Why would you want to attend a property networking event?

Guest blog

Simon Zutshi, experienced property investor and author of Property Magic, the Amazon.co.uk No 1 best selling property book, explains why and how you could benefit from regularly attending property networking events.

If you want to be more successful in any business, it can be a great idea to network with other people in the same industry, so that you can share ideas, contacts and keep up to date with changes in the industry.

As a Landlord you will know that the property market has certainly changed dramatically over the last few years and right now with current market uncertainty there are some great investment opportunities available. However, the methods and strategies you used to purchase a few years ago may not be the most appropriate to use in the current market. This is why it is essential to learn from other successful landlords, which is one of the benefits of attending property networking events.

For many people there is nothing worse than the thought of going into a room of full of strangers and having to make polite conversation. Actually it is not that bad, because the other people there are like-minded, positive people like you, who are all interested in property investing. You might find it an enjoyable and even profitable experience. At these events there are investors who want to buy properties, landlords who want to sell their properties as well as all sorts of service providers who could be useful contacts for you.

At most of these events there are usually speakers who share their property investing experience with you.

If you want to attend a property networking meeting, here are 3 easy steps to maximise your networking experience:

1. Before you go to the event

Work out what you want to achieve by attending. Maybe you want to find someone who can recommend a good handyman or letting agent in your area, or you want an investor to put some money into a joint venture. Whatever it is, write down a clear intention so that when you meet people at the event you can clearly explain what you are looking for. Also think about any other investors who you know who might be interested in attending such an event and invite them to come along with you. Make sure you have some business cards to take with you for when people want your contact details. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive cards just something with all your details on.

2. At the event

Plan to arrive early and leave late. Speak to as many people as you can. Of course you should say hello to the people you already know but make sure you also speak to people who you don’t know. When you meet someone ask them what their name is, where they are from, what they want to get out of the meeting and how you can help them. Be interested in them first rather than telling all about you. Look for how you can help the people you meet. Also think about people you already know who may like to meet them. Make sure you also collect cards from all the people you meet. You may also like to write a little note on the card to remind you what they were interested in and how you might be able to help.

3. After the event

When you get home go through all of the business cards you have collected. Send a follow up email or text to everyone you met. Reconnect with them and send them any information and contact details you promised to give them. It is best to do this follow up the day after the event so that people remember you and the conversation. Keep in touch with them and build your personal contact list. There is no doubt the more people you know the more successful you will be because you will have a number of people you can call or email for advice and help.

So why not give property networking a go to see for yourself how beneficial it can be. The Property Investors Network (PIN) hold 26 meetings all over the UK every month (except August and December).

Normally it cost £20 to go to a pin meeting, however as a SpareRoom customer we have arranged for you to receive a £20 voucher so your first visit is on us. Just go to www.pinmeeting.co.uk, choose your meeting and enter “spare2012” into the voucher code box on the booking form

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Matt Hutchinson, Director of SpareRoom.co.uk will be speaking at PIN meetings in June (Manchester – Weds 20th) and July (London – Tues 24th)

How to de-clutter and rent out your spare room

This week’s guest blog comes from Big Yellow self storage and deals with de-cluttering to make space for a lodger. It also contains some excellent advice on how to best store your things to keep them in good condition.

How to De-clutter and Rent out your Spare Room

It’s no surprise that so much of our home space is filled with useless clutter – 61% of people questioned in a Big Yellow Self Storage survey admitted to hoarding useless items around the house. But hoarding can really cost you; households across London could be making up to £38 billion a year, just by storing excess clutter to rent out a room. (This equates to over £250 million a month based on average rental incomes across the UK, or an extra personal income of as much as £320 a month or £3,840 a year per household). Just under a third (26%) of us that have a whole room in our home filled with junk and the research found that over a third (41%) would definitely rent out a room to make money to help in these tougher financial times. Looking at these figures it could well be time to get the junk out of the spare room.

So now you’ve decided to de-clutter and rent out your spare room, what’s the best way to store the things you’ve no longer room for?

Storing Clothes

Clothing should be stored in wardrobe boxes, on hangers, to retain their original shapes. Keep out of season clothes accessible, as you may need to store your clothing for longer than anticipated. Before you pack anything away, make sure it’s dust free and clean:

– Don’t cram too much into a box, as fabrics need to breathe. Make sure the boxes aren’t packed too tightly.

– Refold items regularly to prevent dust settling.

