What’s the best time of year to buy a home?

Buying a new home can be a time-consuming exercise. You need to look at the available homes, ensure they are inspected and get a great price. Buying a house within your budget can seem like an impossible task, but you can achieve that. You will, however, need to time your buy perfectly. Housing prices are affected by the number of available homes, the demand for those houses and the age of the house you are considering. The local market and the size of the home can also affect the pricing of your house. An interesting factor that influences housing prices is the time you decide to buy. The time you choose to buy your house can get you excellent discounts and ensure that you can afford your dream home.

What’s The Best Time Of Year To Buy A Home?

The best time of the year to buy a house is during the spring. People are open to selling their homes at this time because they can move. The market is very active, and you are likely to get a house within your budget. Bear in mind that with increased supply, prices may be slightly lower than when the supply is low, for instance, during winter. Realtors are open to negotiation during spring as they do not want to lose a client. Improved weather also puts people in a good mood and may help get you an excellent price. Bear in mind that many people put their properties on the market at the beginning of the year. By the time spring begins, buyers have more homes to choose from.

Summer Months

Summer is the second-best time to buy a house. You will, however, have to give up your holiday and go house hunting. That said, the housing market is slower in July and August, which can make it harder to find the right property to buy. However, when the market slows down, you may get a pocket-friendly price on the house you find.

December

Property markets slow down as December approaches. Few people want to move to a new house right before Christmas, as Robert Holmes notes. Homeowners will avoid putting their homes up for sale at this time. That said, research has shown that December 26 is one of the best days to buy a house. Real estate agents are eager to make a sale and will give serious buyers a discount of up to 1% on the home.

Robert Holmes goes on to point out that many people put their houses on the market in January. That is due to new year resolutions about making lifestyle changes and selling. Several sellers may have postponed moving before Christmas. Other people may be moving to a different town to start a new job and may need to sell their house. He argues that the housing market is cyclic, and prices keep rising and falling throughout the year. Timing your buy carefully will ensure that you get the house of your dream at an excellent discount. When you choose the time to buy a house correctly, you can get your dream home at a pocket-friendly price. Make sure that you purchase during the spring or summer months to get a house that is within your budget.

What rights do UK tenants have?

All tenants renting property from private landlords have certain rights which are protected under UK law. The extent of these rights depends on the type of tenancy agreement, as well as the location of the property within the UK. But broadly speaking, the rights themselves may be subdivided into the key sections itemized below:

Condition of the property

Firstly, all tenants have the right to inhabit a property that is safe and in good condition. Usually, that means a health and safety assessment will need to be undertaken before the property is rented out. This is applicable throughout all the countries of the UK

Unreasonable disturbances

You also have the right to live in the property without frequent and unreasonable disturbances from your landlord or other external elements. As above, this is applicable everywhere in the UK.

Protecting your deposit

The deposit paid to your landlord should be retained in a centralized tenancy deposit scheme. While these vary in name depending on where you live in the UK, their basic function is the same: to keep your deposit safe. All tenancy deposit schemes are approved by the government.

Energy consumption

As a tenant, you have the right to know the level of energy consumption for the property you are renting. Wherever you are based in the UK, you can request to see an Energy Performance Certificate.

Rent increases

It also your right to challenge any proposed rent increases made by your landlord if you find them to be unfair. For instance, if the increase is out of proportion when compared to other properties in the area, and there is no specified reason for the increase, then you would be within your rights to challenge it. In such cases, your dispute would likely be taken to a tribunal. Regardless of where you live in the UK, your best bet in this situation would be to consult with your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, as they will be well-equipped to guide you through the process.

Unfair eviction

You also have the right not to be unfairly evicted from a property. Typically, that means the landlord needs to provide you with sufficient notice and, in some cases, a specific reason for the eviction.

While your rights as a tenant are considerably different at a technical level depending on where you are in the UK, all of the above key areas are covered. If you are in doubt, your first recourse should be to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau for further guidance.

How much does a divorce cost?

Are you thinking of getting a divorce? You undoubtedly have numerous questions, one of them is how much does divorce cost. There are several aspects to consider while contemplating divorce. Nevertheless, most people consider divorce to be an expensive undertaking. However, divorce may also be inexpensive; it all depends on the parties divorcing.

What is the average cost of a divorce?

The cost of divorce might vary depending on several things. Divorce prices vary depending on several circumstances, including whether or not a lawyer is employed, the type of the divorce lawyer, and whether or not the divorce is challenged. Divorce, from a legal standpoint, is essentially the termination of a legal contract. For the procedure to be effective, papers must be completed and filed with the court.

For any paperwork handled by the court, a fee ranging from £550 to £1,500 VAT included is charged. If you want to hire a family lawyer, you can be certain that the cost will be more than £550, since there will be other expenses to consider. Each lawyer in the United Kingdom will charge their fees based on their terms. Divorce does not have to be costly if you do not wish for it to be. You may always compare lawyers’ legal fees and find one with whom you are comfortable working.

