Latest Posts

Much like Brexit, we have known for sometime that the tenant fee ban was on the horizon with significantly less media coverage. The difference between the tenant fee ban being implemented and the aforementioned news saturated topic happening is that it arrives and comes into force a lot earlier, 1st June 2019.

As of this date, England follows the same path that Scotland has already taken.

It would be fair to say letting agents initial main concern was the decrease of income the ban is going to have. In light of this, businesses have already instigated staff cut backs and in more severe cases branch closures as a genuine affect the tenant fee ban will have, not just a knee jerk reaction.

As agents, no matter our own view and opinion on the ban, we aren’t going to change anything; it will be here very soon.

Behind the scenes agents have been looking at ways to mitigate the loss of income the ban will bring. In these early days there doesn’t seem to be any clear cut outcome or reasonable plan implemented on how agents will move forward in this regard. In addition to the ban, we have also seen an increase in legislative requirements recently which means we have needed to work harder in order to keep our Landlords safe and compliant.

So, what can a landlord and we as agents do?

The only way to look at it is – business as usual – work within the new environment that the ban creates.

As a Landlord, instructing a letting agent who is totally compliant in this and all aspects of the ever changing lettings industry will be paramount to ensure that your investment or portfolio is in the best  possible hands, attracting the right tenant and most importantly keeping you safe and legal as a landlord.

Tenant movement may well become more fluid, knowing that there aren’t referencing fees to pay.

Make sure your agent still acquires all three main references. These should be a credit check to confirm the tenant’s financial performance and history, a current employer’s reference to confirm the length of their latest employment and that the position is permanent and a current landlord’s reference if they are renting the existing property they live in. The landlord’s reference should advise if the tenants have looked after the property, if they have paid the rent on time with no arrears and if that landlord would rent to them again. As you are no doubt aware as of 1st February 2016 checking a tenant’s right to rent is also required. If this is not carried out and kept up to date prior to expiry, by law fines can be imposed.

It will also be vital that your agent clearly sets out the requirements of the tenancy to the tenant upon their application to rent a property and that all required payments are clearly shown.

An agent will need to have the resources to cope and survive with this change in the process.

The other part of the process which the tenant fee ban affects is the actual amount of security deposit which can be requested. The deposit is registered with a deposit protection scheme and under the tenant fee ban can now only be 5 weeks and not 6, as it was previously in most cases.

Instructing the ‘right agent’ can also safeguard this as TuckerGardner is an appointed agent of Zero Deposits.The long and short of this is Zero Deposits is basically an insurance policy the tenants pay for. The advantages to the landlord is that the amount of cover ‘held’ as the deposit for any dilapidations is the equivalent of  6 weeks  that is accounted for.

The other big plus to a landlord, if they would consider a tenant using the Zero Deposit scheme, is they will benefit from enhanced marketing and reach the widest market possible. Call us now and we can discuss in more detail exactly how Zero Deposit works.

In summary, the tenant fee ban will become ‘the norm’ and we as agents would have adjusted to this and still be letting properties long after it ceases to be front page news. Tenants may move more freely, new opportunities like Zero Deposits will present themselves and bring new conditions to the ever changing market. Longer tenancies at the outset may become a factor.

In short are we really going to be affected by the ban?

I think the answer to that is no.

A landlord needs to choose ‘the right agent’. One who can survive the change and not one who is going to be weakened, whether that be by staff cut backs, office closures or a decrease in the level of service they provide by lost revenue.

 

Richard Elby – Lettings Branch Manager, Great Shelford

In a world that is seemingly led by the internet, it’s important to remember that not everything we read online is true. As with everything in life, there are a number of estate agent myths and I would like to set the record straight and point out what makes TuckerGardner different.

Myth 1: All estate agents are the same
This is like saying that all teachers are the same or all supermarkets are the same. We may all do the same job, but the way we go about our business really does set TuckerGardner apart. Our whole focus is based on spreading our ‘buyers net’ as far and wide as possible in order to find you a buyer – not just any buyer, but the best buyer fitting in with your own circumstances and requirements, and ideally at the highest possible price too.

Myth 2: Internet estate agents are cheaper
At TuckerGardner, we work on a NO SALE, NO FEE basis. Put simply, if we do not find you a willing and able purchaser that proceeds to exchange of contracts, we do not get paid. What bigger incentive can we have in finding you a buyer. Most internet-only estate agents charge an up-front fee and will often charge extra for a For Sale board, photos, floorplans, and some even charge extra to arrange viewings.

There is little incentive for such an estate agent to find you a buyer once you have paid your money in advance. At TuckerGardner we know the areas we are selling in and can price the house accordingly based on demand from our list of potential buyers already registered on our buyers database.

