Company Annual Reports and Accounts These have never been submitted late to Companies House nor to HMRC. Corporation tax has always been paid on time and in full. In 2016 HMRC described the Company’s conduct as “exemplary”.


Contract Compliance

The Company reserves the right to terminate any contract in the event of attempts to adopt hidden agendas, alter contracts, deceive, insert “poison pills” or use small print. The Company will not be a party to any opaque contract nor to any so called “deemed” contract.


Completion of work and payment

The Company shall not pay for any work prior to its completion.


Credit rating

The Company’s credit rating is excellent.

              

Disputes The Company has worked hard to foster good relationships with agents, contractors and tenants. This has been reciprocated.


Ethics Stephen Grundy is sufficiently proud of what he does not to feel the need to hide behind a misleading or obscure company name or initials. The Company has a very high tenant approval rating and aims to maintain high standards which have fallen short of best practice elsewhere. It will not accept commission or “kickbacks” from energy suppliers or insurance companies, countenance inserting “poison pills” in leases, delay returning deposits without good cause, delay supplying references for tenants wishing to leave, “gazump”, pay bills late nor pay in cash. Good, long term  estate management is considered preferable to short term monetary gain. “Trying to get it right” is more important than generating income.


The Company has never succumbed to the temptation to extend properties or “infill” gardens, believing that most urban areas are already over-developed to the detriment of their communities.


Giving  The Company supports Cancer Research UK and  Macmillan


Government intervention  The Company believes that, as to assured shorthold tenancies, the pendulum has swung too far in favour of landlords and that some measure of reform and rent control is overdue. But the risk is that, as with tenancy deposit protection legislation, good landlords will pay the price for the excesses of the bad and HMG will create more bureaucracy. New legislation may better serve the needs of civil servants than tenants. 


Sadly political memories are short and some junior politicians were not even alive to witness the Wilson government’s bodged  attempts to introduce Development Land Tax, the Community  Land Act and Land Acquisition Management Scheme in 1975 which were a failed attempt to nationalise land. But such portents are significant.


Job Satisfaction The Company is satisfied with many achievements but constantly strives to improve.


Management Most buildings are managed in-house. This provides a bespoke service which institutional landlords are unlikely to match. Voids are rare. A significant number of tenants pay well in advance of the due date. Presently the only significant rent arrears amount to  £17.37 being the “chief rent” payable by a government-subsidised housing association. Commitment, loyalty and precision are important.


Mistakes The Company has made mistakes but tries to put decency at the heart of the business.


Ownership Unsolicited offers from break-up merchants and others of doubted respectability to buy the Company have been resisted. These purchasers were deemed unsuitable, might have torn the heart from the business and would have had little concern for tenants. Any purchaser would need to be of the highest standing - the sort of purchaser who would respect the needs of tenants.


Policy The Company is a mature and risk-averse. All the Directors are members of the Family. It is custodian of property which it improves to provide quality accommodation at reasonable rents for the long term. Tenants rarely leave. (Nationally two-thirds of private tenants stay for under three years - source Residential Landlords’ Association). It is always rewarding when a couple move into a house, create a home, get married and raise a family there. The tenancies are well suited for mature couples with settled and stable lifestyles and those seeking security in a turbulent world. One tenancy began in 1923 and ended on 7 June 2013 when the second generation tenant died aged 94. The Company understands it can take a long time to create a comfortable home, to get it as one wants it to be. The quality of residential tenants is generally high which is testimony to the skill of the agents who introduce them.


Principal Aims To keep a consistent, good reputation, to build and retain a viable business for the long term, to avoid problems, like this, this & this, to achieve continuity and momentum, to consolidate, to further strengthen the balance sheet, to have fun and to maintain exacting standards. In short to have created a business of which the Family is proud.


The Company does not aim to be the biggest but does try to be the best.

                                

Progress The business has consolidated and survived through testing times. It has also made extensive property upgrades.   Recent acquisitions have been of better quality because, although yields are lower, these properties add substance to the portfolio and are easier to manage. 2018 was a period of modest growth. Presently approximately one third of the income (36.2%) is reinvested in the Company. It has substantial reserve funds, responsible gearing, a strong balance sheet and an untapped overdraft facility with a very keen rate of interest. Further consolidation and retrenchment is to be the hallmark of 2019.


Projects Since incorporation in August 2010 some twenty-two refurbishments have been completed.


The Future The Company relishes challenges. It is in it for the long haul. It aims to grow cautiously whilst retaining the values which make it distinctive. The market is likely to present useful buying opportunities and will favour investors rather than dealers.


Legislation now favours tenants rather than landlords. The Company believes this will be more equitable, fairer and make for happiness and so should be welcomed.


STEPHEN GRUNDY LTD

At the start and Provenance  Although Stephen Grundy established the business in 1979 its roots can be traced back to 1914 when his Greg ancestors created Agreements for “chief rents”. These have been collected uninterrupted to this day. A period of sustained growth was followed by incorporation in 2010 on the advice of Deloitte. The Company then consolidated, used patient capital and concentrated on property upgrades. Presently a small number of acquisitions are being made with extreme caution.


Background and History  After graduating from university Stephen Grundy undertook property research with the National Cash Register Company (NCR) in the UK and in the Irish Republic. He worked with G E Sworder & Sons, a respected firm of agricultural auctioneers (now Savills) in the heyday of the provincial auction market. The business (which had an esprit de corps and camaraderie which few firms could match) had auction rooms, livestock market and offices in the home counties and East Anglia. This was a golden age for many traditional independent agents before being homogenised by pension funds and then the internet which further eroded the individuality of firms. Sworders was a wonderful firm to be with, securing instruction which might otherwise have gone to the big London agents.  In the heady oil boom days of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s Stephen Grundy leased real estate and managed buildings for the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) in the Middle East before it was nationalised. Aramco was the largest oil company in the world, lifting some 7 million barrels a day making it probably the richest company in the world.