HOW WAS IT FOR YOU…………..?

What are the most popular books people leave behind when staying at a rented property?

A recent poll undertaken by on line booking specialists, Eviivo, revealed one of the most popular book was 50 Shades of Grey, whether this was because they were underwhelmed or wanted the next person to enjoy them is not clear.

Autobiographies included Wayne Rooney, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. Surely a read for every occasion!

 

3 SURPRISING HOME IMPROVEMENTS THAT DON’T ADD VALUE

We all know if you are looking to sell your property some home improvements can give you the edge.  What you may be surprised to know the top three improvements that are to be avoided:

Solar panels – with uncertainty around feed in tariffs and concerns over repairs and maintenance – 70% of people don’t believe they are worth the money, and they can be unsightly.

Hard to change décor – you may love your edgy use of scandi wood and designer carpet but just don’t expect everyone to share your taste.

Swimming pools – one persons relaxing water feature can be expensive to maintain and don’t even mention the British summer.

The Basics About Renting

BlogThese days, an increasing number of people are renting and the quality and range of rented accommodation is better than ever.

Renting is usually cheaper than owning and bills are more predictable too, which is great news for those who prefer stable finances. And with fewer outgoings, you can save more.

Renting offers more flexibility than owning – you can move somewhere else relatively quickly – useful if you plan to move for a new job or are going away to study. Also, it’s less hassle than being an owner as you won’t need to pay for property maintenance – most of that will be done for you.

What type of property should I look for?

First of all, think carefully about the type of property you’d like to rent and which best suits your lifestyle.

For example, if you are only there during the week, a small place might do just fine. If security is important, then a ground floor flat may be out. If you have a car, then a parking space is a must.

Do you want furnished or unfurnished accommodation or would something that’s just part-furnished be okay? Often it doesn’t make much difference to the rent.

If it’s furnished and you are sharing with others, do you trust them to look after the furniture – because you may lose some or all of your deposit to pay for damage even if they are responsible for it?

Other key questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is a purpose built shower essential or can you make do with a shower attachment in the bath?
  2. What facilities are there for washing and drying clothes?
  3. Does the property have all the appliances you need?
  4. Do you need a garden?
  5. Are you prepared to share with someone else – if so, could you share with a live-in landlord?

Where should I look?

It can be difficult to find good property to rent. Sifting through adverts in newspapers is hard work and the time from print to publication often means that by the time you see the ad, the property has long since been rented to someone else.

If you are prepared to share, you may be lucky and know someone who is looking for a flatmate. If your workplace has an intranet site, find out if it has a section that lists properties for rent. Many universities and colleges have an accommodation office, so if you are a student, find out what yours has to offer.

Another great place to look is the internet! There are many different portals, most of which you can register your requirements on and receive updates of the properties that gets put on the market, like Rightmove and Zoopla.

These days, an increasing number of people are renting and the quality and range of rented accommodation is better than ever.

Renting is usually cheaper than owning and bills are more predictable too, which is great news for those who prefer stable finances. And with fewer outgoings, you can save more.

Renting offers more flexibility than owning – you can move somewhere else relatively quickly – useful if you plan to move for a new job or are going away to study. Also, it’s less hassle than being an owner as you won’t need to pay for property maintenance – most of that will be done for you.

What type of property should I look for?

First of all, think carefully about the type of property you’d like to rent and which best suits your lifestyle.

For example, if you are only there during the week, a small place might do just fine. If security is important, then a ground floor flat may be out. If you have a car, then a parking space is a must.

Do you want furnished or unfurnished accommodation or would something that’s just part-furnished be okay? Often it doesn’t make much difference to the rent.

If it’s furnished and you are sharing with others, do you trust them to look after the furniture – because you may lose some or all of your deposit to pay for damage even if they are responsible for it?

Other key questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is a purpose built shower essential or can you make do with a shower attachment in the bath?
  2. What facilities are there for washing and drying clothes?
  3. Does the property have all the appliances you need?
  4. Do you need a garden?
  5. Are you prepared to share with someone else – if so, could you share with a live-in landlord?