Myth 3: Just put your house on Rightmove and it will sell
Nowadays, most buyers start their house search using a search engine such as Rightmove or Zoopla. This generates a number of leads from potential buyers who are then registered on our buyers database. Often, these buyers go on to buy other properties that we are offering for sale, as we do not advertise all of our properties online.

Myth 4: You should choose the agent who says they will sell your house for the highest price
Your choice of agent should be down to their overall experience and knowledge. While it may be appealing to price your home high, it’s more important to choose an estate agent who you can trust and you feel will work in your best interest, and also help you with your onward purchase or move.

By Gavin Human, from TuckerGardner

Working in the property industry, we spend every day finding people new homes to live in. Sometimes it is easy to forget about the people who don’t have any home at all. This time of year is especially important to turn our thoughts to those people as the weather turns colder and the nights grow darker.

At Tucker Gardner last year, we took part in the Reverse Advent Calendar, where each day we all brought in an item of food, clothing, or toiletries that may be needed by a homeless person. By the end of December we had lots of gifts to take to our local homeless shelter which were gratefully received.

This year we would like to make it even bigger and better by inviting everyone in Cambridge to drop by our office on Hills Road with items to donate. This can be anything from a spare can of beans to blankets, jumpers, hats and scarfs. Dog food is also a very useful item to donate if you can. 

We look forward to seeing you all with your lovely donations.

TuckerGardner in Histon, this year and like so many others before, was a Drop off Point for Operation Christmas Child.

It is the time of year when cheerfully wrapped boxes and equally cheerful people enter our premises clutching their gifts for those less fortunate.

I have spent 16 years watching the generosity of the general public, which never waivers when it comes to this somewhat extraordinary operation.

It is a joy to be able to help spread more joy and we will continue to do so, with an immense amount of pride and pleasure, for those who clearly wish to give to others.

This year’s total was 389, which is a number we have come to expect over the years and one we do love to hear when the last box is loaded onto the van ready to go to the warehouse.

Three hundred and eighty-nine families, couples and individuals, spent their own time and money to provide the most amazing gift for a child who has nothing.

We are pleased to be able to provide somewhere for these gifts to be dropped off, so all this joy can be sent to those who are most in need in this world.

TuckerGardner’s Macmillan Coffee Morning was a huge success, raising a massive £640.97!

It was a pleasure working alongside local companies, Red Graphic, Bosswells Bakery, Nails Ex, Mica and John Moore Creative Photography who all contributed to the day in one way or other, Red Graphic with their amazing advertising, Bosswells with their yummy cakes, John Moore with professional portraits and much much more, there was a really great sense of community and we couldn’t have done it without them.

The TG team in Sawston and Great Shelford joined together and did an amazing job with their homemade bakes, from salted caramel popping candy cake to Nutella popcorn rocky road and everything in-between. They also did a sterling job of providing numerous teas, coffees and cream and marshmallow hot chocolates!

A big thank you to Cambridge fire and Rescue who joined us for the morning and entertained children (and adults!) letting them explore their fire engine as well as making a substantial donation.

But most importantly, the main people we would like to say THANK YOU to is everyone who made the effort to visit us, pop in for a chat or just bought cakes in passing whilst donating to this amazing cause.

One in two of us will face cancer in our lifetimes and the money raised will help Macmillan Cancer Support make sure no one has to face it alone. Last year alone events like this helped Macmillan raise over £27 million and with any luck they will smash that total this year!

TuckerGardner are pleased to be supporting MacMillan by taking part in the 2018 ‘Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning’.

This year we’ve teamed up with Sawston’s local businesses Red Graphic, Boswell and Sons, The Nails Ex and Mica and are aiming to knock the socks off last year’s total!

We’d love for you to pop in for a cuppa, cake and a chatter on Friday 28th October at Woolpack House, 70 High Street, Sawston, CB22 3HJ from 10am until 12noon.

Every penny raised helps to make a difference to people affected by Cancer so lets change lives together!

Can we make this year our biggest ever? With your help…of course we can!

 

Find your perfect home in the Big Open House Event this autumn

On 29th and 30th September, the Big Open House Event opens doors to thousands of properties over one weekend, all across the UK.
It’s simple, you get the chance to view, compare and contrast multiple properties in one weekend, many of which have recently been reduced in price.
So, don’t delay, speak to us today to book your property viewings.

We compare thousands of mortgages, so you don’t have to

Whether you’re moving, investing in property or looking to remortgage, we have exclusive mortgage deals available through Countrywide Mortgage Services with limited availability.*

Plus, we can help with all your moving needs, including conveyancing, surveying, insurance and more. 

