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Lease Options Explained

investment property bolton

Lease option deals – also known as “rent to buy” or “lease with the option to buy” – are essentially agreements in which a tenant or investor leases a property from a seller with the option to purchase when the lease expires, or at any point within the duration of the contract.

In this arrangement, the tenant or investor claims the option to buy by paying a fee, which usually ranges between 3 and 5% of the property value. Although having obtained the exclusive right to buy, tenants are not obligated to exercise this right and can always change their minds, unlike sellers, who do not have this option. Lease terms are negotiable but usually last between one and three years.

Coming to a Lease Option agreement has several advantages for both tenant-buyer and seller, but there are also some disadvantages that should not be overlooked. Before purchasing an investment property in Bolton, Liverpool or Salford with Mistoria, see if a Lease Option is the best choice for you. 

Advantages for the Buyer

Lease options can be a great choice for people that do not qualify for a mortgage. They provide tenant-buyers with the opportunity of locking in a sale price before a purchase and thus, buys them the time they require in order to improve their credit ratings and save up for a down payment. 

Considering that most lease option contracts are made to set a fixed purchase price in advance, the buyer might benefit greatly from the appreciation of the property during the lease period and thus, might be able to buy it for a considerably lower price than the market value at the time of purchase. In addition to this, a higher lease payment is often agreed upon beforehand, with a part of the amount credited towards the purchase price. Should the tenant-buyer decide to exercise his or her option, these payments will have reduced the overall purchase price.

The Lease Option can also act as a trial period and allows the potential buyer to assess an area or neighbourhood as a living or investment opportunity.

Disadvantages for the Buyer

Some of the advantages listed could also potentially turn into disadvantages. If the tenant does not manage to qualify for a mortgage during the lease term or to save up any money, the higher payments made towards the purchase amount are lost and will not be reimbursed. The same goes for the option fee that was paid to reserve the right to buy. Furthermore, in the event of a decrease in property value, the seller might insist on the agreed-upon price, which would result in the buyer overpaying compared to the market value or losing out on the property entirely.

Advantages for the Seller

Coming to a lease option agreement can be very beneficial to a landlord when the market is slow or there is too much competition, which makes selling difficult. 

Therefore, receiving monthly payments is still better than a vacant house, and if the tenant decides not to exercise his or her option to buy, the seller will be able to keep the potential extra fees made towards the property purchase, if such extra fees apply to the particular agreement. In addition, he or she will also be able to retain the option fee.

Another advantage is the fact that Lease Option tenants are likely to take better care of a property, since they have moved in with the intention of eventually buying it. So even if they ultimately do not end up purchasing, the seller could save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on maintenance and repair costs.

Disadvantages for the Seller

Great advantages for the buyer can be great disadvantages for the seller: if market fluctuations increase the value of the property beyond the agreed-upon option price, the seller will be forced to give it up at a lower price than the current value. Therefore, it is always advisable to set the price higher to account for potential appreciation. 

Ultimately, one of the biggest disadvantages concerning such arrangements might be the uncertainty that comes with them – if after years of leasing, the tenant or investor decides not to buy, the seller will need to invest energy, time and financial resources into finding a new buyer and going through a similar process. 

 

In general, a lease option agreement binds the seller, but not the buyer, who always has the option of opting out at the end of the lease term. But it can be a great option for both if circumstances and benefits are considered carefully.

Further Information

If you’ve still got questions about Lease Option agreements, or are considering purchasing an investment property in Bolton, Liverpool or Salford, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Mistoria Estate Agents. We are members of ARLA and NAEA Propertymark, which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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Finding Repossessed Properties for Sale

investment hmo salford

Buy to Let landlords have long recognised the excellent opportunities for investment afforded by repossessed properties. For those who are new to investing or who have not gone down this route before, however, the purchasing process can seem daunting and there are a number of factors which many fail to consider. With mortgage companies unwilling to openly advertise properties as repossessed, how do you go about finding a suitable one and making the most of the often significantly discounted prices? In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the key aspects to look out for and explain how to get a great deal on a property, whether you’re just making your first foray into the market or are looking to add to your existing portfolio. 

