News Archive

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jigsaw Letting Finalists for another private rented sector Award

Selby ARLA licensed SAFE agent Jigsaw Letting are finalists for 2014/15 Northern England & Scotland Letting Agent of the Year for the prestigious Landlord & Letting Awards.

Jigsaw Letting Finalists for another private rented sector Award

The finalist award was presented on Wednesday 26th November 2014 at Stoneleigh Business Park, Coventry by TV celebrity Tommy Walsh.

The team at Jigsaw Letting have won the highly respected award of Letting Agent of the Year for the last three years and are over the moon to once again be recognised for their professional service and also to be shortlisted for the Customer Service category.

Oliver Romain, editor of Landlord & Buy-to-Let magazine and lead judge for the Awards, commented: "The Landlord & Letting Awards are the premier nationwide private rented sector awards in the UK, and it's great to be able to recognise and reward the best in the industry.

"The Awards receive industry wide support and grow year on year, and it is encouraging to see so many companies and individuals wanting to take part; many even strive throughout the year to further increase their chances of winning. This year's response was phenomenal, with more entries than ever received across the various categories, so Jigsaw Letting has done brilliantly to be finalists."

Sharon Widdrington said: "We are thrilled to be finalists! Being recognised at this level against other agents from such a large area of Northern England & Scotland; it really is testament to our hard work and commitment."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Jigsaw office Finkle Street Selby get a new look by Jigsaw Letting Selby and Goole

Jigsaw office Finkle Street Selby get a new look to back the launch of their successful letting and estate agency; Jigsaw Letting and Jigsaw Move.

Selby Letting Agents, Jigsaw Letting - Our Office

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jigsaw Letting shortlisted for private rented sector Award by Jigsaw Letting Selby and Goole

Finalist Logo Finalist Logo

Selby ARLA licensed SAFE agent Jigsaw Letting has been shortlisted as a finalist for 2014/15 in the Letting Agent of the Year and Customer Service category of the prestigious Landlord & Letting Awards.

The team at Jigsaw Letting have won the highly respected award of Letting Agent of the Year for the last three years and are over the moon to once again be recognised for their professional service and also to be shortlisted for Customer Service.

Oliver Romain, editor of Landlord & Buy-to-Let magazine and lead judge for the Awards, commented: "The Landlord & Letting Awards are the premier nationwide private rented sector awards in the UK, and it's great to be able to recognise and reward the best in the industry.

"The Awards receive industry wide support and grow year on year, and it is encouraging to see so many companies and individuals wanting to take part; many even strive throughout the year to further increase their chances of winning. This year's response was phenomenal, with more entries than ever received across the various categories, so Jigsaw Letting has done brilliantly to be shortlisted once again."

The winners for each category will be announced at a gala dinner - being held at Stoneleigh Park in Coventry during the Landlord and Letting Show, on Wednesday 26th November, 2014.

Sharon Widdrington said: "We are thrilled to be a Finalist: it really is testament to our hard work and commitment. We are now just keeping our fingers crossed that we are lucky enough to walk away with a winner's trophy on the night for the fourth year running."

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Best Just Got Better by Jigsaw Letting Selby and Goole

Multi award winning fully endorsed ARLA Licensed SAFE agent Jigsaw Letting is amongst the steadily growing number of agents across the UK who are working with ARLA and the NFoPP Awarding Body to become qualified and raise standards within their field and are the only letting agent in the Selby area to have five members of ARLA qualified staff.  Beckie Marshall is our newest MARLA qualified member after working within the business 18 months as a Lettings Negotiator. 

Beckie has successfully passed an NFoPP Level 3 Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management.  This well respected Award is not only a nationally–recognised industry qualification but is also an entry requirement of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) which is the only professional, self–regulating body specialising in raising and maintain practice standards in the UK private rental sector.

Beckie said: “I decided to start studying towards this qualification to uphold our company values, to provide an honest, no hidden costs and transparent professional service. I am thrilled the hard work has paid off and I have secured the Technical Award. For me, it is not only a personal achievement but evidence of our professionalism as an agency, showing our clients that they are dealing with someone who is knowledgeable and who they can trust to do a good job. I strongly believe landlords and tenants will vote with their feet in support of an agency that is staffed by hard-working property professionals of intelligence and integrity.”

Valerie Bannister, ARLA Director, states “I heartily congratulate Beckie Marshall on her achievement and welcome her to full ARLA membership. In an industry where standards can vary greatly between member and non–member agents and agencies, obtaining this Award represents not only Beckie’ s dedication to developing but also her commitment to working to the high industry standards which ARLA seeks to promote.”

Owner, Sandra Widdrington commented, “We are a dynamic family run business which benefits from a strong team of eleven members of staff with years of experience in the lettings market. We have qualified staff working in the office with excellent local knowledge.  Being landlords ourselves we promise we will look after a landlord's property as if it was our own and to give a standard of service that is proven unrivalled within the local area by being professional and very efficient with the best advice.”

The pieces just keep falling into place for Jigsaw as they now offer their new estate agency Jigsaw Move service offering FREE no obligation valuation to sell your home with a NO SALE NO FEE: 1% with NO VAT.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Properties Renting FAST! by Jigsaw Letting Selby and Goole

Quality properties required as properties renting FAST.  We can rent your home in as little time as 2 weeks.  Contact us today to book your FREE no obligation valuation. 

Monday, May 12, 2014 

Jigsaw Letting Selby and Goole is waving the flag for SAFEagent Awareness Week, which runs from 12th to 18th May 2014.

SAFEagent is a national Government approved campaign which is supported by numerous organisations including Citizens Advice Bureaux, Shelter, Crisis and The Property Ombudsman. It was created in 2011 ‘by the industry, for the industry’ with the aim to increase industry regulation and highlight the importance of choosing a letting agent that offers a Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme.

Landlords and tenants often make their decisions based on cost but SAFEagent would urge everyone to make a stand against rogue agents by checking that the agent they use can provide details of the organisation they are regulated by and confirm that they are covered by a CMP scheme.  If your agent cannot provide this assurance then the question you need to ask is - why not? 

John Midgley, chair of the SAFEagent steering group, said: “SAFEagent Awareness Week is the ideal opportunity to remind landlords and tenants of the importance of identifying agents who offer financial protection and the campaign has made giant strides in doing so since its launch in 2011.

“There are still far too many letting agents who do not belong to a recognised body or scheme and it’s important to remind people to do everything they can to ensure their money is sufficiently protected.

“Letting agents who sign up to become a SAFEagent are also reassuring consumers that they subscribe to a defined code of practice and are members of recognised professional bodies or accreditation schemes.”

 

There are now around 3,000 SAFEagent offices nationwide, demonstrating their commitment to protecting landlords’ and tenants’ finances through CMP schemes. SAFEagents are easily recognisable through the SAFEagent logo and mark which is clearly displayed and marketed by those agents in the scheme. 

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Are landlords prepared for immigration bill to become law this year?

Published by WARREN LEWIS Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole.

Are landlords prepared for immigration bill to become law this year?

The Immigration Bill is set to make significant changes to the way landlords and agents reference tenants and could possibly become law in October 2014.

The Government will be placing additional restrictions and conditions on residential tenancies, requiring a tenant’s immigration status to be verified before they can rent a property.  According to the Government website, the scheme will be tested in a single place, prior to its wider introduction and there will be an exemption for student lettings.

The Government has made some amendments to the proposed bill, in response to concerns raised by the Residential Landlords Association, to make it clear that provided a landlord carried out the required checks on a tenant’s immigration status, the landlord would not be penalised.  The tenancy agreement would remain enforceable, even if it later emerged that the tenant was an illegal migrant.

The new Immigration Bill will require landlords to obtain more comprehensive tenant references and conduct frequent checks on their immigration status. This new legislation puts a large responsibility on agents and landlords and they could face a fine of up to £3,000 for each adult found to be staying illegally in a rented property. Fines will not be issued to landlords/agents retrospectively if the tenant left the rental property over 12 months ago.

