Stratford Village

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows how efficiently a home uses energy, the cost of running a home and recommendations of how to improve the energy efficiency of the property.

As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating.

Improvements

So long as the minimum E rating is obtained, it is left to the landlord to choose which works need to be carried out. Below are a few examples of works that will improve the energy efficiency of your property.

  • Solid wall insulation (internal or external)
  • Pipework insulation
  • Replacement glazing
  • Roof insulation
  • Hot water cylinder insulation

Penalties

Penalties for a single offence may be cumulative, up to a maximum of £5,000. Further penalties may be awarded for non-compliance with the original penalty notice where a landlord continues to rent out a non-compliant property; however, penalties would be cumulative up to a maximum of £5,000.

For further information please see link below:

https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates

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Buying your first home will be exciting, but it is important to stay grounded and focus on some important factors. Victor Michael look at the questions that first- time buyers should be asking before they purchase their first home.

Buying your first home is a very exciting time, and can also be a stressful one. Preparation is key in overcoming concerns and worries in order to make the process as painless as possible.

Victor Michael have compiled a list of questions to ask during the buying process that will hopefully help you on your way. It could mean the difference between buying your dream home or buying a disaster.

How much can I afford ? This, in itself can be a daunting task, but a task that needs to be assessed before you can look at any properties. The mortgage application is as important as the property. It is advisable to speak to a few brokers, just to ensure that you are getting the best quote to find out how much you can afford. Once you have a “ decision in principle” you can start your search for properties in your price range.

Would I be happy here long term ? When searching for your new home, don’t compromise on location just to get on the ladder. Remember that you have to live there, so make sure you explore all your options. Make a wish list of the amenities that you need close by – the way you live is key to deciding on a location.  Think about what you do when you come home from work, this can help you really determine if proximity to a gym, train station, park or good restaurants matter

Why are they selling ? While agents or sellers don’t have to answer this question it’s always good to get a good idea of the property’s history, and why the current owners have decided to move on. You might find out that the owner has work that is taking them overseas and therefore is keen to sell quickly, and so would accept a lower price.

Which survey do I need ? This is an important factor for any purchaser. This will ensure that the property is in good shape. Taking out a home buyers survey will avoid any stress later down the line – so be sure to undertake this task.

Exactly what is included in the sale. ? Ask questions ! Do not be afraid to ask. No matter how silly you think it sounds. If you see an item of furniture that sets the property off, ask if there is a possibility it could be included.

Has the property repeatedly changed hands ? Try to find out ? Speak to neighbours, shop keepers, anyone that may know. If the property has repeatedly changed hands In the last 10 years, this could be an indication that something is wrong. Be realistic, and keep an open mind.

How much is the council tax and how much are the utility bills in this area ? If you can, try to get exact amounts, talk to the seller if you need to, these costs need to be added to your overall budget. While these may seem like small considerations in comparison to the amount you will spend on the house, they are reoccurring expenses that will add to the pressure of owning your own home.

Do you have noisy neighbours ?If the seller has lodged any complaints against their neighbours they legally have to tell you if you ask – so make sure to ask this one, it could save you a lot of trouble! It may be worth visiting the area at night just as a precautionary measure.

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Myths: we’ve all heard them before, whether they’re about eating carrots to help you see in the dark, not drinking coffee for fear of stunting your growth or waiting an hour to swim after eating.

Myths are everywhere, and it’s sometimes harder than you’d think to tell which you should believe and which are completely false.

Stephen Jury, Spokesperson for Plentific said, “We all have that one friend or family member that swears by an age old myth when it comes to home improvements and DIY. Whether it’s an energy saving tip or secret cleaning hack, knowing what actually provides results and what is a waste of time can be tricky.”

So, here at Plentific.com, we’ve compiled a list of ten popular home improvement and DIY myths that are false, to give you peace of mind when you decide to renovate your home.”

