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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.

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Best Walks Around Leeds for the Perfect Day Out

 

Sometimes you just need to get out of that city air, even HydePark and Headingley can feel a bit stuffy at times, and what better way to do that than to go on a beautiful picturesque walk. Here are some of the most picturesque walks in and around Leeds: 

Golden Acre Park 

Golden Acre Park

With its circular LakeSide walk path and popular tearoom, Golden Acre is a favourite of many when it comes to an escape. The walk itself isn’t challenging as it is mainly flat and only around 5.4 miles. But the beautiful scenery makes for a really exciting walk. Alongside this they also have their gorgeous gardens to take in. However, if you’re going on a weekend (especially if it’s sunny) I would recommend getting there early as Golden Acre can get extremely busy. 

Roundhay Park 

Roundhay park

Roundhay is another gorgeous circular walk right around the lake. With 700 acres of rolling parkland, lakes, woodlands, formal gardens and cafes; Roundhay park makes for a great trip out. The Park is not only extremely popular out of the UK but out of Europe too, so it’s definitely worth a visit. With it not being a difficult walk meaning it’s one for everyone and anyone to enjoy.

Eccup Reservoir 

Eccup Reservoir

Eccup Reservoir is the largest area of water in West Yorkshire, making it a beautiful and unique day out. With only a 15 minute car journey from Headingley, Eccup is the perfect day out for when you want some fresh air away from University life. Eccup is also a great location for bird watching, with its wide range of bird species that live there. 

Kirkstall Abbey 

Kirkstall Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey is a great scenic walk to fill up your afternoon. The walk ​​explores the ruins of a former Cistercian monastery on the River Aire in Leeds. Just a 30 minute walk from Headingley or a 10 minute drive from Hyde Park; Kirkstall Abbey is a fab close proximity walk where you can appreciate both the scenery and architecture. 

Meanwood 

Meanwood Park

Meanwood is an easily accessible walking location for those living in Headingley and a short drive away for those in Hyde Park and Woodhouse. Meanwood is a gorgeous easy walk for weekday evenings and weekends; with a mixture of woodland, small rivers, and even a small waterfall under a bridge. To top it off it has a cafe that does the best brownies in Leeds (in my opinion, and they’re gluten free!). 

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Let’s Support World Earth Day – Everyday

In this two-minute read, we look at what we can all do to play a part in the fight against climate change to help our environment. 

It’s never been more evident in human history that we need to change the way we live if the planet is to have a future.

So, this year’s World Earth Day, which takes place on Friday, 22 April, has never been more important for our environment sake.

The day which has been taking place across the globe for more than 50 years, aims to raise awareness of what we can all do to make a difference.

We’ll be going green for the day at Silverspring – literally, by wearing something green to highlight the event.

But we realise this is more than just something we do for a day, so we’re encouraging people to consider some of the ten tips below to adapt the way we all live to a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way.

1.Cycle or walk where possible.

2.Buy second-hand items – we prefer to call them pre-loved – think Charity shops and pre-loved clothing apps

3.Eat local, seasonal produce

4.Shower instead of bath

5.Wash clothes at 30 degrees

6.Consider installing solar panels

7.Minimise car mileage, where you can

8.Use LED bulbs

9.Recycle and up-cycle

10.Share these tips

As an agency, we are  Banning single-use plastic in the workplace, recycling paper  and going paperless.

What tips do you have for going green?

Thanks for reading.

 

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Best Student Pubs and Bars in Headingley

 

Headingley is a hive for students, and every student likes a good pub. Here are just some of the venues that are great for weekday deals, quizzes, karaoke and much more. 

Manahatta 

Manahatta

Manahatta is the place to go for your 2 for 1 cocktail deals. The New York inspired bar is slightly fancier than the rest of the drinking spots in Headingley, but still a good time. Fancy a fun girls night or want to celebrate something special with their famous bottomless brunches, Manahatta is the go to. However, it not only offers drinks, they also have shuffleboard tables available to anyone to play. 

