What is a testimonial?  The dictionary describes it as  “A testimonial is a formal logo-1statement testifying to someone’s character and qualifications.  A sworn testimony is evidence given by a witness who has made a commitment to tell the truth”

In the world of business, especially where sales people are concerned, a testimonial is one of the most important tools a business has as it is a statement of truth that someone is prepared and willing to say about a person or a company. It is the fact that its a statement of truth that for many people is why its so important. Its especially important when choosing a Surrey Letting Agent as you are giving them the keys to what is possibly your most valuable asset.

Running my own business and the time constraints that are on this, its often the last thing I remember to ask for, however it is rewarding to get nice feedback, especially from long established clients. Here at SurreyLets we use the independent company Referenceline to collate our feedback from clients and all I share below can be seen by clicking here 

Here are just a few of the ones we have had come in this month that I am delighted to share with you.

November 2016

I was so impressed by the service I received. SurreyLets were professional, efficient and knowledgeable. They are the best letting agency I”ve ever encountered (and there have been several!) They went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure I was moved in quickly and I wouldn”t hesitate to recommend them to others. Replies to emails were quick and they ensured all of my questions were answered. Moving house is usually stressful but dealing with them was a pleasure. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Compared with some letting agents, SurreyLets are a breath of fresh air. I wholeheartedly recommend them! (Miss G – Tenants reference)

Sally is great I have full confidence in her professionalism – I have used other agents in the past – but thankful there is no further need to do so – If I had met Sally ten years ago I would be alot richer and happier. (Mr T – Landlord reference)

Our experience with SurreyLets has been excellent, we have used Sally”s services for nearly 7 years and are consistently impressed with her professional and friendly tenant selection and lettings management. Living abroad it”s important to be able to trust a property agent and we trust Sally 110%. We won”t hesitate to recommend her to anyone we know. (Mr & Mrs H – Overseas Landlord)

I have had my property with SurreyLets for the past 6.5 years and over that time the unit has only been vacant for less than 20 days. The service provided has been excellent with all aspects addressed in a very prompt and professional way. Over this period we have encountered a wide range of issues including general maintenance , urgent issues, complaining tenants, misbehaving dogs etc – in every case it has been addressed and resolved by SurreyLets. I have been very pleased with the filtering of prospective tenants which is done well in advance of the end of the lease period. This has allowed us to change tenants with very limited “downtime” and also to source good quality and reliable people. Problems are also proactively addressed and they provide a solution rather than just communicating the problem. They have good access to all the required service providers and ensure that all work needed is properly executed and monitored so as to minimize the impact to the tenants. overall I an very satisfied and would certainly recommend their services to anyone needing a managing agent (Mr D – Overseas Landlord)

To see all of our customer testimonials please visit Referenceline by clicking this link 

Finding a letting agent in East Horsley, Finding a letting agent in Effingham, Finding a Letting Agent in Bookham, Finding a Letting agent in West Horsley, Finding a Letting agent in Ripley

SurreyLets are pleased to bring to the Lettings market for the first time, a wonderful family home within a few moments walk of the superb village centre of East Horsley.p1020001

This property is a well presented and deceptively spacious four bedroom modern family home and is perfectly situated for a busy family due to its proximity to all the local amenities such as the village shopping facilities, train station with fast links to London, sports clubs and village green spaces.

The accommodation is spacious and well thought out and comprises of: A newly fitted modern kitchen with a range of white goods, spacious contemporary lounge which leads in open plan style to a formal dining area, a conservatory which is an ideal playroom, a study and a downstairs WC. Upstairs the property boasts a beautifully presented master bedroom with a newly renovated en-suite shower room, three further double bedrooms and a beautifully presented family bathroom. Externally the property offers a double garage, beautifully styled front and rear gardens (gardener included) and off road parking for many vehicles accessed by electric gates.

rloungediningPeaceful, traditional, semi rural and undoubtedly affluent. The villages of East and West Horsley make up “The Horsleys”, one, or two villages depending on your viewpoint, are situated at the foot of the Surrey Hills nestled in beautiful open countryside and yet just 48 minutes to London. Beautifully middle class, yet traditionally village like, the Horsley have a wealth of charm, character but most of all its community spirit is still intact. This is the Surrey affluenza belt, connected to motorways and London Waterloo by train, yet swaddled in green belt.

