Northwood started life in Portsmouth in 1995 offering customers a unique guaranteed rental income service called the Platinum Scheme, later to become our market-leading Guaranteed Rent offering. This innovative service proved a big hit with landlords and soon Northwood was expanding into Southampton, Milton Keynes and Northampton.
The timing was somewhat fortuitous, as the following year saw the advent of the buy to let mortgage, and the modern private rented sector was born. Prior to this, landlords had had to buy property outright for cash, but the new BTL financing meant that they could acquire property to rent out for a much lower financial input, opening BTL up to a much wider audience.
One of the key things to note about Northwood is that it was created by a landlord for landlords! Our founder, Andy Goodson was a landlord himself and understood the risks and responsibilities that arise.
Twenty one years on and each Northwood office is owned and operated locally by experienced and high calibre professionals. Every Northwood office owner goes through an intensive training programme which ensures that they are able to provide a fully compliant service for our landlord clients. Similarly staff attend a variety of wide variety of courses ranging from practical to professional.
In 2011, Northwood became a founding member of SAFEagent, the industry signpost to those agents who have client money protection in place. CMP ensures that landlords and tenants do not lose unprotected deposits, and rents, should an agent go out of business. We continue to support the campaign which has recently led to an open Government consultation into whether CMP should be made mandatory for all lettings agencies.
This was part of our wider philosophy of voluntarily committing to professional standards. To this end, our offices joined the Property Ombudsman scheme long before it became mandatory in October 2014, and our agents continue to be accredited with such recognised industry bodies as ARLA and NALS.
Another core part of the Northwood culture is our commitment to supporting good causes. In 2014, we launched the Northwood Charitable Foundation in memory of Nick Cooper, our M.D. of 10 years who sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer the year before. Nick had been a prime mover both in the industry and in ensuring Northwood was at the forefront of raising standards in the PRS and we wanted to remember him by undertaking activities to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF).
Our latest and most daring triumph saw a relay team of four swimmers completing a channel crossing on the 18th of August, meaning that we have now raisen circa £45K for our chosen charity.
There have been many challenges over the last 21 years for the industry as a whole. From the financial crash of 2008 to the ever increasing and more onerous landlord legislation, to dealing with negativity of the PRS in the media. Northwood has overcome all these challenges by embracing change, remaining committed to excellence, and supporting our landlord clients throughout their entire lifecycle. From the one office in Portsmouth the company is now a network of 87 offices nationwide
Managing Director Eric Walker comments:
“After 21 years in business, Northwood is firmly established as one of the leading agents in the private rented sector.
We understand that property is fundamentally a people business and that means excellent communication, understanding, empathy, and listening to both tenants and landlords and helping them achieve their objectives.
There are many challenges ahead for our sector, including landlord tax changes, increasing legislation, and uncertainty over the vote to leave the EU. However, we’ve survived previous property cycles and down-turns and have come out stronger on the other side. If anything, at times like these, our Guaranteed Rent service becomes even more relevant and popular, as it gives complete landlord peace of mind.
There is massive strength in the Northwood network – the people, integrity, high standards, local knowledge, community & genuine concern for our customers – and that will remain, no matter what the next 21 years bring!”.
Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised estate agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.
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