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How to Settle Your Kids into Your New Leeds Home

Moving house is stressful, moving house with kids… well, that can be a recipe for meltdowns, tantrums, and sleepless nights.

 

As parents, you’re probably moving house for logical reasons: you need more space, you want to be closer to good schools, you’ve found a better job in the area. But as many of us know, logic and rationale aren’t always high on a kids list of priorities.

 

Change is scary for all of us, not just kids, so how can you make it easier?

 

In this three-minute read, we look at a few ways to help your little (and not so little) cherubs settle into a new home.

 

Prepare your child

Keep your child informed. Talk about the new home, why you’re moving, where you’re going, their new room, and so on. By including them in the process – such as visiting the property before the move – they know what’s coming. Kids love an adventure, and a new home is just that.

 

When packing up their things, get them to help. Create a special moving box, so they have all their favourite toys, clothes, and bits and bobs in one place. It could help them feel more in control and get them ready for the change ahead.

 

Sleep is key

When your child doesn’t sleep, everyone suffers. You’ll be exhausted, they’ll probably be grumpy, and the whole household will feel bleary-eyed. Try to keep their sleep routine similar to their old one to (hopefully) avoid sleepless nights.

 

Show them their room before you move in, or if possible, let them choose their new room. Let them know where their cot/bed will be and how the room will look.

 

When it comes to those first few nights, make sure you know where their favourite blanket or toy is, so you don’t have to fret before bedtime. (This approach might not work with teenagers.)

 

Moving-in present

Show us a parent that hasn’t bribed their child with chocolate or a toy, and we’ll eat our hats! A move-in present doesn’t have to be expensive; it could be the promise of an activity you’ll do together once you’ve moved in, or a toy that’s been waiting for them to arrive.

 

Decorate together

Whether it’s a new paint colour, bedspread, or wall art – letting your child choose what they like gives them a sense of ownership and independence. Creating a cosy, welcoming space will help your child settle and make their room feel like home.

 

Celebrate

Whatever the circumstances of your move, children will want to feel like it’s an adventure. So, make sure to celebrate together. You could have a first-night pizza party, a teddy-bear’s picnic in the garden, ask the grandparents over, or even blow out candles for the new home’s first day. Making the move as fun and celebratory as possible gives the whole family something to look forward to.

Silverspring can help you and your family find your new home, so get in touch with us today.

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Great Pubs/Bars in Hyde Park Leeds

Have you recently moved to the Area? Or just want to know what there is that you haven’t tried yet, well don’t worry this blog is for you. We have curated a list of some great pubs/bars in the Hyde Park area. 

 

Hyde Park Pub 

One of the most iconic pubs in Leeds Hyde park pub is known for being on the infamous otley run map and being one of the longest standing pubs in Hyde Park. The pub is equipped with a great outside seating area, perfect for those (occasional) sunny summer days as well as loads of tvs all around to show all the big sports games. This is a great ‘go to’ for a weekday pint or some weekend madness. 

 

LS6 cafe

Now, as mentioned in our previous blog about great cafes, LS6 is a fab cafe by day, and pub by night. Selling some great craft beers and funky cocktails, take a seat in one of their comfy booths and enjoy a great night with friends. 

 

Hyde Park Book Club 

Again, a place that was referred to as a cafe in a previous blog, is also a great night time destination or even an early afternoon drink destination. The menu is entirely vegetarian food also, so it’s a great location for you foody veggies. Hyde Park Book Club also hosts some great live bands and DJs on the evenings making it a ‘go to’ evening location for many people. 

 

The Royal Park Pub

A firm student favourite, Royal Park pub is a great mid-week choice. With a wide choice of drinks from lagers, to ales, to gins the atmosphere is always lively due to its student clientele. Keep a lookout for live music and themed nights too. 

 

The Library 

Another well-known pub due to the infamous Otley run, the Library always has a lively atmosphere. With tons of screens at every corner it is the perfect place to go for big sporting games. 

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Four Things Accidental Landlords Need to Know

people become landlords due to unexpected circumstances such as bereavement or a new relationship, here’s some helpful advice. A two-minute read.