Telltale Signs

There are a number of things to look out for when purchasing a property which may hint that it is a repossession. Even before you view the property in person, you may be able to tell from the language used to describe it, either on the estate agent’s website, or on sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla. As the mortgage company wants to get the best possible price, it’s not uncommon for them to invite further bids even when a good offer has been made. Whilst varying slightly by agent the language used is fairly similar, referencing the offer that’s been made and calling for other interested parties to submit their own offers.

When it comes to actually visiting the property, the signs are usually fairly obvious. When you arrive, look for boarded up windows and doors, or windows with metal grates over them. On the front door, there may be a sign notifying the previous tenants that they must collect their belongings; this is known as a Chattel Notice. Inside the property, you may see signs on toilets and taps, or even coverings to stop you using them.  That’s because the systems will most likely have been drained. You may also come across the previous inhabitant’s personal belongings. If this is the case, looking around can be a somewhat eerie experience. 

Motivated / Distress Sellers

Mortgage companies and banks are often unwilling to admit that they are selling a repossession, believing that the stigma around them will lead to a lower final price. These organisations don’t themselves sell the properties; they’ll instead use one of three methods. The most common is enlisting the services of an estate agent, especially for repossessions which at one point were owner occupied,  

Properties which were instead formerly owned by Buy to Let landlords will usually be sold via LPA (Local Property Administrator) Receivers. Should a property fail to be sold through these means, the mortgage company may then opt to sell through an auction house, where some of the best bargains can be found. 

If you decide to make an offer on a repossessed property via an estate agent’s listing on a property site or in a local newspaper listing, there are a few things to remember. Making an offer is no guarantee that you’ll get the property, as it is a legal obligation for estate agents to  welcome extra offers right up until the point of contract exchange, a period which is limited to 28 days. The mortgage company or bank who uses their services will have only one aim; sell for the highest price possible. There is every possibility, then, that you’ll be gazumped on the 27th day. 

Consider also that you will be expected to cover surveying costs, which you’ll have to pay whether you end up making the highest offer or not. Don’t be tempted to not hire a conveyancer; not getting a professional’s opinion on the state of the property is hugely risky. If you purchase a property that has numerous defects and issues which were not assessed prior to purchase, you could be left with a major drain on your wallet. When you visit the property yourself, you should also double check everything, ensuring the description is accurate and that any changes you’d need to make are feasible and affordable. It may be worthwhile having a second viewing to pick on some of the finer details you might have missed the first time. When it comes to the legal side of things, use a solicitor who has experience of repossessions and who can get the process completed quickly. That way you’ll reduce the chance of gazumping and ensure the property is yours within the 28 day limit. If you don’t secure a purchase within this time frame, the property may be relisted, even if there are no better offers. 

Estate Agents vs Auction

If you’re new to investing, it’s probably safest to purchase through an estate agent. However, if you opt to use an auction, the process can be daunting and there may well be wealthier cash investors there to outbid you. Remember to look through the auction catalogue beforehand and visit the properties which interest you. As before, you’ll need to pay a conveyancer. Sticking to a budget is even more important when purchasing via auction. It can be incredibly easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment. If you make the highest offer it can be difficult to go back if you’ve changed your mind as you have to complete within 28 days of exchange. At the very least, you will not receive the 10% deposit back which you will have had to provide. 

Further Information

This is just some of the information you need to be aware of if you’re considering purchasing a repossessed property. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the team at Mistoria. We have offices in Liverpool, Salford and Bolton, as well as sister branches Pick My Pad and Student Haus

We are members of ARLA and NAEA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected. 

