UK Property Projects: Avoid cowboys

Did you know that rogue traders are taking advantage of vulnerable UK home homeowners who are under increasing pressure to meet soaring living costs? Rogue traders will try to tempt you with ‘last minute deals’, cash in hand’ deals and installation work that is not backed by guarantees/insurance to protect you.

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Beware, not only is this illegal as the work will not comply with the Building Regulations, but the work will ultimately cost more and create more hassle in the longer term when the installation work turns pear shaped.

How to avoid cowboy builders

  • Tip 1 – Always go by a recommendation.
  • Tip 2 – Qualifications often prove competence.
  • Tip 3 – Be very specific specifying the works you want carried out.
  • Tip 4 – Agree the price of the job before starting any works.
  • Tip 5 – Pick installers who specifically carry out the works you want.
  • Tip 6 – Minimise upfront payments.

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

UK Property Key Players

Buying or selling a property in the UK required various process and professions. key players in a property transaction, including buyers, sellers and paid property professionals such as real estate agents, financial specialists, surveyors and legal practitioners.

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The main property key prayers are:

  • The middleman – The estate agent may be paid by the vendor, but they need to work with you too to make sure their client’s interests are protected and a good agreement can be reached. The agent should be your first stop when it comes to negotiating on price and striking a deal.
  • The money – In theses days of stricter lending criteria and great deals, it is important to research the best mortgage deals for your circumstances. You’ll need to provide your lender with all the information needed to make sure the process goes smoothly, and be ready to chase if getting your formal offer takes longer than expected.
  • The groundwork – The minimum requirement for mortgage lenders is generally a valuation – this basic report merely confirms the property price is right and that the property security for the mortgage loan. This is not a survey and if you need to carryout a survey, you will have to employ the service of a surveyor. The surveyor’s main role is to assess the physical state of the property. The depth of details you receive will depend on the level of service you choose.
  • The brains – The solicitor or conveyancer commissions detailed searches to make sure there are no dark secrets lurking in the property past, legally speaking. This may relate to restrictive clauses in the lease of a leasehold property, rights of way or contamination due to previous use of the land the property is built upon, or any number of other problems with a property’s title.

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

 

How to know a good building contractor

One of the most important decisions you are likely to make when undertaking a building project of any size is that of employing the services of a building contractor or property professionals such as electricians, plumbers, gas engineers, etc.

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Before making the all-important decision of awarding the contract to a specific builder or professional, it would not be unreasonable to as to see work on which they are currently engaged or recently done. Seeing at first hand and speaking to the client on how they treat the client’s property and how they work will give you an idea of what to expect if you decide to employ them.

Below are some tell-tale signs of good building practice and responsible behaviour:

  • vehicles associated with the site are parked sensibly
  • the site on first appearance is clean, tidy and organised
  • roads and pavements are not damaged or muddy
  • where appropriate, suitable fencing is available
  • the site facilities are appropriate for the project
  • workers’ appearance is in keeping with a professional outfitSee the source image
  • equipment is clean and in good order
  • no trailing leads are evident, except in close proximity to the work
  • standard of work appears to be good
  • workers are polite
  • noise levels are acceptable (no loud radios)
  • security and health & safety signs are evident, ie visitors to report to site office, there are warning signs for pedestrians that construction work is in progress, standard health & safety signs.
  • workers are wearing Personal Protection Equipment
  • the company vehicles are well presented
  • a company sign is on display
  • where appropriate, material is neatly stacked and protected

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Angry Man United fans vandalise Ed Woodward’s house

Manchester United’s fans have always been pro-active when it comes to the ownership of the club.

Twenty-one years ago, the Shareholders United group played a key role in helping to block Rupert Murdoch’s proposed takeover at Old Trafford.

And in 2005, following the Glazer buy-out of United, that organisation became the Manchester United Supporters Trust, an industrial and provident society with over 200,000 paying members that continues to fight for fans’ rights and is recognised by the club despite it’s continued opposition to the Americans’ ownership.

Tuesday night’s attack on the home of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward suggests that the more militant members of United’s support now believe that direct action is required to remove Old Trafford’s controversial owners.

But it is not a new development. There has always been a group of angry young men lurking in the shadows.

The Manchester Education Committee and the sinister splinter group the Men in Black are two elements of United’s support that first emerged when the Glazers were plotting their controversial leveraged buy-out of the club in the early 2000s.