It’s surprising how many people become landlords more by chance than design – or in other words, ‘accidental landlords’.

Whether through inheritance, a change in a relationship or a new job, sometimes people find themselves in the (rather fortunate) position of owning a property that they don’t want or need to live in. And instead of selling up, the owner decides to rent the property out.

While this usually works out well in the long run, accidental landlords can slip up if they underestimate what the job involves – it’s not as easy as it looks.

Here are four tips for accidental landlords.

  • Talk to your lender

If you have an owner-occupier mortgage on the property, you must notify your lender if you intend to rent it out (otherwise you could be penalised). Sometimes, the lender will grant ‘consent to let’, which is permission to rent the property under your existing mortgage. But this is usually a short-term solution, and you’ll probably be expected to get a buy-to-let mortgage eventually.

 

  • Get landlord insurance

A bog-standard home and contents policy won’t suffice – you’ll need specific landlord insurance. Do your research on this because the policies on offer can vary significantly. On top of buildings and liability cover, some policies allow you to opt in to cover legal costs, loss of rent, or accidental damage.

 

  • Understand the rules on deposits

There are strict laws regarding tenant deposits. When a tenant pays you a deposit, you must register it within 30 days with a government-approved scheme. (This is a third-party scheme that protects tenant deposits.)

 

  • Get to grips with red tape

There are all sorts of laws – at least 175 – that apply to UK landlords covering everything from evictions and gas safety to electrical checks. It can be overwhelming trying to get your head around these, but most successful landlords develop systems to make sure they stay on top of things. And if you really wanted to sit back and let someone else take the strain, employ the services of a professional letting agent to do it for you.

To learn more about our property management services, contact us here at Silverspring.

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Walk This Way: Do it for Your Children and Planet

Find out why it’s time to ditch your car and walk to school with your children instead. A two-minute read.

Want to reduce carbon emissions, traffic congestion, and the risk of childhood obesity? Then step right up and out for Walk to School Week (16 to 20 May).

Next week’s event, organised by the charity Living Streets, encourages children and their carers to leave the car at home and do the school run on foot instead.

So, why all this emphasis on swapping four wheels for two feet? Here are just a few benefits associated with walking to school.

  • It’s a great way to boost children’s activity levels (bear in mind that only 45% of children and young people exercise for the recommended one hour a day*).
  • Starting the day with a dose of fresh air gets the endorphins (feel-good emotions) going and increases alertness.
  • It’s an excellent opportunity to have a little one-on-one time with your child and natter about whatever is on their mind.
  • According to Unicef, in 71% of UK towns and cities, children breathe in unsafe levels of air pollution (which is linked to an increased risk of asthma and respiratory problems). Reducing cars on local streets will mean cleaner air.
  • The roads around schools are often chock-a-block at peak times, with some parents also failing to adhere to road rules and parking irresponsibly. Fewer cars mean less stress and less dodgy driver aggression.
  • A Living Streets study found that 87% of parents with primary school-aged children have had to step into the carriageway because of vehicles parked on the pavement while on the school run. This poses serious safety and accessibility issues.

Take part 

Why not try walking your child to school every day next week and see if you notice the benefits?

If it’s not feasible to walk the whole way due to distance, consider parking about ten minutes away from school and completing the rest of your journey on foot.

And don’t forget to take note of the street conditions on your route to school and contact your local council if improvements are needed to remedy unsafe crossings or damaged pavements.

 

From all of us here at Silverspring, thanks for reading and happy walking.

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Energy Bills: How to Help Your Leeds Tenants

This eight-point plan outlines the best way landlords can manage the issue of energy bills. A two-minute read.

This year’s colossal hike in energy costs has left millions of households reeling. And with no relief in sight, the problem is likely to stay at the top of the agenda throughout 2022.

Here’s an eight-point plan to help landlords deal with the issue as best they can.

