What is Gazumping

Traditionally, the term gazumping has been tightly associated with the residential property sales sector.

However, with the low approvals of mortgage approvals, more and more people are relying on the rentals for accommodation. As a result, some analysts claim that the average cost of rentals have gone up fourth month in a row.

And, according to a new BBC article, the rising number of tenancy applicants are leading to gazumping in the lettings sector with rental properties are being let above asking prices.

Sarah Akkus, Managing Director of Appleton Estates commented: “At Appleton Estates, we would like to ensure that both our landlords and the tenants get a fair deal inline with the current rental property market in the area. To prevent any inconvenience to either party, we aim to get the price right in the first place.”

For more information on the rental property Maidenhead or rental property Windsor, please contact Appleton Estates.

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Landlord and tenant insurance

To help our client, we have teamed up with Homelet to provide landlord and tenant insurance.

To find out more, please click on the Homelet  image

Link: HomeLet

For your queries on property rentals, contact Appleton Letting Agents Windsor.

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As the property buyers seem to have the upper hand at the moment, we are hearing more and more of the term “gazundering” being used in today’s volatile market.

The tends to apply mainly to the sales market as the rental turn-around tends to be shorter and there isn’t usually a “chain” involved as with the sales sector.

In layman terms, gazundering is that act of the buyer demanding a reduction in price to secure the sale of a property at the last minute before exchange of contracts, which is key legally binding commitment in England. This puts the vendor in an awkward situation; especially when they are involved in a chain, and the vendor has planned everything around the imminent exchange.

However, the vendors do have means to minimise their exposure with few carefully planned actions:

  1. First and foremost, using a reputable agency is key as they are likely to have the relevant knowledge and expertise in place to prevent any disappointments.
  2. Pushing for a quick turn around is key. The longer the process takes, the more opportunity there is for gazundering. Ensure that all the key information is collated as soon as possible. By doing this, the average 6-8 week process can be reduced down to 2-3 weeks.
  3. Verify the credentials of the potential buyers, and ensure that they are serious about the purchase.  Ensure that they have a solicitor and a mortgage lined up. Especially while the mortgage approvals are low, this is an important check.

Good luck with your search. Please contact us at Appleton Estates for your questions on residential sales and rental property Maidenhead.

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Shortage of mortgage deals fuelling lettings sector

The Bank of England has kept the interest rates at 0.5 per cent again but the pressure seems to be mounting on the decision makers to start increasing the rates in 2011 rather than 2012 due to the ever increasing inflation rates.

At the last meeting, only 6 of the 9-people policy making committee voted in favour of keeping the interest rates at its current level.

They need to balance between stalling, and even damaging, the economic recovery and keeping the interest rates under control.

As the famous American operatic soprano Beverly Sills once said “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

Even though the headline interest rate sounds extremely attractive, the banks’ lending levels are very low. We have persoanlly witnessed that even low risk people’s mortgage applications have been turned down by the banks recently.

Sarah Akkus, the owner of Appleton Estates, said “The current conditions certainly seem to be boosting the the lettings market in 2011. There is a huge shortage of different mortgage products, and the banks are not willing to lend any money at the moment, which is pushing a lot of people into the rental sector”.

For your queries on lettings in Maidenhead, Windsor, Marlow and Reading, please contact Appleton Estates.

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What is a ‘break-clause’ in a tenancy agreement?

For those novice landlords and tenants. Here’s a quick explanation of the “break clause” in the tenancy agreement.

Break clauses apply to the fixed term contracts rather than the periodic ones. A fixed term agreement is for a fixed period agreed in the rental agreement (usually six months or one year).

During the fixed term of the tenancy, a break clause simply gives the Tenant or the Landlord an option to give notice (usually 1 month or 2 months).

For further information on the break clause in tenancy agreements
or other residential tenancy related questions, please contact Appleton Letting Agents Windsor.

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Assured and Assured Shorthold Tenancies

Both Assured and Assured Shorthold tenancies are the most common methods of residential leases in the United Kingdom. They were introduced by the Housing Act 1988 in their current form. This Act initially set the Assured tenancy as the default, which has is more tenant friendly. The Housing Act 1996, which came into effect from 28th of February 1997, however, ensured that the Assured Shorthold tenancy was to be used unless otherwise stated.

There other types of leases and the following are the caveats where the assured or shorthold tenancy can be used:

  • the tenancy is between the “private” tenant and “private” landlord
  • the tenancy starts after the 15th of January 1989
  • the property is rented as separate accommodation and it is the tenant’s main residence.

