V. Elder – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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From the start I have been impressed with the efficiency of iConn.  Tenants were found within a couple of days for our property and all matters relating to it have been dealt with efficiently and well.  I would have no hesitation in using iConn again in the future.

E. Rolls – Landlords with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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We have used iConn Property Management since September 2007 and have been very grateful for their continued support and reliable service. We have been successful in always having our property let throughout this period. iConn have been nothing but professional in ensuring that our flat is always occupied; from advertising, organising tenant viewings, and finally agreeing contracts, iConn have also proved very helpful in organising routine maintenance and upkeep on the flat. iConn have taken the trouble out of renting our property. With a husband in the Royal Navy, two small children and living more than 100 miles away from the property their service has proved invaluable. I would have no hesitation in recommending iConn to others. 

V.Beckley – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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I was unhappy with their services of another agent and came across iConn.  I spoke with Iris O’Connell and was very impressed with her professionalism and experience and took the decision to instruct iConn as the new Agent for the property. 

In comparison to a similar level of service received elsewhere, I can honestly say that I am very confident that iConn work hard to ensure that my flat is occupied and well maintained and always seem happy to go that little bit further.  I am secure in the knowledge that my flat is in “safe hands” which affords me the luxury of having a rental property that I don’t really have to worry about.  They keep me regularly updated on both my flat and industry requirements/standards and endeavour to go further by providing handy hints and tips via newsletters etc.  Any items that are required are fully investigated and I do feel that they try to get the best deal for me when it comes to any maintenance costs.  Their fully managed service provides exactly that: a very high standard in managed service requiring very little input from me.   

I couldn’t be happier with the service I receive and furthermore, the level of service has not waned or declined at all and remains at the same high standard as when I first instructed them. 

I would give them the highest possible rating based on the fact that 1) I receive an impeccable service 2) I have had no reason for complaint 3) my flat is kept in good condition by tenants 4) I receive a good deal of relevant communication in a timely fashion 5) my flat is regularly occupied despite quite a high turnover of tenants 6) a pretty seamless service between rental and maintenance departments 7) they don’t have a call centre.. if I need to speak to someone about my flat I just call iConn and speak with someone that actually knows the property and finally 8) they answer their phones quickly and if the individual I need to speak to isn’t available I know that someone else can help or that the person required will get back to me in a timely fashion. 

iConn definitely receive my seal of approval (and I can be a fussy customer!)

Dr Rigby – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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I have been using iConn in it’s various stages of development for the last fifteen years as a rental agency for my house in Canterbury. The company has been extremely professional in finding suitable tenants every year, maintaining the house in good condition and relaying problems, suggestions and legal matters promptly to me by mail and E-mail to my addresses abroad. This year my family will be returning to take up permanent residence at our Canterbury home, and I can heartily recommend the company to anyone who wishes to either rent out or rent an abode in the Canterbury area.

R.Clarke – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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iConn has been my letting agent for the last 7 years and undertakes a full management service for me. I have been impressed with the efficient manner in which they have undertaken this role and the professional way they handle issues. As a ‘distant’ landlord, I rely on effective communication, timely resolution of issues whilst keeping me fully informed of developments. In each of these aspects I rate them highly. During the tenure of my agreement with iConn thus far, the accounting aspect has been first rate with rental income invariably paid on time and any missing sums urgently pursued. I very much value the relationship and look forward to it continuing for many more years.

L.Martin – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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We have 2 properties which have been let by iConn since around 2005. I only have positive words to say about iConn, the staff that we have contact with (namely Vicky) is always helpful, friendly and efficient. Any problems have been dealt with professionally and swiftly and therefore we have the utmost confidence in them. I also know that they are helpful to our tenants. We have the pick of lettings agents here in Canterbury, but as we receive such an excellent service, I have no reason to move my business elsewhere – a completely satisfied customer on all counts!

Mr. Zain – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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The service level of iConn in terms of professional communication on all matters from tenancy agreement, proactive property inspections, quotations for works required etc. and looking after the landlords interest as if the property is their own is better than I have experienced from any other letting agent. With iConn’s managed services package I’m confident our properties are in good hands and therefore have not had to visit our properties that are managed by them for the last 8 years.

