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A directory of the prime movers at the top of the property market.

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  • Sales Manager
    Dove & Hawk are looking for a Sales Manager to run an established Far East residential sales desk. Our boutique International client operate across 50+ countries, providing property services to an UHNW client base. The company specialise in providing their clients with access to high-quality off market new build schemes throughout London with a portfolio
  • Sales Director
    Dove & Hawk have been instructed by one of the leading global boutique property firms to recruit an experienced Sales Director for their office in Hong Kong. It is essential you are proficient in Mandarin and/or Cantonese and have had experience working for a developer or agent. You will be used to handling high-profile clients
  • Lettings Negotiator
    Chestertons is advertising a Lettings Negotiator job in South Kensington. Full details and how to apply here
  • Senior Researcher
    Savills is looking for a Senior Researcher to join the team. Full details and how to apply here  
  • Property Manager (Maternity Cover)
    A fantastic opportunity has arisen at a leading, upmarket independent estate agency with a large network of offices throughout London. Our client is currently looking for an experienced Property Manager to join their multi award-winning company at their primary located office based in Westminster. Full details and how to apply here
  • Lettings Manager
    We have an exciting opportunity available with this independent estate agency who have an in-depth knowledge of the local and surrounding market. The company Directors were born and bred in the local area, giving the company a distinct insight into the local property market. Full details and how to apply here
  • Lettings Negotiator
    An excellent opportunity has become available within the Lettings department at the Chelsea office of this well-established and well-respected Central London estate agency. Full details and how to apply here
  • Lettings Manager
    Strutt & Parker is advertising a Lettings Manager role in Notting Hill. Full details and how to apply here
  • Creative Director – Interior Design
    A Prime Central London based Interior Design firm are seeking a Creative Director, with a strong design background, to grow and drive the business forward. The Director should have a keen eye for design and will have full responsibility for the creative direction of the company whilst maintaining the day to day management of the
  • Sales Negotiator
    Carter Jonas’ Wandsworth office is now seeking an experienced Sales Negotiator. Full details and how to apply here

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Paper Fail: ‘If tax doesn’t kill the market, red tape will’

“If tax doesn’t kill the market, red tape will,” growls Alan Page, as a deal becomes mired in an absurd paperwork swamp. As the rather derisory offer for our...

“If tax doesn’t kill the market, red tape will,” growls Alan Page, as a deal becomes mired in an absurd paperwork swamp.

As the rather derisory offer for our house stutters somewhat lifelessly towards a still very unpredictable conclusion, it’s no longer Osborne’s rip-off tax-take that’s likely to kill it. It’s the unbelievable volume of red tape.

Like most things, property has become mired in a bog of meaningless paperwork designed, apparently, to protect a feckless population from its own common sense.

Obtaining a mortgage is now a Kafkaesque farce (or should that be nightmare). Even successful city types with bonus-pots to die for face a wall of inane enquiries utterly irrelevant to their ability to maintain the monthly repayments. These are people who on a daily basis probably invest multiple millions, but are not trusted to know their own position well enough to borrow even a relatively small percentage of a property’s value.

Things may have been in need of a slight tightening after the “crash”, but this is murderous strangulation.

When it comes to the property itself, the level of paperwork sought by ever more zealous lawyers is bordering on the insane.

I would not be in the least surprised to be asked to guarantee my buyer’s happiness in the house.

Asked for a warranty on the whole heating system (bear in mind that this is a small, two bed house) I simply replied – yes, I guarantee that it has one.

I’ve heard of insulating a property, but now it seems the buyer must be insulated too – from every known risk, every known potential problem, every known unknowable.

We have supplied planning permissions, building regs certification, electrical safety certification, gas safety certification… and still the requirements keep coming in.

“Did you have Conservation Area permission to replace the roof?”. Well, you pointless box-ticking robot, I’ve given you a ten year roof guarantee and, if we hadn’t replaced it, the thing would probably have collapsed on your buyer’s head. So, what would you prefer? I bit of A4 paper, or a rather beautiful new roof?

In truth, our transaction is not remotely complex or fraught with too many problems. There is absolutely nothing that a conversation face-to-face between myself and the buyer could not iron out.

But no, that’s simply not the “done thing”. So we’ll keep bouncing bits of digital paperwork around the global servers of Google until some sort of conclusion is finally reached.

What that will be I have absolutely no idea. And it certainly doesn’t come with a guarantee.

kafka groven

Image by Harald Groven: Author Franz Kafka and sociologist and founder of bureacuracy research Max Weber (CC by SA 2.0)

Catch up on all the latest from the Doer Upper (a.k.a. Alan Page) at his blog here, or follow him on Twitter @beachcomberpage

The views of contributors are not necessarily those of PrimeResi or its publishers.

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