06 September 2017

This week we have put together our top tips for all of you students who are heading off to university this month to make the process as easy as can be!

Sort out your paperwork
Every adult tenant in the UK needs to prove they have a Right to Rent, this means you need to make sure you have one of the these documents: Biometric Residence Permit with unlimited leave, UK Passport that is in date, EEA/Swiss national passport/identity card, passport or travel document endorsed with unlimited leave, UK immigration status document endorsed with unlimited leave, EEA/Swiss family member Permanent Residence card or a certificate of naturalisation or registration as a British citizen. If you have not got any of these there are other documents which you may show to prove your status in the UK a full list of which can be found on the gov.uk website. It is a legal responsibility of the landlord to check this and they can be hit with heavy fines if they don’t. Some letting agencies can ask you for things such as 3 months worth of bank statements, a character reference, confirmation of course enrolment or even a guarantor. Make sure you are prepared for these possibilities.

Have your deposit ready
Currently landlords normally ask for a 6 week deposit and your first months rent, ensure you have the money in order to cover these.

Think carefully about your housemates
Often you might get on great with someone in your first year of university and you decide to live together in your second year. Problems can occur when you realise that what your friends do or fail to do causes issues in your house and friendship. These can be simple things such as not washing the dishes but can have a massive impact. So ensure you set ground rules from the start.

Consider the area you are picking
Speak to students on campus, at the open day or find Facebook Freshers groups! Ask to find out what the best location is for your university and what the average rent is in the areas you are considering living in.

Rent with trusted experts
As there are no restrictions to who can become a landlord, this means anyone can rent a property out! To be sure on who you are renting from try to find agents who are affiliated with a professional network such as ARLA. ARLA is the Association of Residential Letting Agents and follow a strict code of conduct, so if anything goes wrong you have a credited body to complain to.

Remember the bills
When you are working out your budget don’t forget to include a budget for your bills! If you can, rent a property which already has bills inclusive as this makes things a lot easier in the long run.

Inventories are important
Make sure you have an accurate inventory of everything in the room/house when you move in. You can even take photos to compare the state of the property when you move out.

Read the small print
Ensure you read the tenancy agreement including any small print before signing the document!

Recently we have been focusing a lot of our attention on students, particularly things such as The Student Guide to paying the bills and Students: Top mistakes that can ruinyour credit score to help you further on your way we have conducted our top tips for renting out a property as a student.

At Discount Insurance we can cover your contents, credit cards, cover you for personal injury and more with our Students Insurance call 0800 294 4522 to get a quick quote!





Wednesday, September 06, 2017
This week we have put together our top tips for all of you students who are heading off to university this month to make the process as easy as can be!

Sort out your paperwork
Every adult tenant in the UK needs to prove they have a Right to Rent, this means you need to make sure you have one of the these documents: Biometric Residence Permit with unlimited leave, UK Passport that is in date, EEA/Swiss national passport/identity card, passport or travel document endorsed with unlimited leave, UK immigration status document endorsed with unlimited leave, EEA/Swiss family member Permanent Residence card or a certificate of naturalisation or registration as a British citizen. If you have not got any of these there are other documents which you may show to prove your status in the UK a full list of which can be found on the gov.uk website. It is a legal responsibility of the landlord to check this and they can be hit with heavy fines if they don’t. Some letting agencies can ask you for things such as 3 months worth of bank statements, a character reference, confirmation of course enrolment or even a guarantor. Make sure you are prepared for these possibilities.

Have your deposit ready
Currently landlords normally ask for a 6 week deposit and your first months rent, ensure you have the money in order to cover these.

Think carefully about your housemates
Often you might get on great with someone in your first year of university and you decide to live together in your second year. Problems can occur when you realise that what your friends do or fail to do causes issues in your house and friendship. These can be simple things such as not washing the dishes but can have a massive impact. So ensure you set ground rules from the start.

Consider the area you are picking
Speak to students on campus, at the open day or find Facebook Freshers groups! Ask to find out what the best location is for your university and what the average rent is in the areas you are considering living in.

Rent with trusted experts
As there are no restrictions to who can become a landlord, this means anyone can rent a property out! To be sure on who you are renting from try to find agents who are affiliated with a professional network such as ARLA. ARLA is the Association of Residential Letting Agents and follow a strict code of conduct, so if anything goes wrong you have a credited body to complain to.