  • Make sure your tenancy agreement clearly states who is responsible for paying energy bills (most typically, it is the tenant).
  • Even though your tenant will most likely pay the bills, do your bit to keep costs down by staying on top of maintenance and draught-proofing. Repair any rickety windows that might allow heat to escape and install energy-saving light bulbs.
  • Take a meter reading when a new tenant moves in and record it in the inventory. (That way, there can be no confusion or dispute with the previous tenant.)
  • Explain to your tenant (if the bill is in their name) that they are entitled to shop around for the best energy deal. Also, discuss the benefits of having a smart meter. These provide detailed energy usage information to allow tenants to understand what’s driving their fuel costs.
  • Some energy suppliers require a few days’ notice to end a contract. It’s the bill payer’s job to notify the fuel supplier. Your tenant may not be aware of this, so give them a gentle reminder a week or so before their tenancy ends.
  • When your tenant moves out, take a meter reading and pass it on to the relevant energy supplier along with the tenant’s forwarding address.
  • As the landlord, you’re responsible for the energy bills during void periods. Ensure that most of the lights are switched off (you might want to leave a few on for security purposes). In the warmer months, turn the boiler off, too. In winter, you might want the heating on intermittently to ensure the pipes don’t freeze and protect against dampness.
  • Consider investing in big-ticket energy-efficient measures such as solar panels, insulation, and triple glazing. These will bring down fuel bills and add value to your property.

 

Much of the above can be handled by an experienced letting agency – making your life a whole lot easier.

For more advice on our property management services, contact us here at Silverspring Lettings.

 

 

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Why Your Windows Matter

Before you were a property owner, chances are windows were something you just looked out of to take in the view. You probably didn’t give them much thought and you might have cleaned them occasionally. That was it.

Now, as a homeowner, your single, double, or triple glazing means so much more. And if you’re about to renovate a property or upgrade your windows, it’s worth diving into the fascinating world of double glazing to find out more. (Honestly, it’s pretty interesting.)

 

In this quick read, we look at different types of windows and why they matter, especially as energy prices rocket.

 

Why windows are so important

Traditionally, windows were single panes of glass. Great to look out of, but not the best at reducing heat loss. They were also quite dangerous if broken. While some older homes still use single panes, double glazing is now the norm.

 

Double glazing is a long-term solution for saving on energy costs. There are multiple types of double glazing, and their energy rating (from A to G) tells you how energy efficient they are.

 

Different types of glazing

 

Insulating glass

These are multiple panes of glass in one unit with a layer of gas in the middle. They reduce heat loss and are Building Regulation compliant.

 

Solar reduction glass

Perfect for reducing the amount of heat entering your home, these panels have a special metal oxide coating that’s invisible to the eye. Consider these if you’re lucky enough to have a sunshine-filled south-facing home and need to keep cool during the summer months.

 

Noise reduction glass

If you live along a busy road or near a train line, these are a must-have. They prevent sound waves from travelling through the windows due to their thickness and sound dampening core.

 

Structured glass

These windows have the wow factor. They are large pieces of glass that can hold the weight of surrounding structures. Think of big sliding doors or conservatories.

 

Window safety glass

These windows are made extra strong due to a heat treatment and shatter into smaller pieces rather than large shards if broken.

 

Mix up your glazing

For maximum energy reduction, consider double and triple glazing for your home. For example, double glazing on the south-facing side of your home and triple glazing on the cooler, north-facing side.

 

It’s worth remembering that good windows add value to your home/rental property.

 

We love all things property in Leeds. If you have a property question, get in touch with us today.

 

 

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Is the Internet Frying Your Brain?

 

What impact do constant scrolling and swiping  on the internet have on your ability to focus, reflect, and connect? A two-minute read.

If you can’t read two pages of a book without getting twitchy or struggle to go for an hour without checking social media, then you’re not alone.

A recent study by tech giant Microsoft found that the human attention span has shrivelled by 25% in just a few years. It’s just one of a growing number of studies suggesting that in the digital age, our ability to focus is decreasing.

Over the past two decades, the internet has become a constant presence in our lives. Much of that has been good – social media connects people with shared interests, gives the under-represented a voice, and exposes us to new ideas. You are most likely reading this article online.

