Christmas Decorations That Will Not Dent Your Deposit

Who among us does not appreciate the beautiful lights and festive decorations of Christmas? If you are the kind of person who likes to decorate for the holidays, this is the time of year when your creative juices can begin flowing. But wait. What if you rent a flat rather than owning your property, meaning that you have to consider flat rental inventory? Decorating for Christmas can be a bit more iffy.

Before you begin putting up the fairy lights and stockings, take a look at your lease agreement to see what it says. The agreement may include restrictions about how you can attach things to the walls; it might even stipulate whether or not you can bring a living pine tree into your residence. Once you know your restrictions, you have a good idea how to proceed and can rest in the knowledge that your property inventory checks will be okay at the lease’s end.

Artificial Christmas Trees

Smaller, artificial Christmas trees make it possible for you to have a tree without running afoul of restrictions on the living variety. What’s more, today’s artificial trees look more realistic than ever before. Many of them even come with fairy or berry lights already strung within the boughs and branches. You can easily add plastic and paper ornaments that are easy on the budget and much more safe than glass.

Christmas-tree-NoLettingGoChoose LED Lights

Anyone planning to use holiday lighting in a rented property should seriously consider using LED lights. LED technology uses considerably less electricity and significantly reduces the risk of fire hazard. As always, make sure to read and understand the instructions that come with your light sets so as to not overload electrical sockets.

You can hang lights from curtain rails or attach them to larger furniture pieces. This enables you to string lights without having to damage walls. If your lease agreement allows it, you can buy suction cup hooks or adhesive hooks that use temporary, peel-away strips that do not damage walls.

Christmas-LED-Lights-NoLettingGoWreaths and Garlands

Wreaths and garlands are great holiday decorations you can put just about anywhere without the need to attach anything to the walls. Wreaths can be placed on the dining table with a few candles while a garland can be the wound around the staircase railing, a stand-up lamp, or your curtain rails. Garland also makes a very nice accessory for your Christmas tree. You can get it in a variety of colours and styles to suit your preference.

Christmas-Wreaths-NoLettingGoWindow Decals and Stencils

Windows makes a great canvas for holiday decorations by way of decals and stencils. Window decals are made of vinyl so they easily stick to windows as long as the panes are clean. After the holidays, they peel right off with no damage done. If you prefer stencilling, you can create some gorgeous designs using a can of artificial spray-snow.

The stencilling idea is a bit more challenging but well worth the effort. And don’t worry about the spray-snow, it will wipe right off with some warm water and a towel. In the meantime, you can enjoy snowflakes and holiday messages glistening in the sunlight as it comes through your windows.

Another good way to put your windows to work is to create silhouette images using white paper. Attach the silhouettes with a little bit of sticky tape and you’re done. During the daylight hours the silhouettes are simple pictures people will enjoy as they pass by; at night they look fantastic against the background lighting of your room.

Christmas-Window-Stencils-NoLettingGoYou can decorate for the holidays even if you live in a rented property. You just need to be a little creative and keep in mind what your lease agreement stipulates without worrying about letting inventories.

Photo sources: flickr.com/photos/johnnylcy – flickr.com/photos/theyoungthousands – flickr.com/photos/ewulina – flickr.com/photos/quinnanya

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Top tips for Property Investors & Landlords

The property market has become an obsessive past time in Britain. Speculative musings can be found on nearly every news source asking the question, ‘What will happen next?’ £7bn will be pledged to prioritize housebuilding according to the Autumn Statement 2015Here are the 6 things every landlord should check before buying an investment home:

  1. Research the local area

From local amenities to nearby parks and playgrounds, the area the property is located in can prove to be a real asset to the home, or can be a deterrent. Look into things like the ratings and ability to get into the local schools, the amount of the council tax, the ability to get a take away, and even the flight paths. If you aren’t familiar with the area it makes it hard to know if there are planes which fly overhead or if your tenant would be able to enrol their children in the local school.

Playground-NoLettingGo2. Research the commute

A stressful commute has been known to cause all sorts of frustrations including higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol and increased anxiety. Investing in a property near public transport or a reliable trainline can increase the appeal of the home, because of the location. Having knowledge of the ease of transport from the property can be a big USP when attracting tenants or future buyers.

Commute-NoLettingGo3. Don’t forget to think about what a tenant wants

It is imperative that you look at investing in a property which will be for the type of tenant you’d like to have. If you are interested in students consider a property near a university. If you are interested in attracting a young professional in London consider a property near a central line.

University-NoLettingGo4. Mind your budget

Purchasing the property is only one financial aspect of this investment. It’s important to consider not just the price of the mortgage, but also what you plan on charging for your rents and what the annual costs of maintaining the property would cost as well.

