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Yesterday was an important day in Melton Mowbray’s food calendar, it was the British Pie Awards, which was held in the stunning venue of St Mary’s Church.  Bentons take great joy in supporting such local events, which highlight our ‘Rural Capital of Food’.  Two of our team had the very tough job of joining the team of judges for the day!  Andrea and Clare started the day judging the Bentons sponsored class, Dessert Pies and wrapped the day up helping the team judge the Steak Pie entries. A very lovely day enjoyed by all.


At Bentons, we have seen an incredible start to the year which flies in the face of pundits expectations regarding the property market. There have been a considerable number of new vendors which has kept the supply of new property to the market well stocked. This in itself has generated a superb level of interest from buyers, both existing and new.

Whilst most people are not mentioning Brexit this remains an uncertainty that is unpredictable to say the least. We anticipate that with the increased level of stock and goodwill from both buyers and sellers, we should see a robust market for the rest of this year.


At Bentons, we understand the importance of selling your home.  That is why we employ five accompanied viewing specialists within our company, these friendly, efficient and knowledgeable ladies live locally and know the area like the back of their hand.

You will see our accompanied viewing specialists darting around the county in the Benton’s Mini! Many of our clients prefer us to show prospective buyers around the property, this usually gains a much more honest and open reaction from potential buyers on the viewing appointment.  This enables us to provide more detailed and useful feedback to people selling their home.

If you would like to hear more about our complete viewing service, or receive a free valuation from one of our experts, please get in touch.


Bentons are proud once again to be participating in this years Melton Mowbray Christmas tree festival!  Held at the beautiful Saint Mary‘s Parish Church in the centre of Melton Mowbray, Bentons will have a Christmas tree carefully decorated and presented by members of our team. Following the success of last year’s theme ‘Santas Magic Key’ we have decided to do the same again this year!

Bentons tree will be decorated with a number of Santas magic keys, children are invited to take one home to leave out for Santa on the big night so he can get in to leave presents! There will also be bags of ‘reindeer food’ which will almost certainly be eaten by birds, if not, Reindeer!

The Christmas Tree Festival begins on Friday, 30 November at 9am for the general public and continues through until Tuesday, 4 December, there will be music by The Hathern Brass Band and mulled wine and mince pies on offer at certain times!  Pictured with keys and reindeer food are Lizzie Evans and Richard Harrison of the Bentons team.


As one of the largest selling agents in Leicestershire, we strongly believe in providing the highest quality of marketing with maximum coverage across our region for the benefit of our clients. We have an unrivalled presence in a number of regional newspapers across Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and as our brand appeal broadens, we have decided to invest further in press marketing. Grantham Journal is particularly well read and provides superb coverage within Grantham itself and the surrounding area, we have enjoyed an increased level of property instructions to market in this area and we feel the time is right to increase our marketing presence particularly in this location. We have a great number of buyers registered who are particularly looking to purchase in this area, largely due to the historic architecture and appeal of the vernacular stone buildings, as well as the bustling town centre Grantham and its excellent train link to London, with many buyers registered coming from our Park Lane, London office. We are excited about the prospect of increasing advertising coverage for existing clients and helping new home sellers and purchasers to move on with their property plans.


Now that we have passed the halfway mark in the year, the property market is well and truly in full swing with buyers and sellers very active in the current marketplace. Buyers have an eye for a good property, paying strong prices for the very best houses in the most desirable areas. This success in various geographical pockets of the market has caused the market to move along at a rapid pace during 2018.

We urge potential sellers to be realistic when pricing their property if they wish to obtain a sale before Christmas. The strong property market has caused some estate agents and sellers to over estimate the likely sale price, causing many vendors to become disappointed with their properties languishing on the market at an otherwise busy time. It is vital you seek an expert opinion when pricing your property in order not to ‘over price’ but also to make sure you are obtaining the very best sale price, particularly if you live in a desirable location, the experts at Benton’s can help you achieve this.


Save the Children – Christmas Jumper Day 2017

Bentons Estate Agents are taking part in this year’s Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save the Children Charity. The staff at Bentons based in Melton Mowbray will be donning their best and most outrageous Christmas Jumpers in aid of this superb charity!

