The Energy Performance Certificate for Homes in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The EPCs are a legal requirement for houses in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In this article, epc-belfast provide details about who needs the EPC where they can be sourced.

An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC, shows the overall energy performance of a building. The EPC determines the rating of energy efficiency as well as carbon emissions of a structure based on a letter scale from A to G. A means that the building is very efficient while G means that the building is not efficient.

Any dwelling EPC report will contain two ratings; the rating based on the current status and the potential rating, giving the homeowners an idea of what they need to do in order to reach standards.

EPCs are required for houses marketed for sale, for rent or even real estate auctions.

What do the Energy Performance Certificates show?

When a building is constructed in Northern Ireland, several methods will be used to determine the amount of energy that will most likely be used and then compare it with other buildings with similar construction. The information gathered helps prospective buyers of the home, the owners of the home, tenants, and anyone else occupying the home to see if the home is energy efficient or not.

When a report is complete, it will include recommendations, if any, to ensure that the building is energy efficient. The report will also include information about the different ratings that a home owner may want to consider in order to meet EPC regulations.

When is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) required?

EPC requires a permit when a building is in the process of being constructed or for buildings that may already be constructed but is preparing to be listed on the market for rent or for sale. Certificates must also be included on all commercial properties as well. The report will need to be available to potential buyers as well as potential tenants as soon as they make an inquiry regarding the building or come by to view it. It is up to the seller or the agent representing the owner of the house to ensure this information is provided.

EPC Belfast: What the Law requires

Because the EPC is required with all dwellings, if a homeowner or building owner does not have this report, a penalty charge notice will be issued through the northern Ireland district councils.

An EPC is valid for ten years and it can be used repeatedly throughout that period. The EPC can only be issued by an accredited energy assessor that comes to the property and performs an assessment. Once the homeowner has received the EPC for their dwelling, a copy of the certificate is sent to a national registry as well.

What are the penalties for not having an EPC?

The penalty for not having an EPC can vary depending on several factors. You can read more about penalties at Energy Performance Certificate Penalties. Some examples of penalties include:

Property in Northern Ireland not providing an EPC or not having the EPC on display can be fined up to £200 for a dwelling and £500 to £5,000 for any other type of property

Failure to obtain and possess a valid DEC advisory report, the penalty is £1,000

Failure to obtain and possess an air conditioning system inspection could cost you a penalty of £300

Good Landlord Lease Tips

When you have a HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) in the UK, issues comes up with tenants that may not normally arise in a standard letting of the whole property.

Therefore we at Quick Property Buyer thought we would write this article to give a couple of tips on clauses we now insert into our leases to deal with issues that have recently come up.

1. No Bicycles in the common parts

Many tenants wants to store their bicycles inside the common parts, even in the shared rooms like lounges. As well as being an obstacle when people are trying to evacuate in a fire, they start to make the property look run down. Properties begin to look like student accommodation and handle bars for bicycles often do damage the walls. One other issue is that as soon as one tenant wants their bicycle inside the house, others also want to do the same.

I once had an argument with a tenant who would not remove his bike from the lounge as the clause prohibiting bikes was not stated directly in his lease, although there were many similar clauses. Since then, I have inserted a direct clause.

2. Tenants will wait in the property for engineers and to do viewings

Leases need to be clear, especially on who is responsible for waiting inside the property for appointments. If a tenant has their way, you as a landlord would travel to the property and wait in for the whole day for engineers. Everyone is busy with their lives and their jobs and being a tenant does not obviate their obligation to wait in their home occasionally for engineers. Therefore I insert this clause.

Likewise, who should physically do viewings for prospective new tenants when rooms become empty. You find there may be a helpful tenant, but if there is, the rest will not reply to your emails and let the helpful tenant do all the work.  In the end if one tenant does do all the viewings, they will feel alienated. Therefore I insert a clause that all tenants will do the viewings. They may still ignore your requests to show people around, but it does give you some ammunition if needed.

