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SELLING Sunset was the one of the most talked about programmes in lockdown, but you don’t need to travel to LA for the same treatment.
Twins Tonya Barnard and Rea Hill, 34, from Chelmsford, Essex, have spent the last 13 years making a name for themselves on the property market.
Tonya and Rea are better known as The Property Twins
With the motto “we close deals in heels” the sisters bring some serious glamour to the job while garnering a reputation for their fiery and honest approach.
The sisters say they had to work hard to be taken seriously in the industry
“The twin thing made us stand out but we worked our way up quite quickly and made a name for ourselves.”
With their killer wardrobes and blow dries, the twins admit that they initially struggled to get themselves taken seriously.
“You will always get a bit of sexism wherever you go” Tonya says.
“When we first started out you would always get the jokes that we had won a deal because someone had fancied us because we were young women.
“At the end of the day the figures speak for themselves, you’re not going to win business based on your looks.”
The girls have made a name for themselves as the UK’s answer to Selling Sunset
“We have had to prove ourselves a little bit more, as blonde girls from Essex we’ve had to work that little but harder and gain that credibility.”
Working at estate agents just three doors apart, the women built up some healthy competition in their early years before opening up their own property businesses.
We had so much fun covering a spring makeover in our latest column in Essex Living Magazine.
The full article can be found here https://www.living-magazines.co.uk/our-magazines/essex-living and as promised please fine below a full product break down.
Starting with an empty lounge with your usual lounge furniture in place, we wanted to showcase how you can make a dramatic transformation using just furnishings and home accessories.
Here are some product shots of the gorgeous Interior items we used to style our Spring Inspired Lounge
Our favourite piece from this project has to be this stunning duo of floor vases with eucalyptus, what a statement piece!
All of these beautiful products can be viewed in store at Tec Lifestyle, a gem of an Interior Showroom that we use often!
Located at Wycke Hill Business Park
As promised we have included below a full product breakdown for our readers, any questions please feel free to get in touch!
We look forward to sharing our next makeover with you soon, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for all our property adventures @officialpropertytwins
Vanilla grass in white bowl – £126.00
Taupe frame 5×7 15mm – £31.50
White mouthblown glass vase – £58.00
Dark grey mouthblown glass vase – £45.00
Baobab Madagascan Vanilla max 16 candle – £85.00
‘The Kinfolk Home’ book – £28.00
Large orb silver – £70.00
Small orb silver – £56.00
White and green vase £190.00
Sandy smoke ceramic vase – £65.00
Natural pussy willow stem – £6.00 each
Small vase – £25.00
‘Eat Drink Nap’ book – £30.00
‘Christian Dior’ book – £40.00
Green cushion – £77.00
Cream cushion – £77.00
White wave edge plate – £35.00
Leigh tray black and white – £288.00
Stainless steel vase – £40.00
LSA tea/coffee cup and saucer – £35.00
‘You Do You’ book – £14.99
Brass stainless steel marble décor – £165.00
Baobab black pearl diffuser – £115.00
White jar with lid – £204.00
Dianthus small in black pot – £118.00
Dianthus medium in black pot – £118.00
Green table lamp – £489.00
‘Mad About The House’ book – £20.00
‘Fashion’ book – £20.00
‘Vogue Living’ book – £71.99
Floor Standing Accessories:
Large white round vase – £83.00
Extra Large white round vase – £160.00
Green baby eucalyptus spray – £11.50
I have worked as a lettings Agent for over 10 years and one of the trickiest parts of the job has always been handling deposit disputes.
It’s very hard now for a Landlord to take money without good reason as all deposits must legally be registered and held in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme. The schemes are The Tenancy Dispute Service, My Deposits and Deposit Protection Service. I use the Deposit Protection service (DPS) and your landlord or agent must legally register your deposit in one of the schemes within 30 days.
If the court finds a landlord hasn’t protected a deposit, it can order the person holding the deposit to either:
• repay it to you
• pay it into a TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days
It can also order the landlord to pay you up to 3 times the deposit within 14 days of making the order!
How do I get my full deposit back? This is a question most Tenants ask and something that always causes a bit of a stir at the end of Tenancy.
