government-supported-housing

New Funding To Improve Housing Support For Vulnerable People

The Government has set out clear expectations on supported housing standards. The new measures set out to ensure that vulnerable people have safe, good quality homes. £3 million has been pledged towards testing approaches for high-quality support and accommodation. 

Today, new funding for supported housing pilots in priority areas has been announced. The Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Kelly Tolhurst, imposes the plans to improve standards and quality in supported housing.

The Government published a new National Statement of Expectations (NSE), which defines the expectations of guidelines, high-quality and good value for money in supported housing and explains how this can be realized by bringing best practice across the sector together. 

What Is The National Statement Of Expectations?

The National Statement of Expectations (NSE) is created in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing, Communities, Local Governments and the Department for Work and Pensions. Local councils and the supported housing sector also provide input.

The Government first announced its intention to improve oversight of supported housing in 2018, hoping to ensure good quality and value for money. The NSE acts as a first step towards establishing its endeavours for high standards, quality and value in supported housing.

The NSE defines only the accommodation component of supported housing but encourages organisations to pursue high standards in accompanying support services for the residents.

What Will New Funding And Guidance Do?

£3 million will be put towards funding pilots in 5 key areas – Birmingham, Hull, Blackpool, Bristol and Blackburn. This is aimed at improving quality, enforcement, oversight and value for money in supported housing, with a focus on short-term supported housing. The pilots will be carried out until the end of March 2021.

Kelly Tolhurst, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, says: "Providing good quality homes to people who have been homeless, or who are unable to live independently, is fundamental to our support for vulnerable people... My statement today sends a strong message to providers that don't meet our benchmark that they need to shape up. The pilots we are funding will explore different approaches to supported housing, to further raise the quality of service across the country."

The housing pilots will collaborate with local partners to carefully test different approaches for the benefit of the sector to uncover how higher standards could be enforced all round. The pilots are intended to significantly improve the quality of non-commissioned provision in the high-priority areas.

Baroness Stedman-Scott, Lords Minister for the Department for Work and Pensions, explains how vital this funding will be. "Supported housing has the power to change the lives of the most vulnerable people in our communities for the better. Backed by £3 million, we will work with experienced partners to make sure that, across the board, this vital support is up to scratch."

What Is Supported Housing?

Supported housing provides acommodation for some of the most vulnerable people in the UK. In supported housing, care, support and supervision are available as necessary to help people live as independently as possible within the community. The majority is catering towards older residents but also has an essential role in supporting people from other vulnerable groups.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has worked closely with the housing sector and local councils to provide safe accommodation and support for vulnerable people. In September, the Government had supported over 29,000 people, providing 10,000 emergency accommodation and nearly 19,000 other support.

Who Does Supported Housing Help?

According to the Government's press release, those who might live in supported housing include:

  • older people with support needs
  • people with a learning disability
  • people with a physical disability
  • autistic people with a support need
  • individuals and families at risk of or who have experienced homelessness
  • people recovering from drug or alcohol dependence
  • people with experience of the criminal justice system
  • young people with a support need (such as care leavers or teenage parents)
  • people with mental ill-health
  • people fleeing domestic abuse and their children

10-million-plus-properties

Increase In Money Spent On London's £10m-Plus Properties

This year, the amount of money has been spent on London's "super-prime" housing market has increased. Analysis sees a rise in sales of £10 million-plus homes in 2020, in comparison with the same period in 2019. This is in spite of the coronavirus lockdown which paused the market. A study found that £1.13 billion was spent on the capital's super-prime property between January and August 2020. In comparison, only £977.5 million was recorded in the same span of time last year. 30 transactions above £10 million were made in the first three months of 2020 compared with 18 in 2019. 

 

How Has COVID19 Affected The Sale Of Super-Prime Properties?

Although coronavirus brought about tight restrictions on the housing market in the second quarter of the year, there were still 56 super prime sales throughout the first eight months of the year. This was only one less deal, with 57 recorded deals during the same period in 2019. Another effect of the coronavirus has been the surge of British buyers involved in super-prime property exchanges. The restrictions on overseas travel have caused the highest proportion of exchanges to involve British buyers seen over the past decade, according to numbers from the first eight months of the year. This sits at around 40%.  

 

Where Are 10m+ Properties Being Sold?

