How to stage your home for a viewing during Christmas

How to stage your home for a viewing during Christmas

We’ve all seen them; houses decorated for Christmas with just about every piece of tinsel in the land. Red, white, gold, blue, purple….no colour is off limits. And what about the exterior; light up reindeers on the lawn and glowing Santa’s ‘climbing’ the chimney. They may be eye-catching, but not necessarily in the right way. This is fine if that’s what you like for your home, each to their own. But if you’re selling your house, I hate to break it to you, but it’s essential to get out of this mindset. Your home is no longer your home, it’s now a commodity to be bought and sold on the housing market. You need to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. And they may not all share your taste in Christmas décor.


So how do you appeal to these buyers browsing the property portals over the Christmas holiday whilst Uncle John snores in the chair across from them? How do you fill your house with that wonderful festive vibe that you love without alienating those who don’t share your personal taste, or, gasp! those who hate Christmas?

Read on for the five top tips to home staging at Christmas time:

  1. Keep it simple

There’s no need to use every single Christmas decoration you own. We’re not in the 1980’s. Santa’s grotto may be super fun for the kids, but your buyers might not feel the same. Pick and choose carefully. If it’s broken, dated, doesn’t go with your chosen colour scheme- don’t use it. You can always bring it out again next year when you’re celebrating Christmas in your new home.


  1. Choose a colour scheme and stick to it.

Speaking of colours, choose two or three and stick to them. Traditional red, green and gold go nicely together and usually go well in more traditional properties. White, purple and silver look lovely in more modern houses. It depends on your home’s décor. Use your wall colours and your furniture as a starting point and try to coordinate your Christmas decorations with them. If in doubt, look online for some Christmas colour inspiration.

  1. Less is more!

If it looks good as it is, don’t add any more. A natural pine garland with a few well-placed candles on a mantelpiece speaks simple style. Maybe add some fairy lights for some sparkle. Christmas trees look great with baubles in your colour scheme, some white or warm white fairy lights and a choice feature on the top. No need to add a sack of tinsel as well.



  1. Decorate key areas, not all areas.

As a general rule, decorate the following: fireplaces, front doors, window sills and, of course, your tree. It’s probably best to leave the ceiling alone this year. It saves getting up on that ladder anyway.


  1. Don’t forget your lighting

Most professional interior designers will tell you that lighting is incredibly important, yet is often neglected when it comes to interior decoration. For home staging at Christmas stick to white or warm-white lighting. These colours will go with any choice of Christmas décor and still provide that lovely cosy feeling we all love at Christmas. You can achieve this with fairy lights or candles. Or both. Just leave those more boisterous lighting pieces in the box this year.

It’s not difficult to stage your home for Christmas. It just requires a little more careful thought that usual. For the first time, you’re not just catering to your own tastes and that of your family, but also complete strangers who may be contemplating handing over vast amounts of money for your house. Make it easier for them

Good luck and have fun!




Top Tips for Electrical Safety over the Festive Season

Top Tips for Electrical Safety over the Festive Season

As many of us use this years’ savings on Christmas presents and New Year’s celebrations, you may be looking at ways to save money when it comes to your heating options. With swathes of Christmas lights ready to decorate our homes you need to place electrical safety at the forefront of your mind this year, especially with electrical fires being one of the biggest causes of accidental house fire in Britain.

Electrical fires can start quickly and can be caused by a variety of issues including:

* Socket overload

* Faulty wiring

* Below par products

* General negligence

We want you to have a snug and happy Christmas this year, so please check out the following tips for keeping your appliances safe and reducing the chance of accidental fire in your home this year:

* Look out for a British or European safety mark

To avoid buying an unsafe product always check whether it has a valid electrical safety mark:


* Keep Your Pets in Mind

A recent survey by Electrical Safety First revealed that 65% of pet owners said that their pet would be a bigger loss to them than any of their material possessions they would lose in a house fire situation. But worryingly two thirds of these pet owners admitted to still leaving their mobile phones on charge whilst leaving the house unattended!

At Ainsworth Lord we are real animal lovers, so we urge you to be vigilant about turning off all appliances when leaving home. You don’t know what your pets get up to when you leave the house, so make it ‘pet friendly’ and double check you’ve switched everything off!

