Monthly Archives: November 2014

A valuation is not a survey

A survey should not be confused with a mortgage valuation report. The mortgage valuation will give your mortgage lender assurance for its loan. It will not give you an assessment of the condition of the property, or advice about repairs and maintenance.

According to a recent reports from home buyers, of the one in four who relied solely on a mortgage valuation report 25% needed to undertake unplanned work in the first year, Amounting to an average cost of over £1,100.

(RICS/GfK NOP Business research).


Even if you are looking for a mortgage and, as a result, may be paying for a mortgage valuation report, it is still recommended that you arrange

a survey by your own surveyor.


For your free copy of our comparison booklet, please complete the “survey enquiry form”.

Survey booklet request button

If you own or are responsible for an unoccupied property this winter, there are some things you need to be aware of to avoid unnecessary property damage.

It all comes down to freezing water – if your property isn’t prepared, you may find yourself having to claim for escape of water! When water

in pipes freezes, it expands and can cause the pipe to crack. Then, when the water thaws again, you have to deal with some potentially serious leaks.

First things first – is your insurance adequate?

Check your policy or speak to your broker to find out if your property is covered for escape of water from frozen pipes. Be sure to review your policy schedule, endorsements and policy wordings for any reference to ‘escape of water’ cover.

Lag your pipes and turn off the water.

There are a couple of things you can do to try and prevent pipes freezing. Simple lagging of pipes will help to keep whatever heat is present inside the system, as will turning off the water at the stopcock or stoptap and/or draining the system.

Maintenance is vital.

As with all aspects of owning an unoccupied property, proper ongoing maintenance can save a lot of money. When the weather takes a turn for the sub-zero, make sure to refit washers on any dripping taps. If they freeze, they’ll cause blockages in your pipes.

Check your property!

It is important to make sure you regularly check your unoccupied properties internally over very cold spells – and that includes all attic spaces. It might seem like a chore, but just think of the effort and expense you’ll be saving in the long run!

Bogus Bailiff Scam alert from Hampshire Police

We would like to raise awareness of a current bailiff scam that has been brought to our attention by Hampshire Police. Action Fraud has received reports of a fraudster cold calling members of the public claiming they must pay a debt or face having a bailiff sent round.   The alias used is “Derek Jones” from a legitimate company called Jacobs and claims that victims owe a debt and as a result are expected to appear in court in the next two days.

If you receive one of these calls report it to Action Fraud and receive a police crime reference number, by calling 0300 123 2040 or click here for more information. 

House price growth picked up to 12.1% in the year to the end of September, official figures show, despite other surveys suggesting a slowdown.

The rate increased from 11.7% year-on-year growth the previous month, the Office for National Statistics said, with prices rising fastest in London.

There was an 18.8% annual rise in prices in London, the statistics show.

Publication of the data coincides with figures showing the latest increase in the cost of living.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation was up slightly, rising to 1.3% in October compared with 1.2% in September.

Authorities in Brussels have charged HSBC’s private banking arm, which is based in Switzerland, with helping wealthy Belgians to avoid taxes.

Prosecutors allege that hundreds of clients – including diamond dealers in Antwerp – moved money to offshore tax havens with the help of the bank.

They said it resulted in hundreds of millions of euros in lost tax revenue.

In August, HSBC warned that the penalties in relation to such allegations “could be significant”.

In a statement, Belgian authorities accused HSBC of “having knowingly eased and promoted fiscal fraud by making offshore companies available to certain privileged clients”.

These companies, which are based in Panama and the Virgin Islands, exist for the sole purpose of tax evasion, they added.

Over 1,000 taxpayers are alleged to have been involved in the fraud, which saw funds amounting to several billion dollars transferred out of Belgium since 2003.

Cancer has accounted for 50% of all male critical illness (CI) claims with a quarter of those claims for prostate cancer this year, Aegon’s claim statistics have revealed.

In support of the Movember men’s health campaign this month, Aegon UK has shared previously unpublished figures on male cancer claims in 2014.

Aegon’s claims experience also shows a significant increase in critical illness claims for both prostate cancer (7 %) and testicular cancer (6 %) in the last year which Aegon has suggested could be down to the work of campaigns such as Movember in raising awareness of key men’s health issues.

BOEThe Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has again voted to keep base rate at 0.5 per cent, the 68th consecutive month it has been held at the historic low.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has again voted to keep base rate at 0.5 per cent, the 68th consecutive month it has been held at the historic low.

It has also decided not to extend its quantitative easing programme, designed to stimulate lending in the economy, beyond the £375bn already spent.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has held rates at 0.5% since March 2009 in a bid to help economic recovery.

Rates were expected to rise early next year, but economists think this will be pushed back due to recent poor news.

This week, surveys indicated a slowdown in the UK services sector and construction industry.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has also warned that the UK will not escape the slowdown in the eurozone.