All posts by novaadmin

Are You Making The Best Of The Sale Opportunity?

•The Team here at are well placed to give you an honest and straight forward opinion as to why your property has not sold, and also give you their advice as to what you can do to enhance your chances of a sale in 2013.

•Let us provide you with a no-nonsense report detailing the condition of your property to assist you and your Estate Agent getting the most out of this chance to sell your house, by making good any faults that are preventing a sale.

•We all know that the market is slow but that has remained the excuse for compliancy for too long. Lets do something about getting a buyer and that means being ready.
•We all know that you want to sell your property, which is why it’s For Sale now. Are you getting the viewings but not the illusive buyer? Its not often always about price, its more often about presentation and condition.
•Give us a call for a free no obligation chat? You have nothing to loose by calling and speaking to us.
•We are not trying to take your business from your Estate Agent.
•We are here to help you sell your property

Preparing to Buy in the East Midlands

A Condition Report or Pre-Acquisition Report is an essential requirement to ensure peace of mind. If you commission us to provide you with a report, then you can use this report to negotiate a more profitable purchase price.

Once you have decided that you have found the right property for you, then this is the time to establish the correct value. A professional pre-acquisition condition report will provide you with the information to make an informed decision on probably the biggest purchase of your life.

We are currently offering a special shortened report at a reduced price for the first 50 applicants in the East Midlands area

Having Problems Selling Your Home?

Call in the Experts!

Let us help you by giving you an honest opinion. We can help you by advising your existing Estate Agent! Make the best presentation possible – Property Maintenance – Decoration – Furnishing

Rent Review reaps High Speed Dividends for the Owners of the Magna Carta

Andrew O’Dowd has recently successfully concluded the rent review on behalf of the owners of a popular public house in the centre of Lincoln.

The clients instructed AOD-Property in March of this year to investigate the circumstances surrounding the rent review due this year on the lease to a Major National Brewery. Those investigations suggested that the level of the rent was indeed insufficient and should be increased substantially, despite the recession of the last five years.

Andrew said “It was clearly time for me to go to work on this, so I amassed a body of evidence to prove my opinion. Using negotiation tactics with the tenant’s representatives I proved the rent should be increased. Clearly those arguments, were taken on board, and without the need to go to third party, the matter was then agreed in record time.”

AOD-Property offers an unparalleled service to both Landlords and Tenants when negotiating rent reviews and lease renewals. The Owners and Landlords of the Public House, both said that they are delighted with the work that has been done by Andrew, in record time too. “As a result of this review, we have literally seen the value of our investment rise by over 55%.”

This fantastic rise in rent, on review, is something which has surprised many, despite the recessionary effects of the wider economy.

On conclusion Andrew’s Clients said “Thank you for your assistance in this rent review. Ash and I have both been impressed with your professionalism, drive and enthusiasm throughout
our dealings and you have managed to bring the rent review to a successful conclusion. You have our thanks and gratitude.”

If any one would like to know more about the rent review services offered by AOD-Property, then please give Andrew a call on 07563 790 328.

Bawtry- A Great Place to Visit- The Bawtry Retailers Association and their fantastic work

The Bawtry Retailers Association (BRA) is a collection of independent retailers and those offering supportive services located in Bawtry, Doncaster.

BRA members work cohesively together for the good of Bawtry and to make it a wonderful place to live, work, shop and socialise in, while taking into the account the market heritage of Bawtry. The association is ran on a not for profit basis. Funds collected from members are used to make Bawtry the dynamic place to do business in South Yorkshire.

BRA meet bi-monthly and also have strategic sub-groups to action events in Bawtry (The Big Christmas Switch on for example).

BRA members work hard to make Bawtry a Beautiful place for visitors and shoppers and have a strategic coordinated plan for the towns flowers, flags (during the Jubilee and Olympics) and also for Christmas lights, decorations and trees. All busy trading towns have problems the BRA tries to build answers to the challenges presented by the ever changing retail climate with and for the whole of the community.

BRA is passionate about Bawtry and they support each others businesses at every opportunity.

The month of September sees the St Leger Festival commence and businesses in the picturesque town of Bawtry are proud to fly the flag in honour of this historic Doncaster event.