– Don’t store fabrics against wood and bear in mind that certain fabrics need specific care i.e. use muslin or acid free tissue between delicate fabrics for added protection.

Wooden Furniture

Before placing any kind of wooden furniture into storage, wax well with wood varnish. This prevents moisture from affecting the wood. Likewise, if your furniture can be dismantled easily, then do so as it will prolong the life of that piece. If you dismantle furniture, collect the nuts and bolts of each item into a plastic bag and tape it firmly to the dismantled set. In addition, place thick cloth such as old carpets between wooden pieces to prevent them scratching one another.

Storing Sofas

It’s worth taking into consideration which type of material your sofa is made from before storing. Generally, it’s better to store vertically on a flat sided arm. Leather handles the pressure very well, as does micro-fibre. Silky high end fabrics are better to kept on their feet as they don’t have the structural integrity to withstand the additional pressure. For transportation itself, a professional mover knows how to use furniture pads to keep the pressure off the arms. If you are doing this yourself, you’ll need to stand the sofa on end with several double folded blankets to provide a soft surface for the arm.

Avoid Rust

If you are planning on storing metal objects like lawnmowers or filing cabinets, it is a good idea to treat them with rust protector first, or at least wipe them down with an oily rag. You can use the cheapest oil available; it makes no difference as you’re just using it for its lubricating qualities.

Compact Discs

Store your discs in a CD wallet (don’t place compact discs in plastic wrap because if your storage area heats up, these might destroy or compromise the disc). Always back up data in several different ways and store in several different locations. Take tapes out of VCRs, camcorders and data backup devices, and CDs and DVDs out of drives and players.

Big Yellow Self Storage can store items of all shapes & sizes, in rooms from 9 sq ft to 400 sq ft, with leases starting at just one week long.

How to advertise for a flatmate part 7 – Speed Flatmating & viewings

In the final part of Rick’s guest blog for us he looks at the usefulness of Speed Flatmating and shares his thoughts on viewings

Speed Flatmating

I’ve been to a few Speed Flatmating events in my time, and as odd as the concept may sound to some, they’re an incredibly useful way of meeting potential flatmates face-to-face and sizing them up in a way that reading someone’s advert doesn’t really allow for (whether you have a room to let or are looking for a room). As undeniably useful as they are, the strangeness of turning up at a social event to basically ask people if they’d like to come and live with me is something I’ve always found a bit stressful; for example, as a man pitching the spare room in my two-bedroom flat to a woman, I have to give off an unspoken assurance that I’m not some sort of weirdo and that they can feel safe and comfortable if they were to move in. Still, printed copies of my ad and the video tour I mentioned earlier ready to view on my phone make for an impressive pitch, so there’s no shortage of interest. And it works – my current (female) flatmate was found at a Speed Flatmating event in Fulham.

Viewings

I’ll not presume to tell anyone how to conduct themselves at a viewing. But the one thing that caused me no end of annoyance and inconvenience whenever I’d arranged viewings was people simply not turning up without so much as a text message to let me know they weren’t coming. It’s rude, it’s inconsiderate, and it’s a colossal waste of my time. I once scheduled eight viewings over one weekend, and only three of them turned up. Two non-attenders texted me half an hour or so before they were due to arrive to say they weren’t coming, the other three didn’t bother. A whole day, during which I had plenty of other things I could have been doing, completely wasted. Politeness, consideration and good manners cost nothing. Well, perhaps the cost of sending a quick text in this case but simply not turning up seems to be considered acceptable. It bloody is not!

Viewings can sometimes be awkward experiences, though. For example, one person felt the need to make it very clear to me that he intended to be massively sexually active should he move in, in such a way that left me in no doubt that what he actually meant was that he intended to pay for the privilege, if you get my drift. That, as well as evidence of a drink problem and some frighteningly ‘old-fashioned’ attitudes regarding race and women, had me keen to wrap things up as quickly as possible. I didn’t fancy the prospect of an angry, tooled-up pimp kicking my front door in during the early hours, for one thing. Another person had a go at me as soon as I opened the front door, telling me that he hadn’t realised how ‘far out’ my flat was (despite my ad and the directions I’d given him being perfectly clear on the location), accusing me of deliberately misleading him, before turning heel and storming off. I was quite startled, I can tell you.

As I said, back at the beginning of this series of guest blogs, the search for a flatmate is usually an uncomplicated process, and hopefully you won’t encounter any of the potential complications I’ve described. This little blog isn’t meant to be taken 100% seriously, but I hope it’s been in some way useful, if not entertaining, and at the very least kept you from doing any work for a few distracted minutes.