* One socket only

You should always try to use just one socket, taking extra care not to overload extension leads. The Electrical Safety Council have a really helpful Socket Overload Calculator here. Try it out now and find out whether you’re currently putting your home at risk of fire.

* Check before bed

It sounds simple, but many of you are still leaving things like TV’s and mobile phones plugged in overnight. Unless the appliance has been designed to be left on constantly, e.g. a fridge or a freezer, switching off appliances will reduce the risk of fire dramatically and save energy too.

* Common Sense

Never leave your Christmas lights on whilst you’re asleep. We know how beautiful it looks on a wet, windy and cold night when your home glistens with the colourful array of fairy lights. After a joyful night with family and friends, falling asleep on the sofa is easily done so before you snuggling on the sofa in your cosy living room, maybe take a moment to turn the lights off.

What if I rent my home?

If you are a tenant who rents your home your landlord has a legal responsibility to make sure that the electrical system is safe from move in date. It needs to be maintained accordingly throughout the tenancy, and your landlord should therefore carry out basic electrical safety checks on a regular basis. If you live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) your landlord has an extra obligation to carry out an electrical inspection on the property every 5 years. Furthermore, any appliances that are included with the tenancy must display at least the CE marking, to prove that they comply with all the requirements of European law.

As the festive season draws ever closer make sure you take a moment to think about your electrics. Discover the most proactive Property Agents in Darwen and Blackburn, and stay safe throughout the long winter months ahead.

What are buyers really thinking when viewing your home?

What are buyers really thinking when viewing your home?

At Ainsworth Lord Estates it is our job to find out what your potential buyers want, accommodate those needs and get your Lancashire home sold quickly and efficiently. Buyers in Darwen and Blackburn have such a variety to choose from that you need to get your marketing experience right from the beginning. The viewing stage is one of the most fundamental phases of purchasing your dream home and as a seller you’ll know that there is a form of ‘unspoken etiquette’ throughout the process between agent, buyer and seller.

Don’t forget that as a seller you have first-hand experience of what it’s like to be in your buyers shoes. You may even be selling your home whilst looking a new one yourself. Think back to when you bought your first property; what were your first thoughts and impressions? What exactly made you fall in love with the property you decided on in the end, that you’re now attempting to sell and move onto pastures new? There are a variety of buyers who envisage different necessities and requirements, for example:

Men VS Women

Latest research from one of the biggest UK lenders tells us that men are most excited by a prospective properties outside features; e.g. parking space, garage, garden space. Less concerned by location or condition, if you have an apartment for sale that has an outside space prepare to attract more men. On the other hand, women were found to be a lot more passionate about the actual space inside that the property has to offer – as well as its location, structural condition and decorative order.

Families VS Singles

Single home hunters in the North West tend to lean towards large entertaining rooms and blank canvases, compared to families who will opt for those properties with larger kitchens and a ‘ready to move into’ atmosphere. Both characters will appreciate an ample garden, what with 2 million British homes left wanting for this British home-owners ‘x-factor’. Due attention should also be taken by those of you who have gardens with a lot of plants/foliage in particular. This is because it needs to be made clear what the plants actually are, as buyers can be put off a property with the fear of the increasingly publicised likes of Japanese knotweed being present.

First Time Buyers VS Retirees/Downsizers

The majority of first time buyers and retirees/downsizers will both have thoroughly done their homework when it comes to the areas property values, as well as being equally pragmatic to taking fewer risks with their property journey. The difference between these two genres of homebuyers is that they will have largely differing budgets and will be looking for very different types of home. With grandparents sitting on huge piles of equity, now is the time for them to downsize and open up the market for the increasing number of first time buyers.

First Impressions Count!

The study also revealed that nearly two thirds of us have already made up our minds before we’ve even stepped over the properties threshold! So the phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’ certainly does not apply to the majority of Darwen and Blackburn property hunters. This means that it is really necessary to up your game when it comes to your kerb appeal and home staging ideas if you want to sell your home by Christmas or New Year. 90% of buyers use the internet to view their next potential property online, so crystal clear photography and detailed and thorough descriptions are a must in today’s property market.

