We have been working with a London Estate Agent to bring to you information on the property market, including projects on what you should know if you are a tenant in a property
Image courtesy of Riley Marshall Ltd
At DIY Doctor we are aware that many of our readers are tenants. If you are in a rented property you should be careful to only undertake DIY with the full agreement of your landlord. It is always best to get an agreement to make any alterations or improvements to your rented house (or garden) in writing, even if this just means confirming what you agreed via an email. This can help to avoid any misunderstandings or repercussions later.
When a tenant is in a house for a long time the boundaries can become a little blurred as to who’s job is whose. If a tenant is happy doing some DIY then they could easily overstep the mark as far as the landlord is concerned. This can be something the tenants do with the best of intentions, but one person may perceive it as improvement and the other may not!
At the start of the tenancy there should be a written and photo inventory of the property (some agents also use videos for inventories). Therefore if you make any changes, it is as well to note the works on the inventory and take some accompanying photographs. Send a copy of both the amended inventory and photos to the landlord.
If you are about to become a tenant why not head over to our Renting a Property Project, written to help you avoid any pitfalls as a new tenant.
DIY Doctor will be on the Tricks of The Trade Stage at the National Homebuilding and Renovating Show at the NEC in Birmingham next month.
The show starts on the 21st March and runs until the 24th March 2013. Mike Edwards from DIY Doctor will be running a series of talks and demonstrations including how to plaster, how to lay tiles and how to avoid cowboy builders.
Are you planning a build?
The National Homebuilding and Renovating Show organisers have asked us, to ask you, how you intend to use finance to fund your build, renovation or extension, for the coming year. So if you have a moment to fill in their survey, they are offering a chance to win 1 of 5 prizes of £100 worth of high-street shopping vouchers.
The National Homebuilding and Renovating Show have partnered up with Experian for this survey. The idea is to examine the use of credit and financing on the homebuilding and renovating industry.
For your convenience the survey has been designed to make it easy to fill in on what ever device you prefer to use. You can complete it using a PC, Mac, iPad and most smartphones.
It will be very interesting to see what the research reveals – so if you have the time Please follow this link to complete their survey.
We would also like to see you at the show – so if you want free tickets as DIY Doctor guests then please click on the image below.
What happens if you have work done under the Green Deal and you want to sell your house.
The idea behind the Green Deal is to allow you to have certain approved work done at your property and then to pay for the work in installments via your energy bills.
The work would have to be assessed before if was carried out to ensure that you would save at least as much as it cost you to repay each month This know as the ‘golden rule’.
So what happens if you want to move house?
The energy benefits of the work will stay at the house and therefore so will the monthly costs (until the capital and interest are repaid).
This might not suit your purchaser, but you will have the option of paying off the money borrowed, if this proves to be a stumbling block.
What if you are buying a house?
If a vendor has had work done under the Green Deal, then it will be shown on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC is an essential report on the energy performance of any house that is on the market for sale or to rent. It must be displayed by the agent at the time of sale and it should be available for any prospective purchaser to see.
Read more about EPC reports on the Riley Marshall blog, click on the image below.
What is an EPC and what does it say about my house?
Repay or not?
It is not worth repaying the green deal loan attached to your property, unless the purchaser really does not want to take on the debt. Remember that the purchaser will be enjoying the benefits of the energy savings that your property improvements cost, so be sure not to lose out in any haggling of this type.
You could always offer to pay off the Green Deal agreement for a similar adjustment in the house price.
For more information on the Green Deal you can visit our Green Living section.
Building Magazine runs an annual award for the building industry.
The Building Magazine is celebrating its 170th year of publication this year. The finalists for the 2013 Building Awards have just been announced, and a list is available on their website, just click on the banner above to go to the Building Award Website.
There are many categories for nomination and industry entries and these are listed below:
Construction Consultant/Surveyor of the Year (fewer than 100 staff)
Construction Consultant/Surveyor of the Year
Architectural Practice of the Year
Engineering Consultant of the Year
Contractor of the Year (up to £300m)
Major Contractor of the Year (over £300m)
Housing Project of the Year
Public Building Project of the Year
Manufacturer of the Year
Housebuilder of the Year
Specialist Contractor of the Year
Project/Construction Management Firm of the Year
Building Magazine Project of the Year
Integrated Supply Chain of the Year
Cut the Carbon Award
Sustainability Project of the Year
(NEW) BIM Initiative of the Year
Construction Client of the Year
Chief Executive of the Year
Building Magazine Personality of the Year
The awards are very prestigious and are proudly boasted by all companies who have been winners. If you are thinking of buying a new property and you want to know if your developer has been nominated you can check out the Building Awards website which gives information on this years finalists as well as last years winners.
If you are in the building trade you can book your place for the awards online via the same website.
DIY Doctor supports Good Builders
Those of you who are regular visitors will know that we support measures to improve standards in the building industry. We give consumers as much help and advice as possible to help them employ reliable builders and avoid cowboy builders.
We have a complete section on our website that gives homeowners and consumers help advice and tools on employing a reputable builder or trades-person. We call it HIPS (Home Improver’s Protection Solution) and it includes our free Desired Outcome Building Contract and Price Doctor – a free online price checking tool to help you keep control of your building costs.
Go to the Home Improvers Protection Solution section of our website for more information and to try out the free tools.
The Met Office reported that 2012 was the second wettest year on record and we can expect more of the same in the the next few years.
Not only are we getting more rain but it is falling in more intense downpours, which makes the likelihood of flooding more likely as the rivers cannot deal with taking water off the land quickly enough.
Last year nearly 8,000 homes and businesses suffered from flooding, which apart from the financial implications is very traumatic for people who have their home life disrupted and favorite belongings ruined by flood water.
In addition farmers suffered loss of crops and even the crops that do survive are less nutritious because essential nutrients are leached form the soil in flood conditions.
The Environment Agency website publishes information on areas that are subject to flooding so you can use this information when choosing where to live, you can sign up for free text alerts of flood warnings in your area to prepare in advance if you do live in an at risk area.
They also have advice on making a flood plan and what to do after a flood has hit.
To look on the bright side the weather is also becoming milder (not so much this last week) and so gardeners will be able to grow more temperate plants, this is a trend that has already started as evidenced by the popularity of some tropical plants such as New Zealand Tree ferns which would not have survived our climate 30 years ago.
It is also going to be good weather for ducks and rice farmers.