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What to consider when installing a new kitchen

CoffeeMachine

With Christmas not so far away (scary I know!) now can be the perfect time to have a new kitchen fitted. This way it will be in and ready for use to have the family round for a huge Christmas dinner and to christen the kitchen in the best way possible. For many the kitchen is the heart of the home so having one that meets all your needs is essential. It can be a very exciting time especially if it is the most used room in the house. For this reason it is critical that a lot of planning goes into it as you need to decide what is essential, what will be a luxury and how you will be using the room. We have listed some of the most important things to consider when planning your new kitchen.

Layout

A few years ago, the kitchen was just used for functional reasons. To prepare food for the family but now it seems the kitchen has become more of a social area and a space where a lot of entertaining takes place. For this reason many spend a lot of money on their kitchens, however, if you haven’t chosen the best layout for your kitchen then it could be a waste of money. Are you just going to be using the kitchen for preparing the meals or will you be eating there too? Will be be holding dinner parties and if so do you need a more informal area for the guests to be before you sit down for dinner? Continue reading

Summer and the Property Market

Home

With the summer months behind us and autumn on its way, although the weather tells a different story, it is a good time to look back at what happened to the property market in what should have been the quietest months of the year.

House Prices

During July and August there was a 0.4% rise in house prices which is showing that the property market is in the best state is has been in since 2007. It seems that the sunshine managed to tempt buyers into having a look at what is on offer in the market which helped turn around the quiet slump that is usually seen during the summer.

This is great news, especially if you are a landlord and looking to expand your portfolio or even sell some of your properties. Either way, you are in a good situation right now. Although if you are looking to buy, make sure you do it soon so you aren’t overpaying for a property that is in high demand.

If you have a second home which you are selling but it has been on the market for a while, why not consider renting it out for six months. This way you will make some extra income from a property that isn’t doing anything except costing you money. If this is the case though, make sure you read the guidelines on how to make you property suitable for a tenant and invest in a landlord insurance policy. You don’t want to rent the property out to find there is damage that needs to be repaired before you sell, especially if you aren’t covered with a policy. Continue reading

Decorating your Rental Property

Sofa

Last month we spoke about whether you should furnish your investment property or not. This month there seems to be some new light on the discounts customers actually think they are receiving on their furniture.

Bank Holiday Weekend

With the bank holiday weekend very nearly here, there are only two things that can be expected here in Britain, rain and a huge sale in almost every major furniture store that is on the high street. Well it seems that this bank holiday is about to change up the history books! There is said to be some sunshine this August weekend and on top of this we have just learned that the furniture sales might not be genuine after all. Continue reading

Letting a Property Furnished or Unfurnished?

With a very competitive rental market at the moment you want to make sure that your property has the edge on others in the same area. Many landlords do this by furnishing the property so it is an easy move, especially for those who are moving out of their family home. It means that they don’t have to worry about saving extra money for furniture as it is already going to be supplied. Often furnished properties find tenants quicker because there is more inspiration provided rather than trying to attract tenants with empty rooms. Continue reading

Electrical safety for landlords

Light BulbLandlords are being urged to pay more attention to electrical safety. A new report by the Electrical Safety Council shows that a fifth of tenants have been put at risk by faulty or damaged electrics.

Landlords are legally required to carry out gas safety checks, and get a gas safety certificate, every year. The rules on electrics are much woollier. Landlords are required to make sure that the electrics are safe, but there is no requirement for an annual check and certificate. This can mean that electrical safety gets forgotten. Continue reading

London Assembly calls for rental reform

City HallThe London Assembly is proposing significant changes to the way the private rented sector is regulated and managed in London.

The Assembly, which works alongside the Mayor of London, wants to see rents controlled in the capital, longer tenancies and registration of landlords. Assembly member Len Duvall said that reform is needed to ensure that the capital’s housing conditions do not return to ‘Dickensian squalor’. Continue reading

Investing in Another Property

Over the last few years, student housing has become very popular amongst landlords and has transformed over the last ten years into a global market. This is a result of the increase in students in need of somewhere to live; there has been an increase of 67 million students since 2000 to 2011.

James Pullan is the head of Knight Frank Student Accommodation and he has said, “Student property is one of the most successful real estate asset classes, thanks to stability of demand for student bedrooms from all over the UK. The market is still structurally undersupplied in all core university cities.” Continue reading

Squatters: what you need to know

abandoned houseSquatting is now a criminal offence in residential properties following a change in the law last year. But that doesn’t mean that it is necessarily any easier than it was to remove squatters. Landlords need to be aware that there is still a risk that their property will be squatted. Continue reading

Win a Molton Brown Travel Kit in our Father’s Day competition!

PropertyQuoteDirect Father's Day CompetitionHere at PropertyQuoteDirect we know that landlords love to make things look their best and have a taste for those little luxuries. So we are giving away a Molton Brown Travel Kit to one lucky Facebook winner in our Father’s Day competition – perfect to treat yourself or your dad with!

To be in with a chance of winning this prize all you have to do is like our Facebook page, click on the ‘Promos’ tab and enter your details. You need to be quick though as the competition ends Sunday 16th June at midnight!

Good luck!

T&Cs
Entrants must be 18 years or older and based in the UK.
Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Facebook once all the entries have been counted. Prize must be claimed within 7 days or the winner will be redrawn.
If original prize is not available then another of the same or equal value will be provided.

Legal for Landlords: know your rights

Old BaileyLandlords often fail to protect their legal rights properly. Many see housing law as being there mainly to protect tenants. It should be used to protect landlords too.

The law can be complex. And when you have a long to-do list to deal with, it’s easy to push understanding the law to the bottom of it. We’ve covered landlords’ legal responsibilities recently. Now we’ve put together this list of the basics to help landlords know their rights. Continue reading