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Month: December 2013

Our thoughts on the Green Deal

The Green Deal is a government scheme implemented to aid home owners and landlords to increase the energy efficiency of their property. The Green Deal is a loan which would include improvements to insulation, heating, draught-proofing, double glazing and renewable energy generation. The loan is to be paid back over time but the intention is that the money saved on energy bills would contribute to any repayments. Under this scheme a home owner must request an assessment of their property by a Green Deal Energy assessor who will outline ways in which the property can be made more energy efficient.

By the end of October, according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, 1,173 households had agreed to have work carried out under the Green Deal. In March 2013 the government had predicted that the level of take up from home owners would be nearer the figure of 10, 000 in the first year. On this basis, it would seem that the uptake from home owners is much slower than the government had anticipated. As rising energy bills are dominating headlines it would seem disappointing that people are not looking to the Green Deal to reduce their energy bills. Rising energy bills for tenants are often a concern and discussing your options under the Green Deal with your landlord may be an option.

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GFW Letting Guide to Morpeth

December is a magical month for the Northumberland market town of Morpeth. With Christmas spirit in abundance, the historic county town is known for its wonderful festive traditions, close-knit community feel and all you could wish for to help build up to the big day in style.

It’s also one of the most sought after locations in the region, an affluent and vibrant area offering a wide variety of amenities for people to enjoy.

As a letting agent working across the whole of the region, we spend a lot of time out and about getting to know our local towns and property hotspots – we thought we’d share with you our top tips of things to see and do when paying Morpeth a visit this December.

These are our Morpeth highlights. Tell us yours @gfwletting #BestMorpeth

Bite to eat?

Luckily in Morpeth, there are enough restaurants to cater for every palate. In our opinion, the best Chinese restaurant for miles is M

GFW Letting expands its offer into County Durham

GFW Letting, the premium letting service from property specialists, the George F. White Group, is branching out into the Durham area, due to increasing demand in the rental market.

After already successfully establishing itself in Northumberland and making real inroads into the Tyne and Wear rental market, GFW Letting recently announced its first property instruction near Durham city centre. With a team based across the region, GFW Letting is in an ideal position to further roll out its services and is concentrating on these key areas where demand for rented property is high.

Durham has always been a popular choice for renters, with the top rated University and excellent transport links North and South, Durham has an excellent range of rental properties to suit every budget.

Landlord responsibilities and legal obligations

Landlords have legal obligations to ensure the safety of tenants – such is the importance of these responsibilities, without them can lead to tragic consequences.

In a recent case where a man died from carbon monoxide poisoning, the judge sentenced the landlord to a jail sentence. The landlord admitted to failing to maintain a boiler and other gas appliances in the rental property over a period of four years.

This amateur landlord didn’t know their responsibilities and allowed their tenants to live in a property with no heating after an engineer had condemned and disconnected the boiler 18 months previously. After living in this unheated property, the tenant took the matters into his own hands, the result of which killed him, his partner nearly died and a neighbour was made seriously ill. The property was tested for carbon monoxide and the findings were so high that the four neighbouring houses had to be evacuated.

The judge of this case suspended the jail sentence for two years and gave out a hefty monetary fine leaving the landlord back in the property on benefits and living with the constant regret of what happened.

This tragic situation could have been easily been avoided as the landlord wasn’t aware of their responsibilities and didn’t ask the letting agency who found the tenant to manage the property for them.

At GFW Letting we know what is required of landlords by law, one of these requirements being a gas safe certificate needs to be carried out annually and must include all gas appliances in the property. We make sure all legal requirements are up to date and all our landlords are offered the service for us to supply and fit carbon monoxide detectors in their rental properties, ensuring the highest safety standards for tenants.