Where should I look?

It can be difficult to find good property to rent. Sifting through adverts in newspapers is hard work and the time from print to publication often means that by the time you see the ad, the property has long since been rented to someone else.

If you are prepared to share, you may be lucky and know someone who is looking for a flatmate. If your workplace has an intranet site, find out if it has a section that lists properties for rent. Many universities and colleges have an accommodation office, so if you are a student, find out what yours has to offer.

Another great place to look is the internet! There are many different portals, most of which you can register your requirements on and receive updates of the properties that gets put on the market, like Rightmove and Zoopla.

If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents 01367 520555 or visit our website.

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Landlord Law – Paying Tax

 

  • BlogAre you a landlord?
  • Are you paying tax?

Amazingly it seems that vast numbers of landlords are receiving rent and not paying tax on it. For example, this report in the Guardian says that about one-half of landlords in Newham are not paying tax.

Now I don’t know about you, but I pay my tax. And being someone who pays her tax (sometimes with difficulty) I am not particularly happy about people not paying tax!

It may be I suppose that many landlords genuinely believe that their rent is not taxable (tip – it is). Although I think it is more likely that they are being ‘knowingly innocent’ and chancing their luck.

Well, if so they ought to take warning that their luck is likely to run out any time soon.

A warning to defaulting landlords

HMCR is actively hunting out landlords who don’t pay tax and cross referencing the various databases available to them.

These include Local Authority licensing schemes and tenancy deposit scheme databases. If you appear on one of these but do not appear to be paying tax on rent they will shortly be knocking on your door.

When this happens landlords will get a nasty shock. Not only will they have to pay tax on rental income for the past 20 years, they may also have to pay a penalty of up to 100% of that tax. Plus they may be the subject of a criminal investigation.

Not something you will want. However, it does not have to be like that.

The Let Property Campaign

There is a way you can disclose your earnings to HMRC now and get off considerably more lightly. This is via HMRC’s Let Property Campaign.

If you voluntarily contact HMRC under this scheme

  • You will pay a lower penalty — or in some cases, you may not have to pay any penalty at all
  • HMRC  may not  go back the whole 20 years
  • You will be given time to pay
  • You won’t be prosecuted (save in exceptional cases)

However, if you wait until they catch you they will have no sympathy on you and you will end up paying a lot more money.

Be warned!

This Blog was written by Landlord Law, find more of their blogs on their website.

You can read more about the Let Property Campaign here.

If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents on 01367 520555 or visit our website.

Selling Privately vs With an Estate Agent

Blog It is possible to sell your property privately, but there are significant risks attached. For most people, selling a home is the biggest and most important transaction they will ever make. Using professionals for each part of the process provides you with expert knowledge and legal protection. Besides, selling on your own can be expensive and time consuming.

 

You will be responsible for:

  1. Setting the price
  2. Marketing
  3. Arranging viewings
  4. Negotiating the offers
  5. Progressing the sale through solicitors and conveyancers.
  6. Private sale websites are usually only popular with one type of person – other sellers. There is not usually enough property stock on these websites to lure serious buyers and keep them there.

The advantages of using an estate agent

Estate agents spend all day, every day selling property and as a result have built up a vast knowledge and expertise in the whole buying and selling process. They will conduct a valuation on your property, handle viewings and negotiations on your behalf and make sure your property is marketed properly. They will strive to achieve the best possible price for your property and the best buyer, thereby avoiding disappointment and stress from less serious potential buyers.

On top of this a good estate agent will also be able to offer you plenty of advice along the way. This includes guidance on conveyancing and financial services.

How to choose the right agent

Make sure your estate agent comes with a glowing reference. Ask your family, colleagues, friends and neighbours about their recent selling experiences.

It is best to pick an estate agent with a proven track record in selling – a quick look around your local area looking for ‘Sold’ boards is a great indicator for this. Search for your selected estate agents online to see if they have experience in selling your kind of property.

