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Sheldon Bosley Knight – Exceeding the Standard

Sheldon Bosley Knight

SBK Logo for WordPress GIFTwo of the most prominent estate agents in Warwickshire are joining forces to offer an unrivalled suite of services to the region. Effective 1st August 2016, Sheldon Bosley together with Knight & Rennie will become Sheldon Bosley Knight.  

The new business will operate out of the four existing centres of Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Shipston-on-Stour and Stratford-upon-Avon and will deliver a comprehensive range of property related professional services. 

This merger comes close on the heels of the recent joint venture between the two firms for a New Homes estate agency service.  The New Homes division, is managed by Oliver Knight who said “we have long regarded Sheldon Bosley as an ideal partner to complement the Lettings and Residential Sales Agency services provided by Knight & Rennie Ltd.  This is a golden opportunity for both firms to expand to offer new services to our established clients, and to forge strength and depth across all types of property.”

Pictured L-R Oliver Knight, James Walton, Marcus Faulkner, Sam Russell, Mike Cleary, Simon Wilkinson
Pictured L-R Oliver Knight, James Walton, Marcus Faulkner, Sam Russell, Mike Cleary, Simon Wilkinson

Sheldon Bosley has traditionally established its roots in Rural Land Agency, but has developed a business with a complete package of property related services with a significant and expanding planning and architectural division supporting smaller building projects to strategic development land initiatives.  James Walton, a Partner with Sheldon Bosley said “we are very excited at the prospect of this new venture which takes us forward and gives opportunity for us to expose our range of services to a new and extensive clientele, for whom Knight & Rennie have already demonstrated a quality of service and which can now be reinforced for those who require building surveys, commercial property advice and management, as well as valuations for tax and loan security.  The firm will continue to trade as a firm of Chartered Surveyors regulated by the RICS, and it is expected that changes in branding will be a strong topic of conversation amongst our friends, clients and competitors.”

Sam Russell who is also transferring his responsibilities from Sheldon Bosley to become a Director of the new “SBK” company, endorsed the comments made above by his fellow Directors “our new company will have strength in depth, will continue to commit to the highest possible standards and will seek to both satisfy the needs of our existing clients and those needs of new clients who can only be impressed by the quality and range of services offered by the new company”.

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Sheldon Bosley Goes to Hollywood!

Sheldon Bosley Quiz

Sheldon Bosley Quiz Sheldon Bosley QuizSheldon Bosley brought a little extra glitz and glamour to the Shakespeare Centre last Thursday with their annual Christmas Quiz.

This year’s Hollywood theme showcased sterling performances from the representatives of some of our key local businesses, most of whom return every year in the hope of securing the coveted trophy!

Question categories borrowed their names from the silver screen – some gave a clear indication of what was in store (History of the World, Pulp Fiction and Pitch Perfect were all a bit of a giveaway) but organiser Suzanne James who heads up the Commercial Department in Stratford, had scripted an appropriate ‘twist in the tail’ with a round subtitled ‘The Sting’ which robbed competitors of their hard-earned points if they submitted wrong answers to any of the questions.

Sheldon Bosley Quiz WinnersThe final scenes saw an end to the long-running Legal trilogy, with last year’s winners Wright Hassall and former double champions Shakespeare’s making way for new talent. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust triumphed over the rest and collected their Oscars at the end of a lively, challenging, and very worthwhile evening. Lodders were runners-up and Davies Murray White took third place on the red carpet. Some wonderful raffle prizes were also awarded, thanks to the generosity of the donors – Walton Hall Hotel, Aspire Style, Brunel Shipping, Heli-Air of Wellesbourne Airfield and No.9 Church Street, Stratford upon Avon.

Sheldon Bosley Quiz The real winner, of course, is the Stratford Cancer and Eye Hospital Appeal, this year’s chosen charity and a project we can all put our hearts, minds and money into supporting. Fundraising Manager Ali Gray and her team achieved a resounding success for the Appeal. £2,200 was raised during this very enjoyable evening, and that will provide two special ‘chemotherapy chairs’ for the benefit of the Hospital’s patients in years to come. Well done to all the participants and warmest thanks to all who contributed.

To see more photos from the event please go to our Facebook page.

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Sheldon Bosley Expands Rural Land Agency Team

Kittie Ford and Laura Gaydon, Sheldon Bosley

Kittie Ford and Laura Gaydon, Sheldon BosleySheldon Bosley are delighted to welcome Kittie Ford MRICS to our expanding Agricultural & Estate Management Department.

Kittie joins the team at Shipston-on-Stour and is a qualified Rural Chartered Surveyor bringing a wealth of experience from managing a national portfolio of clients specialising in the acquisition and disposal of surplus assets, to agricultural, residential and commercial landlord and tenant work, rural property sales and auctions.

Kittie also undertakes valuation, utility and compensation work and will further strengthen the existing experienced team at Sheldon Bosley.

Marcus Faulkner, Partner says “We are delighted that Kittie has joined us.  Our expansion plans can only be taken on with the best rural surveyors available for our clients to rely on, to ensure that the level of service can be maintained at their current high levels.  It is important that we keep ahead in the interpretation of new legislation, tax and opportunities available to our clients in the rural sector, and to demonstrate we have a highly skilled resource on which our clients can rely.  I am certain that Kittie will fit right in.”

