Housing minister announces five million funding to tackle rogue landlords


In a bid to improve the reputation of the residential rental sector, the UK government has announced plans to provide £5 million worth of extra funding to councils around the country, according to the Gov.uk website. Housing Minister Brandon Lewis made the announcement on 22 January 2016 in an effort to crack down on irresponsible landlords who force tenants to live in squalid and dangerous properties. The funding will be shared out across 48 councils and will give 65 local authorities the power to increase the number ofproperty inspections, issue more statutory notices, survey streets and demolish sheds and prohibited buildings. Among those 48 councils, the London boroughs of Newham, Waltham Forest and Brent will see a large portion of the funding. Outside of London, councils in Blackpool, Nottingham and Hastings will receive significant support. How will this help potential tenants? Commenting on the incentive behind the funding, Mr. Lewis explained that the new measures, part of the Housing and Planning Bill, will ensure that tenants get a fair deal when they rent a home. This proposal will take total funding to £11.7 million distributed across the nation’s councils. “Many private rental tenants are happy with their home and the service they receive, but there are still rogue landlords that exploit vulnerable people and force their tenants to live in overcrowded and squalid accommodation.” Mr. Lewis explained, adding that the measures will not affect the vast majority of diligent and responsible landlords. “We are determined to tackle these rogues which is why we are providing 48 councils with extra funding, so they can get rid of the cowboy operators in their area and bring an end to tenants living in miserable homes in the name of profit. “We also want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation across the […]

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Safeguard Your Property Investment with Fire Alarms from Enfield Safety

Enfield Safety

If you own property, the last thing you want is for it to suffer fire damage. Even if no-one is hurt and your insurance company pays up, you’re still going to miss out on rents or pay for alternative accommodation until everything’s put right, not to mention the headache of organising the work. It could be a lot worse than that, though. If you’re renting out your property and haven’t fulfilled your legal obligations, you could also be hit by a hefty fine. Fire Risks Fires are regularly caused by a whole range of hazards, whether from human error or faulty equipment, the most common domestic causes being pans (especially chip-pans) on the cooker, faulty electrical equipment, and careless smokers. If your property is being used by anyone other than yourself and your family, either for domestic or work purposes, you have a legal obligation to provide fire safety equipment. If it’s just you, it’s just overwhelming common sense. Workplaces have required fire alarms for many years, but new legislation last autumn, as reported by This Is Money , also makes it compulsory to insert smoke alarms in rented property. It’s important that these should give off a loud enough signal to be heard — 85 decibels is an ideal level. Fire Alarms A full fire alarm system may seem prohibitively expensive, but a cheaper, flexible option is available if you view wireless fire alarms at enfieldsafety.co.uk . A system like the Defender Wireless Fire Alarm System allows for multiple call points — up to 40 — and sounder strobe units. The base station can be located anywhere you choose, even off-site, as long as it’s reasonably close. Wireless fire alarms are an excellent option for the flexibility needed in multi-occupancy properties, but perhaps even more so for the development of investment properties. Whether the property is being built from scratch or […]

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The best tiles to use in your bathroom


It is no surprise that tiling your bathroom is often a lot more practical than painting and carpeting it. It is an area that will get a lot of water exposed to it, and the majority of tiles are able to withstand this, unlike carpet. However, some are more resilient and naturally waterproof than others, and it is important to know exactly what you are getting when you pick your chosen material. Below, we have listed just three of the most popular tiles that are used in bathrooms to help you make your all important decisions, and get the best bathroom tile for you. Porcelain Tiles are among the most popular tile choices for bathrooms and are perfect for those with a smaller budget, but do not want to compromise on the appearance. Porcelain is available in a huge array of styles and colours, allowing you to get the look of a more expensive material such as marble, without paying the price for it. It is an incredibly durable material, and can stand up to a lot of traffic, which makes it perfect for both floors and direct shower walls. It is best to get glazed porcelain tiles as they can withstand more water, bacteria and scratches, making them more hygienic and suitable for use in the bathroom. They are very easy to clean and maintain – a simple wipe over with a non-abrasive cloth is enough. They can also withstand heat, which means, for a more luxurious feel, underfloor heating can be installed, so it does not feel cold underfoot. Quartz Tiles are becoming such a popular choice due to their sheer beauty. Not only are they available in every colour of the rainbow, they have a high gloss finish, and some even have little mirror pieces in the tiles giving […]

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Can your staircase increase the value of your home?