Once you have chosen your three agents, they will visit your property and recommend an asking price. Ask them how they plan on marketing your property. A good estate agent will invest in marketing on behalf of the seller, take photos of your property and compile the description; so be very wary of those that ask you to do this yourself.

Finally, check the small print. Once you have selected your agent, make sure that you check the terms of appointment. It is your responsibility to know what you have agreed to before signing anything legally binding.

If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents on 0845 026 8527 or visit our website.

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Questions to ask when Buying

BlogOf course, first impressions count when you’re buying a new home or moving house. You’re picturing how you’ll furnish each room, which shades of paint will create that cosy atmosphere for you to call “home” and mapping out where you’ll place all your bits and bobs. But, personal touches aside, it’s not always easy to see, or know, what might need fixing until you move in which makes the prospect of moving house seem a little daunting, to say the least.

 

The AA’s handy homebuyers checklist will keep you aware of what to look for when looking at a property, and it may even help you when agreeing a price.

What to do when buying a house?

Once you’ve saved up for your deposit and stamp duty, and spoken to your broker or bank about how much you can borrow, you’re ready for the exciting bit. There’s many things to do, see, check and follow up on but it’ll all be worth it once you find your dream home. If you’re lucky enough to have already found a suitable property, it’s worth getting a house survey report done.

Why is a homebuyer’s checklist useful?

When you’re viewing a potential new home your imagination might be running wild with things you want to add. A brand new kitchen, a cosy fireplace in the living room, maybe a built-in sound system if you’re really lucky? But, even if the property looks great, there might be less obvious things you need to check for and ask about. Using a homebuyer’s property checklist can help highlight any work that needs to be done when you move in, and help avoid unexpected bills for emergency repairs. It gives you practical advice on what to look for in the following key areas:But even if the property looks great on the initial visit, there may be things you missed.

  • Central heating and radiators
  • Electrics and alarms
  • Roofs and attics
  • Household pests
  • Walls, floors, windows and doors
  • Drains
  • Damp
  • Exterior and gardens

New build vs old house?

Apart from how they look, older buildings and new builds should be treated in the same way. During the home buying process, it’s worth knowing that newer builds tend to have better energy efficiency standards and there’s often less to repair, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still check everything with a fine-toothed comb as it may affect your insurance.

 When purchasing a new build, you should check with the building developers about the materials used, as these will usually be asked in your buildings insurance application process. For example, many new build houses are timber framed rather than bricks and mortar. They might have bricks on the outside, but the timber frames mean they are classed as non-standard constructions. This will need to be declared to your insurer so it’s important to know what materials are being used – in addition to which locks will be used on the property.

 Likewise, when buying an older property, make sure you know what materials have been used and whether any work has been done to the property. If it’s a listed building, make sure you understand the restrictions.

What other checks should I do?

Your potential new house is more than just four walls, bricks and mortar. There’s some extra things to remember when viewing a potential home.

 Double check how much council tax is for the area – you can do this by finding out the postcode and going to the government’s council tax band page. Also ask if the property is freehold or leasehold, if it’s leasehold, ask about the annual ground rent.

 It’s also worth looking at the surroundings outside. Everything may look great inside but you’ll need to check for things like missing tiles and the state of guttering and the brickwork. Look at the state of other properties in the area too. Whilst on the outside, also look into whether your property has an allocated parking space and/or if there are any parking restrictions in the area.

 If you have time, check out the neighbourhood to get a feel for local area and the people you might be living near. Visit at different times of the day and pop into local shops, public spaces and schools, if you have children.

 Ask as many questions as possible. The estate agent is there to help you. Any doubts you have can be answered there and then. It’s better to ask an obvious question early on than to find out when it’s too late.

Should I get buildings insurance for my new home?

Yes, you should. It’s important to take out buildings insurance as soon as you have agreed and exchanged the contracts. It’s at this point that the house becomes your sole responsibility and having building insurance means you’re covered if anything happens to it before you move in. Buildings insurance should be part of your moving house to-do list as it protects you against the cost of repairing damage caused by:

  • Subsidence
  • Collisions involving vehicles, airplanes, trees and lamp posts
  • Frozen and burst pipes
  • Vandalism and burglaries
  • Fires, storms, explosions, floods and earthquakes

Sorting out home insurance when buying a house

Whether it’s your first day or last day in your home, you still need to make sure you’re covered. Here’s what to do about home insurance when you’re moving.