Taps 

Headingley Taps

Taps is a favourite of many students in the area, due to its cracking student deals (£2.50 a pint on weekdays to name one), exciting pub quiz, and hilarious karaoke. Taps is much more of a casual pub, making it an easy stop off after a long day at uni. The pub offers a range of drinks from cocktails, to spirits, shots and pints. Taps is a great midweek spot for a cheap drink with some mates. 

Head Of Steam

Head Of Steam

Head Of Steam, situated just down the road from Taps, has a variety of great deals for students, from 50% off burgers every Monday and their ‘Tallboy Tuesdays’ where you can buy two cans and get the third one on them. Alongside their deals they also hold their own pub quiz on a Wednesday evening and live music every Sunday, making them another great option for some local fun. 

Box

Box

Box offers some of the best deals for food and drink in Headingley, with 50% off all food Mondays – Thursdays, 2 for 1 cocktails and 20% student discount on all drinks during weekdays. In addition to this box is one of the liveliest places to go in Headingley on a Saturday night. Fancy a dance but don’t want to pay for an uber all the way into the city, Box is the place to go. 

Original Oak 

The Original Oak

Renowned for having one of the best beer gardens in the UK, Oak is a great place to grab a pint in the sun. Much like Taps, Oak has some cracking student feels on drinks, with two pinters costing only £3.50 and single pints costing £2.50. Another fab deal that Oak has is their Monday night pub quiz, for £1 you can enter the quiz and get a portion of sausage and chips too (with veggie options). A great event to brighten up your Monday. 

Skyrack  

Skyrack

Skyrack, the home of the infamous Sunday night karaoke, the best Sunday night entertainment in my opinion. Other than this Skyrack also offers some great pub food and drinks. If you go on a Friday or Saturday you are also bound to see a sea of hilarious costumes from Otley Run goers, making for some in house entertainment. 

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6 Reasons Landlords Shouldn’t ignore their Tenant.

 

When a tenant gets in touch, don’t faff about – a prompt response will save you time and money in the long run. A three-minute read.

Picture this: you’re frantically busy at work, scrambling to meet an urgent deadline when your phone pings.

It’s your tenant raising what seems like a pretty minor issue, so you make a mental note to get back to them in a few hours when things calm down.

But time flies, and before you know it, days have passed, and you still haven’t taken action to address the issue raised.

Most landlords will be familiar with this scenario, although you could easily substitute ‘urgent work deadline’ for ‘important family commitment’ or ‘life in general’.

While time management is a challenge for us all, it’s not good practice to drag your heels when addressing tenant concerns.

Here are six reasons why you should always respond to tenants in a timely fashion.

  • Build trust– Ignoring your tenant sends a message that you’re not that bothered – about them or the state of your property. To build a good rapport (one that encourages your tenant to stay long term), you need to be responsive.
Tenant trust
  • Nip problems in the bud– Issues like leaks and damp will only get worse (and more expensive to fix) the longer you leave them. Address problems before they escalate into serious repair jobs.

  • Health and safety– It can be difficult to tell if an issue is a minor quibble or a major safety risk unless you investigate. Ignoring a concern or jumping to conclusions without knowing the facts could put your property and your tenant’s safety at risk.

  • Avoid getting fined– Your tenant could be raising a valid issue – one that, if left unaddressed, could land you with a hefty fine from the local authority for breaching health and safety regulations.

  • Insurance – Failing to act on an issue that has been raised could invalidate your insurance and leave you footing the bill after a major incident, such as a burst pipe or fire.

  • Good karma– What goes around comes around. If you ignore a tenant’s texts and emails, what do you think they’ll do when you try to get in touch with them?

In today’s digital world, people expect a quick response day and night. If this 24/7 obligation is too onerous for you, get a letting agent to manage the property – they’ll be the ones on call round-the-clock instead of you.

 

Get in touch with us here at Silverspring to learn more about our property management services.

 

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5 Stress Management Tips

Whichever way you look at it, modern life is stressful. And the 2020s? Well so far, this new decade has caused unparalleled levels of stress.

Whether it’s the pressure of daily life, the juggling of responsibilities, or the state of the world right now, stress can have physical, mental, and emotional repercussions for people of all ages. And it needs to be taken seriously.

