Property is currently a hot topic in the UK. One of the main catalysing factors behind the fiery discussion is the now ubiquitous phrase: generation rent.
Referring to young adults up to the age of 35 who are unable to get on the property ladder, generation rent is a regrettable reality of modern life. For some, renting means paying more than 50% of pre-tax income to the landlord.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed by politicians keen to boost their profile ahead of the general election: David Cameron has pledged to double the number of low-price homes for young people if the Tories win. However, as the expert construction and crane hire company Emerson Crane Hire have reported, these houses will be exempt from a section 106 obligation (an obligation that ensures the construction of affordable housing) – so although they may be cheaper, these new builds probably won’t be affordable for everyone.
The UK will have to wait until May to address the complex issue of property. For now, the emphasis for all aspirational homeowners should be on making money go further. Here are three ways to maximise your income when making your next move.
Save money moving
Whether you’re moving in or moving out, there are plenty of savings to be made if you’re looking in the right places.
Most people neglect to think good money could be saved in the process of moving. It’s easy to imagine why the thought might not occur: moving is stressful, tends to involve huge appliances or pieces of furniture that are no longer wanted and usually has to be done at such speed that little else matters (besides moving of course).
Although some think it’s frugal to go it alone, some clearance companies can provide a swift relocation or removal at a surprisingly low cost. This is especially true if you have lots of possessions that you don’t want to bring with you.
For the clearance company Clearance Solutions, unwanted possessions are potentially useful items for their network of contacts. If they sell your unwanted belongings, they’ll use the money to reduce the cost of their services for you.
If you’re more generous spirited, you can join a local freecycle community on a website like Freegle and advertise anything you don’t want for free collection. One of the benefits of doing this is that you can reap the rewards later – when you move into a new home, you might find that the neighbour who took your old dishwasher has a sofa with your name on it.
Demand your deposit
We’ve all heard too many stories about a landlord who has unfairly kept a deposit.
Even with rent as staggeringly high as it is, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that some landlords still attempt to hang on to all the money they can. The property market is populated with people who are purely in it for the money – according to the property experts We Buy Any Home, many active private landlords originally acquired property through old mortgage-lending practices that reduced rates for buy-to-let loans.
Of course not all landlords are unjust, but it’s wise to assume they are – by preparing for any kind of accusation you can ensure you’ll get your deposit back.
Good tips include photographing everything when you move in, even if it means spending most of a day building up a photographic collection of frayed carpets and discoloured curtains. For a comprehensive catalog of faults you should accompany this less-than-desirable photo album with an inventory that lists every defect you can find.
When moving on from a property, devote a few more hours to photographing their home for proof that it was left in pristine condition.
Some landlords may hope that their tenants won’t be bothered to go through months of arbitration to get their money back. But when the average deposit is well over £1000, you can’t afford to lose such a significant sum of money over a false accusation. With the right preparation you can fight your case immediately.
It’s also worth noting that landlords have certain rules to obey regarding deposits. One of these rules is that landlords must open a tenancy deposit protection scheme that should offer a free dispute resolution service. If in doubt, check the estate agents iProperties resource pages for information on deposits, landlords and tenants.
Despite the natural tendency to consult an estate agent, there are plenty of alternative cheaper options out there for people looking to move. In some cases the savings can be vast and the locations palatial, but it’s important to remember that there are responsibilities too.
The online platform Crossroads Care matches homeowners who are older, disabled or isolated, with people who need accommodation and are willing to help. Tenants must be responsible, caring and above-all friendly as they are expected to provide companionship and help homeowners stay independent.
In return for a small monthly fee and 10 hours of contact with the homeowner, tenants have their own room and share of the facilities.
Another way to shun astronomical rental costs is through becoming a property guardian. Relying on a similar owner/ tenant symbiosis, vacant property specialists like Oaksure Property Protection guarantee that businesses avoid empty business rates by turning their property into the temporary home for property guardians. For a reduced monthly rent, property guardians can expect to find themselves living in spacious surroundings in some of the most desirable locations.
Although it might sound fun, potential property guardians who dream of turning an empty gym into a one-night rave won’t last long. As a property guardian you’ll be allowed limited visitors, be expected to perform patrolling and maintenance duties, keep the place clean and tidy and make regular reports.