Summer Lettings

These are interesting days for our Lettings teams at Finn's. The rental market is readjusting to all kinds of changes including the fact that lettings agents may no longer charge tenants' fees for core agent services. This will challenge the business model of many agents. Alongside this, landlords are now obliged to comply with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.

In this issue of our Newsletter, we take a look at what new legislation, energy standards and market activity mean for our landlords & tenants, vendors and buyers.


by Raphael Mead, Lettings Manager, Canterbury
As of 1st June 2019, Letting Agents in England & Wales will no longer be able to charge any administration charges (with a few minor exceptions) to tenants for referencing, inventory check ins and checkouts, and the preparation of tenancy agreements. While administration fees previously charged by Finn's were not excessive by any means and much less than some of our competitors; the loss in income will be significant

The ban is undoubtedly good news for tenants - the new arrangement applies to all new contracts signed from 1st June 2019 onwards. Landlords continue to want these services - so what’s going to happen to these fees? Most critically of all, for our landlords and tenants: how will Finn’s respond to this change?
For many agencies, tenant fees have become a vital stream of income that they will be loathe to see disappear. An ‘easy’ line of defending against this loss will be to pass their costs directly to the Landlord - after all, it’s the Landlord who benefits from these services with reliable, solvent Tenants. It’s Finn’s view that Landlords would be likely to defray the cost of these fees by increasing rents. We regard it as an unsustainable solution for tenants to continue carrying the costs. It has the potential to further distort the rental market and send rents rising against the slowing pace of rental growth. 
At Finn’s another aspect of passing the costs on to Landlords that we instinctively dislike, is that it throws an unpleasant spanner in the works between us and our clients. It would undermine our relationship with clients to introduce fees for disbursements and professional services that they have not previously had to pay. 
Instead, our approach is to wrap up these service and the costs into our professional, efficiently managed service model and continue building long-term positive relationships with our Landlords. Our Lettings teams in Canterbury and Sandwich comprise a long-serving (and award-winning!) team of property professionals. It's their attention to detail and care for our clients that will sustain our business over time. 
Caption: Stefan is responsible for our inventory management in our Canterbury Lettings team.As well as investing in our people, we have also been investing in technology to support them in working smarter and more efficiently. We’ve introduced software to support us in creating information-rich property inventories (managed in Canterbury by Stefan, pictured right). This is an incredibly powerful tool in both protecting our Landlords’ assets, but also in maintaining the property throughout the tenancy. Our maintenance team has detailed schedules of condition from which to plan and prepare for future essential works-
While some agents regard a Landlord & Tenant contract to be confrontational by nature, at Finn’s we regard Tenants as potential wardens of our clients’ property assets. By working with them and listening to their concerns and the maintenance issues that they see in their homes, we see opportunities to better look after our Landlords’ properties.
Caption: FixFlo app for tenant fixes and repair schedulingWe provide maintenance 24 hour, 7 days a week using the multilingual, maintenance reporting app, Fixflow, (shown right) so that our Tenants may identify appropriate remedies and solutions for simple problems. In the event they face more significant problems - like a water or gas leak for example - we can ensure a prompt, appropriate response with minimum fuss. 
Being professional doesn’t mean that we shy away from the hard realities of rental income, Tenant responsibilities and Landlord obligations. It is still permitted for agents to penalise tenants for late payments or losing their keys, we may see some disreputable agents abusing these loopholes in order to compensate for their lack of preparation. We also see it as our responsibility to inform Landlords when legislation, condition or disrepair mean that the Landlord needs to spend money on their property. We work hard on identifying and signposting issues as early as possible in order to help clients plan for foreseeable costs such as compliance with the MEES (minimum energy efficiency standards) which came into force in April 2018.  
Our response to fee changes goes beyond professionalism, legislative compliance and efficiency. Having worked with many of our clients for years - decades even - we have been able to go further than many agencies to provide additional advice and services to clients who want to increase the value of their property as both an income stream and as a marketable asset. 
We are increasingly advising clients on longer term plans to improve the quality of their property by planning refurbishments to meet the needs of the rental market. From advising on layout, bedrooms and the appropriate specification and finish, we have even managed entire refurbishments for ‘fully managed’ properties. This means bringing a property up to current and foreseeable market standards in order that we can eliminate or shorten voids and maximise the rental value for our Landlords.
If you have any questions about changes to tenant fees or would like to discuss the refurbishment and fully-managed services mentioned in this article, please contact our Lettings Manager, Raphael Mead in Canterbury 01227 452111 or Peter Winkworth in Sandwich 01304 614471. 


By Peter Winkworth, Lettings Manager, Finn's Sandwich
New Energy Performance Standards came into force on 1 April 2018 and will apply to ALL existing tenancies from 1 April 2020.  Private landlords are no longer permitted to begin new lettings on properties that are currently graded F or G for Energy Performance. 

We have been in contact with all our Landlords to ensure that all necessary improvements have been completed to bring the property Energy Performance up to at least an E rating before it is let on a new lease. 

