Venture Properties Blog

The importance of property inventories

We strongly believe and advise all landlords that having a professional inventory carried out is essential when renting out your property. Here’s why..

 How do we do our inventories?

 Our inventories are done professionally and thoroughly by a trained member of staff. They combine a written element of each room, as well as accompanying photographs. We also take meter readings for gas, electricity and water (if applicable).

 What else does the inventory cost pay for?

 Our inventories provide good value for money and pay for a variety of things. Firstly, the inventory is very thorough and time-consuming, taking anywhere from between 1 and 4 hours, depending on the size of the property. When the Tenant moves in, we will also inform all of the utility suppliers for you, as well as the local Council Tax office and Northumbrian Water. When the Tenant moves out, we will meet with them at the property to go through the original inventory and ensure it has been left clean and tidy. If there are any issues with it, we will resolve the disputes using the Deposit Protection Scheme, which saves you lots of time and energy. We will also inform utility suppliers of final meter readings, as well as letting the Council Tax office and Northumbrian Water know your Tenant has vacated.

 My property is unfurnished. Do I still need an inventory?

 The answer to this question is a resounding ‘Yes’. Some Landlords believe because their property is unfurnished, they do not need an inventory. This is not the case. What about the carpets, walls, kitchen units, any white goods, skirting boards, ceiling, windows, banisters, blinds and curtains, locks and handles etc? What if it’s not been cleaned? The list goes on.

 What happens if I don’t have a professionally done inventory and the Tenant causes damage to my property?

 Without a professionally prepared inventory, any damage caused by the Tenant whilst in your property will be impossible to prove if the Tenant disputes your findings as there is no evidence as to the condition of the property before the tenant moved into it.  This means that the potential losses for a Landlord runs into the thousands of pounds.

 Can I do my own inventory instead?

Yes, you can but Tenancy Deposit Schemes where the Tenant’s bond is registered do not look favourably on inventories that are not done to a professional standard and that don’t include both written elements and photographic evidence, dates and signatures. The majority of invnetories that we have seen that have prepared by landlords are not done properly and do not contain information that a redress Scheme would rely upon. These Schemes have also have stated they prefer inventories that have been prepared by third parties.



MacMillan coffee morning success!

Each year all of our offices participate in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support, a fabulous charity which we have always been very proud to be associated with. Early this year we bacame the official sponsors and charity fundraisers of MacMillan and we aim to raise more money over the next 9 months with other fundrasing events.

After last year’s coffee morning we raised a fabulous £2,863, and a figure we were all determined to better this time round. We’re delighted to confirm that by the skin of our teeth we have managed to exceed that amount as this year’s total came in at £2,920.

We’d obviously like to thank a lot of people without whom, these coffee mornings wouldn’t be the success they are. All the people who donated their time and baked fantastic cakes, pies, biscuits, sausage rolls (the list is endless!) the local businesses who again have been so genrous in offering great prizes for the raffle. Special thanks must go to DMA Law who not only helped us by selling raffle tickets they also donated a wonderful food hamper for the second year running,the people who donated money and attended the coffe morning (some had been to be more than one) & bought tickets for the raffle, and thanks to our great team for all their hard work in putting this together and workig so hard throughout the morning.

RAFFLE WINNERS DARLINGTON  Hamper from DMA Law -  Susie Cosgrove  £100 restaurant voucher – Donna (Ali’s work) Day pass Alnwick castle – Patricia Franklin  Flowers from Eliza Blooms – Colin Meads  Gold day 4 ball Blackwell – John Ainslie  Hairdressing by Mojoa – Karen  Professional photo session with Stan Seaton – Jane Turner  Westpark Cafe voucher – Jacqui   Rockcliffe Hall Afternoon tea for two – Julie Mathieson   port – Lisa Ridehalgh Bottle of champagne – Boilers UK  Elan Clothing – Carol –  Gallerina   Box of chocs & bottle of wine – Mr Cardwell DMA Law   Cartride world voucher – Louise’s mam   Meat voucher from Fenwick’s butchers – Carol – Gallerina