At Ainsworth Lord Estates every seller is unique to us and the same goes for our buyers. We’re very proud to be the only Independent estate agent in the whole of Darwen. This also means that we are much more attuned to what buyers in our area truly want. The local knowledge of an estate/letting agent is extremely important to buyers and sellers alike, so we hope we have aided you further in discovering what buyers are really thinking about when they come to view your home this Winter.

Save Money and Keep Energy Efficient This Winter!

Save Money and Keep Energy Efficient This Winter!

With a dramatic shift in the weather expected right across Britain, we could all be facing freezing gales and heavy snow in just a matter of weeks! It’s up to you whether you believe weather predictions of not, but we’re definitely starting to feel the chill in the Ainsworth Lord office already.

There are so many energy tariffs to choose from these days, it can become a tough task to keep your heating bills under control as well as staying energy efficient. Did you know last winter was said to see the highest rate of cold deaths in 5 years?! As landlords and tenants alike settle in for a hard winter, we understand that you both need to prepare; firstly by securing your property before the weather turns and then putting handy money saving techniques in place for a budget-friendly Christmas and New Year. The similarities continue, as both of you are likely to be facing money issues this year; what with more legislation being piled onto landlords (increasing their costs) and rents rising in most areas around the country. As a letting agent who truly cares, this is where our support and expertise come into play for both parties in our thriving local communities of Darwen and Blackburn.

Nobody should have to choose between heating and eating this year, and with icy winds and heavy snow predicted here are our top tips for landlords and tenants alike who want to keep their bills low and stay toasty warm this winter:

Central Heating

As a landlord it’s important to keep your central heating system regularly maintained and updated, so ask yourself how old the pipework actually is. If it’s over 30-40 years old you should look into getting it replaced, as there are many smaller, modern radiators around now that will be far more efficient and cost effective for you and your tenants.

Insulate, insulate, insulate!

Be sure to insulate your heating system, hot water pipes and your attic space properly, which will save your tenants more money and prevent further heat loss. If you have an inactive fireplace you can also purchase a ‘chimney balloon’ which prevents warm air escaping too.


Are your radiators adjustable? If not you need to gain more control over the output of each radiator by simply fitting adjustable valves, preferably thermostatic valves (TRVs). These will not only save your tenants money and energy, it will also help them to avoid issues such as rooms overheating.

Did you know that by fitting foil behind your radiator it will reflect the heat back into your room, making it feel warmer?


Avoid putting furniture in front of the radiators or covering any other heat sources with curtains, etc. It may sound silly, but it’s still surprising how many people still do this and wonder why the heat isn’t circulating around the room or property – so make sure you pass this onto your tenants. You may also want to consider fitting thermal curtains, which can reduce heat loss by as much as 25%.

Cut Down

Bills can be reduced by up to 10%, simply by turning the thermostat down by just 1°C. You can also retain the heat simply by shutting off your kitchen hob vent whilst cooking, which can keep your

kitchen warm for a good half hour longer. And, it may sound simple, but by only heating the rooms that you’re using you’ll avoid wasting more energy and cash in the long run.

If you are a landlord or tenant in Darwen, Blackburn, Bolton, Accrington or Liverpool’s surrounding areas looking for a dedicated and proactive rental service you’ve come to the right place with Ainsworth Lord Estates. And if you’d like any more advice on any of our energy saving tips above please don’t hesitate to get in touch, as landlords ourselves we know how important it is to keep our tenants happy through the harshest times of the year.

Get ready for the Halloween Half Term, in Darwen and Blackburn!

Get ready for the Halloween Half Term, in Darwen and Blackburn!

October is always a busy month for us at Ainsworth Lord Estates. With the October half term just around the corner, it only seems like yesterday that the kids went back to school and now you’ve got the challenge of keeping them occupied over the next week! So we’ve put together the following list of East Lancashire activities to keep you and your family happy over the Halloween period:

Saturday 24th October 2015 – In Flanders Fields: Coope, Boyes & Simpson

For those of you who enjoy our local annual ‘1940’s Day’, this will be just up your street! This is set to be a wonderful evening of songs and stories from the trenches, at 7 Whalley Road, Mellor Brook, Blackburn this Saturday from 7.30pm. At just £13 a ticket, get ready for the biting humour of wartime observations. Purchase your tickets from the Britannia Gallery or phone Janet on 07791 558 554.