Remember the bills
When you are working out your budget don’t forget to include a budget for your bills! If you can, rent a property which already has bills inclusive as this makes things a lot easier in the long run.

Inventories are important
Make sure you have an accurate inventory of everything in the room/house when you move in. You can even take photos to compare the state of the property when you move out.

Read the small print
Ensure you read the tenancy agreement including any small print before signing the document!

Recently we have been focusing a lot of our attention on students, particularly things such as The Student Guide to paying the bills and Students: Top mistakes that can ruinyour credit score to help you further on your way we have conducted our top tips for renting out a property as a student.

At Discount Insurance we can cover your contents, credit cards, cover you for personal injury and more with our Students Insurance call 0800 294 4522 to get a quick quote!





23 August 2017


With September quickly approaching, we have been busy creating a list of top tips for all you first year university students to help you on your way of moving out this September. Here is our top 6 tips:

       1. Decide if you want to move out alone, with friends or with strangers
If any of your friends decide on the same university it might be tempting to move in together, however, if that is the case ensure you establish some house rules so you don’t lose a friend over unwashed dishes or their share of the bills. Whether moving in with a friend or strangers ensure you have some ground rules for things such as cleaning, bills, visitors, common spaces, food and cooking.

       2. Check the location
Make sure you know the area you are moving into, including travel times! Make sure you also consider things such as broadband speeds when deciding on the property. When 5 people are sharing a property having more speed and bandwidth is essential, whether for your assignments or Netflix. Some areas also have a lot of cheap takeaways, which might come in useful or the property might be close to bars and clubs, which can be a good or a bad thing!

       3. Make sure you have everything you need to live on your own
Ensure you have a checklist of all the things you need for your accommodation like duvet covers, towels, pillows etc. There are online checklists you can use to help you. Make sure you also create a list of things you will need for your course like notebooks and pens.

       4. Make a budget
Make sure you think about all the costs involved in moving out and write up a budget for the things you need. Once you move in ensure you have a separate budget for living costs including rent, bills, travel and groceries. A budget for all the household items can be good if you are sharing, to make sure everyone is contributing equally.

       5. Carefully inspect the property you want to move into
If you are moving into rented accommodation ensure you ask a lot of questions and take photos, this will ensure no nasty surprises when you move in. You might want to ask one of your parents to inspect the property with you.

       6. Remember you can always ask for help
It can be a daunting experience to move out of your home for the first time, but do not feel like it’s embarrassing to ask for help. Check out what student services your university offers and speak to family and friends if in doubt!

       Students, ensure you get your contents covered with our Students Contents Insurance. Get a quote in less than 60 seconds online or call 0800 294 4522!




Wednesday, August 23, 2017

With September quickly approaching, we have been busy creating a list of top tips for all you first year university students to help you on your way of moving out this September. Here is our top 6 tips:

       1. Decide if you want to move out alone, with friends or with strangers
If any of your friends decide on the same university it might be tempting to move in together, however, if that is the case ensure you establish some house rules so you don’t lose a friend over unwashed dishes or their share of the bills. Whether moving in with a friend or strangers ensure you have some ground rules for things such as cleaning, bills, visitors, common spaces, food and cooking.

       2. Check the location
Make sure you know the area you are moving into, including travel times! Make sure you also consider things such as broadband speeds when deciding on the property. When 5 people are sharing a property having more speed and bandwidth is essential, whether for your assignments or Netflix. Some areas also have a lot of cheap takeaways, which might come in useful or the property might be close to bars and clubs, which can be a good or a bad thing!

       3. Make sure you have everything you need to live on your own
Ensure you have a checklist of all the things you need for your accommodation like duvet covers, towels, pillows etc. There are online checklists you can use to help you. Make sure you also create a list of things you will need for your course like notebooks and pens.

       4. Make a budget
Make sure you think about all the costs involved in moving out and write up a budget for the things you need. Once you move in ensure you have a separate budget for living costs including rent, bills, travel and groceries. A budget for all the household items can be good if you are sharing, to make sure everyone is contributing equally.