Already insured

  • Let your insurer know about your change of address.
  • Leave plenty of time, so it can be done before the day contracts are exchanged. If things don’t work out, this can always be changed back.
  • Confirm that your current house is still covered by the insurance until you leave.

Not insured

  • You’ll need the address of your new home, its market value and the value of possessions you will need to cover.
  • Contact insurers and find a policy that suits you, it should cover both buildings and contents.
  • Arrange a policy that starts the day you move in, so that you’re fully covered.

Even if you think you’ve done your homework on a property, our home buyers property checklist is a good way to check you’ve covered all bases.

If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents on 0845 026 8527 or visit our website.

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Responsibilities as a Landlord

2As a Landlord, you will have a number of responsibilities. This guide goes through some of the responsibilities you will have.

 

 

Your legal responsibilities

There are around 150 laws now that apply to a landlord when they come to let a property. Here we highlight some of the key legal responsibilities that landlords must adhere to when letting their property.

Ensure the property stays in good condition

As the owner of the property, you are required to ensure the property stays in sound condition and take care of any building works that are required. This includes, but is not limited to, fixing any structural damage, roof repairs and maintaining any exterior paintwork.

Gas safety

Landlords are legally responsible for the gas safety of their properties. They must make sure gas equipment is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must also have a registered engineer do an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue (boiler or gas fire). The copy of the Gas Safety Record must be given to each of the ingoing tenants before they move in and for any subsequent renewals, within 28 days of certification. You should also keep records of the checks for a minimum of two years.

Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms

Since 1 October 2015, when properties are occupied by tenants, landlords must ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of the property on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt (e.g. wood, coal or biomass). Checks must be made by the landlord (or letting agent) to make sure that each alarm is in proper working order on the first day of the tenancy. We recommend recording the alarm check in the inventory check-in report.

Right to Rent

Under the Immigration Act you are required to ensure that your tenant has a right to rent in the UK. To establish this, you will need to see a copy of their original ID (and visa if they need one to be in the UK) within 28 days of granting a tenancy. There are also ongoing checks that you will need to complete, either annually or on the expiration of the visa, whichever is longer.

How to Rent Booklet – For all tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015, all landlords in England must give their tenants the current version of the “How to Rent” booklet which is available on the gov.uk website.

Electricity

Landlords have a legal duty to ensure that their rental property, and any electrical equipment provided, is safe before a tenancy begins and throughout its duration. They must ensure the electrical system (sockets, switches and light fittings) is safe and all appliances they supply are safe (e.g. cookers and kettles). Landlords should provide tenants with a record of any electrical inspections. Landlords are also responsible for communal areas of a house, block of flats, or estate that residents use in common with other tenants such as landings and kitchens.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

HMOs are usually properties in which unrelated people share facilities such as the kitchen or bathroom. Large HMOs (of at least 3 floors and housing five or more people living as more than one household) need to be licensed. The landlord will need to contact their local council to apply. Licenses are generally valid for five years and landlords need a separate licence for each HMO they run.

Things to keep an eye on

In October, the UK Government published proposals to extend mandatory licensing of HMOs in England, removing the current three storey rule. The proposals also include a minimum room size and a requirement for landlords of shared homes to provide decent storage and rubbish disposal facilities. The person threshold of five people in two households will remain unchanged. The consultation ran until 13 December 2016.

Local Authorities are also able to apply Additional and Selective licensing schemes for other property sizes and types and each borough will have their own policy.  It is important therefore to check if you will need a licence before starting a tenancy.

When the Housing and Planning Act 2016 was passed in May the UK Government introduced an enabling power to set requirements for electrical safety standards in private rented sector houses in England. ARLA has been one of the organisations on the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Working Group that has been tasked with shaping the proposals.

If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents on 0845 026 8527 or visit our website.

