Ask the Expert

Sue Leach, New Forest Homeopathy

Build Yourself Up for Winter

The warm weather has to come to an end sooner or later. And when there's a dip in temperature or weather change, that's when we all start to go down with the lurgies that spread like wildfire. Here are seven ways to build up your immunity so you're less likely to succumb to colds, flu and viruses. Boldre Homeopathic Practice stocks all the products listed below, plus we're offering a special Pre-winter MOT for just £40. This is a top-to-toe check-up where we assess you and give you individualised guidelines on what you should take to get your immune system in good shape for the dark months ahead.

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recycled garden furniture in Southampton

Reformed Plastics - Frequently Asked Questions...

Why are recycled plastic products different?

Plastic lumber is the perfect alternative to anything that has ever needed maintaining. Plastic lumber can be cut with a regular saw, drilled, nailed, or screwed into, and routed as easily as wood.

The main benefits of plastic products are:

  • They do not rot.
  • They do not need painting or staining.
  • They are wear resistant.
  • They are resistant to vandalism.
  • They are resistant to salt water.
  • They are resistant to insects and bacteria.
  • They do not split or splinter.
  • They are completely maintenance free.
  • Graffiti resistant.
  • They are resistant to the elements.
  • They are resistant to chemicals.
  • They will not break, even in extremely hot or cold conditions.
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Ten Questions to ask your Letting Agent

Many landlords are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with all the new legal requirements and regulations which now seem to change on a monthly basis. If you are thinking of using a letting agent who claims to be a specialist in this field, then here are ten important questions which we think you should ask them.

1. Do you have Client Money Protection? This is the most important question as otherwise an agency which goes out of business may also disappear with your rental funds. It would also be worthwhile enquiring if they have Professional Indemnity Cover and how long they have been established.

2. Are you up to date on tenancy law? Enquire what training their staff undertake and if the agent invests in Continuing Professional Development to make sure their knowledge and skills are kept up to date.

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Sue Leach, New Forest Homeopathy

Back-To-School Blues

So you've done it! The kids are back at school, your toddler's survived his first foray into nursery, life's got back to some semblance of normality. But has it?

If your child's quiet and sullen and won't say why… If each morning is a battle because someone is really not happy at being back at school… If that bullying and sniping has restarted from day one… and if you're feeling bereft each time you hand your little one over… then read on. Homeopathy is helping lots of families through school wobbles at the moment. And in the next month I'll be having lots of visits from mums who're not quite themselves after dispatching their young adult to university.

Here are just a few of the many remedies that can help.

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Legislation for Lettings – Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

There has always been confusion over smoke alarms in tenanted properties and finally we have been provided with some clear guidelines on this point.

Up until 1st October it had been necessary to provide wired-in smoke alarms where properties were re-wired or had electrical works carried out. This had also been a requirement in Houses in Multiple Occupation or Student Accommodation.

Now all tenanted properties in England will need to be fitted with a working smoke alarm on each floor.

This will mean a rush of activity to ensure that these life-saving devices are fitted as quickly as possible, but there is no doubt that the legislation is long overdue and all landlords will be able to see the benefits of protecting their properties.

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Blu Lake- Professional Corporate & Life Coach

Last month I shared what many people say are the three hardest things about retirement. Let’s now explore some considerations required to prepare for this phase of life. I mentioned last month that retirement doesn’t mean stopping, it’s a transition to a new, exciting phase of life. You may spend more time in retirement than in your traditional working life so you’re looking for ways to live your dreams…ways to achieve Bold Age.

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Landlords with Student Lettings

At both our offices in Southampton and Bournemouth, we are finding that the market for student lettings is a mixed one, with some areas still having a high demand for private accommodation and others already adequately catered for by new council or college built student blocks. Many landlords are therefore now finding their properties, which they had successfully let for many years, standing vacant.

Despite higher tuition fees the number of new students taking up University or College places has risen again this year. However, those landlords having trouble filling their properties are now considering their option of returning to the residential lettings market.

The income is often seen as being less lucrative, but the security of tenure is greater as families and professional tenants tend to remain in properties for longer. This, in turn, results in less maintenance and repair costs.

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New Legionella Regulations for Lettings

Expert letting service in Southampton

As anyone dealing in tenanted property will be aware, we have all been inundated with new legislation over the past few years.

We are able to deal with all the changes in law which are about to come into effect, such as the additional checks for Residence Status (Immigration Act 2014) for all tenancy applicants and The Deregulation Bill with simple amendments to our current procedures.

However, the new regulation causing the most upheaval and additional work in our own office is the Health & Safety Executive’s new guidelines on the control of legionella bacteria in water systems. This can cause Legionnaires’ disease which is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.

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Spring Cleaning for Homes and Gardens

Property Services in Southampton

This is the time of year when many people look to make changes to their properties, either small ones like buying a few new plants for the summer or life-changing moving home decisions.

Whatever your long term plans are it is always a good time to see how you can improve things and have a good tidy-up after the winter, both internally and externally. This does not necessarily involve high cost but can often make a real difference.

Kerb appeal is always important. Potential buyers or tenants usually make up their mind immediately they see a house as to whether they like it or not and you cannot always rely on the interior to change their minds, no matter how good it is.

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property services in Southampton

Is condensation a problem in your property?

Property Specialists in Southampton

We receive more complaints about condensation from tenants than any other issue and the cause is often found to be related to the occupant’s ‘lifestyle’ than any fault with the property itself.

Modern lives mean that people are out at work all day and very reluctant to leave windows open or heating on, particularly in rooms they do not use. Before they go to work and upon their return they have showers, boil water and cook meals, all leading to a build-up of moist air which has nowhere to go. Then, just to make things worse they often have no external clothes drying facilities, so damp washing is left over or around radiators.

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New Year Resolutions on Property Maintenance

Property Experts in Southampton

By the second week of January I am sure most New Year resolutions have already been broken. It seems silly not to have just one small drink with friends you didn’t get a chance to meet up with over the holiday period and once you have eaten that bar of chocolate in the cupboard it won’t be a temptation any more.

There is always a reasonable excuse for not pursuing that very realistic idea you had for the New Year regarding personal matters, but many people make resolutions regarding moving house, or carrying out improvement work or to find an agent because the worry and strain of dealing with their investment property is getting too much.

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Property services in Southampton

Harcourts' tips for winter property care

...and legal update on service charges for block managment

The weather forecasters are predicting yet another wet winter and this is really bad news for many homeowners where properties are still not completely dried out following last year’s heavy rainfall.

The number of insurance claims caused by torrential rain and strong gale force winds was unprecedented and in our own office even exceeded the hurricane storm of 1987. To make matters worse even if you did find a roofer able to carry out repairs, the essential scaffolding was in such short supply that it took months to arrange works to start.

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