The Horsley’s are an area that attracts the corporate relocated overseas families who make use of the international schools: The ACS in Cobham and the International School of London ISL in Woking being firm favourites of international families. Locals move to the area for the outstanding state schools, The Raleigh Primary School and The Howard of Effingham School both being on the doorstep. Those looking at private schooling have Glenesk primary, Cranmore School and St Teresas.east horsley 1

The Horsleys are a typical family orientated area. Saturdays lots of children enjoy sporting activities. Horsley Football Club, The Cricket Club and The Tennis Club are just some of the sporting activities on hand, although the community run clubs offer a plethora of clubs from cycling, running and rambling. Locally families tend to shop on a Saturday in the village enjoying a traditional butchers (Conisbees), bakers (The Bakery) and coffee shop (Quaich) all of which are owned and managed by members of the community and who care and invest in community. The village also has a popular well used library which runs many half term and holiday children’s activities and reading clubs.

The Horsley have some superbly attended churches, St Marys Church offers a traditional service at 9am and a contemporary service at 10.45 in the village hall where there is a live worship band and outstanding youth ministry. St Martins Church also offers service choices and is well attended.

Commuters take advantage of Horsley Station and its fast southwest train service to London Waterloo taking just 47 minutes, stopping for a quick coffee at The Stockyard station coffee shop. Of course the commuter road links are excellent too with the A3 being a 5 minute drive away taking you to London or Portsmouth, and less than 10 mins to junction 10 of the M25, meaning that (subject to flowing traffic!) the airports of Gatwick and Heathrow are under an hours drive away.

The Horsley really do offer something for everyone. I have lived here for 25 years and I am biased, but if you would like more information, I would be delighted to chat to you. Call me, Sally Asling on 01483 282470 or send me a mail to info@surreyletsonline.co.uk

rent-increaseAccording to ARLA  (Association of Residential Letting Agents) The supply of rental homes has risen “astronomically”, from the lows seen earlier this year.  The jump in availability is likely to have contributed to average private sector rents remaining unchanged in September, ending a near six year run of rising prices, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But despite rents being flat month-on-month, they were still 2.3% higher than they had been a year earlier, meaning they are rising at nearly four times the rate of inflation.

Across Surrey, the fact that rents have been holding steady in September is likely to be due to the increase in supply, giving landlords less scope to hike their rents.Its a known fact that if a landlord keeps rentals the same then tenants will stay but they more than often leave when the landlord puts the rental up.

 

All areas of the UK saw rental increases during the 12 months, with the South East leading the way with a hike of 3.5%. Sally Asling, Lettings Director at online letting agency  SurreyLets comments  “At SurreyLets we are aware of continual rental increases year on year for tenants, however most investor Landlords look at the cost of replacing a tenant which can often offset and rental increases should the tenant leave due to a rental increase. Therefore our rental increases whilst modest are still within, if not more than,  the average increases seen in the South East.”

However despite more stock being available than earlier in the year, there is still an overall shortage of properties available,  therefore potential tenants are likely to face an increase in competition for properties and more rental increases.

Whilst across Surrey,  agents have seen who had been Landlords have been holding off committing to further Buy-To-Let investment following a multitude of tax disadvantages coupled with Brexit  continue to invest. Additionally the fears that  landlords would exit the sector in the face of a wave of tax hikes had not yet come to pass.

Landlords are facing a raft of tax changes including the higher Stamp Duty rate introduced in April, a reshuffle of mortgage interest tax relief next year and an end to the 10% annual ‘wear and tear’ allowance for those letting furnished properties.These tax rises have prompted concerns that the UK could face a significant shortage of rental homes.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recently warned that 1.8m new rental properties were needed just to keep pace with growing demand. SurreyLets director, Sally Asling concurs.