With the new Bill, any tenant who cannot prove they are a British Citizen, a national of an EEA State or a Swiss national must have their immigration status verified before they can be offered any kind of tenancy. Anyone who does not have the right to remain in the UK must be refused, whether they are named in the tenancy agreement or not.

The landlord or agent will only be deemed to be at fault if they cannot prove they made a reasonable effort to establish who the occupiers would be before the agreement was made. They would also be liable if they conducted the checks, but ignored information which would have suggested the property was likely to be inhabited by someone other than the declared occupiers.

Michael Portman, MD of LetRisks highlights that the Bill could become law this October to take effect soon thereafter.

"We understand informally that it could take as long as two years to bring into force, but in the meantime, the Government may introduce it into pilot areas. This means that agents and landlords will need to prepare.

We do know that almost one in five tenants do not want to share their immigration status with their landlord, according to the latest tenant index from the National Landlords Association (NLA). Under the new legislation, would-be tenants will have to produce evidence from a checklist of documents that they have permission to be in the UK and landlords will have to take a copy for their records." 

Michael believes that putting the onus on the tenant to declare their status and agree they are not in breach of the rules, perhaps by adding a clause to a tenancy agreement, will not be acceptable as a defence if the landlord or agent knew the tenant would be in breach of this term, or if they did not attempt to independently verify their status.

“If the tenant is allowed to remain in the property, the landlord or agent could face a fine. Subsequent checks will need to be made on the tenant at the end of the eligibility period, which is the longest of either one year following their latest checks; the remaining time they have leave to stay in the UK; or the time remaining on a valid immigration document issued to the tenant.  For tenants who never had the right to remain in the UK, the landlord or agent who entered into the agreement will be liable. For tenants whose right to remain in the UK expired, the landlord or agent at the time of expiry will be liable.

Landlords and agents will have a duty to carry out periodic checks on tenants who have limited leave to remain in the country. There is a great burden for agents and landlords, but good reference checks at the start of a new tenancy, will give landlords and agents the necessary information to make an informed decision on a tenant’s application.”

Howard Lester, Lettings Director at Balgores Property Group commented:

"This just feels like another enforcement job that the Government want to place on Letting Agents. We always collect copies of ID for tenants using passports or driving licences as acceptable forms. As with most new legislation, the devil will be in the detail and just how often and how much more referencing will be required.  What worries me most with these proposals is that if we do our job by the letter of the new law, but the tenant then has friends staying with them who are staying illegally in the country, we could still be fined if it is deemed we should have known. Furthermore, if their status expires during the tenancy, will there be a speedy process to evict the tenants to avoid the agent being responsible?"

LetRisks has put together a checklist of acceptable documents for immigration checks:

United Kingdom citizens:

UK passport (an expired passport is acceptable if the holder is still recognisable from the photograph). Naturalisation certificate. Right of abode certificate. Birth certificate or adoption certificate plus either (i) national insurance number or (ii) UK driving licence

European Economic Area and Swiss citizens:

EEA or Swiss passport (an expired passport is acceptable if the holder is still recognisable from the photograph).  National identity card issued by European Union member state or Switzerland European Union. Laissez Passer (as issued to certain European Union officials and dependants)

Non-EEA nationals with lawful regular immigration status (leave to enter or remain):

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) held by temporary and permanent residents.  Visa or passport stamp held by short term visitors. Home Office letter confirming the person has an outstanding immigration application, or appeal which permits them to remain (but only if verified by contacting the Home Office enquiry service).  Documents held by persons exempt from immigration control (e.g. diplomatic passports, NATO Identification card, International Red Cross Travel document, UN Laissez Passer)

Non-EEA family members of EEA nationals exercising EU Treaty Rights in the UK:

Residence certificate or card issued by the Home Office Certificate of Application (but only if verified by contacting the Home Office enquiry service)

Non-EEA nationals without leave to remain:

 

Application Registration Card (ARC) held by asylum seekers (but only if verified by contacting the Home Office enquiry service). Home Office letter of authorisation (but only if verified by contacting the Home Office enquiry service)

Monday, March 31, 2014 Last updated at 10:11

A ROUNDUP OF THE 2014 BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE INDUSTRY'S REACTION  Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole.

A week after George Osborne's 2014 Budget announcement and some of the dust has settled so we thought it a suitable time to give you a roundup of the announcements as well as some of the reaction from the industry and those involved politically.

BUDGET 2014

The Budget appears to have the general support of the property sector, albeit disappointing some, especially in relation to the ‘missed opportunity’ to change stamp duty land tax. In case you missed it, here are the main highlights and some reactions. By Property Professional Editor-in-Chief, Gillian Haggart.

Help to Buy equity loan scheme extended until 2020 in England

Government to support development of a new Garden City in Ebbsfleet, Kent

£500 million Builders Finance Fund to provide loans to SME housing developers

No changes to stamp duty land tax except to create a new 15% stamp duty charge for the purchase of residential homes through a commercial envelope, the threshold dropped to catch properties from £500,000 rather than £2 million

Planning system: review of Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 and promise of a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning Regime Review’.

Flood repair funding:£140m extra in pot and extension to cover blocks of 3-properties max.

HELP TO BUY

“Nice to have - albeit a short-term fix”, Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents.

“When it comes to loans for smaller residential developments the default answer from many banks is ‘no’. When finance is available, it is too often … on steep terms; at high rates of interest, low loan-to-value ratios and often with exorbitant fees attached. What [concerns me] is that there has been very little sign of improvement in this situation over the past year”, Brian Berry, Federation of Master Builders.

NEW GARDEN CITY

A new Garden City in Ebbsfleet is to be backed by £200 million of public investment, promising up to 15,000 new homes on existing brownfield land. A development corporation will be set up to guide the development.

“The government has had four years to make progress on garden cities but instead of getting on and building them, ministers have spent their time making empty announcements and suppressing reports. … people will want to know how today’s announcement … differs from the announcement to build 20,000 homes in the same place in 2012”, Shadow Housing Minister, Emma Reynolds MP.

“Given the scale of the housing crisis we cannot meet our current and future housing needs on a plot-by-plot basis and garden cities are an important part of the solution. This is why in the run up to the 2015 election [we] will be calling for all three major political parties to make a manifesto commitment to delivering beautiful, well-designed and inclusive new communities; with affordable homes and new jobs in places people wish to live and work”. Hugh Ellis, Town and Country Planning Association.

According to Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds MP, “Labour has committed to getting 200,000 homes a year built by 2020, including by building a new generation of new towns and garden cities.”

STAMP DUTY LAND TAX

“Stamp duty requires people to part with thousands of pounds up-front and in its current ‘slab structure’, distorts the UK housing market, acts as a barrier to first-time buyers and therefore restricts the demand to build new homes. We had hoped to hear more from the Chancellor on this issue”, Mark Hayward, NAEA.

“The property industry hopes that the extension of the 15% SDLT rate applied to … properties by certain non-natural persons, to properties valued at over £500,000, will bring more rental properties to the market”. Practical Law.

“reform of the stamp duty system is long overdue, in particular removal of the ‘cliff edges’ –  already planned for Scotland – at the various thresholds which cause significant distortions to the market. … the … thresholds for the 3% and 4% rates have been unchanged since stamp duty on housing transactions was introduced in 2003. This means that the average UK house price has moved from the 1% band to the 3% band, while more and more transactions have been dragged into higher bands. Even if the Chancellor shuns wider reform, there is a strong argument for introducing indexation of the thresholds. Had the 3% threshold of £250,000 been indexed by CPI inflation it would now be £325,000, while had it been indexed by house price inflation, it would be £390,000.” Ernst & Young

GENERAL PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT

The review of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (SI 1995/418) has been greeted with “delight” by some commentators, Practical Law.

