Entries by Office Admin

Some of my friends have been dumped by a girlfriend, their wife, or indeed, someone else’s wife…not something that Cwmbran’s answer to George Clooney can relate to obviously, but I have been dumped upon or misled on more than one occasion by a vendor or potential vendor. Whilst the ego does take a blow, what […]

As we trundle our way through the first quarter of the year, the good intentions we all subscribed to in those early days of January are but a distant memory-as are the days when Brexit wasn’t on the front of every paper, we had politicians who actually tried to carry out the wishes of the […]

“Should I be offended…

Some of my friends have been dumped by a girlfriend, their wife, or indeed, someone else’s wife…not something that Cwmbran’s answer to George Clooney can relate to obviously, but I have been dumped upon or misled on more than one occasion by a vendor or potential vendor. Whilst the ego does take a blow, what […]

Professional agents = value for money

Local business owner Gareth Cheshire tells us why using a professional estate and letting agent is definitely to your advantage. Professional agents ARE value for money. Everybody loves a bargain and everybody loves a cliché, none more so than anyone involved in the business of estate agency – but they are clichés for a reason: […]

Buy a new house? Or buy an old house?

This week estate agent Gareth Cheshire, the original NP Property Blogger, helps you consider what’s right for you.   When you embark on your venture to buy a home one of the most common decisions to make is whether to buy a new  house or purchase an existing home.  Each choice has its advantages and […]

Considerations when buying a property.

Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement when you’re ready to buy a property – advises local property expert, Gareth Cheshire. Wait!  That house may seem like everything that you have ever wanted, but before you make an offer, take some time to consider a few things on top of the size, style and price. […]

Property presentation matters

This week local estate agent Gareth Cheshire advises on a FAQ and why property presentation matters – “What can I do to generate more interest in my property, other than dropping the price?”  One of the most frequent questions that I am asked by vendors is, “What can I do to generate more interest in my […]

Thinking of becoming a Landlord?

Gareth asks ‘Are you a landlord or thinking of becoming one?’ Although open evenings at estate agents are a popular way to find out more about the buy to let market and becoming a landlord, many people have a lot more questions to ask which require an individual one to one discussion. No matter how […]

Changing times for local estate and letting agents

This week MD of Cheshire and Co, Gareth Cheshire gives his views on the new on line world and how this will continue to change the high street agent. As regular followers of the original NP property blogger will testify, The Chesh is not prone to moments of self-congratulation or uttering ‘I told you so’… […]

Play nice now property kids

This week local estate agency owner and lettings specialist Gareth Cheshire gives us his views on players in the Property Portal business Play nice now kids……. To quote the late Charles Aznavour ‘Yesterday when I was young’  well when I was younger (it wasn’t yesterday, it was a few years ago) I would often enjoy […]

Property kerb appeal

We asked experienced estate agent and owner of Cheshire and Co, Gareth Cheshire, his views on whether a property’s kerb appeal is, or should be, a factor if you are buying a new house or getting ready to sell your home. ‘Is beauty only skin deep? Now there’s a question! Over the years, and during […]

The wheels keep on turning

This week Gareth shares his views on the Private Rented Sector. Followers of our property related blog will no doubt be able to cast their minds back to the burning embers of Chancellor (my bestie is Mark the Canadian at the Bank of England) Gideon’s time at the Treasury when it seemed that his bete […]

Football’s coming home…

… maybe, possibly, probably not. By this time tomorrow, we will at least know whose mantelpiece the World Cup trophy won’t be sitting on come Sunday. It will come as no surprise to my adoring fan club that many years ago I was something of an accomplished (football) player. In other disciplines The Chesh still […]

Choose your Agent wisely

Amongst other things, Gareth advises here to choose your agent wisely.    Its just three more weeks…… yes, I know, England beating the team ranked 112th in the world does not mean that those of a patriotic disposition should be rushing to get “Football’s coming home” tattooed on some part of their anatomy; but whether […]

New home priorities.

Gareth Cheshire, Owner of Cheshire and Co, discusses your new home priorities. Regular followers of the blog will already know that I have strong feelings about Miss Minogue, Jeremy Corbyn, expanding waists, Diane Abbott, Russian ladies with big..hair, pointy shoes on men, suits with skinny trousers and surveys, to name a few. All for very […]

Here we go again…..

So the war of words has begun; no, not The Donald and Messrs Putin/Jong-Un/anyone else who has p@$#d him off in the past 24 hours, but Purplebricks (PB) and the recently formed Charter For Independent Estate and Lettings Agents (CIELA). What started the death stare posturing and verbiage was PB releasing the results of a […]

Will it spoil their Easter break?

Well that very much depends upon to whom you are referring.  Let us start with the movers and shakers of the property world, namely Purplebricks. Ah yes, the Bruce brothers, who the majority of those involved in the business of trying to make money from selling houses, loathe, because, er, they have made an awful lot […]


While it was interesting to read that Countrywide-one of the industry big hitters-had plunged deeply into the red last year resulting in far-reaching cuts countrywide (no pun intended); it was something else that drew my attention. The announcement hidden among the “review of their footprint across the UK”, don’t you just love corporate-speak? (translated here […]

Don’t let fact get in the way of a good story…

Many years ago, when I had still had hair (on my head), the world did not grind to a total halt because the ‘snowflake’ generation cannot cope with er, snowflakes and Jezza and Max were still young fascists-waiting-to overthrow-the Establishment/comedy value operatives for the Eastern Bloc, there were only 2 TV stations: BBC 1 and […]

Legislating yourself out of the game…

An announcement last weekend from Secretary of State for Housing, Sajid Javid that the Government  is putting its weight behind a Private Members Bill (PMB) that aims to hand more power to tenants has increased the chance of the said bill becoming law. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards ) […]

Agent X?