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Preparing for Viewings

blogWhen trying to sell your property, it is essential to be prepared for viewings. Very few people will buy a property without first viewing it. From a seller’s point of view, this is the best opportunity to make the sale, so to increase your chances of success, it’s well worth making the effort to present your property at its best.

 

First Impressions

Always remember that first impressions make a huge difference and the chances of making a sale can be destroyed if that first impression is negative. You should make sure that the first things potential buyers are likely to see are kept in a presentable and attractive manner. Freshly cut grass, neat hedges and litter free grounds are essential. Make sure pathways are kept clear, this includes removing children’s toys, any weeds, leaves or ice. If you have gates, you can make the property more inviting by leaving them open and keeping the driveway clear so it is easy for the buyer to park their car.

If you live in a shared building, this may mean doing work that should be paid for or done communally. If no one else is willing to help, you should go ahead and do the work yourself, as the investment of time could be well worth the effort.

Lighting – At night, a light looks warm and inviting. A porch light will guide potential buyers to the front door and keeping a hall light on is also a good idea. Be sure to check that the property name or number is clearly visible from the road. If there is a bell, make sure it is clearly labelled and works properly.

Pets – Everyone loves their own pets, but other people’s pets are a different matter. Some people are allergic to pets; some people simply don’t like animals. It is always worth keeping any pets well out of the way.

Decoration – Too many obvious signs of recent decoration can appear suspicious, the potential buyer may think that you are trying to hide something. The smell of fresh paint is a quick giveaway that redecoration has recently been done and will put the potential buyer on their guard. It is worth planning any redecoration well in advance of putting the property on the market. However, this does not mean that no decoration can be done in anticipation of viewings. Touching up chipped paint and peeling wallpaper is well worth the time and effort. A complete re-decoration may be unnecessary and can be very expensive. You should focus on decoration that could add value and increase the chances of a quick sale at a good price.

D.I.Y – Make sure you finish all those little DIY jobs that you’ve been meaning to take care of for ages. Any small jobs left undone will suggest that the property has not been cared for, so ensure that minor repairs are completed. If possible get someone to fix things such as broken slates, blocked or leaking gutters, jammed windows and doors. These are the sorts of things that can send out the wrong messages to potential buyers.

General

You should make sure that every room in the house is presented in a consistent manner. Space is extremely important in any property but even more so in flats and small houses.

Have a big clear-out, not only does this help with the viewings but it gives you the chance to make some money if you sell the items at a car boot sale. Alternatively, you can give away items to charities. There are a number of charity shops which are always grateful to receive goods that they can sell on. The added advantage of clearing things out for viewings is that it reduces the amount of packing you need to do when you come to move.

Make sure you de-clutter every room. Remember that potential buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in the property so keep personal mementoes and photographs to a minimum. Again, you can pack these away in preparation for moving.

Doors – Visitors should be able to fully open all doors. Wide open doors also provide extra light and create a feeling of space. If furniture is in the way, consider a change of position or put it into storage.

No Music Please – Always remove any distractions so you can keep potential buyers focused on the property and facilities. Music, computer games and the television are all best left switched off.

Storage Space – Increase your storage space by sorting out and/or throwing away what is no longer required. Again, this is particularly important for flats and smaller properties. It is better to do this now than wait until you move out.

Bedrooms – It is essential to tidy all bedrooms and make the beds. By doing so, the rooms will appear more spacious. Get into the habit of making the bed as soon as you get up and placing all dirty linen in the laundry basket; this will help you cope with sudden appointments made by potential buyers.

Conversation – When the potential buyers arrive, do not forget common courtesy. Warmly welcome them and show them into the property. You can go into the details of each room when you are in the rooms themselves. Don’t be afraid of silence, visitors will have to absorb a lot of information. Let the buyer look around at their own pace, do not rush them. Remember this is normally the most expensive purchase in a person’s life.

Facts and figures – Make sure you know the sizes and basic details of every room. Potential buyers will want to know these things and you will only frustrate them if you don’t have the answers to hand.

