Monthly Archives: November 2014

Local estate agent raises over £5000 for East Cheshire Hospice

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Photo Caption: Emma Dixon, Matron of East Cheshire Hospice, Peter Higham, Operations Director of Gascoigne Halman and John Halman, Managing Director of Gascoigne Halman, and Camilla Crockett, Corporate Fundraising Officer from East Cheshire Hospice.

Local estate agent Gascoigne Halman has raised over £5000 for the East Cheshire Hospice in a multitude of fun and challenging fundraising events throughout the year. The donation to East Cheshire Hospice is part of a larger fundraising initiative which saw Gascoigne Halman raise over £10,000 with donations also going to St Ann’s Hospice, St. Rocco’s Hospice and Blythe House.

The fundraising efforts involved staff from its 18 offices across the North West which included a charity bike ride, The Wilmslow Half Marathon, a 5-a-side football tournament, a duck race, a Bakethon, a sponsored walk at Lyme Park, as well as a ‘It’s a Knock Out’ Challenge.

Commenting on the success of the fundraising efforts, John Halman said: “We are really pleased that we have been able to support these local hospices throughout the year. These very worthwhile charities do such a great job in supporting and caring for people when they need it the most. The team has done a fantastic job in all of their fundraising efforts and I feel very proud that we have been able to raise an extremely significant amount of money!”

We also spoke to Camilla Crockett, Corporate Fundraising Officer for East Cheshire Hospice, about Gascoigne Halman’s contribution to the hospice. She said:

“We were delighted when Gascoigne Halman announced they would be supporting East Cheshire Hospice as one of their nominated charities this year. We have been so impressed with the commitment the company and all of its employees have shown to their fundraising. We hope they are all really proud of everything they have achieved, and would like to say a huge thank you.”

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Local estate agent raises over £1300 for St. Rocco’s Hospice

St Rocco's Hospice cheque presentation (2)

 

Photo Caption (L-R): Bobby Shahlavi, Branch Manager for Gascoigne Halman in Lymm, Celia Renny, Staff Nurse at St Rocco’s, Sophie Birch, Staff Fundraiser at St. Rocco’s, Chris Rees, Branch Manager for Gascoigne Halman in Stockton Heath

Local estate agent Gascoigne Halman has raised over £1300 for St. Rocco’s Hospice in a multitude of fun and challenging fundraising events throughout the year. The donation to St. Rocco’s Hospice is part of a larger fundraising initiative which saw Gascoigne Halman raise over £10,000 with donations also going to St Ann’s Hospice, East Cheshire Hospice and Blythe House.

The fundraising efforts involved staff from its 18 offices across the North West which included a charity bike ride, The Wilmslow Half Marathon, a 5-a-side football tournament, a duck race, a Bakethon, a sponsored walk at Lyme Park, as well as a ‘It’s a Knock Out’ Challenge.

Commenting on the success of the fundraising efforts, John Halman said: “We are really pleased that we have been able to support these local hospices throughout the year. These very worthwhile charities do such a great job in supporting and caring for people when they need it the most. The team has done a fantastic job in all of their fundraising efforts and I feel very proud that we have been able to raise an extremely significant amount of money!”

Gascoigne Halman has supported a number of charities over the years including Children in Need, The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust, The David Lewis Centre and The Christie. Over the recent years, the estate agency has raised in excess of £50,000 for local charitable causes.

Gascoigne Halman shortlisted for 2 national estate agent awards

Gascoigne Halman is delighted to have been shortlisted for two national estate agent awards.

The leading independent estate agent has been shortlisted in the Relocation Agent Network (RAN) 2014 Best Agent in Cheshire & North Wales and Lee Tickle from the company’s Stockton Heath office has been shortlisted in Relocation Agent Network’s 2014 Employee of the Year Award.

RAN is an affiliation of the country’s leading independent estate agents who together make up the most influential estate agency force in Britain. RAN is backed by Cartus, the world’s largest relocation company.

By being part of the RAN alliance, Gascoigne Halman has the first opportunity to access the large number of purchasers moving into the area from other parts of the country through over 620 offices nationwide.

The Best Agent award is an annual prize for the agent that has consistently made the best overall contribution to the Network throughout the year. To reach this stage of the award agents must demonstrate excellent customer service, independent business initiatives, local market share and a commitment to the Relocation Agent Network principles.

