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How Japanese Knotweed Can Damage the Value of Your Property

Japanese knotweed is one of those things that you don’t often hear about until it’s causing you problems. The plant was introduced to the UK in Victorian times, when people viewed it as a hardy plant which would make an attractive addition to borders, but little did they know how voraciously it would spread and grow, or the level of damage it can do to properties.

The problem with Japanese knotweed it that it grows in thick, bamboo-like shards and can be really hard to remove. In fact, it’s blighted UK properties to such an extent that it’s actually a criminal offence to cause knotweed to grow in the wild!

Japanese knotweed

An amendment to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 includes invasive non-native plants including Japanese knotweed. Here are some key points for how this affects the homeowner:

  • It is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed in your garden, but on your property you should aim to control this invasive non-native plant  to prevent it becoming a problem in your neighbourhood. If it has a “detrimental effect of a persistent or continuing nature on the quality of life of those in the locality”, the legislation could be used to enforce its control and property owners may be prosecuted.
  • Where problems with Japanese knotweed occur in neighbouring gardens, we suggest that you speak or correspond directly with your neighbours (who may already be taking action to control this difficult weed). These informal steps should be taken before contacting your council to talk about action under the legislation.
  • Homeowners can consider control themselves for a small, isolated clump (see the Control section below). However, a specialist professional company will be skilled at control, ensure eradication and can dispose of the plant waste a licenced landfill sites.

Selling a house with knotweed on the property, or even the borders of the property can be next to impossible. One case in the news recently saw a South Wales man forced to slash the selling price of his bunglaow from £130,000 to just £70,000 because of the extend of the knotweed at the bottom of his garden, and the cost associated with removing it. It was spotted by a surveyor whilst he was preparing to sell the house and has drastically reduced the value of the sale.

An article in the Telegraph about the problem states It was once the case that mortgage lenders would turn down loan applications where the properties involved had knotweed present. This made it near impossible for sellers to get rid of properties.

This is no longer the case, but most lenders will want to see a treatment plan in place or a valid insurance policy covering the plant’s removal.

If left untreated it can cause severe damage to a property. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) warns drains and pipework, patios, paths and drives, boundary and retaining walls, outbuilding, conservatories and garden structures are especially at risk.”

Do you have a problem with Japanese knotweed control? Leave me a comment below.

Driving

Is Your Car Ready for Winter? #TestYourTreads

I don’t know if it’s just me, but after a pretty mild Autumn, it feels as though winter has sneaked up on me out of nowhere! Christmas is less than a month away but we’ve only just started wearing proper winter coats and boots and I think this year has been the latest we’ve ever put our heating on too. Living in the countryside means that we have to do certain things to prep for winter; we’re off the grid for gas, so we have to make sure we’ve had a delivery of LPG to last us, and we also use a log burner for heat which means making sure our wood is well seasoned and checking whether we might need to have more delivered.

Obviously, living remotely means that our car is really important to us, too, as we’d be stranded without it, so there are a few things we check there like anti-freeze, low-temperature screen wash and also our tyres. TyrePlus is urging everyone to #TestYourTreads to remind them that tyres which are worn below the legal limit can be even more dangerous in the winter.

Their experts say “Tyres aren’t just those great big rubber things that carry you from A to B. They’re a lot more sensitive than they look which is why we want you to help us spread the message about the importance of giving your tyres the TLC they need. They might look tough (and indeed they are) but deep down, they need a fair bit of looking after. Unfortunately, there are still far too many people who think The 20p Test is something you might find at a fairground amusement arcade.”

“This handy little test actually requires you to pop a 20p coin in the grooves of the tyre and if the outer band of the coin is visible at any point, the treads are below the legal limit. Carrying out simple checks like this one on a regular basis will keep car safety in check, reduce damage to vehicles and help eliminate unnecessary road accidents.”

A lot of people take it for granted that if their MOT is up to date then their tyres MUST be legal but this isn’t always the case, so performing the test above could really help to keep you safe. Also, take a look at any advisories on your last MOT because if your tyres were worn close to the legal limit and noted on your test, there’s a good chance they need replacing.