Or Agent Not-at-all, if technology continues its onward march to replace 100% real human beings with 100% manufactured but frighteningly efficient robots. Zenplace Property Management, an American firm said to be backed by many of the same investors that supported the likes of Google, Facebook and Paypal  (to say that they have a decent record […]

For a price, they could have The Chesh…

Following last week’s blog on property price predictions including those of the pulchritudinous Sarah Beeney and her online agency Tepilo, we were told this week that the aforementioned agency is to change its fee structure not that it is under revised ownership. Revised ownership? They kept that one well hidden under a bushel (no cheap […]

Here we go again…

Along with the ‘New Year, New Me’ bollocks brigade (think Davina, Louise Redknapp et al), comes the ‘New Year, New (read ‘recycled’) predictions for the housing market’. Mmmm. Pythia-the high priestess of the temple of Apollo at Delphi-better known as the Oracle of Delphi, a little like myself-the Oracle of Cwmbran-has been surpassed in her […]

Park up the sequins…

The past few months have served as a reminder of what a results driven world we now live in; or at least what people perceive to be the’right’ or indeed, ‘wrong’ result. This is accompanied by the regression of many adults to toddler status where on not getting the result they believe to be ‘right’ […]

Calm down chaps…

Well a fairly eventful week on a number of fronts, not least that of Ms Mordaunt, our new international development secretary (I now await my admiration of her.. appointment in the cabinet reshuffle to be met with hysterics by the sisterhood). Priti is out having come over all Tony-I-can-fix-the-problems-of-the-world-in-my-next-available-diary-slot/holiday-for a price-Blair, there doesn’t appear to […]

All is not as it seems…

…Part 1. Last week in Wales, a major news item almost slipped under the radar and certain parties were pretty close to buttock clenching, “We got away with that one” territory. Except they didn’t. If one casts one’s mind back to pre-Nadiya Strictly Come Prancing (sorry, Flavia, you had your chance, you’re history), one might […]

Back to public service…

It was with a teary eye that I bid farewell to Tatiana and her bikini-that clearly was based on the ” how little material will not get me arrested for indecency?” school of fashion. As I handed Svetlana what was left of my bottle of Ambre Solaire, I assumed a stiff… upper lip, you filthy-minded […]

The 7 questions you SHOULD always ask your letting agent

All through my career potential landlords have always started a meeting with the same 2 questions How much rent can you get for my property? How much will you charge me? These are the last two questions a potential landlord should ask. Let me show you the seven questions you should ask when considering a new […]

It’s a win-win situation….

Or not, if Saturday’s article  in the Daily Telegraph is to be believed. Penned by Ms Amy Willis it shrieked the headline, “Only the agent wins” with an indignation befitting a die hard Corbynista at the forthcoming annual party conference (definitely one for The Chesh’s diary). The first paragraph reported how as agents we are […]

Who gets to wear the moneybelt?

So millions of us stayed up to listen or watch the big event in Las Vegas last night: ‘Money’ Mayweather v the Irish fella, who if the rules of pugilism weren’t being followed would probably rip you limb from limb in the time it takes to say “that’s a nice tattoo”. The build up to […]

Colour Blind?

Geoffrey, George, Zippy and Bungle. A disparate bunch (was anyone else intensely irritated by that bloody bear? With his hand-wringing wetness, one just knew that he would be a sandal-wearing, bearded, lib dem voting drip). The gang greeted us five times a week with the cheery, “All above the streets and houses”.  Very apposite this […]

A picture paints a thousand words…

Back in the day when I got my first job in estate agency some 40 years ago, (I know, I know, Dorian Gray has nothing on me), my old boss used to tell me to ensure that the details that I was dong that day should be the best set that I had ever produced. […]

Things are not quite what they seem…

This week brought the annual pilgrimage to SW19 and the world’s greatest tennis tournament. Cue innumerable pictures of ‘celebrities’ (some genuine A-list, some who lurk between X-Z), Team Middleton doing what Team Middleton do (not much), Claire Balding being hyper-enthusiastic, Team Middeton again (again not doing very much) and the country claiming a level of knowledge of the […]

What are you going to do about it then?

This weekend saw a rare occurrence in the natural world; worthy of Sir David Attenborough at his most breathlessly awestruck. Estate agents-not a breed known for their piety-were seen flocking to their local places of worship to offer thanks and in some cases the sacrifice of their first born (funny lot up in Abersychan…) to […]

A missed opportunity

As I spend my last day on the Balearic Islands contemplating squeezing my bronzed, gym-honed frame into an air plane seat clearly designed for a munchkin, to emerge the other end like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I ponder upon the missed opportunities of life. If only I had answered the phone to that unknown […]

Everything has a value

Having had plenty of time to consider the state of the nation and the world in general (‘off to hell in a handcart’ seems suitably apt), I have been giving some thought to the valuations (and subsequent instructions), that I have lost to other agents. Yes, I know that it may come as a shock, […]

Come now, John-Boy….

As dawn broke earlier this week over another bank holiday morning-if we are not careful, we will soon have another four-I awoke to Sky News reporting how the Shadow Housing Minister and MP for Wentworth and Dean, the Rt Hon John Healey MP was detailing how the next Labour government would bring about a consumer rights […]

Handbags at Dawn

The war of words has begun, accompanied by much posturing and pseudo hard man poses, (think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or perhaps Captain Mainwering). No, I am not meaning Putin and the world’s foremost user of hair lacquer (incidentally, it would not surprise me if The Donald had a major shareholding in some purveyor of […]

A quarter down and some things never change…

The end of the first quarter of 2017 has dragged itself heroically to the finish line and the end of term report would read somewhere along the lines of ‘room for improvement/could do better if working harder and adopting the correct attitude’. On Friday 31 March we received a phone call in the office at […]

Well that was a waste of ink…

An article recently published in Which? magazine will not be filed under consumer protection/information but most certainly does qualify for the ‘Well that was a waste of ink/Quiet day for news’ category. Incidentally, I was intrigued to learn that Which? is actually the brand name used by the Consumers’ Association, which itself is a registered […]

Who wants to go and live in Spain?