Saturday 24th October 2015 – Blackburn Music Society and Kathleen Ferrier Society Concert

In the stunning setting of Blackburn’s Cathedral, Blackburn Music Society are set to perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Premiering in 1846 at the Birmingham Festival, it depicts events in the life of the Biblical prophet Elijah, taken from the Old Testament. With award-winning soloists from the Kathleen Ferrier Society, the Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra will accompany the choir and will be conducted by the dynamic Tom Newall. All tickets are £12, under-19’s get in for free and it begins at 7.30pm.

Monday 26th October 2015 – Get Creative Family Arts Festival

In the run up to this years All Hallows Eve here’s something a little different; a Scooby Doo Interactive Show at the Civic Arts Centre in Union Road, Oswaldtwistle. Help Shaggy and Daphne solve their biggest mystery to date. The show begins at 12:30pm, tickets are £9 for adult and child and then £4 for any additional members.

Friday 30th October 2015 – Get Creative Family Arts Festival – My Pet Monster & Me

Get yourself down to the Darwen Library Theatre in Knott Street for adventure on the farm, for young hearts and minds! With puppetry, music and songs galore, this hilarious new show promises plenty of laughs for all the family. Starting at 2pm, tickets are £6/£8 each. Get involved in this wonderful family occasion, brought to life by the acclaimed Blunderbus Theatre.

Saturday 31st October 2015/Sunday 1st November 2015 – Family Fun Sci-Fi Weekend

How about a fun Halloween weekend at The Mall, Blackburn? If you’re into science fiction or film sets then this event is just up your street! Featuring exciting prop displays, film paraphernalia, character costumers and even a chance to get autographs signed by some very special guest sci-fi stars. Make your own lightsabre via interactive sci-fi workshops, as well as some great chances to win spectacular prizes and money to spend in the Mall.

Halloween and beyond:

Saturday 14th November 2015 – Music 1945!

Another 1940’s inspired event, is the East Lancashire Concert Band presenting “Music 1945”, at Blackburn’s iconic Thwaites Empire Theatre in Aqueduct Road. Proudly celebrating the fantastic music of Broadway, Hollywood and the West End, 70 years ago the first peace-time Christmas after World War 2 was fast approaching. Get in the spirit and attend this fun event in full 1940’s attire (optional). Begins at 7.30pm to 10pm approx.

As you can see, community spirit is strong here in Lancashire; especially in the Darwen and Blackburn areas. Not only can you get to know your neighbours, but (more importantly) you’ll be supporting and strengthening your local economy too. As you can see from the events above, we have a real mix of local activities on offer this Halloween Half Term.

So why not get out there, get involved and maybe make some new friends in the process this Autumn?

Why move to Darwen?

Why move to Darwen?

Following my interesting meeting with the Mayor of London, where I raised the issue on abolishing the 100% council tax relief for landlords, my attention was drawn to a news story about one of Reading’s cheapest apartments now on the market for just under £100,000, not bad for just outside London’s prices? Well for an apartment that’s less than two metres wide; give me delightful Darwen any day! The Rightmove description also said that the pint-sized property “should achieve a rental figure around £500 – £550 pcm!” And although it’s within easy access to the town centre and less than a mile from Reading Train Station, these southern soaring prices are pretty crazy to say the least!

Did you know that the gap between house prices in London and other UK cities is at its widest for 20 years? So it’s no surprise to us that more and more home owners are deciding to move from the South to relocate up North.

So what’s so great about Darwen?

Whether it’s soaking in the breath taking views, a cheeky ‘tee-time’ at Darwen Golf Course or shopping in our friendly town centre there really is something for everyone to enjoy here. Coupled with great schools and low crime rates, Darwen’s lifestyle, location and community are the main reasons buyers give is for wanting a home here. Just take a look at this selection of properties that we currently have for sale and find out what you can buy for under £100K and still have change:


Dorset Avenue , DarwenOffers Over £64,950

Perfect for first time buyers and within easy reach of all local amenities, this 2 bed semi is a classic example of the type of property Darwen currently has to offer. With its well sized garden it’s easy to imagine yourself sunning yourself here in the summer months. It’s also a great option for those looking to downsize too.


