South West London

News, events, tips and advice on SW London

Weather Proofing Your Home


CLA140283_062.jpgAfter one of the warmest winters in memory, a cold snap is upon us and the mercury is plummeting. This is the time of year when the structure of a property is put to the test; a combination of freezing conditions outside and heating systems being set to maximum inside pushes the capability of pipes, brickwork and mould resistance. Moreover, it’s a time when most energy is likely to be wasted from inefficient heating systems.

When the weather gets cold there are a number of measures you can take to protect your home and minimise the size of your energy bill. As London estate agents we see a great many properties pass under our radar, and have gathered a few tips on the best ways to keep the harsh weather away from your door, both structurally and financially.

Act quickly

It always pays to act quickly to prevent small issues from becoming large ones, so getting into the habit of responding quickly to things as seemingly small scale as a dripping tap or an individual missing roof tile will save you significant trouble later on as well as saving you money. Small measures such as regularly airing rooms to prevent mould or regularly checking guttering for buildup of leaves, will become habit and prevent larger issues.


A more effective long term measure than checking for sediment buildup is investing in a grate to install at the mouth of your drainpipes. If leaves clog the pipes they are liable to become blocked, leading to spillages or – in the case of cold weather – cracked pipes. Regular gutter checks are also advisable – our Angel department is on hand if you’re looking for advice on reliable contractors to do the job.

Boiler checks

Maintaining your boiler and keeping an eye on its condition is essential in winter – if yours is over ten years old it is more liable to develop issues leading to waste of energy and money. Moreover, older boilers are at greater risk of developing potentially hazardous faults, so the longer you’ve had yours the more important it is that you schedule a regular MOT. Sometimes spending money on a new boiler is the only option-doing so is an investment that will pay off in the long run as newer boilers are more fuel efficient. It’s also important to look out for irregular behaviour such as a differently coloured flame- and don’t forget to install a Carbon Monoxide detector.

Radiator bleeds

Sometimes air bubbles can get trapped in your radiator, causing them to work inefficiently. Bleeding your radiator is a relatively simple job you can learn to do using a handy guide from British Gas – though if you’re unsure we’re happy to recommend a plumber.

Loft insulation

Loft insulation is another large scale job which will pay off long term. Insulation will prevent a large percentage of your home’s heat loss, and a properly insulated home combined with double-glazing will prevent mould. If you are caught out without insulation, consider investing

in the short term in draft excluders – both the kind you can prop in front of your door and the more effective professional window excluders. Like installing a new boiler, insulating your loft will add value to your home if you’re selling or renting it.

Brickwork and roof tiles

It’s important to act on cracked brickwork or damaged roof tiles and to seek expert help with external damage, however small, to your property – the cost of a small job could prevent an expensive leak later on. Check the condition of your brickwork regularly and make sure the exterior of your home is kept in good condition.

The team of London Estate Agents at James Pendleton deal regularly with a range of questions relating to property maintenance.  If you have a question about weather proofing your home, contact them here.


FFK Dynamos – sponsored by James Pendleton

Last year James Pendleton became the proud sponsors of FFK Dynamos, a team of promising young footballers based in Wandsworth. We keep in touch with the team and will bring regular updates on their achievements and exploits to our news page.

The latest update covers October and November. During this period the team of damp conditions and school holidays the Dynamos have played a turbulent round of matches with mixed results. The adaptability and skill of this new team has been put truly to the test, as this report from the team’s manager Morgan Garfield proves.

Blazers v Dynamos

In seasonal style November started with fireworks. A local derby away to Balham Blazers saw a tense, end to end, match with the Dynamos holding on to win 5-4.

The boys started well on a smaller than normal pitch, storming into an early two-nil lead. Then Blazers though back and took a 3-2 lead. As the team’s changed end there was a pep talk from coach Stuart and a new impetus that saw the Dynamos score two great goals. Yet in the pouring rain they were not home and dry, the Blazers got back to 5-4 and, with anxious squawks from the touch lines, they bombarded the Dynamo goal for the remaining minutes narrowly failing to find the equaliser.

Dynamos v Tigers

Having beaten the Blazers the Dynamos welcomed top of the league Lambeth Tigers to a wet and windy Wandsworth Common. Sadly, the weather was the least of their problems as a Tigers hurricane wreaked havoc!

