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Monday, 12 June 2017 16:26

Lettings - Ask the expert June 2017

We have always let our own cottages in the past, however there seems a lot of new legislation. How does this affect me?

Until five years ago if you could organise, ensure the right contract and paper trail were in place, there would be no reason why a landlord couldn’t let his own property. However so much legislation has been imposed on the letting sector in recent years, it is no longer worth the risk.

As of February 2016 landlords or letting agents representing them, have to make sure that their tenants have the “Right to Rent.” Those found to be leasing homes in England without their tenants, or the inhabitants of your property having a Right to Rent could be fined up to £3,000 per occupier. It's very important that ALL occupiers over 18 are checked, not just tenants.

From December 1st 2016, the government introduced additional penalties and offences relating to Right to Rent. Landlords now face potential imprisonment for failure to check the occupier's Right to Rent status. Having an independent agent carrying out these checks relieves the landlord, which can be particularly helpful where the tenant is desperate to live in the locality, a friend of a friend, or a local employee.

Furthermore, the Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination on grounds of race (this includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins) so landlords must not discriminate against prospective occupiers, as a result, landlords need to check everyone or risk civil penalties for discrimination later on.

Letting legislation has changed so quickly, there are simply too many traps for DIY landlords, from the mandatory Deposit protection, to regulations surrounding the installation and maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, plus gas safety certificates, Legionella Risk Assessments and it is anticipated that compulsory Electrical checks will be next on the list. At Balfours we can manage the letting process then, should you prefer, leave you to undertake the day to day management – we would simply provide prompts of necessary action.

Of course Welsh landlords must now operate under “Rent Smart Wales,” which means undertaking training to handle any aspect of letting. Today letting requires specialist knowledge which is continually being updated.

Monday, 12 June 2017 15:45

Charlotte adds RICS to her name

Charlotte White is the latest Balfours assistant land agent to pass her Assessment of Professional Competence exams to gain RICS initials after her name – as a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The 24 year old who graduated from Harper Adams is delighted with her latest achievement, just twelve months after joining one of Shropshire’s leading land agents. Charlotte has spent the past year working with Balfours’ Partner and planning specialist, Justin Stevenson, both on Estates and planning projects.

Charlotte’s latest achievement comes less than six months after passing her CAAV exams – the Central Association of Auctioneers and Valuers. Says Justin: “We are immensely proud of Charlotte’s achievements; she has not only worked hard, but has a real affinity and grasp of tasks and projects she is involved with.”

Charlotte, who admits to enjoying all aspects of her work, says: “I like the fact that my work is so diverse, I want to become a well-rounded land agent – and Balfours is giving me that opportunity.” Asked about her hobbies, Charlotte adds: “I really haven’t had time with my studies, but now I am enjoying catching up with friends and am looking forward to a short break in Venice.”


Friday, 09 June 2017 15:25

Mountfields, Shrewsbury


A delightful period terraced property located in the very desirable area of Mountfields.

If you are considering the sale of your home, a market appraisal is the first step towards making a decision; to put your house on the market and when to do so. This will include a realistic assessment of what the property could realise if launched to the market.

At Balfours, one of our experienced team of residential agents will be delighted to visit at your convenience. They will spend time understanding your brief, reviewing and assessing your property, its surroundings and location. It is through this process that we will be in a position to provide a detailed appraisal of marketing your home within the current residential market.

We would expect our initial visit to take at least an hour; this is because both you and your house are unique, as are your future aspirations and timescales for potentially launching your home to the market. From this meeting we will promptly prepare your market appraisal so that you can focus on the options in front of you. We understand that you will require other agents to visit, so that you can assess alternative opinions.

It is our meticulous attention to detail, personable and diligent responses which clients not only appreciate, but gives them confidence in our professional involvement, in what is likely to be one of the most important transactions of their lifetime.

Our team has a unique mix of experience globally, in the capitals and in the provinces. Is that relevant to Shropshire and its borders you might ask? Yes, because we can think outside the box. We drive client aspirations with energy and passion resulting in achievements, of which we are proud and a reputation, on which the Balfours brand is based on.

If you would like to know more, do call 01743 353511, or visit our office in Shrewsbury’s Square and see what we have to offer.

main Bank House

Thursday, 08 June 2017 13:59

Four bed home with orchard and outlooks

A newly renovated four bedroom cottage nestled in a popular rural hamlet south of Shrewsbury has been launched to the market.

Honeysuckle Cottage, Frodesley, has been tastefully renovated to provide sizeable, light and airy rooms with excellent layout. Each of the two reception rooms and the kitchen are accessed from the hall, as is the stairs to the first floor. There is also a utility and cloakroom.

Agent, Scott Kemsley, of Balfours says: “This is a really well presented property, the two reception rooms each have French doors to the terrace and garden beyond, which is mainly laid to lawn. In addition there is a charming orchard and wonderful outlooks to farmland.”

While the kitchen breakfast room benefits from a Rayburn, the two reception rooms each have wood burners. On the first floor the master-room is en-suite while the family bathroom serves another three bedrooms.