If you have a tenanted property that you would like to sell fast for cash, do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly team at Quick Property Buyer for an instant cash offer. We are the fastest growing cash buying company in the UK.

Can A Log Cabin or Mountain Vacation Home Pay For Itself?

When the real estate market was thriving, vacation homes were a luxury that only those with expendable income could dream of owning. Today’s market sets a different tone for second homes with a country wide rise in affordable properties and some of the lowest interest rates in centuries. While second homes of years past may not have been able to pay for themselves, is it possible for today’s vacation home to pay for itself?

When vacation homes were more of a luxury and finding affordable log cabin foreclosures was like searching for lost treasure, the idea of renting out a property for a few weeks a year to counter expenses and taxes often left owners falling short. However the market is flooded with mountain homes for sale and log cabin foreclosures galore. The log cabins and mountain vacation properties available now have a greater chance of producing a positive cash flow if the buyer is diligent in making sure it does just that.

An affordable second home purchased at or below market value would need to be rented for at least 12 weeks out of the year to start paying for itself. This is about 3 months, and for mountain vacation rentals this works great for summer rental properties, but can work equally well for log cabins located in ski areas or attractive fall foliage areas which can extend their renting season beyond the 12 weeks of summer. With renting out a mountain vacation house you have to book the property early. Leave room in your rental price to offer a discount for booking the property for the next year to encourage return renters. It also pays to advertise your log cabin or mountain vacation home on the Internet where you are able to reach a wide audience for minimal expense.

A huge money saver and big step for making your mountain vacation home pay for itself is to leave the middleman out of the picture. Management companies suck upwards of 30% of your rental income into their pockets and not in yours. Handling rentals and maintenance isn’t that difficult, even from a distance. Consider a reasonable property manager instead of a property management company but check the references well as a bad property manager has the potential to hit your return on investment pretty hard. You should take the time to establish relationships with local services near your mountain vacation home and a simple calendar can make scheduling rentals a breeze.

Selecting the location of your mountain vacation home or log cabin will also play a big role in its’ ability to pay for itself. Obviously you will want to select a property in an area that people would want to rent. This usually means a resort area or an area with local attractions in addition to a beautiful mountain setting. Once you select an area to purchase a mountain vacation home, you are going to want to check to be sure the area does not have any fees for vacation-home-owners or costly permits for renting out the property for less than a month at a time. These fees would have an obvious negative effect on the bottom line of your investment and you would need to adjust your weekly rental rate accordingly.

If you have decided to take the plunge and are looking to purchase a mountain vacation home and have it pay for itself, here are the final questions that you need to ask yourself. Are you ready to invest a lot of time and research into costs, maintenance, taxes and more before buying anything? Are you willing to give up use of your great mountain vacation home during the peak renting seasons for at least the first three to five years? Are you willing to put in necessary work for unforeseen issues that arise with any property purchase? And finally, you need to be sure that you can cover the cost of the property should times get rough or you are unable to rent. If you can answer yes to all these things, you just might be ready to buy a log cabin or mountain vacation home that can pay for itself.

Spotting a Property Scam Company

There are many decent companies out there like Quick Property Buyer which will buy property for cash in as little as 7 days. This will take the stress out of getting involved in a property chain

There are however also a few cowboys operating in the business. Not as many as you might think because of review sites only, but some may exist. Unfortunately, though a whole sector can be tarred with the brush of the odd dodgy company. Fortunately, with the growth of review sites in recent years, the scam artists are being squeezed out.

But how do you spot a good cash buying company from a bad one. Here’s a few signs to watch out for:

1. Website: Company Details

See if their website gives you a company name, address and company number. Legitimate companies have nothing to hide so will publish such details on their website. Slightly dodgy companies may hide behind a trading name.

2. Timescales

Also, see if the cash buying company you are dealing with can keep to the timescales first offered.  If they say they can complete your purchase in 7 days at the outset and then start giving you excuses after a couple of weeks, walk on to a different buyer. They may be stringing you along.