Lee Tickle’s award acknowledges individuals who go above and beyond to provide the highest levels of customer service in their estate agency.

John Halman, Gascoigne Halman’s Managing Director said, “We are delighted to be shortlisted, especially as the awards recognise the hard work and combined effort, commitment and enthusiasm of our entire team.”

The winners will be announced on the 14th November at the RAN Awards Dinner in London.

Rogue agents charging over-the-odds tenant fees

The Consumer Rights Bill was debated within the House of Lords on the 4th November. An amendment was laid by the opposition to prohibit fees paid to letting agents. Responding for the Government, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said that a blanket ban on letting agent fees could not be the answer to tackling a minority of irresponsible agents and that banning fees would lead to an increase in rent prices.

ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) supports the view that fees should be transparent and believes that better regulation is needed in the private rental sector to stop rogue agents charging over-the-odds tenant fees.

Their recent report on tenant fees* found that nearly three quarters (74%) of ARLA Licensed agents charge tenants no more than £250 in tenant fees. Overall, among the members surveyed the report found ARLA Licensed agents charge a reasonable £213 on average in tenant fees to cover the lettings process.

While many are concerned about tenant fees, David Cox, managing Director of ARLA, explains why they are needed: “Tenant fees cover the cost of essential items during the lettings agreement process such a reference checks, the drafting of the tenancy agreement, and the management of tenancy extension or renewal. All of these items cost the agent money to carry out, and in fact, provided the agent has a fair pricing structure, the agent will not make a noticeable profit on charging for these items. Renting a property is a big financial commitment and tenants should be made aware of what exactly they are being charged for and what they are getting for their money. ARLS supports openness and transparency when it comes to fees.”

Philip Chadwick, Gascoigne Halman’s Lettings Director agrees: “We are confident that our commitment to ARLA’s strict code of conduct demonstrably puts the tenant first. Openness, transparency and fairness are at the heart of everything we do. Clients should be cautious if dealing with agents who are not members of ARLA.”

*ARLA Licensed agents, based on 506 responses

Buy-to-let is booming – 18% of all UK homes owned by landlords

Gascoigne Halman.

Photo Caption: Philip Chadwick, Lettings Director, Gascoigne Halman

With interest in the region’s buy-to-let market showing no signs of abating, Gascoigne Halman were interested in a recent report by mortgage lender Paragon that highlighted that an army of two million private landlords now own and rent out five million properties across the UK. This means 18% of all households now rent from private landlords and the proportion is growing as investors continue to see property as a source of future income and profit.

This, along with other statistics about this increasingly popular form of investment, provides the latest picture of the UK’s changing market as more and more people choose to rent.

The number of properties owned via buy-to-let has almost doubled in the period between 1996 and today and it is estimated the properties are worth a total of £1 trillion. The Government’s own figures indicate that by 2032, more than one in three properties will be owned by private landlords.

Gascoigne Halman is actively involved in the buy-to-let market and last week hosted a free Landlord & Investor Seminar at the Best Western Cresta Court Hotel in Altrincham. This was the third such seminar hosted by the estate agent this year. As with the other seminars, the event was a sell-out, attracting over 130 delegates, testimony to the level of interest in this booming sector.

Aimed at both new and existing landlords, the Landlord & Investor Seminars gave individuals advice on effective ways to approach the lettings market, how to raise capital for property  and capitalising on investment in order to make the most out of being a landlord. Gascoigne Halman also provided top tips for success, as well as providing data on the latest market trends.

Philip Chadwick, who heads up Gascoigne Halman’s Residential Letting & Management division was the keynote speaker. He was joined by Adrian Moloney from Nationwide/The Mortgage Works, Paul O’Brien from TFD Dunhams Accountants, and Andrew Bartley from Jolliffe & Co Solicitors. Topics discussed on the evening included ‘What makes a good buy-to-let’, ‘How to finance a buy-to-let’, ‘Tax advice’, and ‘The legal side of things’. There was also the opportunity to raise any questions with the experts at a Q&A session at the end of the event.

Speaking about the event, Philip Chadwick, said, “South Manchester and North Cheshire have many desirable locations, so it’s no surprise that the lettings market is strong in the area. We are continuing to see significant interest from individuals who are new to the buy to let market as well as existing landlords who are looking to expand their portfolio. Add to this the fact that many people are still unable to get on to the property ladder and recent news that interest rates will continue to remain low until the end of 2015, I expect rental demand to continue to steadily increase.”

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