The benefits of using an Estate Agent

So much of our lives is conducted online nowadays; a trend only intensified by the Coronavirus pandemic, and the number of digital property agencies is rising. On the surface, online agencies may seem like an easy alternative to enlisting the help of a real-life estate agent. But do they really compare to the human expertise offered by those on the high street? Here are the benefits of estate agents in 2021.

Expertise and local knowledge

One of the benefits of using an estate agent is not only do they know the market inside out; but they are experts on the local area where you are buying or selling. Jamie Newbold, Branch Manager of Century Residential says: “A lot of estate agents come to the job as second careers meaning we’ve experienced life on the other side. It’s not all about putting a value on a property. Good research skills, common sense, knowing the area and understanding the market are all part of our value and services.”

Whilst the pandemic has massively impacted retail on the high street; it has allowed traditional estate agency practice to shine. Clients tend to lean on trusted professionals for guidance in difficult times; and good quality estate agents are more important now than ever. Having someone with your best interests in mind and being there to help during what can be a complicating process is invaluable. 

Jamie adds, “When you are planning to sell your home, it’s reassuring to meet an estate agent and build a relationship whereby you trust their professionalism, their experience, their knowledge of the process and their word.”


As well as a wealth of knowledge and experience, established estate agents have plenty of useful resources. For example, they can spread the word about your property via marketing. This can range from local brochures and window displays to sophisticated digital advertising and e-marketing.

Furthermore, they will have an extensive database of active clients with details of their property criteria. Rather than spending months searching for a buyer; the right person could already be on their system, just a phone call away. Likewise when searching to buy a property, those who have built good relationships with agents are likely to be the first port of call when a home matching their requirements comes to the market — or even beforehand.

No upfront fee

It’s a common misconception that estate agents fees are through the roof – if you’d pardon the pun but not everyone knows that estate agents will only take their fee once the sale completes. This means that you don’t have to worry about any upfront bills. We work for our vendors and, unless we push and guide the transaction through, we get nothing at all. Our team invest both financially, and personally to get to know our clients and act in a manner to do the very best for them.


Estate agents are the glue that holds an entire property chain together; ensuring that everything runs smoothly from the first valuation to the final exchange. Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful life events, so a reliable estate agent can take a lot of pressure off you and your family.

“We’re the ‘middleman’ between the seller and buyer as well as the vendor and solicitor. We’re also someone who can find surveyors, removal firms, house clearers and cleaners. It cannot be underestimated how comforting it is to have an accountable face to go and see, pick up the phone to and have proper updates and conversations with. My team take the time to understand your individual concerns and know what to do when things wobble,” says Jamie.

Contact us today

If you are looking to buy, sell, rent or let a property, enlisting the help of an experienced, qualified and well established estate agency is key to success.

Need some guidance about your local property market? We’re here to help call our team on 01634 570057 today.

Recent Articles

3 reasons to consider landlord property management

Seeking the ideal tenant for your property? Do you know exactly what is required to comply with industry regulations as a landlord? Not to worry – here at Century Residential, we can handle all your queries and concerns with our reliable landlord property management services. We offer 3 different categories of services depending on your preference including – let only, let only with rent collection or fully managed.  

If you require property management within Gillingham, Kent, Medway or Maidstone areas, then our expert team can help you. The following are 3 main reasons you can trust us with your biggest asset.  

Fully Managed Operations

Leave it to the trusted professionals here at Century Residential to handle and manage all your letting needs. Give yourself complete peace of mind by working with a supportive, experienced, and qualified team who will be able to seamlessly meet your requirements. From finding and assessing a suitable tenant for your property to preparing the tenancy agreements and more, we provide fully managed operations from start to finish.     

Customised Personal Attention

As a large portion of our clients come to us through recommendation, we aim to always deliver a customised experience. We take great pride in not only meeting, but exceeding the expectations of our landlords. All of our marketing methods are completely customised to our clients requirements. We aim to deliver 100% of our attention to your needs so that the whole procedure can run professionally and smoothly, and all individuals involved can be completely satisfied with the given agreement.

Local Experts

Landlord property management is most effective when executed by local experts. As an independent firm, we constantly seek opportunities to foster community involvement. When you choose to hire locally for your property management, this allows for local expertise to be brought into the heart of the operation.

Are you in need of reliable landlord property management services? Here at Century Residential we aim to find you a suitable tenant and create a fair agreement without any fuss. Contact our experienced and enthusiastic team today – we look forward to speaking with you. 

Letting agent checklist: top tips to keep in mind when choosing the right agent

Teaming up with the right letting agent can make a world of a difference when it comes to finding the best property for you. Whether you’re brand new to the world of renting or you’re planning your next big move, our team at Century Residential fully understand the importance of finding the ideal property and making the process as smooth and as stress-free as possible.

So how can you be sure that you’ll be in the best hands when it comes to renting a property? Consider some of our top tips to keep in mind when seeking out the right letting agent for you. Here at Century Residential, our team is proud to offer you the following qualities in all of our services.

