Cookes Property Management

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Cookes Property Management's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Cookes Property Management is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Operations Director Roland Cooke
Properties to let
Priding themselves on the personal service they provide to both
their landlords and tenants, Cookes Property Management
received a gold award at the British Property Awards for
their customer service. Originally managing a portfolio of eight
properties, they have expanded through recommendation to
become a leading letting agent in Peterborough. The business
was founded by Elizabeth Shipp in 1999, with her brother
Roland joining soon after. He tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the need to support both tenants and landlords and how
regulation will make the industry something to be proud of.
Originally conceived of in 1999, we have evolved to be one of the premier letting
agents in Peterborough and the surrounding areas. This has been achieved with
a simple philosophy: to provide both landlords and tenants with the best possible
professional service levels, meeting and exceeding their expectations in propertyrentals.
My sister Elizabeth and I have evolved, tailored and refined all of our procedures,
using our wealth of experience gained over the last 20 years, by dedicating our
business model solely to property lettings.
We have now grown to employ four full-time and two part-time highly trained members
of staff at our purpose-designed offices, where we have traded from since March 2014.
Growing from the ground up
Back in 1999, our business was founded by Elizabeth Shipp when she was asked by
a family friend to take over the management of eight properties that had previously
»Managing Director:
»Operations Director:
»Established in 1999
»Based in Woodston,
»Services: Residential lettings
»No. of employees: 4 full-time
plus 2 part-time staff
»Gold winner of the British
Property Awards 2018/19
Cookes Property
Highlighting best practice
been poorly managed and had rent
arrears, anti-social behaviour problems
and ongoing maintenance issues.
Although this was a fast learning
curve, all the properties were soon
running efficiently, with evictions
carried out where necessary, arrears
paid to date and historic maintenance
issues dealt with. The landlord was so
impressed with this transformation that
he recommended us to others, and the
fledgling company grew with word-
of-mouth recommendations to the
point where Elizabeth could no longer
manage this expanding portfolio of
properties on her own.
I then joined the company and applied
the same ethics to grow the company
and to help to structure the business,
enabling our expansion to continue at
a sustainable level.
Investment was made in building
and developing our first website and
a specialised property management
software system that was the right
fit for our expanding company.
These tools, along with developing
our internal operational systems and
paperwork, have helped tremendously
in positioning us as one of the premier
letting agents in Peterborough.
We are full members of the National
Approved Letting Scheme, which
has been instrumental in keeping
us abreast of all current and new
legislation and ensuring that all our
procedures are both comprehensive
and correctly structured. A
comprehensive and ongoing training
package, along with an industry-
recognised qualification, ensures that
we can provide legally compliant
tenancies and advice to both landlords
and tenants.
We are very proud to have recently
been selected as gold winners of a
British Property Award for 2018/19 for
customer service levels.
A focus on personal care
Our approach to building a successful
and fully compliant business has
always been to provide a very personal
level of customer care to landlords
and tenants. We take great care in
matching the right tenant to the right
property and ensure that we go the
extra mile to fully vet and reference all
of our applicants.
Once all of the affordability checks and
referencing have been scrupulously
completed, we then work to
The team at Cookes
Property Management
Our approach
to building a
successful and
fully compliant
business has
always been
to provide a
very personal
level of
customer care
to landlords
and tenants
provide our tenants with a suitable
commencement date and compile a
very comprehensive and informative
welcome pack, which provides tenants
with all the legal documentation and
information that they will require for
their new tenancy.
We believe that regular property
inspections are key to providing a
successful tenancy, as we can help
and advise tenants on how to take
care of and maintain their new home
and also give tenants an opportunity
to report any issues that may need
attention, from arranging maintenance
to dealing with anti-social behaviour
problems. This regular contact helps
to build ongoing relationships with
the tenant and the landlord when we
report to them on completion of the
Over the years, we have partnered
with excellent professional and trusted
tradesmen, covering all aspects of
property maintenance. We are equally
happy to utilise property owners’
appointed tradesmen.
We pride ourselves on our
comprehensive and extensive
knowledge of our local market and
are very happy to offer current and
potential landlords investment advice,
along with a free no-obligation
appraisal service.
Supporting a regulated sector
We are very happy to endorse full
regulation of the lettings industry, as
we believe that this will lead to an
industry that we can all be proud of
and will ensure that standards within
the private rental sector carry on in an
upward direction. However, I do feel
that the current government trend
of removing tax breaks on mortgage
interest and adding additional stamp
duty on buy-to-let properties is
impacting the market. We are no
longer seeing new landlords entering
the private rented sector and are
witnessing a slump in portfolio growth
from investors. We do need to see
more investment in this sector to meet
the ever-growing need for housing,
considering the decline over recent
years in property ownership.
As a letting agent, I am immensely
pleased to work within the industry.
It brings about a good feeling to be
able to provide good-quality homes
to families and individuals, with some
applications being made from overseas
residents looking to relocate to the UK.
We go out of our way to give families
and individuals the opportunity to
rent a home, many of whom would
not necessarily be considered suitable
candidates by other letting agencies.
We always look at each applicant on
an individual basis and never lose sight
of the fact that some people simply
need a leg up the ladder when it
comes to housing needs.
Our passion for the service that we
provide, combined with an obsession
to educate further and better equip
ourselves to strive to be the best we
can, will hopefully be visible to all
those we have the opportunity to
interact with.
We are happy
to endorse full
regulation of
the lettings
industry, as
we believe
that this will
lead to an
industry that
we can all be
proud of
Our Peterborough office

This article was sponsored by Cookes Property Management. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster