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Professional & Surveying Services

Commercial Property Services

Of 94 residential lettings and management property agents in the Canterbury, Kent area Caxtons is officially *number 1, having secured the most 'new instructions' in the 10-week period between 7th November 2016 and 17th January 2017.

According to latest statistics from Rightmove, with 294 instructions, Caxton beat its nearest registered rival into second place by a massive 120 more instructions. The total number of new instructions during the period was 611, meaning that Caxtons managed to capture almost 50% of the available 'new instruction' market.

In addition, and across the same time-period, Caxtons came top of the 'let agreed' table. Of the 66 registered residential lettings and management agents' offices in the area, Caxtons secured 89 of the 164 total residential properties let during that time – well in excess of 50% during what is traditionally a quiet season for moving home.

Duncan Reeves, Associate Director at Caxtons, said "We are delighted that both our Canterbury Student Lettings and Residential Lettings teams are reaping the rewards of all their hard work.

The past six months have been tough for the property sector, not only in Kent but country-wide. There has been much uncertainty following the referendum vote and new legislation has, and will, affect landlords and buy-to-let property. This means we, as residential lettings and management agents, have to be extremely diligent, professional, efficient and cost effective at what we do. And we not only have to please our landlord clients, but their tenants too.

"Kent is a lovely county to work and live in and Canterbury is a busy and desirable residential and university destination. At Caxtons we will continue to ensure we look after both landlords and tenants to the very best of our ability. And even if their time in Canterbury and the surrounding villages and towns in Kent is short, we will help them find - and hopefully enjoy - their new homes."

Duncan can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01227 788088.

*Rightmove Intel Report statistics

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Duncan Reeves

By Charles Oliver BSc MSc FRICS FAAV MEWI FCIArb

If you are a leasehold flat owner you probably have a lease that began with a term of more than 21 years. Typically leases begin with 99 or 125-year terms. If you have a long lease you should be aware that as time goes on, the value of your lease will go down.

But did you know that it could be difficult to sell your flat, particularly when the lease has fewer than 60 years left to run? Why - because most purchasers will have difficulty getting a mortgage on the property.

In order to improve your situation, and as long as you and your flat qualify, you are entitled to extend your lease by an extra 90 years at no rent, but you must have owned the flat for 2 years (although that does not apply if you are collectively buying the freehold*).

The fee to extend your lease will depend on how much ground rent you pay, and how long your lease has left to run; the shorter the lease, the more you pay. The price takes account of the loss of the ground rent income to your landlord and the fact that he will have to wait a further 90 years before receiving full market rent. If the lease has less than 80 years to run, then the price will increase as the calculation also takes account of the value of your flat now and after you have extended the lease because your landlord is entitled to half of the increase between the value of his and your interests added together, before and after your purchase, called "marriage value". You will also have to pay all legal and surveyors costs.

In order to extend your lease there is a procedure with strict deadlines that must be followed. You are entitled to ask for information about the landlord, and he is entitled to visit the property to value it. The landlord may ask for 10% deposit (of the price offered by you, the leaseholder) and proof of your entitlement to extend the lease. Before you begin make sure you have your documents available and your finance ready to pay.

An alternative option would be to *purchase the freehold from the landlord. As long as the building qualifies, the landlord is not protected, and the required number of qualifying tenants wish to participate, then you may join together and oblige the freeholder to sell to a nominee purchaser or Right to Buy company that you or your solicitor will set up to buy the freehold. You will then own a share in the company and you and the other tenants will jointly become your own landlord. Again there is a strict procedure that must be followed. This procedure is known as enfranchisement.

The fee to achieve a 'buy out' is almost the same as for extending the lease, except the landlord will lose the rental income completely, and it will be the value of all of the leases that are taken into account.

With both freehold purchase and lease extension, if you cannot agree the price to pay, then the matter must be referred to the independent First-tier Tribunal within a six-month deadline to decide the terms.

If the landlord plans to sell the freehold to someone else, he must give the tenants of the block first refusal before selling, as long as there are at least 2 flats, at least 50% of the building is residential, and a majority of the tenants qualify. If he plans to sell by auction, the leaseholders must be given four months' notice so that they can reserve their right to match the winning bid.

There are many long-term advantages to extending your lease or jointly buying the freehold – not least the value of your flat upon sale - but it can be a complicated procedure so take advice from a professional who knows about enfranchisement.

Charles is an associate director of Kent Based Caxtons Chartered Surveyors and specialises in valuations, landlord and tenant negotiations, expert witness reports, compulsory purchase and leasehold enfranchisement valuations. Caxtons Professional Services team has the expertise to help you with all your property needs.

Contact Charles for more information or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Charles Oliver

Caxtons is pleased to announce it has recently agreed a three year sponsorship with The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury

Caxtons already supports The Marlowe through its corporate membership and has now partnered with the award winning theatre by sponsoring its Discovery Scheme, which provides reduced price tickets for 16-26 year olds.

David Gurton, Marketing and Business Development director at Caxtons said "We are delighted to join forces with The Marlowe Theatre in this very worthwhile scheme. Our Canterbury office has a specialist student lettings division, dedicated to providing accommodation for those attending the University of Kent, Canterbury Christchurch University and UCA so this collaboration is a perfect fit with our core market."

Mark Everett, Theatre Director at The Marlowe added "We are delighted to welcome Caxtons as the sponsor of our Discovery Tickets scheme. Discovery Tickets help young people between the ages of 16 and 26 see a wide range of performances for just £10. Together with Caxtons, we can help more young people develop a love of theatre and live performance."

The Marlowe Discovery Scheme provides heavily discounted tickets for top-ticket shows. The scheme emulates an initiative that was successfully introduced by the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company some years ago.

Whether a novice or already a devotee, the scheme is designed to attract and enthral a younger audience and to inspire a fresh generation to become regular followers of the wonderful world of theatre.

Discovery Tickets can be purchased for seats in price band A, and with shows spanning theatre, comedy and music, there is always something to please every taste.

Caxtons is keen to support the scheme whenever and wherever it can and has recently commissioned a single decker bus back to promote the benefits of Discovery Tickets. The bus (21a) runs from Hales Place in Canterbury to The University of Kent, a route that is well used by students living in and around the city.

Three of the student lettings team from Caxtons recently joined Samantha Scott, Development Manager at The Marlowe, to cement the relationship and launch the scheme.

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(l to r) Kevin Tubb, Brittany Holland, Daniel Eley all from Caxtons' Student Lettings division with Samantha Scott, Development Manager at The Marlowe