Over 80 flags have been hoisted across the town as Bawtry welcomes the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival and all the visitors who will flock to Doncaster to enjoy four days of fantastic racing as well as a host of other events taking place during the extended festival period.

“Doncaster’s St Leger Festival is its most popular and iconic annual event and we are delighted to enjoy a superb partnership with Doncaster Racecourse,” said Mark Bates Chairman Bawtry Retail Association. “In recent years the town has also offered an extended Ladbrokes St Leger Festival with music, arts and history coming to life across the town with the whole area seeing a rise in visitor numbers.”

For the second year running Bawtry Retail Association is also providing prizes for the  ‘Best Dressed Lady’ competition which takes place on Ladies Day. Businesses in the town are offering the winner £500 of vouchers to be spent in shops, restaurants and businesses in Bawtry along with £100 voucher for Robinsons designer boutique, a full body spray tan by StarStyle Boutique and a trip in a classic Rolls Royce courtesy of Axita Simply Creative Solutions. Nine runners-up will each receive a £50 voucher for Bawtry, £25 voucher for Robinsons and a full body tan from StarStyle.

“Bawtry is a great place to soak up the St Leger atmosphere that envelops Doncaster each September,” said Mark. “Whether you need a last minute outfit, a hearty breakfast before heading off to the races or want to celebrate your wins with some bubbles Bawtry has something for everyone.”

Business Rates – Empty Property Burden

Over 90% of surveyors believe that charges placed on shops and offices are ‘significantly detrimental’ to the
recovery of the nation’s town centers, according to a new survey from RICS.

Over half also believe that charges are even a contributory factor in property owners demolishing their premises, the survey added.

When commercial premises, such as a shop or an office, become vacant the owner is not required to pay business rates for three months. For industrials and warehouses the rates holiday is six months. However, after this period, these charges – known as Empty Property Rates (EPR) – are applicable at the full rate, leaving many with a tax
bill which they have no means of funding.
Over two thirds (68%) of respondents claimed that commercial property floor space is currently vacant for periods of over six months, meaning that the problem of unmanageable taxes is widespread at a time when businesses are most stretched.

Business rates collected from ratepayers are initially passed to central government and then redistributed back to local authorities as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement. These funds then contribute towards financing local services. With the situation continuing to impact so significantly on towns across Englandand Wales, the knock
on effect is also being felt in capital values. 75% of respondents believe that the rental value of retail premises will decrease as a direct result of EPR.

RICS would like to see to see changes made in the government’s forthcoming Autumn Statement by way of an extended exemption period for commercial property owners. This would mean that should a retail property owner lose their tenant, no charges would be applicable for six, rather than three, months. This would be extended to twelve months for owners of harder to let property, such as offices and industrial units.

The RICS chief economist, has been quoted as saying “The charges faced by property owners are quite simply crippling the high street and preventing businesses of all types from achieving financial stability. It is clear that in this difficult economic climate, businesses need all the help they can get. We would like to see the government take the
initiative in the forthcoming Autumn Statement and offer property owners a longer exemption period. This would allow commercial landlords some much needed breathing space and contribute towards getting the business sector moving again.”

Lincoln Jeweller Saves Thousands of Pounds!

Andrew O’Dowd has secured Jolly’s Jewellers Lincoln, a reduced and more realistic Rating Assessment, which has literally saved them thousands of pounds.

For years Jolly’s had been paying over the odds to Lincoln City
Council. Andrew carefully measured the property and then after thorough investigation, initiated the valuation and Appeal Process, coupled with meticulous negotiation, with the Valuation Office Agency, that resulted in this reduced Rating Assessment. Andrew says “I am delighted that our Client will eventually, not only receive a refund due to the over payment, but will also see their payments reduced until the next Revaluation, which is scheduled to take place in 2017″

Thomas Ginever, Property Manager at Jolly’s was thrilled to hear the good news of their windfall. “I’m delighted to see that Andrew has managed to deliver exactly what he promised, after he had finished his investigations. Andrew under took Rating Surveys, for all of our Commercial Properties, and then went away for a few weeks while he thoroughly investigated those Rating Assessments. Clearly we have really benefitted from using Andrew’s expertise and rest assured we will certainly be recommending him and making sure that we use all of his services in the future.”

