Rental Insights

During the last 12 years we have rented a few properties through letting agents, all new builds, and all have been a dream, until something goes wrong. Thankfully nothing major has ever gone wrong for us, although the alarm was once sounding full volume for hours and hours whilst we waited for the company to turn up to fix it. We have always used well-established letting agents who vet landlords and act as a middleman.

Renting is such a ‘norm’ today, but it’s so important to make sure you’re with a reliable company. I hear so many horror stories about landlords not bothering with the upkeep of their properties and occupants being left in life threatening conditions. You really need to research your rights as a renter and source out trustworthy letting agencies who are very transparent.

We always went with well-known letting agents and landlords, and we have not had a bad experience.

As a tenant it is important to know your rights, you have the right to:

  • live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair
  • have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends – and in some circumstances have it protected
  • challenge excessively high charges
  • know who your landlord is
  • live in the property undisturbed
  • see an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
  • be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent
  • have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than 3 years

But, also as a tenant you have responsibilities too:

  • You must give your landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Your landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access.
  • take good care of the property, for example turn off the water at the mains if you’re away in cold weather
  • pay the agreed rent, even if repairs are needed or you’re in dispute with your landlord
  • pay other charges as agreed with the landlord, for example Council Tax or utility bills
  • repair or pay for any damage caused by you, your family or friends
  • only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement or your landlord allows it

Your landlord has the right to take legal action to evict you if you don’t meet your responsibilities.

And don’t forget to get the right insurance that covers you as a tenant!

Leading landlord and tenant insurance providers HomeLet have released the fourth in their series of landlords advice eBooks and it includes some interesting facts and figures from a recent survey which asked tenants exactly how happy they were with their landlord or letting agent.

  • Overall 86% of people were either very happy, quite happy or somewhat happy with their landlord or letting agent
  • 75% of people surveyed claimed to be happy with the response to maintenance requests
  • 43.6% of tenancy agreements do not allow pets
  • 12.5% of people surveyed have had their deposit withheld with 39.1% of these down to cleaning and 19.3% down to re-decorating costs

So, whether you’re considering renting or currently renting, research your rights and your responsibilities, and get the cover you need.

#RentalInsights

The Ultimate Shopping Experience

Is there such a thing as the ultimate shopping experience once you’re a parent? With your kids, no, but without, then yes. Or is this just me being a bit cruel? Ha! My boys hate shopping, unless it is toy shopping of course, but even then it’s usually a traumatic experience. I tend to avoid shopping with my kids and the majority of my shopping is done online nowadays.

Pre-kids I used to love shopping for hours and hours, sometimes a whole twelve hours. Shopping and perusing were some of my most favourite past times. Then my little bundles of joy came along and shopping turned into more of a chore. It was a rushed process, I no longer perused in my own time, I had to be organised and be quick. The joy soon withered away regarding shopping, but the love I have for it is still there, buried but still there, and every so often it gets rekindled and I remember how much I love it.

I do, however, go shopping in a much more organised manner nowadays. My trusty lists help me. I plan which shops I need to go into, this makes it so much easier to not become overwhelmed and to lose the joy of shopping.

Comfortable shoes are also a must! There is nothing worse than going shopping and having to wince at every step you make because you’ve worn heels and your feet feel like balls of lava.

At least one coffee pit-stop is also usually required, sometimes two, and maybe even three if it’s Christmas shopping. I carry a bottle of water too, the changing rooms are often hotter than the Sahara Desert!

I also love going to the beauty counters in department stores too during my shopping trips. Nothing warms my heart more than a few samples of the latest perfumes and make-up products to trial at home. It gives you  little spurt of shopping energy too a little pick-me-up!

One of my favourite shopping centres is The Trafford Centre in Manchester, I’ve been a few times and have always had a great shopping experience there, but my shopping goal for 2017 is to visit Liverpool ONE. Its reviews are amazing (you can see what’s on in Liverpool if you’re interested here).

No matter where I shop I think my favourite time of year to shop has to be Christmas, I love the smells, the lights, the decorations, the coffee specials, and the general atmosphere. What’s your favourite time of year to shop?

Are you an organised shopper? I’d  love to know how you make sure you have the ultimate shopping experience!

#ultimateshoppingexperience