IMPORTANT UPDATE - Selective Licensing Scheme

We have been advised by Southend Borough Council that a new Selective Licensing Scheme will come into effect from the 1st December 2021. The scheme covers properties in certain areas of Westcliff and Southend, and falls across the Milton, Kursaal and Victoria Wards of the Borough.

We have made every effort to identify the affected properties and write to the landlords concerned. If you have not already received a letter, we would suggest you check the interactive map. CLICK HERE to confirm your property is not affected.

The aim of the scheme is to regulate the condition, management and occupation of properties within the designated blanket area. It is hoped that this will contribute to a positive effect in the local community.

All licences will be subject to having the required documentation (including a current Electrical Installation Condition Report and Gas Safety Certificate) and landlords will be expected to pass a ‘fit and proper person’ check. The council will also carry out an inspection of every licensed property.

The cost of obtaining a license has been set by Southend Borough Council at £688 per property and is valid for a 5 year period from the date of issue. However, we have been advised that applicants who apply for a license before March 2022 will be eligible for a 25% discount. We will endeavour to register all eligible properties by this date if possible.

As the scheme is compulsory, we will be acting on your behalf to apply for the license for your property, unless we hear from you advising that you wish to arrange the license yourself. An administration fee of £199 (inc. VAT) per property will be applied. This will be capped at £799 (inc. VAT) for 4 or more properties. Please note that this fee includes the arrangement of all required documentation and compulsory floor plans for each property.

Selective licenses will be a legal requirement and failure to license may result in a financial penalty of up to £30,000 plus prosecution. Landlords may also be ordered to repay any rent received during the unlicensed period.

If you wish to arrange the Selective License yourself, please advise us of this no later than 30TH NOVEMBER 2021.

 

We only have limited information currently which is detailed above in full. Further information can be found at https://www.southend.gov.uk/private-housing/selective-licensing-scheme or by emailing selectivelicensing@southend.gov.uk.


WE ARE HIRING!

Lettings Negotiator

 

Southend-on-Sea

Hours: Monday-Friday 8.45am-6pm (less 1 hour for lunch)

Holiday: 28 days annual leave per year (including bank holidays) rising with length of service

Salary: A competitive salary package based on skills and experience

 

We are looking to recruit a Lettings Negotiator to be part of a dynamic fast-paced Lettings office. This role will be the main point of contact for prospective tenants from the initial enquiry to the move in date. The successful candidate will be a motivated individual who has a background in Estate Agency or Customer Service.

Responsibilities-

  • Answering incoming telephone calls
  • Responding to portal enquiries
  • Arranging and carrying out viewings
  • Preparing tenancy agreements and accompanying paperwork
  • Taking marketing photos and details
  • Carrying out 3 month initial property inspections

Requirements-

  • Customer orientated
  • Good telephone manner
  • Methodical and organised approach to work
  • Must be willing to become an integral part of the Lettings Team and contribute to the development of the department
  • Clean UK driving licence
  • Previous experience relating to Estate Agency is desirable but not essential

This is an excellent opportunity to join a well-established local Estate Agency and Property Management company and benefit from a thriving surrounding sales environment.

 

If you are interested in this position and feel you have the experience and attributes for this role then please apply by sending your CV to oliviadedman@hairandson.co.uk.


Nervous about selling?

With the property market currently at optimal conditions for those looking to sell their home, nervous sellers are being encouraged to capitalise on this record-breaking surge in activity.

This urge to sell comes after housing stock has decreased month-on-month, causing a drop of 40% in stock levels since January.

In addition to the stark decrease in stock levels, the 2021 property market has also seen a massive 40% of properties selling above asking price.

With properties in Southend area increasing in price by 7.66% in the past 12 months, could learning your home’s value be the motivation you need?

If you feel like you need support on navigating your way through the property market, speak to our team on 01702 34 11 77 or email southend@hairandson.co.uk.


House prices rise as buyers outweigh sellers

Increased property value has been a continual trend throughout the Covid-19 market, and with the rush of the stamp duty holiday majorly impacting the market, this has led to record-breaking figures.

After three consecutive months of record-breaking house price surges, the demand for properties is likely to cool down as the market returns to its seasonal trends.

However, we experienced our busiest Christmas period ever in 2020, according to Rightmove, which promises an increased appetite from buyers and sellers again this year.

If you are thinking of selling, or would like some support on your property, get in touch with one of our property professionals on 01702 34 11 77.