Historically, the Commercial Rating System attracted a considerable number of operators, who, it seems, may not necessarily have had the appropriate skills to successfully submit and negotiate their Client’s Appeals. Consequently, the official statistics demonstrate that as many as 85% of all Rating Appeals submitted are in fact withdrawn with no
reduction forthcoming. It would seem sensible therefore that no Rating Appeals should be submitted without proper investigation.

Often, an ill placed Appeal can actually indirectly result in an increased assessment. Andrew says “it is vital to make sure that any reduction proposed, can actually be achievable. As an appeal can only be made once, it is important that its made  properly, or not at all.”

Rate Payers tend to improve their properties, in their efforts to become more efficient in their businesses, unbeknown to the Valuation Office Agency. Many such improvements can and do increase Rateable Values and consequently Rates Payable.

Andrew offers a unique Rates Mitigation and Rates Checking Service, which thoroughly investigates the background to the assessment, long before any formal Appeal is submitted. Such investigation is vital to ensure that the Client’s
best interest is served.

Andrew would be delighted to arrange to investigate property, for anyone with a query about their Rating Assessment. So if you think that your Rates are too high and would like to have an informal chat, give Andrew a call.

Help to Buy- An Important Development for the Housing Market…..or a further opportunity to accumulate debt?

The Chancellor George Osborne has given details about the government’s Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee Scheme to lenders. But is this scheme an Important Development in the Housing Market or a further opportunity to accumulate debt?

At a meeting in Downing Street he spoke with lenders and builders about the details of how the scheme will work and how to get more first time buyers on the property ladder. The object of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme aims to support an increase in high loan-to-value mortgages for people who cannot afford large deposits.

Help for first time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder is to be welcomed, if that is the route that people wish to go, its all about providing choice. However there is widespread criticism that this scheme will do little to bring the cost of housing within the reach of low and middle income earners. The Housing Market actually needs schemes to build more affordable homes, which if not done, then home ownership for millions of first time buyers will remain a pipe dream. The second phase of Help to Buy could benefit the whole market, particularly existing homeowners who want to move up the housing ladder but have not been able to.

These latest amendments to the Government Backed Scheme, when added to the criteria set out at the Budget, aims to try to helps a large number of people onto the property ladder while ensuring responsible lending. Anybody wishing to borrow money will be subject to income verification and stress testing, as set out in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Mortgage Market Review. Borrowers won’t be able to access guaranteed mortgages if their credit history doesn’t meet FCA restricted credit standards, including having a County Court Judgment over £500 in the past three years, nor will people be able to use the mortgage guarantee scheme to buy second homes.

The Rental Market has been very buoyant these last few years, probably due to the fact that  choice to purchase homes may have been restricted due to the availability of funding coupled with the more responsible criteria of the lending institutions. We must therefore also consider the impact on the wider housing market, which has been littered with reluctant landlords, who have wanted or needed to move house and been forced to offer their homes for rental, whilst they themselves have then rented instead of buying on.

I therefore suspect that this indemnity scheme will simply increase the number of options for first time buyers or home movers who need a mortgage at a higher loan to value level. What is certain, is that it will increase the level of debt to both the public sector and the private sector, a loan is a loan, wherever it comes from!

Therefore the statement that ‘The launch of the scheme is an important development and will give a significant boost to the housing market by addressing the issue of accessibility’ has to be coupled to the statement that ‘confidence in our housing market needs a boost, if we are to see both levels of activity and growth increase significantly’. So is this Help to Buy an Important Development for the Housing Market…..or a further opportunity to accumulate debt?

RICS Registered Valuer Scheme

The RICS has stated, that with so much uncertainty in the wider economic environment, it’s increasingly important that clients trust the professional advice that they receive from RICS members and firms.

The institution feels that their RICS Registered Valuer Scheme raises confidence in valuation advice and that its independent quality assurance process reinforces the highest professional standards.

They are right in their contention that valuations underpin nearly every financial decision we make – from home mortgages and investments to corporate finance transactions, assessment of company accounts and stock exchange listings.