James Grace

When it comes to selling or letting your home, you want it to look its best before the viewings begin. But where to start? It’s perhaps not surprising to hear that research conducted by Nationwide found that adding an extra double bedroom and bathroom through carrying out a loft conversion will have the most impact on a property’s value. A survey by mortgage and loans provider Ocean Finance found that 54% of home owners in the UK were planning to carry out improvements on their properties in 2015, with 12% wanting to create more useable space in their properties. So what about the often overlooked staircase? James Grace spoke to a number of leading estate agents to find out what they thought about renovating a staircase to give your property a boost in value. For many properties, the staircase is the first thing that you see when entering, Andrew Thorpe from Savills said: “It helps with first impressions. We deal with best in class properties and what is quite a common feature in a lot of the properties we sell is an impressive reception hallway. And a big part of a reception hallway is often a feature staircase. We’ve actually had press requests from the national papers for properties for nice staircases. At some point last year we had a request for properties with glass staircases, for example. So although it isn’t necessarily a common feature we are asked about, it’s one of those features that creates a lasting impression for a property of a particular caliber and is often expected as part and parcel.” It’s usually the norm to renovate certain rooms in a house before selling it, however Nic Lewis from Estates & Leisure said that he has started to see an uplift in staircase renovations lately: “From experience I […]

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Past kitchen designs that are making a comeback

Britannia Living

If you’re looking for the quintessential vintage kitchen, it’s always a challenge to make sure you stay on trend. We’re currently seeing many styles come back into fashion after years in the wilderness, and a subtle combination of these approaches could provide you with a kitchen that perfectly fits what you’re looking for. Features such as enamelware and open shelving have come full circle and are now an eye-catching addition to any modern kitchen, while you could also inject some personality into your kitchen with bright colours and rustic wood panelling. Read on to find out how your dream kitchen compares with those of years gone by: Author Bio: Britannia Living provide range cookers and accessories that aim to put the kitchen at the heart of every home. They also offer design tips and advice on how to create your dream kitchen. Infographic source: http://www.britannialiving.co.uk/news/past-kitchen-designs-are-making-comeback

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Minor Repairs and Renter’s Rights


Landlords are only responsible for keeping a rental unit in livable condition, but many renters feel like they are stuck in living conditions that are far from ideal. A dripping bathroom sink, a stained carpet, or a lock, that either opens with too much ease or too much difficulty. These are not major problems but still the landlord should take responsibility, even if the solution is to call in a professional service to provide a lock change in Harrow . Landlords and Major Problems All major problems must be fixed by the landlord. This includes keeping the building structurally sound with its floors, roofs, and stairways. All heating, electrical, and plumbing must also be operating safely. This means that hot and cold water is supplied reasonably, and any infestations must be exterminated. Keep in mind though, that if a problem is the result of the renters own carelessness, the repair bill will not be covered by the landlord. If it is not paid that amount could be taken from the security deposit. Minor Repairs There are a number of factors that come into play when determining if the landlord has to take care of any minor repairs such as a leaky faucet or old paint. It is suggested to look at the terms of your lease, any state and local building codes, or state landlord tenant laws to see if your landlord is legally required to make these repairs. How to Get Minor Repairs Made Many landlords will not take care of minor repairs if it is not in the contract. However there are a few different ways that have proven useful in getting landlords to take care of the minor problems. Submit a Repair Request First you can write a repair request. Even if you have already verbally requested the repair it is always helpful […]

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Metal furnishings: Durable, stylish, and ideal for indoors


