Posted on

Richard Connolly Achieves MRICS Status

Richard Connolly RICS, with Mark Treadwell, Commercial Property, Sheldon Bosley Knight

Richard Connolly RICS, with Mark Treadwell, Commercial Property, Sheldon Bosley KnightSheldon Bosley Knight is pleased to announce that Richard Connolly from our Commercial department is now a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  Richard recently took the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence and passed with flying colours.  In addition to his fifteen years’ experience Richard now has a worldwide industry leading qualification with which to help our clients.

In recognition of Richard’s hard work he is pictured here receiving a bottle of champagne on behalf of Sheldon Bosley Knight from Mark Treadwell, the Associate Director of the Commercial department.

The Sheldon Bosley Knight Commercial department offer a comprehensive range of commercial property services including property management, valuations and surveys, sales and lettings, rent reviews and lease renewals, business rates, architectural and planning services and advice and assistance with investment, development and acquisition.

For further information and assistance please contact the team.

Posted on

Is Your Deposit Protected?

Tenancy Deposit protectionThe Housing Act 2004 requires landlords and letting agents to protect deposits in a scheme such as The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), of which Sheldon Bosley are members.

The TDS provides government approved deposit protection with free, impartial dispute resolution.  Sheldon Bosley are also a member of the Surveyors Ombudsman Service independent redress scheme.

In addition to being RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) members, we are  a company member of ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents).  They require that all members are qualified professionals and must follow a strict code of conduct.

Client Money Protection (CMP) provided by RICS is a compensation scheme run by the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP) which provides compensation to landlords, tenants and other clients should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other client funds.

For advice on any aspect of becoming a landlord client, please feel free to contact either our Stratford lettings team on 01789 292310 or Shipston on 01608 661666.

Posted on

TOWN EXPANSION – WHAT IS NEEDED TO RETAIN COMMUNITIES

Additional HousingAdditional Housing

Of late, the current Government has implemented a building spree across the Country, and in short, the relevant District Councils have been instructed to provide additional housing to push the housing stock numbers up and to kick start the economy to try and build our way out of our current recession.

What are the effects of this?

This has two major effects; firstly the obvious, that the construction industry will move forward and generate work and economic stability, promoting industries to produce more goods and give the ability for the Country to start to move out of recession.  Secondly, is that swathes of building estates will sprout up across the Country which may be at the expense of communities.

community 2

Smaller developments such as housing numbers of 15 and below, would be of benefit to smaller towns and village   communities as they would bring families to the community who would use the local services such as shops, pubs, bus routes, schools, churches, village halls, and may in fact give these the ability to re-generate and move forward with the injection of the growth of the community.  In some cases the downside might be that larger settlements that have gained consent for 50 houses and above on the perimeters, will in fact just increase the size of the existing community, but as that community has limited resources to start with may drive the town towards a commuter settlement.

The Government have applied the Localism Bill of late and this is for communities to feed in at the bottom, giving guidance to any new development on how it can be integrated into the local economy.  A District Council would look to the Parish Council for their input to make a better settlement following consent.

Resources

Due care and consideration should be given to settlements for the increase of resources such as expansion to schools, expansion to Doctor’s Surgeries and Health Facilities and injection into the community buildings, such as village halls, town halls and libraries that would encourage new residents to integrate with the existing community, by providing the facilities that are adequate for the increase of housing numbers.community

Posted on

Hovel to House

Hovel to House

Following the new release of the additional General Permitted Development Order which came into force on the 6th April 2014, it is now possible to convert an agricultural building to a dwelling and also a shop to a dwelling. This is a big step forward from having to test the market for 6 months to see if there is any other need for the barn other than dwelling prior to putting in a full application to the District Council who would then take a larger criteria to make a decision on giving a consent for a conversion to a dwelling. With the new Development Order in place, you are now required to fill in a General Permitted Development Order and to provide a location plan so the District Council can make their decision.

 Converted property

Restrictions

There are of course restrictions that would prevent a notification being approved. These restrictions include that the building must have been in agricultural use or part of an established agricultural unit prior to the 20th March 2013, if the development would result in an external dimension of the building extending beyond the original dimensions of the building. If the site is an Article 1(5) land, which includes designated areas such as an area of outstanding natural beauty, conservation area, Listed or within the grounds of a Listed Building, on a site of special scientific interest, a safety hazard area, a military explosive storage area or site that contains a scheduled monument.

How big and how many barns can I convert?

The restrictions on numbers and sizes have also been put in place. You may only convert a barn that would result in no more than 450 sq m of floor space within the agricultural unit as a whole. The maximum number on one unit would be three dwellings, the accumulative floor area of these three dwellings, again must not exceed 450 sq m of floor area.

