Buy-To-Let. Getting The Help You Need


The recent property boom in the south of England, particularly London, has meant that a growing number of people across the country have now purchased buy-to-let properties. Most purchasers will decorate and sometimes furnish the property in the hope of letting that property to tenants. It is not easy to manage buy-to-let properties, especially if you are new to things, so a little help can go a long way.

According to Manjit Virdi, director of Redstones Lettings Agents, Walsall, a good company will have the time and the expertise to background check and interview prospective tenants. Try to find a letting agent that is a member of the Association of Regulated Letting Agents as they are bound by a code of practice and are often trained professionals.

houses for rent


A reputable letting agent will be conversant with the law as it relates to landlords and their tenants and will be able to draw up a legal tenancy contract. Many of them now deal with enforcing contracts where the tenant may have broken their agreement and they will also know how to deal with eviction orders should that be necessary.

If you are not happy with a particular tenant then the letting agent will inform them that at the end of the period, usually six or twelve months, that their contract will not be renewed.

Rent Collection

An increasing number of letting agents will now deal with rent collection, saving you the time and sometimes the hassle, involved in such a task. Your letting agent will also deal with any complaints against tenants by other residents in the area.

Rent may be paid in cash, although an increasing number of owners of buy-to-let properties insist that the rent is paid via direct debit on either a weekly or monthly basis.

Managing Your Property

If this is your first attempt at having a buy-to-let property then a good letting agent should be able to tell you what is required of you as a landlord. When the agent draws up a tenancy agreement it may contain information on maintenance for the benefit of the tenant. Most tenants will be required to keep the property clean and in a good decorative standard.

If you are letting the property as furnished or part furnished then you may require a deposit to cover any breakages. A good letting agent should be able either to deal with property maintenance for you, or point you to a reputable property management company who will deal with any maintenance and major repairs.

How Much Should You Charge?

A letting agent should be able to tell you what you can expect to charge in rental for your property. Renting costs depend on a number of things such as location, type of property, number of bedrooms and so on. You may decide to ask around about letting agent costs but it is worth paying a bit extra to do business with a good letting agent. Your agent should be able to explain the duties and expectations of a landlord, as well as what you can expect from a tenant.

A good letting agent will often have their own database of tenants and will do their best to match a tenant with a particular property. Your agent will be aware of what the current market conditions are in a particular area, so that they can set the rent accordingly. It is a good idea to find a letting agent who will collect rent and provide you with a monthly statement of accounts. If you are looking to rent your property with a minimum of fuss, worry and personal involvement then you really do need to look for a good letting agent.

Hairdressing Tips For Guys


Just like women, men can have bad hair days too. Although most males wear their hair quite a bit shorter than the average female, these individuals often struggle with problems like limp, lifeless locks that refuse to behave.

Fortunately, we’ve managed to pick up some¬† great tips from Janet Nicol who does high-end hairdressing for men in Edinburgh from her salon. Whether battling frizz, a receding hairline or a stubborn cowlick, there are plenty of ways to whip your hair into shape.

One of the most important things to do for your hair is to start choosing the right products. You want to make sure that you are not applying pomades, oils, gels or other options that are simply too heavy for your strands. These wind up giving men an unpleasant and greasy look, rather than the freshly washed, wet look that they are hoping for. Take some time to experiment with a few different products before choosing one.

The best way to do this is by visiting the web pages of product manufacturers and seeing what’s available.¬† Here are two to get you started

While on these websites, you may want to sign up for a few mailing lists as well in order to get coupon offers sent directly to you. A number of the top hair care products for males can be quite expensive. These discounts will offset the costs of looking good.

You also want to make sure that you are switching your hair care products up from time to time. This is because many of these items can start to leave a build-up on the strands. Although this build up might not be visible to the naked eye, it still exists. It often gives the hair a dull, flat look and makes it harder to manage.

In addition to switching up your shampoos, conditioner and styling products, you should also invest in a clarifying cleaners. These are clear shampoos that do not leave any residue on the hair. They strip all styling products off of the strands so that build-ups are no longer an issue. They also wash out all of the natural oils that have been excreted from the pores, so it is best to limit your use of these. It is generally best to use a clarifying shampoo just once or twice each month.

It is important for men to note that attractive-looking hair actually starts at the scalp. If your scalp is not healthy your hair will not behave well either. This is something that you definitely want to keep in mind if you have dandruff, loss, itchy scalp or other problems. Some men even suffer from a problem called folliculitis. This is when the individual hair follicles become infected and irritated. A strong shampoo with astringent properties can usually clear problems like these up. You should also make sure that your barber isn’t cutting against the grade of your hair. This is a great way to tame cowlicks or to prevent them from growing worse. It will also help to limit follicle irritation when hair styles are cut very close.