 

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.
A fee will be payable for arranging your mortgage. Your Consultant will confirm the amount before you choose to proceed.

 

*Exclusive mortgages are available through Countrywide Mortgage Services for a limited period. Terms and conditions apply. Mortgage availability depends on your circumstances. Countrywide Mortgage Services is a trading name of Countrywide Principal Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under number 301684. Registered office: Countrywide House, 6 Caldecotte Lake Business Park, Caldecotte Lake Drive, Milton Keynes, MK7 8JT. Registered in England No 01707341.

 

We have more buyers and tenants than properties right now, and the numbers continue to grow as a result of our nationwide ‘Win your mortgage or rent paid for a year’ prize draw. With so much interest, let us match your property to people who are ready to move now.

Why choose us?

  • We take away the stress of selling or letting your property with expert advice, helping you every step of the way
  • Peace of mind with in-depth local knowledge and specialist expertise, plus the support and reach of Countrywide, the UK’s largest property group
  • Your home advertised on the UK’s largest property websites, including Rightmove and Zoopla

Don’t forget, we can also help with your mortgagelegal and surveying requirements, all the services you need under one roof.

Click here to contact us for a free property valuation. 

 

 

On 28th and 29th April, Tucker Gardner is taking part in the UK’s Big Open House Event

Over 25,000 viewings. More than 7,000 Open Houses available to buy*.

Thinking of selling?

If you’re looking to sell your current home the UK’s Big Open House Event has the answer. Bringing buyers and sellers together over one weekend, the event will help you to generate several viewings in one weekend. Taking part will also give your property increased exposure on our Big Open House website and the UK’s most popular property portals.

Helping buyers find their perfect property
As well as an ideal opportunity to sell property the UK’s Big Open House Event is also great for buyers. It provides the opportunity to compare and contrast several properties in one weekend and our team will be on hand to assist with negotiations should you find your ideal home.

Contact us today to see how your property can take part.

Win £5,000 to spend at MADE.COM

Fancy giving your home a face lift? You could be the lucky winner of a £5,000 shopping spree at MADE.COM. Simply invite one of our agents to value your property or view a Big Open House property, and you are eligible to enter the prize draw.
–––
*Figures based on stats from 16th August to 31st October 2017.

** Terms and Conditions apply. Click here  for full terms and entry conditions. Enter between 19 March 2018 and 4 May 2018 for your chance to win. Internet access required. Prize must be redeemed within 6 months of receipt. The Countrywide UK’s Big Open House Prize Draw is offered by our Group Company Countrywide Estate Agents, whose registered address is 88-103 Caldecotte Lake Drive, Caldecotte, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK7 8JT.

Autumn Budget Stamp Duty Changes:

On 22nd November it was announced that Stamp Duty is to be abolished for all first-time buyers purchasing property of a value of £300,000 or less.

If you are a first-time buyer, we’re here to clarify the details of the changes and explain what it means for you.

What are the Stamp Duty changes?

From immediate effect, stamp duty will be removed for all first-time buyers purchasing property for £300,000 or less.

What’s more, for first-time buyers purchasing property priced up to £500,000 they will only pay stamp duty on the difference.

From 22nd November 2017 the new stamp duty bands and rates will be as follows:

Band                                                                       Rate         

First-time buyers less than £300k                        0%     

First-time buyers less than £500k                        5% on proportion above £300,000

First-time buyers more than £500k                      follow existing rates

What does the stamp duty change mean for the housing market?

The chancellor made a bold move to reduce stamp duty for all first-time buyers. Raising the threshold for SDLT to £300k for all first-time buyers forever will lift 80% of first time buyers out of the tax.  To account for higher prices in some parts of the country, all first-time buyers buying property up to £500k will benefit from the £300k exemption. That means that 95% of first time buyers will benefit from the change.

As property prices have risen, an increasing number of first-time buyers are now paying Stamp Duty, indeed 80% paid Stamp Duty in 2017, compared to just 49% in 2007. This news will remove one of the hurdles facing first-time buyers and more movement in this end of the market is expected as a result.

What does the Stamp Duty change mean for you?

If you are a first-time buyer the chart below shows how much first-time buyers in different areas of the country could benefit.

Impact on stamp duty for first-time buyers by location

Impact on stamp duty chart – location key:

EM – East Midlands               E – East                        GL – Greater London               N – North

NW – North West                   S – South                      SE – South East                         W – West

WM – West Midlands            Y&H – Yorks & Humber               ENG – England overall

 

To take advantage of these changes contact your local branch or search for a property at www.tuckergardner.com.