The largest proportion of London's super-prime deals were found in Kensington, based on figures of this year up until August.  The fashionable residential district in central London accounted for 14.3 percent of all deals over £10 million during the period. In 2019, Mayfair had the highest number of super-prime transactions during this time. Marylebone has shot to second place as the most expensive area of London (based on pound-per-square-foot). These properties are situated at the very top of the market, with at least 17 homes valued at more than £30 million. Other than Kensington, luxury homes are being exchanged in wealthy districts in SW1 and SW3 including Mayfair, Belgravia, Sloane Square. Demand for super-prime properties has also increased in Notting Hill, St Johns Wood, Hampstead, and Belgravia.

 

This home located on Lichester Place in Kensington is on the market for more than £30 million

Why Has Money Spent On Super-Prime Properties Increased?

Some of the key motivators for top tier property purchase has not changed. These include capital preservation, the UK education system, and cheap debt. Additionally, the current situation arising from the coronavirus pandemic sees cheap debt readily available with banks being lenient on calling in loans. While there has been a surge in buyers moving away from the UK's big cities, there is a definite desire more the uber-wealthy to keep old of a residence in the capital to retain London investment long-term. Despite the short-term pause on the housing market, prices do not feel as though they will fall at any time soon. The pandemic has not provided any large discounts with vendors remaining resilient. 


planning-permission

Brits Waste £64 Million On Denied Planning Permission

Planning permission is a requirement in the UK if you are looking to renovate your home. Since the onset of the coronavirus, Britons have been planning more home updates as we all spend more time at home. Many are looking at the possibility of adding extensions or loft conversions to their home to create offices or more comfortable living spaces. To do this, you have to obtain planning permission - an approval on your renovations. 

Why Are People Losing Money?

The cost of planning permission can vary depending on how big the project is and different types of permissions have different fees.  There can also be unexpected additional costs such as extra surveys.  If you end up being denied, the money is wasted. In just the last three years, Brits have wasted £64 million on unsuccessful planning permission applications.

Moreover, a frequent mistake of those applying for planning permission is that they underestimate how long it will take. If your plans are not approved as quickly as you imagined home improvement projects can be delayed by weeks or even months. This can affect costs as you may lose deposits you already held with contractors.  If you are denied permission you will also incur extra costs when having to change plans, particularly if the work has already started.

 

Will Your Planning Permission Be Denied?

Whether you are likely to be successful when applying for planning permission depends on where you are based. Research by Roofing Megastore has revealed where applicants are more likely to be denied.

Using planning application data from the Ministry of Housing, the research uncovers the most and least successful areas to be granted planning permission in England. The success standard for a local area fluctuates from as low as 65 per cent, up to 99 per cent. However, for the country as a whole, the rate of success is 91 per cent.

 

Where Is It Hardest To Get Planning Permission in England?

Londoner's seem to have the most challenging time acquiring planning permission, with property owners in London spending a massive £21 million over the past three years on unsuccessful applications. The number one most challenging area in England is Enfield, London, with a success rate of 65.13 per cent. In fact, eight of the top ten most challenging locations are in London: Hillingdon at 66.01 per cent, Harrow at 69.56 per cent, Hounslow at 71.24 per cent, Greenwich at 71.47 per cent, Lambeth at 73.55 per cent, Newham at 76.02 per cent and Bromley at 76.82 per cent. Rochdale in Greater Manchester at 74.03 per cent and Southend-on-Sea in Essex at 74.46 per cent also rank in the top ten.

Where Is It Easiest to Get Planning Permission?

Based on the percentage of applications granted, Carlisle, Cumbria is the most convenient place to granted planning permission at 98.90 per cent success. Copeland, Cumbria follows closely with 98.72 per cent acceptance. The top ten most accessible locations are all boasting a percentage of 97 upwards, giving applicants peace of mind that they won't be wasting their time and money. These include Richmondshire, North Yorkshire (98.17%), Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire (97.89%), County Durham, North East (97.82%), Fareham, Hampshire (97.79%), Cornwall, South West (97.39%), Eden, Cumbria (97.38%), North West Leicestershire, Midlands (97.36%), Rushmoor, Hampshire (97.36) and Darlington, County Durham (97.29%).


stamp-duty

Budget 2020 - Stamp duty may be reduced to help first-time buyers

The delivery of next week’s Budget by chancellor Rishi Sunak may see changes to how stamp duty works for first time buyers. It is thought there is a possibility that stamp duty may be made lower for those purchasing homes worth £500,000 or more. 

