Knowledge Is Power

Thursday 02nd November 2017 06:40 EDT

We are in the process of closing a deal in Wanstead. It is a site which has been vacant for decades, its positioning is right on the High Street, in the midst of a residential development. It’s a few minutes from a Central Line station, and from there only 30 mins from Marble Arch station, and only 8 minutes to the new Crossrail.

The location is very good, as it’s close enough to central London, but far enough away to be affordable. The developed units will qualify for the Help To Buy scheme, which applies if the properties are less than £600k, and are in London. Buyers only need a 5% deposit to get on the ladder. There is no wonder most Help To Buy schemes get sold out very quickly.
There was a fixed price for the development, however, the incoming investors requested if the deal can be done using part payments. This is understandable, as the less money you use in a deal the more deals you can do. We managed to persuade the seller to postpone part of the payment until planning comes through. In effect, this last tranche will never have to be paid, as the moment planning comes through there will be no shortage of banks who will be happy to lend on the project. Therefore, the only required injection into the deal will be the first tranche.

Aside from the commercials and the location, there is the essential point of whether the land will get planning in the first place. In assessing this, there are four main criteria within which the land must fit, in order to qualify to get planning. The first is it should be situated in a settlement area, meaning the area surrounding the development must be residential led. The second criteria is there should be no restorations on the land, i.e. it should not be in a conservation area, have any trees with preservation orders on them etc. Thirdly, any proposed development must be in line with the council’s planning policies. Fourthly, consideration must be given to what surrounds the development.
The first two points are factual, and black and white, the latter two come down to the details in the development itself. Our land passes the first two points. You need the help of a planning officer in order to ensure any proposed planning is in line with council policy. At times an architect might fulfil this function, however, it is better to have a planner’s opinion to ease the application. With regards to the fourth point, we have researched this very deeply and have even analysed and profiled the characters who will be the decision makers for this application. In short, we have conducted all the due diligence we possibly could have regarding this site and are confident planning will be forthcoming on this site in due course.

We are expecting some very interesting and lucrative land to be maturing very shortly. Get in touch with our office if you want to know more.
Agony Agent is here to help!

One last little horror story to end this Halloween season!!

A seemingly nice couple took a property, for the full asking rent, and passed the references with flying colours.

All set and ready for the move date, I informed the landlord of the cost of an inventory and check in at the property. "How much? There's nothing in there, it is unfurnished" was the landlord’s response; despite me informing him of the importance of having such a document for deductions at the end of the tenancy, his attitude was "I’ll do it myself, it can`t be that hard".
Now, this landlord kept his word, and conducted an inventory and check in on half of an A4 paper! I would imagine that the other half of this piece of paper had been used for his other property. The tenants moved in as planned and things went swimmingly. The rent came in on time and in full, apart from the landlord informing me that the tenants seemed to be reporting every little issue they found to him and making a mountain out of a mole hill. This was getting to him a little, yet despite this the tenancy continued for a further few months until the tenants gave notice to leave in one months' time. After notice was given, the relationship between the landlord and tenant soured somewhat due to the tenants need to over dramatise every dripping tap or missing light bulb, and the landlord being pestered all times of the day and night by them, it came to the point that I had to relay messages between them as neither would take each other's calls (not a standard part of the service but I'm always happy to help).

The landlord advised that the tenants should leave the property on the agreed date and hand the keys back to me at the office, and also asked if I could conduct a free of charge informal check out once the tenants had left (again not part of the standard service but it would only take me about 30 seconds considering I only had the half A4 page to go by. The day soon arrived when the tenants dropped the keys off to me, I grabbed my "in-depth inventory" and headed to the property. I then phoned the landlord to inform him that the tenants had left the property clean and tidy, and that everything that was listed on the inventory was in fact still there, however, he had forgotten to list a few keys areas of the property, which were now no longer at the property! The tenants had removed the:
Toilet, sink, bathtub, cooker, fridge, washing machine, and the kitchen itself - work tops, units, draws and the frame!
The landlord could not even make any claim from the deposit, as he left out these areas on the inventory (I resisted reminding him that I had advised him to get a professional inventory done).
This situation may not have been completely avoided, however, the landlord would have been able to make a claim to the deposit, and who knows the tenants may not have even done this, if there was a professional inventory and check in and out completed at the property.

Richard BondLettings Manager

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