Students – Things You Need To Know About Renting

Bills

When you find a property, how much rent you pay will usually be reflected in whether it includes bills or not – so this is something to consider. If it doesn’t include bills, you’re going to need to sort out the utilities, including gas and electricity, council tax, water and broadband.

You’ll need to locate meters when you move in and take readings. Then whoever is in charge of that utility will need to submit meter readings throughout the year to make sure you don’t get overcharged. No one wants to be in charge of all the bills. So if you live with a few other people, it’s probably a good idea to divvy the bills between you and work out any extra each individual is owed once all bills have been paid.

But be careful how you work this. Having a joint bills account with a flatmate will mean that your credit records become financially linked, which means firms can access and look at that person’s credit report as part of assessing whether to accept you for a financial product in future.

Your Rights

Which type of tenancy agreement you have, and when your contract started, will affect your rights, so check which you have. In a nutshell, ‘assured shorthold tenancy agreements’ are generally the most common type if renting with a private landlord.

As an assured tenant you have the right to stay in your accommodation unless your landlord can convince the court there are good reasons for eviction, for example rent arrears or damage to the property, or that another of the terms of the agreement has been broken.

Letting agent fees and signing the contract

To find a property to rent, you may need to use a letting agent – who rent out properties on landlords’ behalf. These have notoriously charged extortionate fees for their services. As such, the Government has published proposals banning letting agents from charging fees to tenants. In the meantime however, always check for any extra fees or charges first, and factor them in.

Letting agents can’t charge you just for registering or to show you their list of properties available for rent. Though otherwise they’re free to charge any fees they like – for example, for credit checks, admin and even releasing your deposit. So always ask before you commit.

Once you get the contract, read it carefully before signing. Check it includes how much the deposit and rent is, when it’s due, and what it covers (eg, council tax, utility bills, and other dos and don’ts, such as whether you’re allowed to smoke or sublet).

Discuss points you disagree on, or don’t understand, with the landlord or letting agent. If they agree to change it, don’t just take their word. Ensure the contract’s changed to so you’ve proof.

Working From Home During Lockdown

It’s realistic to assume that shifting to the ‘home office’ will become the new normal for many of us for a while, given the recent announcement by the World Health Organisation that the coronavirus has officially reached ‘pandemic’ status.Everyone who works remotely must figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work life and personal life. What about office equipment, career development and training opportunities, and building relationships with colleagues? Working remotely, especially when working from home most of the time, means grappling with these issues and others

Start and end your day with a routine

Create a routine to start and end your day. Create a habit that signals the start and close of the workday. An example is get dressed, make a coffee before you sit down or close your computer and listen to your favourite podcast at the end of the day. It needs to be like arriving and leaving your place of work, otherwise it will all blur too much.

Maintain Regular Hours

Set a schedule and stick to it…most of the time. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance. Deciding you’ll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is also important.

Set Ground Rules with the people in your space

Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children home, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time.

Create a dedicated working space

It is important to create a dedicated workspace someone where in your home. Ideally a place that you can shut the door at the end of the day, or clear away your work equipment is the space needs to be within the living part of your home.

Schedule Breaks

Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. If you’re self-employed, give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone.

‘Keep spirits up’

Make no mistake, these are stressful times. Negative headlines, worrying about sick or elderly loved ones and fighting the urge to panic buy can put answering work emails on the back burner. But the more effort you put into communicating with colleagues, the better chance you have of avoiding feelings of isolation.

Reduce Stamp Duty To Help The Market

Stamp CalculatorNow,in light of the potential slow-down in the market caused by COVID-19, two industry bodies have asked for a review. The Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) was the first to ask the government for a stamp duty holiday once the lockdown ends. The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has since backed this up.The request follows the latest RICS predictions. They show a large net balance of its members believe house prices could fall over the next 12 months. One of the major influencing factors in this is transaction numbers. As less people are inclined to buy at a high price due to lack of confidence, sellers are pushed to reduce their prices.
Hew Edgar, head of government relations at RICS, thinks an intervention is necessary.

“Rics is not an organisation that would call for a stamp duty holiday on a whim. As we start to emerge from this crisis, however, it is likely that the finances of potential homebuyers will be under strain, and the burden of stamp duty could put buyers off

Boosting new-build sales

Some housebuilding is continuing through the lockdown. The government has not ordered sites to close down unless workers are unable to follow social distancing rules. It is also supporting house moves if they have already started, or if the property is empty. This applies to the majority of new-build sales.

However, builders are also calling for a stamp duty holiday to encourage sales once the current activity slows down.The government has taken a number of emergency measures to help people and businesses during the pandemic. For example, mortgage holders can take a three-month payment holiday, including landlords.