How to advertise for a flatmate part 6 – scams

As out guest blog on advertising for a flatmate draws to a close (just one more post in a couple of days then we’re done) it’s time to look at scams and what they mean for advertisers.

Scams

Unfortunately, internet scammers have wormed their way around every corner of the web, and the lettings market is no exception. They are usually easy to spot, and although any respectable property rentals website has its own stringent procedures for filtering them out (SpareRoom certainly does, more info at the bottom of this post – Matt), some do occasionally seep through.

The tell-tale signs are:

  • A beautiful-looking property in a desirable area, at a rent that is considerably lower than one might expect for such a property. It looks too good to be true, which of course it is.
  • The syntax of the ad, and any emails that may be exchanged, will be very odd indeed, probably because it’s been put through Google Translate, and Random words will Be capitalised For no reason.
  • The advertiser will probably say that they work in a hospital for children or a similar noble profession that implies that they are A Good Person. Or, if you’re a man advertising for a tenant, that they are a young Swedish girl moving to the UK to pursue a modelling career. Obviously this is supposed to inflame your ardour with all sorts of speculative and optimistic thoughts of what may happen if a young nubile Swedish model moves into your place, and have you falling over yourself to make sure she does. If you’re a Nuts magazine-reading, Danny Dyer-admiring moron, then you deserve to be ripped off for being so thick and gullible. That may sound a bit harsh, but come on… really?
  • The advertiser will tell you that they are working overseas but will be flying in to the UK this coming weekend to show you around the property. Flying all the way from the Vietnamese children’s hospital where they work especially to spend 20 minutes or so showing you around. Failing that, they will arrange for a ‘representative’ to meet with you and show you around.
  • Western Union. As soon as these two words appear, your suspicion that the whole thing is a scam will be confirmed. It works one of two ways. If they are masquerading as a landlord, they require you to send them the deposit via Western Union. If they are masquerading as a potential tenant/flatmate, they will tell you that their deposit will be handled by their employer or a relative, who will send you a cheque for several times the amount required and ask you to bank it, take out the amount you require as a deposit and send the difference back to them via Western Union. They will stress the need for this to be done as quickly as possible in order to guarantee their tenancy. The real reason is so that by the time your bank inevitably tells you that the cheque has bounced, you’ve already sent a hefty sum to the scammer, and no amount of pleading with Western Union will get it refunded to you.

It’s difficult to believe that people actually fall for this, but, incredibly, they do. It’s known as Advance Fee Fraud or the 419 scam, and more often than not originates in Nigeria. There are people who actively bait the scammers, just to waste their time and see how far they’re prepared to go in order to pull off the scam. One famous tale involves a baiter asking the scammers to make a video of themselves performing Monty Python’s Parrot Sketch as a gesture of good faith, and they actually did it. No, really. It’s here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IQqd17p9_0

For further information and entertainment purposes, the scam-baiter’s website is:

http://www.419eater.com

Of course, being the responsible sort that I am, I am in no way whatsoever encouraging anyone to try and bait the scammers. The reality of it is that they are nasty, violent people with a very organised international network, no matter how unconvincing their scams may be, so taking them on really isn’t a great idea.

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Thanks again Rick.

As mentioned above, SpareRoom does have several anti-scam measures in place to protect you. They way they work is to combine a sophisticated system of filters (that scan every ad submitted to the site for tell-tale language and wording) with a team of real people who go through listings and check out any dubious ones by hand. We’ve been running flatshare sites since 1999 so we’ve built up a lot of knowledge in this area!

Checking ads in this way is by far the most time-consuming part of our work but we believe it’s the only way to keep our listings clean and safe. Plenty of other sites don’t do this and you can tell by the quality of their listings. It’s not just about saving you legwork in going through them though – cleaning up the listings makes sure we spot almost all scam attempts before they reach te site. The few we do miss are flagged up by users and we deal with them swiftly.

