Published: 19/07/2017 Last Updated: 19/07/2017 13:21:07 Author: Gulliver Hill Tags: Pest Control Rats Mice Hammersmith London W6 West London
In Hammersmith West London W6, most people think rats get into buildings through open doors or other such nonsense and never consider the buried waste network (presumably as its out of sight). The vast majority (95%) of our rat work involves period properties with modern extensions.
As you are no doubt aware, the Victorians pioneered the concept of sanitisation and ensured human waste was piped well away from our drinking water (google the ‘Great Stink’ and ‘Joseph Bazalgette’ for the full low down). They were the masters and built drainage from vitrified clay or cast iron which was hugely over engineered and put in place by very skilled engineers - its still going strong 120+ years later. Strong clay & cast iron drainage persisted up until the 1970’s when plastic came to be - since then the whole drainage industry has been going backwards at a rate of knots in terms of materials and knowhow.
Most London period stock has now had modern extensions to the rear which typically build over the original manhole and involve adaptations to the original drainage layout. The modern extension builder is typically a low skilled bodger laying plastic pipework which he then has to connect to the old clay pipework - clay pipes are imperial with 1/2” thick walls whilst plastic pipes are metric with 3mm thick walls. These connections are typically very badly done, often damage the clay pipework and also often the entire modern extension drainage is a shocker in terms of layout, design and implementation.
Rats freely chew through plastic drainage and will very quickly exploit any weaknesses in it - they cannot chew through clay or cast iron drainage. Once they have chewed through the pipes, they burrow next to it and enter the fabric of a building via a lintel bridge within the foundations or via and uncapped inlet within the original drainage network - sometimes they burrow under the slab of the extension and emerge into the original dirt foundations of the period part.
Once within a building fabric, rats can cause floods by chewing Speedfit plumbing and damage the fixed electrical supply - their urine and droppings can also cause a powerful malodour.
Baiting is not the answer - it simply causes rats to die within the building fabric and cause a very powerful malodour often combined with a blow fly infestation. With a never ending supply of rats within the sewer system, new rats simply replace those killed and the problem goes on and on indefinitely. Only solution is to locate and fix the drainage defect - we have ways and means of doing this!
This scenario is already truly epidemic on its scale across London and most major cities - with ever warmer winters predicted and zero improvement in the standard of plastic drainage forecast, its also an issue that is going to run and run...
For help and advice with pest control please get in touch with;
Published: 18/07/2017 Last Updated: 21/07/2017 13:49:50 Tags: Hammersmith’S Top 10 Rental Trends In 2017
Are you considering living in Hammersmith and renting a property? If so then you are not alone. Due to the high prices in West London property sales, more people than ever have chosen to rent homes or flats in London W6 rather than buy them. Willmotts has noticed this recent trend and the letting market has been changing constantly. Staying ahead of the trends and reacting proactively is the secret to success. Our local agents have noted these market changes over recent months.
1. A Well-dressed property will let faster than poorly presented ones
Tidy, clean and homely looking properties will let far quicker than rooms that look neglected and undesirable. If you freshen up a dated look and feel, despite the potential cost to achieve this, you will find your investment pays off as you are not losing out on missing months of potential rental fees and you may also be able to increase the letting price.
2. Most popular rentals are smaller properties
The most popular properties are small dwellings for single people. The less tenants the simpler tenant-agreements are, making the whole process easier for landlords and tenants. One bed and studio flats in Hammersmith are very popular. They generally let much quicker that two or three bed flats.
3. More tenants are renting properties while they search for homes to buy
In 2017 many more people are renting whilst also looking for a home to purchase. To help with this tenants are looking for 6 month breaks in their contracts. If they find a property within this time frames we are seeing requests to buy-out of their contracts. This also applies to individuals who are not happy with their choice of property or have fallen out with co-tenants and are requesting to move on after just a few months.
4. Tenants are paying more for access to prime locations
Tenants are happy to pay more for a location with easy access to tube stations, linking Hammersmith to the City and the West End. Whether it be a career change or job security, accessibility to prime locations is paramount. When tenants are unable to plan ahead regarding their employment with long term tenancies, at least their worry of rent increases, protracted negotiations, admin fees and of cost the cost of moving is all but diminished.
5. Demand for high-end flats has decreased
The popularity for luxury apartments is on the decline. Despite tenants preferring well-presented properties the appeal stops short of high-end stock.
6. Furnished properties remain more popular than unfurnished ones
There are pros and cons in the argument of furnished properties versus unfurnished ones. Furnished properties allow tenants to move in quickly, and can cost a bit more than their unfurnished counterparts. Despite unfurnished properties giving tenants free reign to make the property their own, the demand for furnished properties is greater as it allows people to move into a readymade home. For the landlord though this is not always the most popular route as tenants demand furniture to be replaced if breakages occur; this its self can cause friction between the landlord and tenant.
7. More desirable properties are entering the market
Better rental property is becoming available as sellers decide to rent out their homes rather than sell, however this is generally on a reduced timescale. Stamp duty increases are causing evictions for good tenants who want longer than 3-year tenancies. If you are viewing a desirable property and hoping for a long-term tenancy, check with the landlord to see if they are considering selling the property.
8. ‘Accidental landlords’ are extinct
Smaller Landlords appear to be looking to off load their properties. This is in contrast to the larger investors who are looking at building on their property portfolios. The number of properties coming the market for let appears to be marginal however demand is steady and increasing. The result of this will inevitably be an increase in rent prices as more people want less property.
9. Growing popularity for long-term tenancies
Long term tenancies offer landlords security of regular income without the hassle of finding new tenants and the costs that are associated with it. This is echoed by the desire for tenants to secure longer contracts and not be worried about flexibility. From professionals to students, they are equally willing to enter long-term letting agreements
10. 6 months’ worth of rent in advance to get ahead of the rest…
There are a great many tenants offering 6 months’ rent in advance, (still subject to satisfactory references) in view to ward off other suitable applicants. This is mostly made up of people selling and requiring a property to live in while they look around for another property to purchase as it gives them bargaining power for a purchase. Other cases are people relocating from abroad where they have no credit history here, or older people selling to enjoy their capital.
Are you thinking of letting or renting a property? Get in touch with our lettings team 0208 222 9958 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 10/07/2017 Last Updated: 10/07/2017 11:49:16 Tags: What Does The Future Hold For House Prices In Hammersmith
There have probably never been more factors at play in the UK property market than there are right now. The national market is pausing for breath as it reaches the end of the cycle which started with the credit crunch. 2016 saw stamp duty changes as well as the
Brexit vote, and the impact is very much still being felt. The result of the election has added to the uncertainty surrounding the economy.
Now that Brexit negotiations are getting properly underway, it will be interesting to see if there is any direct effect it has on the market. Since the original vote, interest rates were dropped to 0.25 per cent to support the economy. This has resulted in property prices rising nationally by 7.2 per cent - and we expect them to grow by a further 6.6 per cent over the next 12 months.
So why are we so bullish about the market in Hammersmith? Well the data shows us that in the second half of 2016, sales levels were 24.4 per cent lower than the first half, but this becomes positive when we strip out the impact of the stamp duty rise in April of that year. Based on market trends, we expect the price of the average home here to reach £1,226,600 by the end of 2018.
Projecting future price trends is never straightforward. The construction of new homes impacts on this heavily; residential developments will often increase the value of other properties in the area due to the way valuers use 'comparables'. Other important aspects they consider when determining the future value of property are upgrades to travel networks and new businesses opening in the area.
Rising property prices mean some people will decide against hopping on the property ladder, instead choosing to rent. Rents have also seen increases, but usually at slower rates than property prices. Landlords tend to focus on the yields when it comes to renting a property: the current gross yield in the local area is 3.5 per cent.
The future looks bright for the local property market; now is the time to think about getting on it if you're not already, especially while interest rates remain so low. If you would like to sell your property, pop into our office for a friendly chat with one of our local experts. We’d love to help. Alternatively, find us on social media.
Monthly sales rate by main house type.
This chart takes a look at how sales levels have evolved over the last seven months in the local area. It should be noted that we're looking at a relatively tight area over short periods of time, which is why there is a lot of volatility in the figures. The patterns however, are very revealing and show how seasonality affects the dynamics of the market.
Local property prices vs region & country
It is hard to gauge actual property price movements without having something to compare them against. The chart shows the price differences in our area compared to the wider region and the rest of England and Wales for the last eight years.
Length of residents' working day
Areas which are home to residents who work long hours tend to have something of a split personality. The people you might see on the street on weekdays are often very different to those at weekends. The crucial benchmark is 49 hours per week. If you're working that many hours or more, remember no one on their death bed ever wished they'd spent more time in the office!
If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or email@example.com
Published: 30/06/2017 Last Updated: 10/07/2017 13:37:52 Tags: Best House Colour Hammersmith London W6
When it comes to selling your Hammersmith home the first impression your property makes, could be a sale or no sale. Ahead of selling, be very careful when choosing a colour to paint your home in London W6.
Look at the other neighbouring Hammersmith properties where you live. If the houses or blocks of flats along the street have a particular look and feel it would be advisable to stick within the local colours. Don’t stand out for the wrong reasons, if you paint your house pink in a row of pale green houses it could put people off.
Can the colour somehow reflect the landscape? If you are lucky enough to live along the Southern border of Hammersmith by the river Thames facing the water, your property may well work in a pale blue, reflecting the location while suggesting a calm, serene lifestyle. Another factor to consider could be the season; if you are painting specifically to sell your home you can afford to choose a colour which compliments the season, think sunny tones for sunny months!
Generally, the advice is to select neutral and traditional colours in order to attract the most people.
White is always an attractive choice; a crisp white house will look clean and fresh. White will also give your home a palatial feel and will bring a lifting light to your front garden or kerb. On the flip side, it can look a little stark and clinical, so if you are set on white think about what else surrounds your home; do your garden borders soften the outlook? You could also temper a brilliant white a little with a complimentary palette for the window and door frames. This will work to accentuate the features and design of your property when done well.
Whether it’s called putty, taupe, stone or cream, there is no need to fear beige. It is a soft, neutral colour which enables house hunters to see it as a blank canvas they can apply their own style and personality to. It is friendlier than white, but offers a neutral appealing finish. Grey tones are currently very popular, although pick a colour which isn’t too dramatic.
Yellow often equals happy. Unsurprisingly, a sunny outlook gives an impression of happiness and warmth – perfect for a family. As with all colours, the shade is quite important; choose a pastel yellow as opposed to a shade closer to neon!
Green can be a little tricky – there are numerous shades to choose from. Picking a pale, apple green can give your home a cheery, yet calm disposition. A deeper, rich green can look very regal and elegant in the right setting, but remember it may not be loved by everyone!
Overall, lighter colours tend to be more attractive to people. However, if you are craving some drama, why not give your front door an injection of colour? For example, a pale facade with a deep, slate grey door could give a stately effect to your home.
Stick with something fairly neutral or at least in keeping with your neighbourhood, light and inviting to help you successfully sell your home.