And podcasts and audiobooks make mundane tasks, like driving or household chores, more enjoyable (and sometimes educational).

But are we having too much of a good thing? If you seem to spend hours lost in a digital rabbit hole, perhaps it’s time to reappraise your habits. You don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach, it might just be a case of being more measured.

 Five ideas to sharpen your focus

  • Be more mindful of your online activity. Is it productive? Does it make you feel happy? If the answer is no, consider scaling back your screen time or deleting apps that have a negative impact.
  • The artificial light from phones and laptops messes with the body’s internal clock and your ability to sleep. That’s why experts advise people to avoid screens before bed.
  • Every time we flick from one thing to another (as most of us do online), our brain adjusts. This can be tiring over an extended period and explains why you feel shattered after an hour on the couch scrolling.
  • Wrestle back control with apps like Serene and Freedom, which monitor your focus and block distracting apps and websites, or try the more radical options: SelfControl and Cold Turkey Blocker.
  • The kSafe is a time-lock safe that protects you from yourself. You set the timer and put your object of choice – be it a phone or gaming handset – into the heavy-duty container and lock it. The safe won’t unlock until the designated time.

From all of us here at Silverspring, thanks for reading.

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What to Do Before Renting Your Property to Family or Friends

 

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before renting your property to family or friends.

Do they need to sign a tenancy agreement?

Yes, yes, and yes again! They might be family, but they’re also your tenants and both parties need to know what is expected of them. For example, they might say they want to stay for 12 months but then leave after just six. Without a tenancy agreement, there’s nothing to stop them – putting your income at risk.

Should I take a deposit?

This is a personal decision that you need to make, as there’s no legal requirement for a landlord to take a deposit. However, it is a good way to protect your property and any contents from damage.

Similarly, by having a professional inventory carried out before they move in, both parties know the exact condition of the property and how it should be left.

Should I do a tenant reference check?

Asking family for personal finance details? It might make you feel awkward just thinking about it, but it’s an essential step of the rental process.

While you may think you know your family/friends’ financial background, it’s still worth making extra checks. Referencing will ensure that your potential tenant can pay the rent and highlight any issues with previous landlords.

Are there any legal issues I should be aware of if I rent to family/friends?

Not exactly, but renting to family/friends could cause problems if you have a mortgage. In fact, a lot of lenders are quite strict about this issue, and you may need to ask their permission before you move family in.

This is because the lender could be concerned that you’d charge family members less rent, or be more lenient if they didn’t pay – both of which could impact loan repayments.

Renting to friends or family can often be a great option, but it’s one you need to consider carefully and go into with your eyes wide open.

For more advice on anything and everything related to rental property in Leeds, call Silverspring today.

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Tips for moving into your second year house

 

It can be a daunting but exciting aspect, making the first steps to moving into your second year house. There’s just a few simple things you need to know and think about before making the jump into signing a contract. 

 

1.Choose a Landlord you can trust. 

 

This is a big one, you need to make sure you are signing with a responsive and helpful landlord. Talk to people you know in older years to get their opinions on different landlords, or simply ask in one of the student groups who people recommend. The uni you attend can also help with this. 

 

2.Don’t rush it! 

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The same statement is said to every first year ‘you have to sign a house before Christmas or all the good ones are gone’. This is simply not true, yes the earlier you look the more selection you have BUT this is not a reason to rush into signing with people you may not want to live with in a few months. It isn’t just about how nice your house is but also about living with people you feel comfortable with. So, if by Christmas you haven’t found those people yet, do not stress, you will find them and get a good house at the same time.

3.Make a list of things you’re looking for in a house with your potential housemates before looking. 

 

If you have a list of everything you’re looking for as a group then that means your decisions will most likely be a much smoother process. If you all go into the house search with different ideas of what you want and you don’t discuss them the decision will be much more challenging. 

4.Look into all your surrounding areas and pinpoint which area you want to live in.

 

In Leeds there are three main areas where students live in their second year; Woodhouse, Hyde Park, and Headingley. For those of you that attend Leeds Beckett you may base your decision on which campus you are on. Although, most students base it off which area has the best pubs (I’d say Headingley, but I’m biassed). Choose the area you and your group think they will live the most comfortably in. 