1. Solar panels don’t work on a cloudy day

With summer on the way, it may seem like the perfect time to invest and install solar panels, because everyone knows that solar panels need sunlight to work, right? Wrong! Although solar panels do work best on a sunny day, they are still functional on cloudy days. This is due to their ability to absorb UV and infrared light on cloudy days so that they can continue generating energy.

2. Leaving the heating on low all day is more efficient

Many people believe that leaving the heating on low all day is more efficient than turning it on as and when you need it. This  topic is widely debated on various heating and energy platforms, with the general consensus being that because no home is completely airtight there will always be a small degree of heat escaping from your home throughout the day.

Therefore, you will always waste heat, even if your system is on low. Only having the heating on when you need it would mean that there is no heat to be wasted when you’re not around, saving you money.

3. Bleach eliminates mould spores

This is a common misconception due to the fact that bleach will kill and remove the visible mould in question. However, bleach will not be able to get rid of the mould spores altogether. This can be done with a scrubbing brush, water, and an appropriate cleaning product such as detergent.

Once the cleanup has been done, it’s worth also investigating the cause of the problem and then treating it effectively to prevent the mould from returning. Remember, mould can be as bad for your health as asbestos!

4. Painting a radiator will make it more efficient

While it is a scientific fact that darker colours are better at absorbing and transmitting heat than lighter colours, covering a radiator in dark paint will not improve its efficiency.

The main way that radiators work is with ‘convective heating’, which essentially means that the radiator heats up the air around it. This is why some radiators have grooves or wings, as they increase the surface area and expose more air to the heat. Painting over a radiator can actually insulate this heat, which will in fact make the radiator LESS efficient!

5. The best time to water the grass is the evening

Another scientific fact is that heat evaporates water, so you would be forgiven for thinking that the best time to water your garden is in the evening once the sun goes down. Watering in the evening does have some benefits for soil, in that it is able to soak up and retain the water more efficiently. However, this also creates an ideal breeding ground for mould, fungi and other potential problems for your garden.

The best time to water your grass is, in fact, during the morning when the sun is first rising. This will ensure that the grass has time to absorb as much water as it needs to before the sun evaporates the excess throughout the day, preventing diseases and keeping your garden looking fresh for longer.

6. You can kill trees using copper nails

It’s an age old myth that copper nails can kill trees, but in an ordinary healthy tree a copper nail will not have much of an effect. In fact, it’s thought that some plants use copper as a source of proteins that are essential for photosynthesis. There have even been cases of trees being chopped down to reveal rings of copper nails that the tree has actually grown around!  The only way it seems this myth can be proved true, is by attaching a copper nail to the end of an axe when chopping it down!

7. Asbestos always needs to be removed for health purposes

Although in some cases this is true, there are exceptions where there is no need to remove asbestos within your home. Contrary to common belief, asbestos isn’t actually harmful to your health unless the fibers become exposed or disturbed due to home renovations or decorating. Still, although materials containing asbestos won’t necessarily affect your health if left alone, it’s always important to check them on a regular basis for wear and tear as this is when damage can be done.

8. Put conkers in your window sill and in the corners of your bathroom keeps spiders at bay

Many people will remember visiting their grandparents and finding little piles of conkers on the window sills and in the corners of the bathroom. The myth is that conkers contain a harmful chemical that wards off and can even kill spiders, making them ideal as a natural repellent. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove that this works. Instead of leaving conkers in your room to repel spiders, why not pop a couple in your wardrobe to keep moths away, as this is one myth that is proven to get results.

9. Coffee grounds unclog sinks  

This myth could be doing your sink more harm than good. In fact, coffee grounds are among some of the top causes of blocked drains. Emptying coffee grounds down a sink will create a build up of thick slushy material that may require a plumber to unblock. Some plumbers even compare it to pouring cement down the sink!

10. Turning your electronics on and off at the plug uses more energy than leaving them on standby

Switching appliances to standby mode instead of turning them off is a fairly common habit that many people have. Unfortunately, many electronic devices on standby mode will continue to use energy if the power is not cut at the source or the wall socket.

While some people believe turning devices on and off at the wallplug generates a surge in energy greater than leaving appliances on standby, this is often not the case. Having said that, the belief that turning off appliances at the switch stops the use of energy is also, in fact, false.

 

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/household/top-10-household-myths-busted.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-204729-Campaign+-+02%2F05%2F2017+MC 

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According to a national study commissioned by global ratings and customer insights company Feefo, 70% of 25-34 year old UK home buyers rely on reviews to inform their decision making when selecting an estate agent.

The figure indicates the need for estate agents to adjust to this trend if they are to attract new business from younger generations. However, trust in reviews remains a major issue, with only one in ten respondents (10%) stating that they completely trust the reviews they read.

Matt West, CMO, Feefo, said: “As the younger generations enter the property market, estate agents will be increasingly judged through online reviews. Yet trust in the reviews themselves is evidently very important to these savvy consumers. Estate agents should therefore consider ways to guarantee that legitimate and transparent reviews are readily available to potential customers.”

Trust is important for 28% of consumers when choosing an estate agent, with knowledge of the local market seen as the dominant factor by 42% of consumers when they have their properties valued. The value of trust is reflected strongly in the younger consumers’ preference of selecting an agent through its reviews, with 70% of 25-34-year-olds relying on reviews when selecting an agent.

The research also reveals that consumers have more positive attitudes towards estate agents than commonly supposed, with 88% of consumers saying they were satisfied with the service they received from the last agent they used. However, paperwork was identified as a grievance that the largest proportion of customers (46%) would love to see technology sort out for them. Next on the list was reference-checking (36%), followed by booking appointments (34%).

Iain Mckenzie, CEO, The Guild of Property Professionals, commented: “These results clearly show the positive work estate agents are doing to make sure customers are satisfied in the levels of service provided. It’s refreshing to see that whilst there are problems, customers are confident that technology can help resolve these issues in the near future.”

Emerging technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence are anticipated by 32% of consumers to improve levels of service when engaging with estate agents. More than a quarter (26%) of the 16-to-24 age group had the greatest level of belief that technology will transform estate agency.

Low fees are considered the most important deciding factor by 35% of consumers choosing between online-only and traditional estate agents and quality of service is almost as decisive a factor for 34% of consumers.

The research, commissioned by Feefo and conducted by Censuswide, explores UK consumer attitudes towards estate agents and draws on the direct experiences of 1,152 individuals that have enlisted the services of estate agents.

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/business/do-you-trust-estate-agent-reviews.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-204006-Campaign+-+26%2F04%2F2017+EASY 

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In recent years, Leytonstone has seen an influx in purchasers having sold their apartments in areas such as Hackney, Stoke Newington and Shoreditch.

Prices having risen as much as 24 % in Hackney over the last two years and have enabled such clients to sell at a profit and upsize with larger deposits.

Leytonstone, Leyton and Walthamstow areas seem to have been targeted for it’s recommended OFSTED schools, excellent transport links in to the city whilst also offering better value for money.

Victorian houses and flats seem to be the main source of attraction providing high ceilings, and in some cases original fireplaces as well as other period features.

The new wave of young families purchasing in Leytonstone have the best of worlds enjoying city life as well as the peace and tranquillity of open spaces such as “Hollow Ponds Boating Lake” or “Wanstead Flats”.

 

 

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Selling or buying a home can be daunting at the best of times. Victor Michael are here to assist their clients during this process, giving them a personable service to make this process, and life easier to bare.

Spring is the optimum time to sell a home. Regardless of whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, inventory almost always rises in the spring. Why? Because the largest number of buyers are actively searching for a new home during the months of April, May and June.

While mortgage rates have risen in the last year, experts say 2017 will still see strong home sales as job growth continues and people who’d been waiting to enter the market take the plunge into homeownership. To attract buyers in any season — and sell for a good price — sellers need to show their homes in the best possible light. That means cleaning up the interior and exterior, removing personal items that could distract potential buyers, adding a fresh coat of paint, and deciding which upgrades and repairs will deliver the best return on investment. Of course, real estate is a hyper-local industry, so national trends may not hold true in all markets. A good estate agent can help you understand what buyers in your area are looking for and how to appeal to them.

What if I’m not ready to start selling yet?

Simple, don’t sell. It’s much more important to choose a time that works for you. If you rush your home on to the market without preparing it and yourself, could set yourself up for a fall. And if you do get a buyer, you want to be able to move as quickly as possible before they can change their mind.

Take some time first to make sure you have your home looking its best. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending thousands of pounds on huge renovation projects – just take some time fixing the little details, such as wonky gates and cracked toilet seats.

Remember, Victor Michael will be here, waiting for you when you are ready…

 

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Sitting at the heart of Leytonstone town centre is St John the Baptist Church which hosts a market in their beautiful churchyard one Saturday a month. In the market you can enjoy a lovely atmosphere with live music and entertainment at this family friendly event. You can buy from a great selection of local traders offering homemade hot & cold food, arts & crafts, handmade gifts, clothing, jewellery and more.

St John the Baptist Church was designed by leading 19th-century architect Edward Blore, who also worked on Buckingham Palace & Westminster Abbey. Over the past few years it has undergone extensive refurbishment of the tower, roof and interior, and complete interior redecoration, which was finished in May 2012. Buy Viagra in London from http://northcentralhealthdistrict.org/viagra/ or purchase Viagra in Los Angeles and Houston with fast shipping.

From July 2012 the church opened up the tower for regular tours. The tours combine the chance to see the stunning panoramic views of the Olympic Park, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Central London and Epping Forest.

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Otters have been found in the area for the first time in many years. In 1991 there were only three sites in Essex where the otter was thought to be successful, but 18 years later they may be making a come back.

Redbridge conservation rangers are working in conjunction with the Wild Trout Trust and the city of London in hope that they can bring them back into the area.

Once the area is cleared and they’ve built a Holt for them, we trust one or two may settle down there. There have been a couple of possible sightings recently so we know they can visit the area.

Reclaimed logs will be used from May to build an otter Holt in the area that will hopefully encourage families of the small mammals to settle here once again.

Mahe Georgio, Branch Manager at Victor Michael – Woodford Green

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The latest research from Simple Landlords Insurance has revealed that women now account for two in five landlords and use property to top up their monthly income.

Data analysis of tens of thousands of landlords revealed than 40% of landlords are women. By comparison, only 17% of SME owners are women, demonstrating how property is moving towards equality at a faster pace than other industries.

A poll of over 400 landlords showed how male and female investors have different goals for their investments. 63% of female landlords said using rent for monthly income was their long-term business goal, as opposed to long term capital growth, compared with 53% of men.

The findings, together with real life examples and practical advice for female landlords from the Female Property Alliance, are published in the Women in Property Report 2017 www.simplelandlordsinsurance.com/women-in-property-report

It charts how women have successfully grown from accidental landlords to full time portfolio investors and used property investment to gain financial independence.

They include the story of Bindar Dosanjh, who built a multi-million pound portfolio after she became a single mother and she had to rent rooms to pay the bills and survive.

Bindar Dosanjh, a multiple award-winning landlord, property mentor and founder of the Female Property Alliance, said: “For me, investing in property was about having the freedom to make choices about my life.

“Women cannot take our health, our relationships, our careers, or our families for granted. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way but have been able to fall back on property income when I lost my job in the 2008 recession and again when I became seriously ill and was unable to work. I say to my students you don’t have to be passionate about property but you need to be passionate about your life.”

Accidental landlords

The research also found that women are more likely than men to have become accidental landlords. Some 48% of female landlords are deliberate buy-to-let investors, compared to 61% of men. Women were more likely to have become landlords after moving in with a partner and renting out their own property or through purchasing a property for a family member to live in, such as a child attending university.

For accidental landlords, this raises the importance of staying up to date with legislation, tax changes, inspections and ensuring rental properties are protected with specific landlord insurance rather than homeowners buildings insurance.

Broader acceptance

Female landlords are also likely to provide rented accommodation to a more diverse range of tenants than men. Some 35% said they would rent to housing benefit recipients, compared with 25% of men. Women were also more open to renting to pensioners, students and single employed tenants.

Landlords renting to different types of tenants may wish to consider additional insurance products such as for malicious damage by tenants, rent guarantee and legal support.

Alexandra Huntley, Simple Landlords Insurance Head of Operations, says: “As recently as 1970 women could be refused a mortgage without a male guarantor. But buying, selling, renovating, and renting property is no longer just for the boys. Those stereotypes are firmly consigned to history. Women have been steadily gaining ground over the last 50 years and are increasingly gaining financial independence through property investment.”

Bindar added: “Being a good communicator, a good negotiator and being good at managing people are key attributes for any landlord. They are also things women can be great at – but don’t always recognise as valuable and transferable skills.  These are all skills that can be learnt.

I see many women who have ‘hidden’ skills, that can be applied to property investment more easily than they think. For instance, women often fall into being the family organisers, and keeping alot of balls in the air – another vital ability if you’re going to run a successful portfolio.

It is very important that women surround themselves with the right advice, experts and protection so they can take control of their property, their money, and their futures with speed, safety and certainty.”

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/landlords/rise-of-the-modern-landlady.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-203092-Campaign+-+20%2F04%2F2017+MT 

 

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As if there isn’t enough stress involved in buying and selling a property, once the purchase is agreed it’s far from over.

Here is some top tips to ensure your move goes as stress-free as possible:

1. If you’re renting, you’re in a strong position. Keep the rental property for an overlapping week (or as long as you need/can afford) to make the process deliciously smooth.

2. There’s an idea that moving on a Friday is a good idea, but we think Tuesday is the best day, especially if you have young children. Take Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off work, giving you Saturday, Sunday and Monday to get ready; move on Tuesday; then Wednesday to straighten things up while the children are at school. The weekend’s not far away for a final push. The good news is that removal firms generally charge less for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday move.

3. Spend several months pre-move having your children’s friends to stay, so you can call in all sleepover favours over your moving period. Farm out children, pets, or any other member of your family who won’t be a positive asset to the process.

4. Don’t even think about packing the contents of your house yourself. Look at the removal costs as part of the big picture and get the pros to do as much as possible. (You will of course already have de-cluttered and dispensed with anything that, in the words of William Morris, ‘you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’).

5. If you find you are moving a box that hasn’t been opened since your last move – now is the time to get rid of it!

6. Use your pre-move time productively by obsessively labelling boxes with their contents AND which room the box should go into on arrival in its new home. Use as much colour coding, labelling, post-it noting and organisational brilliance as you can muster.

 

7. If you’re downsizing, build in as much time as possible between exchange and completion to give you adequate opportunity to dispense with the possessions you will no longer have space for.

8. Not all removal companies are the same (or charge the same). Personal recommendation is generally best, but social media is extremely helpful for finding the best suppliers of this kind of service. Get quotes from, and meet, three companies before you make a final choice.

9. It’s better to find a removal company that is local to your new home than to use one in your existing area. You should be able to advise them about local access and parking issues at your existing home, and they will have a good understanding of any problems in your new area.

10. If you’re moving out of London, bear in mind that London removal companies charge like angry rhinos as soon as they see a postcode outside the M25. And if you’re moving down the road, don’t be tempted to do it yourself – it’s no easier to move 300 metres than 300 miles, so grit your teeth and get over it!

11. Check and double check access. Several smaller vans are more flexible than one big one, but it will cost more. If you’re relying on on-road parking space for the removal van, speak nicely to your new neighbours before putting some cones out.

12. Take a picture of the metres at your old home as you leave the premises, and the new ones as you cross the threshold. That way, arguments with utility companies are easy to resolve.

Finally, stay calm, and try to see the funny side if things don’t go according to plan. The chances are you will be gaining anecdotal entertainment on which you will be able to dine out.”

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/household/top-tips-for-stress-free-house-moving.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-202776-Campaign+-+18%2F04%2F2017+MC 

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