If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 27/06/2017 Last Updated: 27/06/2017 14:19:30 Tags: Hammersmith First Time Buyers Guide To Getting On The Ladder
Do you live in London W6 and are you thinking of getting on the property ladder? Becoming a Hammersmith local residential owner is often a daunting task, but interest rates are currently low and there are government schemes that can help, too. Here are some tips to help you get there faster:
Do research on how much finance you can secure based on your current salary.
Determine how much deposit you actually need, taking into account your purchasing costs.
Research exactly what your purchasing costs might be to your lawyer, your bank, surveyor and HMRC in Stamp Duty.
Work out where you want to live or indeed be comfortable living in that location.
Work out the time frame. Buying a property often takes longer than people imagine.
If your family is helping with a deposit, then make sure you give them plenty of warning as their capital may be tied up in a savings scheme that requires more notice than just one week or a one month.
Finally, it is more important that the deposit is large enough to help secure the property in the location you like.
Check your credit rating, for example via Experian. They will also give you tips on how to improve your rating.
Make sure you are on the electoral roll, even if you don’t want to vote.
Get a credit card, spend a small amount each month and then repay it immediately, it helps you build up a credit file profile and shows lenders you can handle credit responsibly.
Know what deposit you need and what Help to Buy schemes / shared ownership schemes (www.helptobuy.gov.uk) are available in your area.
If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or email@example.com
Published: 23/06/2017 Last Updated: 27/06/2017 14:18:13 Tags: Why No Views Hammersmith Property Home
Putting your London W6 home on the market is an exciting time. The photos are taken, the floorplans completed, and the rooms are perfectly presented, so it’s time to start the viewings. But how many should you expect? What if viewings are not as regular as you hoped?
Check the price
One of the biggest deterrents for a viewing is the price. Does your home compare to competing Hammersmith and West London homes on the market? The price needs to attract potential buyers, the housing market is now incredibly transparent. Information on marketing and sale prices of similar properties is easily available on the web, so it is important that properties are marketed at a realistic price. Nothing turns a buyer off quicker than a house that is perceived to be over-priced.
Pick a good local Hammersmith estate agent
There’s absolutely no point in appointing an agent who isn’t embedded in the community, you need an agent who knows all about the area, is connected and recommended, but also one that knows where your target audience is. Willmotts estate agents has an average employee of 11 years and therefore has a huge advantage with local knowledge, after all we’ve been around since 1856!
Put your best foot forward
Make your Hammersmith home look the best it can, make sure you tidy up, and not just inside the home, but outside too, even if you have an apartment. A lot of buyers won’t even step outside the car if the kerb appeal is not good enough. If there is paint peeling on the front door or windowsills have them repainted, fixing them is money well spent. Have a good clear out and declutter; if you have rooms full to the brim then buyers will need a good imagination to see the potential, and the same goes for the garden. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, weed the flower beds.
Invest in photography
In London W6 people now judge properties through online platforms. The better the picture, the more chance of your potential buyer investigating further. The importance of high-quality photos cannot be more emphasised they are the crucial first impression. It is important not only that the photos show the property at its best, but also that the quantity of pictures right. Too few may lead to potential buyers either assuming that there is something wrong with the property or deciding not to view as they couldn’t get a reasonable impression of the property.
If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 22/06/2017 Last Updated: 21/06/2017 10:25:02 Tags: Private Landlord Licensing Scheme In Hammersmith And Fulham
Requires landlords letting a property on specific roads to get a license no matter how many people rent the property.
Requires landlords across the borough who let a property, of any number of stories, occupied by at least 3 people, who do not make up a single household to get a licence.
This scheme covers houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) with 3 or more stories and are occupied by 5 or more people with at least two households. This is regulated under the Housing Act 2004 and has been in force since 2006
Willmotts are working with our landlords who own property across Hammersmith and Fulham, to obtain these licenses on their behalf.
We are experts in Property Management across London W6 and SW6 and as Guild of Professional Estate Agents Members as well as RICS you know that we adhere to the highest of standards.
If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or email@example.com
Published: 21/06/2017 Last Updated: 21/06/2017 11:21:25 Tags: A Property Owners Brief Guide To Party Wall Etc Act 1996 Hammersmith Londoon W6
If like many in London W6 you live in a semi-detached or terrace house you share a wall (or walls) with your neighbour; that wall is known as a party wall. And Hammersmith is full of terraced houses with party walls.
Party walls usually separate buildings belonging to different owners but could include garden walls built astride a boundary – known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two different size buildings often only the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the rest belonging to the person or persons on whose land it stands.
The Party Wall etc Act
Since the Party Wall etc Act 1996 came into force, homeowners in England and Wales have had a procedure to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and new walls at boundaries.
The Act permits owners to carry out certain specific works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is designed to avoid or minimise disputes by making sure property owners notify their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works. The Act requires that where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works a surveyor or surveyors will determine the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to certain specific types of work and is permissive in nature. It is not just another way to object to or try to prevent your neighbour’s works nor is it intended to be applied to everyday minor jobs that do not affect the structural integrity or loading of a party wall, such as:
• Fixing plug sockets
• Screwing in wall units or shelving
• Adding or replacing electrical wiring or sockets
• Replastering your walls.
What is covered by the Act?
There are some things that you can only do to a party wall after notifying your neighbour and either with the written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/surveyors. Such works include:
• Cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion
• Inserting a damp proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall
• Raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any objects preventing this from happening
• Demolishing and rebuilding a party wall
• Underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall
• Weathering the junction of adjoining walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjoining building
• Excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations
• Excavating foundations within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45º from the bottom of its foundations.
You must also notify your neighbour if you propose to build a new wall on the line of junction (boundary) between two properties.
What do I have to do?
If you intend to do any of these things, you must give written notice to your neighbours at least two months before starting any party wall works or one month for ‘line of junction’ or excavation works.
Where there is more than one owner of the neighbouring property, or more than one adjoining property, you must notify all of them, thus if a tenant or leaseholder occupies the building next door you will need to tell the landlord as well as the occupier. If you are doing
structural work to a party wall, or works affecting a ceiling or floor, you will have to give written notice to any adjoining owners and occupiers living above or below your property. If possible, talk to your neighbours in detail about the work you want to do before giving them written notice. If you can sort out any potential problems in advance, they should give you written agreement in response to your notice.
Before you start the specific works you must either have your neighbour’s written agreement to the proposed works or appoint a surveyor to prepare a Party Wall Award in respect of them. The Act relates only to certain specific types of work and is permissive in nature. It is not just another way to object to or try to prevent your neighbour’s works nor is it intended to be applied to everyday minor jobs that do not affect the structural integrity or loading of a party wall, such as:
What if there’s a dispute?
Where written agreement is not given, within 14 days of the notice, the solution the Act provides is for both parties to appoint an ‘agreed surveyor’ who will act impartially or each owner appoints a surveyor. The surveyor/s will draw up a document called an ‘Award’.
This details the work to be carried out, when and how it will be done and usually records the condition of the relevant part of adjoining property before work begins. It may also grant access to both properties so that the works can be safely carried out and the surveyor/s can inspect work in progress.
The Award will determine who pays for the work if this is in dispute. Generally, the building owner who started the work pays for all expenses of work and the reasonable costs, but these will be apportioned between the owners where appropriate.
Further help and advice
Should you require any help and advice then please contact me for a free over the phone consultation.
Robert McMillan ICIOB
Head of Building Surveying
Tell: 0208 222 9944
Alternatively go to the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) website
Published: 20/06/2017 Last Updated: 20/06/2017 16:19:08 Tags: Questions For A Buy-To-Let Investor In Hammersmith London W6
Speaking with a local estate agent before buying a property in Hammersmith, London W6, is vital, this is very pertinent for buy-to-let investors. Here are a few key questions that should be asked, they generally differ from the standard questions that a house hunter would think of. At Willmotts we are happy to help share our knowledge to ensure that investors have a full understanding before making an offer.
Is the property leasehold or freehold?
Willmotts recommend buy-to-let investors check whether the property is freehold or leasehold. As they should factor in any extra costs such as annual service charges and ground rents which could impact yield. Also, what is the size of the Sinking Fund in the building, which may be in place to cover for potential future works. Also check how long the lease is, the shorter the lease the greater the cost it is to extend it. If the lease is under 70 years most lenders will not give a buyer a mortgage.
Is the area in demand and has the property been let beforehand?
Investigate the rental history, has the property been rented before if so what is the demand like. Does the local area cater for students, young professionals or families? Is there a local university or hospital? If letting to professionals you should look to be close to transport links into commercial areas. Hammersmith has great transport links, restaurants & gyms. For families W6 has great local education facilities, state and independent schools. Connectivity and services in an area is important for future lets.
Will the property fall under the new Hammersmith and Fulham HMO laws?
From June 5th 2017 Hammersmith & Fulham will bring in new Private Landlord licensing that could affect the rental of your property. In some cases even a studio flat will need to be licensed if it is on a particular street. House of multiple occupancy laws are designed to safeguard tenants from illegal landlord practises. It is important to make sure you abide by this new code; there are specific criteria for the types and tenant and property. Willmotts have a depth of knowledge in this area and constantly keep our clients in the loop.
What is most important for you?
Stress free rental options, a good yield or capital growth? A buy-to-let purchaser of a five-bedroom property in Hammersmith could obtain a gross yield between 4% and 5%, but the hassle of finding several sharers, coping with the tenants politics and fall-outs, coupled with the wear and tear may put off some buyers. If maximising yield is not the main goal and capital growth is, the simplicity of letting the property and minimising costs may be what suits you. For example we have clients in Hammersmith and West London, who are just looking for the best yield that can be currently obtained from their investment, where a return above 3% would do.
Is your investment long term?
Potential market growth is often overlooked. Longer term if costs are covered and the yield of the property is not as important. Having the best and a happy tenant in your asset for as long as possible is key. Sit back hassle free and enjoy the natural market growth.
What is the energy efficiency like?
The Law is changing from April 2018, therefore be mindful of energy performance ratings. Properties which have a poor energy efficiency rating will be required to upgrade. Tenants’ demands rise yearly and a low cost energy-efficient property is more important than ever.
Are you thinking of buying and letting?
Speak to our residential team
020 8222 9958
Published: 19/06/2017 Last Updated: 27/06/2017 14:17:48 Tags: When Buying A House In Hammersmith What Are The Top Ten Mistakes
Buying a new home in Hammersmith is one of the most exciting things you can do. With all the distraction involved from the area to the property itself, it’s easy to get carried away by the prospect of owning a new home. However, ignoring the details can be detrimental. Willmotts estate agents in Hammersmith have seen it all, and have identified the top mistakes that people make when purchasing a new home.
1. Looking at property without setting a budget
Be careful you don’t fall in love with a property and then realise that it’s out of your price range. After you look at your finances, consider seeking professional advice, especially when it comes to mortgages. Do your research before viewing properties, organise your finances and solicitors before you find a property and get a good idea of what you can afford to avoid heartbreak later.