RAFFLE WINNERS CHESTER LE STREET  12 month family ticket for Alnwick Castle – Tom, Franks Free conveyance – Joyce Openshaw £30 voucher for Davincis Italian Restaurant – Pat Stables £20 voucher for Wagamama Asian Restaurant – Andrew Beck Tea for two at Rockcliffe Hall – Tom, Franks Voucher for a cut and blow dry from Headmasters – Debbie Turner Voucher for a treatment at Creations, Nail and Beauty – Noreen Oliver Boquet of Flowers – Marian Teasdale Luxury Hamper – Judy Thompson Six bottles of wine – Sean, Market Golf Brolley – Tom, Davincis


Luxury Hamper Pink 51-55 James
Meal for 2 at Corner House Green 636-640 Liz Mean
Staples Woodcraft Hamper Blue 191-195 Lia Banks
Escape Cut and Finish Yellow 536-540 Meg Barrass
Philosophy Blow Dry Blue 11-15 Tara Barras
Ria Hair cut and blow dry Blue 371-375 Sharon Barker
Foxs Biscuits Pink 101-105 Les Young
Personal Training Session Green 426-430 Young Albert
Marks & Spencer Chocolates Blue 496-500 Mrs Dunn
Quality Street Green 451-455 Albert Senior
Champagne Yellow 711-715 Anne Dobinson
Yankee Candle Blue 406-410 Kelly Stephens
Venture Hamper Pink 96-100 Margaret Smith
Sunderland Dogs Tickets Yellow 506-510 Freda Dixon
Milk Tray Green 541-545 Molly Raine
Meal for two at Green Green 741-745 Harold Rochester
Bottle of Wine Blue 156-160 Melanie Smith
Sunderland Dogs Tickets Blue 226-230 Stephen Staples
Sweet Hamper Pink 6-10 Mark Garthwaite
Meal for two at Farrers Blue 286-290 Stephen Staples
Car Valet Yellow 591-595 Tracy Wilkinson
Lucky Dip for Lotto Green 406-410 Sarah Richardson
Spotty Dog Wine Charms Green 776-780 Harold Rochester
Crook Hall Season Ticket Blue 421-425 Teresa Barrass
Box Of Thorntons Chocolates Yellow 561-565 Margaret Blakey
Sunderland Dogs Tickets Pink 71-75 Lynn Staples
Box of Black Magic Green 576-570 Eric
Spotty Dog Ceramic Plaque Blue 51-55 Mark Banks
Boiler Service Chris Penfould Blue 101-105 Clare Thompson
Dairy Box Blue 201-205 Lisa Little
Bottle Of Wine Green 801-805 Brenda
Sunderland Dogs Tickets Yellow 556-560 Marion
Sunderland Dogs Tickets Green 436-440 Billy
Sunderland Dogs Tickets Blue 391-395 Catherine




macmillan logo


Our new office at Durham is now OPEN

We’re delighted to announce that we have now opened our fifth office at 4 New Elvet in Durham City.

Durham is vibrant and beautiful location and is an area that we’ve worked hard to expand into for some time. We’re thrilled that we now have the opportunity to work from here and we’re really looking forward to helping people move within the city.

To celebrate the launch of the new office we’re running an opening promotional offer for a limited time where we have 50% off all fees, so if you’re thinking of selling, renting, buying or letting, call in for a coffee and see what we can offer you.

The office will be open 9 x 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and is headed by Todd Armstrong. Todd has worked in this industry for eleven years and has spent most of them working in Durham so knows the area and the market extremely well. 

 He can be contacted on 0191 372 9797 or email


Todd photoDurham office photo internal


Adam re-joins our Darlington sales team

We’re delighted to announce that Adam Pomoroy has re-joined our sales team at our Darlington office after working abroad in Abu Dhabi for a number of years. Adam will assist with valuations and will also work as a sales consultant within the office.

Adam had spent several years working within our sales team before embarking on new career experience on sunnier shores.  Prior to working with us Adam worked for a corporate agent in Darlington so he has a wealth of experience in his field.

“I  had a fantastic experience working in Abu Dhabi but when this opportunity arose I knew I wanted to return and work again with a great bunch of people and with a dynamic and forward thinking Company” said Adam.

