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Why do house sales fall through?


Published: 17/11/2017   Last Updated: 17/11/2017 12:12:07   Tags: Hammersmith Estate Agents Advice For Sales Selling Your Home

Moving to a new Hammersmith house can be a stressful time, particularly if a sale falls through. Don’t worry if this happens as you can often salvage the situation.

If something unexpected comes up in a survey, it may be a big enough problem to make the sale fall through.
In our experience, most house sales fall through due to survey reports. Unexpected work noticed a survey may cause some purchasers to walk away from a sale. We would recommend that sellers sort out any paperwork for work carried out and organise certificates to provide to your surveyor and purchaser.
If there is work that must be carried out, it can be more beneficial to rectify it before going on the market, because if your sale falls through, you will still should pay solicitor fees and may still end up paying for the work. Purchasers should fully read their survey report and ask their surveyor to explain anything they don’t understand. If surveyors have not seen any paperwork or evidence of work, they should assume it hasn’t been done and it can therefore seem like a larger problem than it is.
Some of the more common reasons for losing a sale can be avoided if you ask the seller if they are aware of any major works having been done on the property. Or, if alterations have been made, do they have any documentation which signs it off, either from Hammersmith & Fulham Council or Building Regulations.

A chain can fall apart for many reasons, and sometimes people can get bored of waiting and find a house elsewhere in West London.
When you agree a sale, you expect it to go through to completion. However, this is a time when you are not in control of events. You must rely on your buyer, and maybe even their buyer, and so on until the chain is complete. Any one of these people can and do change their minds occasionally. It is often nothing to do with your property.
The results of a single break can be huge, too. A sale falling through at the bottom of a chain of sales can potentially jeopardise all of the others, so one break can mean three, four or more sales falling through.
How can you try to stop a chain from falling through?
Our biggest advice to purchasers and vendors is that you may have to compromise during your sale. Also, picking the right local Hammersmith estate agent can literally keep your sale together; our 4 man &lady team have worked in West London, collectively for over 50 years! This is invaluable experience and local knowledge and on many occasions, sales would have not gone through without them.

During a negotiation
Negotiations can be a tricky time, and you can find yourself dealing with surprising demands. It is worth being flexible, and remember that small details should not be a make-or-break on your deal.
Fixtures and fittings can also cause some fraught negotiations with sellers wanting to take fitted wardrobes etc out of the property, keeping calm is often the key.
We have seen a number of sales almost fall through due to silly reasons such as having to leave a tired old shed, leaving curtains, not wanting to contribute towards an indemnity policy, or not being able to agree on a completion date.
This is where the quality estate agent mediates between both parties and get them to look at the bigger picture of completing the sales transaction.

People changing their mind and pulling out
Situations change all the time. Someone could lose their job, a family member could become ill, or people can simply have second thoughts.
The seller can change their minds after first accepting the offer and decide to stay put, which is sometimes called ‘gazanging’. The seller may not be able to find another property to move to, or the buyer’s finances are not in place or their mortgage advance is rejected.
The buyer can be ‘gazumped,’ which is when the seller receives a higher offer from another buyer. The opposite, ‘gazundering’, is when the buyer reduces their offer at the last minute, before contracts are signed.
As much as a buyer may want to move ahead, they may not be able to. Despite buyers having AIP finance, there is a changing mortgage market and tougher underwriting depending on the loan to value once an actual application is completed. This can lead to upset unless the buyer has regularly reviewed the arrangements they have made.

What should you do next?
If a sale falls through, get the property back onto the market without delay and commence a new marketing campaign. In the event of the cause having been a result of the survey, the seller should deal with any faults.

How can you prevent a sale from falling through?
Don’t forget to check your mortgage status before putting in an offer to ensure that you will be accepted to buy the home.
You should always remember to be patient, especially when waiting for sales to go through. The negotiation stage can be the most frustrating as you want the sale to move ahead quickly, but it is worth taking a step back and letting the negotiations take their course.
The most important thing is to choose an agent who can constantly chase your sale through, no matter if it is in a chain of not. As highly-regarded independent RICS regulated estate agent and The Hammersmith Members of The Guild of Property Professionals, will be experts in sale chasing and can ensure that everything possible is done to stop a sale from falling through.

For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

How do you know if your Hammersmith house is haunted?


Published: 30/10/2017   Last Updated: 30/10/2017 13:29:21   Tags: How Do I Knopw If My House Is Haunted

Halloween is known for its eerie tales, creepy ghouls and mysterious occurrences. We have put together a collection of spooky stories, inexplicable sightings and things to look out for. Here is a tongue and cheek look at how you know if your house is haunted.

1. What’s the history?
School Lane, Turville – This quaint three bedroom property is based in a small village in Buckinghamshire and comes with an intriguing history. The tale of ‘The Sleeping Girl of Turville’ plagues this adorable village with a mystery that is yet to be solved. In 1871, Ellen Sadler fell asleep and did not wake for nine years. The case attracted the attention of the international newspapers, medical professionals and the public. Ellen became a tourist attraction for years, but not without sceptics questioning the anomaly.