3. Genuine Cash Buyer or just lead generation site

Some companies pretend to be cash buyers, when in fact they are just lead generation sites. What they do is get your details and then try to sell them on to a genuine cash buyer. What you can do to protect a little against this, is to ask them from the outset the name of the company which will be buying your property. If they do not know or are vague about the identity of such company, this may be a good sign that you are dealing with a lead generation company rather than a genuine cash buyer.

4. Gazundering

Gazundering is dropping the price just before exchange of contracts, when the seller may be very desperate. This is a terrible act but sadly one also done by people in the open market. What the cowboy company will do is suddenly come up with reasons why the property needs to be less, like a drop in the market etc and then try to reduce the price just before exchange.

To protect against this, just walk away to another company which can complete in 7 days. Also don’t go for the highest offer at the beginning. As some companies offer high to get your business with this in mind. Go with your instinct.

5. Hidden costs

We have heard of some companies which try to charge hidden costs. Or try to get you to pay for your own survey.

Most decent companies in the sector pay all costs, including your legals if your used one of their panel of solicitors. Quick Property Buyer pay for all costs and can even pay some of the funds to you on exchange if you need the, If you feel you may be dealing with a cowboy, feel free to contact one of our friendly team at Quick Property Buyer for an instant cash offer.

5 Important Things Every Condo Should Have

The demand for condos is still high and a good number of developers are making them available to meet with the market demands. New condos come with better amenities, units and benefits and they are not really equal. Some are better than others, but there are things or features that you can use to be sure that the condo you are interested in is really worth the money you are going to spend on it.

1. Good location

To many people, location seems like a cliché but it is something that still remains to be very important. If you are looking at a long time investment with your condo, then you cannot afford to overlook the location. The location should work in terms of family needs, culture, career and relaxation. In essence, a good condo will be located in the area that you love and one that is most convenient for you.

2. Luxury

It is amongst the things that make condos loved and above normal housing units. Luxury units tend to appreciate much faster and keep their value; hence you know that you have made a good investment in a good luxurious condo. When checking your options, make sure that you consider the landscaping, interior features and even the building materials used just to be sure of the quality that you get.

3. Privacy

Condos are part of a larger property, meaning that there will be several units in one block. But this should not in any way compromise your privacy. Good developers are thoughtful, even where the walls are shared between the units by putting soundproof walls and intelligent layouts that ensure every unit enjoys a good level of privacy. When looking for the best unit, consider what noise reduction measures have been put in place, what the balcony looks out to and every aspect that touches on privacy. It can really make a difference when it comes to truly enjoying your condo.

4. Modern amenities

Today, amenities go beyond luxurious sitting spaces and appliances. A good modern condo will have other important amenities such as fully equipped fitness center, internet, sheltered parking, garden, pools and others that really make life comfortable and convenient. Some properties are designed so well that they come with mini shopping areas for the convenience of the residents. Find out what your condo has to offer you beforehand in terms of amenities made available.

5. Reliable security

It is amongst the most important and you should feel absolutely safe when within or away from the property. New modern condos have everything taken care of from surveillance camera systems to high tech door lock systems and electric fences among others. Even if the property is not gated, it should at least have reliable security solutions for all tenants. You do not want to ignore the security levels of the property because compromised security can give you sleepless nights and restless days. A good condo should give you peace of mind as far as your safety and security goes.

Home Alarm System – Luxury Or Necessity?

Crimes against personality, encroachments on personal property and unauthorized intrusion into our homes, progressively increase each day. Make sure this does not happen to you! Today, the home alarm systems are not a luxury, but a necessity!

Choose your intelligent home alarm system and get the key to your security.

What is a standard home alarm system?

The main function of a standard home alarm system is to guard small spaces like a house, apartments and offices, notify you or the home security system company for any attempt for penetration or security problem. A home security system can not only protect you from theft. According to your individual needs can be combined with CCTV, fire alarm systems, access control. Such system can be configured for remote observation by local authorities, security company or even the neighborhood watch.

