Found: Cheryl Cole’s London bolthole

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

As Cheryl Cole finally resurfaces after her X Factor humiliation, the six-bedroom home where she has been laying low has just come on the market, has learned. The price tag for the 5,000 sq ft property, in the affluent north London suburb of Hadley Wood, is £3.15million.

Cole, who paid a reported £3,500-a-week to rent the new-build mansion – where she escaped the world’s media after being so publicly fired and lived in, up until very recently – was no doubt impressed by the Poggenpohl kitchens, Villeroy & Boch bathrooms, cinema room, ‘ilight’ system (that lets light pour into a room so that the walls look like giant windows) and the very long private driveway overlooking landscaped gardens that takes you to the main building.

The interior design scheme is monochrome, and the master bedroom comes with a suitably large dressing room to house all those sequinned off-the-shoulder numbers, and enormous bathroom with ample storage space to house the hairspray-addict’s products.

Hadley Wood, a semi-rural part of London in the borough of Enfield and close to Barnet, where you’ll find huge footballer-friendly homes, clearly holds good memories for Cole. A few miles away lies Wrotham Park, where Cheryl and Ashley married in Hello-tastic style in 2006; Hadley Wood is also where the couple shared a home in 2007.

The area’s detached properties with gated fronts mean it’s a magnet for celebrities, and a private security firm roams the area to keep them all safe. Singer Emma Bunton, rugby player Kyran Bracken and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Niko Kranjcar all live here, while Amy Winehouse escaped the pubs of Camden by moving here (she has since moved on).

“In total, I’d say between 2,000 and 3,000 people reside here – of those, quite a few are successful business people as well as celebrities,” says Justin Godfrey, associate director of the Barnet office of Savills. “We also get a number of footballers because it offers easy access to both the Tottenham and Arsenal training grounds – and with Tottenham building their new training grounds close by, I expect we’ll see even more footballers in the future. It’s a very discreet area, so celebrities can go about their business undisturbed, and it has a village feel with lots of green open spaces – yet on a good day, you can drive to Mayfair in 35 minutes.”

Typical prices for detached homes are predictably steep, starting at £700,000, and going up to £9million. These homes are not for the understated: in the most desirable streets – Beech Hill (where Cheryl Cole’s rented home lies) Camlet Way and Hadley Common – the houses here measure between 5,000 and 10,000 sq ft.

Words: Jessie Hewitson

June 24, 2011 at 10:58 AM Leave a comment

Rental blog: Finding a new flatmate by Jeannie

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

As anyone who has shared a home knows, housemates can be here today, gone tomorrow. Just as I’m writing this a new person is unpacking their stuff in our home and another leaves in two days time

A year’s worth of blog entries can be dedicated to the joys and woes of living with other people because choosing a housemate is tricky business.

For my housemates and I, it all began with the online advert, where we used a bit of code to try to attract the type of housemate we wanted: ‘professional’ (must have a job), ‘social’ (must be able to hold a conversation), ‘enjoy a glass of wine’ (must not be shocked by other housemates’ 4am drunken antics), ‘easy-going’ (must not get irritated by other housemates’ friends, dirty dishes, late night skype conversations with family on the other side of the world or television choices).

Once we got all our  replies, we sorted through the ones we wanted to see. Then it came time to actually meet them. Some houseshares choose to have one big viewing session so all the potential housemates can compete in eagerness to take the space (we once had one person pull out £1000 in cash to put down a deposit on the spot!). Other households may have to get the landlord’s approval, which can be difficult as sharers and landlords may have different ideas about who makes a good tenant.

Our housemate interviews were filled with lots of questions. Once we get the important stuff out of the way (where do you work? Are you happy to be on the lease? When can you move in?) some polite prying followed, but sadly we didn’t get answers to the questions we really wanted to ask: do you leave hair in the bath, have a loud, annoying boyfriend or weird nocturnal habits?

Flatmates don’t always work out and communal living is never easy. When it came to choosing our new housemate Jon, it was important he had a job to pay the rent, was happy to be on the lease and was friendly. The rest we’d only discover after a week under the same roof… let’s hope he knows how to stack a dishwasher.

June 19, 2011 at 7:57 PM Leave a comment

Olympic 2012 short let with £24,000 (per week) price tag to match!