“Whilst ARLA have reported an increase in stock, there is still a shortfall in stock given the demand. In the key areas we cover which is predominately the affluent commuter belt areas in East and West Horsley, Effingham, Bookham and villages in the Guildford to Leatherhead corridor, we are seeing an increase in rental demand as families looking to secure a home in the areas, to benefit from the  outstanding schooling, are finding themselves priced out of the sales market. In these areas property prices have gone up a further 7% in the last year despite the market being quite stagnant following Brexit. There is no sign of the housing market dropping in value in these sought after villages, and families are struggling to get on the housing ladder. These families often seek employment in the city and need the quick commuter links, but like to live in these affluent villages. Rental is a viable solution but it has put an overwhelming strain on the private rented sector where there is a shortage of property available”

If you are thinking of letting your property in any of the areas above and would like a free, no obligation market appraisal of your property, we would be delighted to assist you. Our experienced staff can discuss all the options available to you and offer as much support as you need to guide you through the lettings process. Please contact Sally Asling, Lettings Director, SurreyLets on 01483 282470 or by email info@surreyletsonline.co.uk

 

Despite it being a turbulent political year not to mention Brexit (oops I just did)  according
to Zoopla, house prices in Bookham and Effingham have increased in the last 12 months. Sally Asling, director of SurreyLets looks at the sales data.

The Sales market in Bookhamhousing-market

Property in the Bookham area has seen a growth of 7.47% in the last year  (Oct 2015 – Oct 2016)  which for the average Bookham property is an increase of  around £46,571
This is Great News for Bookham homeowners

The current average value is 668K whilst the average sold price is 615K . The average detached property in Bookham in October 2016 is 833K with the average Semi standing at 526K, Terraced homes at 430K and Flats averaging 294K

The Sales market in Effingham

Across the whole market there has been an increase though out the year. However over in Effingham, property prices have performed just a smidgen higher in pounds and pence, but the increase is is the same at 7.47%

Over the past year 24 sales have been agreed in this data catchment. The average value was 815K and the average sold price was £674K.  The average detached property has an average sold price of 981K, with the average Semi standing at 536K, Terraced homes at 525K and Flats at 437K

Rentals in Bookham and Effingham

Sally Asling – Letting Director at  SurreyLets states:  “The  average price for a 4 bedroom rental property in both Bookham and Effingham is in the region of £2500 – 3000pcm with 5 bedrooms reaching up to £3500pcm on average, however there is a severe shortage of stock in the Bookham and Effingham rental markets across all price categories which are effectively pushing rentals up.  Whilst the corporate market has slowed down, the slack is being picked up by the sheer number of people renting as they are self building or extensively renovating their own homes. If you are thinking of renting your property, SurreyLets are confident we can get you the maximum rental for your property in any price range.”

Forecast

Many people are concerned that the prices may dip following Brexit. However there are absolutely no signs of this in this areas of Surrey at the moment.

A trio of data from the NAEA suggests the UK is shrugging off the impact of Brexit with the housing market rebounding to pre-referendum levels.

There was a 16% jump in potential buyers in September, pushing numbers back up to levels not seen since June, while sales agreed rose by 12.5%, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).Meanwhile, government figures showed the UK’s economy grew by a stronger than expected 0.5% between July and September, providing further support for the housing market.

Buyers and sellers appeared to have adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach immediately following the vote to leave the EU. The interest rate cut in August is thought to have helped boost confidence, as people expect mortgage rates to remain low for longer than previously thought.

Read more here

Data taken from the Zoopla Plus Website current as of 1st November 2016

So, you are thinking of living in Bookham. Of course, before deciding to settle in a new area, its always wise to “try before you buy” which is why so many people look at renting a property first. SurreyLets have the following to report about Bookham.

Firstly, how much is property going to cost?  Well the average house of the past 12 months (Oct 15-Oct16) was £615,948 taking in 140 sales. The current asking price average in the area is £582,608 which upon average will buy you a 3 / 4 bedroom home.  If you are looking at renting, the current average asking price is £1892pcm which is for a standard 3 bedroom home. Rental prices for one bedroom start around £750pcm and for a 5 bedroom family home will rise to around £3500pcm

Why not see what SurreyLets, Lettings specialists in Bookham have to offer now?