Our Director Carl Jenkinson said “We’re absolutely delighted Adam has re-joined the team. He brings so much enthusiasm and experience with him. He’s joining a really strong sales team so that takes a bit of the pressure off him!”



Six tips to remember as a landlord

Being a landlord can be a pretty stressful experience. At Venture, we’ve always said that a good relationship between landlord and tenant is the key to a better all round letting experience. Here are our top tips to ensure your relationship with your tenant runs smoothly ensuring that all parties are happy with the tenancy more times than they are not:

1. Employ the right Agent. Look at the locality, does the agent you have in mind have a good presence in the area? Go in and talk to them and see how they work. We always encourage our landlords to call in for a coffee so that we can show them how we do various tasks and so we can answer any questions. This experience alone should have a massive impact on whether you feel comfortable dealing with them. Another tip is to know where their office is. Ask yourself, is it easy to get to? what is the footfall like? Do they outsource their property management to a ‘call centre’?   Do your research, after all you are trusting them with one of greatest assets.

2. Agree to necessary repairs quickly. Nothing niggles a tenant more than repairs that never seem to be completed. It’s one of the main reasons why a tenant ends up giving notice. Get repairs looked at quickly and sorted.

3. Set the rent at a fair price. Ok, so everyone wants the best price they can get but offering the property at a fair price, means that the tenant is likely to stay longer and you’ll get less voids. Voids can strip profit quicker than anything else. Tenants don’t want to leave fair landlords who keep rents affordable and are quick to repair any issues.

4. Forget family and friends. It may seem harsh but moving in a relative or friend rarely works out. We’ve seen it countless times. Renting your property is a business transaction and should be treated as such, family and friends and tenants blur the lines and often ask for ‘favours’ in realtion to rent payments etc…. a road worth avoiding

5. Check the property over before marketing it. Would you move into a house with dirty carpets and a dirty oven? a tenant doesn’t want to either. Always look critically at your property before it goes to market. If there is a garden, make sure the grass is cut. If a wall looks like it needs a coat of paint, it probably does. If you don’t do this, it migfht look like you don’t care too much about your property. Not a good signal to send out to a new tenant about to move in.

6. Reward good tenants. Ever thought of reducing the rent slightly for a good tenant that always pays on time and you never hear from? Might seem radical but we’ve experienced this several times resulting in a long tenancy with no void periods. Does the same tenant want a new kitchen? Offer this if they have been loyal and paid their rent on time in return for them signing a 12 or 18 month lease. After all a new kitchen will only enhance the propertythe next time it’s on the market

Venture sponsor Hummersknott Active

Hummersnott Active is a scheme that runs in the community at Hummersnott School allowing children aged between 4 and 16 to attend and engage in playing and learning about new sports under the supervision of staff.

During term time the scheme operates on week nights but during the holidays it opens from 9.30 until 4pm each weekday. Some, but not all of the sports that take place include  football, netball, badminton, tennis, gymnastics and trampolining,

 We thought it would be a really good idea to sponsor this during the holidays and enable Hummersknott Active to bring in sports coaches to teach the children about their sports and assist them with their techniques. We also hope that in doing this kids won’t be stay in front of tv’s on video games all day. Parents who work will also have somewhere to take them where they will be supervised and where they can enjoy playing and learning sports.


IMG_0054     Hummersknott Active manager Stephen Cheeseman and  James Brannan our Lettings valuer

Things to do before your viewing

First impressions are everything and it’s said that a potential buyer viewing your property will make up their mind as to whether they like it within the first minute of walking in. That’s why it’s so important to get things right from the beginning. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in your house and you need to help them see that. Forget about ‘leaving it to their imagination’  most people, although they hate to admit it, cannot see past what is in front of them, so getting things right from the start will help sell your property. The homes that are the best presented are always the first to sell.  These are some tips to assist you:


Flowers – Fresh flowers bring a room to life. Use them in vases in some of your rooms. They’re a lovely focal point.

Kerb appeal - Make sure the grass is cut and the garden is tidy and put the wheelie bin out of the way (and never at the front of the house unless it’s in a proper storage facility – it’s one of the first things people notice)

Pets don’t sell houses -We may be a nation of animal lovers but if you own a pet ensure there is no trace of it before any viewing.  That’s no smells, no food bowls, no dog beds. Keep them out of sight in the boot of the car.