Melita Street, DarwenOffers Over £69,945

With a brilliant finishing, this stone built 2 bedroom terraced house is completely refurbished so viewing is a definite must. The beautiful modern interior entices you in and as soon as you see the newly fitted kitchen you won’t be able to wait to use it! The newly decked outside sun trap is a welcome addition for families; you’ll never want to leave!


Dorset Ave, DarwenOffers Over £84,950

Another exquisite example of Darwen living, this lovely family home was made for small families and first time buyers in mind. Complete with spacious conservatory, it’s attractive and well-presented throughout. Perfect for the busy, modern family it also has a state-of-the-art dining kitchen and a 3 piece king size bathroom with corner bath and shower.


Summerton Walk , Darwen£34,000

Looking for a challenge? This is a great investment opportunity for first time buyers on a tight budget. With spacious rooms throughout, this 3 bedroom townhouse commands light and space with its large windows. In close proximity to the town centre, good schools and transport links nearby, this is a perfect investment for someone with a bit of imagination, looking for their next discount renovation project in Lancashire. What would you do to it?


Corden Avenue, Darwen – £149,950

Tucked away in a cosy Darwen cul-de-sac is this superb new-build family home, close to all local amenities. Well positioned (the last property before open fields) you will be greeted by a breath-taking view each day, in this peaceful East Lancashire setting. Imagine enjoying its 3 double bedrooms, large garden and drive through single garage, to name but a few features! We expect this home to go very quickly, so don’t delay; make a booking today!

This is just a handful of the eclectic mix of Darwen and Blackburn based properties we currently have for sale at Ainsworth Lord Estates. As you can see we have a plethora of beautiful homes to choose from, all under £100K, all bursting with character and panache.

Please have a browse through our most current properties; via Rightmove and Zoopla.

We have dozens of Cash Rich Buyers looking for properties to acquire….. who knows, perhaps we could get them to make an offer on yours? Whatever your circumstance, please give us a call and let’s see how we can get you moving before Christmas.

Ainsworth Lord Estates raise landlord tax issues with Mayor of London

Ainsworth Lord Estates raise landlord tax issues with Mayor of London


I had a busy evening with Boris Johnson and our local MP Jake Berry, after being invited to Boris’ private party in Manchester along with some clients and other local business owners this week. It produced a great opportunity to raise an issue with them that I feel very strongly about, which has affected so many of our landlord clients since April 2013. Abolishing the 100% council tax relief on empty properties has hit Darwen and Rossendale landlords hard, especially those that are in-between tenancies or refurbishing their properties. Some councils we deal with have even abolished the relief on vacant properties altogether, which definitely isn’t good for our landlords or local business as a whole.

Under the Local Government Finance Act 2012 Local Authorities were gifted (or cursed?!) with the flexibility to modify various Council Tax exemptions. Even though those with second homes and empty properties were expected to experience a 200% bill rise in 2013-14 it still went ahead, meaning that:

  • Concessions removed, England waved goodbye to their 6 month exemption previously taken for granted.
  • Properties in need of or undergoing crucial repairs had their 12 month concession slashed.
  • If a property lays empty for 2 years your local council can now charge (at their discretion) a premium of 50% on top of full council tax.

Now it’s all very well to discourage long-term empty homes, but how are the likes of small landlords supposed to recoup these losses when they are unable to let their property because it is in need of repair? Caught in a catch-22 situation, they are unable to let the property and can’t repair it because of the council tax costs; actually reducing the homes for those in desperate need of shelter!

Or what about the troublesome stage in between tenancies? Many landlords, as well as families looking to get their next step on the property ladder, just can’t dig any deeper to find the extra money needed.

Not only are landlords suffering from this, they now have to worry about:

I hope that raising these issues with Boris will bring about some sort of change, and a brighter outlook for the Lancashire buy to let and lettings market.