2. Understand their reasons for moving
Buying a property is a huge emotional and financial decision, and certainly not one to take lightly. It’s important to make sure that you’re running toward something better, rather than away from something unsuitable. A bit of self-reflection on what you think moving from one area to another will give you can save time and money – perhaps you just need a lifestyle change rather than a location change.
3. Buying too quickly
If your property purchase is the direct result of a relocation, rent first, and then figure out what you like. Then you know you’ll be buying in the best area for you, rather than simply having to make an educated guess.
4. Having too many non-negotiables
When you view a property, it’s a good idea to know what you’re willing to be flexible on and where you’re not willing to negotiate. Stick to your convictions, but keep your list small.
5. Being closed off to alternative suggestions
The perfect property for you might not be what you think you want, so being open to alternative suggestions is critical when buying a home.
6. Not using an estate agent in addition to looking online
The internet will never be able to replicate the local knowledge and expertise of your local estate agent. Build a good relationship with your estate agent, and they will tell you about properties that fit your specifications before they hit the market, search for properties that might now have hit the market just yet, and think of all kinds of out-of-the-box solutions to help you find the perfect home.
7. Waiting too long to make an offer
Waiting too long to make an offer on a house is one of the easiest ways for someone else to buy the house of your dreams. If you have a good feeling about a house and it ticks off your list of non-negotiables, then making an offer is the sensible choice.
8. Negotiating poorly
Negotiating is an important part of the property buying process, and negotiating poorly (or not at all) is one of the most common mistakes estate agents see in buyers. Negotiating will almost always result in a better price, especially if you maintain an air of ambivalence at a viewing. Never gush when you view a house, as gushing will make the seller think you’re willing to pay more for the property.
9. Appointing the wrong property professionals
Choosing the wrong solicitor or mortgage broker can be a huge mistake for buyers. When you buy a property, be sure to choose mortgage brokers that are reputable and local to your area. Local professionals will have a much better idea of how the market in your area works than non-local brokers or solicitors.
10. Not thinking ahead
While it’s tempting to prioritise what you need now over what you’ll need in the future, but choosing a home is a relatively permanent decision. Be sure you prioritise what you’ll need in the future, as well as what you’d like now. Consider a situation where you should have to return to your original home area, and make sure that you can afford to buy back in – this is particularly important if you are downsizing and using equity as pension funding or buying in a cheaper area.
Are you thinking of moving?
Speak to our residential team
020 8222 9958
Published: 09/05/2017 Last Updated: 09/05/2017 12:56:30 Tags: How Long Is Your Lease
Flat owners can purchase a further 90 years with the ground rent reduced to a peppercorn provided you have owned the flat for 2 years. The cost increases a little year by year but when it drops below 80 years, there will be a significant and substantial increase in the price payable to the landlord.
With that in mind it is clear that you should exercise your rights as soon as you are able. We all know well enough that buyers, especially first time buyers, are likely to have stretched themselves to the limit to buy the property they dream of but it makes sense to extend the lease at the earliest opportunity, especially if the eighty year mark is getting close since pitfalls and delays are possible and it would be a shame to miss the deadline as a result. An early request would be the safer option.
A lease extension may actually become a necessity as most mortgage lenders will decline to lend to on short leases.
If you are selling a flat on a short lease many buyers will be keen to avoid the two year wait for qualification and can get around this by having the seller serve notice on the landlord and then assign the benefit to the purchaser on completion. In considering taking this step you should be sure to take professional advice at the earliest opportunity since it is essentially to get the process just right. There are no second chances if the paperwork is defective.
I have been dealing with the extension of flat leases around West London and further afield since 1993 when Act was passed and gave leaseholders the right to extend. As a valuer I am well qualified to advise on the numbers and I am careful to work closely with a number of specialist solicitors who know their way around the trips and traps of this particular field of law.
Please get in touch and let me show how we can help you make the most of your investment in property.
Simon Hanton F.R.I.C.S.,
020 8222 9915
Published: 08/05/2017 Last Updated: 11/05/2017 09:46:14 Tags: Frequently Asked Questions For Hmos Landlords Licences
New licensing for landlords is being introduced on the 5th June 2017 in Hammersmith and Fulham. It is along similar lines to the ones introduced in Ealing in January and other London Boroughs in 2016. Here are some useful Frequently asked questions that may be of interest to you:
Why has the council introduced an additional HMO licensing scheme?
The national mandatory licensing scheme only covers larger houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs). Evidence collected shows that problems exist in smaller rented properties that need to be addressed. Following consultation it was agreed that an additional licensing scheme was the best way forward.
Why not just tackle less responsible landlords without having additional licensing?
Discovering less responsible landlords is not easy because some tenants are worried about eviction and will not make a complaint, or do not know that they are able to make a complaint. Proactive licensing should resolve this.
Is the council using additional licensing fees to raise money?
No. The scheme has been designed to be cost neutral as required by the Housing Act 2004. Fees collected will only offset the cost of additional staff, resources and administration for this scheme alone.
If I have more than one licensable property, do I have to make an application for them all at the same time?
Yes. A landlord has to make an application for all rented properties meeting the criteria.
What happens if my property should be licensed but I don't apply for one?
You would be committing an offence and run the risk of prosecution with a fine of up to £20,000. A Residential Property Tribunal may order you to repay 12 month's rent to the tenants. You would be unable to recover possession of the property using a Section 21, Housing Act 1988 notice.
How does additional licensing scheme work?
Additional licensing works in exactly the same way as the national mandatory licensing scheme. Owners of properties that need to be licensed must proactively make an application and pay the appropriate fee. Following that application the application will be processed, the applicant sent a draft licence together with conditions that must be met.
What happens if I don't comply with the conditions of the property licence?
You run the risk of prosecution and a possible fine of up to £5,000 per condition breached.
If you have any questions at all on Selective, Additional or Mandatory Licensing, please do not hesitate to contact us.
William Taper BSc (Hons)
T: 020 8222 9904
Published: 05/04/2017 Last Updated: 06/04/2017 11:37:18 Author: E. Finlay Tags: Where Is The Best Place To Watch The Boat Race
The traditional rowing event between Oxford and Cambridge started in 1829. The river Thames course starts in Putney viewable from the bridge and Putney Embankment also from Bishops Park on the opposite bank or the Fulham side. Along the four and three quarter miles, the race passes many viewing points, pubs, residential homes & gardens, office blocks, parks and is accessible via the towpath. Finally ending just shy of Chiswick Bridge.
Putney is a great place to watch the event however your comfort is compromised by the overwhelming vast crowds due to the popularity of viewing the race as the two crews battle for an early lead. Unless you are connected to one of the boat clubs finding quick refreshments may be a challenge for the long queues.
The race heads West from Putney, the southern bank a shallow towpath sheltered by view spoiling trees is not as advantageous as the northern bank albeit equally shallow, it lacks the long tree line and is on the outside of the bend giving a much better vista. The Fulham to Hammersmith stretch passes several pubs and widens significantly a few hundred meters before Hammersmith Bridge. This is possibly the best view. No trees, a wide towpath and a large pub, aptly named The Blue Boat, coupled with a line of sight almost reaching the start to the midway point past Hammersmith Bridge.
Beyond Hammersmith Bridge the towpath narrows, passes more pubs on the north side with several small parks allowing breathing space. As the race moves along the banks of Chiswick and Barnes, the Chiswick side is blocked by Chiswick Eyot a small island. The twisting course limits the time you will get to watch as the boats appear from around the bend at Chiswick Pier. The southern side remains narrow and limited until past Barnes Bridge, from here the White Hart pub gives an excellent view during the dying, muscle burning, exhausting last few strokes to the finish.
I have watched the boat race for over 25 years and during that time I have run the course along both sides of the river giving me an intimate knowledge of every vantage point. If you want maximum exposure to the race, watching the armada growing in the distance, cascade past in the roar of the cheering crowds and disappear around the far reaching meander of the course, choose Hammersmith, the exact spot is directly outside the Blue Boat pub. Whether you are dark blue or light blue you can celebrate or commiserate over a cold drink in the hopefully glorious sunshine.
For information about property in Hammersmith and West London please call us at Willmotts. Your local property experts, 020 8748 6644 firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 28/03/2017 Last Updated: 28/03/2017 16:02:22 Tags: Planning Funds Inspect Regulations Damp Risks Contractors Design Scedhule Of Works Finishing
Carrying out a minor refurbishment to your property can add value and interest. Minor refurbishments can be from a lick of paint to freshen up the walls to a brand new bathroom or kitchen fitted, here are some tips to help you along the way.
You will need to check for planning permission if you want to build something new, make major changes to the property, i.e. change the use of your building or just changing your windows. To check if your project will need planning permission, contact your local council.
It is very rare for a project to come in on budget so prepare yourself by having a contingency fund available. You may come against further problems when refurbing your property and if you don’t prepare with extra funds, the works can be placed on hold which can cause delays.
Inspection of the property is ideal to get inspiration of what you will be re-modelling. You will need to review the whole area to avoid surprises later in the refurbishment.
It is best to stick to neutral colours as bold wallpapers, colours and flooring could become dated and tasteless. Stick to light and airy as this will open the property up and not make it look dull and dingy. Utilise space to your advantage by using appropriate storage.
5. Schedule of Works:
Include all works that are needed within the refurbishment to a schedule of works that will need to be carried out by your chosen contractor. All works from damp proofing to light bulbs must be included so nothing is missed out.
You must comply with all Health and Safety regulations for your property by installing smoke detectors, CO2 detectors. If a new boiler is to be fitted a Gas Safety Certificate will need to be presented, etc.
Check for damp before starting any refurbishment works. If you discover damp during the maintenance works this can cause delays and extra costing. Try to get good ventilation when carrying out maintenance works as some improvements can cause damp to occur.
The area should be checked for any asbestos, faulty electrical
cables, possible gas or water leaks. The above listed risks could cause future disruption for the scheduled refurbishment works if not assessed properly.
a. Do they hold Public Liability Insurance
b. Do they meet the requirements needed for the works
c. Is the costing reasonable for the works carried out.
10. Finishing Touches:
The contractor and yourself should evaluate the schedule of works against the completed project. If there are any jobs that need to be touched up a snagging list must be presented to the contractor to complete. Finally carry out a professional clean before the property is viewed.
For help with Property Management
please call or email Gemma White on
020 8222 9906, email@example.com
Published: 28/03/2017 Last Updated: 09/05/2017 13:28:04 Tags: Commercial Alterations Demise IRI & FRI Leases Rent Review Lease Assignment Reversionary Lease Break
Listed here are some common terms/terminology you may come across with what they actually are;
Alterations are works undertaken by the tenant which alter, cut, divide, relocate or modify the demise, which can include the building, partitions, mechanical and electrical services, or finishes. Business Rates Business rates, or non-domestic rates, are a tax on the occupation of commercial property and other non-domestic property. The Local Government Finance Act 1988 introduced business rates in England, Wales and Scotland. Properties are assessed in a rating list with a rateable value. Rating Lists are created and maintained by the Valuation Office Agency, with a revaluation generally occuring every five years.