Safety First – It is advisable to keep your hallway, stairs and any passageway free from objects that potential buyers could trip on. Sometimes a full family including relatives may arrive to be shown around.

Revisits – Another look around may help potential buyers make a final decision. So let them wander and revisit rooms at will. If possible stand at the doorway of the room so they can talk to you without you getting in their way. Serious buyers often ask to revisit to check out points they may have missed previously so be prepared for an extra barrage of questions.

Honesty – Answer questions truthfully. Do not mislead people as purchasers can easily sense this and confidence and trust can quickly evaporate. It is against the law to give false information. Remember don’t volunteer too much information wait for them to ask the questions.

Nice Smells Sell – Shops use this technique to get you to buy bread. You could bake some cakes or have vases of freshly cut flowers on the mantelpiece, this will give the house a nice aroma. Similarly ensure that the rooms are well ventilated and aired with no unpleasant odours to put people off.

Don’t Apologise – Show your home in the most positive way. Don’t fall into the trap of apologising for issues as this creates a suggestion that there are problems which don’t actually exist. If there is something that requires attention and this is obvious, why not get an estimate from a reputable tradesman on how much it would cost to rectify. If this is done prior to a viewing, you are fully armed should a viewer raise the issue.

For example, if a flat roof requires attention and this is obvious, get an estimate. You can then tell the viewer that it will only cost a few hundred pounds to fix and it does not become a deal breaker. Back this up with an estimate from a reputable tradesman and it is no longer an issue.

Gardens – This can be an excellent selling point to any house. Ensure that your garden is clutter free and that borders are weeded and lawns cut. Overgrown shrubs and trees can make a garden look small so prune them back at the right time of the year to ensure new growth is visible.

Outbuildings – These can also prove to be major selling points. Make sure you keep them well maintained and free from junk and rubbish. Again, this is an excellent opportunity to reduce the amount that you’ll have to pack when you finally move out and you may be able to make some money by selling them at a car boot sale.

Open Viewings

Open viewings are a great way to generate interest in your property and you should take all of the above tips into account when arranging an open viewing.

One of the biggest problems with open viewings is dealing with the sheer number of viewers in an organised manner. For this reason, it is worthwhile taking down the names and contact details of everyone who visits. These details will also be useful in the following situations:

  1. In the event that items are left behind
  2. If you’ve found it impossible to speak to everybody you can call for feedback later
  3. If something goes missing you can call and ask if anybody saw anything (please read our safety tips below)
  4. If your price drops in the future you can call all interested viewers to see if they would be interested at the new price. Sometimes a drop of just £5000 makes a big difference.

Remember that every person who walks through your front door is a potential buyer. Be friendly and don’t pre-judge people on how they’re dressed, wealthy people wear joggers and have tattoos too!

Safety and Security

Once you’re ready to start viewings have a quick look around to make sure you haven’t left any valuable items lying about. Although we’ve never heard of items going missing, it’s always good practice to keep the things you care about tucked away. Also, if you live alone or plan to show people around whilst on your own, it’s a good idea let someone else know what you’re doing.

Alternatively, instruct Right Estate Agents, who will accompany all viewings, at no extra cost!

If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents on 0845 026 8527 or visit our website.

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DIY JOBS WE BODGE THE MOST

Here in the UK we love our DIY.  In fact, over the last 5 years planning applications by households are up a whopping 20%.  Some of the work we will leave to the experts, some we will tackle ourselves. And Bank Holiday is the perfect time to be getting stuck into those jobs.  Here are the top 5 jobs we bodge the most:

  1.  Unblocking the loo
  2. Rewiring
  3. Fixing a boiler
  4. Unblocking a drain
  5. Fitting electrical sockets and switches.

How to Avoid Condensation and Mould in your Home

blogDuring the winter months, many properties suffer from damp and mould growth due to condensation. Ugly black patches and a musty smell are usually the first signs. Whilst there are things that landlords can do to help with the causes, like provide central heating systems and effective guttering, tenants have a responsibility in this area too, so please read on.