When solicitors are engaged, the cost might be confined to £5,000 to £10,000 plus VAT. However, if the divorce discussions fail, they will have to go to court, and the money paid to the solicitors will be little. This means that divorce costs will rise. Going to court is one thing; going for arbitration is quite another. You will have to pay for someone to make the ultimate decision on all of the discussions, which everyone must be happy within the end. Arbitration can never be appealed; instead, the parties must live with the conclusions made. Divorce court expenses can range from £10,000 to £15,000 plus VAT, depending on the methods utilized.

Mediation costs on average

Mediation is significantly less expensive than the significantly more expensive process. If the thought of litigating in court frightens you, it could be a better option to opt for mediation. A mediator will assist you in reaching an agreement but will not tell you what you must do. However, before and after the mediation process, both parties should consult legal counsel. However, the cost will constantly rise, especially if one decides to hire an attorney to safeguard their interests. The fee may also vary based on whether the mediation is completed completely or whether the divorcees must go to court.

The payment of the charge

The individual who gets to apply for the divorce must pay a nonrefundable cost of £550. You can, however, obtain assistance if you are unable to pay for your divorce via the government. There is always a box on the divorce form that you may check if you want your partner to pay the divorce fees, which you will get after the divorce is complete. Divorce is not an easy thing to face, and you can only do it where you reside, not where you married.

Renting Your Family Home? Here’s how to get your deposit back

Guest blog from Natasha Batty, Principal Solicitor at Natasha Hall Law.

How to get your deposit back

If your family has an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, then you could be eligible for a “no win, no fee” claim. Your family can also claim up to three times the amount of your original deposit. This applies to any form of family home accommodation from a private landlord.

At the start of your tenancy, once you legally hand over your deposit to your landlord, they have 30 days to put your deposit to one of the three authorised deposit protection schemes.

The purpose of these government-approved tenancy deposit schemes is to make sure that you get your deposit back, only if your family:

  • Meets the terms of your tenancy agreement.
  • Did not make any damages in the property.
  • Paid the necessary rent and bills.

Making a claim against a landlord

Your family is entitled to make a claim once your landlord fails to do one of the following:

  • Put your deposit to an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme.
  • Send you any of the prescribed information within 14 days of receiving your deposit.
  • Send a written confirmation from a scheme administrator (where your deposit is being held).

Prescribed information

Prescribed information is information related to your tenancy. Your landlord is required to provide these details to your family, these are:

  • The amount of the deposit.
  • The property address.
  • The contact details of the scheme administrator (where your deposit is being held).
  • Procedures relating to the tenancy deposit scheme, e.g. when should the deposit be paid or repaid to the tenant at the end of the tenancy.
  • Contact details of your landlord and any other parties who have contributed to your deposit.

What is the Children’s Act?

Children's Act

The Children Act 2004 holds:

The interests of children and of young people are substantial when taking safeguarding and welfare into account.

It is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard children.

Safeguarding children and young people is achievable through the improvement of their:

  • health;
  • education and development;
  • safety; and
  • economic circumstances.

In accordance to the guidelines enacted by the Children Act 2004, people specifically working closely with children should be able to determine how a child should be taken care of, regardless if they are in an educational or non-educational environment.

The purpose of this Act is to make the UK a safe environment for children by creating a Children’s Commissioner—in which each local authority will need to appoint a director for children’s services. In line with this, the government may create electronic records for each and every child in England, Scotland, and Wales to centralize tracking of children in different local authorities and government services.

For professional advice on laws affecting children, contact Sanders Witherspoon.

The principles of the Act focuses on:

  • allowing children to be healthy;
  • helping children to be happy and enjoy their lives;
  • allowing children to be safe in their environment;
  • helping children succeed;
  • helping children achieve economic stability for their future; and
  • helping to make a positive contribution to the lives of the children.

Generally, the Act is prioritizing the wellbeing of children. If in case a child suffered from maltreatment, it is a must to let it be known to relevant local authorities. In several areas of the Act, it is emphasized that inter-agency cooperation is a must when dealing with matters relating to the welfare of children. This element of the Act particularly ensures that when an agency becomes aware of a child’s maltreatment, other agencies that might be of help in protecting the child will also be informed.

Children’s Trusts

The Act also deals with agencies that were set up independently of Health and Social Services together with government agencies wherein there’s an introduction of extended cooperation between agencies, teachers, parents, guardians, and children. This is to prevent dismissal of intervention coming from outside sources.

Children’s Funds

The Act also made a provision for a Children’s Fund designed to help or assist in eliminating poverty and financial struggles of children and their families who aren’t privileged enough because of their financial situation and capabilities.