How to refurbish and let 18 houses within four months

Challenge: In Autumn 2019 Sentinel were approached to quote on the letting and management of a residential estate in Buckinghamshire. The project consisted of 28 properties on an old military base.

Although the individual properties were in generally good condition all needed some level of modernisation. The site is approached by a relatively small local road that passes between new chain wire fencing.

Electrical contractors:  Woodward Group Derbyshire

Construction contractors: K Construction Company London

Once the site is reached there are large grassed areas with the occasional tree and bushes and has the feel of a hidden hamlet. The properties are generously proportioned and are a mix of large 4 bedroom bungalows and 2+1 or 3 bedroom terraced houses in small blocks.

Every property has attractive outside space and the aspect of a mini-community in a rural setting whilst being only minutes from a major motorway.

What did the refurbishment include?

A whole revamp of existing plumbing and electrical work. This included installing new appliances such as boilers and lighting.

The general condition of these homes was poor, especially the exterior features such as roofing and windows.

During the refurbishment, developers had to come up with fresh ideas to keep the property up to date and as easy to maintain as possible.

One of the ways this was done was by changing the roofing from common tile roofing, to flat rubber roofing for a number of reasons, the main one being the durability and minimal maintenance.

 

Solution – The project involved a complete project management process including:

  • recommendations on the level of restoration
  • management of the restoration, marketing the property
  • hiring commercial cleaners
  • finding and vetting potential tenants
  • tenancy agreements
  • and the smooth transition of the tenants taking procession of the property plus the ongoing management of the site including public area garden maintenance

The Sentinel team produced a simple single solution proposal that encompassed all the elements with one single price. The clients appreciated the simplicity of the Sentinel’s proposal and accepted it in its entirety.

Due to the location of the property, there were some security issues so marketing had to be fairly general – no property or location graphics or specific location. Sentinel marketed the site using floor plans, good design of the adverts and general information about the area.

Applicants were then invited to an Open House – this resulted in a number of tenants signing up and 4/5 referrals from viewers to friends and contacts. Phase one was soon fully occupied.

Phase two followed shortly and all properties were let. Phase three saw the last tenant moving in at the end of May 2019.

Outcomes: 

  • 18 properties modernised and ready for letting
  • Tenants secured for every property
  • A quick return on investment for the client

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