Both types of tenancy can be be in 2 forms:

  • fixed term: this type of lease runs for a fixed period of time
  • periodic: this type of lease runs indefinitely from one rent period to the next

Furthermore, a tenancy can not be a Shorthold or an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) if:

  • the pure rental income is greater than £25000 per year
  • the total yearly rent is less than £250 (this maximum limit for Greater London is £1000);
  • agricultural tenancies
  • an educational body such as a college or a university grants a tenancy to a student
  • when letting a holiday property is involved (there are certain conditions on this)
  • resident landlord
  • a tenancy where the landlord is the local authority, Crown or a Government Department (there are certain conditions on this)

For any queries, please seek legal advice from approved bodies in the UK, such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Adil Akkus is the owner of the Appleton Estate Agents Windsor.

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Only one in 4 will be able to buy in the future

Just one in four couples will be able to afford to buy a home in the future, according to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which says that Britain is turning into a “rotten borough” where a whole generation will be locked out of the property-owning democracy. The report, by the JRF Housing Market Task Force, calls for radical reform to Britain’s housing and planning system to reduce the boom-and-bust cycle. It wants an urgent increase in the supply of housing, both private and council, plus credit controls, such as temporary caps on the maximum amounts an individual can borrow, to curb future booms.

For advice on serviced apartment maidenhead, please contact Appleton Estates.

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What would you do if your tenants decide not to pay their rent?

A landlord has blocked off his plush £1m home with ten skips to stop his tenants from leaving without paying the £15,000 he claims they owe him. Businessman Simon Everingham says he has been in a constant battle for £3,000-a-month rent since the occupants of his four-bedroom 18th century farmhouse in Markington, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, fell behind with the payments last November. He barricaded the American tenants Dan and Christina Herring in by blocking the drive last Monday and the fight to stop them leaving continues.

Give us a call at Appleton letting Agents Windsor if you would like to prevent falling into the same trap.


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What would you do if your tenants refused to leave your property?

An average eviction takes up to 5 months, costs £800 and you obviously will not get paid rent throughout this period.

This is where Appleton Estates can help. In partnership with HomeLet, the UK’s leading insurance provider for the lettings industry, Appleton Estates can provide comprehensive Legal Expenses protection. With this cover we will put HomeLet’s property legal experts at your disposal, all for less than the cost of a solicitor’s letter! HomeLet’s Legal Expenses policy has no restrictions on the tenant type, and there’s no excess to pay – meaning you’re covered for: Legal expenses up to £50,000, obtaining vacant possession and having them handle the entire process, including recovery of damage costs and the eviction of unauthorised occupiers like squatters. You will also receive access to their specialist in-house Legal and Claims team to ensure your claim is dealt with promptly with this policy too.

Commenting on Legal Expenses protection; Sarah Akkus, the Managing Director,  said: “Landlords want to believe the best of their tenants, but occasionally tenants can for what ever reason stop paying rent. The NLA reported that in Q2 2010 one in five landlords experienced rental arrears last year, and if that happens to you, you must ensure you have precautions in place to deal with the situation quickly and easily, especially if your tenants decide not to leave your property when asked”.

Mrs Akkus continued‘I’d strongly urge any landlord who is renting to tenants, especially if they have a portfolio of properties, to put in place some legal expenses cover. Hopefully the worst doesn’t happen, but if it does, it will ensure tenants will be quickly evicted and loss of rent will be kept to a minimum”.

For further information on landlord insurance, contact Appleton Letting Agents Windsor.

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Landlords! Are you ready for summer?

Summer is a great time of year, but have you considered some of the possible perils summer brings? If a window cleaner, gardener or tenant injures themselves on your property, are you covered if they sue you?

Do you have expensive garden furniture and BBQs in your garden?

Do you have emergency assistance cover if a disaster at your property was to happen this summer? No one wants to dwell on the worst, but as a conscientious landlord you must prepare for these possible eventualities. Often putting something right after a disaster is much more costly and difficult.

Many of you will be aware of specialist landlord’s insurance tailored specifically for rental properties, but when HomeLet conducted some independent research with landlords, they discovered a massive 73%* of landlords with more than six properties are not aware of specialist landlord insurance and could have substandard cover.

Appleton Letting Agents Windsor strongly advises landlords to get sufficient insurance cover. If you are not sure of the details, do not hesitate to contact us, and we’ll take you through the key points areas to consider.

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