Causes and signs of condensation

Air can hold moisture – the warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold. If moist air is cooled by contact with cold surfaces, such as walls, windows or mirrors, the moisture condenses into water droplets (known as condensation). Mould often occurs because of this condensation and is normally only a problem during cold weather. It appears as pinpoint black spots, usually on the side surfaces of external walls, in corners and in poorly ventilated spaces.

Where does mould occur?

Everyday things like cooking, washing, bathing and even breathing create moisture which is released into the air.

Because of the high moisture levels in bathrooms and kitchens these are probably the most common areas affected. North-facing rooms, places with poor ventilation, like cellars, or basements and the rear/sides of cupboards or wardrobes can suffer too.

It’s not just a problem confined to older properties either. According to the National House-building Council, the materials used to build a house take a long time to dry out properly and as a result, brand new homes can also be affected.

How to reduce/prevent condensation

  1. pull wardrobes and furniture away from walls, and keep tops of wardrobes clear, to allow air to circulate
  2. close doors and open windows when cooking
  3. keep lids on saucepans when cooking
  4. keep bathroom doors closed when bathing, and open windows afterwards
  5. do not dry clothes on radiators, unless ventilation is increased
  6. In winter, keep your central heating on low rather than switching it on and off (the warmer you keep your home; the less likely you are to get condensation)
  7. vent tumble dryers to the outside of your home
  8. only use Liquid Petroleum Gas or paraffin heaters in ventilated rooms, as these fuels produce water vapour during combustion
  9. In extreme cases, try the following:
  10. a dehumidifier, which extracts moisture from the air, can be bought or hired
  11. wipe down surfaces affected by condensation regularly to prevent mould growth
  12. mould can be removed by washing the surface with a disinfectant or a fungicidal wash. This must be used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.
  13. mould-inhibiting paints and sprays can also help to reduce the effects of condensation.

 

How to get rid of mould

 

The areas around showers and baths need particular care to avoid a mouldy takeover. Methods of mould removal will vary depending on the location of the stain.

To eradicate mould on tile grout, use a toothbrush dipped in bleach, or for a natural remedy, try diluted vinegar. A paste made from water and baking soda also works well. Leave to soak for 15 minutes then scrub like mad. Don’t forget to rinse well afterwards. For a shop-bought solution, try Dettol Mould & Mildew Remover which is designed to remove even ingrained mildew.

Stained sealant around the shower or bath can be tricky to get rid of. If bleach doesn’t shift it, the only solution might be to cut it out with a Stanley knife and apply new sealant.

Mould on shower curtains

Treat mildew stains on shower curtains with a weak solution of bleach and water mixed up in a plastic bottle. Spray it on, then wipe off. Or after a bath, add soda crystals to the water and try soaking the curtain overnight for a more eco-friendly option without the pungent fumes! If you don’t have soda crystals, use biological washing powder. Scrub any pesky bits of mould stuck in the hem or seams with a nail brush.

Mould on walls and ceilings

Tackle mould on walls, window frames and ceilings with Polycell 3in1 Mould Killer. Spray the affected area well, then wipe away the mould with a cloth or sponge. Its powerful fungicide kills existing mould and discourages regrowth. The treated area can be repainted or papered once dry.

Other causes of damp

We will inquire about these and be on the lookout during our termly property inspection visits, but if you should spot anything beforehand, then please let us know.

Check the following:

  1. all accessible plumbing for leaks
  2. guttering and down pipes for cracks and blockages, for example, leaves
  3. overflows and waste pipes under sinks for leaks
  4. possible roof leaks
  5. damaged outside walls or eroded pointing
  6. high garden or path levels overlapping the damp proof course

This type of damp is called penetrating damp, and generally leaves ‘tide marks’ and mould growth around the area of defect.

Rentokil has plenty more tips on preventing damp and condensation.

Right Letting Agents hope you found this hand-out useful. As a reputable letting agent we always encourage our landlords to fulfil their obligations in combating damp, condensation & mould. We also kindly ask that you do your best, as tenants, to help too.

If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents on 0845 026 8527 or visit our website.

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