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‘Hutching Up’ Increasingly Popular Outside London

North West student accommodation

The concept of ‘Hutching up’, which involves people, usually young professionals, living together in smaller accommodation to meet soaring rental costs, is typically associated with the London property market. But according to Mistoria Estate Agents, the trend has now expanded to the rest of the UK, and is prevalent in cities such as Manchester, Salford, Bolton and Liverpool.

What Does Hutching Up Mean?

Across many cities in the UK, flats, houses and HMOs are filled with young people who can only afford to live independently if they share accommodation with affordable rental charges. Mistoria has seen a 17% rise in the number of young professionals in the North West renting rooms in HMOs to save money over the past year.

Tenants in the UK are now paying an average of £959 monthly rent. according to the HomeLet Rental Index for May, representing a 2.7% increase on the same month a year earlier. 

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director, comments: “Many young people struggle to rent on their own and there is certainly a growing trend of flat and house sharing amongst young professionals. Whilst students have been sharing accommodation for many years, more and more recent graduates are finding that they can’t afford to live independently. If they’ve stayed in a good quality HMO as a student, unsurprisingly graduates see no reason to change their living circumstances when faced with a huge hike in rental costs.

“We have seen lots of young professionals take on our student lets – mainly a room in an HMO, with a shared kitchen and sitting room. Our properties are finished to a very high standard and require just £80-£110 a week to rent, bills included. We are even able to offer Deposit Free Renting. For many, not having to set up electric, gas, broadband and TV accounts or pay council tax and find hundreds of pounds for a deposit and for the month’s rent, is a massive bonus. Having the luxury of being able to budget, without having fluctuating monthly bills, has all contributed to the rise of hutching.”

“The quality of HMO accommodation on the market has improved dramatically over the last few years. Young professionals are very discerning and large flat screen TVs, leather furniture, high speed broadband and en-suites are all quite standard now. Landlords can no longer cram as many people in as possible to maximise rental income.  A property with three medium/large rooms finished to a very high spec will easily generate £80-110 per week in rent, compared with four small rooms with a poor spec at just £65-75 per week.”

North West Student Accommodation

If you’re on the hunt for North West student accommodation in Liverpool, Salford or the Bolton and Walkden area for the next academic year, look no further than Mistoria Estate Agents. We can help you and your friends find the property that’s right for you, at the right price. Please get in touch with the team to find out how we can help. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Then try Student Haus or Pick My Pad

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

If you are interested in purchasing an investment property, please visit the Mistoria Group website

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Periodic Inspections: A Guide

salford student letting agents

If you’re a landlord that lets out a property to students, you’ll be well aware of the importance of carrying out periodic inspections throughout each tenancy. Doing so allows you to check your house in good condition and your tenants are complying with the tenancy agreement. 

At Liverpool, Bolton and Salford student letting agents, Mistoria, we conduct these inspections on your behalf, on a quarterly basis. We  evaluate the overall condition of the property, including both the interior and exterior, looking out for maintenance issues, tenants’ living conditions, damp and mould, leaks, fixtures and fittings, the garden’s condition and fair wear and tear. After our inspection, we will provide you with a report detailing any issues we found.

Repairs and Maintenance Issues

The main reason we carry out periodic inspections is to spot any obvious maintenance issues. It is the perfect opportunity to uncover and repair any minor problems, that if ignored could become much worse. It’s always easier and cheaper to repair problems as early as possible. Whilst most tenants do report the serious issues they find, relying on them for information isn’t enough to ensure that everything is in working order. We often find that they do not report minor issues until it’s too late. Moreover, some tenants, through no fault of their own, will be completely unaware of potential problems. It is always wise to have a fresh pair of eyes to look over the property.

Tenants’ Living Conditions

Whilst the property may be in a good condition, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your tenants are looking after your investment. Although you may not be able to evict them based on their living conditions, you may decide that you do not wish to renew their contracts at the end of the tenancy agreement. Of course, you cannot tell your tenant how to live if they are untidy, but we will inform them that their actions will damage the property if this is the case. For example, if they do not clean the bathrooms, this could result in staining of the fixtures and fittings.