A recent few days on the Iberian peninsula gave me much cause for consideration. Whilst enjoying the temperate climes, Havana Club rum and majestic, mountainous views (invariably encased in material working overtime to try and pass the fit and proper test of ‘clothing’…), I also spent a few hours dealing with my counterparts in the world […]

Grand Partner earns place at Cheltenham

Father and son Thoms and Danny Mullins teamed up at Leopardstown to take a decent handicap hurdle with Grand Partner. Returning to winning ways, the 9 year old by Millenary scored decisively over a classy field and may well take his place at Cheltenham in one of the handicap hurdles. For full details of the […]

The truth is out there…

Life as an estate agent can be a challenging one, not least because of the lowly opinion held of us by most of the general public, jockeying for position with the pond life of politicians, bankers and journalists. Some of the opprobrium directed towards the profession over the years has been deserved; some not. The […]

The clue is in the title: ‘service industry’

Bob Monkhouse once said, “People used to laugh at me when I said I wanted to be a comedian. Well they’re not laughing now.” Just as those who scoffed at the idea that the British public would ever vote to leave Europe never for one moment thought that well actually, the British public might just […]

“You’re terminated. Get to the chopper”

So speaks Arnold Schwarzenegger, the new host of The Celebrity Apprentice. In a move that not even the most hung-over-drug-induced-bong-smoking-embracing-their-inner karma-so rad-it-hurts script writing team could have come up with, the reality TV show had to find themselves a new host because the current host got the biggest gig in the firmament: 45th President of the United States […]

Remind me, we are in 2017?

I appreciate that our bank balance and credit card statements will tell us that we are still in single digits for the date of the new calendar year, but I am querying not the day of the week, but the year of the millennium. 2017? Or 1917 if one is a certain Mr Fergus Wilson. […]

Well, that didn’t quite go as planned…

As 2016 bumps along to the end of a long and sometimes fairly tortuous road, The Chesh has taken a look at some of the issues that have vexed him and will continue to do so in 2017. Some are property related as befits a professional of his standing, some aren’t. Go figure. Amidst the raft […]

Tony Blair now working as an estate agent…

…actually, I lie, it’s Cherie. Has the Chesh finally lost his marbles (alongside his hair and Kylie Minogue’s ‘phone number), I hear you ask? Well no, not exactly. But as I typed the headline and committed it to ‘print’, it must be true. Just like the same El Tone in his September dossier back in […]

Questions, questions…

Well, the past week has thrown up a number of ‘let me tell you’ pub bore points for discussion (you know who you are). In no particular order: Who would have thought that a former Rhodes Scholar and one-time candidate for leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition would seek repatriation into public ‘affection’ (not here […]

“Prediction is very difficult…

…especially about the future” As a Nobel prize winning physicist, who amongst other things developed quantum theory and furthered the world’s understanding of atomic structure, Niels Bohr was probably better qualified than most to offer such an opinion. That said, very few people are immune from embracing their inner Nostradamus or the more bargain basement […]

Questions, questions…

Are the lady dancers on Strictly Come Prancing really wearing more than in previous years or is it a sort of ‘dress-my-dolly’ in reverse; as the season progresses and the glitterball gets ever closer, do the costumes become more revealing? Week 1, think maiden aunt; the grand final, think a strip club in Vegas. I […]

“Get out of my dreams….

…and into my car” That was the line that we gave the ladies back in the day; a comment that is likely in today’s world to get you a. an opportunity to sample the hospitality of the Gwent or b. arrested and locked up. So grooved a certain Billy Ocean (better known to his friends […]

Cheshire & Co – The “Pet Friendly” Letting Agent

Finding a property to rent when you own a pet can be very difficult because not all Landlords are willing to accept your furry friends, but here at Cheshire & Co we are proud to announce that we are embracing pets and becoming one of the first Letting Agents in the NP postcode to become […]

If I could turn back time…

…cue the mental picture of me prancing about a battleship with big hair (yeah, right) wearing a fishnet body stocking and very little else (calm yourself please ladies). Incidentally, after the furore over Cher’s big hit and the infamous video (and outfit), the American Navy released a teeth-sucking, holier than thou statement stating that if […]

There’s a first for everything…

…well at least since King John of Magna Carta fame was strutting his stuff attempting to control those pesky barons (think Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party). As the ‘First Welsh Tax for 800 years’ headlines have been screaming at us over the past week, come April 2018, it will be all change. Er, right. […]

“We also sell houses…”

  Obviously. One would like to think that the clue is in the title, ‘Estate Agents’. Ah, but one should not be so easily fooled. What in the name of all things holy is Cwmbran’s answer to George Clooney on about you may well be thinking? No, I haven’t finally succumbed to the after effects […]

“We also sell washing machines…”

My weekend was spent in Londinium to celebrate my birthday (no presents thank you people, merely donations to The Rest home for Ladies of the Night…) As Samuel Johnson wrote, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”. Indeed there is […]

It takes all sorts…

  After a great month at Cheshire & Co, I allowed myself this afternoon a Monte Christo Number 3 and sat ruminating on the many vagaries of life. Why has Miss Minogue not seen the light and swopped her hunk of a well-bred, well-connected, well-everything else of an actor fiancé (who is 19 years her […]

“You say tomato , I say tomaeto”

  This week at Cheshire & Co I was almost encouraged to don my roller skates like Fred and Ginger and waltz through the centre of Pontnewydd, embracing my inner Gershwin. The prompt for such a spectacle was not vying for that final place on Strictly Come Prancing, but dealing with a vendor’s interpretation of […]

The original NP property blogger posts again

“Our Survey said..” More often than not, it was “Eh-uhhh” accompanied by a commiserating Bob Monkhouse, Max Bygraves or Les Dennis, who must on occasion have pondered, “Just how bloody thick can people really be?” As one to chuck in when there is a lull in the conversation, Family Fortunes was based on the American […]

The Original NP property blogger is back

Plus Ca Change… …acknowledged through gritted teeth if you are one of the many beleaguered souls sitting in your motorised vehicle on the M20, whilst the solitary French border official at Dover does very little, very slowly. Forget Brexit; leaving the British Isles is proving more challenging and there isn’t even a requirement to invoke […]

Who was kidding who?