The MEC first hit the headlines in February 2004 when a group of fans disrupted a race meeting at Hereford after manager Sir Alex Ferguson had become embroiled in a legal row with JP McManus and John Magnier over the ownership of champion racehorse Rock of Gibraltar.

The Coolmore stud in Ireland, owned by McManus and Magnier, was then vandalised.

Eight months later, the MEC issued a statement of intent after fans invaded the pitch during a reserve-team game at Altrincham’s Moss Lane ground in a bid to “punish” United’s in-house TV station for offering a media platform to Florida-based businessman Malcolm Glazer.

Dubbed ‘Operation Havana’, the publicity stunt came with a warning that the MEC were about to bring “civil war” to Old Trafford and that the club’s sponsors and commercial partners would be viewed as “legitimate targets.”

In early 2005, with the Glazer takeover now looking inevitable, another statement was released warning chief executive David Gill that supporting the leveraged buy-out would be viewed as “an act of treachery that will place board members in an extremely vulnerable position for years to come.”

It came with a chilling warning to Joel Glazer that he would not be able to employ a security staff big enough to keep him safe.

When the Glazers completed their takeover that May, the debt-free club was instantly plunged £700million into the red.

One influential group of supporters turned their backs on Old Trafford to form the rebel club FC United of Manchester.

Others stayed to continue the fight.

A people carrier transporting three of the Glazer brothers to Old Trafford was attacked outside the stadium later that summer.

That prompted Joel Glazer to break the family’s silence for the first and only time to tell MUTV viewers that they could be trusted to run the club properly and maintain United’s success on the pitch.

Over the next eight years, Ferguson’s brilliance as a manager delivered another five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

But fan protests continued as the Glazers began plundering £1.3billion from the Old Trafford coffers to meet debt repayments and pay themselves dividends.

A Green and Gold campaign was launched by MUST, urging supporters to stop buying official club merchandise and instead wear the colours of United’s founding fathers from Newton Heath.

But more aggressive elements began to re-emerge after rivals Manchester City were bought by Sheikh Mansour and it became clear that the Blues were about to become a force in the Premier League.

In 2008, Rio Ferdinand was confronted at his Cheshire mansion by a balaclava-wearing group calling themselves the Men in Black.

The England defender was stalling on a new contract and the MiB were intent on reminding him how the club continued to pay his wages after he had been suspended by the FA for eight months after missing a drug test.

Ferdinand agreed to talk to the group if they removed their balaclavas – and although worried neighbours called the local police, the evening ended peacefully.

Source: Mirror

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

TPO looking for a new Property Ombudsman

The current Ombudsman, Katrine Sporle, is giving up the role in November after five years in the post.

The closing date for applicants is February 18

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Established in 1990, the Property Ombudsman (TPO) is a government approved scheme providing fair, free and independent redress in relation to disputes between consumers and property agents. Responding last year to nearly 30,000 enquiries, and instructing agents to pay over £2 million of awards, TPO is the primary source of industry standards and consumer redress in an industry with widespread consumer impact. 

TPO is proud of its reputation, its strong connections with policy makers and its focus on quality, rigour and reach. However, operating in a competitive landscape, and in a sector which touches the lives of millions of people, means that TPO is not an organisation that can ever afford to stand still.  The head of the current Ombudsman, Katrine Sporle, stepping down in 2020 after 5 years outstanding service, TPO are looking for an outstanding leader to fulfil this key leadership role, and continue to take the organisation forward.   

TPO’s new Ombudsman will play a critical role in raising the profile of the organisation and its work, improving its performance, impact and influence, and ensuring that it has the culture, partnerships and resources in place to be sustainable over the long term. They will nurture, develop and inspire TPO’s staff team, based predominantly at the Head Office in Salisbury, and represent TPO externally, including to sector leaders, policy makers, the media and a range of other cross-sector audiences.  

TPO would welcome applications for this role from people with strategic and operational leadership credentials, and a strong track record in external engagement roles and influencing policy. We need an Ombudsman with a confident and sensitive leadership style, who can motivate and energise our people and stakeholders. An understanding of redress and ombudsman services and/or of the property sector is highly desirable.  

Saxton Bampfylde Ltd is acting as an employment agency advisor to the Property Ombudsman on this appointment.  For further information about the role, including details about how to apply, please visit www.saxbam.com/appointments using reference QAQDB.  Alternatively telephone +44 (0)20 7227 0880(during office hours).  Applications should be received by noon on Tuesday 18 February 2020.

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