Demised premises are the extent of the premises included within a lease and may include land or other facilities. For example, when an office block is let under a written lease, in the lease the office block might be referred to as the demised premises.
IRI & FRI Leases
an IRI lease makes the tenant responsible for the internal repair and insurance of the demised premises whereas an FRI is a full repairing an insuring lease of the whole building. The latter may also be subject to a service charge provision for the upkeep of the fabric of the building.
The lease shall state when the rent can reviewed. This is typically every 4 – 5th year. The landlord surveyors shall inspect the premises and compare with other similar properties. The tenants surveyors should do the same and agree the matter between the two surveyors. In case they cannot agree the new rent the lease shall provide a mechanism where a third party can be instructed to agree the matter.
The tenant may have an option to assign the lease to a third party if the lease allows the same. The tenants may be able to seek a premium for the assignment but that would be dependant upon many factors. Before any assignment can be undertaken the landlords consent shall be required but not reasonably withheld or delayed. The landlord can/may insist upon a guarantor for the assignment and in some cases the existing tenant may have to be party to the assignment.
This is referred to the new terms that have been agreed prior to the end of the existing lease term. So in other words the extension of the existing lease terms which would include the amount of rent, duration , rent reviews. A reversionary lease is binding so one should seek legal advice.
Break option / clause
The lease shall contain an option for either or both parties to break the lease at a pre agreed date or timing within the lease term. To enable this, a notice shall be required for the either party and that is defined within the lease. Leases are usually explicit about the timing and its essential to adhere to those, Otherwise the notice may not be valid. In some instance a break penalty shall be payable. Whilst break option may provide flexibility, tenants should be very aware that landlords may exercise the break to get possession, better covenant and sometimes higher rents.
Heads of Terms
The basis of the agreed deal between the parties and including details of each parties lawyers and surveyors. This document shall allow the lawyers to draft the lease without further consultation between the landlord and tenant. The heads of terms should be agreed by both parties prior to instructing lawyers and start incurring costs.
For help with Commercial Property
please call or email Varol Zafer
020 8222 9946, firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 08/02/2017 Last Updated: 11/05/2017 12:09:55 Tags: Best Gym Hammersmith
Hammersmith has a huge range of gyms and sports clubs; ready to test your physical limits or help you just tick over. If you know what you want or are looking for a new challenge, Hammersmith has plenty to feed your appetite. From sailing, canoeing, paddle boarding and rowing clubs to professional boxing gyms, crossfit gyms, 24hr gyms, pay as you go gyms, personal trainers and running clubs.
In Hammersmith if you are a gym newbie or just interested in ticking over, there is plenty to choose from, the big branded gyms are Virgin Active, Fitness First and Pure Gym, Better gym. If you want all the frills the former are your best bet. Virgin and Fitness First both have small 20M swimming pools.
The luxury Gyms in Hammersmith are well known brands, Virgin Active and Fitness First. Both with pools and great cardio equipment, weights machines along with free weights. They also offer classes and their in house personal trainers are on call when your motivation is low. The real difference of these gyms is their total package; offering a swimming pool alongside the general gym facilities. The atmosphere is clean contemporary, bright and welcoming. If you need motivating and can afford to pay for it then the top tier is for you.
Virgin Active | Shortlands, 181 Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith W6 8BT | 0203 582 7470
Fitness First | 26-28 Hammersmith Grove, W6 7HA London | 0344 571 2870
Budget Gyms in Hammersmith; Pure Gym and Better Gym are cheaper than their rivals yet offer great value for money if all you want is a good range of cardio machines and free weights. Better gym has the added value of squash courts and a sauna. Both Hammersmith gyms also allow you to book on the day. Pure gym has plenty trainers ready to assist and help you in a one to one role, paid for obviously. They do however have many free classes for you to join in, a great way to get motivated when your training direction starts to waiver.
Hammersmith has plenty for the more focussed athletes;
There are Boxing Gyms in Hammersmith, the purest boxing gym is State of Mind Fitness. This gym has coached national class athletes and continues to do so. The gym is run by two ex-Royal Marines Commandos, their no frills approach generates enviable results using traditional tried and tested methods combined with contemporary physiological training methods and techniques. The trainers also run classes for non-boxers and have a portfolio of private clients in and around Hammersmith.
State of Mind Fitness | Arch, 82 Galena Rd, London W6 0LX | 020 3303 0623
Hammersmith’s Crossfit gym is situated under the railway arches off Cambridge Grove. The Crossfit community is very well established and is a no nonsense means of getting very fit and strong without being bored by a predictable routine. WODs or Workout Of the Day; is never predictable and is designed to challenge the athletes’ all round ability. There are focussed sessions for technique and strength that fit in and compliment daily workouts.
Crossfit Hammersmith | Railway Arch, 64 Cambridge Grove, London W6 0LD | 07976 134454
The gyms in central Hammersmith offer exactly what you need from novice to athlete. Beyond the cardio machines and weights; you have one of London’s best places to run; along the Thames tow path. Here you will find much more to keep you active, rowing clubs, sailing, canoeing and paddle boarding. There really is no excuse not to be fit and healthy in W6.
Willmotts are experts in property and if you are thinking of living in the area we can help you, buy, rent, sell, let or develop your home. Our commercial department can also help you if re-locating your business, simply call us for any property related help or advice, 020 8748 6644
Published: 19/01/2017 Last Updated: 20/01/2017 14:47:15 Tags: Public Transport Links In Hammersmith
If you live in or are thinking of moving to Hammersmith and West London, you will be spoilt for choice of destinations you can reach from the public transport hub at Hammersmith Broadway. Hammersmith can boast not one but two tube stations at its epicentre.
Hammersmith Station with Circle line and Hammersmith and City lines, a hop, skip and jump away is Hammersmith Broadway with Piccadilly lines and District lines. There is a bus terminal above the tube station in the Broadway, boasting 23 bus routes spread all across London and beyond. If you prefer a more private service a Black Cab, Taxi rank is also available outside the main exit of Hammersmith Broadway.
The tube service from Hammersmith is excellent yet divided by a short walk over ground. The Circle and Hammersmith and city lines head North then East respectively breaking at Edgware Road. The lines continue with the circle line in its loop and the Hammersmith and City line heading as far East as Barking. Along the way they provide direct connections to Euston, King’s Cross and Liverpool Street.
The tube service from the Broadway follows a more central connection across London. The Piccadilly line starts out at London Heathrow then makes its way through Hammersmith, onto Earls Court then heads North East through the West End, via Leicester Square, Kings Cross and up as far as Cockfosters. The District line starts from Richmond or Ealing Broadway shadowing the Piccadilly line to Hammersmith and heads out East via Earls Court, Sloane Square, Westminster, Monument and then out as far as Upminster.
The bus service from Hammersmith is vast and reaches out beyond London into Surrey and Middlesex. Providing quick local links to Chiswick, Shepherds Bush, Fulham, Putney, Kensington and Barnes. The routes go out to Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond, Kew Gardens, Isleworth, Hounslow, Brentford, Roehampton, Clapham Junction, Victoria, Waterloo, Willesden Junction, Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Ladbroke Grove, Camden, Hyde Park and Kings Cross St Pancras International Station.
Direct Journey Times from Hammersmith to key transport links within greater London.
Hammersmith to London Heathrow Airport, 35 mins,
Hammersmith to Ealing Broadway, 25 mins,
Hammersmith to Richmond, 15 mins,
Hammersmith to Earls Court, 9 mins,
Hammersmith to Victoria, 17 mins,
Hammersmith to Liverpool Street, 40 mins,
Hammersmith to Euston, 30 mins,
Hammersmith to Kings Cross St Pancras, 29 mins,
Hammersmith provides a fantastic service for transport around and across Greater London. This short guide only touches on direct links, with the rest of the transport network a complete service is available to get you almost anywhere in London. The key is Hammersmith gives you a great start on your route. For any advice relating to property services in or around Hammersmith, buying, selling letting, chartered surveyors or property management please get in touch.
email@example.com or call 0208 748 6644
Published: 14/12/2016 Last Updated: 19/06/2017 13:31:26 Author: E. Finlay Tags: What Is The Best School In Hammersmith And Fulham
In the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham you have 25 State funded primary schools, 12 Independent primary and prep schools, 12 State secondary schools, 5 Independent secondary schools, 5 State special schools and 3 Independent special schools.
Which is the best for you and your child; leagues tables are available to measure the number of high grades per school and these give an indication but do they paint the whole picture. If exam results are your only concern then look no further:
St Augustine's RC Primary School or All Saints CofE Primary School both with 97% for 2016 via .gov.uk please note not all schools are ranked via this system.
The London Oratory School, with 88% (Grade C or better in English & maths GCSEs) please note not all school are ranked via this system.
Further Education 16-18:
St Paul's Girls' School, Latymer Upper School or The London Oratory School
School league tables and results are available here:
If choosing the best school for your children does not solely involve picking the best exam results but what the school has to offer the child, in terms of facilities and experience, then the picture changes. After all not every child is academically gifted and despite the best levels of care they may not achieve the dizzy heights of the Joneses. Success isn’t always measured by A grades, Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar both celebrated businessman neither of which have A-levels. Finding schools that fit this alternative bill is not as difficult as it may first appear. Some state schools and the independent schools have some fantastic facilities, from teaching the arts to coaching a wide range of sports.
During the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics, over one third of the athletes were privately educated. This is quite surprising when privately educated Britons make up less than 18 percent of the population. However this doesn’t mean you should only send your child to a private school if you want the best sporting opportunities for them. Hammersmith and Fulham has a huge range of sports clubs from rowing and rugby to hockey and netball, where you will find very affordable opportunities for your budding champions.
Hammersmith and Fulham also offer a great deal for the next generation of creative talents. Theatres and arts clubs are on offer to maximise your children’s artistic potential. The William Morris society, named after the British icon of textile design and more, who lived and died in Hammersmith. This arts and crafts society often runs workshops during the school holidays helping to open creative avenues and inspire young minds.
In short, there is a broad range of schools in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham with varying amounts to offer your child. However if like the majority of us, you cannot write blank cheques, Hammersmith and Fulham have much to supplement those schools that fall short. The clubs and societies spread across the region are diverse enough to capture and inspire the next generations’ attention and imagination. It is also important to note, some independent schools, such as Latymer Upper, pictured above, have an excellent means tested bursary programme to encourage bright children to apply from less affluent families.
