Martin and Co, Hinckley – February 2017 Newsletter

Martin & Co Hinckley Office 99-109 Castle Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1DA 01455 636349

Welcome to our February 2017 Newsletter

Hello! Well it’s been an interesting start to the year. Rental has taken a significant dip with available properties switching across to Sales as soon as tenancies end. We’re actually selling more houses than letting currently, which is purely due to the scarcity of stock. Tenant demand is high, and rents are rising…

If you are thinking of moving, or renting out a property call Martin & Co on

01455 636349 or email

The Energy Efficiency Regulations will soon be upon us and a key date is 1st April 2018 when there will be a prohibition on new tenancies (including renewals) for all sub-standard privately rented properties. Sub-standard is any EPC rating below “E”. So, all properties with a “G” and “F” rating will require improvements, and it doesn’t stop there! The minimum standard beyond 2018 could be (subject to review) “D” rating in 2022 and “C” in 2026.

Other dates to remember are 1st April 2020 which is the prohibition on continuing to Let sub-standard domestic privately rented properties. This is where the long term tenancies are captured under the regulations.

What can you do? Well, it depends on what the EPC recommends of course. Importantly, if the EPC has been created before 2012 then the calculations are outdated. Our advice would be to arrange to have an updated EPC completed first, just to see if your property has improved anyway because of the difference in the calculations. We will be reviewing all the properties in our portfolio and contacting the relevant Landlords to advise accordingly.

If you would like to know more please contact Steve on 01455 636349, or email at

We’re very good at selling houses. It’s a bold statement, especially because competition is fierce between agents in Leicestershire. We have a great philosophy at Martin & Co Hinckley “Low stock = High customer service”. We don’t believe in collecting properties on Rightmove, or “testing the market to achieve the best price” (which actually means over pricing to win the instruction). Advertise your home at the right price = viewings = sale. If you don’t have any viewings, it’s either because it’s over priced or the photographs/marketing are awful.

A question we’re always asked is “How long does it take to sell?” As you can see from the pie chart shown here, we sell nearly three quarters of our stock within 8 weeks, and 48% of our stock is sold within 4 weeks.

If you would like to market your property for Sale call 01455 636349, or email at

Don’t you love the winter condensation blues? When we visit our managed properties, we always leave a condensation booklet with the tenants who are suffering. Most of the time, they can help themselves by opening a window at night, and wiping down the walls/windows in the morning. Understandably some are reluctant to open a window at night due to the cold; however it is important that the air circulates effectively. Trickle vents are an inexpensive solution and it can cost as little as £45 to have one installed within an existing UPVC window. Failing that we advise Tenants to go to B&Q and buy a moisture trap that will sit on the window sill. It works!

If you would like a copy of our condensation booklet, please email

The banning of Tenant Fees is the elephant in the room for our industry, and Steve recently visited the MP for Hinckley & Bosworth, Mr. David Treddenick to put forward our view. The consultation begins in March but unfortunately most of the official channels that lobby on our behalf seem resigned to the ban being implemented regardless. At Martin & Co Hinckley, we will survive and have a plan in place to counter the revenue loss, but some agents nationwide will inevitably struggle. This is the side of the argument that appears to have been lost in the debate, and will affect not only business owners around the country, but also employees and contractors alike.

When you buy a new home, it is strongly suggested that you consider an independent survey to give you information on the condition of the property you hope to buy. If you consider how much a house is going to cost, it is certainly well worth having an expert look at it just to check whether there might be any major problems that you are not aware of. The consumers association “Which?” established that whilst 80% of buyers said they wanted a survey on their proposed new home, less than 20% actually instructed one. The reason the majority do not get a survey is that they mistakenly believe that the lenders valuation is a survey. “Which?” found that for those people that did not get a survey, on average one in four had to spend over £2,500 to put serious defects right which would have been uncovered in a condition report. For one in ten people it was over £10,000. By contrast, those that did get a proper survey were able to negotiate a reduction in the asking price of the property that averaged £2,000.

If you are a buyer or know of a buyer who would benefit from a Home Condition Survey,

email Steve at for more information and a brochure.

Electrical Safety Certificates are not a legal requirement for Landlords…yet!

We have recently advised our portfolio Landlords to arrange to have their properties tested. Although not a legal requirement, it could well be sometime next year. We’ve always advised that rental properties should have one in place, not only for the safety of the tenants, but also because a few years ago we had an instance where a conservatory was set on fire by an appliance a tenant had placed during the Christmas period. The first question the insurers asked was “Can I see the Electrical Safety Cert?”

The Landlord had listened to our advice and had one in place which immediately placed the blame onto the tenant, not the property. Needless to say, it was a quick decision and a new conservatory was built within a few weeks.

We would advise all Landlords to have one as best practice, and if you’d like us to arrange one

please call us on 01455 636349 or email at

Thousands of successful landlords use our reports to help them make profitable investment decisions – you can, too!

In the report  there is valuable information including;

What the result of the EU Referendum really means for the UK housing market and landlord sentiment.

The latest figures for capital growth, giving you security and peace of mind about the future of your buy to let property.

If you would like a copy of the report ASK Martin! Email