Hair & Son Auction

The next Hair & Son Auction takes place on the 22nd July 2021 and includes a variety of Lots that will appeal to developers and investors alike. If you are interested in a property to improve then take a look at 20 Branksome Road, Southend. This is a mid-terraced house in need of complete refurbishment. For Investors we have 18 Feeches Road, Southend which is a three-storey town house currently Let. Contact the Hair & Son Auction Team for full details of these and all of the other Lots on offer.

The Auction is held Live but due to Covid restrictions will not be a public event. All bidding is either by telephone or proxy with bidding forms available from the Hair & Son Auction Team.

Be sure to check out our upcoming lots HERE


#TheGreatResignation

Okay so let’s talk about the ‘Great Resignation.’ This is a strange concept to me in some respects, shouldn’t we be counting our blessings we have a job in these challenging times?

I am lucky enough to wake up every morning and look forward to going to work, I love my job. (Okay so there’s the odd day I can’t wait to face plant my bed when I get home but I would like to think we all have ‘those’ days.) I am so fortunate that during the whole pandemic I was only working from home for approximately 6 weeks. I had a sense of normality from May 2020 onwards, an escape from the sometimes scary world. It seems strange, if not egotistical, to voice this, but I felt secure in my job even during the unprecedented times and I had never felt so grateful. I have had to work hard to get here but I wouldn’t throw those feelings away for the world.

I appreciate that not everyone feels the same way I do. If you dread sitting at your desk at the office or at home every day, then a career move is probably best for you. COVID-19 has put a lot into perspective, ‘do what makes you happy’ has never been so important. Whilst we have all learned to appreciate the small things in life, it has cruelly reminded us that life is too short. I know that friends and family of mine used to love their jobs but since working from home have felt trapped and dissatisfied. I personally couldn’t work from home permanently or even part time. I love the reward of leaving my house for a day at work- conversations with colleagues, seeing people smile and walking back through my front door at the end of the day to relax. However, I can absolutely see why so many people are looking at a career change- we have had a lot of time to contemplate recently!

The best advice I have ever received when considering a job move was from one partner of Hair & Son. 6 years ago when I had barely waved goodbye to the ‘Trainee’ in front of Lettings Negotiator, things got really tough here. I found myself almost alone in the department carrying out viewings, valuations and inspections single-handedly at aged 19. Before realising this was my time to learn (the hard way!) and excel, I explored the option of moving to another Estate Agent. When I discussed this with one partner, all he simply had to say was ‘the grass isn’t always greener’ and wasn’t that the truth!

 

Olivia Dedman

Lettings Manager


Times are changing...

Covid- 19 has presented many challenges over the past year and we have had to adapt our processes to adhere to the ever changing restrictions. Our office has been closed to the public (without prior appointment) since the beginning of the pandemic to reduce unnecessary contact and stop the spread of the virus as much as we can.

In light of this we have had to adapt our move in procedure. Now, when tenants move in to a property, where possible, we request all the paperwork is signed and agreed prior to the tenancy start date. This means when tenants attend their office appointment on the day of move they just have to collect their keys and move in pack and time spent in the office is minimised.

We have found this system works very well for us and allows the tenants and guarantor to review the paperwork prior to the tenancy commencing and raise any concerns in good time. The only problem we have encountered is the limited access some tenants have to a printer or scanner.

With the ever developing technology available to us we have decided to move forward with a company offering an e-signing service which has many advantages…

  • LEGALLY BINDING- E-signatures are fully compliant and admissible in court. We receive a time and date stamp for all signees, including the witness, as confirmation.
  • AUDIT TRAIL- With all of the paperwork handled via email it means there is further admissible evidence if required in court.
  • PAPERLESS- We all like to do our bit for the planet and this will drastically reduce our paper usage. All parties will receive a completed copy via email and we will store the paperwork electronically on our systems. This also means that tenants do not have to have access to a printer or scanner.
  • SECURITY- The documents are encrypted when sent making it a very secure way to sign confidential documents.
  • CONVENIENCE- The program is extremely user friendly meaning documents are able to be returned quickly and easily. Documents can be signed on a mobile device as well as a PC.
  • ID VERIFICATION- We are able to specify the level of ID verification required, with extra provisions in place if using a mobile phone.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the changes please call our Lettings Manager Olivia Dedman on 01702 341177.