Financial support packages and loans are also helping thousands of businesses across the UK. Many employers have “furloughed” their staff until further notice, which is another government-backed scheme. While the housing industry could also feel the effects of coronavirus, it remains to be seen what support will be offered by the government.

Bank Of England Reduces Interest Rate To 0.25%

The Bank of England has cut UK interest rates in an emergency move.The monetary policy committee voted unanimously to slash the bank rate by 50 basis points from 0.75% to 0.25%, at an unscheduled meeting held on Tuesday 10th March 2020.

The interest cut comes as part of a wider package of measures unveiled by Mark Carney, in his final week as governor of the Bank of England, designed to dovetail with the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget due to be unveiled today Wednesday 11th March.

The Bank of England has also introduced a term funding scheme with additional incentives for small and medium-sized businesses, funded by central bank reserves, to help businesses amid the unfolding economic crisis. The bank said that the scheme could provide in excess of £100bn in term funding.

The Bank of England’s role is to help UK businesses and households manage through an economic shock. These measures will help to keep firms in business and people in jobs and help prevent a temporary disruption from causing longer-lasting economic harm.

With the UK facing the biggest financial threat in more than a decade amid fears the epidemic could cause a recession, the bank said the measures will help to support business and consumer confidence, bolster the cash flows of businesses and households, and reduce the cost and improve the availability of finance.

How does the Bank of England base rate work? 

When the Bank of England lends money to commercial banks, the banks must pay interest, and the amount is determined by the base rate. The base rate will also impact on ‘Swap’ rates, the interest rate banks charge when lending to each other. If the base rate rises or falls, lenders often pass these costs on to consumers by raising their own interest rates on loans or savings products. While that might sound complicated, it essentially means the base rate will impact on two areas of your finances: how much interest you can earn on your savings and how much it costs to borrow money.

  • Cut means it will drive down cost of borrowing for millions of households and businesses
  • Bank says it must help UK businesses and households through economic shock’
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak promises to invest ‘historic amounts’ on infrastructure 

Bramley Hotel – Proposed Plans Put Forward To Liverpool City Council

A new hotel could be built across the road from the site of Everton’s proposed new stadium, if Liverpool Council’s planners approve.

‘Bramley Hotel’ will be located on Regent Road in Bramley-Moore Dock, aiming to accommodate football fans and visitors to the North Docks area of Liverpool.

Final designs for the new stadium were unveiled in December, with a detailed planning application sent to the council.

‘Bramley Hotel’ will be a key facility for those attending the 52,000-seater Bramley-Moore Dock stadium

The planning statement described Bramley-Moore Dock and Ten Streets as an “underutilised area”, adding: “This site is well-located within the Northern Docks, close to sustainable access options and existing and proposed commercial and leisure opportunities.

Containing 167 rooms, ‘Bramley Hotel’ is sure to be a popular destination for football fans.

It will be run by worldwide chain Accor, branded as an ‘Ibis Styles’ hotel, positioned just metres from the new stadium.

Plans have been submitted to the council, with the building set to be nine storeys high and delivered by developer Crossfield.

The design and access statement submitted alongside the application said the buildings on site currently “appear in relatively poor condition”

The proposals would see the current buildings on site demolished, with the hotel and 87-space multi-storey car park built in its place.

It’s expected to go before Liverpool Council’s planning committee later this year.

Full-Fibre Broadband Has Arrived In Liverpool And The Wirral

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses across Liverpool and the Wirral can now access some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country, thanks to a multi-billion-pound investment by  Openreach – the UK’s largest phone and broadband network builder.

The company is on-track to make future-proof, full fibre connections available to more than four million premises by March 2021, and ultimately wants to reach the majority of the UK.

Liverpool and the Wirral are two of dozens of new locations where work has already started to make  Openreach Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband network available – laying fibre-optic cables all the way from the local exchange to people’s front doors

Fibre is resilient. It’s smaller, lighter and more durable than copper cabling and less vulnerable to damage. It’s also future-proof, which means it will serve generations to come and won’t need to be upgraded for decades.

While fibre is the future, Openreach’s copper network still plays a huge role in connecting the UK. In fact, it’s available to more than 30 million households – so Openreach continues to proactively invest millions of pounds to maintain it and help prevent faults.

To make an informed decision about your home or business internet service, it’s important to know the differences between fibre and copper connectivity. This includes how much bandwidth each option provides, and how it will serve your need for data in the present and future.

There’s no doubt the demand for faster, more reliable broadband speeds is growing. Every year, Openreach experiences a staggering 40% increase in the amount of data passing through its network.