Bookham is really two areas divided into Great Bookham and Little Bookham and is mostly referred to as “The Bookhams”. The name Bookham was originally a Saxon settlement called Bocham. Great Bookham is the larger village that offers a shop-packed High Street whilst Little Bookham has the railway Station. The main High Street in Great Bookham has an array of shops from convenience stores, greengrocers, banks, florists, chemist, estate agents and dentists, not to forget the bakers and gift shops. From the High Street it takes about 20 minutes to walk to the Train Station in Little Bookham, but of course that depends on how fast you walk, whether you want to or even if you prefer to cycle (as many do). Worthy of mention too is the large purpose built medical centre – The Fairfield Medical Centre – which offer a range of NHS services.

There are there pubs in the village, The Anchor, The Royal Oak, The Old Crown and one in Little Bookham, Ye Olde Windsor Castle. All jolly good watering holes!

There are 2 primary schools in the village, which makes the area very sought after with families: Eastwick Junior School in Eastwick Drive and The Dawnay School in Griffin Way. There are 3 infant schools in Great Bookham: the Polesden Lacey School in Oakfield Close, Eastwick Infant School in Eastwick Drive, and The Dawnay Infant School in Griffin Way. The highly regarded secondary school, The Howard of Effingham School is in neighboring village Effingham.

The villages are situated on the A246 which is the main route for traffic travelling between the Surrey towns of Leatherhead and Guildford. Its well situated to get onto the M25 at Leatherhead at junction 9 for access to both the London airports of Gatwick and Heathrow.

The village is well known as the location of Polesden Lacey, a county house located on the southern edge of the village, surrounded by over 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of grounds, now owned by the National Trust and open to the public. This makes for lovely walks and family days out.

The Bookhams are great village locations for families. There are lots of community activities for stay-at-home mums, easy transport links for commuters, great local schools and several clubs for children of all ages. Whilst quite a large village, The Bookhams retain a community feel.

If you are thinking of renting in the Bookham area, please get in touch and we will do all we can to assist you in finding a home to rent. If you are looking to make your Buy-to-Let investment in Bookham, SurreyLets Director, Sally Asling will be more than happy to give you a guide on rental returns, tenant demographics and assist you with your purchase.

Sally can be contacted at SurreyLets by calling 01483 282470 or by e-mail info@surreyletsonline.co.uk

Properties currently available to Let in Bookham – Click here.

Are you a Landlord thinking of Letting out your property in Bookham?

Having just undergone complete refurbishment to a high specification – this Bookham property is a rental delight.

kitchen

Dawney Road Bookham – Beautifully Presented Throughout

SurreyLets are delighted to be marketing this brand new family home in Dawnay Road Bookham.

Situated in a quiet residential road in Bookham, yet still convenient for the High Street and local schools (and within catchment of the Outstanding Howard of Effingham secondary school), this detached family home offers beautifully designed well thought out accommodation.

The open plan Kitchen which adjoins a second reception room is a wonderful light, bright and airy space with huge potential for a variety of uses.

The property accommodation comprises of: Hallway leading to the formal Lounge, a Study, a beautifully fitted Kitchen with generous eating and family area and Bi-fold doors opening the area outwards which is perfect for summer days and entertaining, this room adjoins another reception room which could be used as a snug.

Leading off from this is a modern utility room and downstairs WC. Upstairs the property offers a generous master bedroom with a beautiful en-suite, a guest double bedroom with en suite and further double bedroom, a single bedroom and a family bathroom. Externally the property offers a garage, garden and off road parking for several vehicles.

Must be seen to be fully appreciated.