       5. Carefully inspect the property you want to move into
If you are moving into rented accommodation ensure you ask a lot of questions and take photos, this will ensure no nasty surprises when you move in. You might want to ask one of your parents to inspect the property with you.

       6. Remember you can always ask for help
It can be a daunting experience to move out of your home for the first time, but do not feel like it’s embarrassing to ask for help. Check out what student services your university offers and speak to family and friends if in doubt!

       Students, ensure you get your contents covered with our Students Contents Insurance. Get a quote in less than 60 seconds online or call 0800 294 4522!




26 July 2017

       
Home maintenance
A certain level of home maintenance is expected by insurers, if your property isn't kept in a reasonable state, future claims may be denied. Weather damage is usually only covered if it's severe, such as due to violent storms or flooding.

Building work
When you are having builders at your property, ensure you let your insurer know, as any accidental damage might not be covered if you don’t. This can temporarily increase your premium as there is more risk of accidental damage like burst pipes. Any work, which will alter the size or shape of your property will also impact any future claims and can make your claim invalid.

Locks on windows and doors
When purchasing your policy ensure you let your insurer know the correct type of locks you have because, if you provide wrong information then your claim might become invalid. If you leave the windows open or your key in your door, your burglary claim might also be invalid due to no signs of forced entry.

Social Media
If you announce on social media that you are going away, your insurer might not pay out a burglary claim. Insurers are looking at things like Facebook or Twitter more often and this can be seen as negligence. 

Extended holidays
If you are going away for an extended period of time, especially over a period of 30 days you need to either inform your insurer so they can adjust the premium accordingly or you should consider getting a house sitter. When it comes to a claim your insurer is unlikely to pay out if you are not in the house for an extended period. 

Lodgers and short term lets
Even if you are only renting a room out for a couple of weeks, you need to let your insurer know. If a tenant causes any damage and your insurer was not aware you had someone living with you, they could reject the claim.

Flood damage
While cleaning up after flood damage, ensure you do not get rid of anything an insurance assessor would need to see to provide evidence for your claim.

Alarms
If you tell your insurer that you have an alarm, ensure you turn it on when you leave your property. If you don’t and your property gets burgled you will not be eligible to claim.

Telling the police
In case of burglary you need to let the police know within 24 hours to obtain a crime reference number, which you can provide to the insurer. If you do not do this, your claim may be invalid.

Working from home
Insurers need to know if you are working from home, especially if your occupation is considered a ‘risk’ like carpentry or cooking. If you work from home, a higher level of visitors is therefore assumed a higher risk of theft and other associated claims.

Failure to secure valuables in your garden
Ensure you know which valuables likely to be in your garden in hot weather are insured or extend your policy to include those. Secure any valuables in sheds or garages when you’re not around.

Securing tools
If any tools are left outside like hammers, ladders or wrenches and they are used to break into your home, your insurer can see this as negligence and therefore this can invalidate your claim.

At Discount Insurance we offer home insurance policies from a range of leading UK insurers, allowing you to find the right cover to meet your needs. Call 0800 294 4522 for a quick quote!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
       
Home maintenance
A certain level of home maintenance is expected by insurers, if your property isn't kept in a reasonable state, future claims may be denied. Weather damage is usually only covered if it's severe, such as due to violent storms or flooding.

Building work
When you are having builders at your property, ensure you let your insurer know, as any accidental damage might not be covered if you don’t. This can temporarily increase your premium as there is more risk of accidental damage like burst pipes. Any work, which will alter the size or shape of your property will also impact any future claims and can make your claim invalid.

Locks on windows and doors
When purchasing your policy ensure you let your insurer know the correct type of locks you have because, if you provide wrong information then your claim might become invalid. If you leave the windows open or your key in your door, your burglary claim might also be invalid due to no signs of forced entry.

Social Media
If you announce on social media that you are going away, your insurer might not pay out a burglary claim. Insurers are looking at things like Facebook or Twitter more often and this can be seen as negligence. 

Extended holidays
If you are going away for an extended period of time, especially over a period of 30 days you need to either inform your insurer so they can adjust the premium accordingly or you should consider getting a house sitter. When it comes to a claim your insurer is unlikely to pay out if you are not in the house for an extended period. 

