Renting blog: What home improvements mean for tenants

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Most tenants get quite excited when their landlord decides to do some improvements to the property, as we were when we were notified that our windows were going to be replaced. Aside from the worry that our rent would go up, we were happy to say goodbye to rattling panes, a drafty toilet and an ad hoc latching system.

Week one, we hear that the contractors are going to arrive on Tuesday. They pitch up on Friday, remove all the frames and windows and replace them with double glazed ones and we spend the weekend with no curtains.

Week two, the contractors now have to plaster the gaping holes, which they do rather well until we notice that plaster not only has gone on the walls but on the carpet, patio and stairs. We spend another weekend living a in a fishbowl.

Week three, no sign of the contractors, nor of our downstairs toilet seat, which has mysteriously disappeared. I have given up on rearranging my room to be builder-friendly and hope the neighbours have enjoyed my strip shows. In between my housemate has to use the plunger to unblock a drain clogged with old paint and plaster.

We get our letting agent on the case who assures us he’ll get it sorted by the end of the week. And so now with two days to go, we’re waiting with bated breath for the reappearance of the vanishing contractors (and our toilet seat), hoping that all this ‘improvement’ will be worth it in the end. I’ll let you know when they turn up…

September 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM Leave a comment

We’re back on TV with our biggest campaign to date

From tomorrow, we’ll be back on your TV with two updated adverts (see below).

Our latest campaign, will include both TV and print advertising, will follow the theme of previous campaigns and highlight our market-leading property mobile apps. The campaign will be the biggest to date by Zoopla.co.uk in terms of both marketing spend and exposure.

Zoopla.co.uk TV advert: “Smarter” September 2011

Zoopla.co.uk TV advert: “Kerching” September 2011

Full press release can be found here and if you’re wondering who is in the advert read this

August 31, 2011 at 10:19 AM 1 comment

Safe DIY during Winter months

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

With the bank holiday fast-approaching the thought of that daring DIY project (which you’ve been putting off the entire year, no doubt) has probably crossed your mind. But before you get stuck in at home with the hammer and ladder, you’d be best advised to take a moment to think through the planning, products and precautions of your DIY project.

Do as I say, not as I do and stay safe this bank holiday if you spend it up a ladder

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (it’s a real charity, we checked) estimates that more than 200,000 people a year end up in hospital as a result of DIY and gardening injuries, so it goes without saying that you don’t want to be one of them. The secret, according to workplace product supplier Singsby, is to take home health and safety as seriously as work health and safety.

Tips to keep you safe this bank holiday:

• Plan ahead – this is one of the most important points in DIY; check you have the necessary tools and equipment and – obvious as it may seem, you’ll know what you’re doing before you start.

• Buying products – generally a more expensive product will nearly always last longer than a cheaper one. You’ll get what you pay for.

• Read instructions and warnings – there’s a reason why they come with the tools and equipment so make sure you thoroughly understand what they’re saying especially if you’re using them for the first time.

• Time it – things usually take longer than you expect so make sure you have enough time to finish the job. Bear in mind that only doing half a job will look worse than not doing it at all.

• Ladders – these are a major cause for accidents so replace old rickety ones. Also make sure the feet of the ladder are on a secure and level surface, rest the top on something solid and position the foot of the ladder one measure out for every four measures in height. Finally move the ladder rather than over-reach.

• Drilling holes – double-check there are no pipes or cables nearby.

• Tidy up – put tools away as you go along this will give you a safe area to work in and you’ll be able to find things easier – plus less cleaning to do at the end.

• Nails – those which are sticking out of wood are common dangers so always remove them straight away.

August 24, 2011 at 1:02 PM Leave a comment

Best beach huts: We follow the search for a winner

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

If, like us, you love the idea of a Victorian bathing machine with no wheels then we’ve found something that will have us both splashing around with joy.

These wooden gabled sheds are now firmly in the British icon realm with  sale prices on the rise for the past decade. Beach hut hotspots include Mudeford Sandbank in Dorset, Southwold in Suffolk and Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk. And it’s not just us who’ve gone beach hut mad, celebs have also been splashing out on them including, crime writer PD James at Southwold, chef Aldo Zilli at Hove, Madness singer Suggs at Whitstable and Rolling Stone Keith Richards at West Wittering

Good news then that the folks behind the coveted Beach Hut of the Year award have just extended their competition by another two weeks. The final day for entries will now be Thursday September 1.

This year the competition is fiercer than ever and entries span the full gamut –  from small £6,000 huts to larger ‘industrial’ ones costing over £100,000. These will be nominated in different categories including Best Presented Hut, Best Beach Hut Association, Best Beach Hut Story and Best Beach Hut Neighbour. They’re also including a Best Beach Hut Photograph for those who don’t own a hut but are keen photographers.

Built in their thousands by bathing Brits in 1950s, the exact number of beach huts on Britain’s coast isn’t known, but seaside historian, author and now one of the judges of the competition Dr Kathryn Ferry estimates it to be a whopping 20,000, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Functional, pretty and by the sea. What’s not to love about the humble beach hut?

August 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM 1 comment

Gaddafi’s London Mansion For Sale (Saif al-Islam Gaddafi)

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Earlier this year we launched an exciting new tool on Zoopla.co.uk  – the Zoopla Property Archive – the UK’s first online property archive. We launched with over 2 million historic property listings details and have been adding to this ever since.

This is a totally unique feature to Zoopla that will become another essential research tool for house hunters to help them make smarter property decisions.

What this means is that our users can search homes that at one time were for sale or to rent in the last 10 years and pull up the old listing.

Searching through the archive, we’ve unearthed this property in Winnington Close, London, N2 which is reported to be owned by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s, Colonel Gaddafi’s son and heir-apparent and former London School of Economics student.

We currently value the property at £9,530,444.

What does the archive tell us about the property?

  • Previously listed for sale on 1st Jul 2009 for £12,500,000
  • It was then listed for rent on 14th May 2010 £9,500 pw
  • It is a 7 bedroom property over 7,500 sq ft
  • Features “stunning” entertaining space including a home cinema room, a swimming pool and a sauna

Here is the historic property for sale listing and rental listing.

More about the Zoopla Property Archive

We believe that one of the key benefits of the web is its ability to make useful information free and easily accessible to everyone. Whilst historic house prices paid have been available online for some time (you can find every record since 1995 on Zoopla.co.uk), the ability to match these to photos and descriptions of the property at that time it was for sale or to rent hasn’t been possible…until now.

The unique property archive covers properties that have been on the market for either sale or rent at some point in the 10 years.

What will an archived record show?

  • the historic for sale or to rent asking price of a property
  • the date it was last listed on the market
  • images of the property at the time it was last listed for sale or to rent
  • a description of the property at that point in time
  • access to the sold prices of the property, if sold

Where can I find an archived listing?

Historic listings can be found in the ‘Current Values’ section of the Zoopla.co.uk website and are clearly marked with an ‘H’ to indicate a historic listing record is available.

As always, please feel free to share and use this information, all we ask is that you credit the source as Zoopla.co.uk and link to Zoopla.co.uk. Thank you.

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August 23, 2011 at 1:22 PM 3 comments

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