Archives September 2021

How To Keep Your House Plants Alive

Having plants in your home is something that you should certainly consider; they add a lovely touch of colour to your rooms, plus they produce oxygen, which makes you more alert, more productive, and you’ll generally feel better. Yet whilst some people seem to have been born with green thumbs, others tend to only be able to kill off the plants in their home rather than keep them alive and thriving. If the latter sounds like you, here are some great tips on how to keep your house plants living.

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Plants need to be watered, especially if they are kept inside and there is no chance that a shower of rain is going to fall on them. This is a basic fact, but something that many people do tend to forget as they go around their busy lives. The plants can become rather neglected, and although this won’t generally have happened on purpose, the problem is still there. If you do keep forgetting to water your house plants and this is the reason they keep dying, then it’s a good idea to write a reminder on your calendar, or set a reminder on your smartphones, for example. After a little while, you won’t need the reminder anymore as watering your house plants will have become part of your daily routine.

Of course, over-watering is just as bad for your plants as forgetting to water them entirely. Too much water can effectively drown the plant, which won’t allow it to grow healthily at all and the roots can rot in the water that sits at the bottom of their container. It’s a good idea to gently touch the soil in the plant’s pot before watering – if it feels slightly dry to the touch, it’s time for watering.

Another important tip to remember is to only ever use water for your plants, and no leftover drinks such as tea and coffee. The additives in these drinks can harm the plants, and they can also attract small flies which are annoying and can eat away at the leaves.


When the watering is done, you should tip away any unused water (wait for about half an hour to be sure) because plants don’t like to sit in old water for too long. Ideally, your pots should have a good drainage system, and pebbles can be ideal for this. Line the bottom of your pot with a layer of pebbles and that will keep the water away from the roots – they will be able to drink it, but not be resting in it. Make sure that whatever pot you use has holes in the bottom of it for the excess water to seep out. You can collect this in a saucer or container and then discard it.


The lighting in your home, natural or unnatural, might be having a negative effect on your plants. Some plants need to be kept in direct sunlight, or even do better on a patio rather than inside. Others prefer more shady spots, so they should be in a darker area of your home. It will all depend on the type of plant you have chosen, which is why it is best to do your research before heading out to the store to get one. If you have a specific place in your home that will work best for your plant, then over the course of a few days make a note of where the sun is and how warm it gets. Then you’ll know just what type of plant to get. At the store, read the labels to get as much information as possible.


Just as second-hand smoke can affect your friends and family, it can also have a negative effect on the health of the plants in your home. Smoke causes plants’ leaves to fall and causes a condition known as epinasty (a curvature of the leaves). Plus there are plenty of air pollutants found in cigarette smoke including sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, and these can kill plants quickly.

If you want to keep your plants alive, then it’s best to smoke far away from them or give up entirely (which is better for your overall health as well).


Plants don’t like to be moved around a lot; once you have selected a good spot for them, that’s really where they should stay if you want them to be as healthy as possible. Unlike pieces of furniture that can be moved around in any way you want, plants are living things, and moving them can cause them distress, which will make their leaves wilt and drop, or they may not grow properly anymore. In extreme cases, it can kill them.

Try your best to leave your plant exactly where you initially placed it. If you do have to move it then do so gently and gradually.


Watering a plant is hugely important, as we’ve already mentioned, but that water will only really be used by the roots. In order to make the whole plant a healthy one, you need to use humidity. Spraying the leaves and petals of the plant with water every few days will certainly help in this regard, and will make the leaves shiny and the petals bright and beautiful. Be careful though; too vigorous and the petals might fall.


It sounds rather brutal, but deadheading your plant can help it to grow more healthy. Deadheading is the act of removing any dead elements such as leaves or stems. This allows the living parts more space to grow, and they won’t be affected by whatever killed the other parts, or the rot that will eventually set in. Pruning the plant will also help – this means taking off parts that are still living but that are essential in the way of the rest of the plant living as it should to thrive and grow.