2.  There’s something in the air
Darren Challis, Director of Chambers Sales and Lettings said, “I would say ask a medium to attend the property and tap into the spirit world at that location.  I can usually tell if a property has a positive or negative vibe just by being there and getting a feeling around. Sometimes the negativity can rub off on the occupants and in some cases the property will have this affect for years.”

3. Ask the agent
Brain Carlisle from JR Hopper & Co said, “There are a number of houses in the Dales where viewers have commented about a "bad feeling" or not being comfortable in the house. In these instances move on as they will not buy. Having said that, if I have a house with history or stories of Ghoulies and ghosts then better to make it a feature, rather than hide it and hope no one finds out. The brave and adventurous will love a good highwayman or jilted bride story.”

4. Is anything flying through the air?
Simon Miller, Partner of Holroyd Miller said, “Unless you live in the notorious 30 East Drive, Pontefract, Yorkshire, which is classed as one of the most haunted homes in the UK, then weird happenings are probably no more than squeaky expanding and contracting floorboards or air in the central heating pipes. However, paranormal activity can take on many guises. Are you experiencing a fine chalk like dust falling inside your home, green foam appearing from taps and the toilet, lights turning on and off, cupboards shaking, and objects levitating? Such activity was reported at 30 East Drive and they most definitely had a poltergeist. Many people report haunted happenings, from the unexplained hair-raising feelings, to objects that simply appear to have been misplaced. But in truth how can we ever really make sense and explain the unexplainable.”

5. Time for a ghost hunt
Mike Coles of Debbie Fortune Estate Agents in Wrington has some interesting top tips for all the ghost hunters out there. Study the history of your home and the region, “Allegedly, areas with a violent past can increase the risk of a haunting. You could try setting up a video camera in your home when you're away to capture any unusual shadows on film,” said Mike. Don’t forget to rely on your senses and intuition; unusual images in the corner of your eyes, noises like footsteps and smells like sulphur can be more sinister than you think.

6. Animals… or not
Often, people report hearing unusual sounds, such as scratching and footsteps. Anything from rats to woodlice can make your mind wonder with all sorts of ideas. Sometimes, it is the most simple of explanations. If these sounds continue, call an exterminator to have a look around, especially in attacks and basements. If nothing is found, congratulations you have a haunted house.

7. When in doubt, listen to the dog
Dogs are known for their keen hearing and sense of smell. They can detect far more than humans, so are the perfect sidekick when ghostly occurrences are in your home. If you canine is barking when no one is at the front door, whimpering at thin air or staring at blank spaces, your best friend on four legs might be trying to tell you something.

8. Got a chill?
Does your home have cold spots for no apparent reason? Before jumping to any conclusions, give a call to your builder to take a look around. He may find cracks or areas which needs insulating. However, if your trusted builder cannot find a reason, then something creepier might be at large.

9. Misplacing little things?
Everyone misplaces their possessions from time to time, especially items like glasses and car keys. However, if this starts to happen a little too often then you might have a ghostly trickster playing around in your home.

10. Lights flickering
This is arguably the most noticeable sign for a haunted home. It is there in all the horror films and spooky stories. If you have checked your fuse box or even called an electrician then there is only one explanation for flickering lights…

We hope you have enjoyed our top 10 indicators to find out how you know if you house in haunted. Happy Halloween!

commuting patterns are helping the Hammersmith property market


Published: 25/10/2017   Last Updated: 25/10/2017 15:33:40   Tags: Communting Patters, Helping Local Property Market In Hammersmith London W6

How often we commute to the office and how long it takes each day has major implications on where we all choose to live. While the ever-increasing use of technology has made it easier to work from home, most people living in Britain still take part in the ‘daily grind', with a staggering three-million commuters now spending more than two hours to get to work.

The reason? House prices, mainly, thanks to their value reducing the further away they are from a city centre. Across England and Wales, there are over 11-million people commuting from one authority to another. Of course, the length of each journey varies, but with house prices on the rise, longer journeys look like they will be around for a while yet. There are other reasons for a lengthier commute to work other than lower house prices: the favourable price-to-square foot ratio afforded by homes on the outskirts of cities is often a draw for young families who want more room, while the close-knit communities found in smaller towns can also be appealing.

But what does the commuting landscape look like in Hammersmith? The first thing we know is that most people have a commute of less than 10km (61.7 per cent of the total work force). This is the case for most of the UK and probably won’t come as a massive surprise. The second most common commute is 10km to 29km which accounts for 15 per cent of the total workforce in our area.

Those thinking of buying a property in Hammersmith will want to consider its proximity to local transport. However, with house prices sitting 15 per cent lower for every five miles you move away from a station, the temptation to find a home further afield is certainly strong. The prospect of getting more bang for your buck will make sense for less frequent commuters.