What rights might I lose?

Once a Consent has been granted for a conversion of an agricultural building to a dwelling under the new GPDO, you will not be able to apply for new agricultural buildings via the Agricultural Notification for a period of 10 years. Any application that is submitted within that 10 year period must be for a Full Planning Application.

What might I be expected to provide with my General Permitted Development Order

The District Council will take into consideration five specific areas whilst making their decision and may ask for additional information on these whilst the application is being processed. These being:

  • Transport and highway impact of the development.
  • Noise impact of the development.
  • Contamination risk on site.
  • Flood risk on site.
  • Whether the location or siting of the building makes it otherwise impractical or undesirable for the building to change from agricultural use to a use falling within the Class C3 Dwelling House of the Schedule to the Use Class Order.

Will the District Council require any further information once the General Permitted Development Order has been approved?

The District Council will condition any approval with specific details that would be required prior to work commencing on site and these will require discharge and will be known as Pre-commencement Conditions. These conditions could require further highways details, floor plans and elevations of the dwellings, Ecology Surveys, Tree Surveys to name but a few.

However, once a Permitted Development Order has been granted, these will only be hurdles that will require jumping prior to commencing on site, rather than hurdles that require jumping prior to the District Council making a decision.

Hurdles

From our understanding and the understanding of other governing bodies, it would appear that the Permitted Development Order is not restricted to traditional agricultural buildings but would include any agricultural building. Therefore, your Dutch barns and grain stores would be included in the permitted development.

For further enquiries or indeed assessments, please contact Sheldon Bosley for sound reliable guidance on your potential development.

Posted on

Becoming a New Landlord?

Property to Let

painterHow Do I prepare My Property for Letting?

This is a question asked by many new landlords when I first meet them. When planning a refurb, or merely preparing a property ready for the open market, it is difficult to find the right level to aim for.  How you present a property largely affects and influences the type of tenant that takes it.  If the property is scruffy or grubby you will normally find that the ‘fussy’ tenants discount it completely.  You will therefore end up with tenants that are not so fussy about their surroundings, which is not ideal.  You may have heard of the saying ‘scruffy property, scruffy tenants’.  On the other hand if a property is in good order, with up to date fittings and presented in a clean condition, then you will find it will appeal to the more fussy tenants.  These are the tenants you want as they will end up looking after your investment in a much better manner.  Tenants also do tend to stay longer if the property is comfortable to live in.

Don’t over-do your propertykitchen

Many landlords also make the mistake of over-doing their property.  It is key to make sure a refurb is planned in line with the type of property and with consideration to the typical group of potential tenants it would appeal to.  For example, a two bedroom maisonette in the centre of town is likely to appeal to a young couple or single occupant.  This does not need a high end finish. A mid range finish will suffice in this instance.  If you were renovating a large detached family home, the expected finish would be for a higher standard and specification and this would be appropriate to the market you would be aiming for, typically a professional couple with children. It is also important to ensure the fittings you install are of a good standard, as cheap fittings never last. You need something that is fit for purpose and will withstand wear and tear.

I see many landlords getting this wrong and we can help with any level of advice you may require, even down to managing the entire project for you.  For assistance please call Sue on 01608 665473 or Michael on 01789 206760.

Posted on

Advantages of Contract Administration (The Hidden Extras)

Contract Administration

Contract administration has always been an important part of any construction project but has been neglected over the years, and the recent economic decline has brought contract administration under project management to the forefront once again. In the past, small extensions may have been undertaken by local builders for the private client, for a word of mouth sum, of which as the project proceeded hidden extras appeared and the contract cost would inevitably end up 30 or 40% more than the original quotation. Now that we are in the current economic downturn, the general man on the street is more cautious when proceeding with building works and investing his hard earned money. Controlled contract administration on site, as detailed below, will help stop these hidden extras from occurring.

Following the selection of a competent Builder with a winning tender, the project will proceed and will be based on a contract specific to the construction industry, the more common of which is a JCT Contract.

The JCT Contract

JCT

The JCT Contract is a formal document that sets out the works that have been quoted for. This includes all of the specific detailing, the pricing, how the contract will be paid for at specific points, and that requests for payments from contractors will be valued by a professional, checked against the original tender and verified as acceptable before any payment is authorised. This in effect will stop the contractor taking money up front.

On each interim payment there will be an Interim Payment Certificate given, verifying that the payment can be made and stating a retention of that payment, that will be paid partly at the end of the project and partly six months following the end of the project to ensure there are not any defects that require to be put right. If these defects are not put right within that period, the remaining payment will be retained by the client.