System Configuration

These devices can be connected to various sensors such as volume sensor (detects changes in the volume) (PIR), the door sensor (magnetic contact), etc. thereby enhance the protection of your property (housing). In such system, any alarm situation activates the alarm (usually sound and light siren) or the automatic dialing device of the previously entered different numbers (e.g.: mobile phone, phone servicing of your security company, neighbour hood watch unit, the phone in your office and phone of the police). The door opens only by registered RFID (radio frequency identifier) card or entering a PIN (personal identification number), and any attempt to enter with non-registered card leads to activation of the alarm.

Luxury Villas – Research and Plan Before You Invest

Are you planning big as part of your investment options? Then it is the right time to put your money in buying a luxury villa. A vacation villa can be a sensible option and you can choose anyplace you would like to go for. With the market ups and downs, it is very important to conduct a market study before you step into anything that you are not much aware about. On the other hand, if you are an expert you will certainly have a good idea about the hype and the falls of every single place on earth either through the internet or colleagues.

Market research is of great significance no matter which country you are selecting. Always choose a tourist destination having visitors almost round the year and this will help in gaining more income. You can rent out on those days when you are holidaying thus your investment turns into hard cash in no time. In most of the holiday destinations like Provence, Cyprus and other colder parts of the Europe large families always prefer to rent a villa rather than a hotel for their own privacy and also for more fresh air.

The rules laid forth differ from one country to another in buying a property. Therefore you can talk with a well-known lawyer or a real estate market expert who can give you a better idea before you finalize one. The next thing you have to check before you find a villa interesting is the easy access for transportation and also the availability of grocery. This is something that people look out while rental a property and therefore applies to be a plus point for yours too.

Find a location that is much distant from your place with calm and peaceful atmosphere so that you can breathe fresh air when you are out for a walk. If you can find a fully set up house with furnishings and all the amenities completed, it will be a win-win situation for you. This will cut down your expenses of investing more into it and for a fixed amount you get a completed house to relax and also to add up to your income.

With the rising holiday rentals and booming real estate market there wouldn’t be a better option than buying a villa. It gives you both the comfort of your own home in your favorite place and a financial aid by giving for holiday rentals when you are not in the place to pay back your mortgage.

Real Estate Auctions – The New Land Rush

On a sunny afternoon in Florida, an energetic crowd gathers on the lawn of a high end luxury estate. A loud and eager banter between an auctioneer, a group of bidders and bidder assistants fills the air. For several minutes the auctioneer asks for the next highest bid and the bidders respond. Suddenly the bidders grow silent. The high bidder holds his breath in anticipation of winning the auction. The auctioneer calls for one more bid. In a loud clear voice which rolls over the audience he says, “Fair warning, last chance” the auctioneer pauses, “SOLD!” And in less than 10 minutes another multimillion dollar estate has changed owners.

Successful real estate auctions like the one above are happening all over North America and the Caribbean. Recently real estate auctions have been on the rise, the increase in popularity is partly driven by growing inventories and fading buyer confidence. Properties that were selling in weeks using traditional methods are now languishing on the market unable to attract buyers even as seller’s lower prices. Many say the real estate boom is over but savvy buyers and sellers are profiting from real estate auctions.

Real Estate Auctions Work in Up or Down Markets.

Regardless of trends or market cycles, real estate auctions provide an open and transparent process for buyers and sellers. Properly conducted real estate auctions attract ready and willing buyers and motivate them to act now.

The auction method removes the “wait and see” attitude which serves to further depress real estate values. Buyers are always concerned about overpaying. Buyers gain confidence with their purchases at real estate auctions because they can see what others are willing to pay.

When market demand is high and inventories low, real estate auctions can deliver selling prices well above what a willing seller would have accepted in a negotiated private treaty sale. In good selling climates many property owners using traditional real estate methods; negotiating with one buyer at a time, leave thousands of dollars of equity on the table. During up markets real estate auctions are the best way to establish top market price.