N. Traske – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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I have a small portfolio of buy to lets and over the years I have dealt with many estate/lettings agents. The reason I have had experience of several lettings agencies is that I have invariably found that although they have initially been  keen to make a good impression, their management of my properties has deteriorated over time. This has resulted in me switching agents, and so the cycle would be repeated …..until I discovered iConn.  

Iris O’Connell leads a dedicated team who have managed my properties as if they were their own. They have offered sound, impartial and professional advice and competitive fees. They provide a Rolls Royce Service and I have had no hesitation in recommending them to other landlords. They most certainly deserve to win the Lettings Agency of the Year Award. Whether they win or not, they will always be Number 1 Letting Agent for me.  I commend them to you.

R. Williams – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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We have been associated with iConn for four years and have found the company to be very efficient and professional. Any queries we have had have always been promptly and clearly answered. On visiting your office one is met by a warm and business-like atmosphere. It is good to know that, if one asks iConn staff to sort a problem it will be diplomatically dealt with. All communications from the company can be relied upon with confidence.

T & A. Watkins – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Although we are new clients of iConn Property Management we have been impressed by their knowledge of legislation governing the rental market.

Having been badly let down by our previous agent we immediately felt that iConn offered a professional and more importantly a ‘caring’ service.  The advice and assistance (given free) in resolving our previous difficulties was first class and enabled a smooth transition in the takeover of our property. The staff are well versed in customer relations and provide a competent efficient and friendly service.   In comparison to the services other agencies provide iConn are market leaders.  We look forward to enjoying a long and happy business relationship with them

N. Summerfield – Landlord with iConn Property Management

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iConn Property Management have always provided a top quality service, I have let my property through them for over four years and I hope there will be many more years to come. They maintain an honest approach and always keep my informed as to the progress of letting my property. Over the four years there has never been a void period and this is down to hard working fully trained staff and quality marketing. I will certainly not be using any other agent and would recommend iConn to any Landlord.

B. Sharp – Landlord with iConn Property Management

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iConn have at all times been most professional and helpful. I have had other properties which have been handled by well known agents and none has reached the high standard of service that I have had from iConn.
 

A. Goodwin – Landlord with iConn Property Management

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I was very impressed with the initial outline of the service offering from iConn which I thought was fair and reasonable.  I am pleased to say that their service has enhanced our initial perception of them as a company.  Everyone is extremely efficient and helpful and “things just get done” without any hassle to me at a reasonable cost.  I am sure the tenants are a lot happier now we are using iConn.  We recently marketed the property for next year’s intake of students and iConn filled the house quickly and organised all references to verify the tenants.

 We are delighted with the service we have received to date and I wish they had an office closer to some of our other properties!

vicky

Tenancy Agreement for 2012 Student Tenancies

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Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

All student tenants for July 2012 to June 2013 can view a copy of the tenancy agreement which will be used for their tenancy by following the link below:

http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/student_information.php

Access Codes are provided on tenants emails sent 26.03.12 but if you need them again please call our office.

iris

Budget Announcement 2012 – How it Applies to Landlords & Tenants (Canterbury Letting Agent)

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Iris O’Connell, Managing Director for iConn Property Management writes:

ARLA has recently created this great article to help explain what this years budget announcements will mean to us; definately worth a read: ARLA Budget News

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TDS Changes of Legislation – Timescale for Registering Deposits. (Canterbury Letting Agent)

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Sam Douglas, Accounts Co-Ordinator for iConn Property Management writes:

The Localism Act comes into force on April 6th 2012 and makes an important change to the timescale for protecting deposits.

The timescale for registering deposits and serving Prescribed Information has increased from 14 to 30 days – but the 30 days is an absolute deadline. 

Our prescribed information will be updated in our current tenancy agreements and terms of business and this change will only really affect tenancies created after the 6th April but  current clients may wish to take note of these changes for any future tenancies.

vicky

Changes to EPC Legislation (Letting in Canterbury)

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Vicky Cranthorne, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

EPC legislation changes – April 2012

The DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) have proposed changes to the legislation regarding energy performance certificates (EPC’s) for properties are due to come into force on 6th April 2012. This is the legislation that was originally due to be implemented last October but was subsequently delayed and revised.

