When the Coalition government took to the stage in 2010, labour had kindly left the UK with a debt of £700 Billion. Our friends at the Coalition have spent the last two and a half years trying to get our finances in order. Various so called austerity measures have been put in place, but despite all their efforts, David Cameron and Co will have added a staggering additional £700 billion by the end of 2015.
They will have managed to double the UK’s debt in just five years. The truth of the matter, nothing is being cut and our spending is increasing year on year. By the 2015 general election, our debt is estimated to be around the £1500 Billion mark.
This sadly does not even include public sector pensions. When these are factored in, UK plc will owe approximately 10 times what we are worth.
This massive increase in Public Sector Debt has only really happened in the last 30 years and the only way that successive governments have been able to borrow and keep up the payments on such a huge pile is down to lowering interest rates, which have been steadily reducing over the last thirty years.
In 1982 the Tory Government under Margaret Thatcher had to pay 15% to borrow money for three years. Today it costs the Government only 2%
The bottom line is that if interest rates were raised even to say 5% UK Plc could not afford to make the repayments without some really drastic measures. It is true to say that interest rates are your lifeline or your death sentence.
This situation can also be applied to a homeowner who over extends themselves and statistics suggest that if interest rates went to 5% a huge chunk of house owners would default on their mortgages.
I am not sure how the country can get out of this mess and repay the debts it owes, but I am convinced that it is in this governments interests to keep interest rates a low as possible for the forseeable future.
This should however serve as a warning to homeowners be they first, second or third time buyers, to think carefully about what they can realistically afford and what would happen if interest rates did rise.
How to be a successful landlord
In order to lease your residential property effectively and correctly there are a lot of health and safety requirements you have to follow to help prevent occupants being injured and you being certainly taken legal action against or even indicted.
Furniture and home furnishings
Regulations concerning fireproof furniture are rigorous for rental accommodation and you need to ensure every appropriate pieces meet the standards set up under the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Amendment Regulations 1993. As a basic guide, furniture made prior to 1988 is probably not going to meet the standards and need to be changed prior to letting your premises. Any items which contain upholstery and might be utilized within the property, should be examined, including:.
Beds, headboards, bed mattress, futons and sofa beds.
Children’s or nursery furniture.
Garden furniture that might be used within the property.
Cushions, pillows, etc
Items that are exempt from this particular regulation include:.
Sleeping bags, duvets, pillow cases and blankets.
Carpets and curtains.
Furniture made before 1950.
In order to check objects for the fire protection requirements, try to find a permanent label explaining the law it complies with. Bed bases and mattresses are not required to have this label attached, however they ought to have a tag stating conformity with ‘ignitability assessments’. Search for the compliance code BS 7177 on these objects for verification.
The main threat of not actually servicing or sustaining gas products is a severe gas blast or even carbon monoxide gas poisoning. Property managers are demanded by law to service all gas-related equipment a minimum of once every 12 months. Property owners must also maintain a report of regular examinations and the appearance of equipment at all times. You must also supply tenants with a yearly gas safety certificate. If you do not supply your tenant with an annual gas safety certificate, you are actually violating the law.
Property managers are additionally responsible for supplying renters with guidelines for the safe use of gas appliances and devices.
CORGI CERTIFICATES ARE NOW CALLED ‘GAS SAFE’.
What used to be referred to as a CORGI gas safety certificate has been replaced with what is actually now referred to as Gas Safe. Instead of being operated through CORGI, the authorities established its very own system of registration for gas engineers. In the event that you are a landlord any gas devices including boilers and heaters within your property must be inspected once a year and an official document (in some cases also called a statement) produced by a registered engineer and any work accomplished to make it safe to establish standards provided by Gas Safe. This document needs to be offered to your tenants inside 28 days of being finished.
The electric wiring in your property need to be safe and in good functioning order all through. You must also make sure you possess sufficient sockets to satisfy the demand of renters. Get in touch with an electrical contractor approved by the NICEIC (National Inspection Council For Electrical Inspection Contractors).
Electrical wiring that is greater than 15 years should be checked on an annual basis. Wiring which is more recent may be left for longer durations in the event that there are no indications of any issues. An electrician’s review is likely to suggest a re-inspection between two and ten years, although it is reasonable to have such inspections more often.
In the event that you are intending on supplying electrical devices to your renters, for instance a washing machine or a vacuum cleaner, you need to make sure that all items are routinely examined for safety and identified appropriately. Have an electrical contractor to make the required inspections before each let and then periodically after that. Try to keep all electrical testing reports for your own records.
Property Owners Insurance
Whilst it isn’t compulsory, no professional landlord would leave out Insurance. You need to make sure that not only are the buildings insured against, fire, lightening, flood etc, but that your liability as landlord is covered. Some policies will even let you include breakdown cover for boilers. Property Owners Insurance is a complex subject. We recommend visiting thatsinsurance.com to gain a better understanding of the cover available before you purchase a policy