The Order is to be recast as a three-tier system with permitted development rights for small-scale changes, prior approval rights for development requiring consideration of specific issues, and planning permission for the largest scale development.

“We have not yet seen the full effects of the previous changes to permitted development rights and we have concerns that further relaxation will lead to a sub-optimal use of sites … we will also be looking to see if the government is proposing a ceiling on size. … frequent changes to permitted development rights are unhelpful to developers, communities and planners. Permitted development rights work well where people know and understand them and this requires an element of continuity,” Royal Town Planning Institute.

NSI PLANNING REGIME REVIEW

The government will soon publish the outcomes of its consultation on the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning Regime.

FLOOD REPAIR

Whilst £140 million extra has been allocated to the pot for flood defence repairs and maintenance, concerns about ‘Flood Re’ have not yet been settled, with some commentators believing the scheme will expose thousands of homeowners to rocketing insurance premiums, prevent them from accessing affordable buildings insurance, and fails altogether to help some categories of property.

In terms of its limited extension to leasehold blocks, “…the decision to choose the number three as the cut-off point seems rather arbitrary and we would like to understand the reasoning behind this decision.  We still have no evidence to suggest that larger leasehold blocks or private rented accommodation will have access to affordable market insurance…”, Ian Fletcher, British Property Federation.

BUILDERS’ FINANCE FUND

To support SME access to finance, the government will create a £500 million Builders’ Finance Fund to provide loans to developers in a bid to unlock ‘15,000 housing units’ stalled due to difficulty in accessing finance.

“[We] welcome any scheme that introduces new actors into the building sector, particularly SMEs. As it stands the sector is dominated by a small group of large developers and is therefore rigid in its ability to respond to fluctuations in demand”. Royal Town Planning Institute

SCOTLAND

Most planning, housing and infrastructure issues are devolved to the Scottish Government, which will receive a ‘Barnett-consequential’ sum of around £63 million. “[We] believe that this could be used to finance enabling infrastructure to support planned growth, for example housing to help deliver the aspirations of the National Planning Framework”. Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland.

PENSIONS AND FOREIGN PROPERTY INVESTMENTS

“… the pensions changes are likely to have a positive impact on Buy to Let as investors look for safe investment and reasonable return – with pensioners now being permitted to collect their funds (instead of having to purchase an annuity), we will be seeing more people purchase buy-to-let property with the lump sums released”. Ian Potter, ARLA

“While we are pleased to see that the changes made to the tax and planning system are making the market amenable for investment and growth we would also sound a note of caution, as policies such as capital gains tax for foreign property investors still run the risk of undoing the good work, and causing the UK market to lose its competitive edge. … the radical reforms to pensions, particularly allowing people greater say over how their pension pot is spent, could … create new opportunities for property-based investment products”. Liz Peace, British Property Federation.

Wednesday, December 6th 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

Family run localletting agent, Jigsaw Letting based in Selby has been voted the regional winner of the Landlord and Letting Agent for 2013/14 for the Yorkshire and Humber Region in the prestigious Landlord & Letting Awards for the third year running.

Owner of Jigsaw Letting, Sandra Widdrington said: "We are absolutely thrilled to win this Award. The competition was really tough, so this accolade really is testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone at Jigsaw Letting. This achievement has really spurred us on and we will continue to build on our expertise and deliver high quality levels of service across the private rented sector."

Oliver Romain, editor of Landlord & Buy-to-Let magazine, commented: "The Landlord & Letting Awards are the premier nationwide private rented sector awards in the UK, and it's great to be able to recognise and reward the best in the industry. This year's response was phenomenal and the standard of entries was extremely high, so Jigsaw Letting has done brilliantly to win their category."

Trophies were presented by TV presenter Martin Roberts at a gala dinner and disco held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on Wednesday 27th November 2013.

Private Rented Sector Regional Award

"As a true family multi award winning business, and the only ARLA licensed agent within the local area dedicated staff solely dedicated to letting, it is has always been our intention to be the most recognised local letting agent delivering an honest, trustworthy, professional property management and letting service. We benefit from a strong customer focussed dedicated team of ten with over 40 years of experience in the lettings market. We look after a landlord's property as if it was our own and provide a rental income for the duration of the tenancy and always go the extra mile; communication and building good relationships is the key to our unrivalled success. Our focussed approach combined with a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the private rental sector offers clients a comprehensive service and this is proven with this delightful news" says Director Sharon Widdrington

Jigsaw Letting is certainly on a roll after having scooped the national Silver Award for Small Independent Lettings Agency of the Year (1-5 branches) at the Negotiator Zoopla Awards 2013 in London last month and also being a finalist for The landlord & letting Awards Customer Service category 2013/14.

To find out more about our competitive NO HIDDEN COSTS property management packages tailored to suit individual Landlords needs contact Jigsaw Letting on 01757 241123.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 "Wins Silver National Award - The Negotiator Awards 2013 - Small Independent Lettings Agency of the Year (1-5 branches)"

Silver National Award Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole.

Leading multiple award winning ARLA licensed registered SAFE agent Jigsaw Letting who are winners two years running for the Landlord and Letting Awards for the Yorkshire and Humber Region 2012/13 and shortlisted for the Sunday Times Awards 2013, are pleased to announce that they have won Silver National Award - The Negotiator Awards 2013 - Small Independent Lettings Agency of the Year (1-5 branches)

“As a true family business to be recognised yet again at such a high level within the private rental sector is not only an honour but an accolade for the team which is really well deserved.  We are the only ARLA licensed agent within the local area dedicated staff solely dedicated to letting and we benefit from a strong team with years of experience in the lettings market.  We look after a landlord's property as if it was our own and provide a rental income for the duration of the let as our aim is to give both Landlords and Tenants a standard of service that is proven as unrivalled by being professional, very efficient and to keep informed every step of the way with the best advice. Our focussed approach combined with wealth of knowledge and understanding of the various areas offers clients a comprehensive service and this is proven with this delightful news” says Owner Sandra Widdrington.

The awards were held on Tuesday 5th November and were announced by Hugh Dennis so there were fireworks all round!

"The next awards we are shortlisted for at the end of this month are the Landlord & Letting Awards: Landlord and Letting Agent of the Year 2013/14 and Customer Service Award 2013/14 for the Yorkshire and Humber Region, which were introduced in 2009 with the aim of recognising and rewarding excellence and contribute to raising standards in the private rented sector.  Over the last three years, the Awards have rapidly grown in popularity" says Director Sharon Widdrington.  

Winners will be announced at a glitzy Awards Ceremony, hosted by Martin Roberts, at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire on Wednesday 27th November 2013 and we wish Jigsaw Letting and the team the very best of luck for all three of these awards!

 

 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

Tenants are staying in properties for longer than ever before, but with the average duration of a private rented sector (PRS) tenancy standing at 19.8 months*, many of us recognise the responsibilities, challenges, and irritants when changing address.

To help combat this, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has drawn together some helpful tips to ease the process for when you do decide to move.

Susan Fitz-Gibbon, President of ARLA, said:

"The PRS can offer fantastic flexibility for renters and by observing a few simple guidelines, tenants can ensure any move between properties is as smooth as possible.

"Thinking about things like final bills ahead of moving day will ensure there are no loose ends for either tenant or landlord, and should reduce the potential for disputes further down the line when you enter your new property and a new tenant makes a home of your old. Remember that a well put together inventory, which is agreed by tenant and landlord, can also go a long way to easing the moving process. The provision of an inventory is not mandatory, so it's always worth checking if one is provided before signing for a new rented property."

ARLA has the following tips for renters moving home:

Stay in touch - Be sure to inform your bank, employer and friends that you're about to change address to avoid missing any important post or dropping off Christmas card lists! It is also worth leaving a forwarding address and telephone number with the landlord in case anything urgent is delivered to your previous home.

