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Reasons to be Feeling Good in Leicester this Good Friday

A short but sweet 90-second read.

In this quick round-up, we share some of the good news happening during life under lockdown.

Welcome to the third Feelgood Friday update from us at Knightsbridge Estate Agents.

And it’s a Good Friday Easter special as we look at four reasons to be cheerful and optimistic that Leicester, the UK and the planet, will overcome this challenging period.

  • In Leeds, a father has donated more than 2000 Easter eggs to Leeds hospitals as a thank you to the NHS staff who saved his baby daughter’s life. This eggcellent (sorry, we had to) idea has been replicated across the UK with people and businesses donating hundreds of Easter eggs to children’s’ wards, food banks and vulnerable people.
  • Pollution levels in India have plummeted, meaning the snow-capped mountains in the Himalayas are now visible from the city of Pathankot for the first time in 30 years. The sight of the natural wonders has lifted the spirits of the population, which is now under lockdown.
  • Doing a random act of kindness has never been more appreciated. And to help us all The Mental Health Foundation has come up with some straightforward tips to spread the feelgood factor. Check them out via the link at the bottom of this article.
  • Hong Kong Zoo’s Pandas who are notably shy animals, have used the Coronavirus privacy in lockdown to mate for the first time in ten years. Could it be the start of a Panda baby boom?

For a daily dose of feelgood news, it’s worth checking out www.positive.news – it does what it says on the tin.

And finally, we’d like to wish everyone in Leicester a Happy Easter. Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives and …. eat loads of chocolate. (We added that last message).

From all at Knightsbridge Estate Agents.

PS: Here’s that link: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/random-acts-kindness

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Our salute to the superheroes in Leicester

If this past month has taught us anything, it may well be this.

And that is never to take anything for granted.

Our health, and that of our loved ones.

Our freedom, and just how precious it is.

And, the superheroes we are blessed with and what they do for us.

There are genuine Supermen and Wonder Women who walk among us in Leicester and who we rely on more than we ever realised.

They are giants protecting those of us who seek refuge in the reassurance and protection of their shadows.

They are the NHS, the delivery drivers, the carers, the cleaners, the shop staff, the teachers, the bin men and women, the postal workers and the emergency services.

They are our family, friends and neighbours, but often, they are total strangers.

And that is why what they are doing for us is so remarkable.

They are the best versions of us.

Before this, many of them were invisible to society. Many of them were undervalued until it became glaringly evident exactly how precious they really are.

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents we’re just estate agents, but the recent life-changing lessons taught to us by these superheroes have brought home what it really means to be of service.

And at 8 pm this evening we will be joining family, friends, neighbours and strangers across Leicester.

We will be standing on our doorsteps, going onto our balconies, stepping into our back gardens and coming together as one to applaud and salute those superheroes on who our lives depend.

We thank them all.

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Reasons to Raise a Smile in Leicester

In this 90 second read we share a quick round-up of some of the good news which is happening during life under lockdown.

Welcome to the second Feelgood Friday update from us at Knightsbridge Estate Agents.

And here are four reasons to be cheerful and optimistic that Leicester, the UK and the planet, will pull through this testing period.

The Care Bears

Following on from the rainbow posters brightening windows across Leicester and the UK we’re now seeing the rise of the ‘care bears.’ This lovely idea is for families to put teddy bears in their windows to brighten up the walks of people as they go by during their daily exercise.

Clap for Carers – An Encore

The UK turned out in force again yesterday evening to give another round of applause for the incredible staff of the NHS. Its popularity has grown since it began last Thursday, and it looks like being a weekly event which brings us together (practising social distancing of course) to celebrate those who are doing so much for our wellbeing and safety.

One to Watch

One of the most uplifting things we’ve seen on the internet this week is the American actor John Krasinski’s Some Good News updates. It’s funny, uplifting, moving and heart-warming. Well worth checking out on YouTube.

And Finally, …Who are your #localheroes?

Not all Superheroes wear capes. And that’s why we want to celebrate Leicester’s #Localheroes. We would love to hear from you about those people who are making a difference to our community.

It could be NHS workers, volunteers, retail staff, good neighbours and anyone who you want recognised for bringing the feelgood factor to life in Leicester.

And remember folks every day that passes brings us closer to this all ending and life returning to normal.

But for now: Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.