The length of our commute influences our renting habits, with property searchers inclined to reduce their commute time to work by as much as possible when looking for somewhere to live.It is a factor landlords need to consider before they purchase a buy-to-let as an investment. However, if a family is interested in a rental property, there is more chance they will favour choosing size over commute distance. That means landlords buying a one or two bedroom property will need to take more consideration into the property's location to a station compared to landlords with a buy-to-let property with three or four bedrooms.

Longer journeys won't be disappearing anytime soon, but we do expect the number of commutes in England and Wales to reduce slightly over the next five years with more virtual offices and technologies like Google Hangouts and Skype. Why don't you pop into our office so we can advise you on all things property, whether buying, selling or renting.

Prices by type in the last few years
The average unweighted sold prices of houses and flats have generally seen a steady incline over the last eight years. It'll come as no massive surprise the houses are typically more expensive than flats but, the movements over time are nonetheless telling.
Annualised breakdown of sales by type

We've used a donut chart (excuse the American spelling) to illustrate the mix of properties that have sold in the last 12 months. Given the profile of the housing stock in the area, there's nothing too surprising here, but it's interesting to see how the different types of properties are represented in the local market.
Lifecycles in our area

Lifecycle profile is a useful indicator of the complexion of residents in a locality. Some areas, like inner cities and built-up areas, have lots of young single people who live in flat shares or alone. Most of the suburban parts of the country are filled up with families. Some parts have a large elderly population, particularly around the coast.


For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

What To Do When A Tenant Wont Pay


Published: 17/10/2017   Last Updated: 17/10/2017 15:40:03   Tags: What To Do When A Tenant Wont Pay In Hammersmith West London W6

You’ve found the perfect tenants, they’ve moved in without issue, and you’re expecting smooth sailing with the tenancy. But then you check your bank account and find that rent hasn’t been paid that month. What do you do? Guild of Property Professionals Members share their expert advice to help in this tricky situation.

1. Communication

All of our agents agree that communication is key to keep track of payments and to resolve an issue with tenants.

First of all, it is important to check to see if rent is due on time, rather than realising later in the month.

“Check your bank statement the day after the rent is due,” advises Louise Cawley from Newland Rennie. “Your tenant has a responsibility to pay rent the same day every month as if he/she were paying a mortgage, the rent should never be late. If the rent has not come in there may be a simple explanation, a telephone call to the tenant may sort the matter out very quickly.”

“When a tenant defaults with their rent, the first steps are to contact them. Non-payment of rent does not always mean you have a bad tenant. Sometimes their personal circumstances may change throughout the tenancy, such as losing their job or suffering from ill health and relying on sickness benefits.”

If a miscommunication has happened in the past, now is the time to fix it.

“Communication is key with tenants to enable the right course of action to be taken in the event that a tenancy is not running as planned. You need to ensure that all the correct information and guidance is provided to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy so that the tenant is clear on what, when and how payments can be made.”

2. Clear records

Be sure to keep clear records of all communications and decisions while you are trying to get rent from the tenant. It may be needed in court, though hopefully the dispute won’t reach that stage.

“You should ensure that you keep a record of contact with the tenants, a clear statement of account and copies of letters or notices served to a tenant.”

3. Guarantor

Does your tenant have a guarantor to pay their rent if they are unable to? Now is the time to find their contact details.

“Remind the guarantor of their agreement to pay the rent should the tenant not be able to. As with the tenants, keep any conversations and emails professional.”

“If you have a guarantor for the tenancy, speak to them immediately as it is likely that they are unaware of any rent issues and may be in the position to pay the rent over directly themselves.”

4. Insurance

Landlord insurance is always a good idea to have in case of situations like rent not being paid.

“If you have any form of landlord insurance now is the time to review the terms. Should you need to make a claim, you want to make sure you have adhered to the T&Cs of the policy. Depending on your insurance, you may find they take things out of your hands.”

“I recommend that all landlords take out a ‘Rent Guarantee’ cover offering legal cover, rent arrears and offers financial help for part of the empty period of the property once possession has been obtained through the courts, whilst the property is either being re-advertised or brought back to a satisfactory standard, paying part of the monthly rent.”

"A good policy will protect against lost rent when a tenant stops paying but does not vacate a property and will also cover the legal costs involved in recovering possession of the property. This is something we would strongly recommend to any Landlord, though it is important to check and understand the full details of any policy and the cover it provides."

5. Timeline

So what should your communication plan of action be?

“When a tenant doesn’t pay, the first thing is a call, email or text to the tenant (the initial check) to ask why.”

“Keeping a record of all initial communications is key in case it is required as evidence in court. We would normally recommend a grace period of seven days from due date to allow for banking logistics. If the initial message or call doesn’t work then a formal letter requiring payment forthwith (usually in 7-14 days) is required. Keeping a copy of this letter is imperative. If rent is still not received, then attendance at the property is required. Give 24 hours’ notice that you will be attending to inspect the property to discuss arrears.”

6. Legal

If communicating clearly and giving the tenant time to pay hasn’t solved the issue, it is time to consider legal action.

“If a landlord is experiencing difficulties with a tenant, speak to the letting agent who will provide guidance on how the matter can be handled. A Legal Adviser and Landlord Bodies such as National Landlord Association can also provide useful advice and guidance for members.