The RICS state that any person or organisation that occupies, owns, develops or trades assets in today’s global markets relies on a valuer’s expertise, quality standards and ethics.

Valuation is one of the key RICS member practices. Valuer Registration is the RICS quality assurance mechanism that monitors all registered RICS members who carry out ‘Red Book’ valuations and ensures consistent standards.

By appointing an RICS Registered Valuer, you can be confident that you are working with regulated and qualified professionals who:

  •  adhere to the ‘Red Book’ valuation standards
  • are committed to openness and transparency
  • are experts in their field, delivering credible and high-quality reports.

The Valuer Registration aims to ensure the quality of valuations, raise the credibility of valuers and provide clients with a clearly identifiable designation of international standards, quality and the consistent application of ‘Red Book’ standards.

The RICS believes that a thriving and strong profession, operating under a single global standard and modern regulation system, is good for professionals, clients and society.

RICS Valuer Registered Valuer Scheme is the international mark of valuation expertise. It is open to all qualified members undertaking valuations under the RICS Valuation Professional Standards (the ‘Red Book’).

All members who have registered and been accepted as meeting the standards set out for Valuer Registration are entitled to call themselves an RICS Registered Valuer and use the accreditation logo.

So make sure that you look out for the designated logo!

What is really happening to our High Street?

Online shopping is easy and cheap and even for the novice its simple to buy something that is straight forward. For those prepared to use a little bit of flair in their use of search engines, then it is easy to see how massive savings on purchases can be made. It’s simple, its conducted from the safe haven of the lounge, the office, the bedroom, or even
these days on the bus, on the train, or even as a passenger in the car.

But what of those large and expensive purchases. The bed, the wardrobe, the second hand car, the cooker the fridge? Can we buy those things online with confidence? Or do we still need to touch and feel and do we carry with us the worry that the company that we are dealing with has a proper returns policy? Can you return a bed that has been delivered by an internet company? How much does it cost to do that? Those retailers that choose and have the resources available can afford to rent large out of town retail warehouses, but from a consumers point of view, be prepared to make the long journey by car.

It is actually feasible that in the not too distant future, our High Streets will be empty. Our shops could be replaced by
Bars and Coffee shops, maybe the odd Jewellers shop, would you really choose a diamond or gold watch online? Our City Centres could simply be somewhere to go to work, maybe somewhere to live and somewhere to entertain or socialise. Unless we act now and do something substantial, then shopping on the High Street, as we know it, will indeed be a thing of the past.

Our High Street retailers are carrying the burden of additional staff and building costs which drive down gross profits.
Whereas online shops can enjoy the benefits of lower such costs. Perhaps even those international businesses, which is simpler to arrange, when you are online, like Ryanair, Google and lots of other headline companies are
registering the sales of produce in Countries with lower tax liabilities. In short they can afford to charge less and wipe out the trade from those companies that have lined our High Streets for decades.

Our shopping environment is rapidly changing, so unless the retailers and ultimately the landlords prepare themselves for a big changes then there will be more of the same with stories of large multiple chain retailers going under.
Online stores are not free from challenges, one of the biggest challenges that face any new online enterprise, is the effect of cheap imports from counties like China. This is where any online retailer has to know the competition and realise that they are competing not with someone 3 streets away, but with someone 3 clicks away. Online retailing is growing at such a speed, that it will soon account for the majority of retail sales within the UK if current trends continue. However, this does nothing to increase the prosperity of Britain’s High Street which will continue to spiral if nothing is done to reduce overheads for those remaining businesses that face competition from online companies.
Landlords may well be burying their heads in the sand by thinking that they can hide behind the terms of their leases, but it is clear that even the tightest lease has little effect when the administrators and liquidations pen strikes hard, impacting the values of the balance sheet.

You can imagine, in turn, that those Landlords paying off loans will no longer be able to meet their mortgage payments and then further doom and gloom hits our hard pressed global economy. In short be prepared for a bumpy ride, those smooth surfaces that paved our buoyant High Streets are probably going to see some quite substantial potholes!

Take Action Now and don’t wait until it’s too late get advice and speak to Andrew O’Dowd MRICS IRRV your friendly local RICS Qualified Surveyor, who can help you to pick up the pieces.