Obviously, the risks of having unsafe tyres are potentially fatal, so I’m sure I don’t need to reiterate how important it is to check them. What are you waiting for? Check them NOW!

Money

Home Buy and Sell Is No Big Deal – Thanks To Conveyancing Solicitors

Buying or selling any property is always stressful and complicated no matter you are doing it for the first time.

However, the hassle is all gone now.

Thanks to the conveyancing solicitors.

They are there to help you with the procedures of sale and purchase of a home and make the process carry on as quickly and smoothly as possible.

You can visit https://www.woodgrangesolicitors.co.uk to know more about how the conveyancing solicitors help out with law and client’s requirements.

Experience with conveyancing solicitor

The conveyancing solicitor will help you with tackling the formalities related to the sale of any property and will make sure that your deal is completed smoothly and quickly.

Choose your solicitor carefully and make sure that he is completely aware of the complexities of the law. He will be your expert advisor in the matters related to home sale and purchase.

Sit back and relax- Conveyancing solicitor got you covered

You can have a peace of mind and expect seamless and hassle- free transaction.

Feel free to resolve any query from your conveyancing solicitor at any point in the process. Moreover, do make sure that accurate and clear estimate of costs is provided to you which includes all legal fees and the stamp duty.

Advice for remortgage

You can feel the need to remortgaging any time.

You may need money for something else and borrow money against your property for that matter, or you can also wish to change your lender, or any other issue or reason can cause you to think of remortgaging.

A conveyancing solicitor will provide you with a sound and legally sensible advice and make the process effortless and straightforward for you.

Advice for equity transfer

Your conveyancing solicitor will also guide you about the equity transfer.

If there are more than one owners of a property and someone wants to sell his interest to another person due to any reason, then the solicitor will help in the equity transfer process.

Other than this, the experts can also advise you on other matters related to shared property ownership.

Advice for lease drafting

You can face certain occasions where the leaseholders or freeholders want to make changes to the lease which may include the leasehold and lease extensions authorization.

In such scenario, there is no need to worry about anything, and the best option is to let experts take care of matters. The conveyancing solicitors will take care of the drafting and negotiations.

Moreover, they will tell you about your rights and responsibilities under the new lease terms too.

Mortgage Transactions

If you want to purchase a home via Islamic Mortgage, then you need to have economic pragmatism while remaining compliant with Sharia Law principles.

If you wish to buy home with such Islamic mortgage system, then you need to pick up your conveyancing solicitor carefully after making sure that the person you are hiring is aware of all facets of mortgage law so that the things run smoothly.

In this way, you will have the best outcome on your behalf.

DIY

Must Know Plumbing Tips For New Homeowners

Must Know Plumbing Tips For New Homeowners

As a first-time homeowner, you have a lot to learn about the care of your home. In terms of your plumbing, you need to protect your home from disastrous and costly problems. You must deal with plumbing problems as soon as you notice them to avoid costly water damage issues.

Here are some tips that will help you become a responsible homeowner:

Get Heating And Plumbing Inspection

You can find heating and plumbing inspections at a relatively cheap price – these inspections will help you avoid water damage. Inspections are beneficial because they unearth problems within your heating and plumbing system and give you time to get someone like these plumbers from Sydney, or wherever you are, out to fix them before they escalate. This inspection will bring pressing and not-so-pressing issues to your attention.

 

Once the inspection is over, you will be given a list of items you need to buy, allowing you to come up with a budget. You can also pay for a camera inspection, where a camera is sent into your sewer system to check for clogs.

Locate The Main Water Shut Off Valve

In the event of an emergency, you should know where the shut off valve in your home is. During a leak, the last thing you need is to start running around looking for the shut off valve. You need to shut the main water supply off to prevent your home from flooding, which will cause water damage. To find your shut off, you might have to crawl under your house or check your basement. If you do end up having a disaster there are always water damage restoration services for you to fall back on!

Clean Your Shower Drain

Ignoring your shower drain can lead to clogs, which will make your bathroom a no-go zone. According to Plumbing Fix, hair is the leading cause of blockage in bathroom drains. Cleaning up debris such as hair from your bathroom drain, your pocket and pipes will thank you. You need to set up a routine maintenance to ensure that no problems occur. To make things easier, install a hair strainer in your drain to prevent hair from going down the drain and clogging it.