“In the event that the tenant is not keeping up to date with their payments and the landlord is unhappy, it is important to serve the correct section notice at the correct time. A Section 21 notice provides the tenant with a minimum of two months’ notice, coinciding with the fixed term of the tenancy, of the Landlords intention to regain possession. A Section 8 notice can be served where a tenant is two months in arrears and provides a shorter two-week notice of the landlord’s intention to regain possession. Serving the appropriate notice promptly can stop the issue escalating.”

“If the tenant has always paid on time in the past it, depending on the situation you may decide that giving them a small period of breathing space to catch up is fine, otherwise depending on how long they’ve been in the property, you have the option of contacting your solicitor and serving notice under Section 21.”

The Guild recommends seeking the help of a qualified advisor, such as a solicitor, to get the best advice before serving a legal notice.

7. Solutions going forward

If you are able to resolve the problem and the rent is paid, it is worth looking at solutions to make sure the tenant can pay on time in future.

“If you understand the reason for a late or non-payment of rent, you are able to look at simple solutions. For example, an alteration to the rent payment date so it coincides with the timing of work incomes, or a payment plan if the tenant is struggling to make a single larger payment per month. This will prevent the situation from escalating.”


For any advice or help with letting a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our award winning lettings team on 020 8222 9958 or email lettings@willmotts.com

Common myths about the local property market


Published: 12/10/2017   Last Updated: 12/10/2017 16:44:59   Tags: Common Myths About The Local Property Market

Has someone who has just sold their home ever told you about the ‘golden rules’ you should abide by to get a quick sale? Perhaps you have heard comments like, ‘catch the property season’, ‘spend money to make money’ and ‘price high and accept low’. Unfortunately, achieving the optimum sale requires you to navigate highly changeable market conditions.

The local market in Hammersmith changes a lot year-on-year. As the chart above shows, the average price of properties on the market fluctuates a lot more than you might think. But unweighted overall average prices only tell part of the story - sales rates are the thermometer we use to measure the temperature of the market.
You have to sell during the ‘property season': There is no doubt that some seasons can be slightly busier than others, but there are no definitive periods that can be classed as a bad time to sell your property. People search for homes throughout the whole year because of reasons individual to them, not because of the weather.

DIY: Adding extensions to your home can increase the overall value of the property. However, that doesn't mean you should always do this before you list it on the market. Often, home hunters will want to do their own renovations to properties and may have different tastes to yours. Don't accept the first offer: The saying goes, ‘don't look for a quick sell by accepting the first offer because a better one will come along’. The simple truth is: if you are offered a price that meets the value, you should sell. In fact, estate agents often show properties to their best clients first, so by turning down a good offer from an early buyer, you may be opening yourself up to issues down the line with other buyers who aren't as serious.

So what are active buyers looking for right now? We all enjoy some peace and quiet, no one is denying that. But the idea that property in close proximity to public transport hubs like train stations are harder to sell just isn't true. In fact, if you can hear the trains from your home, that means you are located nearby a station - and properties close to a station are always in high demand.

There are no hard-and-fast rules to how to sell your property - the tone of the market is ever changing and its important you work with a good local agent with their finger on the pulse. If you have any more questions regarding property in Hammersmith or are thinking of selling your home and buying a new one, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Monthly sales rates by house type
This chart nicely reveals how sales levels have played out over the last seven months in our area. We're looking at a relatively tight area over relatively short periods of time, so you don't get the nice smooth patterns you'd see using annualised analyses or at higher levels of geography. The patterns however, are very revealing.

Index of house prices by property type
Over the last twelve months we've seen pretty strong performance in the local market. We wanted to see how different property types have performed, so we indexed the values at the start of the period. Property data updates quite slowly, so we've estimated the last 3 months.

Method of commute
Commuting patterns are a significant barometer of the profile of people in a property market. For example in areas where most people travel to work by car, there tend to be more even property price distributions across the local market. On the other hand when people mostly travel by train or underground, there are big price hotspots around the stations.


For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

How often do people move property in Hammersmith?


Published: 17/08/2017   Last Updated: 17/08/2017 10:03:02   Tags: How Often Do People Move Property In The Local Area? Hammersmith London W6

More than six-million people move home every year according to national census figures. These numbers reveal we are changing homes at a faster rate than ever before with people in the southern half of the country the most frequent movers. Conversely, those living in the North East, North West and Wales move home less frequently than anyone else in the UK.

The average lifespan of a British person is now 81.5 years; during this lifespan people will move home about six times. With 14 years, the South West leads the way for the shortest amount of time people live at one property while the longest amount of time people stay at their properties is in Wales where the average is 23 years.

The average amount of time someone lives in their property in Hammersmith is 14 years. This compares with 22 years in the region and 19 years nationally. We've calculated this by calculating turnover as a percentage of stock and estimating how long it would take for everyone to move house at least once in the area.