Below is a list of schools in Alphabetical order, divided up between State and Private or Independent schools.
|State Primary Schools||State Sixth Form Colleges|
|Addison Primary School||Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College|
|Addison Gardens||Gliddon Road|
|W14 0DT||W14 9BL|
|020 76035333||020 87411688|
|All Saints C of E Primary School||Jack Tizard School|
|Bishops Avenue||South Africa Road|
|SW6 6ED||W12 7PA|
|020 77362803||020 87353590|
|Avonmore Primary School||Phoenix High School|
|Avonmore Road||The Curve|
|W14 8SH||W12 0RQ|
|020 76039750||020 87491141|
|Bentworth Primary School||Queensmill School|
|Bentworth Road||Clancarty Road|
|W12 7AJ||SW6 3AA|
|020 87432527||020 73842330|
|Brackenbury Primary School||William Morris Sixth Form|
|Dalling Road||St Dunstan’s Road|
|W6 0BA||W6 8RB|
|020 87433074||020 87486969|
|Canberra Primary School||Private Independent and Fee Paying Primary Schools|
|London||Al-Muntada Islamic School|
|W12 7PT||7 Bridges Place|
|Flora Gardens Primary School||020 74718283|
|London||Bute House Preparatory School|
|W6 0UD||Luxemburg Gardens|
|Fulham Primary School||020 76037381|
|London||Ecole Francaise Jacques Prevert|
|SW6 1JU||59 Brook Green|
|Good Shepherd RC Primary School||020 76026871|
|35 Gayford Road||
|London||Parsons Green Prep School|
|W12 9BY||1 Fulham Park Road|
|Greenside Primary School||020 73719009|
|London||Kensington Prep School|
|W12 9PT||596 Fulham Road|
|Holy Cross RC School||020 77319300|
|London||Latymer Upper School|
|SW6 4BL||237 King Street|
|Jack Tizard School||0845 6385800|
|South Africa Road||
|London||Le Herisson School|
|W12 7PA||Rivercourt Methodist Church, King Street|
|John Betts Primary School||020 85637664|
|London||L’Ecole des Petits School|
|W6 0UA||2 Hazlebury Road|
|Kenmont Primary School||020 73718350|
|London||Ravenscourt Park Preparatory School|
|NW10 6AL||16 Ravenscourt Avenue|
|Langford Primary School||020 88469153|
|London||Sinclair House School|
|SW6 2LG||2 Hazlebury Road London|
|020 77364045||SW6 2NB|
|Larmenier & Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School||
|41a Brook Green||MONTESSORI NURSERY|
|W6 7BL||196 Munster Road|
|Lena Gardens Primary School||
|Lena Gardens||Upper Nursery|
|London||159 Munster Road|
|020 76034043||SW6 6DA|
|Miles Coverdale Primary School||PREPARATORY SCHOOL|
|Coverdale Road||59 Fulham High Street|
|W12 8JJ||SW6 3JJ|
|020 87435847||020 77369182|
|Melcombe Primary School||St James Junior School|
|Fulham Palace Road||Earsby Street|
|W6 9ER||W14 8SH|
|020 87487411||020 73481777|
|New King’s Primary School||The Fulham Preparatory School Limited|
|New King’s Road||200 Greyhound Road|
|SW6 4LY||W14 9SD|
|020 77362318||020 73862444|
|Normand Croft Community School||Thomas’s Fulham|
|Bramber Road||Hugon Road|
|W14 9PA||SW6 3ES|
|020 73856847||020 77518200|
|Old Oak Primary School||Private, Independent and Fee Paying Secondary Schools|
|London||Chelsea Independent College|
|W12 0AS||517 – 523 Fulham Road|
|Parayhouse School||020 76101114|
|New Kings School Annex, New Kings Road||
|London||Latymer Upper School|
|SW6 4LY||237 King Street|
|Pope John RC School||0845 6385800|
|London||St James Senior Girls School|
|W12 7QR||Earsby Street|
|Queen’s Manor School and Special Needs Unit||020 73481777|
|London||St Paul’s Girls’ School|
|SW6 6ND||Brook Green|
|Queensmill School||020 76032288|
|London||The Fulham Preparatory School Limited|
|SW6 3AA||200 Greyhound Road|
|Sir John Lillie Primary School||020 73862444|
|London||The Godolphin and Latymer School|
|SW6 7LN||Iffley Road|
|St Augustine’s RC Primary School||020 87411936|
|London||The Moat School|
|W6 8QE||Bishops Avenue|
|St Johns Walham Green C of E Primary School||020 76109018|
|London||Young Dancers Academy|
|SW6 6AS||25 Bulwer Street|
|St Mary’s Catholic Primary School||020 87433856|
|London||Private, Independent and Fee Paying Sixth Forms|
|020 76037717||Chelsea Independent College|
|517 – 523 Fulham Road|
|St Paul’s C of E Primary School||London|
|Worlidge Street||SW6 1HD|
|020 87484951||Latymer Upper School|
|237 King Street|
|St Peter’s Primary School||London|
|St Peter’s Road||W6 9LR|
|020 87487756||St James Senior Girls’ School|
|St Stephen’s C of E Primary School||London|
|Uxbridge Road||W14 8SH|
St Paul’s Girls’ School
|St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School||London|
|Estcourt Road||W6 7BS|
|020 73858165||The Godolphin and Latymer School|
|Sulivan Primary School||London|
|Peterborough Road||W6 0PG|
|Wendell Park Primary School|
|Wormholt Park Primary School|
|State Secondary Schools|
|Burlington Danes Academy|
|Fulham Cross Girls’ School and Language College|
|Henry Compton Secondary School|
|Hurlingham and Chelsea Secondary School|
|Jack Tizard School|
|South Africa Road|
|Lady Margaret School|
|New Kings School Annex, New Kings Road|
|Phoenix High School|
|Sacred Heart High School|
|212 Hammersmith Road|
|The London Oratory School|
|Woodlane High School|
|Du Cane Road|
Published: 07/12/2016 Last Updated: 07/12/2016 11:07:52 Author: P. Martin Tags: The Benefits Of An Observant Lessee
An overflows acts as a ‘safety device’ that indicates if there is an issue with a water tank, toilet cistern, boiler etc. They show that a repair to the offending item needs to be carried out. However if left unchecked, overflows can cause massive consequential damage to any surface the overflow water makes contact with e.g. penetrating brickwork, damage to decorated timber surfaces and damage to the timber itself etc. This type of water penetration can the often lead extensive internal damage. Also if the repair is not carried out to the item the overflow is stemming from, then the affected item may suffer further ongoing damage resulting in internal leaks to the building. Overflows maybe constant or intermittent, they should be reported even if they seem to have stopped a few hours later. Any observed discharging overflow should be reported immediately to the managing agent.
Gutters and Downpipes.
These perform the essential task or removing the vast volumes of water that collects on roofs during rainfall and removing this water without causing damage to the building by running down vertical surfaces. Much in the same way as an overflow can cause damage due to water penetration blocked of defective gutters can do the same. Often defective gutters are not so easy to spot as the fault will only be evident during rain and is therefore intermittent, however if possible all occupiers should try to view the gutters and downpipes to their property especially during prolonged or heavy rain and report any issues to the managing agent.
Waste Water Pipes.
These pipes carry waste kitchen and bathroom water to the main water downpipes. Again any leak left unchecked will cause similar damage as mentioned above. By nature these leaks are generally intermittent and should be reported on discovery to the managing agent.
The drainage system is there to remove all waste water away from the building. Any form of surface water that does not drain away indicates that there is a problem with the drainage system that requires further investigation and probable remedial action. Again if this is not dealt with resulting issues may include water backing up within flat or damp issues due to penetrating damp.
When reporting these defects, the best way is to e-mail your property manager with a brief description as to where and what the issue is. Any photos you can take and include within your e-mail will be very beneficial.
By reporting the issues mentioned above or any other issue that you are concerned about your property manager can investigate and arrange for the correct remedial action or responsible party to be notified thus reducing the damage caused and costs involved. This equates to cheaper service charges and a building in better condition.
For any further advice on this subject or anything related, please get in touch with our Building Surveying department or Block Management department:
Project Management Surveyor, BSc (Hons)
DDI: 020 8222 9925
Published: 07/12/2016 Last Updated: 07/12/2016 14:01:07 Author: W. Taper Tags: The Effects Of Changes In Licensing And Stamp Duty
We have seen over the last year many councils look to introduce licensing schemes. Here is West London, Ealing are introducing this in January 2017. Costs can vary from £600 to over £1000 for a license from the council to rent out your property.
A spokesperson for one council said:
"By obtaining a licence at a reasonable cost, landlords will be able to clearly demonstrate to prospective tenants that they meet required standards. So the introduction of a licensing scheme would not only bring benefits for tenants, local communities and council tax payers by reducing the cost of enforcement action necessary, it would also actually benefit landlords themselves."
We at Willmotts have been asked to apply for licenses in Ealing, West London on behalf of some of our landlords. What I can say is that it is one very large time consuming administration exercise. The cost in Ealing for the license is £1100 for some units. However, this does not include costs the landlord must pay for to comply with the license, such as floorplans, risk assessments, internal fire doors, fire blankets, electrical tests, etc.
With mandatory licensing, the changes in tax, many of our fantastic landlords are seriously thinking about leaving the residential sector altogether and moving their monies into other investments. They provide a brilliant service to thousands of tenants which may not be there in the future. The rouge landlords this is supposed to expose will not be completing or applying for these licenses they will simply continue under the radar while the council receives very large sums of money from very good landlords.
Landlords have been hit with an extra 3% in stamp duty charges thus making their BTL investments less desirable. Stamp duty also prevents a lot of first time buyers from getting on the ladder. One MP, John Stevenson suggest getting the seller to pay for the stamp duty, which is an interesting chain of thought. One building society says that by doing this then on average buyers would not have to pay £3,791 in stamp duty
He said : “Stamp duty should be flipped and rather than have the buyer pay it, the seller should pay it. The Exchequer would raise the same amount of money,
“Somebody who is downsizing is in a better position to pay and if someone has died the estate is also in a better position to pay. There is a financial argument that this will do nothing for the price of property because buyers will just increase the price of their property – that may or may not be the case – but people will be able to cover this because mortgages cover the purchase price but not the additional costs of buying.”
At the moment it seems the Chancellor is not bowing to mounting pressure to adjust the stamp duty. This new approach from Mr Stevenson may get some traction, but I will not hold my breath.
If you would like any help with licensing, investments, buying residential property, or would simply like to have a chat about the changing residential market please give me a call.
Director, BSc (Hons)
Residential Sales & Lettings
DDI: 020 8222 9904
Published: 06/12/2016 Last Updated: 06/12/2016 16:55:28 Tags: Hammersmith West London Winter Wonderland
As the nights draw closer and the air begins to nip at the ears and noses feel numb, it can only be one thing, winter. Despite these chilling signs a whole host of goodies have emerged to help combat the bitter weather. Mulled wine has popped up all over Hammersmith, Kings Street is adorned by festive lights, twinkling in the early sunset and carol singers have replaced the acoustic buskers.
Hammersmith’s market on Lyric Square has burst into a fury of festivities. Battling the low temperatures you will find freshly cooked ingredients from all around the globe, hot spices to warm mash and sausage, a perfect way to boost your morale on a cold blustery December in central Hammersmith. HammersmithLondon Business Improvement District (BID) are promising a virtual Christmas cabin, carol singers and several festive movies to be screened in the Kings mall.
