Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Money Saving

  1. How to get your rental ready for your tenant

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    With so many different types of blended families these days, very often people end up with two properties and it makes sense to rent one out. More and more people are now looking to rent rather than buy, and so you're almost guaranteed to find a suitable tenant. However, before you rent out your property, there are several things you need to go over before allowing someone to live on the premises. To ensure you achieve success a landlord, you should take a look at the following tips, which will make sure your letting process is legitimate, and your tenants are satisfied. 

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    Make sure everything is working

    If your property is an older build, it may have some wear and tear, so to avoid any tenant complaints, you should make sure to repair anything that needs fixing as soon as possible. This could include a leaky shower or a faulty boiler, which you may be able to fix yourself, or if you're not qualified, you can call in someone else to complete the job. When performing any maintenance, you should make sure it is done correctly. Otherwise, your tenant may experience the same problem when they're living there, which can be problematic for you. 

    You should also fix any external issues like a broken roof, window seals or even a broken doorbell. While the latter may only seem like a small problem, it will show your tenant that the property is well looked after and they should not face any issues if choosing to live there. 

    Compile a property inventory 

    Before your tenant officially moves into the property, it is essential that you make a list of all the inventory, especially if you’re offering a furnished rental. This involves listing detailed descriptions of everything from furniture to the smallest ornaments, and it should also include the condition of these items, should anything happen.

    By creating an inventory, you can protect yourself and the tenant from facing any replacement charges. This should also prevent any theft from taking place, as your tenant understands that you have a record of everything in the property, so they are aware that they will be liable if anything is missing at the end of the tenancy.

    Secure the property

    One of the most important things tenants look for in a property is how secure it is, as they will want to feel safe in their own home. To ensure you meet their needs, you should consider updating your security systems, by placing security cameras outside or even using technology like smart doorbells which can be connected to a smartphone to show your tenant who is outside, even they're away from home. 

    Property experts like RW Invest utilise automated door systems, which means only tenants are allowed to enter the property. By implementing this technology, it has caused an influx of tenant demand and also significantly increased the value of each apartment.

    Check over the tenancy agreement

    Once you’ve approved a tenant to move into your property, you can then start to make it official by both signing a tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement should include the monthly rental charge, the start and end date of the tenancy, tenancy deposit terms, damage costs, landlord and tenant obligations, and more.

    Before signing the tenancy agreement, you should make sure that the tenant understands everything within the agreement, and if not, you should explain everything to them, so there is no confusion moving forward.

    And good luck! 

  2. Top Tips for Getting Your House Summer Ready

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    The weather at the moment can’t seem to make up it’s mind what it is doing. One minute we have glorious sunshine and the next the weather is wet and miserable. So we are looking ahead to the summer and what we can be doing now so that we can enjoy lazy summer days at home with our friends and family.

    We have therefore put together our top 5 tips for preparing your home (and yourself) for summer.

    Top Tips for getting your home summer ready 

    Check appliances are working

    Check that your fans / air conditioning units are fully working. If not, now is a good time to replace them rather than when it is baking hot and you find that everywhere is sold out. Getting them “out of season” usually means that you can get a good deal and it is worth checking out voucher sites for offers and discounts too.

    Get The Garden Ready

    When the sun eventually comes out to stay, everyone will want to be outside and if you are not enthused at the idea of regular garden maintenance, why not try some artificial grass for your garden, it is a great alternative to real grass, allowing you to enjoy summer days as well as making mowing, watering and weeding things of the past!

    Aritifical Grass

    Find out of season offers

    Like the fans and air con units, buying things out of season is the best way to get a great deal. So if you need extra picnic pieces or garden furniture, now is a good time to look for the best offers. In the height of summer, it is not only the temperatures that rise it is also well known that the prices do when there is high demand.

    Declutter

    We can all be a little guilty of hoarding items “just incase” we may need them but a spring clean is a great way to go into summer with a clear mind and a clear house. Summer bbq’s can sometimes lead to friends staying over and you don’t want them tripping over bags and boxes that are stashed in your spare room. Get rid of the unnecessary and it is one less thing to move / clean on a weekly basis too!

    Declutter

    Don’t delay till later

    Start now! It is easy to think that summer is months away but in the blink of an eye the children will be finishing the summer term and the long summer holiday will be upon us.

    Will you be prepared?

  3. How much does school uniform cost?

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    I read this week that following a recent survey carried out by Citizens Advice, findings have shown that more than a quarter of parents are having to borrow the money needed for school uniforms due to rising costs. This is crazy!!

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    The average cost of a school uniform now exceeds £300 per year per child and many families on low incomes or with more than one child are finding it a real struggle to finance the items that their child need to comply with the rules of the school they attend.

    My eldest daughters school already has a strict uniform policy and we have had further notification that there are new restrictions from September on footwear, due to the financial pressures that parents are feeling over "branded footwear".

    How to save money on school uniform

    So how do you save money on the rising cost of school uniforms? Here are our top tips!

    • Buy big and hope that it lasts for a couple of years 
    • Don't think that buying cheaper is more cost effective. Sometimes buying a slightly more expensive (and better quality) will last much longer.
    • Shop out of season. Shop the sales. Buy quality for less at any opportunity.
    • Label EVERYTHING so that less gets lost! Trust me we have lost a lot of uniform over the years.
    • Keep an eye out for the pre term deals. Marks and Spencers and the supermarket chains often have 10-20% off weekends

    You can't put a price on eductation but saving money on uniform is possible with a little planning.

    Good luck!

     

  4. How To Do Voice-Over Part-Time For Working Mums

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    A friend and I were talking today about how we love our teenagers going out and creating memories but we don't love how much it costs us. We are sure that the girls think there is a money tree growing in our garden so there is a growing need for part-time jobs or side hustles, especially for mothers who are unable to work full-time because they have childcare duties to handle. This is one of the reasons that has been raised in the current discussions surrounding the gender pay gap and why women generally earn less pay when compared to men. But that is a whole other discussion and not one for today.

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    Part-time work also comes with it’s set of challenges if you are going to include other expenses such as nursery and travel fees. Some mums are lucky to be able to tweak their working hours such that they are able to work from home, but many employers aren’t so accommodating to the idea of working remotely. If you are one of those hard working mums trying to earn more money, this might just be for you! We are going to discuss doing voice-overs, a part-time job that pays really well.

    For mums who are learning about who a voice-over artist is for the first time, here is a brief explanation of what it is about. A voice-over artist is someone who records their voice while reading a script of a show or movie provided by the client.

    You may have come across this many times but you may not know it as a voice-over. The voice is usually not necessarily a part of the television or radio production. It is a job that remains in high demand considering there is a high number of productions in theatre, television, radio, and other forms of presentation.

    There is usually a little bit of acting involved, you need to be able to convey the script as though you were acting in front of a camera. It has to come off natural and believable. In many cases, you are basically voicing a presentation to English or to another language. If you have watched an episode or two of Mexican telenovelas with English audio, then you know what a voice-over artist does.

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    If this sounds like something that you can do while juggling other mummy duties at home, then you are making the right move. Doing voice-over part-time can actually become your major source of income. Not only do you have enough time to be a mummy, but you also get to spend a lot of time on yourself doing the things that you love. If you are looking for more info about doing voice-over part-time, you can find all the information that you need at voquent.com .... although I am still not sure that my distinctive Brummie accent is what they might be looking for, maybe I need to use my posh telephone voice!