If people are changing their home more often, vendors will benefit from a busier market with more demand. It was once the case that only younger people would be more likely to move around, especially live-in couples, but now we are seeing a trend where people of all ages are changing their home at a more frequent rate.

The rental market moves at a much faster rate than the sales market due to 12-month contracts with a six-month break affording more flexibility. It’s also important to factor in the cheaper prices for rental properties. We are however seeing more people stay in accommodation for longer, although it’s nowhere near the length of owner-occupancy.

Whether it is because people have more money, have benefited from the rise in house prices, or prefer a change of scenery, the rate at which people are moving homes is rising. If you would like to know more about the property market in Hammersmith, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you.

A quarterly index of sales levels
This chart shows how sales levels in the local area sit now compared with two years ago. The analysis indexes types of property so they start at the same point (100) so you can easily see how they've moved in relation to each other. The chart shows the quarter-on-quarter fluctuations typical of local analysis, it also shows how the market has been affected by seasonal change.

Monthly prices by property type
The data for our area over the last five months reveals interesting fluctuations across property types. The last 3 months are coloured with stripes. This is because the data is still coming in so we've estimated what we think they will be when all the data is available.

Industry of occupation
The profile of jobs is a important yardstick for the makeup of people in a housing market. In this analysis we've used data from the Office for National Statistics on the number of people in the local area who work in each industry. The categories are a bit vague but if you look at the longest bars, you can see a pretty good profile of our area.


For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

Don’t jeopardise the sale of your property


Published: 10/08/2017   Last Updated: 10/08/2017 13:52:19   Tags: Don’T Jeopardise The Sale Of Your Property, How To Sell Your Hammersmith London W6 Home

Recent research suggests that over half of mortgage holders have not moved home for over 15 years. Therefore this is not something home owners do very often. This lack of experience may suggest why some vendors unintentionally prevent the sale of their property! Willmotts can show you what best not to do and what you should do; here are 10 points on how to avoid this:

1: How committed to the sale of your home are you? If you have reservations and are putting up barriers then this will sabotage your best chances of a sale. Make sure you are fully committed to the task at hand.

2: Being unrealistic with the price will stall your chances of a sale. Especially in the current West London, Hammersmith W6 area, where sales have slowed from previous years with such high figures being asked for property. There is still growth in London but not to the extent of the previous decade. Your local agent should advise you on the best price possible.

3: Presentation is key to impressing potential buyers. Nobody wants to see dirty dishes or washing let alone filthy floors etc. Make people feel safe, comfortable and at home, not repulsed by an unhygienic home.

4: Visible damage will turn off some buyers as all they will see is unnecessary expense. Listen to your local agent, they should advise you if you need to spend money on basic repairs in view to generating the best possible sale.

5: Variety is the spice of life, not all of us like the same things and pets smell from your beloved cat or dog maybe invisible to you but can turn off a buyer as soon as they walk through the front door. Again listen to your agent to see if you should mask any pungent pongs.

6: Step back take a good objective look at your home, is it the best layout or colour to appeal to the widest audience? Your favourite colour maybe be a little too strong for the general market. Neutral colours and furnishings will generally make your home look bigger and are less likely to put off a potential buyer. Give them a blank canvas to imagine their own creation.

7: Outside space is a huge bonus and much sought after but don’t leave it as that. Don’t neglect the garden, make the most of what you have to sell. Show it off as a place to relax and enjoy with a suitable table and chairs.

8: Let the professionals do their job, that’s where they earn their money and get you the best price. You have an emotional attachment to your home and this can get in the way of best expressing the space to the vendor. Those items you are so very proud of may be of no interest to the buyer and in fact you have distracted them from what they are looking for. The estate agent will know what they want and help them find it.

9: Timing. Timing is key to selling your home, if your property is not available this does not mean the buyer will go out of their way to see it. A good agent such as Willmotts, will do their best to make sure the buyers are walking through the door and not being sold someone else’s property because yours wasn’t available.


10: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just because the first few viewings weren’t successful doesn’t mean the next one won’t be. Keep motivated, keep following the rules and keep your presentation up as the next person to walk in might be the one!

For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

Saving for your Hammersmith home


Published: 08/08/2017   Last Updated: 08/08/2017 10:06:01   Tags: Saving A Deposit For Your First Time Buy Hammersmith Home

If you want a healthy deposit for the London W6, property of your dreams, at the end of the day you will need to put money aside as you build towards getting on the ladder. Please see the following pointers on how best to do this:

With West London property prices being as high as they are the amount you will need for a deposit might at first appear to be impossible. This is not the case, simply approach it month by month and give yourself a realistic set amount you put aside. In time you will see your efforts rewarded.

Begin by analysing your current monthly spend. You’ll be surprised at the waste on trivial items or where you can cut or find alternative more affordable resources. You can set all of this out on spreadsheet, there are plenty online to choose from.

Make sure you don’t get over ambitious with the amount you set aside each month. Keep it realistic and low to start with, if you end the month with a surplus, top up your monthly saving. Don’t sabotage the whole process by creating a miserable, unsustainable existence living on bread and water.