How To Delay Or Prevent An Eviction

An eviction is a tool, or rather a process, that enables a property owner to take control of their property. This may happen for a variety of reasons. Some landlords just wish to safeguard their investment from poor renters. Other times, they may just want their property returned, regardless of whether or not the tenants are good.

In most cases, evictions are unavoidable. Renters may be compelled to look for new housing. Evictions, however, can only take place via a rigorous legal process to guard against abuse. Eviction cannot occur without the proper procedure for the proper tenancy. Furthermore, landlords can never get a court-ordered possession order.

These processes, of course, involve notifications to the renter at each stage of the process. There are other legal alternatives for protesting and fighting eviction.

First, get acquainted with the eviction procedure. You must understand when, when, and how to stand up and protect your tenant rights.

The initial step in most routine evictions is to obtain a section 21 eviction notice from your landlord. It is a written letter in which the landlord requests that you vacate the property and return it to him. To be lawful, it must give you at least two months’ notice and wait for the set period to expire. After this warning has expired, the landlord may take additional action via the legal system.

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How To Delay An Eviction

Maybe you’ve given up fighting the eviction. Alternatively, you want to get rid of your landlord just as much as they want to get rid of you. You may want to postpone the eviction if you do not have enough time or finances to prepare your new living arrangement. You may just need extra time to plan your relocation.

The simplest and most straightforward option is to just ask your landlord. Most landlords would allow a little delay unless you show detrimental behaviour or participate in illegal activities. You may easily obtain delays ranging from a week to a month. This way, you can organise your new home or save up for a rent deposit.

Keep in mind that you will only recover your existing deposit once your tenancy has officially ended. You can’t count on it as your tenancy deposit for the following tenancy. This regulation may be waived on special circumstances.

You simply cannot move out if your landlord is obstinate and refuses any delay. That’s correct, Section 21 simply politely requests that you leave. It is not a possession order giving the owner legal occupancy. It also does not take away your access rights under the lease agreement.

Your landlord must file a court application for a possession order. When approved, they must apply to the municipal bailiffs for an execution warrant. In the first instance, the owner has no authority to physically remove you from the property. They must wait for these processes to be implemented.

If they make a mistake with the paperwork, they must return to the previous stage and resume again. All of this may take a long time. Some evictions may go up to six months before the renter is ultimately evicted.

We cannot promote such behaviour, but renters have the choice to do so. If you think you are being evicted in violation of the law, make every effort to postpone the eviction procedure. You may buy yourself more time to respond and make sound choices.

How To Prevent An Eviction

It may be feasible to reduce or avoid an eviction entirely. Examine the reasons why your landlord wants you to leave first. They must be included on the section 21 notice, as well as the intended move out date. Contact your landlord and see if you can’t work out a solution for these issues. Landlords often issue a notice to quit in order to evict their tenants. Landlords may impose some discipline on how the property is utilised by issuing a notice to leave.

If you’ve caused damage or skipped or delayed rent payments and have been issued with a notice to leave, contact your landlord right away. Often, such mistakes on the tenant’s part are simple to correct, and eviction may be avoided. In any case, you have nothing to lose by attempting to reach an agreement with the property owner.

Section 21 notifications may only be issued in the following circumstances:

They must always give the renter at least two months, or eight weeks, notice before moving out.

For fixed-term leases, they must always establish a moving date no earlier than the end of the specified time.

Within 30 days of receiving the deposit, the landlord must have safeguarded it and delivered the required information.

The landlord must provide grounds for evicting you, but any reason is acceptable in a notice to leave.

These are the most frequent errors landlords make when providing you with a notice. Keep an eye out for them. If any of these are missing or improperly stated, the landlord must repeat the process. They must issue a fresh notice with a new expiration date.

If your landlord attempts to evict you during your fixed term, he or she must issue you with a section 8 notice. Then they will make a straight application to the court for possession of the property. The owner is required by law to provide convincing grounds for your eviction before the court. Some reasons, if supported by evidence, are unarguable. They will almost certainly result in a possession order being issued to the landlord. Rent arrears of more than two months, for example, will result in eviction.

