Welcome to your October edition of the Fish Need Water newsletter!

Here’s what we’ve got coming up:

  • Sellers: that good news you read? It needs a pinch of salt
  • Landlords: do you know about the latest laws?
  • All the latest property news and views
  • Top tool: fix your street!

Sellers: don’t believe everything you read!

You’ve no doubt read the news that housing supply plummeted to an 11-year low last month, with 11 house-hunters fighting for every available property on the market. It’s getting potential sellers in a tizzy of excitement about how much they can get for their homes in such a low-supply, strong-demand market.

Well, excuse us if we rain on the parade and say “Not so fast – even if an estate agent has been round and given you some very happy-making numbers.”

London prices are indeed rocketing, so you might be inclined to believe that you can put your house on the market for a ludicrous amount and it’ll be scooped up in no time. Estate agents like to fuel that belief because they know that by quoting you a high number, they’re more likely to get your business.

But even though the market is in your favour, you can’t just name your price: buyers aren’t daft, and if you price too high relative to other properties nearby, there’s a risk that it’ll sit on the market for months (before you have to cut the cost and hope no one notices).

We do things differently from other agents: we price realistically to get people through the door, and then we negotiate hard with numerous competing buyers to exceed the price you wanted in the first place. What’s more, we’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to make your property as attractive as possible to buyers.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, please do get in touch with us before you accept that too-good-to-be-true number. We’ll give you an honest assessment of your property’s value, and we’ll tell you how we’d go about marketing it. Contact us on 020 3199 3439.

Landlords: smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are now mandatory

From 1 October 2015, landlords are required to provide working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all rented properties in England – and failing to do so could result in a civil penalty of £5,000.

You might supply these alarms already, but the new rules include specific guidance that needs to be followed:

Smoke alarms

A smoke alarm must be installed on every storey of the property that contains (even partial) “living accommodation” – which means that if the basement has a toilet or the loft contains a bedroom, you need smoke alarms there too.

You can choose between a battery or mains-powered alarm, but the Residential Landlords Association recommends that you install a tamper-proof alarm with a built-in battery that lasts for the life of the alarm (so that there isn’t a risk of tenants removing the battery and forgetting to replace it).

Carbon monoxide detectors

These need to be installed in any room that contains a “solid fuel-burning combustion appliance” (like a wood-burning stove or open fireplace), even if the appliance isn’t in use.

It’s tough to keep on top of all the never-ending changes to landlord legislation, so do get in touch any time you want the latest lowdown or an explanation of what anything means.

We also offer a fully fledged property-management service – where we’ll look after your tenants, deal with repairs and make sure you’re always complying with the law. Get in touch for more information: 020 3199 3439.


Rental market strongest for three-bedroom houses, claims new index. Especially houses within commuting distance of London.

Hackney and Wandsworth amongst the boroughs with the most new “million-pound postcodes”. And London-wide data shows that these super-expensive areas are multiplying…

Explore the period-style new-builds taking the north London property market by storm. The charm and character of a period property, combined with the modern convenience of a new-build. Perfect!

Inside London’s most exclusive £35 million property. And get this: it’s not even a house.

“Bed in a shed”: could it get worse in London? Does the student rental market need regulating?

Our useful tool of the month

FixMyStreet allows you to report repairs to your local council incredibly easily: all you need to do is provide the location and details of the problem, and the website will send it off to the relevant authority.

It’s also a really useful for finding out more about an area – e.g. how many complaints are being registered and dealt with there.

Check it out!

The end! (Until next month.)

We’ll be back in November with more tips, tools and news.

Speak to you soon!

Anthony Sargent

Managing Director