Competition: Win a £100 or £50 Amazon Gift Card!

 

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Bad flatmates – we’ve all had them. You get out of your parents’ house for the first time and you think you’re finally free – no more dealing with your sister’s long hair in the shower drain, your dad’s nagging about the dishes, or your mum’s friends spilling wine on your favourite chair (or was that just our family?). So you find a nice technically-a-double-but-really-rather-small room in a flatshare that seems friendly enough, or – heaven forbid – you decide to buddy up with your best mate.

And that’s when the nightmare begins.

Share your story about the worst flatmate experience you had. Make us laugh, cry, or both and you have a chance to win a £100 Amazon gift card (first prize) or a £50 Amazon gift card (second prize).

Haven’t had a terrible flatmate? Lucky you! Instead, share a photo of an object you’ve taken with you every single time you’ve moved.

The contest will run from April 10th to May 31st, and the winner will be announced on June 5th.

How to enter:

  1. ‘Like’ us on Facebook
  2. ‘Like’ the competition post and comment with your #WorstFlatmateEver story, or post it on our page (and photos and passive-aggressive tagging of the offender are encouraged!)

OR

  1. Like our page.
  2. Post a picture of something that you’ve taken with you each time you’ve moved house with the caption ‘The one object that survives every move is ______.’

We’re looking forward to reading (and seeing) them!

Terms & Conditions:

– The prize is a prize of a £100 Amazon Gift Card for our favourite entry and a £50 Amazon Gift Card for the runner-up.
– Entrants must be a resident of the UK.
– Entrants must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
– One entry is allowed per person.
– Only the winning entrants can be a recipient of the gift card.

– The competition will run from 10/04/2016 until 31/05/2016 and the winner will be announced on 06/06/2016
– If a winner does not respond within 7 days of the winner announcement, the prize will be allocated to another entrant.
– This competition is not open to employees of Placebuzz or any associated companies or their immediate families.
– This competition is run independently by Placebuzz on their chosen social networking platforms and is not endorsed by, associated with or sponsored Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Amazon.
– Placebuzz reserves the right to close the competition early and to change the T&Cs at any point during the competition.
– Placebuzz can duplicate any entries into the competition on any of their hosting platforms, i.e. website or social media accounts. Entries may be edited for length or clarity.

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Know your renters’ rights – Part 2

This is Part 2 a two-part blog post about your UK private renters’ rights. Part 1 covered tenancy agreements, your right to know who your landlord is, property conditions, and tenancy deposit schemes. See Part 1 here.

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5. You have the right to live in the property undisturbed

The landlord does not have the right to come bursting in unannounced. He or she must provide 24h notice before entering your property, and visit at a reasonable time of day unless there’s an emergency. Your landlord should absolutely not be letting himself into your flat in the evening without warning. He or she also may not harass you, or attempt to drive you out or discourage you from insisting on your legal rights. Finally, you must be given adequate notice before being removed, which the landlord cannot do by force – they must go through the courts.

6. Your landlord must give you the following information:

7. Your landlord must not discriminate against you

  • Your landlord cannot discriminate against you based on your age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or related issues (e.g. service dogs), religion or belief, race, and pregnancy or having an infant

8. Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

  • If you share a toilet, bathroom, or kitchen with other tenants and there are at least 3 tenants from more than one household, you are in an HMO
  • Large HMOs, at least 3 storeys tall and containing at least 5 tenants, need a license from the local council
  • The landlord is responsible for maintaining common areas in an HMO

 

Who to contact if you have a problem

Unfortunately, even if you do everything right, problems can arise. When they do, it’s important to know who to turn to for help, and how to best handle the issue without making it worse.

  1. If there’s a problem with the property:
    • Speak to your landlord first. Most likely, they will want to resolve the problem as much as you want them to.
    • If you can’t resolve the issue with our landlord, raise your concerns to a local councillor, your MP, or a tenant panel next.
    • If your home (in England) isn’t fit to live in, contact your local council. They carry out Housing Health and Safety Rating System assessments, and must act if the home is unsafe.
    • If your landlord isn’t doing repairs, contact the environmental health department at your local council, or the Private Rented Housing Panel in Scotland
    • If you’re in an HMO and there are hazards – The local council is responsible for enforcing standards
  1. If you have financial problems
    • Speak to your landlord first, and then contact Citizens Advice or Shelter if you need more help
    • If you’re being forced out illegally, call the police. Your landlord cannot remove you by force – they must go through the courts.
  1. There is anti-social behaviour at the property
    1. Contact your local council – they can take over property management or create a selective licencing scheme if there is antisocial behaviour in several houses in an area

Although many of us might prefer not to be renting, the reality is that a lot of us will have to for several years before we’re able to get on the infamous property ladder. Renting will always have its downsides as opposed to owning, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Knowing your rights – and responsibilities – as a tenant can help ensure that you have a good landlord-tenant relationship, which goes a long way toward a good quality of life. 

Much of the information in this post was compiled from the government’s guidance on private renting, Shelter, or Citizens Advice. For more information, you should visit the websites of these organisations.

This is Part 2 a two-part blog post about your UK private renters’ rights. See Part 1 here.

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