How does stamp duty work for first-time buyers?

Currently, first-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland do not have to pay any stamp duty on the first £300,000 for a property worth up to £500,000. These buyers are then required to pay a 5% stamp duty tax on the portion between £300,000 and £500,000. If the property is worth under £300,000 then no tax is paid at all. These new stamp duty rules have been in force since 2017.

However, not all first-time buyers currently benefit from this tax exemption. This is because the exemption is not in place for those who buy a property in excess of £500,000. These buyers do not receive any stamp duty relief and are required to pay the duty in full.

As of 22 November 2017, first-time buyers who purchase a property under a Shared Ownership scheme can now also claim stamp duty relief on homes that are valued up to £500,000.

Who classifies as a first-time buyer?

A first-time buyer in the UK is someone who has never owned a freehold or had a leasehold interest in an UK or overseas residential property. This will be the first time they have made a purchase on a residential property.

It is important to be aware that if you are married and you are going to buy a property together, both need to meet the stamp duty relief requirements to get the first-time buyer exemption.

What could these potential changes mean for first-time buyers?

If the latest Budget does reveal an increase to the stamp duty exemption threshold, this could be very welcome news for first-time buyers purchasing houses in London and the South East, where house prices are higher.

A Director from GriggsHomes.co.uk commented on this possible change: "Changes to stamp duty will have a huge impact for first-time buyers and those struggling to get on the ladder. From a developer's perspective, it is very exciting knowing that demand for new builds and properties will be higher and people might have bigger budgets too, especially since stamp duty may be much lower or even abolished for first-timers buying a property under £500,000."


sublease

How to sub-let your property?

You may have heard of the term sub-letting, but what does it mean? There are some legal complications which confuse people and it is important to know what they are. It is a common belief that once you are a tenant, you can just do what you want with the property. However, this is certainly not the case.

When you are renting a property, you will likely be renting directly from a landlord who owns said property. It is equally possible to rent directly from another tenant who has rented the property from the landlord/owner. The latter is what is known as sub-letting.

In this guide on Octagon Capital will provide all the information, you will need on the topic of subletting and whether or not you will be allowed to sublet their home.

Before we get started, here are some top tips on subletting:

• Check what it says in your tenancy agreement
• In most cases, you will need to seek out permission. Therefore, you should write to your landlord explaining the situation at hand and ask if they will give you their consent to sub-let.
• Be aware that if you do not do things properly, it may lead to problems on the long-term and down the line.

What is subletting?

Subletting refers to when an existing tenant let’s all of part of their home to another person. That person is known as subtenant, and they have a tenancy for all or part of the property which is let to them. They will also have exclusive use of the accommodation that has been let to them.

For example, if it is the case that you decide to sublet your home, you are giving up possession of it. The subtenant would have exclusive use of the property and you could only enter it with their permission.

When a property is being sublet, the owner is known as the head landlord, because now there are technically two with the tenant letting to the subtenant. The tenant they rent to is called the ‘mesne’ tenant, meaning intermediate and is pronounced as ‘mean’. The mesne tenant then, of course, rents to the subtenant.

Is subletting just lodging?

This is where many people become confused, but there are differences between subletting and lodging.

A subtenant and a lodger can both rent rooms. However, a subtenant can also rent an entire property rather than just part of it. The main difference here is that a subtenant has exclusive use of their rooms and the lodger does not. The landlord will need to give their permission before they can enter the subtenant’s rooms. On the flip side, a lodgers landlord can enter the lodger's room without permission and often does so to provide services such as cleaning.

If you share some of the accommodation with your landlords such as the bathroom or a kitchen, then the rights you have are similar whether you are a subtenant or a lodger. People who share accommodation with their landlord are generally known as excluded occupiers. This is a term which is often used in the housing to help to identify your housing rights. Excluded occupiers as such have very limited rights.

What happens if you sublet your home and you are not allowed to?

You will need to seek permission before subletting all or part of your home. If you are denied permission, you are not going to be legally allowed to do so. If you do anyway, then your landlord may take action against you if they find out. For example, they may take legal action to evict you for breaking the terms of your tenancy contract.

If you are in social housing and you sublet your home unlawfully, you will be committing a criminal offence.


What are the tax rules for double glazing windows?