The Hop Poles of Hammersmith, situated on King Street opposite Lyric Square, built in 1857, is a traditionally fitted pub with many listed features giving it a truly authentic feel. This year, Ellie’s mulled wine is paired with a Lillie’s mulled cider. The guest ales are, Winter Star, White City and Rocking Rudolf. If you are feeling hungry and you don’t fancy the usual Christmas meal, you can try the festive burger of beef, turkey, stuffing, chipolatas and cranberry sauce with cheese.
The Swan built in 1901 in the free Jacobean style designed by architect Frederick Miller, sits proudly in the heart of Hammersmith between both tube stations. They are offering a plethora of seasonal options, the drinks package includes champagne, mulled wine, white wine and other beverages, boasting the more you drink the more you save. To eat, a generous buffet, a festive and Christmas menu is on offer. On tap you will find Wild Holly or a warmer option of mulled wine or cider.
The Ram also found on Kings Street in Hammersmith has recently benefitted from a refurbishment and menu overhaul, giving it a contemporary feel with complimentary echoes of its traditional past. Their Christmas menu boast a carnivorous traditional and vegetarian option neither of which pull any punches on depth of ingredients from spiced Bramley apple, chestnuts to Jerusalem artichokes, all washed down with a pint of Winter Warmer. This year you can join the Ram of Hammersmith on December the 15th at St. Pauls Church, Hammersmith, for carols followed by mulled drinks and hearty food.
If you are feeling very traditional and want to test your singing talent, head down to St Pauls Church Hammersmith. This 17th century church is hosting several services in the build up to Christmas. During December from the 11th you will be able to join, Carols by Candlelight, Family Carols on the 18th, a traditional midnight mass on the eve of Christmas followed by a Service on the 25th. The Church is also hosting one of Hammersmith best places to get your Christmas tree. From dainty mini fir trees to grand six foot and over, are all available for your choice to take home and decorate. The smell of fresh pine needles can really make that homely festive feeling come to life.
At the Lyric theatre, a festive treat for under 6s and parents. Enjoy the show as Raymond Briggs, aka Father Christmas, prepares for Christmas Eve. Watch as he gets ready for his Christmas deliveries, fuels up the reindeer before he soars off into the wintery night. Complete with merry touches, live music and songs accompanied by jolly puppetry. The Hammersmith Eventim Apollo is hosting a series of stars this December, not so festive but very entertaining none the less, from the Chemical Brothers to Ocean Colour Scene, full listings can be found via their website.
Published: 01/12/2016 Last Updated: 05/04/2017 16:18:35 Author: E. Finlay Tags: Why Choose Hammersmith To Live In?
There are lots of reasons why you should choose Hammersmith or West London to live in. The meandering river Thames a London artery, sweeps from West to East London, on its way to the estuary passing the Southern border of Hammersmith. Notably marked by the grade 2 listed Hammersmith bridge, conceived in 1824, this Victorian green steelwork is a not only a wonder of timeless engineering but a true landmark and is celebrated on both flanks by a plethora of watering holes. There are award winning pubs, bars and restaurants, steeped in history and cutting edge cuisine.
From The Dove, this early 18th Century gem of a pub is tucked away on the river path, boasting a feature worthy enough to be mentioned in the notorious Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest bar room in the world. Follow the pathway East under the bridge and you with come across the River Café which needs no introduction, its reputation for fine cuisine is infamous. In between there are more establishments worth a visit all offering equally stunning river views that only Hammersmith can offer. On boat race day this midway vantage point is guaranteed to be humming with crowds eager to get a glimpse of the historic event cruise by. Whether you are light or dark blue you will enjoy the atmosphere drink in hand and no doubt be met by friendly faces all enjoying the festive like day.
If you are brave enough to venture out on to the water, Hammersmith boasts several rowing clubs, canoe and sailing clubs, adorned by Olympic champions to social members. These all allow you to break away from the city life and escape into a world devoid of cars and noise. If you haven’t tried it you really should experience the tranquillity of a warm day on the river, messing about in boats. Alternatively the physical challenges offered paddling or navigating your path via boat racing friends is real a adrenaline boost.
Moving into the heart of Hammersmith you are serviced by some of the best transport connections in London. Boasting four tube lines, Circle, Hammersmith & City, District and Piccadilly line. Connecting you to Heathrow, Richmond in Surrey and the very centre of the city of London. Buses will carry you to all of the local areas, affordably and hassle free. The two stations are surrounded by a buzzing business district which brings a variety of glamour. Sony, L’Oreal, Disney and Shazam all call Hammersmith their home. Catering this hub is taken up by many more restaurants, bars and pubs including a local yet global farmers market situated in Lyric Square. Simply grab a bacon sandwich, Caribbean snack or homemade Asian bite, make your way up onto the city garden via the Lyric theatre and watch the world go by.
The Lyric Theatre sits centrally in Hammersmith, one of two theatres in the area providing Westend quality performances at a fraction of the price. Summer brings performance art often direct from the theatres, entertaining crowds for free, yoga classes or the big screen during Wimbledon can make a lunchtime that much more enjoyable, strawberries and cream in hand. Spirits are further lifted by talented and licensed street entertainers from magicians to blues, jazz and Bob Marley tribute bands. There is always something worth pausing for in your busy life or even if you can’t stop the atmosphere will raise your mood in only the way Hammersmith can.
Hammersmith is lucky to have a large number of schools from primary to Sixth form. Nineteen primary schools, eleven Secondary schools and eight special or alternative schools. These range from State funded to private education, with two thirds State and one third private. On both sides of the river you will find two of London’s finest schools Latymer Upper and St Pauls School. Famous Poets, Political writers, athletes, boxers, actors, comedians and scholars have all called Hammersmith their home at some point. Lily Allen, Bill Bailey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sacha Baron Cohen and Joe Calzaghe, are all from Hammersmith.
If this hasn’t given you an appetite for one of West London’s finest districts then I have let the area down. Willmotts is a proud member of the Hammersmith family and has been working in the area for over 160 years, giving us a great insight to what Hammersmith has to offer. The best houses and property to rent or buy and we know we will be able to sell better than another agent due to our depth of local knowledge. Our retention of staff which averages over eleven years per employee, gives us that edge, something we are very proud of.
If you need advice on residential or commercial buying, selling, letting, managing property or help from our surveying department, please get in touch…
Published: 01/11/2016 Last Updated: 01/12/2016 12:26:51 Author: C. Elbourne Tags: Exceptional Rental Uplift Agreed
Commercial leases have generally been shortening over the last few years. This trend holds through not only for retail tenancies but for offices as well. The Lease Advisory team recently completed one such lease for a commercial lease renewal for an office in Kensington.
A tenant whose five-year lease was up for renewal in 2014 opted to agree to 2 one year leases over the next two years. Accordingly, in 2014 we agreed the shorter term to meet the tenant’s needs but negotiated for the tenant to pay the landlord’s legal fees and a rental uplift of 37% or £4,000 per annum over the old rent. At the end of that year we agreed a similar term for 2015 as the tenant remained uncertain about trading from this location in the long-term. We negotiated a further £4,000 per annum rent increase to compensate our client, the Landlord, for a shorter term and in line with market rent.
At the end of 2015 however, we negotiated for a longer lease to provide more income security for the client. A new five-year lease was agreed together with the omission of various onerous repairing liabilities for the Landlord from the original lease terms. A break option in year three was also agreed to facilitate any changes to the tenant’s corporate plans in the near term. Office rents in the locality also improved as evidenced by two recent office lettings of similar layout close-by. These supported our negotiations for a further rental uplift of £6,000 per annum.
In total we agreed a rental uplift of £14,000 per annum over the last two years for the client to compensate for the risks incurred in granting short term leases and accommodating the tenant’s short term need for flexibility.
Our commercial team provides lease advisory services which backed by an extensive database of rent comparables in West London. We are conversant in all Landlord and Tenant services including;
lease re-gears, subletting,
lease assignment lease surrender advice,
With an active commercial agency team and our Commercial management services we have a growing database of rental comparables to support our valuations which gives us a competitive edge when negotiating terms.
If you need help or have questions about any lease transactions, we will be happy to talk you through the process and advise on how our team can assist you.
Cherelyn Elbourne, MRICS Commercial Management Surveyor
Published: 13/10/2016 Last Updated: 01/12/2016 14:41:29 Author: w. Taper Tags: Allagents AWARDS & Letting Update
What a great week it has been. For the second year running we have won the prestigious AllAgents awards for the Best Letting Agent in W6. A testament to all the hard work of the whole team here at Willmotts. We have been striving to improve all aspects of our services, from marketing properties to repairs and maintenance. This has borne out by the great reviews left by our tenants and landlords alike. Our team consists of many different qualities and personalities all aiming to push the bar as high as possible to make sure that we provide a top notch service. We are always looking to improve our processes across all aspects of our company and by investing in our staff, IT systems, training, offices, marketing, market research, Health and Safety etc we hope to continue our progress upwards.
The lettings market has proved strong again this year. In West London we are seeing a continued demand for rental properties with rental levels holding well. The key aspect we are noticing is the demand from tenants for high class rental accommodation at competitive levels.
It is imperative to prepare all aspects of your strategy for letting a property before releasing it onto the market. Price is key at the moment, asking slightly too much for a rental property can see it sitting empty for some time thus the void negates and higher rental that the landlord been holding out for. Being on the portals for a lengthy period of time make the property becomes less desirable even it could be arguably a better flat than its competition. Many applicants only search for properties added in the last three days or week, so being on the market for a while certainly can prove detrimental.
When analysing rental levels it is important to consider the search parameters on portals such as OntheMarket, Rightmove and Zoopla. For example, if you have a property you are marketing at £350pw (£1516pcm) you will automatically exclude tenants searching only for properties up to £1500 pcm. It could be worth reducing the property to bring it under the search threshold.
Along with price the presentation of the property is one of the most important aspect of lettings. A clean, bright, well presented property will have tenants clambering to rent it (at the right price of course). With many tenants now using tablet grid view to search online for properties it is imperative to have professional photos done, otherwise your property will be scanned over immediately. The key thing to remember is to line everything up so when you launch a property it is seen in its best light to attract tenants to view it.
We continue to try and be the best we can be, so being awarded the Best Letting Agent again in W6 is a great reward. We look forward to another strong year.
If you need help with your property needs please let us know.
William Taper Director
020 8222 9904
Published: 03/10/2016 Last Updated: 01/12/2016 12:26:15 Author: S. Shahid Tags: Commercial Agency Investment Ethos
Whether you're a single asset landlord or a professional entity, local expert advice is essential and a key requirement for successful commercial investment. Our sales and lettings departments will provide you with all the up to date advice, marketing expertise and guidance you need to make it a success. We market your commercial property in the best way, advertise it locally and nationally whilst ensuring you and your potential purchasers or tenants are always kept fully updated and informed and thereby ensuring this process eliminates any unforeseen circumstances.
Established since 1856, Willmotts has extensive experience of selling and letting commercial premises around West London and slightly further afield. We advise a diverse range of clients on property occupation, ownership strategies, regeneration, asset management, planning and development and have an in-depth knowledge of the retail property market in West London. Our commercial team have in excess of 60 years collective experience and are always available for an informal chat.
