House Construction

5 Things to Look For When Buying A Property

  1. Electrics

    A quick glance at the plug sockets can tell you a lot about the state of the electrics within a building. If the plug sockets are not your standard square holes and have the older round holes this is an immediate indicator of work that will probably need doing.

    Old electrical fixtures suggest that the wiring of the house may not be up to current modern electrical installation regulations, and as such will need re-wiring. This is can be an expensive job and is certainly something you could use as a bargaining chip to reduce the price of your offer.

    Modern regulations require that any modifications to the electrics within a building be carried out by a qualified electrician. The current homeowner should have certificates for any electrical work carried out since 2005.

  2. Damp

    Damp is something that most people are familiar with looking for when viewing a house. You will often notice it without specifically looking for it, as the smell of damp permeates strongly through a building with this problem.

    When looking at a house try to check the damp-proof course is all around the house, it should be around about three bricks up and be continuous along the brickwork of the property. If you notice any gaps in the damp-proof or a build-up of soil to above the level of the course, expect to see damp on the inside of the building in these areas.

    Take note of any recent paintwork or furniture covering these areas as they may be hiding the effects of damp.

  3. Taps & Light Switches

    Most people who are looking to buy a house do not test the function of taps and light switches. It’s a very easy test to make and can save a lot of hassle and extra work that may be necessary.

    Testing the taps can give you an indication of the water pressure from both the cold and hot water systems, if the cold water pressure is not high enough, unless there is a mains leak, there is little that can be done about it.

    Hot water pressure gives an indication of the age and health of the boiler system and whether the pump is functioning appropriately.

  4. Heating

    Ensure that you take a look at the boiler when viewing a house. Try to find out if it was recently installed or is old and perhaps search the model number online if you or the owner are unsure.

    Is it Gas or Electric? Ask to view the heating bills from the previous year to get an idea of the running costs and take away the chance of being shocked with a bigger than expected charge.

  5. Roof

    If you are happy with a house and want to go further with the sale, make sure you arrange an opportunity to have a look at the roof.

    Get up into the attic, take a torch with you and check the age and integrity of the roof beams. If these are not in good condition you should seriously consider whether you still wish to purchase the property as replacing these will be an extremely expensive and time-consuming task.

    Use a torch to inspect the roof but make sure you also have look with it turned off. When the light is off you will easily notice any daylight coming through the roof, which is suggestive of tiles missing or damage to the felt.

Saving Money When Buying

One of the easiest and biggest savings can be made on the cost of conveyancing. In the UK conveyancing is a compulsory process and as such can eat into any budget you do have. You can save a fortune by comparing prices online and not simply using your local solicitor, try this site for cheap conveyancing .

 

So you want to start a business?

Here at Biz Speed Legal we are keen to see people succeed and take great pleasure in assisting our readers with their entrepreneurial dreams and ambitions. This article covers some of the basics that you should consider if you wish to start or are thinking about starting your own business.

The benefits of self-employment

  • Get to ‘Be Your Own Boss’
  • Set your own working hours
  • Potential to make more money than when working for someone
  • Ability to work in a field or area you are passionate about
  • Are able to work anywhere(if you choose to)

The negatives of self-employment

  • No sick pay/ holiday pay
  • May end up working long hours to make ends meet
  • Potential financial risk
  • Lack of job security
  • Inconsistent income
  • Potential increase in amount of stress and it’s affect on your health
  • Required to do a Self-Assessment Tax Return

As you can see there a long list of different items to consider when looking at starting a business, and the above comparison is by no means exhaustive. A large part of the decision process will depend upon the type of business you wish to start. Each my bring along its own specific positives and negatives.

There are many different legal aspects to consider with starting a business but one of the most important is the legal business structure. Here in the United Kingdom we have four main different legal structures.

  1. Sole Trader
    You run your own business as a self-employed individual. You keep any business profits after tax, but are personally responsible for any debts and losses your business makes. To register contact HMRC and register for Self-Assesment.
  2. Partnership
    You and your partner (or partners) share the responsibility of your business. Including any profits, or debts and losses made. Each partner pays tax on their share of the business. Partners don’t have to be people, a limited company can be a partner of another business. To set up you require a business name, to choose a ‘nominated partner’ and to register with HM Revenue and Customs. The partner nominated is exoected to manage the partnership’s tax returns and keep business records.
  3. Limited Company
    You can start your own business as a limited company, which is a legally separate entity from the people who run the business. The company has its own finances and can keep any profits it makes after paying tax. To set up a private limited company you will need to register with Companies House. You will need a company name, a company address, one or more company directors, details of company shares, to know what your SIC code is, (this relates to what your company does). Also required is an agreement from shareholders to create the company and rules and the details of anyone with more than 25% shares in the company.
  4. Social Enterprise or CIC(Community Interest Company)
    A Community Interest Company (or CIC) is a business which has social, charitable or community-based objectives. It is a ‘not-for-profit’ company. Which otherwise trades like a limited company, except it has stricter regulation. To form a CIC you will need: a ‘community interest statement’ explaining what the company plans to do. To create an ‘asset lock’- legal limits on what money it can pay shareholders and a promise that it’s assets will only be used for its social objectives. Finally you need to get your company approved by the community interest company regulator(applications are automatically sent to them).

 

To learn more about the different legal structures look on the Gov.uk site.

Create a Business Plan

After you have decided on the legal structure required for your business, you will need to develop a business plan for it. A quick google search online will reveal many freely available business plan templates and it is advisable to download and take a look at a few of these to gain an understanding of what is required and expected within the document. The business plan may include:

  • An Executive Summary
  • A Description of the Business
  • Products and Services
  • Marketing and Sales Information
  • How your business will operate
  • How will the business develop
  • Financial Summary
Business Plan