Double glazing has long been a major concern for landlords and those who sell it since the early 2000s. It was announced way back in the 1998 Budget that from April 2001, a concession which was to allow landlords to offset general refurbishments at their properties against tax would be eliminated.

For many households, having double glazing will mean smaller energy bills and a warmer home. In fact, 51 per of people who were surveyed in a Which? report who had double glazing said that they did buy it to make their home warmer and to reduce their energy bills by 44 per cent.

Since the abolishment, landlords have not been able to offset refurbishments against tax. Instead, they can only claim for repairs, not improvements.

Furthermore, under these new rules, landlords would be able to get tax relief for something like repairing a broken window frame. However, if that window was replaced with double glazing, this would actually be considered an improvement and therefore it would not qualify to be claimed against tax.

Change in Rules

However, a tax case had forced the Inland Revenue to change the policy surrounding double-glazing. Double glazing does not qualify for tax relief and will even be backdated in some cases.

When the rule change came in, landlords could claim for windows which had already been installed as long as they met the deadline for making changes to their self-assessment forms. Now, any double glazing installed can simply be claimed on tax.

The Revenue stated that:

"In the past, we took the view that replacing single-glazed window with double-glazed windows was an improvement and therefore capital expenditure.

But times have changed... We now accept that replacing single-glazed windows by double-glazed equivalents counts as allowable expenditure on repairs."

The change was warmly welcomed by Malcolm Harrison of the Association of Residential Letting Agents welcomed the change. He said that: "It's good news for landlords and good news for tenants."

Glazing Over

Despite such good news for landlords, finding out whether “repairs” can be offset against tax can be rather confusing still, as many of the things done to a home can be classed as a repair and an improvement.

To shed some light, Mike Warburton, a partner at accountant Grant Thornton said that the system needs to be simplified. He said:

"It is confusing to know what is and what isn't allowable under the current rules.

"I accept that if the improvement is an extension or a loft conversion it may be unreasonable.

"But the logic is that if I am repairing and upgrading part of the facilities of the house, such as the kitchen, I don't see why it should not be an allowable repair."

Can you replace double glazing yourself?

Installing new double-glazing needs to meet certain building regulations. This needs to be approved by either an installer who is registered with a Competent Person’s Scheme or by a Building Control who can verify the work themselves. Because of this, it is not really advisable to try and install double glazed windows on your own. If you are a tenant, it is best to leave it up to your landlord to sort out.


property-ladder

What will happen to house prices in 2019

2019 is the year in which Brexit is supposedly going to be finalised and many Brits are fearing for a No Deal Brexit which is sure to negatively affect many aspects of British life, including the housing market. In other words, there is much uncertainty amongst ‘remainers’ and ‘leavers’ alike to do with the state of the housing marketing going into, and during, 2019 and beyond.

According to analysts, wages and mortgage rates are going to play a huge role in the housing market in 2019, despite Brexit dominating the headlines. In 2018, the house prices remained relatively stable around the UK even with the anxiety presented by Brexit.

However, just because the average UK house price seemed to remain pretty stable, the prices do vary from better to worse across the nation. Some locations, such as the North of England and the Midlands saw strong property inflation, who London and South East reported stagnant or falling markets. Analysts predict that 2019 is going to look much the same as this. Octagon Capital investigates.

The Rising Interest Rates and Mortgage Affordability

The average British property’s value increased by £2,860 in 2018, according to the reputable property website Zoopla, a rise of just 1.02 per cent.

In Scotland, the value of the property actually saw a decent rise of 6.3 per cent. Meanwhile in Wales, there was also a rise but it was a smaller percentage of 3.98 per cent. In England, there was a measly marginal of 0.58 per cent.

In 2019, the property market is expected to follow a similar trend. Although it could be all change depending on the outcome of Brexit on March the 29thand the impact this had had and will continue to have on the British public’s ability to afford to buy a new house.

how-brexit-has-affected-house-prices

It has been forecast by Halifax that there will be a 2 to 4 per cent increase in house prices for 2019. They stated:

“Aside from the obvious political and economic uncertainty, the biggest issue for the housing market in 2019 will be the degree to which mortgage payment affordability changes.

Average pay growth is likely to gather pace but, with a further interest rate increase also predicted, house prices are unlikely to be pushed significantly in either direction.”

Interest rates were increased to 0.75 per cent by the Bank of England at the beginning of August 2018. Since, mortgage rates stayed low as building societies and banks have battled for customers.

