With house prices set to rise, more people are turning to the rental market. But finding the right property, in the right area, for the right price, can be a stressful business.
Rogue landlords abound, not to mention the all too familiar ‘tenants from hell’.
People need an honest broker, an estate agent that’s fair to both landlord and tenant, so that both parties are happy to do business with each other. Malcolm Storer found one such estate agent in the lively Cheshire town of Bollington.
Established in 1992, Holmes Naden has a large portfolio of properties, for sale and for rent, across Prestbury, Bollington and Macclesfield, from two-bed terraces at £450 a month right up to footballers’ mansions at £20,000.
I met up with lettings manager, Ellis Pembery, in the Bollington branch. The company also has offices in Prestbury.
What struck me first was the friendliness of the staff. There was a real buzz about the place — phones ringing, clients coming and going. Ellis bounded forward, hand outstretched. “Mad busy at the moment. Tea? Coffee?”
With a background in engineering and pub management, local lad Ellis has been with Holmes Naden for sixteen years, working his way up from negotiator to lettings manager. He’s a genuinely nice guy who goes the extra mile for his clients.
I asked him about the buy-to-let market in the Bollington area. “A lot of my established landlords continue to grow their portfolios and a lot of new landlords have come in.
These tend to be older couples, buying to boost their pension pots. It’s not because they get the highest returns for their money, it’s because of the steady growth in house prices.
To give landlords peace of mind our tenants go through a rigorous vetting process — credit checks, employment references — to make sure everything is in order.
Peace of mind is important for tenants too, so we’re just as rigorous with our landlords.
Bollington has become a very desirable place to live. We not only have nice restaurants and pubs, we also have the canals and the Middlewood Way, plus a cricket and football club.
And how many villages can boast three independent butchers?
Because of the quality of life, we’re finding that the tenants who are moving here are happy to commute to their place of work, even if it’s an hour outside Bollington.”
Ellis’s passion for the area is obvious, as is his commitment to finding tenants the perfect place to live.”I’m not here to sell anything, I’m here to provide a service. If you are looking for a house, I will help you find it. I’ll show you everything we’ve got and help bring things together.
It’s the same for a landlord who’s got a place to rent out, be it a footballer or a someone with a small property portfolio.
Quite often I say to a client who’s new to the area, ‘Jump in the car and I’ll show you around.’ I love it here, and want my clients to love it too.”
An estate agent that really cares about its clients? Now that’s something you don’t come across every day!