Property Advice

Nethouseprices are delighted to have partnered with Kate Faulkner, one of the UK’s top property experts, to bring you the best help and advice for your property project or help solving a problem.

Kate is the author of property books for Which? the consumer organisation and is regularly featured in the media, commentating on the property market and giving advice on every type of residential property project or problem.

Kate and her team at have sourced the very best companies and organisation to partner with to bring you independent, up to date advice and help. So whatever you need to know, they will have a checklist or article to help or you can even ask them for help directly through their Contact Us or Forum.

These Buy to Let quick checklist guides will help you through the property investment and management minefield!

  • I have received a party wall notice, what do I do? - Collier Stevens

    The first and probably most important thing to do if you receive a party wall notice (PWN) is not to ignore it. A PWN informs you that a neighbour is planning to do some building works that could affect your property/boundary walls. You must reply within a fortnight either assenting or dissenting to the work. If you don't reply you automatically dissent and must appoint a surveyor within the following 10 days. If you don't appoint one, your neighbour will do so for you. Do ensure you read our checklist and articles so you know and understand what to do when it comes to neighbours and building works.

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  • How to Choose an Expert to Value your Leasehold Extension – Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Partners

    Before contacting an expert valuer there is some information you should gather about your (potential) residential leasehold property. Address, leasehold length and freeholder details are all important as well as a general impression of what the freeholder is like, do they manage the property well? Are they overpricing the lease extensions? Make sure that anyone you choose to help with this task is a member of ALEP and a clear fee structure so you know what you have to pay to extend the lease. Read our checklist and articles about extending leases.

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  • Identifying and solving condensation, damp and mould – Envirovent

    If any of you are students, or have children who are, you will almost certainly have encountered damp, mould and condensation problems in a property. However, these issues aren't localised to just youngsters renting, we all need to know how to spot and sort them out. One of the most important things is to make sure you have a qualified surveyor to give you an expert diagnosis of the problem which may be caused by damp or by condensation. Handymen, builders and plumbers are not the people to turn to! Experts will checkout the problem for you free of charge and give you a correct diagnosis so you know whether it’s damp or condensation problem as they require different solutions.

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  • Identifying and solving rising damp – Peter Cox

    Rising damp can be a tricky thing to spot without knowing what to look for, or understanding the nature of the problem. Is your property suffering from rising or penetrating damp? Signs of rising damp include peeling wall paper and dry or wet rot may be visible on skirting boards; penetrating damp may appear due to loose slates & tiles and cracked render. You will need to get a specialist in to properly diagnose the problem, a local builder or tradesman won't have the required expertise to diagnose or fix the problem, so don’t try to cut corners. Finally, you'll need to understand the pros & cons of the available solutions as well as cost and make sure you get good guarantees and warrantees which survive the lifetime of the company you use.

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  • Maintaining your Property – Aspect

    Property maintenance can be a slog, all those little jobs we put off doing because there is always something more pressing to be getting on with, but if you're not careful and don’t maintain your home, you could end up invalidating your insurance. Firstly, read your policy to find out what maintenance you need to carry out and keep any receipts for work you have done. Also check things like missing tiles after windy weather and to see if any tree roots are affecting your foundations. You should carry out these sort of routine checks every six months to ensure you stay on top of things.

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  • How to choose a bespoke staircase designer? - Jarrods

    The first thing to think about when choosing a bespoke staircase is making sure you understand the building regulations and if not that the help you do get knows the rules! Then it is down to things like what type of staircase you’d like, the projects timing – if it’s weeks you might not have enough, if it’s a few months you will probably get some good, bespoke help. Always ask questions like whether VAT is included and before you settle on a company ensure you have references of previous work. So, if you are thinking of a new staircase, don’t secure one unless you have read this checklist first!

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  • How to choose Energy Efficient Windows – BFRC

    To choose energy efficient windows you will need to know the rating system, A++ is the most efficient and G is the least efficient. If you purchased your home after 2007 you will have been given an energy performance certificate so will easily be able to find out if your energy efficiency requires improvement. According to the Energy Savings Trust, fitting energy efficient windows can save up to £160 per year. You should always secure three quotes and ask how your windows achieve energy efficiency levels promised and check the window manufacturer and fitter is correctly accredited. Finally, you should ask to be given a BFRC Homeowner Energy Rating Certificate as it can help you sell in the future.

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  • Steps to choosing a window, glazing and door (WGD) Specialist – FENSA (Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme)

    The first thing to do when choosing a WGD specialist is plan months if not a year ahead as the good ones tend to need time to provide the windows, especially if they are bespoke. It can be cheaper to replace everything in one job and you can choose uPVC, Resident 9 or wooden windows as well as aluminium. Whoever you choose though, make sure they are members of FENSA so you have guarantees and warranties and the windows provided are compliant with building regulations.

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  • How to check your Home Electrics are Safe – NAPIT

    Everyone knows not to stick a metal fork in a toaster or stand in the middle of an empty field during a lighting storm but there are plenty of other things you should be doing to ensure your home electrics are safe. You should have a residual current device, get an EICR carried out every 10 years (every 5 if a landlord) and if you’re having work done, make sure the correct electrical safety certificates are supplied. Ensure you choose an electrician that is a member of one of the government approved schemes, such as NAPIT who offer warranties on any Part P work they carry out.

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  • Choosing a Carpenter – Institute of Carpenters

    Everyone wants a professional job done and to also get good value for money when choosing a tradesperson. Before you choose a carpenter make sure you know exactly what sort of work you want doing, is it a few shelves or bespoke furniture? This will influence who you choose. Decide on your budget, secure quotes from at least three different carpenters and check if the work comes with any quality guarantees. After that it's mostly common sense - ask to see previous work, make sure the carpenter is a member of the Institute of Carpenters, has insurance and warranty cover and obtain a price for any changes to the brief, confirming this in writing.

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