How to advertise for a flatmate part 5

Rick’s post today looks at the part transport plays in people’s search for somewhere to live (especially in London)

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Transport

Transport options are obviously an important factor, but one thing I found frustrating when managing my ad was the prevailing mentality that, if you live in London, you absolutely have to be within walking distance of a tube or overground station or you might as well be in the middle of nowhere. This seems just as ingrained in lifelong Londoners as it is in those looking to move to London for the first time. My flat is a ten minute bus ride from the nearest tube or overground station, which was enough to cause a large proportion of people to tell me it wasn’t worth their while because “I need to be within 5 minutes walk from a tube” – despite the fact that three regular and quick bus services run from right outside the block, and I can get to work in Central London in 45 minutes. Some people were even quite rude about it, as if my choosing to live somewhere not immediately next to a station was some sort of weird objectionable anti-social stance I’d taken specifically to annoy them. The very idea that anyone might even consider not living within 5 minutes of a station, let alone have the sheer sodding audacity to advertise the fact on a property website with a view to having someone move into the spare room, was evidently akin to my having drowned their puppy. It was strangely fascinating to see how it simply did not compute with some people, and how it offended their sensibilities to such an extent that I half-expected an outraged Daily Mail article to be written about me, which would be Twittered and Facebooked around the world within hours, forcing me to seek police protection and go into hiding.

Maybe it’s because I’m not from London, but this peculiar love-hate relationship its residents have with its transport system fascinates me. Everyone moans about it, no-one seems to have a good word to say about it, yet everyone seemingly cannot bear to be more than 5 minutes walk from its sweaty, smelly, dirty, overcrowded, overpriced, poorly-maintained, rude-staffed, perennially service-suspended cloying embrace. It’s an unhealthy, obsessional, dysfunctional relationship, and if TFL and the residents of London could be distilled into two people, we would no doubt see them shouting incoherently at each other on The Jeremy Kyle Show before being restrained and having Jeremy shout at them for a bit before Graham the counsellor comes on to offer a more soothing perspective.

Sorry… I got a bit ranty there. It just seems such a limited, and limiting, perspective to have. Maybe it’s the ‘instant’ culture we live in these days. Some people absolutely will not consider buses as a transport option, which I can understand where night buses are concerned, but for anything that doesn’t comply with the perceived ‘5 minutes walk from a station’ rule to be considered out of the way is ridiculous to me.

So, if you’re looking for somewhere, don’t be afraid to think outside the box in terms of location – it’s better to live somewhere nice that’s a bit further from a station than you’re used to than somewhere not quite as nice but within easier reach. If you’re looking for a flatmate, be sure to be clear on your location and transport options, and if you don’t come within the 5 minute rule, be prepared for some people to be inexplicably rude about it.

How to advertise for a flatmate part 4

Part 4 of Rick’s guest blog deals with the language of flatshare ads and a few over-used phrases to avoid.

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Stock Phrases

Working my way through the ‘Room Wanted’ section has made me very familiar with the stock phrases people tend to use in their flatshare ads. As I said earlier, I’ve become a little more selective these days, so I tend to gravitate towards ads that have had a little more effort put into them and tell me a little about the person. Perhaps I’m a bit too cynical and judgemental in my advancing years, but an advertiser opting for the standard pre-written template (“I am a professional male aged XX looking for a single or double room in the areas specified below. I am available to move from XX/XX/XXXX and have a budget of £XXXpw. I would like to share with males or females ideally between XX and XX years old.”) tells me that if they can’t be bothered to type even one sentence about themselves or what they’re looking for, they’re not interesting enough to be my flatmate. Harsh? Probably. But as I said earlier, I can’t just have anyone.

If you do decide to write a little about yourself, it’s too easy to fall into the trap of trotting out those stock phrases I mentioned. Oh, those awful stock phrases… I can’t begin to tell you how many times I read exactly the same sentence over and over and over again. Here are a few examples of what not to write:

“I work hard and play hard” – This is a godawful cliché, conjuring up all sorts of images of odious cityboy types. And not in a good way.

“I’m as happy out partying as I am curled up on the sofa watching a DVD with a glass of wine” or the variant “I like going out, but I also like staying in” – It’s a statement of the obvious. And why is it always a glass of wine? Why is it never a nice cup of tea, or, in my case, a large glass of Vimto?

“I’m fun and a bit wacky at times” – Anyone who uses the word ‘fun’ or especially ‘wacky’ to describe themselves is almost certainly a loud, annoying idiot with ADD. Remember Colin Hunt, the office joker character in The Fast Show? That’s the sort of person I’m talking about. Do you want to live with him? Neither do I.

“I’m not religious but I am a very spiritual person” – This is meaningless, pretentious twaddle, usually trotted out by people who like to think of themselves as quite deep.

“I’m not a party animal but I do like a few glasses of wine after work/to let my hair down at weekends” – A few glasses of wine after work? I’d hate to be around when you’re really going for it…

“I’m looking for open-minded flatmates” – What dark habits are you hiding?