We have offices in East Lancashire and Central Liverpool and concentrate our services within the following areas: Darwen, Blackburn, Bolton, Accrington, and the whole of Liverpool including surrounding areas. We’re always looking to expand our territory and welcome enquiries from Landlords with property anywhere in the North West. Offering the full Rental and Property Management Package to Landlords, Councils and Tenants in the North West, you won’t be disappointed with Ainsworth Lord Estates.

Autumn Update | Lancashire Lettings Legislation

Autumn Update | Lancashire Lettings Legislation

As we welcome in the crisp Autumn months ahead, with many Lancashire landlords and tenants on our books we thought it only right to update you on the following lettings legislation changes that come into effect as of this month:

Section 21 Changes

In line with the Deregulation Act, from the 1st October 2015, new rules mean that at the start of a new tenancy a landlord (or agent) must provide their tenants with a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), an annual Gas Safety Certificate and a copy of the government’s new ‘How to Rent’ guide. This is a drastic change to the previous way a landlord or agent previously went about serving a Section 21, meaning that if you fail to provide your tenants with such proof you will be unable to serve the eviction notice.

According to a recent NLA survey a staggering 88% of tenants said they were unaware of this new eviction law!

Fire Safety Laws

New smoke and Carbon Monoxide regulation changes came into effect from October 1st too, preventing up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries per year. All landlords in England, or letting agents acting on their behalf, are now required by law to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property as well as making sure to fully test them at the beginning of each new tenancy. Carbon monoxide alarms must also be fitted where appropriate in all rooms the tenant actively uses which contain a solid fuel appliance, e.g. wood burner, coal fire, gas cooker, etc. Those that don’t comply risk fines of up to £5,000, but TAKE NOTE: throughout the tenancy it remains the tenants’ responsibility to test and maintain each alarm.

At Ainsworth Lord Estates the safety of our tenants is imperative, so we welcome this change wholeheartedly.

Section 8 Amendment

Much lesser known than the Section 21 changes, there will also be a small change to the existing Section 8 notice in England. Under regulation 4 (The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015) the English version of the Section 8 form is being amended again, following changes previously made this April. The slightly revised notice will only be used where the tenancy was granted on or after 1st October 2015, to include a written renewal but not a statutory periodic tenancy arising on or after that date. However for tenancies that are granted in England before 1st October 2015, the April 2015 version of the Section 8 Notice will apply. This newest version of Section 8 will apply to all assumed shorthold tenancies from 1st October 2018, regardless of when they were granted in England (assuming there are no further changes made to it).

It’s our aim to help address the overwhelming demand for housing in and around the North West, whilst at the same time protecting our Landlords’ interests. So avoid careless mistakes and heartache, by using the most proactive Property Agents in the Darwen & Blackburn area today!

Lancashire towns hailed as family hotspots

Lancashire towns hailed as family hotspots

In this year’s Family Hotspots Report four Lancashire postcodes have ranked highly as some of the best places for families to live, right across England and Wales. Organised by insurance firm One Family, 71 different sets of data across six criteria (education, childcare, safety, property, amenities and population) were analysed for each location and attributed either a positive or negative score. An overall score for each postcode was then calculated, to give the top 20 places for 2015.

#6 – Longridge, Lancashire, PR3


As a country of contrasting landscapes, diverse heritage and cultures the Ribble Valley town of Longridge features for the third time in this list, featuring in 6th place this year. Just south of the Forest of Bowland and originally a quarry town, Longridge boasts above average educational access with excellent Key Stage 2 results. It’s a popular choice amongst British families due to its property prices slightly rising to bring them in line with the areas average salary. With a population of 38,000, its appearance has changed significantly over the years, what with new housing developments, and so has all the amenities a family could possibly need. It includes an eclectic variety of restaurants, 9 pubs to choose from, a lovely local library, a monthly farmers’ market, the annual ‘Field Day’, fundraising attractions and several primary and high schools.