Lodgers and short term lets
Even if you are only renting a room out for a couple of weeks, you need to let your insurer know. If a tenant causes any damage and your insurer was not aware you had someone living with you, they could reject the claim.

Flood damage
While cleaning up after flood damage, ensure you do not get rid of anything an insurance assessor would need to see to provide evidence for your claim.

Alarms
If you tell your insurer that you have an alarm, ensure you turn it on when you leave your property. If you don’t and your property gets burgled you will not be eligible to claim.

Telling the police
In case of burglary you need to let the police know within 24 hours to obtain a crime reference number, which you can provide to the insurer. If you do not do this, your claim may be invalid.

Working from home
Insurers need to know if you are working from home, especially if your occupation is considered a ‘risk’ like carpentry or cooking. If you work from home, a higher level of visitors is therefore assumed a higher risk of theft and other associated claims.

Failure to secure valuables in your garden
Ensure you know which valuables likely to be in your garden in hot weather are insured or extend your policy to include those. Secure any valuables in sheds or garages when you’re not around.

Securing tools
If any tools are left outside like hammers, ladders or wrenches and they are used to break into your home, your insurer can see this as negligence and therefore this can invalidate your claim.

At Discount Insurance we offer home insurance policies from a range of leading UK insurers, allowing you to find the right cover to meet your needs. Call 0800 294 4522 for a quick quote!

13 July 2017

The process: 
Imagine the home you want costs £200,000 but you can only somehow borrow a mortgage of £100,000 because of your income and the sizes of your deposit. 

Shared ownership is a part buy and part rent government backed scheme which usually allows first time buyers to buy 35% to 75% share of new homes and pay rent of the remainder. If you’ve found the perfect home but you can’t afford to take out a mortgage for the full asking price, you will still need to have saved a small deposit which is usually around 5%.











Who can apply: 
This scheme supports buyers who would struggle to buy a home or even have a hard time even renting a home on the open market.

To apply you need to be the first time buyer in the permanent employment, live or work locally, have family connections to the area you want to buy in, and also have a total household income of up to £80.000.












Costs involved: 
With a 5% deposit you’ll need to pay for reservations and mortgage or survey, legal fees and stamp duty you will also need to factor in the coast of moving homes, example hiring and removal firm. 

Ensure that your budget is enough to purchase the property, as surveyors and legal fees may be higher than normal, either have the cash ready to buy the property outright or find a specialist lender that is happy the lend on the property before you make an offers.  












Advice: 
Secure a specialist legal company to carry out the buy, usually someone local to the area that has experience of any additional properties needs and renovation. 

Also make sure you secure the help of builders with experience in renovating properties via a contract. While market rates increased across the country, rents increase for tenants who renewed their leases.       















At Discount Insurance we provide high quality Landlord Insurance to suit your needs at a price that will suit your budget!  Give us at 0800 294 4522 for a quick quote today!

Thursday, July 13, 2017
The process: 
Imagine the home you want costs £200,000 but you can only somehow borrow a mortgage of £100,000 because of your income and the sizes of your deposit. 

Shared ownership is a part buy and part rent government backed scheme which usually allows first time buyers to buy 35% to 75% share of new homes and pay rent of the remainder. If you’ve found the perfect home but you can’t afford to take out a mortgage for the full asking price, you will still need to have saved a small deposit which is usually around 5%.











Who can apply: 
This scheme supports buyers who would struggle to buy a home or even have a hard time even renting a home on the open market.

To apply you need to be the first time buyer in the permanent employment, live or work locally, have family connections to the area you want to buy in, and also have a total household income of up to £80.000.












Costs involved: 
With a 5% deposit you’ll need to pay for reservations and mortgage or survey, legal fees and stamp duty you will also need to factor in the coast of moving homes, example hiring and removal firm. 

Ensure that your budget is enough to purchase the property, as surveyors and legal fees may be higher than normal, either have the cash ready to buy the property outright or find a specialist lender that is happy the lend on the property before you make an offers.  












Advice: 
Secure a specialist legal company to carry out the buy, usually someone local to the area that has experience of any additional properties needs and renovation. 

Also make sure you secure the help of builders with experience in renovating properties via a contract. While market rates increased across the country, rents increase for tenants who renewed their leases.       