Situated two miles from the local primary school at Longnor, four miles from Dorrington with Church Stretton and Shrewsbury being eight and ten miles respectively, all amenities are within an easy commute.

Tucked down a quiet lane in Frodesley, a garage and off-road parking are part of the Honeysuckle Cottage package which is marketed by Balfours with a guide price of £425,000. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

Honeysuckle Cottage Main

Honeysuckle Cottage Orchard

Honeysuckle Cottage Rear Aspect

Honeysuckle Cottage Sitting Room

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 13:19

Cheswardine, Market Drayton


Development site which has been granted full planning permission for construction of a three bedroom family home with garage and garden.

Bringing people together in the name of selling properties is a gift for which Scott Kemsley is gaining quite a standing.

The Balfours property agent is successfully linking vendors throughout South Shropshire, from Condover (just south of Shrewsbury) through hamlets and villages to Church Stretton, Ludlow and beyond.

Scott - who has been with Balfours for more than two years - says his increasing portfolio is thanks to four key factors; the Balfours brand, his global property sales experience, recognising and matching aspirations with properties, and his love of South Shropshire, a fact endorsed by his return to his home patch.

He explains: “Balfours’ positioning in the market is particularly strong in the rural communities, villages and hamlets, with charming properties from cottages to castles and everything in between.”

He continues: “It is true to say that twenty years working the overseas property market has given me 360 degree vision, enabling me to positively translate the aspirations of vendors and their properties, linking them to buyers who don’t always recognise what they’re looking for!

“It’s about bringing people together; both parties need to be happy, at which point you have a conversion and I can close the sale,” adds Scott.

“And achieving sales he has”, confirms head of sales at Balfours, Alistair Hilton. “Since Scott’s arrival he has successfully driven our business in the south of the county, with properties generally selling between £400,000 and £900,000. We are delighted with the enormous progress he has achieved in the company’s ambition to expand the market share in South Shropshire.”

Scott, who enjoys playing cricket and hockey for Ludlow, concludes that his love of South Shropshire is his source of motivation. “I have been lucky enough to see a great deal of the world, but it is a privilege to sell properties in a county that offers so much, from landscape and lifestyle to culture and 21st century technology. Indeed, four out of five of my  recent sales have been to buyers outside the county who have chosen to relocate to the area and work remotely.”

So if you have a property for sale in South Shropshire, get in touch!

Tuesday, 06 June 2017 10:41

Copthorne - Shrewsbury


Located in Copthorne, this period terraced three bedroom family home has been modernised and boasts a south facing landscaped garden.

A brand new highly economic, three bedroom detached property, near Baschurch is available to let.  The rare chance to step into a superb home, in a pretty rural village with low maintenance garden is at Harris Cottage, Weston Lullingfields.

The light and airy property offers fresh contemporary fixtures and fittings, both in the kitchen and bathroom. The large living kitchen boasts French doors with glazing to either side opening straight onto the patio, with the garden beyond. The property includes an entrance porch, spacious hallway, sitting room, kitchen/diner and guest cloakroom. On the first floor there are three good sized bedrooms and a family bathroom.

Marketed by Balfours, Head of Lettings, Charlotte George, MARLA, says: “This is a great opportunity to rent a brand new, one off property, with an excellent Energy Performance Certificate. It is in a sought after location within the village of Weston Lullingfields, with Baschurch just two miles away, offering primary and secondary schools and a good selection of other services including public houses and shops. Shrewsbury is ten miles and Oswestry, twelve.

Charlotte adds: “Harris Cottage is a must see property ,it  comes with double glazing throughout, 21st century insulation and, oil fired  central heating achieving an EPC rating of B. There is also ample parking and glorious views to the rear over open fields” The property is available to let at £875.00 per calendar month.

Please click here for further details.

Harris main

Harris sitting rm

Harris kitchen

Harris Garden

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, is to hold two county annual meetings at Weston Park.

CLA Shropshire branch and CLA Staffordshire branch will visit on Tuesday, June 6 and Wednesday, June 7 respectively.

Both meetings will incorporate an address from CLA Vice President Mark Bridgeman who will provide an update on the latest CLA lobbying in the lead up to the general election on June 8, and the association’s continuing work to ensure that investment in the countryside is maintained post-Brexit.

The meetings will also provide a unique opportunity to tour Weston Park’s beautiful house and gardens, together with its 1000 acres of Capability Brown parklands.

Colin Sweeney, Chief Executive of the Weston Park Foundation adds: “We are delighted to be hosting the CLA annual meetings. Members are almost certainly aware of and have visited Weston Park, but we hope that these events will give a fresh image of our activities, the ever changing challenges and evolving successes we have achieved within the Estate.” 

Jointly sponsored by solicitors FBC Manby Bowdler, as well as Balfours, who have acted as Land Agents to Weston Park Foundation since its formation in 1986. Balfours managing partner, Michael Evans comments: “CLA members and guests will gain an insight into how the Estate is run. Today many estates and farms have stepped outside pure agriculture and horticulture to achieve a variety of income streams; Weston Park is a leading example."

The sold out Shropshire event will commence with a visit to PDM Produce, Newport and include lunch in Weston Park’s Orangery.

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