Where do you put your savings as they grow? Take your time picking the best savings account for you, not every option will give you the same interest rate. Be mindful that certain options limit your ability to access these funds and if you need emergency access you may have to wait.

To make the process less painful, setup a direct debit or standing order. This will minimise your involvement and help you avoid the painful process of transferring money away from your immediate enjoyment. If you get in the mind-set that your monthly salary is less and put the savings to the back of your mind, you will cope much more easily.

Let people you know, friends and family, in on your saving goals, their support will help you from breaking the habit. Good friends and family support will not tempt you with excessive, expensive breaks away and nightly lavish meals in fancy Hammersmith restaurants.

At the start your enthusiasm for saving a deposit, will carry you through the first few months and you’ll be proud of your growing finances. Be aware that this won’t last and you will be tempted to break the cycle. Seasonal pre-planned treats won’t ruin your plans and in fact will help keep the savings going in the long-term, good luck and happy house hunting.

For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

How to get rid of mice and rats in your Hammersmith home


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;


www.superproof.co.uk   |   superproofme@superproof.co.uk or call free for a quote 0808 133 2330

Hammersmith’s Top 10 Rental Trends in 2017


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 lettings@willmotts.com

What does the future hold for house prices in Hammersmith?


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 sales@willmotts.com

Best Hammersmith Home Colour


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 sales@willmotts.com

Hammersmith first time buyers guide


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 sales@willmotts.com

Why are people not viewing  your Hammersmith Property


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 sales@willmotts.com

Private Landlord Licensing Scheme


Published: 22/06/2017   Last Updated: 21/06/2017 10:25:02   Tags: Private Landlord Licensing Scheme In Hammersmith And Fulham

Private Landlord Licensing Scheme Hammersmith & Fulham starts 5th June 2017. Making it a legal requirement for Landlords to obtain licenses on some of their private rented properties.

Selective licensing:
Requires landlords letting a property on specific roads to get a license no matter how many people rent the property.

Additional licensing:
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.

Mandatory licensing:
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 lettings@willmotts.com 

Party Wall Advice in London W6


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

What is a party wall?

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
Email:  r.mcmillan@willmotts.com
Tell:  0208 222 9944

Alternatively go to the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) website


Questions for a buy-to-let investor in Hammersmith


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

Buying a House in Hammersmith what are the Top Ten Mistakes?


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

How long is your lease?


Published: 09/05/2017   Last Updated: 09/05/2017 12:56:30   Tags: How Long Is Your Lease

As each and every year passes the value of a leasehold flat or house diminishes and it will become the more difficult, or even impossible to sell.  By law, you have a right to buy the freehold of your house or extend the lease of a flat.  

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.,
Registered Valuer
020 8222 9915

HMO Licensing in Hammersmith and Fulham


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


Where is the best place to watch the boat race?


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 info@willmotts.com

10 Tips for Refurbishing Your Property


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.

1. Planning:
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.

2. Funds:
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.

3. Inspect:
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.

4. Design:
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.

6. Regulations:
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.

7. Damp:
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.

8. Risks:
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.

9. Contractors:
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, g.white@willmotts.com

The Meaning of Commercial Terminology


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

Willmotts pride themselves for the excellent years of service they have offered to many Landlords and Tenants alike. We are members of the RICS and operate under the stipulated regulations. No truer is it said to invest in some time and avoid common pitfalls when dealing with commercial lettings. The job of commercial property management is easier when not having to resolve issues which can quickly become costly. The UK Commercial Real Estate Agency Standards 2011 provides members and others with best practice guidance on all aspects of commercial real estate agency and contains everything needed to do the job.

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.
Rent Review
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.
Lease Assignment
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.
Reversionary Lease
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, v.zafer@willmotts.com

What is the Best Gym in Hammersmith


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

Public Transport Links in Hammersmith


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.
info@willmotts.com or call 0208 748 6644

What is the best school in Hammersmith and Fulham


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

When choosing a home there are many factors outside the property itself, the environment and it’s services can weigh heavily on any home buyer’s or parents’ mind. If you have children and are thinking of moving to Hammersmith or the surrounding West London regions, Chiswick, Fulham, Barnes, Shepherd Bush or Kensington you will be digging deep into what they have to offer your child’s education. West London has a wide choice of schools from Primary to Secondary education, state schools to private schools and schools that are setup for specialist requirements.

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:

Primary Education:
 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.