#13 – Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7


Home to 14,000 people, Clitheroe is a classic Lancashire market town with a thriving community spirit. In 13th place, it boasts annual Spring and Food festivals, several sports and activity clubs as well as an annual cycle race and the popular Ribble Valley Jazz Festival. As a town of food lovers, Clitheroe has the well-known Cowman’s Sausage Shop selling over 70 varieties and they even have an annual Sausage Day every January! Parents will be impressed with its below average house prices and above average school scores, and the kids will be kept occupied by the intriguing local castle.

#17 – Bury, Lancashire, BL8


The market town of Bury features in this list in a respectable 17th place. Located on the banks of Manchester’s River Irwell, you can also access Leeds, Preston and Liverpool in just under an hour via the motorway. And because of its close proximity to towns and cities with higher employment opportunities, it means that the average annual salary is relatively higher than other Lancashire towns. Bury’s crime rates are also far below the national average at 0.13%; rather fitting to one of Bury’s most famous historical residents; Sir Robert Peel, former Prime Minister and founder of the Metropolitan Police. Its famous market remains popular, renowned for its black pudding, and recent investment has seen the brilliant development of characterful and independent retailers at the Rock. The towns’ educational infrastructure is also very strong, with Key stage 2 and 4 results consistently above the national average.

#20 – Burscough, Lancashire, L40


Originally two small farming villages on a low ridge above the West Lancashire Coastal Plain, Burscough village has little over 18,000 people and is the newest edition to the 2015 Family Hotspot list. With one secondary school and a string of good primary schools, it enjoys a low crime rate too. The Martin Mere wildfowl reserve is a popular visitor attraction, with Burscough Wharf, a small retail and leisure development, featuring a number of arts, craft and hobby shops alongside the tranquil Leeds and Liverpool canal. Burscough property prices are also well below the national average, suggesting stable employment opportunities.

We have many beautiful properties just on the edge of the Ribble Valley in Blackburn and Darwen to buy or rent HERE. There really couldn’t be a better time to move to our unique and culturally rich county, so please get in touch with Ainsworth Lord today!


Fighting for Gas Safety in Lancashire

Fighting for Gas Safety in Lancashire

This week Ainsworth Lord Estates are proudly supporting Gas Safety Week; an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking proper care of gas appliances in the home. Many of us will never forget the Blackburn gas explosion back in March, which saw a 90 year old woman having to leave her home after an explosion seriously damaged her kitchen and left part of her home unstable and dangerous.

Gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning are all caused by badly fitted and/or poorly service gas appliances. Did you know that in Britain there are approximately 50 accidental deaths per year due to carbon monoxide poisoning? With over 1,100 cases of recorded admissions to hospital, many are likely to be suffering unknowingly.

So what can homeowners do to reduce the risk of being poisoned in their own homes?

1. Employ a registered gas engineer (with Gas Safe Register) to annually service your gas appliances.

2. Make sure that any other fossil-fuel burners (e.g. oil/coal) are also checked annually by a professional.

3. Purchase and place carbon monoxide detectors around your home.

4. Regularly check, maintain and replace CO detectors.

And watch out for:

– boiler pilot-light flames burning an orange colour, instead of the normal blue,

– sooty stains on or near appliances,

– excessive condensation in the room where the appliance is kept,

– wood or coal fires that easily go out or burn slowly,

– if you or other members of your family begin to suffer prolonged flu-like symptoms.

What if I rent my home?

If you are a tenant who rents your home, your landlord has a legal responsibility to make sure that they maintain and annually check the safety of any gas appliances within the property through a registered engineer. Additionally, they must provide you with a Gas Safety Record within 28 days of completing the check or before you move in. And from October 1st landlords and letting agents will have a new duty of care to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms within their rentals at the beginning of each tenancy too. CO alarms must be found in any room on the premises that is used wholly or partly as a living space and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. And those that don’t comply will not just be risking their tenants’ lives but also a £5,000 fine.

Furthermore, this coincides with Fire Door Safety Awareness Week which we are all in full support of. And as a North West resident it’s very comforting to know that Lancashire’s most recent fire safety statistics reveal that there were 29% less accidental housing fires, 60% less arson fires and 57% less people being killed or injured in fires than 5 years ago!

Above all else, if you smell gas or start to feel unwell when your gas appliances are in use you must act quickly to protect you and your family.