Sales & Lettings
We provide a full sales and lettings service should the property become vacant. We offer unbiased advice, critical evaluations, marketing and manage the entire process as well as delivering a highly professional service. Our local expertise has often resulted in clients seeking our assistance in the initial letting and thereafter upon the rent review process.
If you are considering purchasing an investment and whether it’s your first property or an addition to your portfolio. We will seek the best possible outcome for your needs. Our expertise of the local area and surroundings is second to none alongside a wealth of experience and industry contacts. Our acquisition service is tailored to your requirement and our competitive fees are result based. Whether you want to invest £100,000 or £10,000,000 the level of service is exactly the same.
Property Portfolio Management
We can manage your entire portfolio to enable your commercial property to deliver the best returns whilst maintaining the highest standards and ensuring your obligations as a landlord are met. We can along the way ensure that the portfolio is delivering its maximum returns on your investment and if not we can advise what actions to undertake.
Development & Investment
We live and breathe the properties we advise our clients to buy. Our knowledge of the market and anything that impacts upon investor return, enables us to form a clear and proactive asset strategy. When it comes to sales, we know our markets in depth, we know what investors are looking for and allows us to provide clear, bespoke strategies to maximise both asset performance and appeal to likely buyers.
We have installed a uniquely personal culture, fostered throughout the firm’s 160 year existence and in addition have forged relationships with clients which have been nurtured over decades. You too can benefit in the same manner by initially contacting,
Shahid Sadiq Director
Published: 01/09/2016 Last Updated: 01/12/2016 15:50:16 Author: J. Naish Tags: Choosing Block Management
If you have recently purchased or intending to purchase your freehold, and wish to appoint a managing agent to manage your block what should you consider?
Here is some simple guidance in order to make an informed decision.
Is the company affiliated to any professional body that provides quality control and standards for the Company to adhere to. As an example; The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is a global organisation that regulates its members, and conducts regulatory review inspections at the offices of its members. It ensures financial stability and ensures robust controls are in place. It also requires the company to operate a formal complaints procedure, and requires the member to hold professional indemnity insurance. Clients of RICS regulated firms also receive benefit from the Clients Money Protection Scheme.
Financial Stability & Transparency
Agents will be controlling your service charge funds, and you should ensure you know where your funds are held, and that they are held on trust in a client account separate from the agents own business accounts. Additionally expenditure thresholds can be agreed whereby expenditure over a certain value requires Board/Client approval.
Who are your proposed managing agent. Request details as to how long the company has been trading, how much experience do they have in Block management, how many blocks do they manage, do they have offices - check they exist, how many employees, and their company structure. Will you have a specific property manager and do they have dedicated email and phone details. This will provide you some background knowledge on the company you will be working with.
Ensure you are aware of exactly what services you will be paying for and agree the cost, this should be formally agreed in a written agreement. Agree the level of reporting you require within this agreement.
There are often ancillary services a Freehold Company may require, for example preparing Company Accounts and the Annual Return, acting as the Company Secretary and Registered Office, administering License to Alters and Sublets, Building Surveying, and Lease Extensions. Does your proposed agent provide these services, and can they assist and advise in these areas.
Choosing an agent to manage your block is important, and essentially they will be managing your property, which is often one of the most valuable assets you hold. Therefore making a good choice now, may have significant benefits in the future. The legislation and legal framework that Freehold Companies are required to follow can be complex, and having an agent available to assist with those processes is both prudent and sensible. However, undertake your due diligence and make an informed decision.
For any further advice on block management call Justin Naish Director 020 8222 9921
Published: 14/02/2015 Last Updated: 01/12/2016 12:03:01 Author: William Taper Tags: Portal
Zoopla - the UK's second biggest online property site behind Rightmove - said the number of estate agents advertising on its website has fallen by 11 per cent in the last year
Willmotts, along with many other well know agents are founder members of this new portal, OntheMarket.com.
We're proud to be part of this state-of-the-art new website, which is dedicated to presenting properties beautifully, clearly and accurately. It features a clean, simple search and an elegant design with no distracting advertising and no unnecessary information - just hundreds of thousands of properties looking their best. We see it as a great innovation for our vendors and landlords and great for property-seekers too.
Along with thousands of other estate and letting agents across the UK, we have moved all our properties from other websites to OnTheMarket.com and we are launching our new-to-market properties at OnTheMarket.com exclusively first. We shall continue to advertise all our properties on (Portal X) and our own website as well as working as closely as ever with the large number of prospective buyers and tenants on our books.
Whatever your interest, if you’re in the market, visit OnTheMarket.com today and set up a property alert, so you are first to see new properties as they come on the market.
The guardian also has a nice piece on what is happening in the portal market, see below.
If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me William Taper, Director, Residential Sales and Lettings, 020 8222 9904
Last Updated: 01/12/2016 14:30:34 Tags: £100 To Shelter For Every New Instruction*
*We are very aware of the lack of affordable housing in London so wanted to try and help in anyway we can. Willmotts will donate £100 for every new residential lettings and sales instruction that leads to a let or sale until the 31/1/14. Just mention “Shelter” when instructing us. If you would like to donate please go to:
If you would like to discuss this further please contact Mel McMultan.
Many thanks Willmotts
Last Updated: 01/12/2016 14:05:15 Author: WT Tags: Christmas Opening Times
We will be closed for the Christmas break from Tuesday 24th December reopening on Thursday 2nd of January 2014. Please find advice and information to help you during this period. Test smoke alarm to your flat. Keep the exit route in the communal areas clear so than an escape can be made in an emergency. Not to leave combustibles such as cardboard boxes within the communal areas and keep bin areas clear
Close doors at night, especially the doors to the lounge and kitchen to prevent fire spreading.
Fix dripping taps – a gentle trickle of water can freeze and completely block the pipe
Keep your boiler well serviced.
Know where in you flat: the stop valve is & how to turn off electricity and gas supplies in case of emergency.
We kindly request for all residents to ensure that the main door is closed
properly at all times, when entering and leaving the building. Additionally, to remain vigilant at all times to keep the highest level of security during the holiday period. We advise that you call the police if you witness any suspicious behaviour.
RECYCLE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
Your council should offer a number of ways for local residents to recycle their real Christmas trees and Christmas cards. Please check on their website for details.
OUT OF HOURS CONTACT
In case of an “out of hours” emergency, please contact Willmotts switchboard 020 8748 6644. You will be given automated and recorded details of the contractor on duty. These contractors should only be called for emergencies affecting which require immediate attention. The out of hour’s contractor is for properties that Willmotts manage the communal areas or the individual flats. Calling contractors “out of hours” will result in additional costs. Thus, any lessee and/or resident abusing this facility will be charged for the retrospective call-out.
Last Updated: 01/12/2016 12:41:10 Author: S. Massey Tags: Noisy Neighbours
It is important that all lessees and/or their tenants are able to enjoy their own homes and be free, as far as possible, from the noise and inconsiderate behaviour of others. Other things to bear in mind include:
• Let your neighbours know if you’re going to have a party and finish any parties at a reasonable hour.
• Avoid doing noisy housework like vacuuming late at night or early in the morning.
• Do not do any noisy DIY late at night or early in the morning.
• Noise travels through open windows so be particularly considerate during the summer.
• Remember that if your neighbours have young children, they go to bed earlier – and that, if you have children yourself, others can hear them too!
You may also have a provision in your lease which requires you to carpet the floors of your flat. Please do not make any alterations to flooring or floor covering without reference to your lease and to your managing agents.
What your landlord or managing agent can do to prevent noise will be limited. It is unlikely that a court will evict a long leaseholder for noise problems.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Use the following stepped approach:
1. Keep records
2. Start building a relationship with your neighbour
3. Have a quiet word about the problem
4. Have a stronger word: explain the impact on you and/or your family
5. Employ mediation services
6. Contact your local authority
7. Contact abatement societies
8. Take legal action.
KEEPING RECORDS OF NOISE
Keep a record of the nuisance as soon as it happens. This could include the date, time, type of noise etc. It is not a legal requirement, but you may need it to back up your complaint and it could be used in evidence if you go to court.
APPROACHING YOUR NEIGHBOURS
If you do approach them, wait until a suitable time. You may feel angry but do not lose your temper. It could be used against you at another time. Plan what you are going to say and keep calm.
Before you approach your neighbour it is important to assess the risk to your personal safety and property. If you feel frightened or intimidated by your neighbour and you are worried that they may respond aggressively, then approaching them to complain may not be the best option; you may wish to consider contacting the police in these circumstances.
Most problems can be solved amicably without the need for further action. You may feel anxious about approaching your neighbour but remember, they may genuinely be unaware that they are the source of a problem. When approached, often they will be embarrassed about the nuisance they have been causing and will be more considerate in future. It is important to do this as early as possible before the problem spirals out of control.
Neighbour mediation is a process in which a third party helps resolve disputes between people who live in the same locality or neighbourhood. It is a route that aims to assist both parties in identifying each other's needs, sorting out any problems, exploring solutions and negotiating an agreement. This often helps preserve or build better neighbourly relations and can sort out disputes before they escalate. Most mediation services are registered charities but some are part of other organisations such as local authorities or the local Citizens' Advice.
CONTACTING YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY
Your local authority has a statutory duty to investigate complaints. Under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) is required to take “all reasonable” steps to assess whether the noise constitutes a statutory nuisance.
If the EHO is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, or is likely to occur or reoccur, they have to serve a noise abatement notice. However, they may suggest other ways forward:
• Mediation: Many local authorities have independent trained mediators who will offer to mediate between you and your neighbour. Sometimes this may work, but other times it may not be appropriate.
• A warning letter: Some local authorities maysend a warning letter. Again, this may work, but it can backfire. It can alert the neighbours that you have complained and therefore the noise may become more intermittent and collecting evidence may become a problem.
• An abatement order: Ultimately, if the noise persists and the local authority has deemed the noise a statutory nuisance, they have a duty to serve a notice on the offenders. If the offender fails to comply they can face court action. The local authority also has the power to confiscate any equipment causing the noise.
TAKING YOUR OWN LEGAL ACTION
If for whatever reason the local authority does not take action, of you do not wish to involve them, you can complain about a noise problem direct to a magistrates' court. The magistrates' court will need to be persuaded that the noise problem amounts to a statutory nuisance. This is why it's important to keep a written record of the dates, times and duration of the noise as well as a description of its nature and the distress it causes you.
Before you complain to a magistrates' court you should seek some advice from Citizens' Advice, a solicitor, or the clerk at the local courts. There is no legal aid for such cases.
LATE NIGHT MUSIC AND PARTIES
Some local authorities now have emergency response teams to deal with urgent noise problems. They can issue warnings, seize equipment and issue fixed penalty notices of £100 (Noise Act 1996).
Incessant dog barking may be classed as a statutory nuisance and can be reported to the local authority.
