Could You Handle a Lodger?

First things first, you need to find out whether or not you’re eligible to take in a lodger. If you’re a tenant, you may be able to take in a lodger to help with the rent – just ask your landlord. If you own the home, you may have to get the permission of your lender, and if you’re in a leasehold property or part of a shared ownership scheme, you’ll need to get permission from the landlord or the board of directors. Once that’s settled, you can get started. Post an ad to find a lodger, or, if you’re a lodger looking for a room, click here.

lodger

The demand for lodgings has dramatically increased year on year, with as many as 100,000 people now looking for a room. Lodgers can either live solely in their rooms, using the facilities in the rest of the house as they choose, or they can become part of the family, sitting and watching the soaps with you in the evenings. But how much, or how little they choose to engage is really up to them, although if you have a preference either way it’s important to make it known from the beginning.

Keep in mind too that you can make up to £4,250 each year tax free by taking in a lodger under the government’s rent a room scheme. This is a great financial incentive, and it makes an excellent contribution to your mortgage or rent. However, that room must be furnished. When it comes to pricing your room, be reasonable. Your lodger is not there just to pay your bills. Of course, that is part of the reason you’re taking one in, but if you’re simply thinking of them as a cash cow, you don’t really have the right attitude and your relationship with them could be frosty at best. Generally, you’re looking at around £50 to £150 a week dependent upon the area (the upper price range being inner London, for example). Ask your local council or other landlords in your area for advice if you are unsure.

New rules also apply whereby you must check that the lodger has a right to be in the country. If you fail to do this and it is later found that your lodger is in the country illegally, you could be criminally charged for aiding and abetting a criminal and failing to disclose criminal status of an illegal immigrant. Again, double check with your local council.

Once you have the legalities sorted out, there are other things to consider, too – such as decor, furnishings, who’s going to cook and do the washing up and most importantly, who’s going to decide what to watch on TV! Come back next week for part two.

Everything You Need to Know About Letting a Property: Part 3

Recent figures have shown that a whopping 20% of homes are now owned by landlords, which means that if you’re thinking about getting in on the action, now is most definitely the time to grab a slice of that pie! Here, in the third and final part of our series, we share everything you need to know about advertising and getting that buy to let mortgage. Looking for a house or want to post an ad? Include as much detail as you possibly can – the last thing you want to do is lose potential tenants because you didn’t include enough potentially important information, such as the size of the bedrooms and any furniture included in the rental. Read on to find out more.

apartment

  • When advertising, more is definitely more. In the vast majority of cases, just saying, “2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large living space” will not be enough to entice potential tenants and viewers. Give as much information as you can, but keep it concise. You’re not writing a creative essay, you’re describing your rental – so although you should use enough descriptive language so that the reader knows exactly what you have to offer, without boring them to death with flowery lingo. Include photographs of every room, and if you don’t want to include a photo of one of the rooms, figure out why and then clean it/decorate it/repurpose it so that it can be photographed and included in your listing.
  • Put simply, in order to obtain a buy to let mortgage, you need to have a substantial deposit. If you have that, you’ll find it fairly easy to get a buy to let mortgage, regardless of your credit status because the repayments are guaranteed by the rental payments. The rental price that you charge will largely depend on the market and the minimum annual cost of your mortgage. Generally, rent should be 125% of the mortgage, but this does differ dependent upon lender.
  • You’ll also need to factor in costs such as landlord insurance, rental protection insurance, monthly expenses (for example, regular maintenance, having electric and gas certificates, an allowance for any works that may need to be done to the house during the tenancy, and insurance for any furniture or furnishings that you provide for the tenant), legal costs, letting fees and agency fees. You can then add these into your tenant’s monthly rent fees, or choose to pay them out of your own pocket in order to attract more tenants. The choice is yours, but it is always recommended that you take out rental insurance, just in case you’re unlucky enough to end up with non-paying tenants.
  • Finally, make sure that you obtain all of the relevant permissions from your mortgage provider, the council and your insurance company with regards to the standards that you need to adhere to before you advertise your property.

Source: Prime Location

HireJungle’s Top Ten Halloween Party Tips

Halloween, the spookiest time of year, is a great excuse to get the whole family dressed up in scary costumes, throw a great big bash and eat lots of sweeties, as well as lots of creepy dishes – spaghetti brains and grape eyeballs, anyone? Take a look at our top ten Halloween party tips to find out just how to throw the perfect spook-tacular soiree.