Budget-NoLettingGo5. Mind your time

It’s unavoidable that your tenants will need help from time to time. At the beginning there will be a large demand on your time if you plan on managing the property yourself. From marketing to potential tenants to overseeing the viewings, it can feel like a full time job. Even after the property has been rented the best appliances need repairing and tenants can lock themselves out of their home from time to time. So it’s important to consider how you value your time and if having a professional property management team take care of your investment is the best choice for you.

Time-NoLettingGo6. Don’t forget the little things

From flooding risks to sinkholes, not all properties are on solid ground. It’s imperative to get the necessary searches and perform your own research in order to know how at risk your investment might be. Although flood zones or sinkholes might be anomalies, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Recent Floods in Perry County KYProperty Detective helps people make more informed, smarter decisions about where they want to live or invest, by giving them the complete picture about their local areas. Visit PropertyDetective.com for more info.

Photo source: geograph.org.uk – wikipedia.org – flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04

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New Smoke Alarms Installation & Inspection Service

New Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Legislation 2015 for England, comes into effect on 1st October which means that landlords of residential properties must have smoke alarms fitted on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance. To support landlords and letting agents, No Letting Go has launched an inspection and installation services across its 50 regional offices. These regulations cover all private rented properties not just new tenancies which are let on assured shorthold tenancies and is retrospective.

Smoke-Alarm-Service-NoLettingGoNick Lyons, CEO of No Letting Go, says “with the enormous and somewhat challenging task agents and landlords now have with which to meet the requirements of the new legislation, we have launched a fully insured and audited inspection and installation service both as a standalone service or combined with our current inventory or check out , to help agents and landlords across the UK comply with the legislation.”

By providing this service No Letting Go will test, register and record all existing alarms, replace batteries and/or install new alarms where necessary. All information will be recorded in a report and on our web base system, accessible 24/7 providing a full audit trail to ensure agents and landlords meet these latest legislative requirements.

Check for details of your local office here, call our head office on 0203 1264 409 or e mail us at alarmcompliance@nolettinggo.co.uk.

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TDS – The Dispute Service Annual Review 2015

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) – the government approved deposit protection scheme for landlords, agents, and tenants in the UK – today announced the value of deposits protected has grown by £100m from last year, to over £1.3bn and a 25% increase in deposit disputes, to 11,900.

tdsThe TDS figures show that 19.2% of all disputes raised resulted in 100% pay-outs to tenants; 19.8% of all disputes raised by landlords or agents resulted in 100% pay-outs to them; while in the remaining 61% of cases saw the disputed money split between the parties.

Most of the disputes in England and Wales were about cleaning (58%), followed by damage (52%), redecoration (32%), gardening (17%) and rent arrears (10%).

It is worth noting the average amount of money disputed in cases across England and Wales was £831 – Our average inventory costs only 10% of this value; isn’t it worth considering a professional inventory service?

You can avoid the trend of increasing tenancy disputes with leading inventory provider No Letting Go: with an incredibly successful track record, we are the largest and most respected property inventory company with over 40 offices throughout the UK.

Call us today for enquires 01322 555128.

You can read the full TDS Dispute Service Annual Review 2015 here.

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Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Detector Regulations

On 11 March 2015 Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced that landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.

Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Detector RegulationsThe draft legislation says:

A relevant landlord in respect of a specified tenancy must ensure that

  • during any period beginning on or after 1st October 2015 when the premises are occupied under the
  • a smoke detector is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation (this includes bathrooms, toilets halls and landings)
  • a carbon monoxide detector is equipped in any room of the premises which is used as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance; and

(b) checks are made by or on behalf of the landlord to ensure that each prescribed detector is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.

With just three weeks to go, the draft Regulations have still not been approved by Parliament and, on Monday 7th September, the House of Lords threw them out and demanded it should debate them.

A week later – on Monday 14th September – Parliament has finally approved the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.

The deadline is October 1st and local authorities will fine landlords who fail to comply up to £5,000.

Smoke-Detector-NLGAside from the impending legislation, as part of our standard service No Letting Go now offer smoke detector and carbon monoxide testing at the point of inventory and checkout. We always strive to provide the best service possible by raising our standards and ensuring the health & safety of all our clients, that’s why we recommend that you buy and install alarms in your properties.

For more information call: 01322 555128 or email: info@nolettinggo.co.uk

Updated on 15/09/15

Photo source: wikipedia.org – nest.com

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Infographic: Guide to Becoming a Landlord

This infographic by Access Legal shows some of the things landlords need to do, the costs involved, the classic errors to avoid to make sure you get the best from buy-to-let – and how to look after your tenants so they look after you.

