Our Services

Selling

Selling your property is a major decision and it is important that you choose a selling agent in which you have confidence and trust.

The sales process can be a complex and time consuming matter and our aim is to look after your interests at all times whist making selling your home as stress-free as reasonably possible.

Our commitment is to achieve the best possible price for your property, quickly and efficiently and you can always be assured that our highly experienced valuers will provide comparable evidence of similar properties to support any valuation placed on your home, having also considered all prevailing market conditions.

Once a sale on your property has been agreed and is in the hands of your appointed solicitor, our sales negotiators and progressors will ensure that communication between all parties is kept accurate and up to date to achieve a speedy transaction for you.

Continued contact throughout your time with us will ensure that you recieve the best possible service from Stephen James and we will endeavour to see your sale through to completion with the least amount of fuss.

Buying

Stephen James recognises the fact the purchase of your home is the most important and expensive transaction you are likely to undergo. Our database features an array of properties and we are sure that with our local knowledge and expertise, we will be able to find you a property to suit your needs, be it a straightforward move or a ‘Buy to Let’ investment.

Please click here to view a list of our current properties, complete with photographs.

To enable us to assist you in finding your new home we recommend you register with us which can be achieved in a number of ways i.e. by email, fax, phone, in person of by completing our Registration Form. This will give us an insight into your personal requirements, thereby enabling us to modify the details sent to you. Once registered, you are then in a position to receive details from us directly in person, via mail or email or download and print these out from our website.

If you wish to make an appointment to view any of the properties we have available please contact our friendly teams either at West Norwood 020 8761 2120 or Bow 020 8821 2888 who will be delighted to arrange those all important viewings of your selected properties.

For finance that may be required to fund your purchase why not obtain some sound independent mortgage by speaking to our recommded firm of financial advisors. To find out more click 'Mortgage Services'

Landlords

Free Rent Protection Insurance For All New Landlords! (suject to terms and conditions).

Are you a potential Landlord?

Properties become available for rent for a number of reasons, some of the more common ones being: Homeowners who are abroad for a year and want their property to produce an income in their absence.

The house seller who cannot find a purchaser.

Property owners who have bought a second home and want to keep their original property as an investment.

Whatever the reason, we can provide a professional and flexible service. If you own a property which is likely to be vacant for more than a six month period, the opportunity is open to let your home under an assured shorthold agreement.

Our services to you...

Letting Only

This service is normally provided for experienced Landlords and corporate clients who have an understanding of Tenancy Law. This service should not be chosen if you are unable to invest time in issues that may arise during a tenancy.

Services include:

    • Full marketing details provided.
    • Accompanied viewings.
    • Full referencing including credit report.
    • Arrangement of a professional inventory and check in/out by independent clerk.
    • Use of our offices for meetings and signing of documents.
    • Receipt of initial payment and transfer to Landlord.

 

Full Management Service

    • The preferred choice for most Landlords – Stephen James takes the strain and you can get on with life. Just as it should be…

 

Services include:

    • Initial market valuation on your property.
    • Full marketing details provided.
    • Accompanied viewings.
    • Full referencing including credit report.
    • Use of our offices for meetings and signing of documents.
    • Receipt of initial payment and transfer to Landlord.
    • Preparation and the service of all legal documentation during the tenancy.
    • Rent collection and payments to Landlords via online transfer.
    • Property inspections during the tenancy.
    • Overseeing all works during the tenancy.
    • Arranging free estimates for work from qualified contractors.
    • Arranging tenancy renewals and providing information on insurances where necessary
    • Free registration of your Tenant’s Security Deposit with The Deposit Protection Service (DPS).
    • Arranging the check out of tenants and collection of keys.

 

Full Management Overseas

    • Help and assistance in registering for the Landlords exemption scheme.
    • Payment to Inland Revenue on the Landlords behalf.
    • All correspondence faxed/emailed to your chosen residency.
    • References

 

Once a suitable tenant has been found and the monthly rental negotiated to suit both parties, we will complete a reference report on a prospective tenant and subsequently the Landlord will be provided with details of our searches. All applicants are expected to provide at least three of the following:

    • Employment reference (previous employer if appropriate).
    • Landlord reference (if applicable).
    • Financial reference (a credit search is completed on each applicant).
    • Students would be asked to provide details of suitable guarantors (usually parents or guardians)

 

Once we have finalised all details of the tenancy we will arrange for both parties to sign the agreement and collect the necessary monies (one month’s rent in advance and the equivalent of five weeks rent as a security deposit), prior to the release of keys. Where Stephen James are instructed to manage a property we will require an extra set of keys to be held in our office.

Full Management Key areas

References

Once we have finalised all details of the tenancy we will arrange for both parties to sign the agreement and collect the necessary monies (one month’s rent in advance and the equivalent of five weeks rent as a security deposit), prior to the release of keys. Where Stephen James are instructed to manage a property we will require an extra set of keys to be held in our office.

Inspections

The initial inspection will be completed after the first three months and then six monthly thereafter in order to check for any obvious signs of misuse or damage to the property, and to make sure that the tenant is not experiencing any problems. Additional inspections can be carried out if necessary. Our Landlords are advised in writing once an inspection has been completed.

Rent Collection

We will collect the rent from the tenant each month and a statement of account will be forwarded to the Landlord. All rent payments are sent electronically to the Landlord’s nominated bank account.

Maintenance

Any damage, defect or want of repair affecting the property or any of its contents will be reported to Stephen James. We will appoint contractors in the event of necessary repairs or maintenance arising, unless a Landlord instructs otherwise prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Where the cost of these works amounts to more than £150.00 we will inform a Landlord before arranging for the works to commence. In the event of an emergency, where we are unable to contact a Landlord or an authority of the Landlord, we will arrange for necessary works to be carried out in order to protect the Landlord’s interests.