Future Of The Troubled Northern Rail Franchise

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is calling for an “urgent” clarification on the future of the troubled Northern Rail franchise.

On Thursday morning Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested Northern, which operates train services out of Liverpool Lime Street and across the North of England, could lose its franchise following years of delays, cancellations and timetable chaos.

The Department for Transport (DfT) followed this up with a short statement, saying: “As the Secretary of State said, he has started a process which would either strip Northern of its franchise or issue a short-term contract to them.”

However, both Mr Rotheram, and his Greater Manchester counterpart Andy Burnham, have called on the Government to give more clarification and repeated the calls for Northern to be stripped of its franchise.

Mr Rotheram said: “For 18 months Andy Burnham and I have been calling on the Government to get to grips with of the chaos on the railways of the North and remove the franchise from Northern.

“Today’s announcement from the Transport Secretary that he is belatedly going to take some action will be welcomed by passengers – however it is still unclear what this means in practice.

“This is not good enough. Passengers and staff need clarity, so the Secretary of State should urgently explain his statement and set out a clear plan as to how he will bring back stability to our railways.

Passengers will also feel rightly aggrieved that rail fares on Northern have gone up by as much as £100 today for a service described as ‘unacceptable’ by the Secretary of State. Given this, the Government must now step in and cancel today’s fare rises.”

Northern itself response with a long statement from managing director Dave Brown in which he said the operator had faced “several material and unprecedented challenges in the past couple of years”. He said: “The most significant of these is the ongoing, late delivery of major infrastructure upgrades.

New Cruise Terminal Hotel Plans, As Part Of The City’s Major Waterfront Regeneration Scheme

Wates Construction, the contractor appointed to build Liverpool City Council’s new Cruise Terminal Hotel, has submitted a detailed planning application for the new development, which forms part of  Peel and Land Property’s Liverpool Waters, the city’s major waterfront regeneration scheme.

Submission for planning application follows the consultation held in September 2018, which gave residents and businesses the chance to view plans and provide comment on the proposed new four-star hotel.

Subject to planning, the new development will comprise a 200-bedroom accommodation complex, including a lobby bar, cafe, restaurant, business suite and back of house facilities as well as visitor and coach parking, and a taxi pick-up and drop-off point.

The new hotel is intended to support and supplement the city’s new cruise liner terminal at Liverpool Waters’ Princes Dock, which once built will accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships and create new jobs and generate wider economic benefit to the city region.

The new cruise liner terminal, equivalent to the size of two football pitches, would be serviced by an off-site multi-storey car park and will enable the world’s largest cruise ships (up to 3,600 passengers) to embark and disembark at Liverpool.

As part of the construction of the hotel, Wates has made a commitment to provide extensive training and employment opportunities for local residents as well as boosting the city’s economy through the appointment of local supply chain partners.

Construction of the new hotel was procured via Major Works UK, part of Scape’s National Construction framework, which has been designed to deliver significant levels of local economic engagement as well as extensive community initiatives.

Wates design team include  Brock Carmichael as Architects, Curtins as Civil and Structural Engineers, Ramboll as Mechanical and Electrical Engineers and Planit as Landscape Architects.

The new Cruise Terminal facility is supported with £20m from the Local Growth Fund, which is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

The site of Princes Jetty and the land known as Plot 11 along Princes Parade, which are needed for the construction of the new cruise terminal and the hotel, will be gifted to the city council by Peel Land and Property Ltd.

 

 

Second phase of Central Docks development launching 8th September

The second phase of the Central Docks neighbourhood – Park Central – is set to be officially launched on 8th September by property investment company BuyAssociation and developers Romal Capital.

Alongside the Central Docks neighbourhood will be Princes Dock, Clarence Docks, Northern Docks and King Edward Triangle, which will collectively create more than 9,000 new residential apartments, as well as restaurants, bars and cafes alongside a cultural hub and retail spaces.

The 60-hectare scheme will also comprise 315,000 sqm of business space and 53,000 sqm of hotel and conference facilities.

“This is a really exciting project and we’ve already seen a huge amount of interest from investors from all over the UK and internationally,” said Caroline Marshall-Roberts, CEO at BuyAssociation.

“Liverpool is such a thriving and vibrant city, and it’s now seen as one of the top places in the country for property investment, with fantastic rental yields and strong house price growth predictions.”

Darran Lawless, development director at Peel, responsible for Liverpool Waters, added: “This is an exciting time for the Liverpool Waters project, with the construction of a number of developments well underway, and many more due to commence soon.

“It’s fantastic to see Romal Capital launch their second residential building at Central Docks and we’re confident that Park Central, alongside Romal Capital’s first development, Quay Central, will be a much sought-after address for both local and foreign investors.”