31 July 2020

Get Ready to Eat Out for Retford - Updated

More names added

Are you ready in your starting blocks for Monday 3 August 2020?
Support your local restaurants, pubs, cafes and more during 3-31 August 2020

Enjoy 50% discount on meals and non-alcoholic drinks to a max of £10 per person.
Enjoy. Here is the updated list:


Angel Inn, Blyth

Blacksmiths Arms, Everton

Blue Bell Inn, Gringley on the Hill

Brewers Arms, Clayworth

Chillipetals, Tuxford

Dantes Italian, Retford

Deli & Dine, Retford

Everest Tandoori Restaurant, Retford

Fred's Cantonese Restaurant, Retford

Gurkha Tandoori Restaurant, Retford

Harry's Coffee House, Retford

Honey & Fig, Retford

Hop Pole, Retford

Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre/Notts Wildlife Trust, Retford

JM's Fish & Chips, Retford

King William Inn, Scaftworth

Kings Coffee Shop, Retford (Closed 'til Sat 8 August. See their Facebook page for latest info.)

Kings Park Hotel, Retford

Leaky Teacup Ltd, Retford

Mamma Giusi's, Retford

McDonalds, Markham Moor

Misterton Chippy, Misterton

No. 5 Restaurant, Retford

Retford & Gainsborough Garden Centre & Citrus Cafe, Saundby

Rosie's Cafe, Saundby

So Good It Yurts, Everton

Spa at Ye Olde Bell, Barnby Moor

Styrrup Hall Golf & Country Club, Styrrup

Sun Inn, Everton

Sun Inn, Retford

Taste Bistro, Retford

The Bay Tree, Retford

The Brew Shed, Retford

The Chequers at Ranby, Ranby near Retford

The Crusty Cob, Tuxford

The Dovecote Inn, Laxton

The Drawing Room, Retford

The Elm Tree, Elmton

The Ferryboat Inn, Church Laneham

The Fountain, Tuxford

The Galway Arms, Retford

The Gate Inn, Sutton cum Lound

The Glasshouse, Retford

The Herbalist, Retford

The Hideaway, Retford

The King & Miller, Retford

The Kiwi Cafe, Retford

The Mussel & Crab, near Tuxford

The National Holocaust Centre & Museum, Laxton

The Old Police Station Restaurant & Bar, Retford

The Pantry 8020, Misterton

The Red Hart Hotel, Blyth

The White Horse Inn, Misson

The White Lion, Retford

Torworth Grange Farmshop & Lakes, Torworth

West Retford Hotel & Restaurant, Retford

White Horse Inn, Barnby Moor

Whitehouses Restaurant, Retford

Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Restaurant, Barnby Moor

You can now check out the government’s website to find out which of your local pubs, restaurants and cafes in the Retford area are signed up to the scheme and offering the 50% off deal.  Find a restaurant here: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/eat-out-to-help-out/find-a-restaurant


If you’re a business and wish to participate and attract diners throughout August, see the registration website here.

A BIG THANKS to innorthnotts for the list. Please visit their website to find out more about all things happening in the North Nottinghamshire area.

Thanks for reading.

I’m always happy to help sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants


Tel: 01777 237310 or messages to 07981 744003

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29 July 2020


You’ve found a house that looks good on one of the property portals or estate agents websites.
You’ve called the estate agent or more likely just dropped an email to them and a viewing appointment is booked.
Most good estate agents worth their salt will call you and help you determine if this is the right property for you to be looking at.

OK, but what exactly are you going to be looking for when you view it?

While some house hunters take an instinctive approach, it certainly pays off to be thorough during a property viewing to make sure you are absolutely sure the property is right for you and are fully aware of any wear and tear before you make an offer. This quick list looks at most of the things you need to look for to make sure you get the most out of your property viewing.