Sorry… I’m getting a bit scathing there! I’m not being entirely serious. All too often though, people tend to describe themselves as they might on a dating website, and wading through the ‘Room Wanted’ section turns up these and other stock phrases time and again. Most of them are harmless and innocuous enough, of course, and the worst thing they mean is just a lack of imagination. But one or two do hint at potential ‘issues’ that may make them a less than ideal flatmate. As I said earlier, I find myself being more selective these days, and if I’m searching for someone to come and share my home, I find myself drawn towards people who have taken a bit of time and care over their advert.

How to advertise for a flatmate part 3

Managing the Advert

Once you’ve posted your ad, you can either wait for the emails and phone calls to start coming in or be a bit more pro-active. My own approach was to write a standard message directing the reader to my ad and save it in Word on my desktop, to be copied and pasted and sent through the SpareRoom messaging system to advertisers in the ‘Room Wanted’ section who were looking for what I had to offer. On average I would send out around 30 messages a day, which hugely increased the number of views my ad got, and in turn increased the amount of interest.

Facebook and Twitter are also very useful tools. The era of social networking websites has revolutionised the way we communicate, so not only can you find your house trashed by 2000 teenagers (after someone put out an open invite on Facebook to a party at your house, giving full address, date and time details ‘for a laugh’), get fired from your job for making a derogatory remark about your boss on Twitter, or get murdered by someone you’ve never even met – you can also use the Facebook and Twitter widgets to spread the word amongst your friends and followers.

Rick

How to advertise for a flatmate part 2

Part 2 of Rick’s guest blog looks at placing an ad for your room.

The Advert

Having lived in London for ten years, I’ve done my fair share of scouring ‘Room to Rent’ ads and traipsing around to look at places that looked lovely and promising in the photos, only to discover that, contrary to the popular saying, the camera actually does lie – the place in question is a dirty hovel with dodgy electrics, a serious damp problem, permanently stoned tenants glued to the Xbox, and a bloke called Dave who doesn’t actually live there as such. This is not necessarily an exaggeration. Realising a place is thoroughly unsuitable the moment you arrive is frustrating, disheartening and a waste of your time. This is why, if you are looking to rent out a room, it is crucial to be as honest and detailed as possible in your ad.

These are the crucial elements required when advertising for a flatmate…

  • Photographs. A few photos of the flat looking all nice and presentable are a must, of course. Not grainy shots taken on your phone, mind… Proper, nice, well-lit photos showing off all the nice shiny features. And do make sure it actually looks like it does in the photos, as in clean and tidy, when someone comes over to view it. A lot of people tend to forget that bit.
  • Video. Yes, that’s right. A video. It’s a very under-used feature on Spare Room, to such an extent that as far as I’m aware, I’m the only person who has actually used it. A quick two-minute tour around the property shot on your phone gives a far more detailed look at the place, and a better sense of scale than any photo, so people know exactly what they’re getting. Every response I got, whether from people expressing an interest or telling me it wasn’t suitable for them, commented favourably on the video tour. It only takes a few minutes to upload and really makes your ad stand out.
  • Detail. When it comes to writing about your place and making it sound attractive to a potential flatmate, detail is important. “Double room available in three bed flat sharing with two professionals in their twenties. £470 PCM excluding bills” is, frankly, a rubbish way to advertise what you’ve got. At least make an effort to make it sound worth a look. Detailing the travel options, proximity to local amenities, a breakdown of the bills if they’re not included in the rent, and features or quirks about the property that you think make it stand out, are key elements missing from so many ads. Also, what sort of person are you looking for? Surely not just anyone. More importantly, what sort of person are you not looking for? Everyone has at least one house-share horror story. Filter out the unsuitable candidates by being clear on the sort of place you have to offer and the sort of person you’d like to move in.

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Part 3 deals with managing your ad once it’s on SpareRoom

How to advertise for a flatmate part 1

Starting today we’ll have a series of guest blog posts, written for us by regular SpareRoom user Rick Beenham, that deal with making the most of your advert for a flatmate. This came about after Rick (@RickBeenham) jokingly tweeted that he was going to write a list of phrases commonly used in ads that annoyed him.