Others must convince the judge, who will grant or reject the possession order at his or her discretion. If your case is heard here, you will be given the opportunity to respond to your landlord’s allegations. You must provide your own proof and statements.

A Guide To Renting Out Your Property

If you like the idea of being a landlord and renting out your property, you’re not alone; it’s a dream that many people have, and since it’s a very easy sector to get into – as long as you have the money and are prepared to put in the hard work – it’s something that many people have chosen to do (especially as the UK rental sector is said to be growing and by 2030 two thirds of people will be living in rented accommodation).

However, just because you can do it does not mean you should; there are many factors to consider first. Here’s a guide to help you determine whether renting out your property is the right thing for you, as well as things to think about after you start.

renting out your property
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Are You Prepared For This Level of Responsibility?

There are many advantages to renting out your property and being a landlord, and the money you can earn – particularly if you have multiple properties – is definitely appealing. However, there will be work to be done, and it is a responsible task that you must be prepared to take on if you want to be a good landlord.

You will be responsible for maintaining your property, ensuring that any repairs are completed quickly, collecting your rent, and dealing with all of the laws and paperwork that come with renting a home. If you don’t do this properly, you might not only lose money, but you could also acquire a reputation as a poor landlord, making it difficult to attract excellent renters in the future.

Is The Property Ready To Be Sold?

Maybe you inherited a property. Perhaps you’ve moved in with someone else and now have a “spare” flat or house. Maybe you got a fantastic bargain on a home and paid much less than the market value since it requires a lot of repair and modernisation. This is just the start of your landlord adventure, not the finish. It isn’t even in the middle!

Before anybody can move into the property, before you can think about renting out your property, you must verify that it’s fit for human occupancy. This may be a little or large task, but renting it out too soon would only mean that your tenants are unhappy, and possibly unsafe. Making the home ready for renters will cost you money, whether it’s a full renovation or a fresh coat of paint and a garden clean-up. Make sure you have the money, time, and energy to do this.

Should You Hire A Property Management Company?

If you enjoy the concept of becoming a landlord but are concerned about the obligations and effort required to prepare the property as well as maintain it in the future, you might believe that you will be unable to fulfil your goal of being a landlord and renting out your property, and will need to try something else.

There is, however, a remedy. When you see how a property management firm can solve your lettings problem, you’ll realise that you can be a landlord while letting someone else handle the more difficult aspects of the job. A competent property manager will handle all aspects of renting out the home, from screening tenants to collecting rent to organising an inventory to managing maintenance. Then you can sit back and enjoy the benefits.

Rent Increase: How You Can Implement One

The lease agreement will typically outline the steps that landlords – or letting agencies working on their behalf – must take in order to make a rent increase. However, there are likely to be constraints, and it’s important to know what you can and can’t do.

rent increase
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What Type Of Lease?

You will generally only be permitted implement a rent increase once a year if your renters are on a periodic lease, which rolls from week to week or month to month. You may agree on a new rent with your renters and have all parties sign an agreement to that effect, or you can utilise the government’s ‘landlord’s notice proposing a new rent’ form if there is no procedure for doing so under the lease agreement they signed. If the property has renters, you must give them notice if you plan to visit it, whether to examine the premises or perform repairs, unless there is an emergency.

If your tenants have a fixed-term lease (one that lasts a defined length of time, such as six months or a year), you cannot raise the rent during this time unless your tenants agree. However, after the set period expires, you will be able to make a rent increase. This just entails having your tenants renew their lease agreement with the rent changed.

If your renters pay their rent on a weekly or monthly basis, you must provide them one month’s notice of any rate increases. If their lease is for a year, you must provide six months’ notice.

Don’t Forget…

It is essential to remember that you are only allowed to raise the rent by a fair and reasonable amount, and if your tenants believe that a rent increase is excessive, they may appeal to a rent assessment committee. Alternatively, they might simply decide to look for accommodation elsewhere, at a fairer rate, and you might be left with an empty property.

Landlords: How Can You Reduce Damage Done To Your Property?