Staff, clients, public, friends and family are invited to donate by texting the word TEAMBENTONS to 70050 to donate £5 to Save the Children. Further details can be found at


Bentons are proud to be supporting the St Mary’s Parish Church Christmas Tree Festival once again this year. This fantastic event is billed as the largest Christmas Tree Festival in the country with over 220 organisations taking part with over 1,340 Christmas trees! Bentons has been a leading Estate Agent in the town since 1972 and have been helping the people of Melton Mowbray move house in the town itself and around much of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

Mandy DiGioia, Sales Manager and Associate Director at Bentons commented “We are delighted to be having a Christmas Tree at this lovely event which attracts young and old alike, the team at Bentons are always enthusiastic when it comes to supporting local events and we look forward to seeing people there”

This year’s theme from Bentons is ‘Santa’s Magic Key’ where the tree will be decorated with Santa’s Magic keys, where children are invited to take a key from our tree (and a packet of Reindeer food!) and leave it outside for Santa on the big night! The festival runs from 1st December to 5th December 9am-5pm, Adults £2.00/Under 12’s Free.


The Chancellor has today responded to calls from Propertymark to exempt first time buyers in England from paying stamp duty on properties under £300,000.


Those buying a property between £300,000 and £500,000 will not pay stamp duty on the first £300,000.               


Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark said:

"The announcement today from the Government will have a positive impact on the market. It’s a smart move to ensure the dream of homeownership for young people can become a reality and will help buyers across the UK, including London and the South East where property prices are higher.   


"We do however need to realise that this move will increase the demand for first time buyer properties and if we don’t have the supply it will push prices up. We have seen this in areas where Help to Buy is offered, as it attracts a great deal of interest from first time buyers.


"In terms of the Government’s plans to build 300,000 new homes a year, it is yet another pledge to increase the number of new homes created. While we welcome this news, we have historically had these announcements from Government to accelerate housebuilding which has not been delivered. It is not a question of ‘how many’, it’s a question of ‘how’."               


While vowing to protect green belt land, other measures included an announcement that over the next five years the Government will commit a total of at least £44bn to capital funding, loans and guarantees to support the housing market - to deliver 300,000 net additional homes a year on average by the mid 2020s.


Other measures included committing an additional £1.5 billion to the Home Builders Fund to get SME housebuilders building again. £1.1bn was committed to unlocking strategic sites while a £630m fund will be introduced to help unstick the delivery of 40,000 homes at small sites.              


£8bn of new financial guarantees to support private housebuilding and the purpose built private rented sector were announced and local authorities were given the power to charge 100% council tax premiums on empty properties.


The Chancellor focused on homelessness, announcing investment of £28m in three 'housing first' pilots.  


HMRC has provided NAEA Propertymark members with a guide to the changes:        


Relief for first time buyers

A relief for first time buyers of residential properties costing no more than £500,000. First time buyers will pay no Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the first £300,000 of the purchase price, with the remainder being charged at 5%. No relief will be available where the total consideration exceeds £500,000.


The relief is not time limited and will apply to transactions with an effective date on or after 22 November 2017. Legislation will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2017 to 2018.


First time buyers can use the to work out their STLD liability.  To claim, relief code 32 should be entered at box 1.9 of SDLT return. If code 32 is entered on the online return, the return will calculate the tax due, except where the first time buyer is being granted a new lease.  In such cases the calculator should be used to work out the tax due.               


Changes to the filing and payment process

Following the announcement at Spring Budget 2017, the SDLT filing and payment window reduction from 30 days to 14 days would be delayed until after April 2018. It has been confirmed that the changes will apply to land transactions with an effective date on or after 1 March 2019. Improvements are planned to the SDLT return which aim to make compliance with the new time limit easier. Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2018 to 2019.   


Minor amendments to higher rates of SDLT

Minor amendments to provide relief in certain cases including:

  • where a divorce related court order prevents someone from disposing of their interest in a main residence
  • where a spouse or civil partner buys property from another spouse or civil partner
  • where a deputy buys property for a child subject to the Court of Protection
  • where a purchaser adds to their interest in their current main residence.


