We are delighted to announce that Cross Keys Residential Sales and Lettings have moved into our flagship office located in Devonport Road in the heart of Stoke Village. Ahead of this exciting new chapter for us we have extensively refurbished our Stoke office, including a new shop front. We have also implemented changes in our building refurbishment and working practices which will see a reduction in our carbon footprint.
Our move back into the heart of the Stoke community has coincided with the end of our lease term at our Manamnead Sales hub. As such this has prompted the closure of our Mannamead Road office with immediate effect.
The Sales market in the City has dipped in recent months, for obvious reasons and it goes without saying that there is a lot of uncertainty as to what will happen in the first quarter of 2023. We are incredibly pleased that despite the current challenging climate we continue to sell and market homes to the highest standards and with successful outcomes.
Our intention is to continue to invest in Cross Keys Estates in our flagship office, where we can secure the long-term future of the Company, without having to make any of our valued staff redundant or to negatively affect our award-winning customer service.
Since our current Directors, Jack & Craig, started the Company in 2003, Cross Keys has seen some fantastic growth and has become an integral part of estate agency within the Plymouth area. Several years ago, the Company acquired the freehold to our iconic building in Stoke Village and this is a factor in our financial security going forward.
Cross Keys Estates is committed to continuing to sell and let properties throughout Plymouth and beyond for many years to come and we hope you will join us in celebrating this new era.
Hi Folks, here we are, another month and another blog and this time, on a different topic completely, the law!
Buying and selling a property can be confusing to say the least and that is before you even get to the conveyancing part.
On 21 December 2017 the Government announced plans to tackle the growing problem of newly built houses sold as leasehold rather than freehold, and to limit ground rents on new lease agreements. Leasehold reform was included in the Law Commission’s Programme of Law Reform with the aim of finding ways to make buying a freehold or extending a lease “easier, faster, fairer and cheaper.”
In The Queen’s Speech 2022 “The Government will be taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to improve fairness and transparency in the leasehold market. The Law Commission’s work on leasehold reform is now complete and will become law from 31st May 2022.
There are around 4.6 million leasehold homes in England, according to estimates from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Long leaseholders buy the right to live in their homes for the term of the lease. Around 68% of these are flats, while 32% are houses. Most flats in the private sector are leasehold (an estimated 93% of owner-occupied flats and 73% of private-rented flats). Leasehold houses are uncommon across England, at around 8% of the stock. There’s evidence indicating that developers had started to sell new-build houses on long lease agreements as this can represent a lucrative future income stream.
Leaseholders report a range of problems, including: high service charges and a lack of transparency over what they are being charged for; freeholders who block attempts by leaseholders to exercise the Right to Manage; excessive administration charges and charges for applications to extend lease agreements or enfranchise; and a lack of knowledge over their rights and obligations.
From the end of May, estate agents and other property businesses must include length of lease, amount of service charge and ground rent and whether the property is in a shared ownership scheme when marketing properties. This information is absolutely essential to buyers finding out from the start whether a property is worth pursuing or not (e.g., is the lease so short they won’t be able to get a mortgage).
What does this information include? Perhaps most significant is that details of tenure of the property (how you own a property) must be disclosed, this includes the following categories:
Currently most reputable estate agents and property professionals are in the midst of obtaining the relevant information required to comply with this new legislation, however it is not an easy task as some of the property owners are not even aware of what their exact lease terms mean to them. There are some developments in our area that are indeed freehold but also have a leasehold element, including the cost of maintaining communal outdoor areas or the cost of electric and maintenance of gates in gated communities etc: –
what will have to be disclosed when selling a leasehold property are the current ground rent and service charge together with their respective review periods, along with the length of the lease and whether it is a shared ownership leasehold property.
The story here at Cross Keys Estates is no different. We are speaking to vendors and their solicitors to obtain this newly legally required information. The best way is to get a physical copy of the lease, that way we can quote the lease details directly. If a copy of the lease is not immediately available, then maybe either talk to the solicitor that is either doing or committed to doing the conveyancing on the property. Unfortunately, we cannot just take the vendors word for this information anymore as it forms an integral part of the Government’s reform for the housing market.
If you would like a personal chat with me to see if now is the right time for you to sell or rent out your property, please feel free to either give me a call on 01752 500099 or 01752 500018 or pop in to our Stoke office where I or one of my experienced property consultants will be only too happy to see if we can help.
Field of Greens – The Green Taverners’ Suite
Proudly Sponsored by Cross Keys Estates
“Football ain’t what it used to be”. Actually, life ain’t what it used to be! The timing of the play, performed in its spiritual home of The Green Taverners’ Bar could not have come at a better time for anyone that had the privilege to be there and witness “Field of Greens” unfold before them.
The story is of the possible liquidation of Plymouth Argyle Football Club back in 2011 and how a band of fans got together from all walks of life to battle, innovate, fundraise and fly the flag for “our” club in the quest for survival. The story has echoes of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, where the people rose up together to make a stand against their oppressors and showed spirit, determination and grit along the way. Their anthem was “Do You Hear the People Sing”, ours was “The Janner Song”.
On entering the Taverners’ suite, it was obvious that this was not going to be a “tin-pot” production and short measures were not on the agenda, most notably in the content of Gary McGuire’s glass. The stage, the lighting, the seating layout made you feel that you were at the Theatre for the night. There was a buzz that grew as the audience grew before reaching capacity, just before the curtains went up.
The opening scene was a sombre affair at a funeral and was our first introduction to the cast of 14, who largely had never “trod the boards” before in their lives and so began an evening of tears, laughter, nostalgia with a little bit of escapism thrown in to-boot. It was rumoured that even Big Kev “had something” in his eye at one point during the performance.
The writing of the story by the insanely talented Rick was delivered brilliantly by the performers, who clearly enjoyed every minute of what they were doing and this came across loud and clear to an encapsulated audience. It was heart-warming to see Glyn “Chippy” Carpenter rising to the challenge of a serious role and doing it so well throughout the performance, as regular fan-festers will know he is renowned for slap-stick capers usually.
I am now deeply suspicious that there is more than meets the eye with regard to Chippy, maybe he has things in his locker that even he didn’t know about? Another mention for a sterling performance has to be Jo Reynolds-Inman who captured Lena’s positive and upbeat personality so very well.
For me, the performance of the evening was from Sarah Ryder who threw herself into the role of playing Sue with great gusto and came across as someone who has been acting for years and years (maybe she has!). The scenes where Rick and Dave performed at the Fanfest were wonderfully nostalgic and kept the momentum of the play going whilst giving the audience a real “feel good” factor.
Many a footballer would have been very proud to have made such a magnificent debut at Home Park such as Rick and Vince Sutton, the Director, did. It is impossible to write about Field of Greens, without paying attention to the way that it was written so cleverly and sensitively by Rick. There has to be real ability to be able to make people cry as well as laugh, sometimes in the same moment.
To us, the audience, it was a few hours out of our day to go and watch and enjoy but to him it must have been hours and hours of going through every human emotion known to get to the finished product. It goes without saying that it would have been impossible for Rick to do the whole thing on his own, as many contributed but without his creative mind, there would have been no Field of Greens, so next time you see him, buy him a pint of Jail and give him a hug!
A huge well done to everyone involved, it was a triumph and suffice to say you are all now locked into Argyle folk-law forever. Green Army!