Damp and Mould

Some of the most common issues we come across are damp and mould, the prevention of which tenants tend to overlook. Many tenants simply don’t realise how dangerous and serious mould infestations can be, but you must be aware of them. We will look around windows and sinks and pay particular attention to rooms prone to moisture, such as the bathroom and kitchen, as well as pipework hidden away in kitchen units. We’ve produced more detailed advice about preventing mould, damp and condensation in a separate blog post, which you can read here. 

Leaks

We run all of the taps in your property to check for any leaks. Leaks can be one of the main causes of mould and rot, which can have devastating effects on the health of your tenants. Furthermore, small leaks can often become much bigger, which could cause irreparable damage to your investment. We will also check the drains outside for blockages to ensure that water is not overflowing, as this can lead to much bigger problems.

Fixtures and Fittings

We check all of the property’s fixtures and fittings to make sure they have not been damaged and are still in good working order. We will do the same for any other appliances you may have provided.  

The Garden

If a clause in your tenancy agreement specifies that the tenant must maintain the garden(s), we will check that it is neat and not overgrown. We will make sure also there are no piles of rubbish in the outside areas, as these can attract pests.

Fair Wear and Tear

There is a fine line between fair wear and tear and actual damage, so one of the objectives of our inspections is to assess whether issues we discover in the property have been caused by tenant negligence. You can only make your tenants liable for damage, not fair wear and tear. As we look around the property, we will consider which issues were caused by reasonable use of the property on a daily basis (such as scuff marks on the walls).

More Information

Our maintenance team has inspected hundreds of properties and knows exactly what to look out for, ensuring your property is kept in top condition and is fit for purpose. If you are a landlord and would like to discuss in more detail the service Mistoria Estate Agents can offer you, please contact us on 0800 500 3015.

You can be assured that you are receiving the highest quality service when you use Mistoria Estate Agents because we are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected. 

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Electrical Safety Legislation for Landlords

student houses liverpool

Under recently proposed Government legislation, which looks set to be approved, landlords in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) must arrange for an electrical safety assessment to be carried out by a qualified and competent inspector. Failure to comply with the new laws could leave landlords facing hefty fines.

Mandatory Testing 

The new legislation, formally called The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, is due to be rolled out over the next two years. Inspections will be compulsory for all new and renewed tenancies from 1st July 2020 and for existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. 

As a result of the legislation, every fixed electrical installation must be assessed every five years and should meet the 18th Edition of Wiring Regulations. The qualified person who carries out the inspection must also produce an electrical installation condition report (EICR) for the landlord, which presents the inspection’s findings and which must be given to any existing tenants within 28 days. The landlord should keep a copy for their records until the next inspection. If a new tenant moves into the property, they must be supplied with a copy of the most recent report prior to moving in. Furthermore, should the local housing authority request a copy, this must be supplied within seven days; if a prospective tenant makes the request, it must be provided within 28 days.   

If a landlord fails to organise for the inspections to take place and cannot provide a written report to the local housing authority when asked, they will be liable to pay fines of up to £30,000. 

Industry Response 

ARLA have for the most part been supportive of the proposals. Chief executive, David Cox stated “It will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants.” He stressed that landlords who act professionally will hardly be affected by the legislation and that many already carry out effective testing voluntarily. ARLA were initially concerned that there would be insufficient engineers to carry out the testing, but assurances have been made by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that this will not be an issue. 

Although they do not believe it is the intention of the bill, the RLA has highlighted the fact that in its current form, the legislation invalidates any existing non-mandatory EICRs that do not meet the requirements of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. These Regulations were only introduced in 2019, rendering the majority of EICRs invalid. It is hoped that when the legislation’s wording is finalised, it will allow for existing EICRs to remain valid. 