Settling up - Before you leave a rental property, be sure to notify utility providers at least 48 hours prior to moving out. This will allow them to send a final bill, which a landlord or agent may ask to see, along with proof of payment, before you depart.

Clearing out - Remember that a rented property should always be left clean and tidy when you leave. If an inventory was taken when you moved in, be sure to check the state of individual rooms against this and move furniture back to its original position to reduce the chance of deposit disputes arising.

If a formal inventory wasn't compiled upon moving in, it is always prudent to leave a property as tidy as possible on moving out days and to take timed/dated photos as evidence of your clear-up efforts. Remember that any furniture that you have brought into a property must be removed at the end of the tenancy, unless otherwise agreed with the landlord. If you have to dispose of larger items, you may need to give the local council advance notice.

Come clean -Breakages happen, and often reporting any accidental damage to the relevant party before you've moved out could reduce the expense to you in the long term. If a landlord has to replace something at the last minute, the increased cost may be passed on to you in the form of a deposit deduction.

Once issues around costs are resolved and there is agreement on how much deposit will be released, it must be returned to you within 10 days of the tenancy ending. If a dispute remains ongoing, your deposit will be held in the secure scheme it was put into at the start of the tenancy until this is ironed out.

Use the professionals -If you have any queries during a tenancy, or when you're considering moving to a new property, get the best possible advice from a letting agent affiliated to a professional organisation like ARLA.

All ARLA licensed agents must adhere to a strict code of conduct, as well as offering client money protection and redress schemes, which protect all parties if things go wrong.

*The data from the ARLA Members' Survey of the Private Rented Sector, covering Q2 2013, was drawn from 507 member offices.  Together with the ARLA Survey of Residential Investment Landlords, June 2013 - conducted among 1,224 landlords - the report forms the ARLA Review and Index. The Review and Index is available at: http://www.arla.co.uk/buy-to-let/buy-to-let-review/2013/

 

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

Selby Times/Post and Goole Courier Editorial...

Leading multiple award winning ARLA licensed registered SAFE agent Jigsaw Letting who are winners two years running for the Landlord and Letting Awards for the Yorkshire and Humber Region 2012/13 and shortlisted for The Negotiator Awards 2012, and for the Sunday Times Awards 2013, are pleased to announce that they have been successfully shortlisted for Landlord and Letting Agent of the Year 2013/14 and Customer Service Award 2013/14 for the Yorkshire and Humber Region and The Negotiator Awards 2013. 

“As a true family business to be recognised yet again at such a high level within the private rental sector is not only an honour but an accolade for the team which is really well deserved.  We are the only ARLA licensed agent within the local area dedicated staff solely dedicated to letting and we benefit from a strong team with years of experience in the lettings market.  We look after a landlord's property as if it was our own and provide a rental income for the duration of the let as our aim is to give both Landlords and Tenants a standard of service that is proven as unrivalled by being professional, very efficient and to keep informed every step of the way with the best advice. Our focussed approach combined with wealth of knowledge and understanding of the various areas offers clients a comprehensive service and this is proven with this delightful news” says Owner Sandra Widdrington.

The Landlord & Letting Awards were introduced in 2009 with the aim of recognising and rewarding excellence and contribute to raising standards in the private rented sector.  Over the last three years, the Awards have rapidly grown in popularity.  Winners will be announced at a glitzy Awards Ceremony, hosted by Martin Roberts, at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire on Wednesday 27th November 2013. 

For the Negotiator Awards which are sponsored by Zoopla, this year has attracted a record number of entries from agencies up and down the country and the winners will be announced on 5th November 2013 – which will mean fireworks all round!  Hugh Dennis will host the Awards Ceremony and announce the lucky winners.

We wish Jigsaw Letting and the team the very best of luck for all three of these awards!

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Bank of England Inflation Report Overview - August 2013 Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole.

Overview

In the United Kingdom, a recovery appears to be taking hold. But the legacy of adjustment and repair left by the financial crisis means that the recovery is likely to remain weak by historical standards.

CPI inflation rose to 2.9% in June and looks set to remain around that rate in the near term. Against that backdrop, the Committee has provided some explicit guidance regarding the future conduct of monetary policy. The MPC intends at a minimum to maintain the present highly stimulative stance of monetary policy until economic slack has been substantially reduced, provided this does not entail material risks to price stability or financial stability.

In the Committee's view, a sustained recovery in both demand and supply appears likely. The outlook for growth is stronger than in May, mainly reflecting a marked improvement in business and consumer sentiment. This stronger demand is assumed to be largely matched by an increase in effective supply capacity, such that the outlook for inflation is similar to May, with inflation expected to fall back to around the 2% target over the forecast period.

The policy decision.

A recovery appears to be under way, although its strength and sustainability remain unclear.

Inflation remains well above the target, but seems likely to fall back to around the 2% target in the latter half of the forecast period.

The exceptional weakness in productivity means that there is considerable uncertainty about the supply capacity of the economy as demand recovers. As a result, the trade-off between the horizon over which inflation returns to the target and the speed with which output and employment recover is unusually uncertain. Misjudging that trade-off could have significant costs in the medium term.

In these unprecedented circumstances, explicit policy guidance can enhance the effectiveness of monetary stimulus in three ways. It provides greater clarity regarding the MPC's view of the appropriate trade-off between the speed with which inflation is returned to the target and the support given to the recovery. It reduces uncertainty about the future path of monetary policy as the economy recovers. And it delivers a robust framework within which the MPC can explore the scope for economic expansion without putting price stability and financial stability at risk.

At its August meeting, in the light of both the economic outlook and these considerations, the MPC voted to maintain Bank Rate at 0.5% and the stock of asset purchases at £375 billion.

The full report can be found here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

The Labour Party has issued a report into what it considers to be the focal points of Britain's housing crisis, with particular focus on regulation of the private rented sector.

Among the criticisms it levelled at the industry, the paper cites issues of security of tenture, quality of accommodation and letting agents' fees.

Among the proposals put forward by the party, Labour suggested they would establish a national register of landlords, further controls on letting agents through either voluntary accreditation schemes or mandatory regulation, greater clarity of fees and a push for long-term lettings.

In the report Labour were also quick to praise their own Newham Council scheme, claiming it is "leading the way" in improving the sector.

It was also claimed that mandatory licensing would help to combat sub-standard accommodation and that long-term lettings would encourage landlords to take on tenants receiving state benefits by offering them direct payment of rent.

Finally, the paper promised that a Labour government would strive to end what it describes as the "confusing and unfair system of fees that are charged to both landlords and tenants by agents".

The paper also calls for feedback by the end of this month (May). You can find the full report here.

source: arla.co.uk

Friday, April 17, 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

Jigsaw Letting are pleased to announce that they are the new sponsors of North Duffield Under 6’s football kit.  Coaches Davy Northcott and Dave Steel are very thankful to Owner Sandra Widdrington for the generous donation.  It is the team’s first season and the team of 16 players wore the kits for their first friendly game which took place on 11th May against Snaith Hawks and everyone commented on how smart they looked for the occasion.

 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

Leading multiple award winning ARLA licensed registered SAFE agent Jigsaw Letting who are winners two years running for the Landlord and Letting Awards for the Yorkshire and Humber Region 2012/13 and shortlisted for The Negotiator awards 2012, are pleased to announce that they have also been successfully shortlisted for Lettings Agency of the Year Awards in association with The Sunday Times and The Times.  “To be recognised yet again at such a high level within the private rental sector is not only an honour but an accolade for the team which is really well deserved” says Owner Sandra Widdrington.

The Sunday Times Awards are the UK's premier awards for estate and letting agencies, judged by an independent panel of industry experts and sponsored by Zoopla Property Group.  Awards will be presented with a Certificate on stage by celebrity presenter, Karren Brady, taking place on Friday 24th May at the Lancaster London Hotel.  