In simple terms it will mean that instead of just advertising the graph images on the property advert we will need to include the first two pages instead. It will mean that we must hold the full certificate on file for the property and not just the numbers on the graph. It is also mentioned that the EPC graphs must now cover any outbuildings included in the tenancy and not just the main property.

Key points in the new legislation:

  • This only applies to properties coming to market after 6th April.
  • The current asset ratings (EPC graphs) are no longer applicable in isolation. They are to be replaced by the first page of the new style EPC (typically an A4 document which contains the graphs and additional information).
  • The EPC legislation is extended to apply to non-residential and rental transactions.
  • Where property marketing does not include the full property address the legislation does allow for the address to be redacted in the EPC used for marketing purposes. It is still required on the full EPC document. NB. Although this is clearly indicated in the legislation, there is currently debate as to whether this only applies to commercial properties.
  • Note: At this time of writing the format of the revised EPC is still subject to approval and release by DCLG.
  • Further to this, we have gained confirmation that:
  • The EPC does not have to be an integral part of the printed particulars. It can be provided as an attachment or insert.
  • If sending details electronically as an attachment, the EPC can be provided via a clickable url.

For the majority of clients this is not a major issue they will need to be concerned with and more impacts the way the agent advertises but we will advise all clients who the legislation effects.

vicky

Reminder for Student Tenants for July 2012 (Canterbury Letting Agent)

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Your guarantors should have received their documents by now.

The guarantor documents need to be signed and returned to our office by the 1st April 2012.

*Applicants those guarantors are based abroad – the forms have been emailed to your guarantor – please ensure they have received them ok and if not please call our office to update their details if a new email address is required.

They are very important as your tenancy can not proceed without a signed agreement in place; please speak with your guarantors to check they have received the documents safely and to remind them of the deadline date. (If your guarantor has already returned their agreement please ignore this message but you may want to check with your other housemates to make sure all theirs are back also)

Once all agreements are received for your tenancy we will issue your pre-start pack. This will invite you to come into the office to sign and complete your new tenancy.

Without all guarantor agreements being received we are unable to proceed to this point.

If you have any problems or questions in the meantime then please contact me either on the office number.

vicky

Last 15 Student Properties for July 2011 – June 2012 (Canterbury Lettings)

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Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

It’s been a busy few weeks in the office and the rush for student properties in Canterbury has increased; We are now down to the last 15 student properties available. The smaller sized properties seem to have been the most popular this year; we have 1 one bedroom property left which is a spacious one bed cottage in a central location in Canterbury – ideal for single occupation or for a couple. We also have only 1 5 bed property left which is based close to Christchurch university – the landlord includes broadband in the rental which is a great benefit for the tenants. The interior is modern and the kitchen includes a dishwasher and a tumbledryer as well as the usual white goods.

For those who are still looking to secure their accomodation in Canterbury for next year I have listed the available properties below: (as of 24.02.12) You can also visit this following link to see the most up to date list http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/search.php?town_postcode=&searchtype=student&search.x=16&search.y=11.

iris

Advice on Electrical Safety Certificates for Rented Properties (HMO) – (Canterbury Letting Agent)

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 Iris O’Connell M.A.R.L.A, Managing Director for iConn Property Management, Canterbury writes:

 Domestic electrical condition report & fire alarm certificate for domestic dwellings BS5839 PART 6.

 Under health and safety requirements; it is obligatory that all Houses of Multiple Occupation are required to have the electrical installation checked at least every three years (depending on the condition and age of the electrical installation, some properties may need more frequent inspections) The Domestic Condition report will include lighting provision and its condition, socket-outlet provision and its condition, automatic fire detection and its condition and electrical hazards for fixed wiring. Please note the element including the Fire Alarm certificate is only valid for one year.

 It is only inevitable that overtime and with the wear and tear of regular use, electrical installations will start to deteriorate. Connections can work loose (a potential fire hazard) sockets can be over loaded and general maintenance or building work can damage and effect wiring.

 You may find that after having the electrical system in your property inspected that some remedial works may be necessary to bring the system up to date which will be charged separately to the report fee.

 The cost of the condition report which includes the fire alarm certificate will be between £140.00 to £225.00 Inc vat; the actual price is determined on the day by the size of the property and the number of rooms.