Halloween pumpkin

  • Visit your local pound shop for cheap ‘n’ cheerful spooky decorations. Spiders, snakes and skeletons are all par for the course, but for an elegant take on the Halloween theme you could use deep red and black decorations and accessories, like paper plates, or accessories with a pumpkin hue as you can re-use them later on. Don’t forget the cobwebs!
  • It’s nice to make spooky snacks, like meatloaf feet (shape a regular meatloaf into a foot shape and use onion and tomato sauce for the nails/ankle) and finger rolls (roll a single slice of bread up into a finger and top with a semi-circle of olive to mark the nail), but you’ll find it easier to make a big batch of chilli or stew and serve it with bread rolls as your guests can help themselves.
  • Serve a green punch (or alcohol-free juice drink) by whizzing up a little spinach and stirring in for a green hue. For extra fun, add some gummy worms. As a variation, whiz some berries for a red punch and stir in some gummy eyeballs (available in most supermarkets at Halloween).
  • For the kids, make a “terrifying touch box”. Put a bowl of peeled grapes inside for eyeballs, cold spaghetti for worms/intestines and overcooked rice mixed with oil for slimy maggots. Cover with a cloth and get the children to guess what’s inside.
  • If you want to serve up a sweet treat, caramel apples are a great option for this time of year, but a super easy sweetie is the humble marshmallow ghoul – just use food-safe markers to draw features onto white marshmallows.
  • Easy, cheap and cheerful Halloween games: bobbing for apples (you could bob for peaches and include some gummy worms/bears in the bowl for added squishiness), pin the mouth on the ghost (a simple variation of pin the tail on the donkey) and a scary scavenger hunt, played in the dark with a few torches to make it extra spooky.
  • Costume parades are fun for guests of all ages, but if you’re throwing a party with a lot of guests, organise your parade into categories, i.e. scariest witch or goriest ghoul.
  • A great way to keep children quiet for an hour whilst the adults have a good natter is to set out some simple Halloween crafts. For example, you could cut out pumpkin shapes from orange craft paper and get the children to draw on the jack-o-lanterns, or make ghosts from white crepe paper and some rolled up tissue.
  • Set up trick or treating stations around your home if you’re concerned about letting little ones out to play – making sure the little ones have an option to “treat” if they’d prefer!
  • Set up a haunted walk in the garden or at the local woods. A few fake spiders here, a ghost made from a sheet in the tree there and a few parents willing to pop out from behind a bush with a scary mask on and you’ve got yourself a spooky haunted walk that costs virtually no money.

Source: Buggy Buddys

Would You Rent Out Your Car?

More and more “car club” services are popping up all over the UK. Zipcar, for example, a company that owns a fleets of cars that drivers can hire for as little as an hour, have locations in major cities across the country. The peer to peer rental/sharing market has soared over the last few years, with thousands of people hiring out everything from their spare bedroom to their Louboutins – so why not make some money from your car, too?

Krishna Williams rents out his car

Image: The Guardian

easyCar Club have spotted a gap in the hire car market, allowing people to hire their car directly to other drivers in the local area. It’s immensely safer than hiring through a local free listings site or social networking sites, as there are a whole hot of protective measures in place, including feedback for both the hirer and the owner, insurance provided by easyCar for the duration of the hire period (which means that your no claims discount is protected, as the hire doesn’t effect your existing insurance policy), RAC cover (whether you’re driving your car or whether you’re hiring the car out) and the ability to “block out” days or weeks where you’ll be driving the car, and to accept or deny requests to hire as and when you please. Put simply, you are in control of each and every hire.

The sticking point with easyCar’s system is that they are quite stringent with regards to who can hire their car out. Vehicles must be less than five years old (although older vehicles can become hire cars – easyCar will pay for an RAC inspector to make sure that it’s roadworthy), have driven less than 120,000 miles, be worth less than £60,000 and be covered in insurance classes 1-32. This means that your average, run of the mill family/city/commuting car will fit the bill just nicely. If you have a more exotic car – like a Ferrari or a Lambourghini (lucky you) there are sites dedicated to hiring out these types of cars, with the proper insurance and maintenance cover included so that you don’t need to worry about whether your car is going to get scratched/totaled.

