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How Leicester landlords can stay on the right side of the law

There’s more to life as a Leicester landlord than simply collecting monthly rental payments. Landlords must meet certain legal obligations. Be clear about what these are – otherwise you could wind up seriously out of pocket or in court.

Be a good Leicester landlord

By law, you must keep the property in good repair (we know you would anyway, but we’re just saying). It must be structurally sound, and you must take action to prevent damp. There are also regulations around fire and smoke alarms, gas safety and water quality. Make sure you follow all of these.

Fail to comply and you could wind up in the small claims court (if it’s a minor issue). If it’s a more serious matter the local authority could hit you with a hefty, on-the-spot fine. Do the job properly the first time and avoid all this.

Understand the tax implications

Even if you get an accountant to deal with this, it’s good to know what the taxman requires.

The good news is that the first £1,000 in rental income is not subject to tax. All the rest however needs to be reported to HMRC. You must declare amounts between £1,000 and £2,500. Anything above this figure needs to be reported in a self-assessment form.

Expenses, including letting agents’ fees, can be claimed back. Your National Insurance Contributions could also be impacted.

The rules around rental deposits

When a tenant pays you a rental deposit, you must put this money in a government approved tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. There are three such schemes in England and Wales, and separate ones in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Immigration laws

As part of the Immigration Act, landlords must check a tenant has the legal right to live, work – and thereby rent – in the UK. You should request copies of a tenant’s ID (this is usually a passport) and, if relevant, work or residential visa. Be aware that this is an “evolving” situation. Politicians are currently debating just what kind of physical proof EU citizens should be given after Brexit to show they have Leave to Remain. Keep an eye out for developments on this. At the end of the day you don’t want the Home Office removing your tenant because they don’t have the right paperwork.

Evicting a tenant

Let’s hope it never gets to this. But if it does, follow the law. The rules relating to evictions have tightened up significantly in recent years, so don’t leap in and evict without having done your homework. Check the paperwork, and if in doubt, get legal advice.

Why not register for your upcoming Landlord & Investor Evening on the 19th March. – Call 0116 274 5544 or e-mail clarendonpark@knightsbridge-estates.co.uk

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By Royal Appointment in Leicester – Homes Comfortable Enough for a King or Queen

In this 2-minute read, we discover one of the World’s most expensive palaces and why people in Leicester prefer their own simpler home comforts.

Close your eyes and imagine the palace of your dreams.

On second thoughts, don’t close your eyes because you won’t be able to read the rest of this article.

That’s better.

Right then, when you think of palaces the one which springs to mind for many people in the UK, and indeed the World, is Buckingham Palace.

Truly a place fit for a Queen. And here’s why.

Queen Elizabeth’s London home is worth between £1billion and £2 billion depending on what internet source you look at.

Quite a difference in opinion but one thing is for sure, and that’s with the following features and benefits Buckingham Palace is up there with the most desirable residences in the World.

The palace has 775 rooms. That includes 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, 19 staterooms and 78 bathrooms.

And if that wasn’t enough to gain a Royal seal of approval it also boasts a cinema, swimming pool, post office, police station, clinic and even a cash machine.

The latter, we find a little ironic as we’ve always been led to believe the Queen doesn’t carry cash.

But according to a survey carried out last year among 2000 homeowners across the UK, you don’t need gold plated taps to make a home comfortable.

The survey, carried out by a hotel company, listed 50 things people said were truly home comforts.

And in our experience in Leicester, the findings ring true.

Here are the top ten.

1- Your bed

2- A proper night’s sleep

3 – Home-cooked food

4 – Comfortable sofa

5 – Family around you

6 – Your favourite film or TV programme

7 – A cup of tea

8 – Getting into your comfy clothes

9 -Your own toilet

10 -Laptop/tablet/computer

We’d probably add reliable, fast broadband to the list.

What would you add?

We love helping people in Leicester find homes where they feel at their best.

So, if you are thinking of buying, selling, renting or letting get in touch with us.

While we can’t promise you a palace, we will do all we can to treat you royally.

Thanks for reading.

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How to Avoid a DIY Disaster in Leicester

In this 2-minute read, we discover some DIY disasters and why it pays to use professionals. 

The Do it Yourself industry in the UK is valued at around £7billion a year.

But according to a survey from consumer champion Which? DIYers are worth considerably more to tradespeople who are called in to rectify and repair some of the calamities left behind by household ‘Have a go’ heroes.

Check out these horror shows as reported by Which? Trusted Traders.

Plumbing the Depths

‘Many people try and fit their bathroom suite and then wonder why the water isn’t draining away. It’s usually down to poorly installed pipework or no fall/drop on the wastewater pipe. The worst I came across was an incorrectly fitted soil pipe which caused the bathroom to stink to high heaven. It ended up being costly for the homeowner.”

Boiler Madness

“We were called into a property where the customer complained his new boiler was leaking and he could smell gas. He admitted he had installed it himself, which was illegal because he was not Gas Safe registered. There were several potentially fatal errors he’d made such as pipes not being fitted correctly and the boiler being too close to the ceiling. Thankfully we were able to rectify his errors quickly and make the boiler safe for him and his young family.”