In recent years the Agricultural & Estate Management Department has grown from strength to strength with an increasing number of both private clients and estate management clients, becoming one of the leading rural Chartered Surveyor firms in Warwickshire and the surrounding counties.

If you would like any further information on agricultural, estate management or rural property matters, please contact the Agricultural Department at Shipston-on-Stour on 01608 661666.

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An Evening with Brian Blessed and Max Hastings

Brian Blessed in Stratford upon Avon

Max Hastings - The Secret WarSheldon Bosley and their guests spent a fascinating and somewhat diverse evening at the Stratford Literary Festival on Thursday.

Firstly, the highly respected military historian, Max Hastings, talked about his new book The Secret War, Spies, Codes and Guerillas.  He regaled the audience with tales of eccentric professors and a number of somewhat inept secret agents whilst also giving a fascinating insight into the complexities of global intelligence during WW2.  Following a relaxing drink at the bar in the Stratford Artshouse, the second author to speak was completely different though equally enjoyable.

Brian Blessed in Stratford upon AvonTo a packed room, Brian Blessed, the actor, film star, coffin maker, wrestler, explorer, mountaineer and would-be space traveller treated the audience to a unique and highly entertaining account of his extraordinary life frequently interspersed with shouts of ‘Gordon’s Alive’!  As well as his ribald stories and an operatic turn he showed his more reflective side too and, to the disappointment of those in the room who could have continued listening for hours, he eventually concluded the evening with the philosophy by which he says he has always lived, ‘the greatest danger in life is not taking the adventure’.

Stratford Literary Festival Autumn 2015Sheldon Bosley are delighted to be associated with the Stratford upon Avon Literary Festival, which continues to go from strength to strength.  The Autumn Plus Programme featured a string of entertaining events for all ages and we are very fortunate to have a festival of this high standard, right on our doorstep.

Brian Blessed Signing Autographs

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And Shipston gets in on the action too!

Sheldon Bosley Estate Agents in Shipston on Stour Warwickshire - Easter Egg-stravaganza.jpg

Sheldon Bosley Estate Agents in Shipston on Stour Warwickshire - Easter Egg-stravaganza.jpgAs part of our recent Easter celebrations, the Sheldon Bosley Residential Sales team in Shipston invited children from local children’s nursery,  Greenfields, to design their own Easter Egg.

There were some very whacky entries indeed – Tracy Emin would be very impressed!

Liz Smith & Philip Jones from the Shipston team are shown with some of the entries  including the winning designs from Betsan Powell, age 5 and James Barnes, age 2½.

A big thank you to all of the young artists who took part in the competition!

 

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Have a look at what Sheldon Bosley have been up to ……….

“Sheldon Bosley sponsors this years’ Shakespeares 450th Birthday Celebrations”

Sheldon Bosley was very pleased to have been part of this year’s big birthday celebrations, in what was a memorable and enjoyable day. The day started by meeting up and unfurling the allocated flag, followed by joining in with the procession and then on to a marvellous lunch with guest speakers. Thankfully the sun was shining throughout the parade.

birthday cake 450th

Mollington Point-to-Point – Bank Holiday Monday 5th

Sheldon Bosley joined in the fun at this year’s Point to Point at Mollington. The day was a great success and we would like to thank everyone that came and paid us a visit and joined us for a drink and a bite to eat; it was good to see familiar faces and meet with some new ones. All of the support was appreciated.

Point to point 2014

Still to come this year is the Stratford Raft race – 22nd June 2014

This year Sheldon Bosley will be entering a team in to the race where the “Bosley Barge” and its crew are hoping to a) finish the race without sinking and b) raise as much money for the chosen charity this year which is the Cardiomyopathy Association (CMA). Any sponsorship/cheering on would be most welcome! ! If you would like to sponsor Sheldon Bosley, please go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/bosleybarge58 and make your donation.

Sponsor logo

Many thanks in advance

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Fifth Annual Sheldon Bosley Quiz

Sheldon Bosley Quiz 2013

The fifth annual Sheldon Bosley Quiz night was held on Tuesday, 3rd December in the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon with approximately 150 guests including fellow professionals and clients who were entertained by the staff from both the Stratford and Shipston branches. Rev Green & Miss Scarlet

The evening was once again organised by Suzanne James, Sheldon Bosley’s Commercial Property Partner who had chosen Cluedo as a theme for the night; the game is played on a floor plan of a house and therefore seemed apt for a company of chartered surveyors.  Starting in the ‘Kitchen’, the first round was based on Food and Drink; the quizzers were then taken through various other rooms including the ‘Billiard Room’ where there were some taxing questions on Sport to the ‘Ballroom’ where they had to identify tracks or artists from a wide range of musical genres.

In keeping with the theme, the evening was compered by the Reverend Green and Miss Scarlet, more familiar to everyone as Raymond Smith and Suzanne James.  There was extremely close competition for the trophy but the victors were a team from Lodders Solicitors who just pipped a rival firm of solicitors in the final round.

 Winning Team

Apart from ensuring everyone had a fun and enjoyable evening, one of the Company’s aims in organising the event is to raise funds for a charity chosen by the staff, who this year decided upon Breakthrough Breast Cancer.   A total of £1,580 was raised from the entrance fee and the raffle; the latter proved very popular with some fantastic prizes donated by various local businesses which ensured everyone dug deep into their pockets.

The reputation of this annual event is growing and Sheldon Bosley is already looking forward to gathering everyone together next December.