Thanks, and keep safe, positive and healthy.

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10 Box Sets to Binge on Leicester – What’s your favourite?

Many of us have a little more time on our hands than usual at the moment.

And while learning a new language, trying at-home workouts and reading classic literature is all well and good, you can’t beat a good bit of sitting on the sofa and binging on addictive TV shows.

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents we’re still working hard for our clients, but we’ve more ‘downtime’ than usual.

So, we’ve come up with ten series for adults that are well worth a watch – some you’ll know, and some might make welcome new arrivals on your must watch lists.

In no particular order:

The Wire – Amazon Prime Video – Crime Drama.

The Sopranos – Sky Box Sets / Amazon Prime Video – Crime Drama.

Upright – Sky Atlantic – Drama / Comedy.

The Tiger King – Netflix – Documentary.

Luther – BBC iPlayer – Crime Drama.

Gomorrah – Amazon Prime Video – Crime Drama

Phone Shop – Channel 4 – Comedy.

Unorthodox – Netflix – Drama.

The Stranger – BBC iPlayer – Crime Drama.

Friday Night Dinner – Channel 4 – Comedy.

What would you recommend we add to our must-see list?

Let us know below or by sending us a message.

Thanks for reading and happy watching.

Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

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Coronavirus Questions from Tenants and Landlords in Leicester

In this four-minute read, we look at the Government’s guidelines around questions tenants and landlords across Leicester are asking us.

The Government has issued information about the rights and responsibilities that both tenants and landlords in Leicester have during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Below are four common questions being asked by people right now which the Government have addressed in their document – Coronavirus Guidance for Landlords and Tenants.

  • As a tenant, should I stop paying rent during the outbreak?

Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. The Government has a substantial package of financial support available to tenants, and where they can pay the rent, as usual, they should do. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity.

In many if not most cases, the COVID-19 outbreak will not affect tenants’ ability to pay rent. If your ability to pay will be affected, it’s vital to have an early conversation with your landlord. Rent levels agreed in your tenancy agreement remain legally due, and you should discuss with your landlord if you are in difficulty.

  • What can I do about rent arrears?

Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity.

The Government’s full answer to this question has much more detail and can be accessed in the Coronavirus Guidance for Landlords and Tenants – which we would be happy to send you a copy of.

  • What can I do about mortgage repayments?

Mortgage lenders have agreed to offer payment holidays of up to three months where this is needed due to Coronavirus-related hardship, including for buy-to-let mortgages. The sum owed remains and mortgages continue to accrue interest during this period.

Where a tenant is unable to pay their rent in full the landlord – if a mortgagor – should discuss this with their lender.

  • As a landlord, should I stop charging rent during this period?

Landlords are not required to do this. Most tenants will be able to pay rent as normal and should continue to do so, as they will remain liable for the rent during this period.

There is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach, as each tenant’s circumstance is different and some will be worse affected in terms of their ability to pay than others. It is important for landlords to be flexible and have a frank and open conversation with their tenants at the earliest opportunity, to allow both parties to agree a sensible way forward.

The phrase ‘no one size fits all’ is particularly appropriate in this situation. And we’re seeing plenty of reasonable co-operation and goodwill from tenants and landlords as we navigate our way through these challenging times.

This is a fast-changing situation, and we appreciate you may have many more questions.  So, please call us on 0116 274 5544 or email us lettings@knightsbridge-lettings.co.uk and we can send you the full version of the Government’s latest guidance for tenants and landlords.

We’re still open for business and here to help our landlords, tenants and community.

For the latest updates and advice from the Government visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

And remember: Stay Home – Protect the NHS – Save Lives.

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Seven Tips to Save Money in Leicester

A 2-minute read. In this article, we share six tips from Mr Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis on how you can make the most of your financial resources during this period of uncertainty.

With all that’s happened during the past three weeks, you would be easily forgiven for losing sight of your personal and family finances.

But it’s one area of life where you can exercise some control.

Finance guru, Martin Lewis of Moneysavingexpert, has been a trusted voice for years, and his knowledge and expertise is being called on even more during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Here are six tips (plus one from us) he has shared with people in Leicester. For a full list see the link at the bottom of this article.