Property layout

  • Size – think about whether the property is the right size. Are the rooms big enough for your furniture? Bring a tape measure and map out where items will fit in each room. On the other hand, will you be stretching your budget for extra space you do not need?
  • Storage – check each room for storage space. In the bedrooms, if there isn’t storage built in, factor in the size of wardrobes and drawers when looking at their shape and size.
  • Potential renovations – would you prefer an open layout? Check whether any interior walls can be removed to create an open-plan space. Can the loft be converted? If you are a growing family, this could be a potential future project.

Fixtures and fittings

  • Interior walls, floors, and tiles – check the walls for any cracks, including signs of any that have been freshly painted over. If you can fit a 10p piece into a crack (around 3mm) it could be a sign of subsidence. Check the condition of any carpets or floorboards, looking out for any stains – these could potentially be cleaned up before you move in.
  • Check appliances – if any of the appliances are included, make sure you test to see if they are working.
  • Fireplaces – are they operational? When was the last time they were swept?
  • Damp – keep an eye and nose out for damp in every room, including storage areas.

Windows and doors

  • Condition – do they open and close easily? Are the seals in good condition? Check the condition of the window and door frames too.
  • Type – What glazing are the windows? This could affect your energy bills.
  • Locks – test all the locks to see if they are working correctly. Are any of them old and need replacing?

Plumbing and electrics

  • Boiler – the boiler can potentially be a big cost if it needs replacing. Ask how old it is and check its service history. Is it still under warranty? Turn on a hot tap to test how long it takes for hot water to come through.
  • Taps, showers, baths, and toilets – check that all the taps work and observe the water pressure. Do the same for the shower and bath. Give the toilets a flush to see if they are faulty.
  • Lights and power sockets – test all the lights and check the plugs. An easy way to do this is to bring along a phone charger and test charging your phone.
  • Fuse box – find out how old the fuse box is and when it was last serviced.


  • Mobile signal – while you are looking around the property, check your phone signal.
  • Broadband and TV connections – is fibre broadband available? Are there fibre, telephone and TV sockets in the property and are they in a sensible location.

Garden and exterior

  • Brickwork and rendering – look over the brickwork, rendering and pointing look at the general condition.
  • Roof – if it’s a tiled roof, check the condition and look out for any broken tiles. If there is a flat roof, ask when it was last checked.
  • Gutters and drains – the gutters are important as any issues here can have a knock-on effect to the rest of the property, usually causing damp. Check for any cracks or leaks, you may be able to spot dark patches on the brickwork directly below if there are any. Have a look at the drains to see if they are clogged up.
  • Parking – is there enough space for the cars you have? If not, is there on road parking nearby?
  • Garden direction – check the direction so you can get a feel for how much sunshine you are likely to get.
  • Maintenance – think about the size of the garden and whether it’s a manageable size. Larger gardens can require lots of maintenance.

Local area

  • Traffic – get a feel for how busy the road is by spending a bit of time outside the property. If you can, visit at different parts of the day including rush hour to get an honest account of the traffic.
  • Commute – if possible, re-enact your commute to work from the property. Even better if you can do it during rush hour.
  • Local amenities – more in depth research can be done before and after your viewing, but when you are in the local area you can get a good sense on where your local shop is, the closest pub, schools and GP surgery.
  • Public transport – don’t forget the closest public transport options.

Next steps

If you are just starting out with your house hunting and you are unsure on the next steps, I have produced a step-by-step guide on how to buy a property. 

Thanks for reading.
I'm always happy to help sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants.


Tel: 01777 237310 or messages to 07981 744003

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27 July 2020

Opportunity is Knocking for the Retford Property Market

Retford Property Blog

“Life is a Game” is a quote attributed to Mother Teresa, but it could be easily applied to property.

And as with all games, there are winners and losers. But here in the property market we have a genuine opportunity to see a win win situation for buyers  and sellers.

Timing always plays a part in how successful you are, as does having a talented estate agent working on your behalf to get you a winning result.

The announcement earlier this month that Stamp Duty for properties under £500,000 is eliminated until 31 March 2021, means there’s now plenty of opportunity knocking on the doors of homeowners in Retford

Buyers can save up to £15,000 during this window.