Evaluating Your Real Estate for Auction

Not every property or seller for that matter makes a good candidate for auction. First of all sellers must be ready to sell now and for the current market value. Also a real estate auction will not fix problems caused by a downturn in market value of your property, if you owe more than a willing buyer will pay, be prepared to come to closing with your check book.

Properties that do well in real estate auctions have a high uniqueness factor. Ask your self, “What makes my property different from most others?” Maybe you own a resort property or high end luxury home, commercial properties and land do very well at auction. Real estate auctions thrive on uniqueness. If your property is like everyone else’s, the best thing you can do is offer the most competitive price.

Most importantly sellers must be reasonable about setting a minimum bid. A seller must look at the lowest, most current comps and price below that to generate the interest and urgency necessary for a successful real estate auction. Once the auction begins and qualified bidders start competing against one another you can watch the selling price increase.

Locate a Qualified Real Estate Auctioneer

Start by checking with the National Auctioneers Association, the best real estate auctioneers belong to this organization. These real estate auctioneers are well trained and adhere to a standard of practice and a code of ethics. Many attend the annual International Auctioneers Conference where the latest techniques and innovations in the real estate auction industry are presented.

Find out if the company you are interviewing is a full time real estate auction firm. Many real estate agents are getting auction licenses yet have no experience with the auction method of marketing. Conducting a successful real estate auction is nothing like (private treaty) traditional real estate sales. Go with a real estate auction pro.

You’re probably better of with an auction house that specializes in real estate auctions. There are many qualified auctioneers who have generations of experience selling personal property; furniture, dishes, lawn equipment and the occasional rare painting. Selling real estate at auction is a complex matter that should only be attempted by full time experienced real estate auction professionals.

Commissions and fees may vary, sellers must pay all marketing expenses up front and buyers typically pay 10% of the sales price to the auctioneer of which a share goes to participating real estate agents.

Types of Real Estate Auctions

Auctions are effective because they create a seller’s market. Professionally conducted real estate auctions create urgency, a reason to buy today and competition for the property. Terms and conditions of sale are established ahead of the auction. Real estate auctions will follow one of these three approaches:

Absolute Auction

The property is sold to the highest bidder regardless of price- using this process often returns the highest sale price.

Minimum Bid Auction

Seller agrees to sell at or above a published minimum bid price – this method is useful for internet auctions.

Seller Confirmation or Reserve Auction

With a reserve auction, the seller “reserves” the right to accept or decline any bids usually within 48 hours of the auction. Reserve auctions are used when there is a lien on the property from a lender or a court ordered sale with a minimum selling price.

How to Find the Property Lines for Your Land

As a land owner, knowing the location of your property lines is one of the best ways to avoid disputes with your neighbors.

Property lines, or boundary lines, are the defined points where one owner’s land ends and the neighboring property begins. A property owner uses boundary lines to determine where they can legally place items such as fences, driveways, outbuildings like pole barns or anything else. Erecting a structure on or partially on another person’s land can lead to lawsuits and unpleasant situations with neighbors.

1. Check your deed. The deed contains the legal description of your property, which is basically the property’s measurements and boundaries in words. For most people, the property description can be difficult to interpret, so you may not find it helpful. However, sometimes, the legal description uses landmarks and measurements that you can interpret. If that’s the case, measure from the landmarks in the description to the property lines. Mark each corner with a stake or other marker. Measure from each stake to the next all the way around your property to ensure the measured lines match the deed. Physically measuring the boundaries will allow you to visually determine where the lines are and avoid encroaching on your neighbor’s land. Just be warned: An old description may rely on the location of a tree that no longer exists or a creek that has gone dry.

2. Check the official website for the assessor’s office in your municipality. Some assessors have mapping tools available online for all of the real estate in the area. You can use the maps to find the boundary lines for your property and to determine where nearby landmarks are located, such as the east line of your street. You can use these landmarks as fixed points to measure from. Using a tape measure or measuring wheel, measure the distance from each of the landmark points to your property line as shown on the maps.