Something to keep in mind when considering hiring out your car is how attached you are to it. If you’re a bit of a fanatic, wash and wax it weekly and are slightly obsessive about not letting the children eat in it, hiring out is probably not the best idea – no matter the precautions, even if you stipulate that the car must be returned clean, tidy and with a full tank of petrol – the person hiring the car may have a different view on what clean, tidy and full mean. On the other hand, if your car is simply something you use to get from A to B, or you use it in conjunction with public transport, or if it’s sat in a train/bus car park each day for 10 hours whilst you commute, hiring it out could provide you with extra income for very little effort and very little fuss.

Why Zipping is the New Renting

Chances are, you’ve heard at least a little bit about Uber and Lyft over the last few months – car sharing and “taxi” schemes designed for you to hop in someone else’s car and hitch a ride, often at a significantly lower cost than regular car services, with either (and) a big pink moustache on the front of the car or a “U” on the dash. Uber has recently hopped over the pond to the London car rental market, but Lyft is still an unknown. Luckily, though, we have Zipcar – a “car club” that want to take 1 million cars off the road, matching drivers with riders and ensuring that everyone gets to do their bit for the plant, all while getting to drive thousands of cars in locations all over the world.

zipcarcars

This kind of car club is completely different to your run of the mill rent a car concept – basically, everybody pays a fee to be able to drive any of the cars on their books at any time. Many of the cars are available to hire either hourly or daily, ideal if you want to pop out of town for the afternoon or go away for the weekend. You make the hire, unlock the car with your smartphone or the Zipcar app, hop in and drive away. Then when you return, you simply leave the car back at its reservation bay. There are 6 simple rules that are explained to every Zipcar member when they join, which include things like leaving the car with at least 1/4 of a tank of fuel, making sure that the car is clean/free of food wrappers and pet hairs before you leave and keeping the car smoke free, so that everyone can enjoy the ride. There are a few flaws with this though – if the car becomes damaged, there’s no way to tell who damaged the car as they’re not monitored or attended and the onus automatically fall on the last person to drive the car. That’s all well and good, but if the damage occurred between the end of your hire period and the beginning of the next hire period, you have a problem. The only way to solve this is either to take photographs of the vehicle as you leave it, or to shoot a quick video. For the extra 5 seconds of inconvenience, it’s definitely worth it – otherwise, you might be charged for something that wasn’t your fault.

Ultimately, companies like Zipcar and even the entrepeuner hiring out his car on the weekends to make a little extra money all have one thing in common: the potential to vastly change the way we see the car hire market. Zipcar estimate that each Zipcar takes 6 personally-owned cars off the road, while owners who sign up to the service typically drive less than 1,000 miles per year – adding up to huge energy savings of 121 million litres of crude oil left in the ground, which means that our natural resources are being protected. Not only that, but with fewer cars on the road, we can all enjoy cleaner, greener air and more open spaces.

Even if just a few of us start to hire cars for the day instead of buying a brand new vehicle, it’s a step in the right direction – and that’s what’s important.

Reviews: Great Hire

Great Hire are a furniture hire company, but with a difference. They hire some of the most unique and interesting furniture that we’ve ever seen, which is mostly available for sale, too. Whatever you see, if it isn’t in the right colour or fabric, it doesn’t matter – they’ll make something up for you. And if you see something that you like, but that isn’t quite right, they can change it. They’re more than happy to create bespoke pieces and offer a brilliant service package that’s pretty much unrivalled when it comes to furniture hire.

soaf

What They Offer

They hire furniture, obviously, but they do so much more than that. Basically, the entire set-up, right down to the napkin rings, they can sort out. With everything from pretty crystal lamps to a fancy French armoire, cushions to coat racks and incredibly elaborate set-ups that can seat pretty much as many people as you’d like, as well as multiple table set-ups, lighting set-ups and everything else to create the space or the zone of your dreams. Available for events, parties, corporate events of virtually any type, you can hire furniture and accessories, buy them, and the team will do everything they possibly can to help you.

What They’re About

They’re unique from other furniture hire companies in that they’re not particularly bothered about providing “boring”, regular, normal pieces.  They’re striving to provide the best and most beautiful furniture and accessories that they can, which means that they work hard to source pieces and are always challenging themselves to push the boundaries of design. Hence the name – Great Hire.