This week saw fun and games in the world of property portals, as the new kid on the block OnThe Market (OTM) found itself being faced with legal action by a group or over 40 separate estate agents. To be technically and legally accurate, the action is actually being taken against Agents’ Mutual, the parent company of […]

Fiddling the figures…

This week, the press has featured a number of articles detailing a practice that has aggrieved Cheshire & Co (and has subsequently been mentioned in this forum), for several years. The key phrase, is ‘portal juggling’. No, not what you do with the pneumatic Tracey from HR after three Stingers, (incidentally, the favourite tipple of Frank Sinatra […]

It isn’t ‘do as I say…

…it is ‘do as I f%^*&ing tell you’. As offered as a piece of advice by my father on many occasions. As regular blog readers will confirm, my patience has been frequently tested over the years, as a cast list-on a par with that of Ben Hur-of vendors, landlords and purchasers has sought my professional […]

For hire…

Hackney carriage drivers, barristers at law, ladies (and gentlemen of the night-note how PC I am…) and estate agents. Which two of these professions share similarities in their conduct? Brownie points and the last Rolo if you correctly selected estate agents and those from the Cynthia Payne Finishing School. Why? Because under current legislation we […]

Carry on Stampeding…

Further to last week’s ‘word of the week’ that was in vogue with the popular press, we have been amused to read that the stampeding continues (everyone must be exhausted). At the forefront, was a company called Oldbury Residential, who, it is reported, have completed the purchase of four properties in Manchester and succeeded in […]

“… we should move expeditiously but not in a stampede..”

So said the 15 times re-elected Republican senator, Henry Hyde.  Judicious words, as one would expect,or at least hope from someone who chaired the Judiciary Committee and the International Relations Committee at the time of 9/11. Considered and measured behaviour has been in short supply over the past few days, whereby everyone’s favoured course of action […]

Carry on as you were…

Yesterday was either April Fools’ Day if following the Gregorian calendar, or the first day of the New Year if stuck in a 1582 time warp and clinging to the Julian calendar. Either way, 1 April ushered in a “whole new world” according to various parts of the popular press, as Chancellor Gideon saw the first day […]

Buy-to let; the end is nigh…maybe…possibly…

‘Could’, ‘may well’ and ‘possibly’; all suggestives and in the reporting this week of a BOE survey, cloaked in the shroud of doom and financial misery. Ah well. In another classic example of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, been caught, trained and handicapped to win the 2.50 at Chelmsford City, then ended […]

To avoid disappointment, lower expectations.

On Friday night I spent 4 hours in Cardiff that were 4 hours that I will never get back and I could have been doing something really productive; like washing my hair.  The choir was great, the Band of the Welsh Guards as national-pride inducing as ever and the goat was simply outstanding doing its goat […]

Exit, brexit…

Or that should perhaps read,”I don’t really want to go there in the first place/I can’t get out of this godforsaken $%^&*”£ quick enough”.  Forget Boris ‘It is with a heavy heart (not)… I want to choose the carpet in Number 10’ Johnson, Dave ‘I’m adopting the American presidential approach where by my second term all […]

Does size matter?

Well they always say that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.  As I experienced this week when accompanying a prospective purchaser around a property. The said gentleman informed me that “Your details are 2 inches out in the kitchen”. Possibly.  “You can get fined for that under the Property Misdescriptions Act”.  Wrong; […]

It’s all a matter of perspective…

This week has yet again shown that events and their effects can be viewed through the whole scale of human emotion; it all depends upon where the individual(s) observing sit in the world (both literally and figuratively).  It would seem that after the first caucus, Donald Trump does still have a chance of winning the […]

House sales and baked beans all the same … apparently

B.O.G.O.F No, that isn’t a variant on the ‘Go forth and multiply’ imprecation that has occasionally been heard to pass from my lips. It is the acronym so beloved of supermarkets and any number of retail outlets that call to us with their siren’s song of, ‘Buy one, get one free’. It always seems such […]

Disappointing, but not surprising…”

So another year begins with great expectations and hopes of a bright new dawn and we haven’t even got through January and my hopes have been dashed on the rocks of dodgy journalism and the somewhat perfidious behaviour of my fellow estate agents. Firstly, I must hold my hands up to breaking my own resolutions; […]

If all other resolutions have been broken…

Alongside the deluge of guidance/direction/admonishments that we are all going to die if we don’t do as we are told (technically speaking, we are all going to die) that rain down upon us at this time of year, that will-if followed-‘guarantee’ that we will live longer, lose half our body weight and ascend to some […]

“You’re only as good as your last…

…game/winner/hit/performance…” So goes the old adage, advising us not to place too much emphasis on what has happened in the past. Top earner on bob-a-job in 1972, Regional Manager of the Year-1997-1999, breaking the 1000 barrier for number of ‘friends’ on Facebook in 2015.. All highly commendable, (well maybe not the last one, you social […]

“We are all doomed…” possibly…maybe…

So would utter Senna the Soothsayer to Frankie Howerd’s Lurcio in Up Pompeii.  The history of those predicting the future is something of a mixed bag; from Cassandra of Greek mythology, who having spurned the advances of the god Apollo was cursed by him to never be believed (cue the Trojan Horse and the fall […]

The politics of envy…

The Government’s attempt to annihilate the buy to let market as a form of investment was unexpected, unwelcome and unreasoned.   As always, private landlords have been portrayed as exploitive and greedy, fulfilling the role of arch villain in Britain’s housing market, providing the greatest obstruction to the younger generation wanting to take their first step […]

Good news is no news…

A recent article in The Guardian left me somewhat slack jawed with disbelief.  I know what you are thinking, not my usual, but in the interests of fairness, I thought that I would take a tentative step into the flip flop wearing world of Ed and Ed.  Incidentally, the Collins Dictionary definition of a Guardian […]

Post Summer Review

Having returned from my vacation (get me, all transatlantic and WASPish-look it up if you don’t know what it means), I realised that summer was most definitely over.  I know this because there is a house in Cardiff festooned with smirking Santas, flashing snowmen and frolicking elves who by the look on their faces have […]

The headline doesn’t always tell the story…

Some headlines of last week did leave even The Chesh-the most ardent of human rights supporters…-thinking, ‘ooh, there will be trouble in the goalmouth with that one’.  The header that caught the attention the most (thus achieving every advertising executive’s Holy Grail of the headline making the headlines itself), was the tag line on the […]