What do these Standards achieve?

The Standards are intended to remove the cost of wasted energy, improve the quality of privately rented housing stock, increase energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Why are we still talking about MEES?

The key date for private landlords was 1 April 2018. From that date, Landlords are obligated to achieve a minimum ‘E’ rating on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for each property they let on a new lease. We are continuing to keep Landlords up to date with MEES obligations as new leases come into view. From 1 April 2020, MEES will apply to all existing tenancies as well.

Is it expensive to comply?

Our aim is to support Landlords in complying with MEES as efficiently as possible. With good notice and a keen eye, we are finding ways to make this as manageable and affordable as possible.

Are there any exemptions?

MEES is unclear on how exemptions, if any, apply to Listed properties. We are working with clients on a case by case basis to navigate this aspect of MEES.


The Standards are written for a very broad application across the residential property market. Landlords who are found to be non-compliant face a civil penalty of up to £4,000.

Landlords will not be able to find any reputable property agent or legal adviser to advise them ‘not to worry’ about an Energy Performance Certificate. All the players in the property market are clearly obliged to uphold this regulation. 

Finn's Approach to MEES

Planning for compliance is the most practical and straightforward way to prepare for the time and costs of meeting the minimum Energy Performance standard. Our Lettings teams in Canterbury and Sandwich are advising all our Landlord clients to be informed about the status of their properties’ EPC rating. We are assisting with planning and implmenting cost-effective energy performance improvements to their properties in order that all Finn's managed properties are MEES complaint from 1 April 2020.

Please contact Peter Winkworth (01304 614471) or Raphael Mead (01227 452111) to discuss these or other issues relating to letting residential property.

East Kent Property: in a nutshell

The property market across East Kent (and across the South East), is proving to be generally resilient to political pressures of Brexit, according to research by Nationwide Building Society and RICS. 
  • At Finn's we are seeing evidence of property sales taking longer for properties valued over £1m. Overall house price growth across the south east is lagging behind other areas in the UK, such as the North. 
  • At the same time, rental values are robust with strong tenant demand across East Kent.
  • More Landlords are anticipated to exit the market as a result of the tenant fee ban and this is expected to sustain strong tenant demand for good rental properties.
  • We are seeing evidence of housing developments bringing new homes to the regional market which is further evidenced by increased mortgage lending in the first quarter of 2019.


We have selected three unique and beautiful properties for this newsletter and list all properties for sale on our website. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram and Right Move talking about homes for sale to potential buyers in East Kent, London and across the UK. 

Sandwich Sales 01304 614147 | Canterbury Sales 01227 454111

Below: Northbourne Road, Great Mongeham, Deal, £1,100,000
Below, left: Red Oast Cottage, Barham, Canterbury, £925,000
Below, right: Dover Road, Sandwich, £725,000
Northboure Road, Great Mongeham, Deal £1,100,000
Brickfield Road, Barham, Canterbury £925,000
Dover Road, Sandwich £750,000


We work with commercial landlords across East Kent to let a diverse range of office, business, warehouse and workshop space.  

Call our commercial team on 01304 612147 or 01227 454111.
  • Below: Preston Garden Centre, annual rental £52,000.
  • Below, left: 2 barns, Hoath Road, Hoath, Canterbury, for rent or sale. POA.
  • Below, right: Workshop/Storage, Chislet Business Centre, annual rental £5,500 + VAT.
Preston Garden Centre
Workshop/Storage at Chislet Business Centre


Our roster of homes to let for the Open 2020 in Sandwich is growing. We anticipate high demand for properties within 10 miles of Sandwich.

Call us to list your home for a successful rental during this international event.
Ellens Road, Deal, Golf Open Rental of £8,000


Moonwalk London

Sarah and Judy from our Sandwich office have done it again! They walked through the night in their Moonwalk bras to raise £1,389.90

We are so impressed at their commitment to this event. Thank you to everyone who shows their support for such a good cause with donations, large or small.
>>> Donations <<<

Bake off for Pilgrims Hospices

Our talented bakers and hot beverage makers hosted their May coffee morning in aid of Pilgrim's Hospices to raise £239.60.

If you feel sad to have missed out on a superb slice of Victoria Sponge, a chocolate-y Brownie or juicy Lemon Drizzly, then you need to follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter... you'll never miss your invite again. 

About our Newsletter

Finn's Newsletter is a quarterly email to clients and contacts active in the East Kent property market. You are welcome to forward our email on to interested colleagues and you may unsubscribe at any time (see links in the footer): 

Winter >> Finn's Review of the Year
Spring >> Featuring Sales
Summer >> Featuring Lettings
Autumn >> Featuring Agricultural & Commercial
82 Castle Street
Kent, CT1 2QD
Sales: 01227 454111 
Lettings: 01227 452111  
1-3 King Street
Kent, CT13 9BY
Sales: 01304 612147 
Lettings: 01304 614471 
The Packhouse
Wantsum Way
St Nicholas At Wade
Kent, CT7 0NE
Tel: 01843 848230 
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