Secondary Education:
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
London London
W14 0DT W14 9BL
020 76035333 020 87411688



All Saints C of E Primary School Jack Tizard School
Bishops Avenue South Africa Road
London London
SW6 6ED W12 7PA
020 77362803 020 87353590



Avonmore Primary School Phoenix High School
Avonmore Road The Curve
London London
W14 8SH W12 0RQ
020 76039750 020 87491141



Bentworth Primary School Queensmill School
Bentworth Road Clancarty Road
London London
W12 7AJ SW6 3AA
020 87432527 020 73842330



Brackenbury Primary School William Morris Sixth Form
Dalling Road St Dunstan’s Road
London London
W6 0BA W6 8RB
020 87433074 020 87486969



Canberra Primary School Private Independent and Fee Paying Primary Schools
Australia Road
London Al-Muntada Islamic School
W12 7PT 7 Bridges Place
020 87432514 London
Flora Gardens Primary School 020 74718283
Dalling Road



London Bute House Preparatory School
W6 0UD Luxemburg Gardens
020 87482566 London
W6 7EA
Fulham Primary School 020 76037381
Halford Road



London Ecole Francaise Jacques Prevert
SW6 1JU 59 Brook Green
020 73850535 London
W6 7BE
Good Shepherd RC Primary School 020 76026871
35 Gayford Road



London Parsons Green Prep School
W12 9BY 1 Fulham Park Road
020 87435060 London
Greenside Primary School 020 73719009
Westville Road



London Kensington Prep School
W12 9PT 596 Fulham Road
020 87436421 London
Holy Cross RC School 020 77319300
Basuto Road



London Latymer Upper School
SW6 4BL 237 King Street
020 77361447 London
W6 9LR
Jack Tizard School 0845 6385800
South Africa Road



London Le Herisson School
W12 7PA Rivercourt Methodist Church, King Street
020 87353590 London
W6 9JT
John Betts Primary School 020 85637664
Paddenswick Road



London L’Ecole des Petits School
W6 0UA 2 Hazlebury Road
020 87482465 London
Kenmont Primary School 020 73718350
Valliere Road



London Ravenscourt Park Preparatory School
NW10 6AL 16 Ravenscourt Avenue
020 8969449 London
W6 0SL
Langford Primary School 020 88469153
Gilstead Road



London Sinclair House School
SW6 2LG 2 Hazlebury Road London
020 77364045 SW6 2NB
020 73718350
Larmenier & Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School



London Lower Nursery
W6 7BL 196 Munster Road
020 87489444 London
Lena Gardens Primary School



Lena Gardens Upper Nursery
London 159 Munster Road
W6 7PZ London
020 76034043 SW6 6DA



Miles Coverdale Primary School PREPARATORY SCHOOL
Coverdale Road 59 Fulham High Street
London London
W12 8JJ SW6 3JJ
020 87435847 020 77369182



Melcombe Primary School St James Junior School
Fulham Palace Road Earsby Street
London London
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
London London
SW6 4LY W14 9SD
020 77362318 020 73862444



Normand Croft Community School Thomas’s Fulham
Bramber Road Hugon Road
London London
W14 9PA SW6 3ES
020 73856847 020 77518200



Old Oak Primary School Private, Independent and Fee Paying Secondary Schools
Mellitus Street



London Chelsea Independent College
W12 0AS 517 – 523 Fulham Road
020 87437629 London
Parayhouse School 020 76101114
New Kings School Annex, New Kings Road



London Latymer Upper School
SW6 4LY 237 King Street
020 77510914 London
W6 9LR
Pope John RC School 0845 6385800
Commonwealth Avenue



London St James Senior Girls School
W12 7QR Earsby Street
020 87439428 London
W14 8SH
Queen’s Manor School and Special Needs Unit 020 73481777
Lysia Street



London St Paul’s Girls’ School
SW6 6ND Brook Green
020 73854343 London
W6 7BS
Queensmill School 020 76032288
Clancarty Road



London The Fulham Preparatory School Limited
SW6 3AA 200 Greyhound Road
020 73842330 London
W14 9SD
Sir John Lillie Primary School 020 73862444
Lillie Road



London The Godolphin and Latymer School
SW6 7LN Iffley Road
020 73852107 London
W6 0PG
St Augustine’s RC Primary School 020 87411936
Disbrowe Road



London The Moat School
W6 8QE Bishops Avenue
020 73854333 London
St Johns Walham Green C of E Primary School 020 76109018
Filmer Road



London Young Dancers Academy
SW6 6AS 25 Bulwer Street
020 77315454 London
W12 8AR
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School 020 87433856
Masbro Road



London Private, Independent and Fee Paying Sixth Forms
W14 0LT



020 76037717 Chelsea Independent College
517 – 523 Fulham Road
St Paul’s C of E Primary School London
Worlidge Street SW6 1HD
London 020 76101114
W6 9BP



020 87484951 Latymer Upper School
237 King Street
St Peter’s Primary School London
St Peter’s Road W6 9LR
London 0845 6385800
W6 9BA



020 87487756 St James Senior Girls’ School
Earsby Street
St Stephen’s C of E Primary School London
Uxbridge Road W14 8SH
London 020 73481777
W12 8LH



020 87434483

St Paul’s Girls’ School

Brook Green
St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School London
Estcourt Road W6 7BS
London 020 76032288



020 73858165 The Godolphin and Latymer School
Iffley Road
Sulivan Primary School London
Peterborough Road W6 0PG
London 020 87411936
020 77365869