Raising some awkward questions…

Last week’s report on BBC News did not do anything to improve the opinion of letting agents held by the vast majority of the British public.  It focused on House(s) in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and the agents that oversee their being occupied.  HMO’s fill an essential role in the housing system and are a classic example of […]

Three is a magic number…

A report this week stated that sex is good for you three times a week; no more.  Sorry ladies, perhaps if you would like to enter the monthly prize draw?  I did wonder whether one’s allocation would have to be used on a scheduled weekly basis or could be stockpiled until the end of the […]

Putting the right foot forward…

Well, that’s it all over then.  The Rugby World Cup that is.  There will of course be 3 further games of what could be some of the most exhilarating play ever seen, but for the Home Nations it is acknowledgement that yet again, no one was good enough.  Be it 1 point or a yawning […]

A whole new experience…

In a week that saw Wales undertaking victory celebrations as a result of losing… and Anton falling foul of not having to choreograph a novelty show for a naff dancer with all the grace of a galumphing hippo… I also found myself facing a new one that will feature in my forthcoming bestseller, ‘The life and times of […]

Is it now easier to remove a tenant?

Well, possibly. That should not be interpreted as agents wanting to chuck out respectable tenants who meet and frequently surpass all the criteria in the ‘Ideal Tenant’ list being given far greater liberty to do just that. Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 lies at the very heart of modern tenancy law in England […]

Not a great week to be called Jeremy…

.. be it Vine (tries hard but can’t get those hips to work), Kyle (mmm, who would you choose; the purveyor of cheap daytime mocking of the misery of the masses or a 25 year old international polo player 15 years your junior?), or Corbyn (how long have you got-comrade..?)  Alongside the angst of those shackled with […]

Dear Jeremy…

Today saw the property news, (invariably sequestered somewhere between the coffee break puzzles and the adverts for walk-in baths) jockeying for position with the ‘real’ news in the pages of the paper with single numbers.  It even made the headlines on the BBC.  For once, it was not about the heinous breed known as estate […]

She’s back

The pulchritudinous Ms Beeney graced the pages of the property news this week.  Again.  Whilst I would always be pleased to view her ‘come hither’ simper, it was especially welcome this week as a break from being assaulted from every quarter by the barbate/too lazy to shave (you all know my views on beards), character who is […]

“The truth is incontrovertible…ignorance may deride it…

…but in the end , there it is …”  So spoke a certain Winston of the Churchill variety, (no, not the irritating puppet that was voiced by Martin Clunes until he-rather inconveniently for the insurance company that was paying him-was banned from driving).  I thought of the statesman on Saturday night as I watched the grand […]

For every action, there is a reaction….

With tomorrow’s Bank Holiday comes the end of the summer.  Cue the arrival on our screens of a plethora of adverts featuring roaring log fires, rosy cheeked infants sitting at tables covered with enough food to keep them going until February whilst their parents smile beatifically at each other, (just before they serve the divorce […]

Who exactly decides whether to buy or not to buy?

To paraphrase the former resident of Stratford-upon-Avon, that is the question.  With reports in the media of surges in house prices, a housing shortage, interest rate rises and the real decider on this morning’s news-that One Direction are taking an indefinite hiatus-it is worth looking at who/what are the real power brokers and game-changers in the house selling […]

“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance”

Alas, for Major General ‘Uncle John’ Sedgwick, a Confederate sharp shooter could indeed have hit an elephant, but instead made do with a human being at the Battle of Spotsylvania in 1864.  I was reminded of my fellow military conquistador this week (stop laughing at the back, being able to quote entire scenes from Dad’s […]

Let the silly season commence…

August has long been regarded as the silly season in the media, where stories make the headlines that would normally struggle to find a resting place somewhere between the TV listings and the adverts for walk-in baths. It would also now appear that aside from odd-shaped vegetables and babies with luxuriant bouffants, August is now […]

Who actually is the protection protecting?

Those who know me will be aware of my intense dislike for self-regulatory clubs; with the exception of Slimming World where the weekly humiliation of standing up and saying, “Hello, I’m Gareth and I’m a fat b”£$ard” does have the desired effect. Which is why the founders of  all diets clubs that have been syndicated […]

One does wonder…

…why a landlord needs the services of a lettings agent.  What a landlord needs is the services of a good agent to facilitate their (the landlord’s) property being rented out to the right people for the right price-for all parties.  Thank you for pointing out the blindingly obvious Chesh, I hear you mutter.  My pleasure.  […]

Why do people hate us so much…

…. other than an inherent dislike of people who have it all; looks, flair, sartorial elegance, exquisite taste, Errol Flynn-like measurements… Anyway, enough about that lucky %^&£$) who we would all like to be.  It is though an interesting question. Having popped across to advise the Cordoba football team on the benefits of a diamond formation and […]

If it ain’t broke…

Whilst partaking this week in a brief sojourn in Spain, I found myself in the same hotel as the football team Cordoba FC.  Having imparted my Harry Rednappesque pearls of wisdom, ‘Don’t tell the taxman anything ….’ (That was a joke Harry, you can send your libel lawyer back to his golf club), I found myself comparing […]

Where to begin…

It may be the middle of ‘The Season’ and the social butterflies are whizzing between the Summer Party at The Serpentine Gallery, watching the Ashes, attending the Hilton/Rothschild wedding (now that must be some pre-nup) and parking their well-clad posteriors in the Royal Box at Wimbledon (if one can squeeze past the omnipresent Middleton tribe), […]

I can’t quite work it out…

Firstly, why, having returned from my er, ‘training camp’ in Ibiza, my suits all seem to have shrunk… Whilst contemplating this conundrum-aided by a cup of tea and a piece of cake- I found myself facing a second puzzlement.  Why are house prices continuing to reach stratospheric levels-if the media are to be believed-whilst the […]

Lean in and I will let you into a little secret…

…estate agents are not interested in buyers, they are interested in vendors.  Was that the water in the font that I heard bubbling?  If an agent can get the instruction, then the buyers will come, no matter how uninspiring the performance. All the sales/tactics courses run by the large corporate organisations and training companies concentrate […]

Who is actually protecting who?