Access Legal - Guide to becoming a Landlord v3

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Infographic: Student Property Investment

Did you know that the UK is the number one host country in the world for international students? With this in mind, it’s clear to see that there are big opportunities for financial success in this sector.

If you are considering investing in student property, then check out Aspen Woolf‘s infographic to find out statistics and facts on university applications, offers and rented properties.

Infographic-student-property

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Getting Clear on Legionella Risk – Webinars for Landlords & Letting Agents from No Letting Go

No Letting Go is hosting a series of free webinars to help landlords and letting agents get to grips with the legalities and praticalities of assessing legionella risk in residential rental properties.

Legionella-Risk-Webinars-NoLettingGoFollowing the launch of its Legionella risk reporting service earlier in the year, Gary Claven, No Letting Go’s operations manager said, “We were surprised at how much confusion there was in the market place about compliance and the whole risk assessment process. We decided that a series of interactive webinars would be a good way for people to get concise and accurate information first hand.

Karen Morris, Lettings Manager for Hunters in Wokingham said, “I now have a thorough understanding of exactly what our obligations are around Legionella risk; the webinar really clarified things for me.”

Stacey George, Lettings Manager of Hunters, St Leonards on Sea added, “I’ve been able to put together a really good document for the team, we can now confidently answer any questions surrounding Legionella. We know exactly what we need to do and what records need to be kept.  It was also good to get an understanding of what is involved in the assessment process, how risk is calculated and reported.”

Potentially fatal, around 550 cases of Legionella are reported each year. It’s thought that the numbers could be as high as 180,000; detection levels are low as it is not usually tested for and the disease presents with pneumonia-like symptoms.

For more information and to register for the webinar programme please contact Gary Claven direct on 07475 526111, email garyclaven@nolettinggo.co.uk or visit www.nolettinggo.co.uk

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Top Safety Accreditation for No Letting Go

We’re happy to announce that we have been awarded accreditation from Safecontractor for our commitment to achieving excellence in health and safety. Safecontractor is a leading third party accreditation scheme which recognises very high standards in health and safety management amongst UK contractors.

The company’s application for Safecontractor accreditation was driven by the need for a uniform standard across the business.

Nick-Lyons-NoLettingGo “No Letting Go understands the importance of taking risk management seriously with regard to our clients, their clients and our personnel. We are constantly striving to continuously improve the standards of property reporting and ensure the health & safety of all our stakeholders”, said Nick Lyons, No Letting Go’s CEO.

Safecontractor accreditation will enhance the company’s ability to attract new contracts and its commitment to safety will be viewed positively by its insurers when the company liability policy is up for renewal.

Safecontractor is applicable to most sectors although it is particularly relevant to food manufacture, property, facilities management, retail and leisure sectors, all of which are big users of contracted services.

Safecontractor-Accreditation-NoLettingGoJohn Kinge, technical director of Safecontractor said, “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place.”

More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that No Letting Go has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.

Safecontractor plays a vital role in supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, whilst working with their contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”

Under the Safecontractor scheme, businesses undergo a vetting process which examines health and safety procedures and their track record for safe practice. Those companies meeting the high standard are included on a database, which is accessible to registered users only via a website.

Client-organisations who sign up to the scheme can access the database, enabling them to vet potential contractors before they even set foot on site. These clients agree that, as users of the scheme, they will engage only those who have received accreditation.

Over 210 major, nation-wide businesses, from several key sectors, have signed up to use the scheme when selecting contractors for services such as building, cleaning, maintenance, refurbishment or electrical and mechanical work.

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London – Brighton Bike Ride for the British Heart Foundation

The London to Brighton Bike Ride on 21st June meant that No Letting Go could showcase our finest athletes’ talents over the gruelling 54 mile charity event, which saw us raise an impressive £1000 for the British Heart Foundation.

London-Brighton-bike-ride-NLG-FinishNick, Jennie, Gary (Head Office), and Satinder (Docklands) all joined the other 22,000 cyclists on the ride from Clapham Common down to Brighton sea front, being led by foundation ambassador Pippa Middleton in order to help the British Heart Foundation fund its research into coronary heart disease. This is one of the UK’s biggest killer diseases and just makes the efforts put in by the team all the more heroic.

London-Brighton-bike-ride-NLG-FamilyThe team started at separate points of the race, with Satinder unfortunately being the “lone wolf” of the four, but all were reunited at the end to be greeted by their children. No doubt they have all made their families very proud. The amount of money raised means we need to give the team members tremendous congratulations on their selfless fundraising activities, well done!

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