Not such Bright Sparks

‘The worst DIY I have seen was a 1.5mm lighting cable that had been used for a ring circuit in a house when it should have been 2.5mm. A cable like this on a 32Amp circuit breaker is likely to fail or melt under a high load or fault condition before the circuit breaker trips out, putting the whole house and anyone in it in danger.’

Call in the Experts

There are certain jobs around the home when calling in an expert is, without doubt, the best way forward.

It’s the same when you’re selling a property. There’s a lot more to successfully selling your home than meets the eye. Doing it ‘on the cheap’ can prove a nightmare at best and a disaster at worst. 

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents we’ve 22 years’ experience of helping people in Leicester sell and buy homes successfully. It’s what we do — day in, day out.

And as local property experts, we can also put you in touch with trusted tradespeople who can do your job properly. Feel free to get in touch, and we will be delighted to introduce you to them.

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What will your random act of kindness in Leicester be?

In this 90 second read, we look at how one kind act started a movement in America which has become increasingly popular in the UK over the past few years.

Monday 17 February is recognised as Random Act of Kindness Day.

It’s a chance to do something positive, and what’s not to like about that?

Its origins are in America, but the feelgood factor has spread much further afield and has made its way to Leicester.

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents, together with Love Clarendon Park, LoveOadby & LoveWigston we are getting involved and paying it forward. We have place random small gifts around the area from vouchers to local businesses, flower and maybe even a free coffee at your local coffee shop!

And it doesn’t have to be grand gestures because when it comes to paying it forward, small things can have big impacts.

Below are ten simple things you can consider doing to get involved.

  • Let someone go before you in a queue.
  • Offer someone your seat on public transport.
  • Pay for someone’s morning coffee.
  • Pay a compliment to a stranger.
  • Text a friend and thank them for being them.
  • Do a 10-minute litter pick in your neighbourhood.
  • Drop off some clothes you no longer need to a charity shop.
  • Say good morning, with a smile, to a stranger.
  • Write a Google / Facebook review for a local business who serve you well.
  • Be kind to yourself – Take 10 minutes out of your busy day and do something you enjoy.

We’d love to hear what you’ve done to celebrate Random Act of Kindness Day so feel free to get in touch.

And remember folks, sharing really is caring, so if you found this article interesting, please ‘pay it forward’ by sharing it or tagging a loved one, friend or family member.

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What Leicester people love about their Leicester homes…

In this 2-minute read, we look at what people love, and hate, about homes in Leicester.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and with romance in the air, we thought we’d share what makes people in Leicester love their homes.

According to a news article based around a national survey by a conveyancing company, here are the top three things people loved most about the homes they bought.

And in our experience, people in Leicester get passionate about the same things.

  • A lovely location. 58 % of those surveyed said that being near good schools, transport links and shopping options was what they wanted most.
  • A price worth paying. People love properties that represent great value to them. Don’t confuse this with a ‘cheap’ price as that’s often driven by mistaken lust for a ‘bargain’, not true love. 37% of those surveyed thought this made for a special relationship.
  • A gorgeous garden. The great outdoors sparked more than 28% of people to declare amour for their home.

And 1% of people swooned over the street name when buying a place. Fancy living in St Valentine’s Way in Skegness anyone?

But the opposite of love is hate, and the survey also asked people what turned them off properties they’d viewed with an eye to buy.

  • Lacklustre location. 43% of people just didn’t fancy where it was.
  • The price was too high – 40% of those surveyed said overvaluations turned them off, big time.
  • Looks – Beauty is more than skin deep in successful relationships, but when it comes to the interior of a prospective home, 34 % of people wanted to look at something they found visually attractive.

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents we do all we can to deliver a service and level of attention people fall head over heels for.

We love what we do and are passionate about serving the community in Leicester So, if you have any property related questions get in touch.

And remember folks, sharing really is caring, so if you found this article interesting, please share it with a loved one, friend or family member.

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Will Brexit have an impact on the value of your Leicester home?

In this 2-minute read, we look at the effect leaving the EU has had on the property market, and if there will be a ‘Brexit bounce’ for house prices in Leicester.

Love it or loathe it, or simply sick to the back teeth of it, Brexit is happening.

But what impact will the UK leaving the European Union have on the property market in Leicester?

Like most long-term forecasts, no one knows with absolute certainty, how things will pan out, especially when it comes to the housing market.

It would be disingenuous of us to suggest otherwise.

However, the immediate impact since the General Election has been to see buyer confidence come flooding back. The media have dubbed it the ‘Boris / Brexit Bounce.’

And here’s why.

The housing market doesn’t like uncertainty – whether that’s political or financial.

And humans are often inclined to avoid making decisions if we can get away with it.

Our minds seek out a reason NOT to do something which might disturb the status quo of our lives.

Especially when things beyond our control seem ‘up in the air.’

The Brexit Factor

The uncertainty over Brexit was a big factor in many people’s decision to hold off buying or selling a home.

The ‘will we?’ ‘won’t we?’ questions have been answered. We have clarity.

That’s the main reason we’re seeing so much activity since the election on December 13. And it appears to be a nationwide trend.

There’s a lot more positivity around property in Leicester than there has been for a long time.

So, if you have been sitting on the fence about selling your home, now could be the ideal time to bounce off it and make your move ahead of the traditional spring rush.

If you want your home to stand out in a less congested marketplace give us a call on 0116 274 5544 to discover how we can help you.