Opportunity Knocks

Depending on what source you look at, it takes on average (from a cold start) between 151 to 200 days to sell a home.

This means the opportunity clock is now ticking before that 31 March deadline.

The Stamp Duty holiday means:

·       Deals that were dead in the water over a difference in the value buyers and sellers were prepared to accept (especially between £15-30,000) are now potentially resurrected.

·       Having more to put down as a deposit is opening more of the mortgage market to buyers.

·       The decision by several lenders to reintroduce 90% Loan to Value mortgages helps more people get on the property ladder.

If you’re thinking of selling, you’ll also benefit from the Stamp Duty removal if the next property you’re buying is also under the £500,000 bracket.

But it’s not enough to put your most valuable tax-free asset up for sale and hope the rising tide of a buoyant market in Retford helps you achieve the premium price for your property.

You also need to remember the following four things, which I’ve related to classic game shows to help you remember.

The Price is Right – Overvaluing a property will mean it sticks, no matter what the market is doing or if stamp duty has been put on hold. Pricing it correctly to sell at a premium price is a skill only experienced agents possess.

Through the Keyhole – When you are on the market, your property gets put under the microscope so prepare it thoroughly so that viewers will feel like it’s a place they’d love to call home.

Countdown – Remember that date – 31 March 2021 – The sooner you start marketing your property the better. The clock is ticking.

Bullseye – When you choose an agent with an excellent track record and fair fees who values your property correctly and can guide you on every aspect of the selling process, you’ve hit the bullseye. And you won’t be left thinking about what you could’ve ‘won.’

As The Good Estate Agent for North Nottinghamshire I provide a full marketing campaign for each property and keep working on the sales plan until a buyer is identified.

So, if you are interested to know how I can help you make the most of this ‘Stamp Duty Holiday’ window of opportunity, let’s talk.

Thanks for reading.

I’m always happy to help sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants


Tel: 01777 237310 or messages to 07981 744003

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26 July 2020

AUGUST is the month to 'Eat Out in Retford'

All of us have been asked to do many things in recent months: stay home, home school, wear masks, keep apart and wash our hands, and now wearing mask for doing the shopping.

And now we’re being called to action again.  But this time to dine out to help the hospitality industry get back on its feet after being hit for six by the lockdown.

This one is most definitely my favourite. After spending lots of time cooped up indoors eating our own stuff, eating out will be a welcome change.

So, let’s all get behind the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme when it starts next month and urge all your friends to do the same.

It’s not the most imaginatively titled initiative, but the idea – to help our high streets by supporting local eateries – is one we should fully support.

I understand some people can’t eat out right now due to health or financial reasons, but if you can do your bit to keep businesses open and support jobs in our local area then please do.

Here’s what you need to know about the scheme.

  • It is running every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between 3 and 31 August.
  • Eat out on these days at a participating restaurant, pub, or cafe, and you can get 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to the value of £10 per person if you eat or drink in. (But remember alcoholic drinks are NOT included)
  • The discount is applied straight away – no filling out of forms or waiting for refunds.
  • You can take advantage of it as many times as you like.
  • There’s no minimum spend and you don’t have to order food to be eligible, for example a £3 coffee would cost £1.50 under the scheme.
  • A website will be up and running by 31 July giving you a list of eateries taking part in the scheme. (We hope)

It’s worth noting that it’s not just restaurants, cafes and pubs that can take part. Work canteens and food halls can too, providing they have registered.

If you’re keen to take advantage of the scheme, always check that the venue is taking part before you order – to avoid any nasty surprises when the bill arrives.

Remember that many eateries can only serve a limited number of diners right now and ask that customers book ahead.

If you do make a reservation and can’t make it, please let the venue know. No-shows cost businesses money, and things are already tough in the hospitality industry.

Even before the pandemic, many food outlets, especially restaurants, were finding it challenging.