In September 2014, it was made law that agencies letting properties in England, Scotland or Wales had to become a member of a redress scheme. As of 1 June 2015, agents had to show that they were a member of one of the approved schemes offered by a trade association or guild such as the National Association […]

“Where’s Dr Nookey when you need him?”

Knockers.  The word is used in many forms generating much amusement dependent upon its context. Cue a very young Jim Dale examining a very undressed Barbara Windsor to much oohing, aahing and knowing winks from the gathered Carry On cast.  We all love them. Oeuvres of the Carry On franchise that is…what did you think […]

Read the small print…

This week seemingly got worse for Foxtons estate agents-or at least their positive publicity machine took a bit of battering.  This followed the previous week’s outraged reporting of how they had charged a landlord £616, “to change a light fitting”, when the actual contractor had ‘only’ charged £412.50-a mark up of 49%.  Personally I would be more outraged […]

“Can we fix it?…Yes we can!”

So decreed the ever chirpy Bob the Builder and his erstwhile sidekick, Muck The Dumper Truck.  Suspending one’s disbelief for a second-not at the thought of a vehicle that can talk, but at the frankly preposterous suggestion that builders are a equable bunch with a ‘can-do’ attitude…I wondered whether today, Bob would ever get out […]

Would you Adam and Eve it…?

A some what rhetorical question, but one that did rather flabber my gast this week. In recent weeks, I have commented on how I still find myself surprised/amused/bemused/entertained at being spun any number of porky pies as to why a home owner has chosen not to list their property with myself.  Following up a valuation […]

Now, now children…

The jungle drummers of the Cwmbran environ were at it so hard last week that even Roger Taylor might have been pushed to keep up.  Like the characters in a Jane Austen novel, the negotiators (and anyone who had access to any form of telephonic instrument-branch managers were not immune) could barely contain themselves following […]

“To be or not to be…”

No, not the words of the Prince of Denmark bemoaning his fate (as was his wont), but what I asked of a landlord this week.  Do you really think that this renting lark is for you, my old china?’  I am still capable of having my flabber gasted by the ridiculous reactions of first time landlords […]

Jeffrey Archer has nothing on this…

The events within the 24 hour period of 7-8 May would have been dismissed as wholly unbelievable if introduced in the last pages of a novel penned by the former Conservative MP. Kane and Abel was given its very own Trotskyite production five years ago as Familias Miliband indulged in fratricide and the cynics amongst us might say […]

The important questions of the week…

The last week, nay the last 48 hours, have thrown up some life-changing questions that demand an attempt at being answered.  To begin: 1. Chantelle, Kimberley, Taylor-May, Shannon, Kylie or perhaps following that other ‘royal’ couple, the Kardashians, could it be one of the points on a compass?  The newest princess on the block is awaiting […]

Sunday morning apoplexy…

For the second occasion in less time than it takes Katie Price to fall in love, get married, get pregnant and get divorced (not necessarily in that order), I have been compelled to write another blog further to my preceding Friday offering.  Whilst tuning into yesterday’s Andrew Marr Show, I almost choked on my cup of […]


Cheshire & Co charge a range of fees for our lettings service. Our standard fees are as follows Tenant application fee £215. 00 Guarantor application fee £60.00 Managed set up fee 3.5 weeks rent Management fee 10% per month Inventory fee £175.00 ALL FEES ARE SUBJECT TO VAT. PLEASE CONTACT THE OFFICE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION […]

“Simply the best…”

Not the chart topper by Annie Mae Bullock, but a statement made by those sitting in betting shops across the country, pundits both professional and self-appointed and many of those that regularly frequent racecourses about the-as I type this over an hour after he weighed in for the final time-now retired 20 times champion jockey, […]

Bonjour Madame…

In June 2014, Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, praised the handling and performance of Britain’s economy. She reiterated the sentiment this week in Washington when she was quoted as saying, ” It’s obvious what’s happening in the UK has worked”. Ten months ago she did though voice concern that the housing market […]

Mid-week interruption…

As our regular followers will know, here at Cheshire & Co we usually blog once a week, but this morning, whilst training for the Cwmbran marathon (no, me neither..), a local newsstand caught my attention. Our Prime Minister-not the underling who is very much the lesser party in the bro-mance (remember the puppy dog eyes […]

Love thy neighbour…

…or for those practising endogamists, someone whose genetic make up isn’t too dissimilar to your own. Think deepest, darkest Louisiana, remote islands in the Pacific Ocean and Aberbargoed. Ok, ok, before disgruntled from Cwmtillery writes in (using the eight fingers on his one hand), endogamy does not mean that you have to marry your sister. […]


With 28 minutes to go as I write this, I would hazard a guess that the 7-up gang for tonight’s televised debate are starting to feel just a little nervous. Dave, Ed, Nick, Nige, Nicola (she of the helmet hair), Natalie and Leanne, (go on, a fiver if you can give their surname and political […]

“First ever”… Er, not actually…

Friday saw-according to some sources-the dawning of a new era in estate agency. Online agency sellmyhome.co.uk claimed to be holding the first ever “virtual open house” via its Facebook page. The property was a two bedroom flat in Hackney and it was claimed that the virtual tour would chime with, “the demographic of first time […]

Hurrah! At last someone talks sense…

Hold the front page; there is at last an article in the press with which I concur. I know, editors across the fourth estate are breathing a collective sigh of relief that The Chesh has given his approval…In a week where Gideon-I mean George- showed that a. He may well have played a blinder b. […]

“Let’s get this mother out of here…”

The unrecorded and therefore unofficial (although often repeated by the men who were actually there), last words of the last man to walk on the moon, Jack Schmitt, the lunar module pilot of Apollo 17 who with his commander, Gene Cernan were the last people to trot along the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. […]

Transparent as mud…

If one feels compelled to ring any of my fellow agents in Cwmbran, to ask them what they would charge for selling your house, you will receive an answer comprising some-if not all-of the following statements: …where do you live?..we need to come out to the property before we can answer that…we do not discuss […]