TO LET   £2,750 pcm
Dawnay Road, Bookham

Detached Family Home
Four Bedrooms
Three Reception Rooms
Utility Room
Garage / Utility room
Catchment for Howard of Effingham
Brand New
Three Bathrooms
Stunning Kitchen with Dining and Family Areas
Study
Private Rear Garden
Convenient Location

VIEWINGS BY APPOINTMENT

kitchen2

Stunning Open Plan Space

SurreyLets are a leading local Letting Agent in the Bookham and Effingham area offering a wide range of specialist Lettings and Property Management Services. SurreyLets are an online Letting Agent offering Full Property Management, Tenant Finding, Rental Collection and a comprehensive range of Landlord services across Surrey

epc2
There are new changes coming into force for Landlords with regard to the EPC rating of a property.

 

As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption. A civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches.

Poor energy rating is classed as those EPCs with F and G ratings

There are separate regulations effective from 1st April 2016 under which a tenant can apply for consent to carry out energy efficiency improvements in privately rented properties. Click here for this Guide.

SurreyLets like all letting agents need to have a copy of the properties EPC to market a property. These new guidelines will start affecting rental values. Sally Asling, Lettings director at SurreyLets states “Its clear that over time the rentable value of the property will be affected by the EPC rating. We are not there yet, but as consumers become more aware of impact of the EPC rating, lower rated properties will find tenants negotiating on the rental to compensate them the difference in energy savings that a higher rated property would provide”

The Regulations apply to domestic private rented sector properties in England and Wales to all properties let on an AST agreement  (Assured Shorthold Agreement)

Prohibition on letting
A domestic private rented sector property is substandard if the EPC rating is F or G, unless an exemption applies. The legislation prohibits a landlord from letting out a substandard property. If there is an EPC in place which shows that the property is an F or G then it must not be let; otherwise the landlord is liable to penalties. This is subject to any available exemptions. Energy efficiency improvements must be carried out to bring the property up to an E rating at the minimum, unless one of the exemptions is applicable.

If a landlord lets and continues to let the property in breach of the regulations, however, the breach does not affect the validity or legality of the tenancy itself, so the rent still continues to be payable.

So what does SurreyLets suggest you do to get the best EPC on your property?

  • Replace any non-double glazed windows and or old sealed units with modern A rated windows The rating doesn’t matter unless you have a document showing the “U-value.’ If they are good new windows have a document showing the U-value rating ready for the assessor. Otherwise if the windows have a datestamp on them telling saying they are post or during 2003 they will get a good rating. Secondary glazed is obviously better than sing glazed also, which is what may need to get done in conservation areas where your not allowed to upgrade the windows
  • Fit seals to external doors to help keep the chill out, change any wooden doors with new PVCu doors (Again keep the u-value information to show the assessor) also note that if the door is more than 60% glazed it won’t count as it will just go down as a window.
  • Fit a decent jacket around your hot water tank or replace with a fully lagged tank -Spot on. The maximum the assessor can record is 160mm of insulation around the tank, makes a small difference.
  • Ensure that lofts and wall cavities are insulated to at least the latest standard of 270mm 
  • If replacing your boiler is getting old plan to replace and fit to an energy efficient, condensing boiler. 
  • Fit TRV (Thermostatic Rad Valves) to all radiators 
  • Fit zone thermostats 
  • Change old style electric storage heaters (if fitted) with the latest fan assisted heaters which have significantly better energy rating  (although electricity for heating will always have a very negative effect on your EPC. Oil, LPG and Mains gas always are better.)
  • Get cavity wall insulation installed or get dry lining with insulation (keep the proof you have had it done by invoice
  •  Use energy saving light bulbs such as LEDs. 


Implementation

From 1 April 2018, the regulations will apply on the granting of:

A new tenancy to a new tenant
A new tenancy to an existing tenant, i.e. any extension or renewal to an existing tenant. This includes a statutory periodic tenancy which comes into existence at the end of the fixed term shorthold.
From 1 April 2020, the regulations will apply to all privately rented property in scope of the regulations.
Enforcement
Local authorities will enforce compliance with the regulations.

For more information about how the new EPC regulations will affect you as a Landlord, or for more information regarding renting your property, please contact the Specialist Letting Team in Surrey at SurreyLets on 01483 282470

 

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