Hair & Son Auction

As with a lot of companies during this past year or so, Hair & Son have had to do things a little bit differently to how they would usually conduct business, this is particularly evident within the Auction department. Hair & Son’s auctions have been successful for many years, resulting in a history of happy sellers who have been impressed with the option of selling their asset with a minimal fuss – exchange of contracts on the day, completion within 28 days and a good sale price achieved. We didn’t want the lack of people in a room bidding to disrupt our excellent record of successful auctions.

We decided to switch to telephone and proxy bids only, which was very new for all of us and a learning curve for our Auction Team, Rob & Shelley, who needed to think on their feet and rely on the help of colleagues from other departments, ensuring everyone was confident with bidding on behalf of potential clients on the phone. The result of our hard work to ensure that there was as little disruption as possible paid off, we have continued to achieve a selling success rate of over 80% and our last event on 15th April was no exception.

Our April auction had a variety of interesting lots including flats in need of complete renovation, an interesting and vast mixed commercial building on Canvey Island, garages, freeholds and a house in Southend in need of refurbishing.  Viewing numbers were high which resulted of course in a good number of telephone bidders, so much so that we all agreed it was almost like having bidders in the room again! The results speak for themselves, a 90% success rate and sale prices well in excess of the reserve prices set. Needless to say, we had lots of very happy clients, some of which were initially unsure as to whether or not to attempt to sell during a lockdown.

We are hoping with government restrictions easing, we will be returning to traditional room auctions later this year and look forward to welcoming people back, in the meantime it is business as usual in the “new way”.

To find out more about selling at auction, please call Rob Hennessy or Shelley Nightingale on 01702 394959.


House price growth springs back...

Following what most of us thought was going to be a subdued start to the year, the housing market experienced something of a resurgence which has largely been attributed to the Stamp Duty Holiday extension, coupled with a supply that is struggling to meet the growing demand from buyers.

According to Nationwide, the average UK house price rebounded to 7.1% in April from 5.7% in March, taking the average selling price to a record high of just over £238,000. After taking account of seasonal effects, they state it has been the biggest month rise since February 2004. It terms of monetary value, Nationwide have said that almost £16,000 has been added to the average house price in the same 12 month period.

On reflection of the ‘buoyant’ market we find ourselves in, has it all been a rosy?

Here’s what Carl Hooper, Head of Residential Sales at Hair & Son has to say “Although we have seen a great lift in the property market against the initial lockdown last year, we are also seeing an impact on the timings of property transactions which can only be attributed to the ever-growing amount of files hitting the conveyancers’ desks (bottle necking). However, a significant portion of our clients who are currently moving or considering a move have said that they would do so despite the stamp duty relief.

With this in mind, along with the potential savings made over the lockdown period and re-introduction of 95% mortgages easing deposit constraints for many first-time buyers, the expectation is that the housing market will remain stable at least in the short term as buyers continue to search for more spacious homes.”

Thinking of buying, selling or perhaps have a property related question? Give us a call on 01702 34 11 77 where a member of the team will be more than happy to help. 


Purchase Ledger / Property Management Accounts

Location:              200 London Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 1PJ.

Hours:                   8.45 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday less 1 hour for lunch each day.

Holiday:                28 days annual leave per year (including bank holidays) rising with length of service.

Salary:                   A competitive salary package based on skills and experience.

Client Accounting – Purchase Ledger

  1. Coding purchase ledger invoices
  2. Obtaining approval for invoices to be paid
  3. Data entry for approved invoices onto purchase ledger
  4. Scanning ‘paid’ invoices and receipts to accounting database to include service charge and landlord accounts
  5. Dealing with queries on utilities to include void periods and disputes

Client Accounting – Statements to Landlords

  1. Checking disbursements on Landlord’s statements
  2. Collating of receipts and vouchers for submission to Landlord’s

Client Accounting – Receipts

  1. Identification and coding of amounts received for posting onto database
  2. Posting of cash onto database

Client Accounting – Maintenance of Database/Other  

  1. Updating the database generally
  2. Filing of records as appropriate once processed
  3. Raising charges both periodic and additional/ad hoc
  4. Ad hoc jobs as they arise
  5. Filing/scanning/general administration
  6. Holiday Cover

Requirements

Previous office/accounts experience is essential.

Experience in purchase ledger accounts desirable.

Ability to use Excel and Word desirable.

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate attention to detail, initiative, be willing to learn and have the communication skills to deal with any enquiry and, finally, be able to work under pressure.

Applications in the first instance by email only with CV to nickverdin@hairandson.co.uk