Services

When you hire an item from Great Hire, you’re also paying for a slew of services. They’ll deliver the item to wherever you need it, arrange it to your exact specifications – or suggest an even better arrangement if you’re completely unsure of what would work best – and will make sure that everything goes to plan. Because they hire to the events industry, they offer industry rates, which also makes them cheaper than many furniture companies in the same sector. If you find similar furniture or a similar set-up for a cheaper price, just call them and they’ll beat it – that’s part of the deal. Not only that, but Great Hire are also big on recycling, which means that items will be used over and over and when they are no longer fit for purpose, the materials and fabrics will be stripped and re-used or the items will be donated to charity.

Making a Hire

To make a hire, simply scroll through their website and click on any items that you like the look of. When you spot something you like, click Add to Wishlist and you’ll be sent additional information about the hire process.

Reviews: All Seasons Hire

All Seasons Hire provide heating and cooling solutions for almost every circumstances, keeping you cool in the summer and nice and toasty in the winter. Whatever your needs – cooling an office full of 100 people or heating your family home, All Seasons can cater to it. During the past seven years, they’ve established themselves as one of the leading hirers of HVAC equipment, making cooling and heating affordable as it can be hired at a cheaper rate than it can be bought – putting more money in your pocket for other office expenses.

allseasons

Why hire?

All Seasons are one of the few companies that push hiring or leasing over outright purchasing, and that’s because there are benefits for their clients but for them, too. Hiring means that little or no money needs to be outlaid at the beginning, meaning that equipment can be accessed almost immediately – meaning that more funds are available to buy stock or to increase capital. The option of hiring also means that you can access equipment needed almost immediately, rather than buying something that isn’t actually adequate for your needs. Not only that but tax relief can often be gleaned from hired equipment – which means that it’ll all work out cheaper than buying something outright. Hires also allow the customer to update their equipment more frequently, which means that they’re more able to keep up with the latest technology – and many would also argue that the right equipment means that workers will be more productive, which means that more money will be earned – which negates the cost of the hire.

What’s on offer

All Seasons’ hire out a wide variety of heating and cooling solutions – some of which are a little more niche than others. One of their services, for example, is server room cooling – making sure that vital computer equipment is safe and that it can run smoothly. Another is temporary ice rink cooling, so that your company can set up an ice rink through the Christmas months – making sure that it stays frozen! There is also the option to heat and cool marquees, either on a large scale for a big corporate event, or for something a little bit smaller, like a wedding. Alongside these services, they also offer regular heating and cooling for office spaces and will always try to find the best option for your office – something that’s energy efficient and that can save you money on your energy bills. Dehumidification is also a service that they offer. To learn more, just visit their website. Prices vary depending on how much equipment you hire.

Reviews: Budget UK

Budget UK is one of the UK’s largest car hire providers, with over 3,100 locations across the world in 120 different countries, giving their customers access to a huge fleet of vehicles. They’re a brand that is recognised globally, with locations across the world, including America and a number of European countries. Wherever you are in the world, Budget Car Rental is committed to finding you the perfect car at the perfect price, at some of the very best rates that we’ve seen on the market.

budgetuk

About Budget

Budget have long been known as one of the cheapest car hire providers, but that doesn’t mean that you get less for your money. Their aim is to provide you with the most value for the least amount of money. They offer a range of payment plans, including pre-payment plans so that your bill is paid off before you travel, as well as a number of discounts and offers that provide savings if you book early, for longer periods of time or for business purposes. From time to time, they’ll also offer discounts if you book and pay online of up to 25% and there is also the occasional flash sale for different locations around the world.

Making a Hire

Hiring a car is fairly simple. Just click on “Get a Quote” at the top of the page, then choose where you want to make the hire from (airport or city) and the date and time that you want to hire the vehicle to or from. You’ll then be shown a list of vehicles that are available for your chosen times and dates and you can then narrow your choice down a little bit further. There’s just one catch – you must be over 23 to hire a car and drivers under the age of 25 may well have to pay a surcharge. You can hire everything from a small sports car to a huge 8-seater family wagon – just ask or specify before checkout. If you don’t know what you’re after, or what you want from the hire, you can either email them or just give them a quick call and their friendly team will be able to offer help and advice.

Managing the Booking

Once you’ve made the booking, everything else can be done fairly quickly, depending on the vehicle and package that you’ve chosen. You could pick up or drop off your rental car, or, they can deliver to you too, which means that you get a shiny new hire car without having to leave the house!

