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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

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,

The Meaning of Commercial Terminology


Published: 28/03/2017   Last Updated: 28/03/2017 16:05:14   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 theparties 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 instructinglawyers and start incurring costs.

For help with Commercial Property
please call or email Varol Zafer
020 8222 9946,

What is the Best Gym in Hammersmith


Published: 08/02/2017   Last Updated: 10/02/2017 15:41:23   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. or call 0208 748 6644

What is the best school in Hammersmith and Fulham


Published: 14/12/2016   Last Updated: 03/04/2017 17:01:13   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 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

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

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,
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 and we are launching our new-to-market properties at 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 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


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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