#PROPERTYOFTHEDAY #27: 3 Bedroom Apartment – Marylebone, London

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On propertypropertyproperty.co.uk/blog we are introducing the #PropertyofTheDay segment, which will highlight properties across the UK that are currently available for sale or rent on the portal. Today we are highlighting Manors in London and their lovely 3-bedroom apartment, property which … Continue reading

#PROPERTYOFTHEDAY #26: 3 Bedroom Apartment – Piccadilly, London

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On propertypropertyproperty.co.uk/blog we are introducing the #PropertyofTheDay segment, which will highlight properties across the UK that are currently available for sale or rent on the portal. Today we are highlighting Plaza Estates in London and their lovely 3-bedroom apartment, property … Continue reading

#PROPERTYOFTHEDAY #25: 2 Bedroom Apartment – Mayfair, London

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On propertypropertyproperty.co.uk/blog we are introducing the #PropertyofTheDay segment, which will highlight properties across the UK that are currently available for sale or rent on the portal. Today we are highlighting Conquest Property Company in London and their lovely 2-bedroom apartment, … Continue reading

Handy tips to keep your home safe this Christmas

The leading trade association for the locksmithing profession Master Locksmiths Association issues security advice on keeping your home secure this Christmas.They are encouraging homeowners to remain vigilant during the festive period.

Whilst Christmas is an exciting time with plenty of festive celebrations, presents. It is also a time when burglaries traditionally peak, with homes full of presents and families out and about enjoying the festivities, opportune criminals can be watching for the right moment to strike.

Over this festive period, homeowners are advised to:

1. Keep your Christmas lights on safely:

With 30% of burglaries occur via unlocked front doors and  26% occur via open or unlocked windows. So ensure you use or install outdoor electrical sockets for those Christmas lights and do not be tempted to run cables for outdoor lights through partially open windows or doors.

2. Keep gifts out of sight:

Even though it may be a tradition to keep gifts under the tree during the lead up to Christmas, this can also be an advertisement to potential thieves. Consider placing yours out of sight and away from the window, in particular away from those that look onto busy streets. And if you’re buying expensive presents that will be kept outdoors, such as bikes, why not include an appropriate lock that has been independently tested by a third party certification agency.

3. Don’t advertise an empty home:

While Christmas is a time for enjoying the occasion, if you do plan on spending the festive season away from your home, be careful not to shout about it on social media, you potentially could be advertising an empty home to strangers. Similarly think carefully about any message you add to your voicemail or answer phone. Adding a timer system to your lights requires very little effort and can work as an excellent deterrent against would-be-thieves especially when used upstairs or away from sight

4. Consider fitting a home security system:

Homes with security systems are 300% less likely to be burgled. So for further peace of mind, consider installing an alarm or CCTV system which will allow you to keep an eye on your property from wherever you are in the world via the internet, including your smartphone

5. Review your security regularly:

Check that all locks on doors and windows are correctly fitted and functioning and replace any that are broken. Don’t be tempted to take the DIY route. On average, the cost of fixing botched DIY security jobs is £323.A local expert locksmith, such as an MLA approved company, will be able to check your locks and advise on the best products to use. Plus, they can usually carry out an assessment of your home security free of charge

“Christmas should be a time of excitement, but we often see homes targeted by thieves at this time of year. By taking a few simple precautions, homeowners can do a lot to keep their homes safe and secure. For extra peace of mind, ask an MLA-approved locksmith to review your home security – they have the expertise and knowledge to advise you on appropriate security measures in line with your home insurance requirements and will often carry out home security assessments free of charge.” Said Dr. Steffan George, Managing Director of The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA)

#PROPERTYOFTHEDAY #22: 3 Bedroom Apartment – Knightsbridge, London

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On propertypropertyproperty.co.uk/blog we are introducing the #PropertyofTheDay segment, which will highlight properties across the UK that are currently available for sale or rent on the portal. Today we are highlighting Harrods Estates in Knightsbridge, London and their lovely 3-bedroom detached … Continue reading

The average bills will fall around 5% for water and waterwaste for customers across England and Wales.

The Water Services Regulation Authority Ofwat has finalised decisions that means the average bills for water and wastewater customers across England and Wales will fall by around 5%, before adjustments for inflation, between 2015 and 2020. This would see average bills fall by around £20 from £396 to £376.

Over the next five years, customers will benefit not only in lower water bills but also have improved levels of service. As companies are set to spend around £2000 for every household across England and Wales.

By 2020 customers will benefit from significant improvements in areas of service that really matter to them, such as by tackling leakage and promote water efficiency, there will be more than 370 million liters a day of water saved – enough water saved to serve all of the homes in Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds. With a reduction in the time lost to supply interruptions -down on average 32%. 4,700 fewer properties flooded by sewer water and cleaner water at more than 50 beaches.