The posts will deal with a variety of subjects – here’s #1

After having used their site extensively over the last 18 months or so, the nice people at SpareRoom have asked me to write a blog that might be useful to them as an insight into how people use their website, and perhaps be a helpful guide to anyone using it. Well, I say asked me… I actually light-heartedly mentioned in a Twitter post that one day I’d write a list for @SpareRoomuk of all the stock phrases found in ‘Room Wanted’ ads that put people off, and they responded by telling me that it would actually be very useful to know what they were. So, the gauntlet has been thrown down and it’s time for me to put my money where my mouth is.

I have used Spare Room fairly regularly, as an existing tenant seeking to replace an outgoing flatmate. Initially this was in a three-bedroom property, and subsequently in a two-bedroom flat I moved into in April 2009, where I still live. So I’ve learned a few things about putting an ad together, searching for potential flatmates, the dos, the don’ts, and the frustrations and pitfalls that can happen along the way.

Ideally, what should happen is this: a flatmate decides it’s time to move on, you advertise the vacant room on Spare Room and/or similar sites, interested parties contact you and arrange to come and view the place, one or more of them then express an interest in moving in, and the worst case scenario is that you have to make a choice as to whom you consider the most suitable. It’s all sorted quickly and with no fuss or stress. But it isn’t always so straightforward.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve reached a point in your life where you’ve moved on from house-sharing with a group of people and prefer a more sedate arrangement. The house-share dynamic no longer holds the allure it once did. The politics of it all – the division of territory into specific cupboards and fridge shelves, waiting your turn to use the washing machine or oven, the psychological warfare sparked off by milk theft, people hoarding toilet paper, the messy housemate who never washes up and has an interesting collection of smells in their room, the hedonistic housemate who regularly crashes noisily in at 3am with half the club in tow – is something you feel you’ve outgrown. A quieter life beckons, which in my case means not wanting to live with more than one person. It also means a more selective approach when seeking a new flatmate. I can’t just get anyone in, after all. It has to be someone I know I can live with. As the lease is in my name, I am responsible for all the rent, a heavy burden to carry on my own, so if it becomes necessary to search for a flatmate, I simply can’t afford to hang about.

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The next post will deal with the topic of the advert itself.

Lodger Insurance…Is there such a thing? (guest blog)

Here’s a guest blog post from the guys over at moneysupermarket.com on insurance for lodgers and flatsharers

When moving into a house/flat share it is always important to have your possessions insured. Look around your new room. The laptop you got for Christmas is worth £800+ alone, your IPod, your Fender Guitar, your mobile phone and lots more I imagine. You could easily add up thousands of pounds worth of items.

The landlord may have buildings and contents insurance themselves but this will not cover your items. So this is your opportunity to search the internet and get a tailored package that suits you and your possessions at a minimum cost.

What Insurance do I need?

To cover your items, lodgers need to take out a contents insurance policy and finding it is easy. Visit moneysupermarket.com where you can compare hundreds of providers and make sure that all your personal possessions are covered against, theft, fire or damage. Here are some key points to look out for when taking out an insurance policy.

  • Timeframes – You need to find out what is covered and when. Some policies will cover you all year round, whilst others may not cover you when you’re away on holiday.
  • Underinsurance – If the worst happens and you have to claim on your policy, the last thing you want is to find it doesn’t meet all your costs.
  • Reduce the risk – Ask the landlord to install window locks and an alarm, this will help reduce what you have to pay.
  • Away from home cover – Make sure your provider protects those items you would take with you when your out an about. IPod, mobile phone etc.
  • Bicycles – If you are a keen cyclist or just need a bike to get to and from your workplace, check your insurance covers bikes as not all of them do.
  • Excess Payment – In some cases, the higher the excess the lower your premium, but this can be a false economy as it can cost you more money in the event of a claim. Always make sure you can afford and are willing to pay the excess payment.

Valuing your Contents

To get an accurate figure of how much your possessions are worth use the moneysupermarket.com contents calculator. Do not confuse the purchase price with the replacement cost, as this is often a common mistake made by a lot of people. Use up-to-date retailers’ catalogues to get current prices, as the price could have shifted up or down since you bought it.

Outbuildings – Garages, sheds and greenhouses can be rich pickings for a thief, so do ensure that you inform the insurer if any items are to be kept outside. Tools, bicycles etc

In the event that something is stolen or broken and you are thinking about claiming, it is always worth considering whether it is worth it for something that may be relatively minor. In doing so your premium will more than likely rise the following year. Once you have calculated this into the equation, plus the excess you have to pay, then it’s sometimes cost effective to pay for minor incidents out of your own pocket.