In addition to this, their youngest team member at Jigsaw Letting Eleanor Welbourn MARLA has been successfully shortlisted for Best Lettings Negotiator in the 2013 Lettings Agency of the Year Awards in association with The Sunday Times and The Times.  Eleanor comments “I am really happy to be shortlisted it makes all of the hard work worthwhile to be recognised with such a prestigious award”.

We wish Jigsaw Letting and the team the very best of luck!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

  WE LET QUALITY HOMES WITHIN 1-2 WEEKS “NO GIMMICKS”

THAT’S THE AWARD WINNING DIFFERENCE

  • Trusted, regulated, award winning residential Lettings Service and Property Management in the Yorkshire and The Humber Region
  • Open and Transparent Fees with No Set Up Fees and No Hidden Costs

  • ARLA licensed family run independent letting agent established 2001

  • Specialist fully trained team dedicated staff solely dedicated to letting your property

  • Registered SAFE agent to ensure a high calibre of tenants

  • All tenant referencing is completed in-house so 100% guaranteed

  • Property is looked after as if it was our own with regular FREE of charge inspections

  • FREE marketing material including all online advertising on the top portals

Jigsaw Letting stand out from other local agents as you know you are dealing with an agent you can trust as for two years running we are officially Landlord and Letting Agent of The Year 2012/13 for the Yorkshire & Humber Region handpicked out of hundreds of agents in the area.

Our team of nine specialists have the award winning expertise to maximise the return on your investment and minimise any inconvenience as letting your property can be a complicated, frustrating and a time consuming process. Therefore, whether you are a buy to let landlord, a homeowner looking to rent out your property, or a vendor who can't sell, as an independent ARLA licensed SAFE agent based in Selby and established since 2001 Jigsaw Letting will ensure that you receive the lettings service you require.  Jigsaw Letting are the only ARLA licensed agent in the Selby area including Sherburn and Goole who focus exclusively on professional property letting and management.

Being landlords ourselves we promise we will look after your property as if it was our own and provide you with a rental income for the duration of your let and provide services to protect your property asset.

Our services include:- Full property management, Tenant find service which can be tailored to suit your requirements either with or without rent collection.

No Hidden Costs

No Set Up Fees

Fully Transparent

For a fresh, motivated, award winning approach BOOK your FREE NO OBLIGATION rental valuation

Friday, March 08, 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

Mortgage provider 'Castle Trust' has revealed that there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of consumers who are choosing to rent a property as opposed to buying a home.

Recent figures show that there has been a steep rise in the amount of people who now choose to rent within the private sector, showing an increase of 23% from 3.1 million renters in 2008 to 3.8 million renters in 2012.

These figures come as quite a shock, as despite people choosing to rent over choosing to buy (due to it maybe being perceived by a majority as less costly), the overall increase in renting has been show to have risen by an increment of £7.7 billion over the past four years.

However, maybe this increase of consumers renting is not as much of a 'choice' as it has initially been demonstrated to be. It could be suggested that instead, renting is the only viable option for people to provide a roof over their heads at the moment, with the current economic climate being plagued by ever increasing property prices and mortgage rates.

It could be suggested that rent is 'chosen' as a more favoured option as when comparing mortgage repayments to monthly rental expenditure; mortgage repayments occupy a large amount of monthly income from a household.

It could also be suggested that mortgages are being avoided by vulnerable individuals who do not see themselves as being in a finically secure enough position yet, to firstly actually be granted a mortgage, and secondly for them to even be able to consider making monthly mortgage repayments.

This view of rent being 'chosen' however does not seem to be able to hold its ground, as it appears that it is not only vulnerable people (first time property consumers and students) who appear to have to play a part to this covert 'choice' of renting.

It appears that even individuals who are part of our older generation, who have children and well paid salaried jobs, are still 'choosing' to rent as opposed to buying, as even for them, the prospect of ever owning their own home is still a long way off from ever being a tangible reality.

In addition to this, for many people who earn above satisfactory salaries, it is not just the repayments with which mortgages pose a threat, but more so the down payment needed to secure one. For some properties these initial down-payments would equate nearly £50,000, when people could simply just live in a similar house, by paying a deposit (much smaller than a down-payment) and cheaper monthly rent instead.

In this aspect, rent may appear to be a choice, but what it boils down to, is that for some people, in the current economic climate, there is no other choice which they can take if they want to survive.

For our economy, renting is now trending, not only in the usual student and young professional demographics, but also with individuals who are in their 30s and 40s and according to figures from Shelter, with around one third of the renting population now comprising of families.

source: arla.co.uk

Friday, March 08, 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

A recent initiative has been put into play, which proposes that all letting agents must present their agency fees clearly alongside the descriptions of the properties that they advertise.

The recent proposition could also affect landlords and means that estate agents will have to clearly disclose their compulsory administration fees when advertising properties, including information about a property's deposit, any rent to be paid in advance and also any contract fees involved.

These recent changes have swiftly come into play with a solid verdict from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who have now declared that all advertised properties must show the information required in order for consumers to be able to make informed decisions on whether to rent a particular property with a particular agent.

It is thought that these new changes have been dictated following a faux pas by property advertising portal Right Move, who were found to be publicising a property, without all of the necessary information.

This pronouncement from the ASA means that in future, all letting agencies must declare their full fee information and in circumstances where this cannot be presented upfront, agents must be able to advise consumers that the advertisements on show are not without their hidden extras, and in turn be capable of explaining how these additional costs would be calculated.

It is hoped that with these new regulations in place, it will help to unveil the unknown and make the process of renting a property less threatening, and in turn make sure that the fees imposed do not ostracise vulnerable people (such as first time renters and students) from looking for a home.

By making it clear that an advertisement may not contain all the relevant facts and figures, people will not feel that when these are revealed to them, they have wasted their time and money invested into viewing certain properties, which in the long run may only be picture perfect.

Guy Parker, chief executive of the ASA said:

"Our ruling today makes clear that letting agents need to get their houses in order and treat potential tenants fairly. Renting a property is a significant commitment. For those who are new to the rental market, like students, navigating it can be particularly difficult.  That's why the ASA is clamping down on letting agents who hide fees."

source: arla.co.uk

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Reported by Sharon Widdrington for Jigsaw Letting Agents Selby and Goole. 

Gloria De Piero:  To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people lived in rented accommodation in (a) Ashfield constituency, (b) Nottinghamshire, (c) the East Midlands and (d) England and Wales in each of the last five years.

Mr Foster:  The data source for this is the English Housing survey. Due to the nature of sample surveys, figures can only be provided where sample sizes are large enough to make reliable estimates.

England

In England the number of households living in rental accommodation (either social or private) was approximately: ----

 

Number million

2011-12

7.7

2010-11

7.4

2009-10

7.0

2008-09

6.9

2007-08

6.8

Wales

Figures are not available for Wales from this Department.

East Midlands

As outlined in the written ministerial statement of 18 September 2012, Official Report , column 32WS, my Department no longer publishes statistics by Government office region. Notwithstanding, previously published figures can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/tenure-trends-and-cross-tenure-analysis

Nottinghamshire and Ashfield constituency

Figures are not available at this geographical level.

Hansard reference here

source: arla.co.uk

New Team Member Feb 2013

All of the team at Jigsaw Letting is pleased to announce our newest team member Beckie Marshall.  Beckie has years of experience in customer services and will be taking over the tenant referencing.  A warm welcome from all of us! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Property Ombudsman Christopher Hamer has urged the Government to to introduce some manner of regulation in the private rented sector, stating that legislation was the only realistic option.

Joining an Ombudsman scheme should be the very minimum requirement to entering the lettings industry, he added.

Like Baroness Hayter, Hamer is pushing for lettings agents to be included under the same legislation as estate agents, providing consumers with the same opportunities for redress.