Choose a hairstyle that flatters the shape of your face. Some men like the way a certain cut looks on other males so they ask their barbers to recreate these styles on them. It is important to make sure that your selecting a style option that fits well with your head size, shape and overall features. What looks good on you may not look good on everyone else.

Take a few days each week to wear your hair natural. This is another effective strategy for avoiding styling product buildups. It will also give your scalp a chance to rest. You do not want to clog your pores with heavy pomades and other creams without regularly giving the scalp a good break.

Make sure that you are working with the right barber. A lot of men go to barbershops because they love the social atmospheres the find there. It is far better, however, to work with professionals who understand the nature and the needs of your hair. Look for barbers who have hair like your own or who have customers with hair that looks like yours.

It is also important to work with a barber who can help you work out your hair issues. This professionals should be able to suggest styles that flatter your face and that work with your hair texture. You can also get recommendations concerning which styling products to buy. In fact, a number of the top barbershops often carry several lines of high-quality hair care products that they routinely recommend to their clients.

Reduce Stress With Meditation


Increasingly, people around the world take up regular meditative practices primarily because these are effective for inducing calm and relaxation, and also to help minimize the effects of daily stresses.

There are varieties of such practices to choose from, including those that help to cultivate mindful awareness, as well as ones that serve to alter habitual, negative responses to stressful situations, and others that focus on teaching the body to relax, and to restore a sense of vitality.

According to Ananta Ishaya who teaches meditation courses in London, “Newcomers may find these exercises challenging at first, but with regular practice, it becomes progressively easier to slip into meditative mode.” So how do we reduce stress with meditation, and gain a lot more in terms of emotional, physical, and spiritual health and wellness?

One widely-practiced meditative exercise is the relaxation response technique. A single or two daily sessions lasting no longer than 10 minutes each can produce immense benefits, including lessening anxiety, and improving cardiovascular functioning.

The technique helps to induce profound relaxation, thereby causing the body’s metabolism, blood pressure, including the breathe, to slow down significantly. Over time, individuals that practice often experience not only a greater sense of ease, well-being, and relaxation during the course of daily life, but also benefit from adopting a better mood, which makes dealing with stressful challenges easier.

In such meditative sessions, a person would typically focus attention on any sound, word, or phrase while sitting in silence with closed eyes for about 10 or 20 minutes. It is best to do so in a spot where there are no, or few, distractions. When feeling at ease and comfortable, and breathing normally through the nose, one would then take the attention and direct it to various parts of the body.

A typical sequence would entail paying attention to sensations in the feet, moving from there to the lower legs, the knees, and progressing up to the face. The only mental effort required is to notice the various sensations, and relaxing the specific body part at the sign of any muscle tension.

Mindful awareness meditative techniques – also referred to as present-focused awareness mental practices – have also become popular. These essentially requires the individual to sit comfortably, pay attention to the natural flow of the breath or any sensation, and to deliberately, yet gently, bring the attention to whatever experience transpires in the present moment. If and when the attention wanders into the past or drifts into the future – as it usually does – it is then only a matter of gently bringing it back to the present moment.

What’s especially great about this kind of meditative endeavour is that doing it does not require a particular environment, but anyone can do it anywhere, any time, for whatever length of time.

Aside from being an easy-to-learn stress-reducer, it is also great for helping individuals with anxiety-related issues get a handle on the problem. Anxiety sufferers are prone to distracting thoughts, making it difficult to concentrate and focus on daily tasks at home or at the office. After a few sessions of mindfulness, however, the experience of anxiety will become considerably more manageable, or even disappear, as distracting thoughts and wayward feelings will tend to have less of a hold over the person.

Mindfulness also teaches practitioners how to relate differently, and more productively, to one’s thoughts, and thinking processes. Many stress-related experiences are self-induced through negative or repetitive thoughts.

By realizing that thoughts are mental fabrications or inventions over which the thinker has power, it becomes easier to do away with unproductive thoughts, and invent ones that are practically useful, and personally empowering. The ability to stop oneself from getting caught up in thoughts is not just liberating, but good for preventing stressful emotions from manifesting.

Carrying tension in various parts of the body is one of the consequences of not being able to manage stress-producing situations. Tense shoulders, stomach knots, and shallow breathing are common examples of such ailments.

A meditative practice that entails performing mental body scans is thus an especially useful tool to help identify bodily tension, and also to help rid the physique of muscular tenseness and pain. Through body scan sessions, people learn to pinpoint negative, problematic physical feelings, and get to release these though simple awareness and attention.

The increasing popularity of meditative practices the world over shows how effective these are in helping people overcome emotional challenges. The physical, mental, and spiritual benefits are varied, effective, and authentic. It may take the average practitioner some time before the full force of the advantages begin to manifest, but these are sure to follow though daily practice.