At Discount Insurance we provide high quality Landlord Insurance to suit your needs at a price that will suit your budget!  Give us at 0800 294 4522 for a quick quote today!

28 June 2017



Making homes more eco-friendly goes hand in hand with lower gas and electricity bills, as well as of course, helping to look after the environment. 

As a landlord your property’s Energy Performance Rating can make your property more desirable to rent particularly as tenant’s can save on bills.  

Here are some steps you can take in order to achieve this:

1. Energy saving light bulbs 

These are normally the same price as other popular light bulbs, but use anywhere between 25%-80% less energy than traditional bulbs. They can also last 3-5 times longer. Even if you were to only change half of the light bulbs, this would still significantly affect the electricity bill.


2. Loft Insulation 

Helps to keep the heat in the property during the winter. As hot air rises it means a lot of warmth can be lost through the roof. As less heat is lost, the less money is spent on heating. This is one of the most effective ways of saving money, as lofts are a lot cheaper to insulate than roofs. On a semi-detached three bedroom, the cost for loft insulation 0mm to 270mm is £300 with a yearly saving of £140.


3. Thermal curtains 

Also help to keep the heat trapped in the house and cold air from coming in. If you are renting a property to students for example and are providing curtains, it might be worth investing in thermal ones. If you are renting to a family, this might not be possible as they will most likely have their own.


4. Double glazing

This another way for you to keep the heat in; this also helps with keeping the property quiet. If the house is situated by a busy road or near an airport, double glazing should be a must for noise reduction. There is also the option of energy efficient windows, which keep the heat in the winter but keep the room cool in the summer.


5. Change the shower head 

Low-power shower heads help with water usage and this in turn will help with water bills. There are two types: Non-aerating ones work by restricting the water flow and squeezing it through very small holes; this produces quite a hard, massaging water spray. "Aerating" heads, meanwhile, mix oxygen with the water to create a softer, bubbly, shower.


6. Invest in carpets 

Carpets also prevent the escape of heat. Having carpets can reduce energy bills by 4%-6%. The thicker the carpet the better the insulation, of course it does not provide as much insulation as traditional under floor insulation, but it is a lot more cost efficient.


7. Buy low-energy appliances 

Invest in fridges and ovens, which are ‘Energy Star Qualified’, they use 10%-50% less energy than standard models. A really cost efficient fridge-freezer can cost only £30 a year to run. Check out which? reviews before deciding.


8. Buy a low-flow toilet

Flushing the toilet accounts for 30% of all water use; this can significantly reduce the water bill. These toilets use 4.8 litres of water or less per flush compared to 6 litres that the traditional toilets use.

Landlords cover yourself against fire, flood, storm, accidental and malicious damage today, get a quote here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Making homes more eco-friendly goes hand in hand with lower gas and electricity bills, as well as of course, helping to look after the environment. 

As a landlord your property’s Energy Performance Rating can make your property more desirable to rent particularly as tenant’s can save on bills.  

Here are some steps you can take in order to achieve this:

1. Energy saving light bulbs 

These are normally the same price as other popular light bulbs, but use anywhere between 25%-80% less energy than traditional bulbs. They can also last 3-5 times longer. Even if you were to only change half of the light bulbs, this would still significantly affect the electricity bill.


2. Loft Insulation 

Helps to keep the heat in the property during the winter. As hot air rises it means a lot of warmth can be lost through the roof. As less heat is lost, the less money is spent on heating. This is one of the most effective ways of saving money, as lofts are a lot cheaper to insulate than roofs. On a semi-detached three bedroom, the cost for loft insulation 0mm to 270mm is £300 with a yearly saving of £140.


3. Thermal curtains 

Also help to keep the heat trapped in the house and cold air from coming in. If you are renting a property to students for example and are providing curtains, it might be worth investing in thermal ones. If you are renting to a family, this might not be possible as they will most likely have their own.


4. Double glazing

This another way for you to keep the heat in; this also helps with keeping the property quiet. If the house is situated by a busy road or near an airport, double glazing should be a must for noise reduction. There is also the option of energy efficient windows, which keep the heat in the winter but keep the room cool in the summer.