Issues Discovered

If the competent inspector discovers an issue with your property, you need to ensure that they carry out the work, or further investigations, within 28 days. This timeframe may need to be reduced if that is the recommendation of the report. Once the remedial work has been carried out, a new written report is necessary which declares that the property now meets the legislation’s requirements and can be deemed safe. This report must then be submitted to the local authority. 

How Mistoria Can Help

If you would like some more information about obtaining an EIRC and your duties as a landlord, please feel free to get in touch with the team at Mistoria Estate Agents on 0800 500 3015. We have a dedicated maintenance team who will be able to ensure your property is compliant with any legislation the Government demands. We can also help if you are looking to purchase student houses in Liverpool, Salford and Bolton. 

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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Take a Tour Of Mistoria Villa

Following a full renovation and high specification upgrade, we can now unveil our flagship development in Bolton: Mistoria Villa. 

Perfect for students and professionals alike, the luxury accommodation boasts 15 spacious en-suite rooms and studios, complemented by well equipped kitchens and comfortable social spaces. The stunning bedrooms, each with a unique contemporary design and finished to a superb standard, are light and airy and all come fitted with desks, chairs, wardrobes, large, comfortable beds and modern furnishings.

A communal living area has also been added, providing the perfect space to socialise, watch TV or catch up with a book. Whether you want to relax with friends or unwind on your own, Mistoria Villa has it all. 

Situated within the Trinity Gateway Zone, the property offers excellent road and rail transport links, including the A666 to Manchester and beyond and Bolton Trinity Street train station, which is just a five minute walk away. Residents can also benefit from easy access both to the bustling Town Centre, with its wide variety of shopping and leisure opportunities and the academically excellent University of Bolton. 

To make life as easy as possible for you, your rent includes all of your utility bills as well as a fibre optic WiFi connection at no extra cost.

Call the office today to speak to one of our helpful team and arrange a viewing.

Take a tour of the property:

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New Services at our Bolton Office

bolton student house

Our popular Bolton branch is about to get even busier! Known for their attention to detail,  exceptional customer service and expert local knowledge, the team of property professionals at Mistoria Bolton are expanding their service offering. Although they are already known for their residential sales and lettings, consistently negotiating the best price for sellers and finding buyers their dream homes, they have recently introduced a new auction facility and have started handling commercial tenancies and HMOs. 

New Auction Facility  

In partnership with Pattinsons, the branch has now also launched a Modern Method Auction service facility. This comes with a number of advantages over the more traditional property sale method, including; your sale will be handled with no agency fee; you have the power to set your reserve price to get the price you want; a fast timeline, with both 28 and 56 day auction periods available; immediate exchange of contracts; and complete transparency. 

With an auction, the lengthy sales process, lack of buyer commitment, high risk of an aborted sale and no firm sale date, all well known pitfalls of the traditional sales method are avoided. You can find out more about the auction process here

HMOs

The branch has now also started to undertake work on every aspect of HMO ownership, from the initial purchase of the property, through renovation and conversion works, to the finding and vetting of suitable tenants. This type of property is particularly popular both amongst students looking to live with their friends during their time at university and young working professionals hunting for affordable accommodation. Given the plans for expansion at the academically excellent University of Bolton as well as the new jobs currently being created in the area, which are attracting a new population of young people, there has never been a better time to invest in a Bolton HMO property. For more information on the HMO opportunities offered by Mistoria, please visit our dedicated property investment website by clicking here

Commercial Tenancies

As Bolton town centre and the surrounding regions develop and thrive, the number of commercial tenancies the branch has been handling has increased massively. With the town set for further growth and expansion, the team is now calling on all individuals either looking to let or rent such property, whether it be office space, retail locations, industrial warehouses or leisure facilities, to get in touch.  