Landlords are never going to enter into lease agreements expecting to face difficulties, and they definitely don’t believe that property damage is an unavoidable part of doing business in the private rental market, yet it does occur. Rather than hoping and crossing their fingers, what can landlords do to minimise any possible income loss and rental property damage?

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The overwhelming majority of renters are trustworthy, responsible, and polite, but there are outliers. Problems, difficulties, and damage arise in every company, whether they are material or reputational, and the private leased sector is no exception. Landlords face an inherent danger when they accept renters who are negligent, reckless, or even malevolent in their handling of the property and its belongings.

Landlords are particularly vulnerable to harm due to the nature of the property sector, since they must depend largely on confidence and surrender a fair degree of supervision and control when giving over the keys to the property. When that trust is lost, there are practical and legal consequences, but it is always preferable to minimise any risk from the beginning of the tenancy.

Landlords can take a variety of efficient measures to reduce the possibility of loss or damage, which include components such as interim property inspections, insurance, references, and contractual requirements. Let’s take a quick look at how you may prepare for the worse while hoping for the best.

Tenancy With Assured Shorthold (AST)

Before entering into a contract with a prospective tenant, it is both recommended and highly advisable to commission and follow up on any landlords’ references provided. However, keep in mind that these references are from the landlords that the tenant knows will offer the best review. Checks of their rental history will be much more informative.

Speaking with past landlords can allow you to detect any patterns of behaviour, problems with rent payment, general maintenance, or property damage. Questions such as: how was (any) harm caused? Did the renter notify the landlord as soon as possible? Did they accept none, part, or all of the blame? How peacefully was the situation resolved? This may be the first stage when red flags are raised.

Renter reference checks are a fast, inexpensive, and easy method for landlords to assess if a tenant is likely to be dependable and, more crucially, to pay their rent on time.

Checks should contain the following items:

  • Negative credit
  • Landlord citation
  • Employer testimonials
  • Calculations of affordability
  • Checking the right to rent
  • Documents – bank statements / identity proof

When you’re certain about your tenant selection, consider including specific terms in your AST. Many landlords use standard form agreements, however there may be unique factors that relate to your property, such as structural, geographical, or style, quality, and arrangement of interior fixtures and fittings.

Similarly, you may want to make certain that explicitly prohibited behaviours, such as smoking, keeping pets, or excessive use of open fires, are clearly emphasised so that your intentions are not misunderstood. Consider the problems that make your property especially vulnerable to harm and plan for them. The renter is also responsible for informing you of any harm that has happened or, more crucially, circumstances that may soon lead to damage, in order to reinforce any known duty in specific terms.

Landlords must also ensure that the property is well-maintained and that safety is prioritised, with necessary gas and electrical certifications, smoke alarm inspections, and compliance with current laws, such as the Homes Act – suitability for human habitation.


Property Reports

It is critical to follow best practises in inventory property management before your tenants come in. A comprehensive examination of the premises, down to the smallest detail of the décor, equipment, and furnishings, as the information will clearly indicate the condition and provides both parties confidence and establishes an equal footing. The inventory report process may be time-consuming and complicated, but there are methods to make it easier. Using a managing agency is one apparent option, but if you are a self-managing landlord and are not interested in the cost or delegation required, another feasible option is to hire an inventory business or expert to produce the report.

A knowledgeable clerk will know what should and will not be included in the report, will ensure that any prospective points of contention are addressed from the beginning, and will set the standard for all future reports such as interim inspections and, of course, the check out at the end of the tenancy.

Property Inspections

Once the lease begins, your property is at its most vulnerable since, although you have some rights of access, they are balanced in law against the tenants’ rights of privacy, thus your best defence throughout the tenancy is frequent property inspections.

Ideally, you should visit the property on a frequent basis to verify that there are no maintenance problems, that the tenant is following the conditions of the AST, and that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning and the renter is safe. The utilisation of a property professional or inspection app may minimise the time and effort required to conduct frequent inspections while maintaining the detail and completeness of the interim examination.

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