Hidden Extras…………..

We all know about the inevitable list that appears at the end of the contract, that the contractor may surprise you with, which lists all the additional extras that were not quoted for, but have been done and the contractor now wants paying for. Sometimes these extras can add up to large sums of money which have not been budgeted for, that the client has not been made aware of and was unaware that they were going to be invoiced additionally for. If the work is being undertaken under a JCT contract this can be avoided as any additional works that are requested by the client or that are required by the contractor due to unforeseen circumstances must be firstly quoted for by the contractor, verified by the contract administrator, and signed off by the contract administrator and the client, as an acceptable quotation to undertake that additional works. If that additional works is not signed off, then it will not be paid for, and this will be at the expense of the contractor.

At the end of the project, the retention that has been taken from each payment will be partly paid back to the contractor for completing the project. We then enter into a six month period – the rectification period where if any of the contractor’s works is defective and requires to be finished, the contractor will be notified and requested to come and put the defect in good order. On the satisfaction of these works the remaining percentage of the retained money will be given to the contractor. If the contractor neglects the additional works, and does not rectify any defects in that period then the retained money will not be paid to him, and will be used to pay another contractor to put these in good order.Contract

When setting out on any construction project it is always advisable on any size of scheme to have a contract in place to protect you and the contractor in terms of payment and additional costs.

Don’t be caught out with the hidden extras.

 

Posted on

Help to Buy causing bubble

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
(RICS) has warned;

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned that a damaging property bubble is being made more likely by the Government’s Help to Buy (H2B) scheme. A report from RICS states that 57% more members were registering higher sales prices than were seeing a fall, the biggest “net balance” since 2002. RICS added that in the three months to October, chartered surveyors acted in the sale of an average of 20 homes, the highest number since 2008. While transaction levels rose in almost every region – not only in London and the South East. Economists at the trade body said inflationary pressure was being driven by a lack of property coming on to the market just as government and Bank of England initiatives were making it easier to buy. RICS said the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme had cut mortgage rates, while the latest phase of H2B meant that more people could find a place on the ladder. Labour and some Liberal Democrats have expressed fears that H2B will inflate another bubble. Chris Leslie, the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has called on the Bank of England to launch an immediate review of the scheme rather than waiting until next year, and said the £600,000 limit for properties being bought should be cut. Elsewhere, the Independent’s Steve Richards compares H2B to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. He says the scheme will contribute to the private property boom without addressing the basic problem, which is a lack of supply.

 

Posted on

Nationwide: House prices have risen

House prices are 5.8% higher than this time last year

Nationwide’s October House Price Index has revealed that house prices have risen 1% on September and are 5.8% higher than this time last year. The national average price of a house is now £173,678, still 7% below 2007’s peak of £186,044. It is the sixth month in a row that prices have gone up. Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, commented: “House price growth has accelerated as buyer demand has picked up more quickly than the supply of new homes. The risk is that if demand continues to strengthen while the supply of property remains constrained affordability could become stretched”.  According to Simon Wilkinson, Partner in Sheldon Bosley “a scenario that could in part be caused by the new Help to Buy scheme with many buyers worried about not being able to get on the housing ladder in the future if they don’t buy now”.

Posted on

Matthew Payne – Gains full qualifications

Matt Payne has now become a full member of the RICS

The Partners at Sheldon Bosley are delighted to announce that after a lengthy and extremely rigorous training and examination programme, Matthew Payne has been recently accepted as a full member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, specialising in Residential Surveys and Valuations.

Simon Wilkinson, the Partner in charge of the Survey and Valuation Department has welcomed Matthew enthusiastically, saying that “Matthew is a very valuable asset to the team, applying his natural eye for detail and methodical approach to provide a first class service.”

New RICS Member
New RICS Member

Buying a New Home……..

The purchase of a new home is likely to be the most expensive investment you will ever make, and yet many people give less consideration to condition than they would for a used car. Indicative figures published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggest that only 1 in 5 of us will have any form of independent home survey carried out prior to purchasing property, and yet the average cost of remedying unexpected defects approaches on average £6,000. When buying a home, clearly money is always tight, however a home survey conducted by an RICS member offers peace of mind, and the relevant information with which to negotiate the fairest deal.

Let us help

So if you are considering purchasing property, or want to ensure that yours is in the best possible condition prior to sale, Simon and Matthew are ideally placed to advise you. For more details please contact 01789 292310 swlkinson@shelodonbosley.co.uk / mpayne@sheldonbosley.co.uk