  • Council Tax – Speak to your local authority if you are struggling to pay your council tax.
  • Credit card debt – Act now to shift credit card debt to 0% interest while offers are still available in the financial markets.
  • Sports on hold – Sky Sports customers can pause their subscription while sport is suspended.
  • Returns – Many shops are extending their returns policies. If you’ve bought something and want to send it back, it’s worth checking with the retailer what its policy is.
  • Low life scum – There’s no other way of describing those scammers who are targeting people during this time. Be particularly mindful of unsolicited text messages, calls or emails from your bank, HMRC, phone providers or anyone else asking for your bank details.
  • Good advice – Sign up for Moneysavingexpert’s free money tips email. It’s always filled with ideas, offers and sound advice – which we could all benefit from now perhaps more than ever.

Support Local Businesses

And a final idea from us. We all still need to eat and buy essentials so wherever possible perhaps try to support independent local businesses in Leicester.

Many are now offering delivery services and keeping these businesses alive during this time will benefit us all when this is all over, and life returns to normal.

Do you have any money-saving tips you’d like to share with our community? If so, please let us know or comment below.

Thanks, and remember: Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives. We’re in this together, and we will get through it together.

Below is the link to more tips from Martin Lewis and his MSE team.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip/

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Introducing Feelgood Friday in Leicester

In this 2-minute update we share a quick round-up of some of the good news which is happening during these tough times.

Welcome to what will be a regular Feelgood Friday update from us at Knightsbridge Estate Agents.

For every episode of selfish panic buying in Leicester, there are a dozen more examples of selfless behaviour, random acts of kindness and generous community spirit.

We’re in the strangest and most surreal period of modern history.

But it’s in these darkest of times many people can, and do, shine their brightest lights.

And here are five reasons to be cheerful and optimistic that Leicester, the UK and indeed the World, will pull through this testing period.

Clap for Carers

It was amazing and moving last night at 8 pm to see and hear people across the UK come out of their front doors and applaud the heroes of the NHS.

The Volunteer Army

On Tuesday, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, initially issued a request for 250,000 people to give their time to help the 1.5 million vulnerable people who have to self-isolate for 12 weeks. More than 500,000 people signed up for this volunteer army in just 24 hours. And that number is growing fast.

Rainbow Nation

Hundreds of home-schooled kids across Leicester have been spreading a little cheer this week by drawing and colouring in rainbows. These rainbows have been put in the windows of homes across the community to give a little lift to passers-by.

Our Community Cares

We have heard of lots of lovely stories of kindness, compassion and generosity across Leicester It makes us proud to serve this community, and as a local business, we are doing all we can to do our bit.

Please send or share with us your examples of local heroes. It could be a video of your street applauding the NHS, your children’s rainbows or something positive done locally that you’ve heard about.

And Finally

If you get a chance, check out the adorable video of two puppies exploring an aquarium in the USA which is closed to humans, due to you know what.

Here’s the video:

Please, please remember folks that wherever possible we need to: Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.

Thanks, and stay safe.

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Is now the perfect time for people in Leicester to get organised?

In this two and a bit minute read, we look at four fantastic ways you can use the ‘lockdown’ to take on those decluttering chores, you never get a chance to do.

You know those jobs you always said you’d sort out when you got time?

Well with the Government’s instructions to Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives, that excuse might be wearing a little thin in a few weeks.

Many of us across Leicester have a lot of time on our hands right now. Making it the perfect chance to look at ways to declutter and re-organise our homes.

And who better to give us advice than the Japanese Queen of De-Cluttering, Marie Kondo.

Marie has written a bestselling book – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. And has had her own TV show teaching people how to get their homes (and lives) in order.

Below are four of her top tips to get your home looking and feeling tip-top.

#1 Marie advises starting with clothing as it’s the least emotionally loaded of our stuff. Do you need that beige roll neck which makes you look like Captain Birdseye?

#2 When having a clear-out, ask yourself a simple question when mulling over throwing something out or not: Do you LOVE it? Not just like it, but love it. If yes keep it, if no (especially if it is clothes) get rid of it. Of course this doesn’t apply to your spouse if they are driving you bonkers during lockdown.

#3 Tidy by categories, not rooms. So, for example if you have lots of books spread over your home that you no longer need or want, sort these out first, rather than going from room to room. The same applies to clothes, ornaments, shoes etc.