Passing the ball and moving more like a team of professionals than eight year olds the Tigers put on an amazing display. The Dynamos battled hard but despite their efforts were no match for the boys from Brixton, finally going down 14-2.

Next week brings the first round of the cup. Unfortunately, the draw sees the Dynamos have a re-match away at the Tigers. It will be quite a turn-around if the Dynamos can produce a shock, they will need every bit of power from their James Pendleton Ironman shirts.

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Taking on the league leaders is a challenge for any team and it’s safe to say that the Dynamos have work to do to beat the Tigers – but we see nothing but promise from these hardworking newcomers. Keep visiting the James Pendleton news page for further updates on the Dynamos’ progress.

Aaron McKibbin wins first European medal

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We were delighted to hear some great news this month for Wandsworth born Paralympic medallist Aaron McKibbin.

The professional table tennis player, who is sponsored by our team of London estate agents, is working towards a medal at the upcoming Rio 2016 Paralympics after winning Bronze at London 2012.

McKibbin’s recent battle to advance through the league tables took place in Denmark at the European championships. With countries from across the continent vying to gain as much leverage as possible prior to Rio competition was, understandably, fiercely fought – and being seeded 6th prior to the event a medal did not seem likely for the Wandsworth local.

True to form, though, McKibbin made an impressive leap up the leaderboard with a bronze medal. Medals at this stage – and particularly at this event, the last major tournament prior to Rio – are highly sought after and an indicator of the ones to watch.

As McKibbin’s sponsors our team of London estate agents couldn’t be prouder of the achievements of this local boy ‘done good’. The athlete’s next stop is the even more fiercely fought China open which serves as a qualifier for Rio – we wish Aaron the best of luck in this next – and most important – stage of his journey.

Thought you saw Iron Man running around Wandsworth Common this weekend?

Well you may not have gone totally crazy.
Saturday morning saw the unveiling of the James Pendleton sponsored FFK Dynamos football team’s new kit, with the design inspired by Tony Stark and Iron Man.
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FFK Dynamos are the new Under 8’s team affiliated to Fit For Kids, a community football club based on Wandsworth Common. With the generous sponsorship of James Pendleton we have been able to create an Under 8’s team for the first time and they will play in the FA South London league.
The season kick-off for real next Saturday with a fixture against Tooting Park Rangers but this week saw a friendly pre-season tournament involving the Dynamos alongside AFC Wandsworth, Tooting Park Rangers, Clapham Rangers and another team from Fit for Kids. There was great excitement as more than 50 local boys all about to go into Year 3 at school started their football careers. Who knows if we were watching a future David Beckham but everyone was having a great time and giving their all.
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The Dynamos powered by their new JP shirts had a great day and with one more training session to come on Wednesday are massively up for their first match. Wandsworth Common Cricket pitch at 12pm next Saturday for anyone who wants to say “I was there” for the first ever game.
 Article written by Morgan Garfield

Property sets new record in Tooting

A property in Tooting, South West London has sold for an incredible £50,000 above asking price.

The four bedroom Victorian terraced house on Chasefield road, SW17 not only far exceeded its expected sale price but also set a new record for property prices on the street.

“Chasefield road has been popular with buyers for a long time because of its proximity to Tooting Bec Common and attractive period family homes” says Rachelle Cramp, Sales Manager of James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Wandsworth Common office.

“This particular property is an outstanding one; it’s sunny and has a beautiful garden, it’s finished and decorated to a high standard and it features a loft conversion. However, such a jump above asking price is also down to the huge influx of buyers we’re experiencing at the moment. The surge means our consultants are receiving large numbers of competitive offers .”

“The general shortage of homes on the market and the rise in confidence after the election results means we’re seeing a high level of competition from potential purchasers, especially in well connected zone 2 and 3 areas like Tooting.”

“Our advice to potential vendors is to make a move now and take advantage of the current climate; this situation won’t last forever as time will likely even out the disparity and we may well see an increase in new build numbers and proposals in the near future. If you’re looking to buy don’t be discouraged – there are still bargains to be had – but do speak to a trained sales consultant; an intimate knowledge of market trends will put you ahead of the competition.

To see pictures of the record-setting property on Chasefield Road visit James Pendleton’s website.

To request a valuation or contact James Pendleton click here.

Fresh sustainable fish in Battersea: Faircatch

Did you know that it takes between 6 and 13 days for fish caught for supermarkets to reach the shelves? Surprisingly this is a common boat-to-plate timescale and while such fish is not classed as rotten, the difference can definitely be tasted, seen and smelt.