5. Change the shower head 

Low-power shower heads help with water usage and this in turn will help with water bills. There are two types: Non-aerating ones work by restricting the water flow and squeezing it through very small holes; this produces quite a hard, massaging water spray. "Aerating" heads, meanwhile, mix oxygen with the water to create a softer, bubbly, shower.


6. Invest in carpets 

Carpets also prevent the escape of heat. Having carpets can reduce energy bills by 4%-6%. The thicker the carpet the better the insulation, of course it does not provide as much insulation as traditional under floor insulation, but it is a lot more cost efficient.


7. Buy low-energy appliances 

Invest in fridges and ovens, which are ‘Energy Star Qualified’, they use 10%-50% less energy than standard models. A really cost efficient fridge-freezer can cost only £30 a year to run. Check out which? reviews before deciding.


8. Buy a low-flow toilet

Flushing the toilet accounts for 30% of all water use; this can significantly reduce the water bill. These toilets use 4.8 litres of water or less per flush compared to 6 litres that the traditional toilets use.

Landlords cover yourself against fire, flood, storm, accidental and malicious damage today, get a quote here.

21 June 2017



With the holiday season quickly approaching, we have been busy compiling a list of essential travel tips. 

As we often get so excited to take some time off work and jet off somewhere nice, it might be hard to stay organised. 

So here is a list of tips to make travelling a breeze this summer:

  1. Make a list of things you cannot forget to take about a week before going away. This helps ensuring you actually don’t forget them.
  2. Ensure you learn at least a couple of words in the local language like ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘I am sorry’ as it can really go a long way with the locals.
  3.  Make photocopies of important documents and keep them separate, so in case you lose your passport you’ll have a copy and might be able to still travel.
  4.  Ensure you take spare batteries for your camera, so you don’t get caught out wanting to take an amazing sunset photo and realise you have no back ups.
  5.  Put a pair of underwear, spare clothes, electronics, medication and toothbrush in your carry on. You never know what can happen and if your main luggage gets lost you will at least have some spare clothes; a bikini is also a good idea if you’re going on a beach holiday!
  6. Alert your bank that you will be travelling, this might seem obvious but you don’t want to get caught out with a blocked card abroad when you need money.
  7.  Don’t plan every single minute of your holiday, sometimes the best adventures are spontaneous!
  8. Let someone at home know your plans, this is extremely important when travelling solo, but its still a good idea no matter how many people you are travelling with.
  9. Take a first aid travel kit, include things like painkillers, bandages, cold medicines, stomach ache relief, diarrhea and allergy medication.
  10. Take loads of photos, as they can often be the best souvenir.

Get a quick quote on your Travel Insurance before you go away and have peace of mind that you are covered during your trip!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


With the holiday season quickly approaching, we have been busy compiling a list of essential travel tips. 

As we often get so excited to take some time off work and jet off somewhere nice, it might be hard to stay organised. 

So here is a list of tips to make travelling a breeze this summer:

  1. Make a list of things you cannot forget to take about a week before going away. This helps ensuring you actually don’t forget them.
  2. Ensure you learn at least a couple of words in the local language like ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘I am sorry’ as it can really go a long way with the locals.
  3.  Make photocopies of important documents and keep them separate, so in case you lose your passport you’ll have a copy and might be able to still travel.
  4.  Ensure you take spare batteries for your camera, so you don’t get caught out wanting to take an amazing sunset photo and realise you have no back ups.
  5.  Put a pair of underwear, spare clothes, electronics, medication and toothbrush in your carry on. You never know what can happen and if your main luggage gets lost you will at least have some spare clothes; a bikini is also a good idea if you’re going on a beach holiday!
  6. Alert your bank that you will be travelling, this might seem obvious but you don’t want to get caught out with a blocked card abroad when you need money.
  7.  Don’t plan every single minute of your holiday, sometimes the best adventures are spontaneous!
  8. Let someone at home know your plans, this is extremely important when travelling solo, but its still a good idea no matter how many people you are travelling with.
  9. Take a first aid travel kit, include things like painkillers, bandages, cold medicines, stomach ache relief, diarrhea and allergy medication.
  10. Take loads of photos, as they can often be the best souvenir.

Get a quick quote on your Travel Insurance before you go away and have peace of mind that you are covered during your trip!