With around 760,000 people benefit from some form of financial support from their water company this figure will more than double to around 1.8 million by 2020. Companies are putting in place measures, such as social tariffs, which are forecast to help an additional one million people over the next five years.

The announcement from Ofwat includes the decision to lower further the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), which is the minimum rate of return that lenders or investors require to support investment in the sector. Since its initial proposal of a WACC of 3.85%, Ofwat has updated its decision to reflect current market evidence on required returns, resulting in a WACC of 3.74%.

Jonson Cox, Chairman of Ofwat said:

“This is an important step in maintaining customers’ trust and confidence in the water sector. We set out to deliver a challenging but fair outcome. We are requiring companies to meet higher service standards and deliver on their promises to customers. We are bringing down bills so customers can expect value for money, while investors can earn a fair return. Companies will need to stretch themselves to deliver much more with the same level of funding as in previous years. We will achieve more resilient infrastructure and better service as a result.”

Cathryn Ross, Chief Executive of Ofwat said:

“With bills held down by five percent and service driven up over the next five years, customers will get more and pay less. Where companies stepped up to do the best they could for their customers we did not need to intervene. But where companies fell short we stepped in to make sure customers get a good deal. Now the hard work begins. Companies will only build trust and confidence with their customers if they deliver. Those who do can look forward to fair returns, while those that don’t will be hit in the pocket and face a tough five years ahead.”

These new charges will come into effect in April 2015. Companies have two months in which to accept Ofwat’s final determination or seek a referral to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Final determination: average bill changes (excluding inflation)

All figures are in 2014/15 prices. Figures may not add up due to rounding

Changes to average annual combined bill for water and sewerage companies

Ofwat’s final determination

Companies’
2013 December
request

2014-15

2019-20

5 year change

5 year change

National average bill (England and Wales)

£396

£376

-5%

-2%

Anglian

£431

£390

-10%

-8%

Dŵr Cymru

£440

£416

-5%

-4%

Northumbrian
(including Essex & Suffolk)

£388

£382

-1%

0%

Severn Trent

£333

£316

-5%

-4%

Southern

£437

£403

-8%

-2%

South West*

£545

£506

-7%

-4%

Thames**

£370

£353

-5%

3%

United Utilities

£410

£398

-3%

0%

Wessex

£485

£442

-9%

-4%

Yorkshire

£373

£361

-3%

-1%

 

Changes to average annual water bill for water only companies

Ofwat’s final determination

Companies’
2013 December
request

 

2014-15

2019-20

5 year change

5 year change

Affinity

£176

£163

-7%

-4%

Bristol

£202

£160

-21%

1%

Dee Valley

£152

£149

-2%

8%

Portsmouth

£97

£96

-1%

-1%

SembCorp Bournemouth

£153

£134

-12%

-6%

South East

£201

£194

-3%

3%

South Staffs
(including Cambridge)

£141

£135

-4%

2%

Sutton and East Surrey

£186

£180

-3%

-5%

* The average combined customer bill for South West does not reflect the £50 per customer Government contribution towards household bills. This addresses the significant investment needed in the infrastructure which was inherited by the company at privatisation to meet environmental and drinking water quality standards.

** Thames Water’s figures includes the costs for the preparatory works to build the Thames Tideway Tunnel – a 25km sewer to deal with the problem of too much sewage overflowing into the River Thames. However, it does not include costs for the construction of the tunnel. This is because the project will be financed and delivered by an independent infrastructure provider (IP). The IP is due to be appointed in 2015.

 

#PROPERTYOFTHEDAY #16: 5 Bedroom Detached House – Abbots Bromley, Straffordshire

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On propertypropertyproperty.co.uk/blog we are introducing the #PropertyofTheDay segment, which will highlight properties across the UK that are currently available for sale or rent on the portal. Today we are highlighting Martin & Co in Straffordshire and their lovely 5-bedroom detached … Continue reading

#PROPERTYOFTHEDAY #14: 4 Bedroom Detached House – Shortlands, Bromley

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On propertypropertyproperty.co.uk/blog we are introducing the #PropertyofTheDay segment, which will highlight properties across the UK that are currently available for sale or rent on the portal. Today we are highlighting Homezone Property Services in Shortlands and their lovely 4-bedroom detached … Continue reading

#PROPERTYOFTHEDAY #13: 5 Bedroom Detached House – Mansewood, Glasgow

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On propertypropertyproperty.co.uk/blog we are introducing the #PropertyofTheDay segment, which will highlight properties across the UK that are currently available for sale or rent on the portal. Today we are highlighting McEwan Fraser Legal Services in Glasgow, Scotland and their lovely … Continue reading

#PROPERTYOFTHEDAY #12: 3 Bedroom Terraced House – Walton Manor

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On propertypropertyproperty.co.uk/blog we are introducing the #PropertyofTheDay segment, which will highlight properties across the UK that are currently available for sale or rent on the portal. Today we are highlighting James C Penny Estate Agents in Oxford and their lovely 3-bedroom … Continue reading