Expert Local Knowledge

Every letting agent should have full knowledge of the area surrounding the property you are interested in. Our team of experienced property professionals boast extensive local knowledge of Gillingham, Rochester, Chatham and the wider Medway & Kent area.

Interested In Your Needs & Budget

Finding the right home means finding a place that fits your requirements and your desired budget. Here at Century Residential, we understand how important it is to always put the needs of our clients first, and with their ideal budget in mind.

Fully Reliable

Once you’ve found your perfect property to rent, there is still a lot to be done. Our dedicated, local Kent staff will be with you every step of the way until the entire process is complete. From credit checking to employment status and all of the necessary paperwork in between, we work alongside you to help make sure you get the property you deserve. 

Are you looking to buy or rent a property? Get in touch with Century Residential Estate Agents to find out how we can help you today.

Home staging | Present your home for sale or let

The start of a new year typically brings a lot more properties to the market. We felt it would be a good idea to give you some tips on how to get the staging of your property right.

1. That lived in feel
We advise to keep your home clean and tidy, but ensure that your home has a “lived in” feel. Too much furniture can make your home look over-crowded, but too little furniture can give your home a cold feeling.

2. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Flowers
Whilst we wouldn’t encourage you to go over the top on flowers the odd bunch could prove to be effective. Not only will give off a lovely scent, it will also help with the photography too.

3. Selling a Lifestyle
Remember, you’re not just selling a home, you’re selling a lifestyle. Don’t over do it with furniture and hide the clutter. Viewers will always want to see how space will work for them, over doing it, or leaving clutter around could make it hard for viewers to see the space in any other way.

4. Temperature
It’s important that your home heated well, especially in the winter! If your home is cold, viewers won’t hang around! Equally, if your home is too hot, it could look like you’re trying to hard and be off putting.

5. Lighting
Make sure that there is sufficient lighting to your rooms. We would recommend ensuring that you allow as much natural light into your home as possible, pulling back curtains and tying up blinds. If you are relying on artificial light we would recommend ensuring that all lights are switched on before a perspective viewer arrives.

If you are thinking of selling or letting your home and would like more tips on how to present it, please contact our office on 01634 570057 or e-mail us at medway@crrealestate.flywheelsites.com

From Century residential Estate Agents in Gillingham, Kent

EFC | Energy Efficiency Regulations | 2015 | 2018

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (the Regulations) come into force on from 1 April 2018. Properties rented out in the private sector will be required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a minimum energy performance rating of ‘E’.

It will be unlawful to rent out a property which does not have a minimum E rating unless the property has an exemption. While this seems to be an onerous requirement for landlords to comply with, it is not. Only appropriate, permissible and cost-effective improvements are required. At the moment, if the improvements cannot be funded or the landlord has carried out all possible improvements and the property still has an F rating, for example, exemptions will apply.

Breaches of the regulations could result in a civil penalty of up to £4,000.

Which properties are covered by the regulations?

The Regulations apply to domestic privately rented properties in England and Wales, let on relevant tenancies including those let on assured shorthold tenancies, which are legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Relevant tenancies include:

An assured tenancy (including an assured shorthold tenancy)
A regulated tenancy defined in the Rent Act 1977;
A domestic agricultural tenancy
A property is legally required to have an EPC where an owner or landlord has, on sale, letting or construction of a property been required to make an EPC available to the prospective buyer or tenant. A new EPC is also likely to be necessary if a building is modified to have more or fewer parts than it originally had and the modification includes the provision or extension of fixed services for heating, hot water, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation.

This means that where a property is let on a relevant tenancy type but is not legally required to have an EPC, the Regulations will not apply.

Where a property is legally required to have an EPC but is not let on a relevant tenancy, the Regulations will also not apply.

The Regulations will apply to all relevant new and renewed tenancies from 1 April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on from 1 April 2020.

Therefore from 1 April 2018, you will need an EPC with a rating of at least E for all new properties let and any tenancy renewals. This includes when a fixed term expires and a statutory periodic tenancy begins after the 1 April 2018.

What improvements does the landlord need to carry out?

If the property the landlord wishes to rent out currently has an F or G rating on a legally required EPC, then they must carry out energy efficiency improvements to bring the property up to an E rating before the property can be rented out unless the landlord qualifies for an exemption and registers that exemption on the Public Exemptions Register.

The requirements are not as onerous as they might seem at first glance. The regulations require only appropriate, permissible and cost-effective improvements to be carried out. Landlords are only required to carry out improvement works which can be completed at no cost to themselves. The main sources of no cost funding are the Green Deal, Eco help to heat funding and local authorities home energy efficiency grants. If the work cannot be carried out within the Green Deal golden rule then, an exemption will apply. This is under review any may be replaced with a cost cap in future.