BURGLAR AND CAR ALARMS
Local authorities have the power to gain entry to premises to stop noise. This power can be used to stop misfiring alarms. The Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 gives local authorities power to disconnect burglar and car alarms.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR LANDLORD OR MANAGING AGENT?
It's not as straight forward as you may think for your landlord or agent to take action against noisy neighbours.
Most leases will contain covenants which say leaseholders shall not cause nuisance and annoyance to neighbours. There may be more specific restrictions such as no loud music between 11pm and 7.30am or that floors should be carpeted.
These clauses are all well and good but in practice, difficult to enforce. The meaning of the covenant should be clear before considering enforcement. Any benefit of doubt over the meaning will always be given to the leaseholder.
The lease may not contain a clause that requires the landlord to enforce the covenants; if it does not, there is no obligation on them to take any action. Even if the lease does contain a clause requiring the landlord to enforce the covenants (known as a mutual enforceability covenant) there is usually a catch; the catch being that the leaseholder complaining about the noise will have to pay the landlord's costs for enforcing the covenant.
So how does the landlord enforce a covenant against noise or one that requires carpets and not laminated floors? A reminder letter to the offending leaseholder may work. If it does not, then the legal remedies open to landlords are an injunction or forfeiture.
Injunctions are costly but can be applied for with or without forfeiture. The aggrieved leaseholder can also apply for an injunction and may well be more successful of they do.
Forfeiture is not an easy route for landlords and can be extremely costly. It's also not going to produce quick results. However, the threat of forfeiture itself may well produce a response from the offending leaseholder. It may also be the most effective way of preventing the use of laminated floors spreading through a block.
Taken in part from ARMA Lessee Advisory Notes (LAN) 06/07
If you would like to discuss these or any other service charge matters please contact our Block Management Department.
Last Updated: 01/12/2016 13:56:42 Author: Graeme Fisher Tags: Condensation
I have a leak in my property, sorry Sir it’s actually condensation! We often find there is confusion surrounding condensation and residents often misdiagnose the problem to be a leak from the building.
Condensation is a result of warm air from the building coming into contact with cold parts of the building for example with an external wall. A major cause of black mould growth within buildings is condensation. We provide below some useful tips on the reasons for condensation and practical measures that you can follow in order to prevent it from occurring.
Causes of moisture
Everyday living activities generate moisture within your property, on average a 5 person household puts about 10kg of water into the air per day without taking into account heating. For example:
• breathing (asleep) 0.3 kg
• breathing (awake) 0.85 kg
• cooking 3 kg
• personal washing 1.0 kg
• washing and drying clothes 5.5 kg
Without adequate ventilation within your home warm air becomes trapped and reaches its dew point on cold surfaces to form condensation. If black spot mould occurs this can be cleaned with a bleached based product however this does not deal with the underlying cause and the mould will simply re-occur at a latter date.
Practical steps to control condensation
In summary there are 3 primary measures that can be taken to prevent condensation
1. Increase ventilation: to remove moist air from the building and not allow it to come into contact with cold surfaces
2. Increase insulation: to prevent a cold surface reaching below Dew Point
3. Maintain consistent heating: to prevent the structure becoming cold.
• Leave some background heat on through the day in cold weather; most dwellings take quite a long time to warm up and it may cost you more if you try to heat it up quickly in the evening.
• After a bath or shower, try to ventilate the room to the outside, not to the rest of the property - just opening a window or the extractor fan and closing the door will help.
• Ideally, dry clothes out of doors; where this is not possible, dry them in a cool area of the house or flat. Whilst this will take longer, less moisture can be held in colder air and with good ventilation, the risk of condensation is lower.
• When people come in with wet coats, hang them outside the living area to dry.
• Try to increase the change of air in the premises - increase ventilation; trickle vents can be added to double gazed units.
• Add forced ventilation/extraction to areas which produce a lot of moisture (kitchens and bathroom). Extractor fans are available with an air-moisture switch so that they operate automatically while the moisture in the air is above a set amount. Other units called heat exchangers (more expensive/complicated) are available which remove the moist air and reuse the thermal energy within it which would otherwise be wasted.
• Consider using a dehumidifier. Domestic types are now available and can remove a surprising amount of water from the air.
• Don't overfill cupboards and wardrobes. Always make sure that some air can circulate freely by fitting ventilators in doors and leaving a space at the back of the shelves.
• Do not use paraffin or LPG heaters. They are probably not allowed in flats.
If condensation still persists there are other things to try:
• Simple secondary glazing consisting of little more than a sheet of glass (or plastic) screwed to the window frame with a seal in between can be fitted. This is relatively cheap. Fixed secondary glazing must not be installed on all opening windows in a room as some ventilation is essential. DIY kits are available which allow the secondary glazing to be temporary removed or opened to allow the original window to be opened for ventilation.
• Alternatively new double-glazing windows can be considered. Although much more expensive than simple secondary glazing, there are additional benefits; existing wooden or metal windows will need continuous maintenance and repair - with new double glazed windows, you get new window frames which will probably be low maintenance or maintenance free.
• Some decorative materials always have cold surfaces, (i.e. ceramic tiles, mirrors etc.) and are well known for the formation of condensation. There is not much you can do where this occurs other than keeping the room (and so the tiles) evenly heated throughout the day or improve ventilation.
• Some wall surfaces can also be a problem. Where the wall is papered the situation may be made worse if there are many layers of paper. This can just act like blotting paper. All the layers should be stripped and the wall re-papered.
• Things can also be improved by lining the wall with thin expanded polystyrene (normally available from a wallpaper stockist) before you hang new wallpaper.
• Painted walls can also have a cold surface. If you do not want to paper it, consider lining it with wooden paneling or another material such as cork tiles.
• Ceilings under the roof will suffer from condensation if the original construction of the block does not provide any roof insulation. If there is no or little roof insulation, additional insulation should be installed such as a false ceiling. For some groups of people, there are financial grants in the UK for such work - check with the Local Authority or advice centre for details. Additional insulation will not only reduce condensation, but also reduce energy loss and so save money.
• Where ceilings have a high gloss finish, consider covering them with expanded polystyrene, cork or fibre tiles; alternatively wooden paneling can be installed.
• Solid floors (like concrete) are often cold because of their large thermal mass - they take a long time to warm up. Even vinyl floor tiles tend to be cold. However there are warm flooring alternatives available such as cork or cushion tiles.
If you would like to discuss any of these matters please contact me, Graeme Fisher - Associate Director - Service Charge Department
Taken in part from ARMA lessee advisory notes LAN 17
Last Updated: 13/11/2015 10:33:48 Tags: Commercial
This outlet, a Fifties – style diner is the second in a new chain established by Nick Jones, the founder of the glitzy Soho House clubs, hotels and restaurants empire stretching from Hollywood to Berlin. If you would like more details on this or any aspect of Commercial Management please contact Darrell Warren.
Last Updated: 01/12/2016 13:23:19 Author: William Taper Tags: Thinking Of A Buy To Let In 2015? Some Vital Points To Consider
If you are thinking about buy-to-let investment in 2015 there are many things you will need to consider. I will highlight some that will help make sure your investment is more profitable long term and reduce the risk of voids. Please feel free to contact me, William Taper, if you would like more information or even for just a chat about the market
Some areas attract tenants more readily than others
Research your area and know your area the demographics. Many streets are not as great as they may first appear. Get some local knowledge, an agent you can trust can help you when you are looking at investing. Zoopla, Rightmove are proving good research tools for many, however, local knowledge from agents is very hard to beat.
Type of property
What type of property are you intending to buy? 1/2 beds flats for professionals, or 4 bed houses for sharers? 1 beds are always in high demand and in many respects they are easier to let and easier to maintain. More likely to find in 2 + beds that the the occupancy can mushroom into many people living there. This really is one reason why regular inspections are vital. Above a commercial property? If it is close to a tube and in a great location, would you look at it? If not why not? Good yields. We are expects in this and can advise you.
Proximity to transport
5-10 minutes from a tube. Some applicants are very particular on this. One applicant we had said 4 mins walk was too far away from the tube. Some applicants (particularly non-native Londoners) in West London she away from the use of the mainline train such as Barnes and Chiswick, as it is not a tube. Being close to a tube station seems to be a safety blanket for many tenants. The Overground is becoming more popular with tenants. We have seen a massive jump in Kensal Rise and Honor Oak lettings. Sell the lifestyle and the commute. Universities, transport links and so on can make a big difference.
Timing onto market is vital. If you are going for the student market make sure the property is ready to market in and around June. We have many Imperial Students looking in Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Fulham etc for large houses to rent. Houses get snapped up in July through to September. If you are looking to rent to a family, proximity to schools is also important. Be aware of what your target is and what they want.
Timing to market (break clauses)
As above, be aware when the busier times are and when you will have a lot of applicants looking particulary if you are targeting the student market. People move all year round, but there are busier and quieter times so when looking at putting in break clauses try to avoid the property becoming vacant from Nov to January. If your property is managed they can advise you on this.
How is the building and communal areas going to affect your cost and desirability of your buy-to-let investment
Be aware of the cost of your service charges and the reserve fund contributions. Many landlords fail to take into account the service charge when looking at yields. If you are buying in a block, be careful to understand the service charge accounts and how much there is in the reserve fund. For example is there is a lot of plant (lifts, communal boilers, air con units etc) that costs a lot to maintain, is an old building that has not been maintained properly and will need a lot of money spent on it in years to come. Will the communal areas attract or deter tenants? It is a good idea also to check the place out at night. Are their gangs with dogs, people smoking in the communal hallways? Is their lots of rubbish in alleyways etc. All of this will affect the desirability and ultimately the yield of your flat.
If you would like to discuss buy-to-lets or any other residential issue please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sales and Lettings
There was fierce competition from builders/developers to acquire the property. The ultimate buyer is a tried and tested developer who has worked with University of West London in the past and has been successful in their planning application for Student accommodation. Development has commenced immediately upon purchase of the building.
The property was sold in excess of the client expectations and remarkably will retain connections with a Educational background.
For a more detailed appraisal please contact Varol Zafer or Shahid Sadiq
The Christmas spirit came early this year to Brackenbury Village at the West London Free School Christmas Fete. Willmotts were more than happy when asked if we would like to sponsor the event. We jumped at the chance to help out one of our new neighbours and it was great fun to boot!
The Fete was on 7th December and all staff, PTA and parents really pulled out the stops to make the day such a success. There were yummy burgers and sausages, tasty homemade waffles, copious amounts of beautiful handmade cakes and a wonderfully warming mulled wine. A super Christmas bouncy castle, face painting, reindeer and slay and of course Santa made an appearance despite his hectic schedule. Many local companies donated to the raffle.
The Willmotts team got in to the swing of it with great gusto and Motty the bear the Willmotts mascot was on hand to give out sweets and generally have a good time with the kids. We had a special ‘guess the property price’ game for all to take part in which went down a huge success and indeed some very young participants showed a keen grasp of the property market!
All in all the day was a huge success, everyone had a great time and most importantly the school raised needed funds and it was a privilege for Willmotts to be involved with.
If you would like to know more about the fete please contact Solomon Moodie