Wandsworth fish suppliers Faircatch started up recently for precisely this reason. Current supermarket procedures not only impact on flavour but also on texture, nutritional value and, more widely, the environment. The reason supermarket fish is so ‘old’ is that it is sent to stores via a series of steps including sale in a fish market, factory gutting and cleaning and widespread distribution in lorries. Faircatch collects fish from day-boats on the south coast, which eliminates most of these steps (you can see this illustrated here).


Because all fish sold by Faircatch is caught in the UK produce is seasonal, with recent catches including flounder and huss. “The Marine Conservation Society encourages us to diversify our choice to help preserve fish stocks. We should be eating more of these delicious, locally-caught species and doing our bit for our seas” said owner Guy Dorrell recently via Facebook.

Faircatch delivers fish weekly to Barmouth Kitchen in SW18 or The Draft House on Northcote road. You can buy fish from them via a membership scheme where you sign up for weekly or fortnightly collections for 4 or 8 week periods. Some of our team of London estate agents have tried Faircatch and can thoroughly recommend a membership-there is an enormous difference between the firm, fresh produce they supply and often-listless supermarket fair. Give Faircatch a try and be pleasantly surprised.

You can follow Faircatch on Facebook here or Twitter here.

Spotlight – Local Business Solo Jewellery

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At James Pendleton Estate Agents we pride ourselves in being a part of the communities we serve across South West London. Our strap line ‘We live here’ is founded in the heart of our business; our team live in the locality and therefore know it best. We support our community in various ways, most recently at the Abbotswood Road SW16 Street Fair where we met local entrepreneur Claire Haughey who was running a hugely successful jewellery stall.
Claire is a resident of Balham who started her own business selling jewellery after being inspired on a holiday in Spain. Recently Claire has been preparing for a ‘Pop-up’ event on Wednesday May 6th 2015 at Gallery Midnight on Ritherdon Road, Balham SW17. We spoke to Claire to find out more about the business and her extremely popular upcoming event.

What made you interested in starting your own business selling Jewellery?

Well the business really came to me when I stumbled across a beautiful jewellery shop whilst on holiday in Spain and knew instantly that I wanted to import it to the UK mainly because it was different to any other jewellery that I had seen before. Everything is handmade and designed by a team of very talented designers who source the materials, buckles etc. from all over Europe but mainly Italy. I knew that it would sell really well in the UK.
Its popularity at the Abbotswood Road SW16 Street Fair proves how successful it’s been for you so far! How long have you been selling jewellery?

I have been selling the jewellery for just over a year now, concentrating mainly on charity events, school Christmas fairs and a few corporate events. I also do house sales and am now exploring pop up shops and sales out of London too.

The range of items you sell are beautiful, how do you describe this type of jewellery?

The jewellery I sell is very much costume jewellery and is bold and chunky. All the necklaces and bracelets are made from either cotton or leather but also some are made from unusual fabrics like pony skin which have lots of texture. They come in a huge array of colours for all seasons. However it is the buckles and fastenings that add to the uniqueness of each piece; for example the wrap around bracelets, triple cuffs etc. The materials are sourced all over Europe but are handmade by my designers in Spain.

Do you ever do custom designs?

I can do custom designed pieces but tend not too mainly because there are so many unusual pieces for people to choose from that this is not really necessary. Sometimes if somebody wants a necklace in a specific colour, I can do this, but I try and always have a good selection to suit everyone’s tastes.
Where can we find you and your beautiful jewellery?
I am based in Balham SW17 and work from home but travel out of London to different fairs to sell my jewellery. People can visit my Facebook page and I can also send people my brochures by email so that they can view the whole collection. I am also going to be working on a website in the next few months. My Brochure can also be viewed here.
The future sounds very exciting! We know your hosting a ‘Pop up’ event in soon. Can you tell us more about it?
I will be running a pop up shop on Wednesday May 6th 2015 at Gallery Midnight on Ritherdon Road, Balham SW17 from 9 am to 9 pm where I will be selling my new summer collection.
With me will be a few friends also selling their goods – Tray Chic (personalised trays), Fibi and Co (practical objects for the house), Three Grey (beautiful interiors and household items) Emma’s kitchen (delicious homemade brownies).

Thank you Claire we look forward to seeing you there again.
For more information about how James Pendleton support the community and local businesses contact us today.