You are given an inventory at the beginning of the Tenancy, this is your guide on how to leave the property. Go through your inventory line by line ticking off what is okay and what is not, this is what an agent will do so it is a very thorough check.
Also check any clauses you have in your agreement such a carpet cleaning clauses or oven cleaning. If you are unsure ask your Agent or Landlord for your check out obligations. If you have had professional cleaning keep receipts, don’t rely on your agent of Landlords checkout, do your own. Take timed and dated photographs the day you leave and mark your own inventory. Some Tenants try to hide damage I.e. rugs over carpet burns, this will not work and it’s much better to be honest or rectify this yourself before the end of tenancy.
I am a firm believer in being fair, if you know you have caused damage the right thing to do is repair it. Some Tenants believe they have paid enough in rent and that the Landlord should just lump it, this is not a fair attitude to have. You have paid rent to live in a property which would have gained wear and tear and which the landlord would have had to maintain and keep in good repair for you. I have many landlords with just one property, and most with mortgages to pay on them so not all Landlords are rolling in it which is often the misconception from Tenants.
When you lease a car you pay for any damages, when you rent a holiday home you would have to pay for any breakages/damage so there should not be a different attitude towards landlords and rental properties.
Landlords should also play fair, I believe if a Tenant has been a great Tenant and never missed a rent payment, always been very cooperative and polite then there are areas they could be let off with if minor. Some landlords believe the property should come back to them in the same condition, this is impossible for a property that has been lived in so this must to be taken into account.
Now, we also have the landlords that just want the whole deposit, the unreasonable and greedy ones. This, I find hard to tolerate! I had a landlord that would do this on every checkout, whatever amount of deposit registered he would say to deduct full amount, with no good reason and not taking into account fair wear and tear, I ceased management of his properties!
Fair wear and tear would be light scuff marks to walls, a little wear to carpets etc, if you have moved into a property with old fixtures and fittings then the landlord cannot claim betterment so please be aware of this. Even if you have been responsible for a further stain on carpet, if these were stained on moving in or were years old anyway the landlord does not have a leg to stand on.
The House of Lords defines fair wear and tear as: ‘Reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces’ So when do natural forces become in excess of what is ‘ordinary’
The general ‘rule of thumb’ is that an item in a tenanted property will have an average lifespan of five years but an adjudicator will also take into account number of occupants, length of tenancy and quality of item in question.
Your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back. If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the scheme until the issue is sorted out and can take several months to arbitrate in some cases so it’s always better to try and settle outside the scheme.
If however the landlords is being very unreasonable and trying to charge you unfairly then it would be in the Tenants interested to take the amount to dispute. The schemes are in place to protect Tenants not landlords so they will work in the Tenants favour to award what is fair based on evidence provided by all parties which is assessed by a third party adjudicator.
There has been a rising number of Landlords exiting the market, which has left me worried on where this will leave the industry as a result. I, myself as a Lettings Agent have seen my own clients off load due to the concern in rising costs, continued legislation change and what I guess feels at times a very one sided industry. I am also a Landlord and I can’t help but also feel as though we are being pushed into a corner and driven out of the market.
In November 2018, the East of England was the highest region for landlords selling up and Landlords leaving the market was 100% higher than the national Average.
With so many Landlords off-loading it is likely that the supply of rental properties will drop which could mean rents increase due to there not being enough property to meet Tenant demand, this could actually make the market much worse for Tenants and long term renters as their rents are likely to increase and could also mean there its lots of competition for the same property.
The Tenant fee ban has now become law and will become enforceable from the 1st of June 2019, This is terrible news for the industry and something I believe is completely unfair, one sided and a reckless move from the government which will loose the industry millions not to mention all the unfortunate people who will loose jobs thanks to their decision. As I expressed in my last blog the ruling has not been thought out nor the bigger picture seen by our government.
This will have a knock on effect as Estate Agents are likely to pass on this cost to their landlords which again may mean Landlords increase their rents to cover this cost or mean further Landlords start to sell up. The fee also applies to private Landlords who will no longer be able to charge for any administrational or referencing costs which means estate agents and landlords will have to still do the same level of work, admin and Tenant checks at no charge. Lettings portfolios will be less lucrative and I fear lots of Lettings agencies may have to make redundancies and possibly smaller Agents not being able to cope at all.