Calling all experts…

…I am of course referring to all those who profess to be authorities on any number of varied subjects. This week has seen a plethora of opinions being voiced, from the big, pointy, embroidered hat gang (I admit that I am para-phrasing one of my comedic heroes, Dave Allen), who ‘lead’ the Church of England, […]

I seem to recall…

…that over the past two years I have on several occasions-from my command bunker at Cheshire Towers and posted in this medium-opined on the sooth-saying of many ‘city experts’. These modern day Tiresias’ have repeatedly, determinedly and latterly rather desperately commented that interest rates would/will/should/must rise. Equally forcibly, I have begged to differ. Even allowing […]


Yes, the man who fell off his boat makes another ‘appearance’ from beyond the grave. The governance procedure that bears his name is that whereby individuals who are due to be publicly criticised in an official report are sent details of the criticism in advance and are permitted to respond prior to publication. It originated […]

Reinvention of the wheel?

This week the world was agog with…… the launch of a new property portal. I know, you can hardly contain your excitement and this dazzling piece of news only escaped your attention because you were negotiating Greece’s debt obligation to the Eurozone/watching Celebrity Big Brother/regrouting the downstairs loo. Admittedly, the launch of  www.OnTheMarket.com has possibly […]

The Reasonable Man

Throughout my long and illustrious career at the bar, (a free packet of pork scratchings with a bottle of Stella…), I have triumphed on many an occasion by using the reasonable man defence in cases of negligence.  I refer of course to Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks Co (1856) 11 Exch 781  To refresh the memory of my […]

My goat has been got…

…or indeed my Camembert is past its sell by date… I am reversing back down by the wall that I was driven up…by an article in The Mail on Sunday, January 11 2015.  Never did I think that I would be sharing emotions with the Guardianista fraternity/sorority (so as not to elicit the harpy-like wrath […]

What constitutes sport…

A mixed bag of curiosities to pique the interest of  @Twitter ‘#andanotheronegone’, otherwise known as Cheshire & Co.  I was intrigued to learn that some people are calling for ‘gaming’ to be considered an Olympic sport.  In my opinion (and I am level pegging with Solomon on most things, although I might just edge him […]

Out with the old, in with the new-ish…

In keeping with my Scottish and Northern friends, (trust me, I was up there during the festive season and it is b^&*dy freezing), I introduced the first-footing tradition (or a variant of) to many households in balmier climes i.e. Cwmbran.  Gaelic tradition has it that the first footer should be male (that’s me), tall (that’s […]

“The Times They Are a-Changin'”

One would doubt that when Robert Allen Zimmerman released this album on 13 January 1964, he had any notion of how often the title would be used and misappropriated over the subsequent decades.  Allowing for the rather poor use of syntax and grammar (perhaps the correct use of the latter would have persuaded that English teacher […]

What goes up, must come down…

..apart from the length of Ms Flack’s ( otherwise referred to as the next Mrs Cheshire’s) dresses on Strictly Come Prancing, or for that matter Kristina’s… and most definitely Darcey’s.  Anyway, back to more mundane matters.  This week, the report of the ex-Treasury minister Paul Myners on the sale of the Royal Mail by the Business Secretary, Vince […]

Cruel intentions or just business?

There has been much press coverage in recent months about wicked landlords, avaricious agents and bullied tenants. The latter’s very existence and emotional and financial well-being is wholly dependent upon the capricious nature of the former named parties. Some of the reporting does have merit; some of it is about as accurate and credible as Brother Miliband (the one […]

Tis the season to be jolly…

In readiness for the big day, the herald angels harked this week, not about the new born king, but about Gideon, I mean George’s new stamp duty threshold. Alongside the heavenly hosts, the not so celestial Fourth Estate -dependent upon the colour of their political ichor-proclaimed, “the new boom is here” or for the more melodramatic, […]

You’re how old..?

In our age-obsessed society where life expectancy is ever increasing and there is a multi billion industry whose sole purpose is to ensure that that we look and live longer than any previous generation, there was an irony this week as it was announced that mortgage lenders are now actively discriminating against the over 45’s […]

“That all you’ve got George?”

For all sports aficionados, 2014 was the 40th anniversary of the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ when George Forman and Muhammad Ali gave the world what has been described as, “arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century”.  Not only did it produce a gladiatorial contest of skill and fortitude, but in the course of 8 […]

Abercwmboi via Marbs…

Amidst my hectic schedule of bronzing myself, watching various female forms bronzing themselves, signing autographs and entertaining Tatiana and her friends to tea and a jam tart, I ‘occasionally’ logged into that pesky social media site known as Facebook, (honestly who has the time, or the inclination to tell the rest of the world what […]

Doctor knows best…

Yesterday, whilst swinging my man-bag and strolling through the playboy centre of Puerto Banus, I walked straight into my doctor of thirty years.  Having chatted genially for some time and established that we were both on holiday with the named individual on our respective marriage certificates (it has been known… “Darling, work are sending me […]

Greedy landlords? Surely not.

All of us can as individuals be guilty of avarice, even me; and I am as close to perfection as anyone…stop sniggering at the back.  I am still (having been around almost as long as Terry Wogan’s toupee), somewhat surprised, nay, shocked at how seemingly sensible, reasonable, sapient landlords who when the tenant moves in are […]

“Bring it All Back”

My week took a sudden upturn when I heard that S Club 7 are getting back together for Children In Need (as opposed to “Former Bubblegum Popstars in Need… of a  few quid”-not quite as catchy nor politically correct).  I challenge anyone not to bop along to “Don’t Stop Movin’” although  few could match me […]

Now come now Ms B…

The wrath of the Chesh (sequel to ‘Revenge of the Sith’ – you know where to find me George), was incurred by none other this week than the fragrant Sarah Beeny.  Let me say that I have met Ms B and am the first in the queue to appreciate her astute business sense, perspicacity and […]