Paint the fence or the front door - An area often overlooked. Do this and then look again at your property.  It will make all the difference and will freshen things up and make the entrance clean and smart  (remember first impressions?)

Make sure all DIY jobs have been completed - Buyers like the comfort of buying a house they can move straight into, if you think you should replace or clean a carpet, then generally that means you do.

De-clutter – Buyers are looking to see how much space they’ll have. Don’t have stuff everywhere, let buyers see the space available in each room.

Make bedrooms, bedrooms -  If your bedroom is an office, turn it back into a bedroom. It may work for you but buyers will want to see it can accommodate a bed and drawers. If they can’t it will leave a negative

question in their heads, “it was a lovely house but will we get a bed in that third room…?”

Gardens – If it’s a decent day, set up a garden table and chairs for lunch or tea. Sell the idea of how nice that will look to someone else



We are official sponsors and charity fundraisers for MacMillan Cancer Support

We are delighted and very proud to announce that we have become MacMillan Cancer Support’s official charity and fundraiser for the next twelve months. We have been working with this amazing organisation for several years now and we have set ourselves a target of raising  £5,000, which is the equivalent of keeping the centre at Darlington Memorial Hospital running for 70 hours

The cancer support unit is staffed by volunteers, but has a part time manager and needs to continually update its cancer information literature to help people make informed choices about their treatment and care.

The centre also offers practical advice and solutions for the everyday problems that can arise from living with cancer, as well as providing emotional support.

To help fund its work, we will undertake a variety of fundraising activities, including a £10 donation to Macmillan from every property sale and let listedwe list during June.  Later this year,  some of our team will also be running in marathons to support MacMillan.

We’re proud to say we have raised £7,000 for the charity in previous years and are determined to continue to promote this fabulous charity.

“I am very excited that they have chosen Macmillan as their official charity this year and we look forward to working with them again.”


The Northern Echo: Carl Jenkinson from Darlington Venture and Michelle Muir fundraising manager for County Durham, with (back row) Michael O'Connor, Lynne Stephenson and Julie Masson all from Venture branches
Carl Jenkinson from Darlington Venture and Michelle Muir fundraising manager for County Durham, with (back row) Michael O’Connor, Lynne Stephenson and Julie Masson all from Venture branches

Crook office welcome Lisa’s appointment

Our Crook branch  is enjoying great success in the local housing market with listings, sales and lets continuing to increase and so recently in order to help the team with the demand for it’s services, the Royal Corner store has appointed Lisa Colling, pictured, who has joined as a Sales consultant from a large corporate agency.

Lisa has worked in the area, and within the property industry, for years and has an  immense amount of energy, property experience, enthusiasm and professionalism to drive the business even further.  She will be a great asset to the team



Two questions to consider when selling or letting your property

We understand that once you’ve decided to sell or rent your property, finding that buyer or tenant quickly and with the least amount of stress possible is something everyone wants to see.

During the last few weeks we’ve seen sales and lets secured very quickly for our clients in all of our branches.  Our Chester le Street office sold Falstone Drive within two days of it going to market in the middle of April and Netherton Close let in just one day on the 28th April.

This emphasises two vital questions

Choosing the right agent is vital – Do your homework. Who is selling properties in your area?  Ask your potential agent questions. Good agents like being asked questions.  How long are they open?  how would they sell your property? what do they do differently? why do they think that you should sell with them? will they stick a for sale board in the garden and hope for the best? (believe it or not some agents still do this!)

Test them. Call the agent and see how long it takes for them to answer the phone or reply to an email.

Get the price right from the start – Don’t always go for the highest valuation, sometimes it’s worth resisting that temptation. Ask the agent why they think your property is worth what they are saying. A good agent will be answer this question easily. Properties that are over valued are often overlooked by buyers. Buyers do their homework and they will know. Don’t forget you need to hit the ground running when you go to market. A lot more people will look at your property within the first three weeks of it going to market than at any other time.

Get these two points right from the start and you could sell or rent your property quickly.