West Grove, London £24,000 pw (£104,286 pcm) - 7 bedroom property to rent

With just over a year to go until the London 2012 Olympics, we got a little curious and wanted to know how the Olympic rental market was shaping up.

Thanks to our keyword search we are able to look for properties to rent on Zoopla that have the word ‘Olympic’ in the property description and we weren’t disappointed.

The search returned 422 properties available as a short let during the Olympics including this property to rent (pictured above). There’s no doubt it’s a stunning seven-bedroomed, elegant detached house, that comes with come with its own 24 hour house keeper, maid service and continental breakfast, but will it really fetch £24,000 per week (or £104, 286 per month)?

Situated at the edge of Blackheath in the buffer zone of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and it’s a short walk to Greenwich Park, the venue for the 2012 Equestrian Events.

The property is listed by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed property and has been sympathetically restored by the current custodians.

As the property description states, the owners are looking for a corporate let/entertaining, participants and organisers of the 2012 Olympic games or families wanting to be close to the Equestrian Events.

Will it achieve, Gold, Silver or Bronze we wonder?

Here are more London 2012 Olympic short lets on

Olympic Rental Advice

If you’re looking to let your property during the Olympic period you need to strike a balance between trying to achieve an early let and leaving it till the last minute. Looking back at what happened during the run up to the Millennium, some very speculative prices were being asked, demand didn’t always live up to expectation and many properties were never let.

A good price isn’t always the best deal. Those looking to rent should ensure that they are getting a good quality tenant who will look after their property. First time short-let landlords should work out what their target tenant is likely to be – corporate, family or perhaps an athlete – and prepare for that market.


1. Given that there is still some time to go, you should secure a deposit early on to ensure that the let takes place.

2. Make sure you have a detailed inventory of contents

3. Make sure you take pictures to record the condition of the property before it’s let

4. Be careful with what utilities are included in the rent….electricity and gas can mount up!

5. Speak to your local estate agent and see which ones are dealing with short-term lets over during the Olympic period

6. Ask three to give you a rental valuation

London 2012 Olympic short lets on

June 17, 2011 at 3:13 PM 1 comment

Rental blog: Is a rented house a home when it’s got no internet, asks Jeannie

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

In this age of faster communication, why does it take so long to get plugged in at home? Our house has now been without internet for almost a month. Now there’s nothing wrong with a hiatus from the digital world, but its getting too much when you’re forced to chat to family on Skype in a public coffee shop, stay late at work to book a summer holiday to Spain, or visit friends for a cuppa just so you can update your Facebook status.

Why are we in internet isolation? The long of it is my ex-housemate closed the phone account in his name when he moved out, which then cut off our broadband. So it takes a week, many phone calls via India and a lot of lunch hours listening to a computer generated voice to get the phone line back up and running. Then it’s another week for the phone company to update their records so we’re registered account users. This then means our broadband provider can set up the reinstallation process, which is then followed by a week of waiting for them to activate us.

We haven’t needed to get a new router, phone, or cables, but scanning forums online (while at the office of course), it seems this is the norm when it comes to home technology and renting. Something I try to explain to my Italian housemate as he throws his arms in the air and says this doesn’t happen in Italy.

Glancing at the flashing orange light on the router, I don’t say anything about having to do this all over again when the person who has the broadband package in their name eventually moves out…

June 17, 2011 at 10:45 AM 2 comments

Win: A signed Phil Spencer book

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

The office was all a buzz a couple of weeks back when we got to interview none other than the nicest bloke in property – Phil Spencer.

The Location Location Location star told us all about his latest book – How to Buy Your First Home (And How To Sell It Too) – a very practical tome aimed at, as you’d guess from the title, those who want to buy their first home.

Not only did Spencer – who along with Kirstie Allsopp is one half of the UK’s most famous property couple – tell us that he thinks first-time buyers are key to ensuring the long-term health of the market, but he served up some tips for those who want to get on the home ladder as quickly as possible.

“Try to choose a property that will suit you for the longest period of time,” Spencer told “Also, try to chose a property that you can add value to during the time that you live there … because the market isn’t going to help you move in the future.”

All good advice from Mr Spencer. Oh, and he was nice enough to sign five of his books for five lucky readers. Just email with Phil Spencer in the subject line and you’ll be in with a chance to win one.

Read the terms and conditions

This competition has now closed.

June 16, 2011 at 11:09 AM 1 comment

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