Additionally, legislation will be provided to prevent abuse of relief for replacement of a purchaser’s only or main residence by requiring the purchaser to dispose of the whole of their former main residence and to do so to someone who is not their spouse. The changes will apply from 22 November 2017. Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2017 to 2018.


ATED: 2018 to 2019 annual chargeable amounts

The Annual Tax Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) annual charges will rise 3% from 1 April 2018 in line with the September 2017 Consumer Prices Index. A Treasury Order confirming the charges will be published shortly after Budget.


The new rates will be:


Property Value

Annual chargeable amounts for the 2017 to 2018 chargeable period

Annual chargeable amounts for the 2018 to 2019 chargeable period

£500,001 to £1,000,000



£1,000,001 to £2,000,000



£2,000,001 to £5,000,000



£5,000,001 to £10,000,000



£10,000,001 to £20,000,000



£20,000,0001 and over




SD/SDRT/SDLT: Resolution of financial institutions

Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2018 to 2019 to ensure that Stamp Duty, Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) are not chargeable twice on exercise of resolution powers under the UK special resolution regime for managing failing financial institutions.


The exemption will be limited to the temporary transfer of shares or land to a bridge entity and the transfer of shares in exchange for temporary certificates issued to creditors that identify their entitlement to the shares. This will simplify and strengthen the process of resolving a failed financial institution and help to ensure that the “no creditor worse off” principle is upheld. The change will have effect on and after Royal Assent of Finance Bill 2018 to 2019.


SDRT: 1.5% charge on the issue of shares

The Government will continue to not apply the Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) 1.5% charge on the issue of shares (and transfers integral to capital raising) into overseas clearance services and depositary receipt issuers following the UK’s exit from the European Union.


Following a Court of Justice of the EU judgement in the case of HSBC Holdings PLC and Vidacos Nominee Ltd v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) (C569/07) and a subsequent First Tier Tribunal judgement in the case of HSBC Holdings PLC and the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs [2012] UKFTT 163 (TC), HMRC accepts that the charge is incompatible with the Capital Duty Directive.






Mark Hayward FNAEA

Chief Executive NAEA Propertymark

Credit for blog article: NAEA Propertymark 


We’ve just returned from yet another educational and entertaining Relocation Agent Network National Conference and Exhibition. The day was jam-packed with top tips and recommendations to help us guide our buying and selling customers through the housing market here in Leicestershire.

Taking place on 17 November at London’s Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, we heard from a whole line-up of business experts: top business consultant and former Managing Director of Robert Half International, Jeff Grout;
Hamish Taylor, founder of the Skills Exchange Network, which enables organisations to achieve innovations by looking outside their industry; and economist, Roger Martin-Fagg.

This year’s event saw a brand new format, with the introduction of speed sharing roundtables and workshops, each one hosted by an expert in their field. From lettings and compliance, to effective phone calls and employee engagement, the new format gave delegates the opportunity to choose the topics that they wanted to learn more about.

The event culminated in a black tie Awards Dinner hosted by well-known comedian and TV presenter, Sue Perkins, who presented awards to the night’s winning estate agents.

What does OUR Network membership mean to YOU?
The team at Relocation Agent Network search England, Scotland and Wales for estate agents to represent their Network. To be exclusively invited to join, we had to be Leicestershire's leading agent in quality of service, local knowledge and professionalism.

So Relocation Agent Network has chosen us, why wouldn’t you? Contact us today on 01664 563892


As the year draws into its final quarter, we reflect on the activity within the housing market both locally and nationally. Prices achieved on property has remained strong, this has been due to a lack of housing stock available and favourable mortgage rates still on offer. Homes in the very best locations, priced realistically have proved to be most popular. Asking prices continue to rise, albeit at a much slower rate, giving sellers the confidence to bring their property to the market. On average we have achieved around 98% of asking prices for our clients, with an average time to sell of less than a month.

For the coming year, we envisage a steady flow of new instructions coming to the market with sellers being aware of the need for accurate pricing in a market place that is stabilising. It is vital that you canvass the opinion of the expert valuation team here at Bentons, to ensure the optimum result on the sale of your property, through our unrivalled advertising and bespoke marketing campaigns.