This comes on the back of recent news that 53% of all complaints to the Property Ombudsman concerned the lettings industry, compared with the sales industry which made up just 27% of the Ombudsman's workload.

Hamer concluded:

"The Government has made clear that it is looking to reduce the burden on businesses and has introduced its 'Red Tape Challenge' to de-clutter the statute books of unnecessary legislation. The Government also wishes to avoid imposing burdensome regulation on business, preferring instead that business sectors put their own houses in order.

"However, realistically legislation is the only vehicle that can bring 100% of letting agents within the fold.

"I would caution the Government that this is an issue which simply cannot be put off any longer."

source: arla.co.uk

Friday, February 08, 2013

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published the English housing survey 2011 to 2012. The report's findings include:

  • the private rented sector has been growing in recent years, and is at its highest level since the early 1990s, equalling that of the social rented sector at 38 million households; in 2011 to 2012, around two-thirds (65%) of households were owner occupiers
  • average weekly rents in the private rented sector continued to be well above those in the social rented sector (£164 per week compared with £83); while mean rents have increased in both sectors since 2008 to 2009, private rented sector rents showed no significant change from 2010 to 2011
  •  the energy efficiency of the housing stock continued to improve: between 1996 and 2011 the average SAP rating of a dwelling increased by 12 SAP points from 45 to 57
  •  the proportion of dwellings achieving the highest energy efficiency rating (EER) bands has increased considerably since 1996; in 2011, the social sector had the largest proportion of dwellings in the highest EER bands A to C (34% of housing association and 26% of local authority dwellings)
  • -in 2011, 5.4 million dwellings (24%) were non-decent, a reduction of well over 500,000 compared with 2010; the rate was lowest in the social rented sector (17%) and highest in the private rented sector (35%)

The full English Housing Survey 2011-12 can be found here.

source: arla.co.uk

Monday, January 28, 2013

The number of energy inefficient properties owned by landlords is steadily decreasing, according to research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). 

In December 2012, 61% of landlords reported that they had no properties rated F or G in terms of their energy efficiency, an increase of 11% on the year before.  This rise in the ownership of energy efficient rental properties could be down to upgrades of older properties or the sale of lower-rated properties  

As well as possessing fewer energy inefficient properties, the number of respondents saying they don't know what bracket their property falls into has fallen by 12% year-on-year. This added awareness of the EPC rating of their properties is a clear indicator that landlords have been spurred on to take a closer interest in energy performance.

Another potential side effect of this increased concern is growing awareness of the government's Green Deal, which was launched on January 28. At the end of 2012, more than half (58%) of landlords said they were aware of the government's proposal for improving private rental sector (PRS) housing's energy performance. This is a significant increase on the figure of 48% recorded at the end of 2011. Landords' awareness of the Green Deal far outstrips that of the general public, with a recent YouGov poll claiming that 4 in 5 had not heard of it.*

Ian Potter, Managing Director of ARLA, said: "EPCs have attracted considerable scrutiny in the past, but it would appear that landlords are now paying increased attention to the efficiency of their properties. This understanding is complimented by rising awareness of the 'split incentive' offered by the Government's Green Deal proposal for the PRS. However, whether this awareness translates into uptake remains to be seen.

"Increasingly, savvy tenants will ask to see a property's EPC or even ask about previous bills, therefore it is prudent for landlords to have a clear picture of the performance of their properties."

*http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/23/not-heard-green-deal-poll

source: arla.co.uk

Friday, January 18, 2013

Burst pipes can cause misery to homeowners, and to your own businesses alike; take precautions!

Winter precautions

Simple steps such as lagging exposed pipes could prevent escape of water and the damage and misery this may cause.

Advise your buyers and sellers to take precautions and practice what you breach.

Before the freezing weather hits:

  1. If you leave your home unattended, leave the heating on low (around (15 oC).
  2. Know where the water shut-off valve (stopcock) is to isolate the supply in an emergency.
  3. Lag pipes in the loft and check that the header and water tanks are insulated.
  4. Lag outside water taps to prevent them freezing and pipes bursting.
  5. In severe cold weather open the loft hatch to warm the void.
  6. Plastic plumbing joints will probably degrade sooner than metal ones, so keep an eye out for the slightest hint of water.
  7. If you are going to be away for an extended period, consider draining down your plumbing and heating system, but please do so with professional advice.

Before high winds and the stormy weather hits:

  1. Regularly check the condition of all roofs. In particular check garage, shed and flat roofs for signs of wear and tear, as this is of particular importance in heavy snow with the unexpected additional weight.
  2. Keep gutters, gullies and drains clear to carry water away quickly and efficiently.
  3. A blocked downpipe with trapped rainwater may crack or shatter in freezing conditions.
  4. Consider cutting back low hanging tree branches which could cause damage in high winds.

Prevention is better than cure!

source: arla.co.uk

Friday, January 04, 2013

Gas engineers need to be able to check the flue − which takes fumes away from the boiler − after undertaking gas work (and in rented properties when carrying out the annual gas safety check).  A flue in poor condition, combined with a boiler that is not working properly, may put people at risk of death or serious injury from carbon monoxide poisoning. HSE published a Safety Alert on this issue in October 2008. 

The 2010 industry guidance introduced a revised procedure, explaining to gas engineers how they should deal with properties which were built in such a way that flues could not be inspected, e.g. where concealed above a ceiling and there are no hatches to allow visual inspection. The change was phased-in. It was agreed that for the two years ending 31 December 2012, fitting carbon monoxide alarms in rooms through which the concealed flue passes would be sufficient. From 1st January 2013, where gas engineers are unable to check the flue physically, they will assess the installation as being "At Risk" (and seek the responsible person's permission to turn off the appliance). 

The law has not changed - there are no new regulations. Landlords are required, in law, to have an annual gas safety check carried out, by a registered engineer, on every gas appliance and flue they supply. Additionally landlords are required to ensure that gas fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition. These duties require the gas engineer to be able to inspect the flue to verify that it is safe. 

There is no legal duty on owner-occupiersto have inspection hatches installed. If owner-occupiers choose not to fit them, they should continue to have their boiler safety checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer who will advise that it is 'At Risk' (see above). 

Fitting carbon monoxide alarms are also a good second line of defence but are no replacement for an engineer being able to inspect the length of the flue. 

Further information including some 'frequently asked questions' (FAQs) is available on Gas Safe Register's website, http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/fluesinvoids.

Monday, January 07, 2013

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a series of documents providing guidance on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Regulations will come into force on 9 January. The statement can be viewed here.

Further information on the changes, including guidance documents can be found on the DCLG section of the new Gov.UK website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/improving-the-energy-efficiency-of-our-buildings

If the link above does not work please click here.

The key documents and points are as follows: A guide to energy performance certificates for the construction, sale and let of dwellings - HERE

To summarise:-

  • An EPC is required whenever a building is sold, constructed or rented out The EPC shows the energy efficiency rating (relating to running costs) of a dwelling. The rating is shown on an A-G rating scale similar to those used for refrigerators and other electrical appliances.
  • The EPC includes recommendations on how to improve the dwelling's energy efficiency. There is no statutory requirement to carry out any of the recommended energy efficiency measures stated. The EPC also includes information showing which of these measures would be eligible for finance under the Green Deal scheme, if they were to be carried out. Important information on the Green Deal can be found at  www.gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures/green-deal
  • When a new home is constructed, it is the responsibility of the builder to provide an EPC when the building is physically completed.
  • Landlords and sellers must provide an EPC free of charge to interested parties at the earliest opportunity and must provide a full copy of the EPC to the person who takes up the tenancy or the successful buyer
  • Estate agents and other third parties must ensure that an EPC has been commissioned before they can market a property for sale or rent. In addition, all advertisements in the commercial media must clearly show the property's EPC rating, where this is available .
  • The requirement to attach the front page of the Certificate to any written materials will be removed
  • EPCs are valid for 10 years and can be reused as many times as required within that period. It is not necessary to commission a new EPC each time there is a change of tenant, or the property is sold. Where more than one EPC is produced for a building, the most recent EPC is the valid one
  • In the social or private rental sector, an EPC is not required for any property that was occupied prior to 1 October 2008 and which continues to be occupied by the same tenant. However, landlords may commission EPCs for these dwellings if they wish