Landlords will be eligible for an exemption from reaching the minimum standard where they can show that one of the following applies:

All ‘relevant energy efficiency improvements’ have been made – Where the landlord has made all the relevant energy efficient improvements that can be made and the property remains sub-standard.
Measures cannot be wholly financed – Where the landlord is unable to access relevant no cost funding to fully cover the cost of installing the recommended improvement(s).
Third Party Consent Exemption – Where the landlord is obliged to obtain a third party’s consent to undertake relevant improvements and consent was denied, or was provided with unreasonable conditions
Occupying Tenant Consent Exemption – Where the landlord requires consent from an occupying tenant, and the tenant withholds that consent. A tenant’s consent may not be required where the tenancy agreement allows the landlord to enter to carry out improvements (not just repairs).
Property Devaluation Exemption – Where measures required to improve the property are shown by a suitably qualified independent surveyor, as expected to cause a capital devaluation of the property of more than 5%. Only those measures that are expected to cause such devaluation would be exempt from installation.
Wall Insulation Exemption – no requirement to install wall insulation under the Regulations where the landlord has obtained written expert advice advising that it is not an appropriate improvement due to its potential negative impact on the fabric or structure of the property (or the building of which it is part).
Recent Landlord Exemption – in certain circumstances where a person becomes a landlord suddenly, a temporary exemption form the prohibition on letting a sub-standard property will last for six months after the date they became the landlord.
In all cases the exemption must be registered on the National PRS Exemptions Register.


Local authorities will enforce compliance with the regulations. Where a local authority suspects that a landlord with a property in scope of the regulations is not compliant or has not sufficiently proved and exemption, the local authority can serve a compliance notice on the landlord requesting further information.

If the information is not provided or is provided and is not sufficient to provide compliance, the local authority may then issue a penalty notice. Penalties for a single offence can be levied up to £4,000 depending on the offence. Further penalties may be awarded for non-compliance with the original penalty notice where a landlord continues to rent out the property. These penalties will be cumulative up to a maximum of £5,000.

Flats and Bedsits

For the purposes of the Regulations flats mean self-contained units within a building. Flats require their own individual EPC at the point of sale or letting. If a flat has its own mandatory EPC as well as the building containing the flat, then it is the EPC for the flat (not the building) which shows whether the minimum energy efficiency standard is met.

Non-self-contained units such as bedsits do not normally require an individual EPC. However, if the house containing the bedsit has been sold the whole property needs to have an EPC. In those cases, the Regulations will apply and the building will need to have an energy rating of E or above to allow the bedsit to be legally rented out.

Next Steps

Carry out a review of all properties you are renting out and check the EPC rating.
If the rating is E is above, you need take no further steps beyond noting the date of expiry so that a new EPC can be obtained when required.
If the rating is F or G, consider;
a. what works you need to carry out to meet the energy efficiency requirements can relevant improvements be installed at no cost to you? If no, register an exemption on PRS Exemptions Register.
b. how and when you can carry the works to meet the requirements Consider whether any other exemptions might apply as above. If so, register an exemption on PRS Exemptions Register.
c. if no exemptions apply consider by what date you will need to obtain the new rating to comply e.g. new tenancy or renewal date of existing tenancy.

UK housing market | Century Residential

Jamie Bartholomew Director for Century Residential reflects on last weeks election and the impact that it could have on the housing market.

It’s nearly a week since the shock news that there is a hung parliament with no party winning the required 326 seats to form a majority. Clearly the decision to call a snap general election has backfired with the original 15 percentage point margin between the two major parties in polls materialising as just a 3-percentage point margin.

There will be a period of uncertainty as the new government forms. We have a good idea of what a Conservative minority government may look like for the housing sector from analysing their manifesto and previous commitments.

At a time when instructions are scarce, fees are at an all-time low, conveyancing is taking longer than ever, and tenant fees are to be banned, the housing sector needs a government that understands the housing crisis and it needs to be a priority.

What should we expect from Teresa May and the Conservatives as the largest party in the House of Commons in the housing sector?

In a recent report it was alleged that a higher percentage of homeowners thought that the Tories policies were more relevant and sympathetic to homeowners, but do sales and lettings agents working in that sector feel the same?

Interestingly, I would be unsure how that debate would conclude, as recent changes to SDLT and proposed changes to lettings agents charging tenant fees, have been very unpopular.

So what should we all expect in the next four years?

It is very unlikely that the government will amend or reverse changes to Stamp Duty, why would they? It is raising extra income for the treasury. It is also cooling the UK housing market and reducing transactions levels enabling first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder.

The proposed tenant fee ban concluded its consultation process on the 2nd June and the outcome will be delivered shortly. I don’t expect any change in direction. The ban has already been implemented in Scotland and Wales and so it appears a foregone conclusion.

But the real elephant in the room is the announcement within the Tory party manifesto that they intend to hold a full housing review, with particular emphasis on the cost of moving. They intend to make it cheaper for customers. Although in the short term this may be sidelined by other priorities, at some point this pledge will be delivered.

Is there a vendetta against our sector? Or will the Conservatives be considered a party that estate agencies can rely on to produce policies for growth?

None of us know the answer to that. All I do know is that when the housing minister is appointed they need to get a holistic view of the challenges facing the UK housing market from the agent’s perspective.

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