Do Not Use Liquid Drain Cleaners

Liquid drain cleaners usually leave you with more problems than you bargained for because they reduce the life of your pipes. Instead of using liquid cleaners, which eat up your pipes, invest in a snake. We’re not talking about a real snake here. You can buy an inexpensive snake from the nearest home improvement store and use it to keep your drains free of debris. If a snake does not remove the clog, try using a plunger. You can buy this cheap item from the nearest store.

Cover Outdoor Pipes During Winter

If the water going through your pipes freezes, they can burst and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. How do basements end up flooded after the winter? When water freezes inside the pipes, it expands and because there is nowhere for ice to go, the pipes crack to accommodate the new size. As the cold weather dissipates, the ice melts and seeps through the cracked pipes, flooding your basement. If this occurs while you’re on a vacation, you might come home to a flooded house. To avoid this, you need to winterize your house before the cold season arrives.

Emergency Numbers

You need to have several phone numbers handy for home emergencies: plumbers, HVAC contractors, and electricians. Having a plumber’s number handy is especially important because plumbing issues such as leaks should be addressed immediately.

 

Holidays

Having Great Adventures While Travelling On A Budget

A Strategic Approach

Even if you’re in debt, you’ve got to go on a vacation every now and then. If you’re clever about it, you can do so without seriously compromising your payback strategy. You may always have that dream vacation to Australia on the backburner, but just because you can’t go Down Under, doesn’t mean you can’t have the same kind of adventure on a budget vacation.

One of your best bets in this regard is going to involve getting assistance from professionals who understand your situation, who can give you the proper information to help you inform your travel plans, as well as helping you to look for the best hotel deals to fit your budget, however small.

According to Debt Academy, “When you are overwhelmed and consumed with worry about debt, you need answers. And more than answers, you need solutions. Debt Academy is committed to helping everyone struggling with crippling debt so that you can hold your head high and not avoid another call from the ‘unknown number’.”

Once you have the right answers, you can ask some additional questions. As in something to the tune of: “Now that I’ve managed to consolidate my debt into a single monthly payment of $1,200, after expenses, I have $200 a month left over! What kind of vacation can I put together with $200?”

Possibilities

Well, with $200, you might be able to finance a weekend trip somewhere. But with $2,400, you might be able to spend a month in a fine locale and really get your emotional and psychological well being back where it should be. How can you turn $200 into $2,400? Well, in a word, save.

It’s hard to save money when you’ve got debt, but it’s not impossible. Perhaps establish a secondary revenue stream through the internet. Provided your wages aren’t affected, and you’ve just got debt, it’s possible to pay all your bills and save a little, too. It just involves cutting on creature comforts.

Take coffee and food at a chic coffee shop, for example. If you buy something from such a place daily, you’ll spend three dollars per visit at least, which is $1,095 over the course of a year. Instead, spend $95 on a Sam’s Club-sized tin of your favorite coffee and a machine, and save $1,000 for a vacation!

Once you’ve managed to secure a vacation “nest-egg”, however small, now it’s time to determine where you’ll go. You want to find areas where you can get the best amenities for the lowest price. Well, in some scenarios. Sometimes you may be interested in camping somewhere exotic. But if you’re going the resort angle, you may find some decent options.

Affordable Vacation Packages

You can find some great, affordable vacation deals on this website which offers some low rates. This is certainly worth looking into. As you’re researching potential areas where you might want to travel, you might also want to look for options that have similar discounts. Think of it like vacation “Big Lots”.

Are you familiar with “Big Lots”? Well, this is a department store that sells overstocked items and those which have been discontinued, but yet must be moved. You can get great discounts.

Sometimes you’ll get something at a quarter of its initial selling value. Sometimes with vacations, if you go to a resort town in the off-season, you can get some excellent rates. Additionally, there are sometimes rolling promotional packages during the “in” season as well. Whatever your budget, there are ways you can have the vacation you need on the budget you’ve got.