April is Stress Awareness Month, an initiative that has been running since 1992, designed to highlight the causes and cures for stress. This year, the Stress Management Society is focusing on community, reducing isolation and loneliness, and increasing social support.

In this quick read, we look at some of the ways you can help to support others feeling stressed or anxious.

Get talking

Sometimes, feeling stressed can be embarrassing. People can feel judged or self-conscious when struggling to cope. Help reduce the stigma around stress by talking about such feelings. Whether at home or in the workplace, those suffering with stress may feel like their issues are valid and gives them space to open up.

Be kind

It sounds simple, and it is. By showing understanding and empathy for someone who is stressed, you can help to ease the burden. Whether it’s making a workmate a cup of coffee or offering to help with a pesky spreadsheet, you can really make a difference to someone’s day.

Share coping strategies

Letting someone feeling stressed know that you’ve felt the same way may help to reduce feelings of loneliness. Maybe your way of coping is by doing some simple breathing exercises or writing ‘to-do’ lists, everyone has their own ways of managing times of stress and sharing them could really help others.

Look after yourself

If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, take the time to acknowledge and understand your feelings. Don’t berate yourself or feel like you should be able to cope. Stress affects everyone in different ways and if you need to take some time to de-stress, that’s perfectly ok.

Talk to your kids

Whether you’ve got a stressed-out teenager about to sit exams, or your little one is worried about their friendships, it’s important to open the dialogue about these feelings and try to suggest ways they can feel better.

Children are like sponges, and things like the pandemic, or the current global situation can really impact them. Looking after your little one’s mental health is just as important as putting a plaster on a cut finger or kissing a bruised knee.

Thanks for reading.

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Why Do We Give Chocolate Eggs at Easter?

 

Hold on to your waistbands, Easter is here. That festival where no matter your age, clothes size, or BMI, you’re allowed to eat as much chocolate as you want.

So, while the kids run around on a sugar high and you polish off yet another egg, here are some facts about the chocolatey goodness no one can resist.

It’s very old

The earliest evidence of chocolate dates back to 4,000 years ago. The Aztec and Mayan civilisations started by drinking chocolate. However, words for chocolate are thought to have existed several hundred years before this – indicating it’s been around for much longer.

Cacao or cocoa?

The different terminology refers to the different stages of chocolate production. Cacao is a raw, natural product while cocoa is a more processed form.

Chocolate is made from beans or seeds. They grow in large pods and the raw products (seeds, beans, or pods) are called ‘cacao’. Once fermented and flattened, the beans become cocoa.

Food of the gods

That first bite of your fave chocolate bar is always the best one, isn’t it? That’s exactly what ancient civilisations of chocoholics thought, too. The cacao tree’s actual name is Theobroma cacao, Latin for ‘food of gods’.

The raw seeds were so adored, they were even used as currency by the Aztecs. A few hundred years later, once the Spanish got their hands on the beans, they decided to add sugar to make it more palatable.

Feeling frisky

Chocolate-covered strawberries and heart-shaped chocolate boxes aren’t just a marketing ploy – chocolate has always had romantic and sexual properties.

Leaders in the Mayan world, Europe, and Britain used to consume vast quantities of early forms of chocolate because of its power to (supposedly) get the ladies. Although these days, scientists aren’t so sure of its romantic qualities.

Chocolate in the UK

The sweet substance didn’t arrive on our tiny island until the 1600s and was served as a drink for 200 years.

In the 1840s however, a solid form of chocolate was made, and just a few decades later, the world went crazy for chocolate confectionaries. Nowadays, Brits have made up for their slow chocolatey start and are thought to guzzle an average of 7.3kg of it a year.

Easter eggs

Eggs are a symbol of life and rebirth and have always been an important part of Christian festivals. In medieval England, eggs weren’t allowed during lent, so were a real treat once the 40 days were over.

The 1870s saw the sale of the first English chocolate Easter eggs, which quickly took over from the exchange of actual eggs. Now, around 80 million Easter eggs are bought in the UK every year and children get an average of 8.8 eggs each.