When we think about metal furnishings, we often think of outdoor furnishings – patio tables, garden benches and chairs. But metal furnishings aren’t just for the outdoors – the elements that make them so popular there are valuable inside too. They’re durable, stylish and long-lasting, and there’s a lot more variety than you might think. Whether it’s retro, glam, modern or edgy, there’s something out there for you. Stain-Free If you’re worried about furniture staining, then metal furnishings may be best for you. Wood, even when treated properly, can get stained by spills or children messing around! Metal is much harder to stain and often easier to wipe down, as it’s not absorbent. While there can be the concern of rust, so long as you choose the right sort of material this is less likely. Stainless steel is particularly good here – whilst it can end up rusting, it it very difficult to make it do so and its incredibly unlikely that your house would be the right sort of environment for this to happen. Modern It can be hard to find modern looking furniture – there’s a tendency towards soft furnishings, which always look older in style. Metal furnishings can add a crisp, clean modern edge to a house -whether they’re the main focus of a room or a simple side piece. Choosing a metal dining table can give a modern tone to an otherwise traditional room, and smaller pieces like a side table can be a nice focal piece. Pet Resistant Much as we love our pets, they do have a tendency to make furniture wear out quicker! Whether it’s treating table legs as a scratching post, or simply shedding hairs everywhere, they leave their mark on whatever you own. Metal furniture is much harder to scratch than wood or […]

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Student Property Management


Student property investment has emerged as one of the UK’s most successful asset classes. 2015 has seen record-breaking investment in the sector and, as the asset class moves further into the spotlight, more people are considering purchasing investment property in this market. Before you go at it alone, take a look at this infographic which sums up the pros and cons of managing a property by yourself. This infographic has been provided by London-based property agent Experience Invest .

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What effect does the internet have on home prices?


The internet has now invaded every part of your daily life. The commute to work will involve traffic lights, road work signs, or digital train and bus time tables; all of these things are controlled via a program and the internet. Even if you work from home you are likely to either connect to an office through the internet or connect to clients and customers through social media. This reliance on the internet has now made it more important than ever to have a good internet connection at home; in fact many buyers are now interested in the speed of the internet at a prospective house before they will consider making an offer. Research conducted by ISPreview.co.uk has suggested that as many as three quarters of buyers would reject the perfect house if the internet speed was too slow. A quarter of buyers would expect a reduction in the price based upon slow internet service. The Reason Buyers are equating the necessity of high speed internet with the same level of importance as having electricity available. Most people would not purchase a property without electricity and, now, it appears they would not purchase a property with slow internet. There is actually some logic behind these decisions. Research suggests that any town, or suburb, which does not benefit from high speed internet access, is likely to fall behind in economic terms. The internet has become essential to the modern way of life; in order to keep up with the latest developments in the news around the globe or in your field of study it is essential to have good internet access. This also applies to students who often need to complete their assignments online and need access to the internet for research. The Response Researchers at the University of Colorado and Carnegie Mellon University have been studying internet access and […]

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London’s Property Monopoly


Estate agent Hanover has created a revamped version of the famous Monopoly board to include today’s average house price. Based on house price data from October 2015, the image depicts the real cost of property in the Capital. To celebrate the game’s 80th anniversary, the image highlights property prices in London have increased since the launch of the world-famous board game. For example, back when the game first launched, the price of property in Old Kent Road was £60 on the board. In 2015, a property in Old Kent Road would set you back around £261,499. When compared to the original price on the game, a person would have to ‘Pass Go’ a fair few times to accumulate enough money to purchase even the cheapest house of the board. “We anticipated that there would be differences in the property market from 80 years ago, however the extent to how much it has changed is surprising,” Richard Douglas, director at Hanover’s West End office commented. By no surprise, property in London’s Mayfair have the highest price tag. On the original game, a player would need £400 to buy a property in Mayfair. 2015 prices indicate that a person would need a whopping £3.5 million on average to purchase a property in this prestigious part of the city. At the other end of the scale, after Old Kent Road, property prices in Whitechapel are the next cheapest with the average price of £379,000. Following that, Vine Street is the third cheapest with the average property price standing at £539,663 (up from the £200 original board price). Rising property prices Property prices in London have increased substantially over the last 80 years. International estate agent, Savills predicts that house prices in the capital will increase by 15% over the next 5 years. Experience Invest , a […]

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