needed on an agents’ behalf does not change depending on the rental price, so charging on this basis seems to be a money making exercise.

Having personally lived in various rented properties in the North East, agents have presented me with tenant fees varying from

Decorating your rental property

Most landlords are aware that the way their property is presented will often affect the level of rent they achieve, but it can be difficult to keep your rental in perfect condition especially if you have long tenancy periods. Most tenants won’t mind a little disruption especially if it will improve their living space so minor improvements such as a lick of paint shouldn’t be an issue.

If your property is a new investment, I would suggest opting for a good quality finish from the start – although it will cost more than the simple DIY approach, it will mean that between tenancies a quick lick of paint is all you need to keep your property looking at its best when prospective tenants view. Wooden floors like laminate are a great option for rentals, they are easy to maintain, and they cut down the costs of having carpets professional cleaned. They also make letting to tenants with pets a more viable option. Kitchens and bathrooms often let rental properties down, by choosing a basic but modern design it will keep them from looking dated.

Whether you are decorating your property for the first time or freshening it up between tenancies, I would recommend light neutral shades for your colour scheme. Tenants will often want to make the space their own so don’t allow your personal preferences to interfere; remember you are decorating your investment not your own home. Paint is far easier to maintain than wallpaper and consider using mould proof paint for the bathroom if it is not fully tiled.

Having a well presented property will help you secure tenants efficiently at a good rental yield, once your tenants are moved in arrange regular inspections to make sure you are aware of any maintenance issues that need addressing. If you use an agent to manage the property make sure you use an agent that does regular routine visits to ensure the property is being well looked after.

Simon Harrison
Lettings Valuer
GFW Letting

Our thoughts on new Tenants' Charter

Secretary of state, Eric Pickles, has recently announced plans to introduce a ‘Tenants Charter’. This charter aims to create a more transparent letting agent fee structure ensuring that tenants are aware of all fees before entering into a contract. While this document will not be mandatory for agents it will coincide with a forthcoming scheme ensuring that letting agents could be held accountable by the property ombudsman for not disclosing their fees. The charter is intended to be a simple guide for tenants and will include frequently asked questions and points of reference in the event of any problems.

As well as this customer service charter there are plans to develop a new standard tenancy agreement with the ability to create longer tenancies. According to Pickles, the aim of the charter is to benefit the growing rental market without restricting those involved with too many barriers; he said: “The last thing we want to do is hurt hard-working tenants by increasing costs and strangling the sector with red tape. But families deserve stability for their children, and all tenants deserve a good and transparent service from their landlords and lettings agents.’’ This stance is welcomed by the team at GFW Letting; with people choosing to rent to suit their lifestyles, it is refreshing to hear that the security of their tenure is an issue being raised.

The intention of the above proposal is to create a transparent rental experience for tenants which encompasses available and affordable housing for a growing market. Both the Residential Landlords Association and National Landlords Association have welcomed the approach put forward.

GFW Letting Landlord Offer

The team at GFW Letting Newcastle are offering landlords a unique offer for a limited time only.

We are so confident that we can find excellent tenants that we wanted to run an offer aimed at landlords with quality property. The offer applies to new landlords who list their property with the team at the Newcastle office.

Fran Mulhall, Lettings Manager at the Newcastle office, commented, “The offer is targeted at new clients who have quality property in our area and are actively looking for a tenant. The five day period starts when we list the property on Rightmove and ends when we find an excellent tenant who wishes to take the property.”

If the team do not find a tenant within five days then the landlord does not have to pay a fee.

Fran said, “We’re looking forward to hearing from new landlords and taking them through the GFW Letting experience and our latest offer.”