On behalf of everyone at Silverspring, we hope you have a happy and chocolate-filled Easter.

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Best Independent Coffee Shops for You to Study In

Headingley 

Fika North

Fika North

Nestled in Far Headingley, Fika North prides itself on its home roasted brews and picturesque interiors. This calming location is the perfect spot for when you need to study but also need to get out of the house. Fika also serves a plethora of pastries and cakes for you to enjoy alongside your work. You can even reward yourself after a hard day studying with a cocktail that they also offer. 

Loaf 

Loaf

Situated slightly further down than Fika, Loaf is another great independent coffee shop to utilise for your studying needs. Furnished with a mixture of sofas and chairs and tables, you’re bound to find a comfy spot to get your head down. If you need a pick me up, Loaf has you covered with their vast menu and gorgeous cake selection. 

Cafe Latte 

Cafe Latte

Right in central Headingley, Cafe Latte is situated within a 2 minute walk from most student properties making it an easy, local and independent coffee shop perfect for all your studying needs. It has plenty of space and tables so you’re bound to find somewhere that suits you. 

 

Hyde Park 

LS6 

LS6 cafe

LS6 cafe is located in central Hyde Park right on Otley Road. With benches right by the window it is perfect for people watching while you study, not to mention the gorgeous coffee, smoothies, and milkshakes they offer. They also have a great menu full of breakfast favourites, in case you get hungry when hard at work. 

Hyde Park Book Club 

Hyde Park Book Club

Hyde Park Book Club is infamous around Hyde Park, for its Art club and late night events. However, it is also a great, calming location during the day for studying. With its plethora of plants and greenery gives the Book Club the perfect vibe to be a good study space. 

Coffee On The Crescent 

Coffee On The Crescent

Coffee On The Crescent is passionate about their home roasted coffee and that is why Coffee On The Crescent is such a great place to visit. And, you guessed it, it’s also another great place for daily studying. No one wants to be cooped up in the house all day looking at the same four walls, so utilising your local coffee shops means you get out of the house, are still productive, and are supporting independent small businesses. 

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Top Tips for Managing Joint Tenancies

When they run smoothly, joint tenancies can be a good source of income for landlords. This three-minute read explains how to get the best out of them.

 

Joint tenancies are a great way for friends or couples to live together and share the rental burden. (Think about best buddies and flatmates Joey and Chandler in Friends, they had a ball, right?)

Joey and Chandler

 

Joint tenancies can also be good news for landlords, providing steady long-term income and low tenant turnover. (If your tenants are happy and get along like Joey and Chandler, they’ll stay for years.)

 

But sometimes, the relationship between tenants turns sour and things can get complicated. Before we look at managing tenant relationships, here’s a quick recap on joint tenancies:

 

  • As a general rule*, all tenants in a joint tenancy are liable for the rent. This means that if one tenant falls into arrears, the landlord can ask any or all the other tenants to cover the shortfall.

 

  • The same goes for damage to the property – all tenants are liable. Even if only one tenant (or their guest) caused the damage, any or all tenants could be required to pay for the repairs.
  • One person can’t pull the plug on a joint tenancy; the landlord and all tenants must agree to end the tenancy.

 

  • If end-of-tenancy deductions are agreed upon, they’re taken from the overall deposit.

 

Getting the best out of a joint tenancy:

Cozy Flatmates
  • Never rely on one tenant to share important information with other tenants for you (they may fail to do so or may get it wrong).

 

  • If there’s an issue with arrears, notify all the tenants and explain that they’re all liable. Tenants who have paid their share of the rent can be valuable allies and help persuade the tenant who is behind to get back on track.
  • Remain professional and don’t get caught up in a melodrama between friends or lovers who have fallen out (they may want you to take sides). Remind all parties of their joint liability and encourage them to sort it out amongst themselves.
  • Always notify people who sign up to be the sole guarantor on a joint tenancy that they’re liable for all rent and damages. Often a parent thinks they’re just covering their own child – not all the tenants.

To find out how Silverspring can help manage your property and avoid tenancy troubles, get in touch.

 

*Always check the terms of your rental agreement and, if in doubt, seek expert advice.