Reviews: Hire Intelligence

Hire Intelligence is the world’s leading provider of short-term technology hires, including computers, video conference equipment, communication equipment and much, much more. Founded in Perth, Australia, back in 1992, Hire Intelligence now operate in six locations across Australia, with locations across the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, too.

hireintelligence

Making a Hire

Making a hire couldn’t be easier. Simply navigate the website using the tabs at the top of the page. Choose from a wide range of computers, audio-visual equipment, telephones, tablets, cameras and much, much more. If you already know what you want to hire, you can also submit an order through the website using the quotation form. Just provide basic information like your address, billing address, the product you wish to hire and the date you wish to hire from. Short term hires, long term hires and hire to buy schemes are also available – just drop Hire Intelligence an email or give them a call.

Why Rent from Hire Intelligence?

There are a number of compelling reasons for renting from Hire Intelligence. Firstly, their rates are very competitive, with a number of discounts and special offers available for users that have hired from them before, or users that hire multiple products or a large quantity of products at any one time. Renting from Hire Intelligence also provides businesses with a range of benefits – suitable for training exercises, short-term projects, travel, one-off events and more. Renting is also a great way to save money, especially if you want to trial the equipment before buying it outright. Plus, renting can often be a cost-efficient way to get access to the latest technology without having to worry about throwing away capital on tech that will depreciate in value almost as soon as you buy it.

Rent to Buy

Looking for an efficient way to spread the cost of buying your equipment? Hire Intelligence’s Rent to Buy scheme could be the answer. You can rent the equipment for 12 months, then either buy it for 25% of its price, or rent it for 50% of the rate charged through the first 12 months. Renting offers tax deductible benefits, depending on the equipment you choose, and it also means that you’re not stuck with out of date equipment without the budget to upgrade should the technology become obselete. There’s also no obligation to buy after the 12 month period – you can switch to another rental, buy new equipment, or simply stop renting completely. Plus, the rental won’t affect your credit score, which means that you’ll be in the best position to apply for a loan should you need one.

Not only does the Rent to Buy scheme include the equipment, but also all of the software, set-up, installation, networking and anti-virus software that you’ll need for total peace of mind.

Reviews: The Very Vintage Hire Company Ltd

We’ve seen hundreds of hire companies in our time – after all, that’s our business! But The Very Vintage Hire Company is one of the coolest, we have to say. Just a few clicks around their website and you’ll quickly see that they’re a fashionable bunch with some very cool design ideas – and the amount of stock that they hire out is astonishing.

veryvintage

The Story So Far

Despite their successes, Very Vintage actually started life as a university project in 2011. In 2009, founder Carmen was studying a degree in illustration and in her second year, started a small business selling handmade cake stands at fairs and markets with her pal Alex. Both mums, they juggled looking after their children with selling and crafting hundreds of cake stands. Juggling both soon became fairly difficult and in 2011, they had their first ever wedding booking after a couple bought a job lot of china for their special day. After trawling second hand shops, vintage fairs and markets for vintage china, they expanded their business to hiring out cool and quirky vintage china pieces. Since then, business has quite literally boomed – with a spot on the BBC show Be Your Own Boss and an editorial in Devon Life Magazine, the team has grown along with the business.

Very Vintage Stock

vintagehire

Whether you want to hire vintage props for a wedding, special event, party or production, Very Vintage can help. With a vast range of stock, including bespoke signs, clapper boards, vintage games, bunting, stepladders and bird cages, as well as a range of catering equipment, such as popcorn and candy floss machines, they really have everything to make your event go off with a bang. Don’t know what you want from the booking? Send them an email and ask them to recommend a package  One of their most popular is the Fairground package, which includes a vast range of vintage fairground games, popcorn and candy floss machines, bunting and stepladders – plus three members of staff to run the stalls for you, plus, they’ll set up everything for you and then take everything away, too. You can save money by picking up goods yourself and you’ll get a discount of up to 10%.

Making a Booking

The easiest way to make a booking is to simply browse through the A-Z section of hire props – decide what you like, add to enquiry and then wait to hear back from Very Vintage. If an item has already been hired, you’ll be told at checkout – if not, Very Vintage will send you a quotation via email. If you agree to the quotation, you’ll then have to pay 20% up front as a deposit, with the rest of the payment due 21 days before the event. They’ll even send you an email 7 days before payment is due. If you have any queries or questions at any stage of the booking process, just send them an email and they’ll do their best to help.

The Very Vintage Hire Company Ltd – the perfect hire company for your vintage wedding, party or event.