3. If you don’t have a copy, and there’s nothing available online, visit the county recorder’s office or the assessor’s office. When you bought your property, you may have received a plat map, showing property lines and measurements. If it wasn’t included with your paperwork, check with your local clerk’s or surveyor’s office. Ask if there are any maps available for public viewing that include your neighborhood and street. Some of these maps may be available online, while others will be hard copies or microfiche copies. Even maps of neighboring properties can be valuable if they show shared property lines.

4. Last but not least, hire a surveyor. The most surefire way to determine legal property lines is by hiring a professional. The surveyor can measure and map the property and will generally also mark the corners of the property with stakes. It’s always a good recommendation to be present when the surveyor comes to measure your property, so they can review the property lines with you. The cost of a survey will vary depending on your location, lot size, and other variables. The surveyor needs to be licensed with your state and should carry professional liability insurance, which can cover you if the surveyor makes a mistake in the survey.

Mumbai Hotels: Best Properties of the Lot

The undoubted queen of economic, commercial and entertainment activities, Mumbai is dream city for many. With its interesting culture, fast-paced lifestyle, ever-escalating business opportunities, glitzy nightlife and refreshing morning jog on the beach, Mumbai attracts horde of visitors each year. Hotels in Mumbai offer highly comfortable and value for money accommodation options. The metropolis houses a wide variety of hotels which ranges from economy, budget to mid-range, deluxe and lavish luxury category hotels. These Mumbai hotels are known for their eye for detailing, their prompt service and whole range of modern recreational as well as business amenities. Designed to cater to requirements of both business class as well as recreational travelers these Mumbai hotels are available in all parts of the city.

To match their steps with the world these properties even keep upgrading and updating themselves providing all the comforts of contemporary world. Some of the best hotels in Mumbai are:

Hotel Fariyas: Perfectly in sync with the busy corporate travelers, Fariyas Hotel in Mumbai offers a whole range of business amenities. This fabulous four star property is about 10 minutes drive from the business districts and also overlooks the harbor. Its ideal location just close to Gateway of India and other historical edifices makes it a favorite of even recreational travelers. The guestrooms inside are 29 in number which includes Standard Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Club Room and Suites. Well-spacious rooms are replete with all modern comforts including direct dialing facility, high definition TV, mini bar, Wi-Fi Internet access and more. For dining head towards Tamarind- a multi-cuisine restaurant or choose from delectable grills, barbeques, curries and much more at Tamarind Poolside at the hotel.

Grand Sarovar Premiere: A premier- class, five star property, Grand Sarovar Premiere in Mumbai is one of the top-notch luxury hotels in Mumbai. Pick from a total of 98 plush rooms which includes 77 Superior Rooms, 20 Deluxe Rooms and 1 Executive Rooms. Well decked rooms are laden with all the luxuries of modern world including LCD TV, tea/coffee maker, fruit basket and cookies/chocolates, broadband connectivity, direct dialing facility, all toiletries, mini bar, electronic safety locker and more. Other than these in-room amenities the hotel also has 24-hour front desk, air-conditioned public areas, audio-visual equipments, banquet facilities, bar/lounge, barbeque grill, Business Center, swimming pool, Health Club, restaurant, 24 hour room service, laundry service and more on offer.

Chateau Windsor Hotel: Aside all the flamboyant luxury properties, Mumbai also has its set of economy hotels and Chateau Windsor Hotel is one of the reputed names in the list of economy class hotels in Mumbai. It is one of the leading budget properties of South Mumbai. Decent rooms, modern amenities and a dedicated staff and above all affordability makes the property an ideal choice for travelers with slightly strict budget.

Mumbai hotels are applauded for their immaculate settings, contemporary design and wide range of recreational and business amenities. These properties thus available in varied categories adequately meets requirements of all kinds of visitors making Mumbai tour a memory to be cherished.