Between 2018 and 2019 almost 1,000 restaurants disappeared from UK high streets. (Overall numbers fell from 27,189 to 26,265. Source: Statista.com).

If we want Retford and the North Notts area to have a thriving restaurant/cafĂ©/pub environment and a warm neighbourhood buzz, it’s up to us to support it.

Thanks for reading

I am always happy to help sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants


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01777 237310 or message 07981 744003

24 July 2020

Look what you get for £750,000 in Rural Nottinghamshire compared to Covent Garden, London

I’m sure that during lockdown more ‘southerners’ have started to realise the opportunities for property investment in rural locations like here in Nottinghamshire.

The old saying ‘for the price of a one bedroom flat in London you could buy a small farm ‘Up North’, has never been truer today.

Here is what £800,000 will get you in Covent Garden, London:a one bedroom flat.

Have a look in more detail via the link to the estate agents website here.


Now take a look at what you can get for £750,000 here in beautiful rural North Nottinghamshire: A bungalow with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, an outdoor swimming pool and 2.5 acres of land ideal for horses or whatever small animals you desire on your small farm.

Have a look in more detail via the link the estate agents website here


Thanks for reading

I am always happy to help sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants


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01777 237310 or message 07981 744003

23 July 2020


A disabled mum-of-two emerged victorious from York County Court earlier this month after winning a case that sent ripples through the lettings industry.

The woman, who was on housing benefit, had been blocked from renting a property by a blanket “no DSS” lettings policy.

The court heard the woman, who had a part-time job, good references from two previous landlords and a reliable guarantor, had been treated unfairly. The judge agreed and awarded her £3,500 in damages and costs.

Legal implications

The ruling is significant because, despite lots of rumblings over “no DSS”, it is the first time a judge has ruled it is unlawful and discriminatory. 

Homeless charity Shelter says the case sends a clear warning to landlords “that they risk legal action if they continue to bar housing benefit tenants from renting”.

Now some legal eagles have noted that as the ruling was made in a county court, it is not binding on other courts. But I think this is splitting hairs. 

Even before the York court case, some tenants had won out-of-court settlements after challenging adverts which openly banned benefit claimants.

The direction of traffic is clear: blanket bans that take no account of an individual’s circumstances are increasingly risky. A one-size-fits-all approach can leave a landlord exposed to the threat of legal action and one big headache.

Push to end “no DSS”

The term “no DSS” has been used in property listings for years to make it clear benefit recipients will not be considered for a tenancy.

It’s loathed by welfare charities who argue it should be a relic of the past. (History buffs take note the DSS – the Department for Social Security – ceased to exist back in 2001).

There are many reasons why historically some landlords have not rented to people on benefits. One is that some mortgages and insurance policies were invalidated if the tenant was on benefits. 

But things have changed. Many lenders, including the Co-operative, Nationwide and NatWest, have loosened buy-to-let mortgage restrictions that relate to benefits tenants. And the phrase “no DSS” has been banned by property portals Zoopla and Rightmove. 

Covid-19 Benefits

During this pandemic I’m sure we would all agree that the majority of ‘employed’ people in the private sector across the country are receiving some form of benefit via a government scheme designed to protect their own jobs and their employers.

Both tenants and landlords have also been protected as a result of the government introducing rent and mortgage repayment holidays.

I suppose you could say 'most people are on benefits'.

Finding the right tenant for your property

Understandably, a landlord wants to find a reliable and respectful tenant.

But slapping “no DSS” at the end of a property listing can be like hitting a walnut with a sledgehammer.

Who – other than a lawyer, of course – wants to get caught up in a legal dispute over the fine-print of the Equality Act 2010? 

So, please remember if you are a landlord looking for tenants PLEASE stop using the term ‘no DSS’. It is illegal and unwanted. 

Landlords and lettings agents can still conduct the usual referencing and credit checks on potential tenants. There are many people receiving benefits that still have a good credit rating.

Thanks for reading 

I am always happy to help sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants


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01777 237310 or message 07981 744003