#4 Take on a paper round-up. The paperless home is still a long way off. But if you use Kondo’s simple 3 step approach, you can add a lot of order to your paperwork. Sort into categories like this: 1)  Papers that need attention now – bills etc. 2) Papers that you need in the short-term only like offers or statements. 3) Papers that are needed indefinitely like lease contracts and insurance covers. By having the paper filed like this, you will know what needs your attention and when and what you can recycle.

Kondo’s tips are not just cosmetic. A tidy home is said by researchers to aid mental health, which is incredibly important, especially at anxious times like this. So that’s even more reason to listen to the Japanese Queen of Clean.

Thanks for reading and stay safe and looking out for each other.

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Five ways Leicester can keep calm during these anxious times

In this two-minute read, we discover five ways to keep calm during these uncertain times.

Well it’s fair to say that none of us have ever lived through such uncertain times.

The Coronavirus outbreak has caused global uncertainty, panic and anxiety.

It would be disingenuous of us if we said that as a local business impacted by this, we weren’t worried. We all are. It’s a natural response to extraordinary events.

But there are positives. For every panic buying report, there are plenty more incidents of kindness, generosity and community spirit.

And heroes are coming to the fore.

The outstanding work of the NHS staff, retail workers and our emergency services across Leicester is something we all respect and appreciate at Knightsbridge Estate Agents.

Their selfless actions help bring some reassurance to our current lives and below are five ways, recommended by the NHS on how we can all reduce our anxiety levels.

  • Keep a diary of your thoughts and what is making you feel anxious.
  • To avoid feelings of being overwhelmed, set specific ‘worry time’ in the day to go over what’s on your mind.
  • Shift your focus. The outbreak has seen a significant rise in meditation apps. There are also plenty of free resources on the internet to help learn more about mindfulness and useful breathing techniques.
  • Challenge your thoughts. By asking ourselves ‘is what I’m thinking helpful?’ you can start challenging your ideas and coming up with new solutions.
  • Talking helps. We’re all in this together so reach out to a friend or loved one and have a chat with them about what’s on your mind. Chances are they have the same concerns.

To find out more about what the NHS has to say on this subject, please visit:

https://tinyurl.com/rmkfxaw

As an independent local business, we’re doing all we can to help people in Leicester get through these challenging times, and we will get through this together.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive, and if you know someone who might benefit from the information in this article, please share it with them.

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Coronavirus update: What Landlords in Leicester Need to Know

In this three-minute read, we share a Coronavirus information update for landlords in Leicester. 

The situation and advice available following the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is continually changing.

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents we are doing all we can to keep landlords and tenants in Leicester as up to date as possible.

And we are here to help you and our community in any way we can.

Since our last update, the Prime Minister has effectively put large sections of society on lockdown to reduce the spread of the disease and support the NHS who are in the frontline of tackling Covid-19.

This has and will have a massive impact on the rental property industry.

But we’re doing all we can to stay on top of the emerging information and guidelines.

Government Help for Landlords and Tenants

The Government has announced a package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by the outbreak.

A statement from the Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick, said: “This means no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this challenging time.

“Emergency legislation is being brought forward so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least three months. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.

“Recognising the additional pressures, the virus may put on landlords, we have confirmed that the three-month mortgage payment holiday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus.

“This will alleviate the pressure on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary stress is put on their tenants as a result.

“At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ circumstances.”

In addition to that information, we’ve compiled six links below to information you might find useful – simply copy and paste them into your internet browser. These links are accurate as of Wednesday 25 March– 7 am.

The Government’s rental announcement in full.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/complete-ban-on-evictions-and-additional-protection-for-renters

Gas Safety

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/

A Good Article on Legal Implications

https://blog.goodlord.co/legal-ramifications-for-lettings-of-coronavirus-qa-with-das-legal

Self-Employment & Universal Credit

https://www.gov.uk/self-employment-and-universal-credit

Employment & Support Allowance

https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

Emergency Funding

https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/emergency-funding.aspx

Call Us

For up to the minute news, to ask us any questions, or to simply have a chat and air what’s on your mind, please call us on 0116 274 5544 – we’re here to help.

We would also like to thank our landlords and tenants for their co-operation, understanding and for creating a sense of togetherness during this challenging period.

And finally, we salute the selfless staff of our NHS, our emergency services and retail workers who are keeping Leicester running.