Savills have predicted that house prices in Britain will rise by 14.8 per cent from 2019 to 2013, however, they stressed that there will be significant regional variations. The London forecast is only to see a 4.5 per cent increase, they say.

What is happening to house prices around the country?

There is a strong sense of regional variation when it comes to the UK property market. London and the South East previously strong performance has been since replaced by weakness, meanwhile, the Midlands, parts of the North and Scotland see improvement.

London saw an average drop of 1.67 per cent where a property on average now costs £653,587.

The East of England saw a fall of 0.5 per cent to £357,952, meanwhile the South East and South West both saw 0.38 per cent rises to £409,923 and £307,693 respectively.

In Scotland, the property market is booming. In fact, house prices there have risen for 27 consecutive months at this point, forecasting a 17 per cent increase in Scotland by 2022. It was Edinburgh that came out as the best city for the housing market, but other Scottish cities also did extremely well in 2018 and are predicted to do so into 2019 and beyond. It appears that there remains more confidence in the Scottish market over the likes of London.

 

 


christmas-house

How to keep your home extra safe over Christmas

You will want to keep your home secure all year round, but the Christmas period often posing an extra threat as robbers will be aware that you will have more valuable items lying around your house ready to wrap up and give on the big day.

Furthermore, you are likely to be out shopping or at a Christmas party at a time, so it is vital to keep your home extra safe around the festive period.

Something which is going to keep you safe at Christmas and the rest of the year is having a monitored security system in place. But there are also serval other things which you can do in addition to this to help to maintain the level of security in your home so that you, your family and all your valuables remain untouched.

Octagon Capital dedicates this guide to help you stay safe this Christmas with these five tips.

Don’t share your travel plans with the world

If you planning on travelling over the holiday period, make sure that you do not spread your travel plans all over the internet. Never post about where you are going, when you are going and when you will be back. This is very useful information for a thief as they will then know when your house is empty.

Even if you have the highest level of security settings on your social media, it is still not recommended as the information could get out easily – all it takes is a screenshot.

Let a neighbour know you are not home

If you have a trusted neighbour, ask them to keep an eye on your house if you do decide to go away during the Christmas period so that they can report any suspicious activity.

Ideally, it would great if you can rely on a trusted neighbour to pick up your mail while you are away and perhaps even keep your walkway free of snow.

Hide your Christmas gifts

You will want to keep all the Christmas gifts you have bought out of sight of your family anyway, you will also want to make sure that the gifts are hidden from any potential robbers.

It is appreciated that displaying beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree is great for decoration and creating that Christmassy feel in your home. However, it can act as an open invitation for burglars to enter your home and take them for themselves.

If you want to keep your gifts under a tree, make sure that the tree is away from windows or places which can easily be viewed from the outside.

Don’t forget to consider the packages which you have not yet received. It is not uncommon for thieves to intersect packages or take ones that they see left on porches. If you are not going to be in one day, you should give your delivery driver instructions to leave it in a safe place or with a neighbour that you trust to keep it safe for you.

Be careful with your Christmas lights

Statically, the most fires occur in the month of December and it has been dubbed the deadliest month for electrical fires.

Everyone loves to decorate their homes, both on the inside and on the outside. One of the most common ways of doing so is putting up lights around the house. Before you do so, make sure that you inspect the strands to make sure that there are not any frayed cords or any cracked lamps. If there are, you need to replace any cracked lamps and throw away the strands with frayed cords – this will help to keep you safe from accidental fires.

Furthermore, you should only purchase lights that have been pre tested and approved by an independent laboratory. To see if this is the case, check the packaging to seek the manufacturer's name and any more information that you require should be cleared marked.

When you go out or go up to bed, you need to make sure that you have turned off the Christmas lights. You can get lights which work on a timer or a smart outlet. This means that you are plan what time you lights come on in the day and when they turn off at night.


London

Tips for moving to London

If you are making a move to the capital, it can be a daunting thought, let alone when it actually comes around! Whether you are moving from another city or country, or you are moving from a rural area you can expect a world of wonderful things in the big city. No matter where you are coming from, there is no place like it.

To help you ease into London, we have put together a guide of things you can do to make sure you settle in in no time at all and really enjoy the capital city for what it is.

Try before you buy

Before you make the move, it may be an idea if you can get to London easily to explore different areas to see where you would feel comfortable living, whether it is buying or renting.