Alongside this, the DCLG has published the following supporting documents:

  • A guide to energy performance certificates for the construction, sale and let of non-dwellings -  HERE
  • A guide to display energy certificates and advisory reports for public buildings -  HERE
  • A guide to air conditioning inspections for buildings -  HERE
  • Local weights and measures authority guidance for energy performance certificates and air conditioning inspections for buildings -  HERE
  • Recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive - impact assessment -  HERE

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Electrical Safety Guide

Landlord & Letting Awards Winner 2012-2013

Winners Logo for Landlord & Letting Awards Winner

 

Jigsaw Letting Officially The Best of the Yorkshire and Humber Region for the Second Year Running

The Landlord & Letting Awards are the premier nationwide private rented sector awards in the UK to recognise and award the very best in the industry. Selby based Jigsaw Letting was yet again announced as the winner for the prestigious award of Letting Agent of the Year 2012/13 for the whole of the Yorkshire & Humber Region. The glamorous awards ceremony and gala dinner was hosted by TV presenter and landlord Sofie Allsopp at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry on Wednesday 28th November. Being awarded this for the second year running is for Jigsaw Letting in recognition of the company's extremely high standards and reflects the diligence and professionalism of the team.

The event was attended by the UK's top lettings agents and the awards were judged by industry experts and chaired by The Property Ombudsman with the backing of ARLA.

Letting Agent of the Year 2012/2013 Letting Agent of the Year 2012/2013 Letting Agent of the Year 2011/2012

For Sandra Widdrington owner of Jigsaw Letting this is the third consecutive year being recognised as one of the leading professionals within the industry winning Letting Agent of the Year 2011/12 for the Yorkshire & Humber Region and Property Woman of the Year 2010/11!

After the event Sandra commented, “We are all absolutely delighted to win this prestigious Award again. The competition for this region was really tough, so this accolade really is testament to the pride, passion and dedication of everyone at Jigsaw Letting as well as their determination to provide consistent and outstanding customer service. This triumph has spurred us on and we will continue to build on our expertise and deliver high quality levels of service across the private rented sector ensuring we remain your leading letting agency of choice for landlords and tenants.” With Sandra the Owner and Sharon Widdrington Director being landlords themselves, Jigsaw Letting really stand out from the crowd as landlord clients trust their judgement on a personal level and on a professional basis it provides peace of mind with Jigsaw Letting having 8 members of staff, five of them being MARLA qualified.

Oliver Romain, editor of Landlord & Buy-to-Let magazine and lead judge for the Awards, commented: “The Landlord & Letting Awards are the premier nationwide private rented sector awards in the UK, and it's great to be able to recognise and reward the best in the industry. The Awards receive industry wide support and it is encouraging to see so many companies and individuals wanting to take part; many even strive throughout the year to further increase their chances of winning. This year's response was phenomenal, with more entries than ever received across the various categories, so Jigsaw Letting Agent has done brilliantly to win for the second year running”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

According to industry experts, the rental sector is increasing in strength as more and more of the younger generation find themselves with little option but to enter the rental market.

In Europe this concept is nothing new as rental remains more common and economically viable than buying a home. However, there is some debate as to whether this is a long-term scenario or just a symptom of the economic downturn.

Many landlords are campaigning for five year tenancies to be more easily accessible. The benefit of this would be meeting the increasing demand from tenants who want something more permanent and secure than a one year contract. Rental is increasingly becoming an option for those wanting to settle down in the long term without the financial stress of a mortgage.

However, for this to be viable landlords must prepare themselves for a shift in the market mindset, creating rental properties that are homes rather than stop gaps for something more permanent.

Jigsaw Letting can we make it a hat trick?

At Jigsaw Letting we are pleased to announce we have also been successfully shortlisted for The Negotiator Awards 2012 sponsored by Zoopla Property Group.

The Negotiator Awards are the UK's premier awards for estate and letting agencies, judged by an independent panel of industry experts and will be held on Wednesday 24th October 2012 at The London Hilton on Park Lane with Jon Culshaw as the host for the big night!

Best of luck Sandra!

The National Landlords Association (NLA) is pleased to announce that due to a flourishing property portfolio, financial success and personal achievements in the private-rented sector, Sandra Widdrington from Selby is once again featuring in the finalists for the prestigious award of Property Woman of the Year 2012. Sandra was crowned with this accolade in 2010 and is very excited about once again being a finalist. The team at Jigsaw Letting wish Sandra the very best of luck for the awards ceremony which will be held Wednesday 31st October 2012.

Landlord and Letting Awards Finalist Landlord and Letting Awards Finalist

Can we be crowned Letting Agent of the Year 2 years running?

Jigsaw Letting are proud to announce that they have reached the finals in the Landlord & Letting Awards Yorkshire & The Humber.

Our entry has been reviewed and has successfully made it through the first trawl. To this end, our submission will now be passed on to the judging panel for further scrutiny/marking, and we may be in with a good chance of winning.

The good news is that we can fly our flag as a finalist 2012/13.

The Winner will be announced at the Landlord & Letting Awards gala dinner to be held at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry on Wednesday 28th November 2012.

We are keeping our fingers crossed and keep everyone updated on our web-site.

Jigsaw Letting one of Selby's first  SAFEAGENTS - why you wouldn't use an agent without this...1/5/2012

SAFE – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – is a mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through client money protection schemes.

Jigsaw Letting is an approved Safe Agent (reg number S3374) and is part of the DPS Money Protection Scheme - see our official logo at the bottom of our homepage.

! WARNING - Your money may be at risk if you do not use an agent who is part of a client money protection scheme!  Ensure you use an approved letting agent who is a licensed ARLA member and who is also carrying the official Safe Agent logo.  BEWARE - some letting agents are carrying the logo without displaying their registration number - this may mean they are not approved and may not be part of a client money protection scheme.

Landlords and tenants often make decisions based on cost but it is important to ensure you ask your agent for details of the organisation they are regulated by and whether or not they are covered by a client money protection scheme. All agents regulated by ARLA/NFOPP, the Law Society, NALS and RICS maintain and operate separate designated client accounts where your money is held completely separate from the operating funds of the firm. If the agent you are using cannot provide you with the assurance of knowing they are covered by a client money protection scheme the question you need to ask is why not?

Trust Jigsaw Letting...we take care of your investment and your money and play by the rules.

Selby's Winning Letting Agent - Landlords join us, who else would you trust with your investment?...17/04/2012

The team at Jigsaw Letting are successfully renting out quality homes within just a few days and due to increased demand we have trustworthy tenants awaiting quality properties! 

We will give you experienced, proven winning advice and a FREE no obligation property rental appraisal at a time convenient to you.

We guarantee a Professional Service with NO HIDDEN COSTS and we take care of your property as if it was our own.

Come in and talk to us today for more information and collect your FREE Landlords Information Pack.

LANDLORDS...27/03/2012

Join The Winning Team...Your Vision...Our Experience!

Are you a Homeowner looking to rent out your property?  A Vendor who cannot sell and need to move forward?  A Buy to Let landlord with one or one hundred properties?

Due to recent demand properties are urgently required To Let with quality homes renting fast! 

We can give you experienced advice and a FREE property rental appraisal at a time convenient to you:

- Winners of Landlord and Letting Agent Award 2011/12 Yorkshire & Humber Region

- We Guarantee a Professional Service in Letting your Property

- We will Ensure we Maximise the Return on your Investment

- Fully Managed Service or a Package to Suit Your Needs

- FREE No Obligation Rental Valuation by Friendly Qualified Staff

- Guaranteed Professional Service with NO HIDDEN COSTS!