Talk to the Team

Whether you are a seller or buyer, investor or landlord, or you’re looking for a Bolton student house, please contact the team on 01204 800 766; they’ll be more than happy to answer any queries you may have. 

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Rent Reduction Negotiations Down

salford lettings agents

According to the latest Private Rented Sector Report, produced by ARLA Propertymark, the number of tenants negotiating for a rent reduction has reached its lowest rate since the organisation began compiling its monthly records. 

Just 1.1% of tenants negotiated a reduction in December of last year, representing a considerable year on year drop; in 2017 the figure was 2.6% and in 2018 it was 2.2%. Even in November, the number was still as high as 1.6%. This is somewhat surprising, as the number of estate agents reporting increasing rents hit 32%. In December 2018, only 18% of agents had reported price hikes. Even so, it appears that the time tenants spend in their rental properties has remained stable; the average is still 19 months. 

Perhaps in part due to increasing costs, tenant demand fell for the third consecutive month, with an average of just 56 prospective tenants per branch, one less than in November. Yet the number of properties managed per branch rose from 203 to 206 in the same period.

In recent months much has been made of a ‘landlord exodus’ from the BTL (buy-to-let) market, with investors supposedly increasingly choosing other methods of revenue production. However, ARLA’s figures suggest that this is not entirely the case. Whilst an average of four landlords per branch did sell their properties in December, this was the same in November. 

ARLA Accredited Estate Agents

At Salford lettings agents, Mistoria, we are members of ARLA Propertymark. That means that we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.  

If you are a landlord with a property which you’d like to let in Salford, Liverpool or Bolton, please get in touch with the team. Alternatively, if you are an investor interested in purchasing a property, please visit our investment site https://www.mistoriagroup.com/. Our North West rental properties regularly achieve combined yields of 13%. 

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Welcome to Mistoria Villa

On 13th February, 4pm – 7pm, we’ll be hosting an Open Day at our latest luxury development, Mistoria Villa, in the heart of bustling Bolton. If you’re a North West investor or landlord, come and join us and discover the opportunities for exceptional returns that our newest property can offer you. 

Mistoria Villa has undergone extensive redevelopment and is now home to 15 beautiful en suite rooms, spread over 4 floors, each with a large bed, wardrobe, chair, desk and modern furnishings. They are complemented by well-appointed kitchens and large communal social spaces. 

Located within the Trinity Gateway Zone of Bolton, the property is excellently located for easy access to the town centre, the University, and, thanks to its fantastic transport links, Manchester and further afield. The accommodation is therefore perfect for both students and professionals. 

The event will take place at:

Mistoria Villa

106A Castle Street

Bolton 

BL2 1JL

If you wish to attend the Open Day, please email natasha.cross@mistoriagroup.com.

To get just a flavour of what awaits you at the Open Day, watch our short video below.

 

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MIstoria Villa: Open Day

mistoria villa

On the 13th February 2020, 4pm – 7pm, we’re inviting our landlords and investors to look around Mistoria Villa, our latest brand new luxury development, aimed at students and young professionals. Will you be joining us?

The event will be held at:

Mistoria Villa

106A Castle Street

Bolton 

BL2 1JL

Following a full renovation and high specification upgrade, Mistoria Villa now boasts 15 luxury en suite bedrooms, complemented by well equipped kitchens and comfortable communal social spaces. The stunning bedrooms, each with a unique contemporary design, are spacious and airy and all come fitted with desks, chairs, wardrobes, large, comfortable beds and modern furnishings. 

Situated within the Trinity Gateway Zone, the property offers excellent road and rail transport links, with easy access both to the bustling Town Centre with its wide variety of shopping and leisure opportunities and the academically excellent University of Bolton, just a ten minute walk away. 

You can view further images of the property and find out more by clicking here

To confirm your attendance, please email natasha.cross@mistoriagroup.com.

We look forward to seeing you!

Know someone who might be interested in the event? Don’t forget to spread the word amongst your contacts.