“All sentiment is right…

…because sentiment has a reference to nothing beyond itself…” David Hume; Of The Standard of Taste and other Essays Eruditely expressed by the 18th century Scottish philosopher, essayist and economist.  Before the woes (dependent upon your political blood type), of Clacton and Manchester triumphed in forcing Ebola, ISIS and other matters of genuine world-changing import off the […]

I’ll have a P (for price) please Bob…

Whilst waiting last Sunday for the Ryder Cup to begin its final exertions and to unbeknownst to us all (not least the PGA in America), for Phil Mickelson to be the living embodiment of “There is no ‘I’ in team ,but there is a ‘Me’”, I read an article in The Sunday Times, ‘Home Section’ […]

Today, we shall reinvent the wheel…

According to reports in last week’s press, first time buyers are, “boxed in by rising prices” Anna Mihkailova, Sunday Times 22 September 2014  A suitably attention grabbing headline, but what exactly does it mean?  The usual it transpires; people need to earn enough to be able to afford a mortgage.  A revolutionary idea indeed.  What […]

Home rule for Cwmbran…

…with me as Commander in Chief/La Grande Fromage/King.  Don’t laugh people, it could happen.  My role as the supreme being goes without saying, the extent of my realm is still open to discussion; as it would seem is most of the United Kingdom.  Now did ‘Call me Dave’ get lucky, or did he (and his […]

Here we go again…

This week, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and George Osborne’s best mate addressed the annual conference of the TUC. Confirming what we have said in many a previous blog, interest rates will not rise this autumn, but should increase in Spring 2015. Note the use of ‘should’, not, ‘will definitely’. Is that a […]

‘Bore Da’, or even ‘Magandang umaga’

Now don’t go and get your Welsh mixed up with your Filipino (or any other Austronesian language).  Not that you thought that you would be discussing language acquisition in a property blog.  Neither did I, until I found myself embroiled in a total fiasco over a phone line courtesy of that “British multinational telecommunications services […]

Has the world gone mad?

In a week where a brouhaha over a baked Alaska made headline news (whilst the horrors of the Middle East continued, the staggering incompetence and negligence of various authorities in South Yorkshire was laid bare and various EU leaders scrambled about trying to look decisive in preventing the onward march of a megalomaniacal Russian), it would […]

To operate system: 1. Engage brain…

…2. Then open mouth.  Or in today’s technology-saturated world: 2. Turn on phone/computer, compose text/email, (offensive and abusive about several people, not least the one who pays your salary) and press ‘send’. 3. Prepare yourself for the opprobrium of the masses who are unimpressed with your-now public- misogynistic, racist and puerile missives. 4. Engage a good, […]

The art of stating the blindingly obvious…

…..representing a spectacularly small demographic.  Such was my conclusion when reading the results of a report that featured in many of the national papers.  According to a survey of potential purchasers by Savills, the thing that people most want is a great view.  May I just qualify that this was a survey of 400, (yes, […]

“Have we met before…”

I mused to myself whilst standing in the queue for the self-checkout at a well-known supermarket.  Incidentally, if ever there was a misnomer is it not ‘self-checkout’, as the only part of the self involved is self-control as you restrain yourself from hurling a packet of crisps and a bottle of Bacardi (note my healthy eating […]

He-aart breaking tales of ghostly goings-on…

According  to various sources this week, the latest flagitious activity to afflict the housing market is that of ‘ghost gazumping’.  This doesn’t mean Banquo’s ghost showing you around a 3-bedroomed semi in Croesyceiliog, but-in a phrase first coined by the Financial Times- when the seller asks the buyer for more money just days before exchange.  As expected, […]

More hysterical headline grabbing…

As readers of Friday’s blog will testify, my irritation levels are about on a level with the English football team’s world ranking, or Alastair Cook’s batting average. I could continue with the hammering of the English until I realised that the captain of the Welsh Commonwealth Games team has been given the heave- ho for […]

Reading behind the headlines…

I admit that in these warmer climes my irritation with the human race does increase on a par with the mercury.  There is a lot to be said for the winter; am I alone in thinking it a little uncouth to be wandering along the pavement shirtless? (I’m specifically talking about the male of the […]

As I was saying to Carlos…

…Slim (Hula – to give him his full title, no relation to Fat Boy).  The aforementioned gentleman was and has just returned to being the richest man in the world. He first held the title in 2010 and only relinquished his crown to a certain Mr Bill Gates when the value of his stock in his primary companies, […]

The large print giveth…

… the small print taketh away.  This was one of several hackneyed phrases that sprung to mind (see, there’s another), when I was reading the Money section in last week’s Sunday Times Sunday 6 July 2014.  The headline, “New Websites open Door to Wealth of Property Data” revealed how Adrian Black-former head of technology at Goldman […]

Jumping the gun?

The jury is still out (unlike those in the William Roche, Rolf Harris and Rebekah Brooks court cases: how much have they cost us dear public?), as to whether Mark Carney is the smoothest of smooth operators or more akin in characteristics to an “unreliable boyfriend”.  The latter was levelled at him last week by parliamentarians who […]

The road much travelled…

Having returned from my foreign sojourn a more relaxed, sagacious and- admittedly- sunburnt man, I would like to think that my time spent admiring the nubile physique of  various ladies poolside has imbued me with an ability to make sense of the world.  As alluded to in my previous sentence, any travelogue would bear more of a […]

We can’t have it all…

In yesterday evening’s annual speech delivered to the great and good at Mansion House, George Osborne caused many people to ponder and ruminate.  Firstly, I thought it rather ironic that in what may well be deemed to be a seismic moment of the coalition government, the (Conservative) Chancellor of the Exchequer was addressing a gathering of the […]

Lest we forget…

May I first accompany this week’s blog with the caveat that my ire has been stirred and I have to say, that for this I make no apology.  I am writing this whilst listening to the coverage of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the jaw-dropping stories of those survivors of the first day of […]

I think that you will find that we have said this all along…

Many of our blogs over the passing months have commented on the ever increasing histrionics surrounding good ole George and his ‘Help to Buy’ scheme (Edition 1 and 2). Those members of the 21st century Greek chorus deplored the irresponsibility of the scheme and howled how the end of the world was not so much […]