Renewal Tenancy Agreement & Formal Notices

We will always advise you when the tenancy is due for renewal and draw up new agreements if requested at a cost of £150.00 + VAT at the prevailing rate. Should you wish to regain possession of the property or if any other legal notice is required to be served, we will do this on your behalf.

Deposit

We will collect the tenant’s deposit usually equivalent to five weeks’ rent, which will be held in a client account and utilised in the event of dilapidations at the end of the tenancy and as security against a tenant breaching the agreement.

Check – Out

In our opinion a professional Inventory and Check In is essential. We will organise this to be carried out on your behalf.

Protecting Your Investment

Stephen James have teamed up with letting warranty specialist who can provide comprehensive Rent & Legal Expenses cover to protect our Landlords against those unforeseen circumstances. Terms and conditions apply.

Tenants

Stephen James let and manage a variety of furnished and unfurnished properties throughout West Norwood and Bow along with all local surrounding areas. As members of the Ombudsman for Estate Agents we ensure that all security deposits are registered with one of the TDP (Tenancy Deposit Protection) governmant aproved schemes.

Our site contains a constantly updated register of rental property. Click here to see our latest list. In order to receive a regularly updated list of our available rental properties, please register by clicking here and we will contact you with details of new properties to suit your specified requirements.

For more detailed information or appointments to view please contact West Norwood office on 020 8761 2120 or the Bow office on 020 8821 2888

Please keep in mind that a range of rigorous checks on all prospective tenants will be carried out and we will require at least five week's rent as a deposit and one month’s rent paid in advance. Should you be uncertain as to your suitability or have specific requirements, please contact us. Tenant fees will apply.

TENANT’S GUIDE

Although Letting Agents have different procedures, this guide is intended as a general overview to assist you when renting a property. We have set out below a few significant pointers to assist you.

YOUR OFFER - Once we have found your suitable property, you will be in a position to make an offer to the Landlord for consideration. Please note that any offer you make would be subject to you fulfilling the reference criteria of the independant refercing agency appointed by us. At this point, you will be requested to provide a holding deposit which holds the property for you.

AGREEING THE LET -As soon as your offer has been accepted by the Landlord, we will apply for references and draw up the relevant documentation which will form the basis of the agreement between you and the Landlord.

You will be expected to provide:

    • IDENTIFICATION/PROOF OF RESIDENCY
    • All tenants must show proof of address. Only the following forms of identification are accepted:
    • Utility bill (less than 3 months old)
    • Full driving license
    • Council tax bill (less than 3 months old)
    • Mobile phone bill (less than 3 months old)

 

REFERENCES

We will also contact your employer and your landlord (if you are in rented accommodation already. Your previous employer will also be contacted if you have recently changed jobs. If you are self employed we will need to contact your accountant. A credit check will also be conducted. To assist us in collating the necessary references, it would be advantageous for you to warn the above individuals in advance that references are required as these can be return to us within a matter of a few days, barring any delays.

Occasionally, a GUARANTOR will be required if, for example the tenant has not been continuously employed for the past 18 months; has been working abroad in the previous 6 months; the tenants’ income falls short of our criteria or the tenants’ employment is considered as changeable.

Please note that the same criteria applies to the guarantor and, furthermore, the guarantor must earn the equivalent of 3 times the yearly sum of the rent, be in full time employment or be able to prove by bank statements that they have “independent means”. All tenants should be able to provide a guarantor and should the tenant be unable to provide one, we will decide that the tenant has withdrawn their application. The tenant will therefore forfeit their deposit. The guarantor must be aware that they will stand as guarantor for you, (and your partner if you are moving in to the property with some one else), for the entire occupancy of the property, not just for the period of the initial tenancy term.

TENANCY AGREEMENT - An appointment will be arranged with you to visit our offices to sign the Tenancy Agreement when all references have been received. The Landlord will also be asked to sign their copy of the document.

CHECK IN AND INVENTORY - If we have been instructed by the Landlord, an Inventory Report will be prepared of your new home and a convenient appointment will be made with the Inventory Clerk to carry out a Check In report to coincide with your move in day. All information is provided in good faith. It does not replace the advice of a qualified legal advisor. We will accept no responsibility for any inaccuracies.

Conveyancing

Dezrez Legal

Choosing the right conveyancer is one of the most important decisions you can make when selling or buying your home. Stephen James work closely with Dezrezlegal Ltd to offer you a competitively priced legal service designed to ensure your move is smooth and stress free. Dezrezlegal specialise in residential conveyancing and are committed to offering a first class service with professionalism and efficiency. The service is available to all vendors and purchasers whether you are looking to stay within our local area or are looking further afield, and is linked into our estate agency software system helping us keep up to date and working for you every step of the way.

A fixed price conveyancing quote allowing you to keep control of your moving costs.

Regular updates on the sale progression of your home.

Direct telephone numbers and email addresses for your conveyancer and assistant.

No meetings necessary all work can be completed online, through the post, and on the phone.

If you would like a quote for your house move or would like some advise on choosing the conveyancing service that is right for you please contact a member of staff today on 020 8761 2120.

EPCs

Epc

ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES (EPC) are being introduced to help improve the energy buildings.

If you are selling or renting a property you now need a certificate by law. From October 2008 EPCs will be required whenever a building is built, sold or rented out. The certificate provides 'A' to 'G' ratings for the building, with 'A' being the most energy efficient and 'G' being the least, with the average up to now being 'D'.

Accredited energy assessors produce EPCs alongside an associated report which suggests improvements to make a building more energy efficient.

We are able to organise an EPC on your behalf with the minimal amount of fuss. Please speak to us for futher details.