If you have picked an area, take time to get familiar with it. Find out where the local shops,  pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants are and maybe visit a few. It is also worth doing some research into the transport links and maybe even doing the walk from the property to your nearest tube station. The move is going to be a big change and it is better to have a sense of stability and security by the time you move in.

If you find a home that you love and want to move into quickly, but you simply do not have the time to wait for a mortgage to clear; perhaps you are starting a new job down in the city and need to clear the sale, a bridging loan may be the best option for you. A bridging loan acts to ‘bridge the gap’ between you and the mortgage until it can be paid out. You can get in touch with us for a quote by calling us up on 0333 414 1491.

Understanding the cost of living

If you are moving from anywhere in the UK to London, you will notice a considerable increase in the price of living; from housing prices and rent to the cost of a drink in a bar. You will need to be prepared for this – it may take some time getting used to it.

Interestingly, London house prices have recently fallen but the house price gap between London and the rest of the UK rises to £300,000.

The Tube

Londoners often have a love/hate relationship with the underground travel system known as the Tube. It is an extremely convenient way to get around the city but is a point of confusion for those travellers who are not regular users.

You should locate your local station and gain a clear understanding of which line or lines your station is on. The lines of the tube (with their colours) include:

  • The Northern (black)
  • The Piccadilly (dark blue)
  • The Victoria (light blue)
  • The Bakerloo (brown)
  • The Central (red)
  • Hammersmith & City (pink)
  • The Circle (yellow)
  • The District (green)
  • The Jubilee (grey)
  • Waterloo & City (turquoise)
  • The Metropolitan (purple)

Since the tube will undoubtedly be your way of getting around, you should pop down to a local post office or off-licence to buy an Oyster Card. This is used in the place of paper tickets for the bus, the tube and London-based trains. The card will cost you a one-time purchase price of £5 and from there you will be able to load money onto it at any tube station. You can also now use contactless credit or debit cards in place of an Oyster, but most people find the rates cheaper for Oyster more worthwhile.


tile-roof-solar-mounting-tips

Ways to make your property more energy efficient 

It is becoming increasingly more popular to make being energy efficient a priority in people’s lives. This includes making the home more energy efficient for the sake of the environment and in the hopes of saving a bit of cash in doing so. Both of these things are beneficial to you, your family and the world around you, so what are you waiting for?

With the colder months approaching, now is the perfect time to get on the road to checking your home is as energy efficient as it can possibly be to help keep those utility bills down this year. A survey which was conducted recently by Home Heat Helpline has found that

What can you do to make sure your home is more energy efficient? There are plenty of smaller and larger changes that you can make to ensure that you are doing it properly. In this guide on Bridging Loans, we are going to be going through the most popular and most effective ways alike to make your home the most energy efficient possible.

Insulate your Loft

A lot of heat from your home is lost from the roof, and if it is not efficiently insulated you could be practically burning money. The Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK stated that British homes wasted around £500 million on pumping heat into their properties only for it to escape through poorly insulated walls and roofs.

With decent insulation, you could save about £160 per year on average. So this may be very worth your while in the long run.

Switch to Solar power

Solar panels in homes are becoming increasingly more popular as they can save you money and they also are very environmentally friendly. Many people

who opt for solar panels in the UK recognise that they do not work so well in the winter time so they use a combination of traditional means of energy and the solar energy during this period, which will save them a lot of cash in the process. However, it must be noted that no kind of weather can stop the panels from producing power at all – some energy will always be produced.

Solar PV panels are the most efficient. They generate energy and it is though that the average home could provide 40% of its power from these alone. On average, PV panels cost around £12,000 and last for around 30 years.

Solar energy comes at a high cost in the initial installation, but you are very likely to see a large return in the investment over the years.

Upgrade your boiler

Inefficient boilers could be racking up around £200 in additional cost to your energy bills. That means that upgrading your boiler could be a perfect way to cut down on what you are paying long term.

Keep an eye on your energy consumption

Are you aware of how much energy you are actually using and wasting? It may be wise to invest in an energy monitor, this only cost around £30 but you can actually get them for free from certain gas and electricity providers.

This will give you an idea of how much energy you are using that is really unnecessary. This can act as a wake up call and you may have the motivation to change habits such as leaving lights on and keeping the water running too long.

Research conducted by British gas highlights that having one of these monitors can help household to save as much as £110 a year simply by cutting back on how much energy they consume after becoming aware.