Wendell Park Primary School
Cobbold Road
W12 9LB
020 87431372



Wormholt Park Primary School
Bryony Road
W12 0SR
020 87435073



State Secondary Schools



Burlington Danes Academy
Wood Lane
W12 0HR
020 87354950



Cambridge School
Cambridge Grove
W6 0LB
020 87487585



Fulham Cross Girls’ School and Language College
Munster Road
020 73810861



Henry Compton Secondary School
Kingwood Road
020 73813606



Hurlingham and Chelsea Secondary School
Peterborough Road
020 77312581



Jack Tizard School
South Africa Road
W12 7PA
020 87353590



Lady Margaret School
Parson’s Green
020 77367138



Parayhouse School
New Kings School Annex, New Kings Road
020 77510914



Phoenix High School
The Curve
W12 0RQ
020 87491141



Queensmill School
Clancarty Road
020 73842330



Sacred Heart High School
212 Hammersmith Road
W6 7DG
020 87487600



The London Oratory School
Seagrave Road
020 73850102



Woodlane High School
Du Cane Road
W12 0TN
020 87435668

The Benefits of an Observant Lessee


Published: 07/12/2016   Last Updated: 07/12/2016 11:07:52   Author: P. Martin    Tags: The Benefits Of An Observant Lessee

All leaseholders are keen to obtain the best value for money from the service charges they pay. Repairs and Maintenance often makes up a sizeable percentage of any service charge budget. By being observant occupiers and reporting faults they spot to their managing agent, often repairs can be dealt with before they have the opportunity to get worse or cause extensive consequential damage. Some items that all occupiers should be mindful of are listed below.

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.

Blocked Drains.
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.

In Summary
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:

Paul Martin
Project Management Surveyor, BSc (Hons)
Block Management
DDI: 020 8222 9925
Email: paul.martin@willmotts.com

The Effects of Changes in Licensing and Stamp Duty


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

There is a huge amount of going on in the residential sector at the moment. I will highlight a couple of the keys topics that are causing some very heated debates around the Willmotts water cooler.

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.

Stamp Duty
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.
William Taper
Director, BSc (Hons)
Residential Sales & Lettings
DDI: 020 8222 9904
Email: w.taper@willmotts.com  

West London Winter Wonderland


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.

Why choose Hammersmith to live in?


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…

Exceptional Rental Uplift Agreed


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 renewal,
rent reviews,
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

allAgents AWARDS letting update


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

Commercial Agency Investment Ethos


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.

Expert Advice 

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

Choosing Block Management


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

New Property Portal Rivalling Zoopla and Rightmove


Published: 14/02/2015   Last Updated: 01/12/2016 12:03:01   Author: William Taper    Tags: Portal

Property portal Zoopla is seeing the number of paying advertisers using its website drop as competition from online newcomer OntheMarket eats into its market share. OnTheMarket was launched on the 1/2/15 and has gained significant momentum since then.
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

£100 to Shelter for every new instruction


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

Christmas opening hours and useful tips for the holiday period


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
and tidy.

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.

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.
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.

Having problems with noisy neighbours?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Is it a leak or condensation?


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.

Helpful tips
• 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
Image: http://www.weatherproof-windows.co.uk/condensation_-_the_facts.php


Soho House comes to Tooting

Last Updated: 13/11/2015 10:33:48   Tags: Commercial

Willmotts have been instructed to manage the new Chicken Shop restaurant at Tooting High Street, SW17, on behalf of the freeholder.

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: 13/11/2015 10:33:54   Author: Mel McMultan    Tags:

There has been a huge increase in tenants subletting the properties they are renting through out London recently. Having spoken with other agents and clients London seems to being hit by professional fraudsters. These groups or individuals take on properties on assured short hold tenancys’’ and then sublet the properties out to unsuspecting ‘tenants’ who believe them to be the landlord. Usually the properties are overcrowded, the utility bills are not paid and no insurance is in place to cover the building or those residing in it. Now this is not a new phenomenon, but the level of sophistication that these unscrupulous persons are employing with their own websites showing where the properties are and pictures that have been down loaded from legitimate agents’ websites is staggering. Unfortunately one landlord that contacted us for advice after the event said that when he reported his story to the police they were not very interested in tracking down the scammers. So please be aware of the potential risk and use an agent like us at Willmotts that are wise to the issue and undertake stringent checks on the backgrounds of potential tenants.         

Thinking of a buy to let in 2015? Some vital points to consider


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.

Education facilities
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.


Kind regards


William Taper 

Associate Director

Sales and Lettings





University of West London sells out of Ealing

Last Updated: 13/11/2015 10:34:01   Tags:

Willmotts acted on behalf of TVU in the sale of the freehold building at Grove House 1 The Grove Ealing W5. The building was formally used by the University as the Music and Arts Studies.  University has relocated the students to the main Campus in St. Mary’s Road which is a short walk away from the Grove House, during this exercise Grove House became surplus to their requirement, proceeds of the sale will be used to improve other facilities within the University.
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

West London Free School Fete

Last Updated: 13/11/2015 10:40:58   Author: Mel McMultan    Tags:

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

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