Although all seems pretty bleak for the Lettings Industry I predict that this year will be a good buyer’s market due to the amount of property that will need to be sold, this is good news for Investment buyers who are in it for the long run and first time buyers in getting their feet on the property ladder, there should be some good deals to be had and buyers could be in a very good negotiating position.
I have been out this weekend viewing property and have put some offers over on what could be some fantastic investments, I will keep you updated on how these deals go!
I’m excited to talk about this little gem of a studio in Chelmsford I have just snapped up.
The studio cost me £105,000 and will achieve a rental figure of £525pcm, that’s a healthy yield of 6% (before costs)
It’s on the outskirts of Chelmsford City and is located in a quiet cul de sac, with bus links and local amenities all within walking distance.
The current tenant has been in situ for over 7 years and is likely to be there long term which is great for us and saves money paying an agent to find a new suitable tenant.
I went for this apartment as it is what we call ‘virtually freehold’ the lease is for a whopping 999 years (from 1 January 1980) The ground rent AND service charge is just £788 per annum…..If you see something like this snap it up!
These types of property are safe bets when it comes to investing especially if you are investing for the first time.
A wise friend of mine taught me to try to invest in several small buy to lets properties, rather than a couple of large houses. Reason being if the very worst should happen and you have a void period or your tenant stops paying rent, the costs are a lot more manageable to cover. Secondly In my personal opinion I believe you will get a better long term return on 3 – 5 smaller properties.
Keep following us for my property tips….Happy Investing!
The short answer is YES!
We say keep it simple, manageable and according to HouseBeautiful Magazine a shed is a must have. According to their research (June 2017) a whopping 82 per cent of property professionals claim a a decent sized shed is the most cited feature to boost value.
To achieve a low maintenance garden utlilise as much of the space with patio/slabs or shingle. Go for hardy evergreens, once established they will require little care as well as some pretty perennials which last for a couple of years and require minimal upkeep.
Next up is my own garden transformation!
What an amazing day we had at Grand Design Live (Excel London) we had the pleasure of taking over their Instagram for the day and meeting the wonderful Kevin Mccloud!
Firstly we have to admit the show has really opened our eyes to plastic pollution thanks to the teams efforts to raise awareness and a fantastic talk by Friends of the Earth.
We were saddened to learn about the huge amounts of species tragically effected by plastic and shocked to find out the average plastic bag – used for just 12 minutes, will not disappear for up to 1,000 years!
We will certainly be doing our bit to research more on this and ways in which we can reduce plastic in our homes.
Please visit https://friendsoftheearth.uk/plastics to learn more!
We really enjoyed visiting all the exhibitors stalls from floating chaise lounges to a camper van made out of salvaged for sale boards….this truly is a home show on a grand scale!
Our favorite stand had to be The Vintage Fridge Company…. they specialise in the refurbishment and supply of original “Ice Box’s” and vintage refrigerators, how cool is that…..?
They also had beautiful cast iron fireplaces, floor tiles and even a vintage shower!
We had the pleasure of meeting some of the lovely team from Grand Designs TV show (one of our fav programmes) and Kevin was an absolute delight to chat with, we even managed to squeeze in a Boomerang!
We cant wait for next year, so make sure you get yourself down to the show open until May 13th!
To book your tickets visit https://www.granddesignslive.com/
To see all our favorite photos from the day please follow our Instagram page @officialpropertytwins
Tonya & Rea
We are so excited to confirm we are attending this years Grand Designs Live next Wednesday.
We will be taking over their Instagram page for the day showcasing all of our favorite products/stalls and doing some Q & A with Kevin.
Grand Designs Live, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, returns in 2018 from 5 – 13 May at London’s ExCeL and from 10 -14 October at Birmingham’s NEC. Based on the Channel 4 series and presented by Kevin McCloud, the show offers visitors top expert advice, new product launches and specialist exhibitors in six project zones. Whether you’re planning a self-build, renovation or are adding the finishing touches, find ideas and inspiration for your very own Grand Design at this multi-award winning event.
Book your tickets here:
We cant wait!