5.Decide how you are going to pick rooms before going on tours. 

The picking of which rooms people want can cause some tension within the group; especially when the sizes of rooms differ. Most students decide to go down the route of a random name generator, giving a fair way for people to be assigned rooms. If there is one or two rooms that are smaller than the rest, most landlords give students the option to allow the ones with the small rooms to pay less and the rest pay a little more a month to cover the costs. 

 

We hope this helped you with your second year house decisions. 

 

P.S we have some great student housing options all over Leeds, take a look at our website to see more.

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Your Guide to the Otley Run

 

The Otley Run is one of the most famous bar crawls in the UK, right down the straight Otley road made up of 14 pubs, it’s a big day out (we’d recommended a big breakfast!). Oh and you have to be in fancy dress (reference photo below)! The best time to start is between 12-1pm as this way you beat the big rush that comes in between 2-4pm. 

Fancy Dress Theme

 

So onto the list of pubs: 

1.Woodies 

Woodies

The very beginning before the descent into the mits of the pub crawl. Woodies has a great beer garden round the back and plenty of room inside for your whole group. 

2.The Three Horseshoes 

Three Horseshoes

The second pub on the map; Three Horseshoes has a lively atmosphere which is great to get you into the Otley Run flow. The sports bar does have some regular locals, but don’t worry they’ll have seen it all before when it comes to Otley Runs!

3.New Inn 

The New Inn

The final pub in Far Headingley before the descent down into central headingley; New Inn is usually where you start to see the big crowds of people also partaking in the pub crawl for the day. It’s after this that the lightweights start to reveal themselves! 

4.Manahatta 

Manahatta

Prepare yourself, Manahatta is usually the place where shots come in to play; due to their cracking deal of three jager bombs for a tenner (it’s the cheapest and quickest option). Manahatta also usually has some great tunes  for you to dance away too!

5.Headingley Taps 

Headingley Taps

My recommendation is to grab a bite to eat at Taps as it has a great ‘lightbite’ selection and it’s a great place to re-line the stomach. Taps also has a great outside space for when it’s sunny to enjoy your pints in the sun!

6.Box 

The Box

Box is where the dance moves really come out with their upstairs space being wide enough to make it your very own dance floor. Box is another place where shots are usually the go to with their wide range of funky flavours and of course the four for a tenner deal. 

7.Skyrack 

Skyrack

Marking it the second to last pub in Headingley, by this point you are well and truly in the mits of the Otley Run. Skyrack has lots of space for you and your whole group, with plenty of places to sit down and rest for a bit before the next 7 pubs. 

8.Original Oak 

Original Oak

The final pub in Headingley, Oak has the best beer garden of them all so it’s definitely something to utilise if it’s a sunny day! Oak has some great drinking deals meaning there is plenty of choice for your last beverage in Headingley. 

9.Hyde Park Pub 

Hyde Park Pub

After the long descent into Hyde Park, Hyde Park Pub has a great lively atmosphere to get you back in the swing of things. By this point every group has pretty much caught up with each other so it makes for an entertaining stop off. 

10.The Library 

The Library

Next up is the Library pub, now if you ask anyone who has done the otley run; by this point you can’t really differentiate Hyde Park Pub from the Library but they’re both pretty great! The Library does usually have some great dancing opportunities also!

11.The Pack Horse

The Pack Horse

Although slightly smaller than the others, The Pack Horse also has a great outside area to get some (probably very much needed by this point) fresh air before you take on the last 3 pubs. 

 12/13.The Eldon/Fenton 

The Eldon
The Fenton

Now we have put these two together as quite frankly once you get to this point you can’t really tell them apart – but they both have a great atmosphere making for a great finish before the journey to Dry Dock. 

14.Dry Dock 

Dry Dock

The Final pub of the Otley Run, arguably the liveliest of them all, the famous blue boat, Dry Dock. With great tunes and a great atmosphere, Dry Dock is the perfect end to a full on, fun packed day.