- We will take care of your property as if it was our own

Come in and talk to us today for more information and collect your FREE Landlords Information Pack!

SEVERE COLD WEATHER ADVICE!... 05/02/2012

Practical steps to take if you are away from your property during the cold spell;-

To prevent freezing of internal pipes it is recommended that you;-

  • If you are away overnight turn off your water supply to prevent pipes from bursting. Locate the stop-cock inside your home, this is usually under the kitchen sink.
  • Keep torches (and any batteries) to hand in case lighting fails or you need to switch off power.
  • Keep important emergency numbers handy in your home.
  • Even when you are out leave the heating system on a low setting of around 10°c to prevent pipes freezing.
  • Ensure everyone living in your home knows where the water stop cock and electricity mains switch, are located.
  • Get information during severe cold weather by listening to local radio or TV for advice and updates.
  • If you can store some water from your property or from a neighbour, for personal and toilet needs, for when you have to switch the mains water off at the stop-cock.

Contact our Jigsaw Letting team for further advice or refer to our advice information pack on severe cold weather.

LANDLORDS PROPERTIES REQUIRED!... 21/01/2012

We will take care of your property as if it was our own...

Are you a Homeowner looking to rent out your property?

A Vendor who cannot sell and need to move forward?

A Buy to Let landlord with one or one hundred properties?

We can give you experienced advice and a FREE property rental appraisal at a time convenient to you:

  • FREE Landlords information pack with no obligation
  • FREE ‘BUY TO LET’ investment advice
  • FREE advice on the presentation of your property for the residential lettings market
  • Advice on how to avoid the "pitfalls" in term's of non compliance of your legal statutory obligations
  • 2011/12 Landlord & Letting Agent of the Year - Yorkshire & Humber Region
  • The owner of Jigsaw Letting has a number of years as an experienced Landlord and won NLA Yorkshire and The Humber Property Woman 2010/11
  • Jigsaw Letting runs in a very transparent manner with NO HIDDEN COSTS!

WELCOME BACK AMIE!...04/01/2012

Welcome back to the team Amie after your maternity leave for the birth of beautiful Oscar!

Winners... Jigsaw Letting announced as 'the best' Letting Agent for Yorkshire & Humber region!!!... 16/11/2011

Hosted by Melissa Porter on Wednesday 16th November 2011 Jigsaw Letting were crowned officially 'the best' Letting Agent 2011/12 for the Yorkshire & Humber region!  The Landlord & Letting Awards took place to celebrate the achievements of private rented sector professionals and the team at Jigsaw are over the moon with their amazing achievement.  The ceremony was held in in the Concourse Suite at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre.

Best Letting Agent, Melissa Porter The Landlord & Letting Awards Reception

Sandra Widdrington, owner of Jigsaw Letting is absolutely thrilled with this second accolade for the business celebrating the hard work and dedication of the Jigsaw Letting team!

Another Award?... 03/10/2011

Following on from two very successful years, the Landlord & Letting Awards are once again taking place to celebrate the achievements of private rented sector professionals and we are very excited that Jigsaw Letting has been shortlisted!

The ceremony for the 2011/12 Awards will be held in in the Concourse Suite at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre, on Wednesday 16th November 2011. The host is TV presenter and property investor, Melissa Porter.

Watch this space for the results & wish us luck...

Leading the Way in Selby... 21/09/2011

As well as Sandra Widdrington and Amie Brooks we now have Jo Anderson and Eleanor Welbourn ARLA qualified.  Sandra is so excited and proud of her team attaining this prestigious accreditation we are head strong in having 100% of our team qualified.  This will mean that the remaining 3 of the 7 strong team will soon be studying to attain the qualification. 

Sandra and her team would also like to take this opportunity to officially welcome Fiona Edwards & Phil Robinson to the Jigsaw Letting team!!! 

And the Winner is... 01/07/2010

The National Landlords Association (NLA) is pleased to announce that due to a flourishing property portfolio, financial success and personal achievements in the private-rented sector, Sandra Widdrington from Selby has been crowned NLA Yorkshire and The Humber Property Woman 2010 at the NLA’s prestigious Property Women Awards ceremony in Central Londo.

Despite the adversity of the current market place, Sandra was judged to have shown determination and a savvy business approach making her a cut above the rest. She initially entered the market with the sole aim of buying just one property to rent out as a way of supplementing her retirement fund, but she soon got the property bug and is now running her own letting and property management business which boasts hundreds of properties.

The awards were presented by property addict and TV presenter Melissa Porter, who had nothing but praise for Sandra’s success, “I’m a business woman myself, so I know it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to succeed - two qualities that Sandra has in abundance. The last year certainly hasn’t been easy for the property market, but in a way that makes celebrating the achievements of women like Sandra even sweeter!”

A Big Welcome 22/04/10

Due to expansion Jigsaw Letting would like to welcome onboard Eleanor our new lettings negotiator currently training and is set to be to a great member of the Jigsaw team and will shortly be starting her ARLA qualifications.

Home Move Box 25/03/10

Jigsaw Letting have signed up to the new Home Move Box scheme which sends all new tenants a box of essentials and goodies on the day they move in and best of all its FREE see a member of staff for more details. 

Calling All Landlords  5/02/10

The NLA landlord fair is coming to Selby on the 11th March 2010, please contact the office for more details.

NLA Selby Branch Meeting 27/01/10

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 7th February @ The Londesbrough Hotel, Selby at 7pm
Guest Speaker is : Selby District Council Private Housing Team. Food will be served

Licensed To Let 08/01/10

Jigsaw Letting are now "liscensed to let" following our renewal to NALS ( National Approved Letting Scheme) we are now a licenced letting agent.
Ensuring you that we are following the national guidlines for Letting and Property Management. Vist the NALS website for more details : www.nalscheme.co.uk

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 21/12/2009

All the team at Jigsaw Letting would like to wish all landlords and tenants a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Our new maintenance team will be on call over the festive period they can be contacted in an emergency on 01977 672 671 

Congratulations Jo 27/11/09

Jo has passed her NFOPP Let 3 Exam she is getting closer to gaining her full qualification needed for membership of ARLA.

Congratulations Amie 19/10/2009

Amie has now received her ARLA technical award, well done Amie, Jo and Ben are well on the way to the same accredited success.  This makes Jigsaw Letting the only agent in Selby with members of staff qualified in Residential Lettings & Property Management

We Are Going Green 14/10/09

From the 14Th October 2009 Jigsaw Letting are going green. We will be sending statements out by E-mail, Should you wish to opt out of this service or would like any more information please contact Ben Anderson at the office.

Selby Landlords 9/10/09

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 13th October @ The Londesbrough Hotel, Selby at 7pm
Guest Speaker is : Selby District Council Environmental Health. Paul Gott from the NLA will also be present, food will be served

The Best Just Got Better 8/10/09

Amie Brooks has just passed her fourth & final Exam, and has now applied for her personal membership to ARLA, WELL DONE

NLA Property Women of the Year Award 2009

Sandra Widdrington, was runner up in the regional Yorkshire & Humberside category in the July 2009 the awards were held in central London and were presented by property addict and TV presenter Melissa Porter, who has supported the Awards since their launch, commenting: "Amidst the adversity in the market place, these women have shown themselves to be in a league of their own. Their determination and savvy business approach make them a cut above the rest and I think it's so important to celebrate the women who are not only transforming the property market, but also their lives, and in many cases the lives of their tenants."

David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA said: "The calibre of nominees that we have received this year was very impressive and all those shortlisted should be incredibly proud to make it to the final. All the female landlords who entered have demonstrated professionalism, creativity, attention to detail and an overall superior level of customer service. May the best woman win!"