The District

TO LET. Chapter Three. I Smell a Rat

“Do you know what Denise?” Keith exclaimed as he rolled over in bed, nearly sending Denise’s prized ‘I don’t argue, I just explain why I’m right’ mug across the room. “Yes” groaned Denise. “I am smelling a rat!” Said Keith. “Bloody hell, they aren’t back are they, they cost a fortune to get rid….” Responded Denise. “No, no, Denise, not a real rat!” interrupted Keith. “It’s about that bill to ‘fix’ the shower. I reckon that property maintenance companies are in bed with the agent. Why does it always seem to cost us about 20% more when they use their guys?'”. “You’ve got a point there Keith” Denise admitted reluctantly “I bet that 20% is going straight in the agent’s back pocket!” continued Denise reflecting on this uncharacteristic cynicism. “And what does my dad always say Keith?”. “Double Deckers aren’t as big as they used to be?” Responded Keith. “No! If you want a job done properly, do it yourself!’ Denise curtly responded. “Oh yeah, how is his back now!?” Keith chuckled. “Very funny Keith”, said Denise. “To be fair, even your dad could press a booster switch without needing a trip to A&E!” Keith was becoming overcome with his own wit. “I am not laughing Keith. When you have picked yourself off the floor, I want you to ring our agent and find out the deal” ordered Denise. “Okay love” Keith sniffed through tears of laughter reaching out to hold Denise’s hand. Denise pulled Keith close. “I think you’d look good in overalls”. “I have some in the loft, hold that thought” Replied Keith. Denise beamed.

The District

TO LET. Chapter Two. An Expensive Cuppa

“Denise, did you see that letter from our letting agent?”. Chirped Keith as he vigorously shut the front door upon returning from a hard day at the office. “no” replied Denise “Let me guess, there’s been an increase in swamp tax?” “Haha, not quite” said Keith. “It’s a £150 bill from the agent’s property maintenance company!”. “SAY WHAATT!?”, Denise mimicked her favourite reality TV diva. “I know, right?” Keith affected. “What was the damage?” Denise quizzed. “Wait for the punchline” Keith excitedly responded. Denise always got a slightly sinking feeling when Keith said this as invariably it prefaced something distinctly lacking in humour.”Go on…” she attempted to enthuse. “NOTHING” Keith roared hysterically, kicking off his shoes, narrowly missing their much cherished ‘Live, Love. Laugh’ driftwood sculpture. “SAY WHAATT?!” Denise responded, realising her own repetition. “Basically the tenants…” said Keith. “Matt and Emma?” interrupted Denise. ‘Matt and Gemma, Denise!” corrected Keith.”Oh yes.” acknowledged Denise  “…reported an issue with the shower pressure” Keith got back on track. “Right” responded Denise. “They called our agent’s property maintenance company’s call centre who sent out a contractor from Milton Keynes – yep you heard it right!”. And what then happened?” questioned Denise. “They came over, pressed the boost switch, had a cup of tea and left!” Chucked Keith. “I hope it was Yorkshire Gold” Denise joined in. Keith slumped back onto the sofa cuddling Denise as they fell into an embrace. “How long until dinner” whispered Keith. “It’s Coq Au Vin, ready in about twenty minutes” knowingly winked Denise. 

The District

TO LET. Chapter One. The Hidden Cost.

Keith was chatting to Denise over dinner on their usual Friday evening. Keith called it ‘date night’. Denise wasn’t convinced by the label but she enjoyed spending time with Keith. It was a chance for them to talk about real is­sues and ask the big questions of each other. “Do you prefer dark or milk chocolate digestives Denise?” piped Keith. “Definitely dark” retorted Denise”. “Same” Keith quickly confirmed. Keith stroked Denise’s hand. Denise smiled. “Changing the subject, what do you think about the agent that manages our house in Cambridge?” Den­ise offered. “Don’t get me started, Denise” replied Keith. “I like Mark, and boy he’s got a firm handshake”. “And my dad says that’s a sign of trust”. “Oh and your dad is a paragon of trust” pointedly remarked Denise. “Anyway let’s get back to the point, for me they are like a budget airline” said Keith. “how so?”, questioned Denise, as she scraped the plates. “Well the original price they quoted looked to be really good value, and then the hidden costs crept in. It’s like the airlines. You buy a cheap flight and then have to pay to sit together”. “Hardly a perk” jo­vially interjected Denise. “And then there’s extra for the luggage, queue jumping, the inflight meal, the premier lounge. Makes you wonder what you were actually paying the fee for in the first place!”. “Yes I see what you mean. You are clever with your meta­phors Keith. Or is that an analogy? Blimey I don’t know. It could even be a simile. Anyway, a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet”. “Gosh, misquoting Shakespeare on a Friday Keith. Whatever next?”. “Let’s have a look around and see if there are any agents in the city who do things a bit more simply and transparently”. “Agreed” confirmed Keith. Shall we adjourn Denise, the dishes can wait”. “Oh yes Keith” Denise emphatically replied.

The District

Christmas Tree Recycling Scheme

For the second year we have supported Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge promoting their annual Christmas Tree Recycling Scheme. This scheme has grown year on year with collections just completed on their most successful year raising thousands of pounds for the Hospice.

Partner Jamie Curtis along with other team members Ian Chapman and Sophie Akers have joined a small army of volunteers who drove around Cambridge collecting trees for recycling.

Jamie said “it’s such a good idea, we remove unwanted Christmas trees for a donation, saving the homeowner the time and hassle of disposing them. These are then chipped and used for gardening material, it’s a win, win situation and one we are proud to be a part of.”

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