 For further information or advice on Landlords requirements for Letting a property then please call us on 01227 782040. You can also visit our website which includes a section for Landlords advice and FAQs: http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/landlord_information.php

 

iris

Electrical Safety Certificates for Rented Properties (HMO)

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Iris O’Connell M.A.R.L.A, Managing Director for iConn Property Management, Canterbury writes:

Domestic electrical condition report & fire alarm certificate for domestic dwellings BS5839 PART 6.

Under health and safety requirements; it is obligatory that all Houses of Multiple Occupation are required to have the electrical installation checked at least every three years (depending on the condition and age of the electrical installation, some properties may need more frequent inspections) The Domestic Condition report will include lighting provision and its condition, socket-outlet provision and its condition, automatic fire detection and its condition and electrical hazards for fixed wiring. Please note the element including the Fire Alarm certificate is only valid for one year.

It is only inevitable that overtime and with the wear and tear of regular use, electrical installations will start to deteriorate. Connections can work loose (a potential fire hazard) sockets can be over loaded and general maintenance or building work can damage and effect wiring.

You may find that after having the electrical system in your property inspected that some remedial works may be necessary to bring the system up to date which will be charged separately to the report fee; however please note any essential remedial works will be reported to us immediately, which in turn will be reported to you and will not be carried out unless you have given us permission to instruct the contractor to do so.

The cost of the condition report which includes the fire alarm certificate will be between £140.00 to £225.00 Inc vat; the actual price is determined on the day by the size of the property and the number of rooms.

Please advise if you wish for us to instruct an iConn approved contractor to carry out the Condition report; or alternatively if you have your own qualified electrician please let us know and we will contact them direct to arrange access.

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Water Saving Tips as Drought Warning is Issued (Canterbury Lettings)

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Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management, Canterbury writes: 

Drought warning

 According to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Kent is suffering a drought.

 For the last two winters the south east has seen lower than average rainfall, which means that water stocks in rivers, reservoirs and aquifers are at severely low levels.

 Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary said: “It is not just the responsibility of Government, water companies and businesses to act against drought. We are asking for the help of everyone by urging them to use less water and to start now.”

 Water saving tips; before during and after a drought

  • Before a drought arrives, it’s useful to get into good habits, such as using a bowl of water to peel and wash fruit and vegetables instead of a running tap, and reusing grey water to water the garden.
  • Putting a ‘Hippo’ water-saving device or brick in your cistern also helps. Placing water butts under downpipes and considering many other ways of saving rainwater can drastically reduce consumption in the garden and help ensure you can keep watering even during a hosepipe ban.
  • During a drought, saving water is even more important. The Environment Agency has lots of advice about saving water when the need arises. Simply turning the tap off when you brush your teeth can save up to five litres a minute! Don’t use any clean water for non-essential purposes like cleaning windows, for example. Hosepipe and sprinkler bans are only used when there’s a real need. Always follow the water company’s advice.
  •  After a drought, as the environment recovers, it is still important to continue to use water in a sensible fashion. Water conservation is good for the environment and for society at all times.

IMG_0352123564

Student Lettings from iConn in Canterbury – Houses to Rent

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Sam MacDonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes:

We are right in the middle of our initial student property rush and properties are coming off the market at a record rate!!

The most popular properties seem to be the three bed houses and at the time of writing we only have two left!

If you are still looking for your ideal property then please call us on 01227 782040 or visit the website to see the available properties.

Click on the image below to see the available properties:

 

vicky

Warning to landlords Letting in Canterbury

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Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management, Canterbury writes:

Landlords considering using a letting agent to manage their portfolio or to help them secure tenants should consider the agents qualifications and memberships with regulating bodies before instruction.

It is obviously important to choose an agent that offers you the service you are looking for within the budget you have, and to look into recommendations and testimonials but most importantly ensure that the agent is regulated as this will protect you and your monies.

If an agent is not regulated then there is a very high risk of money paid by your tenants in rental amounts or as deposits are unprotected. In the worst scenario this could mean the landlord picking up the bill if the agent or company hits any financial difficulties or decides to close.

iConn is a ARLA regulated agent, we are also members of the Property Ombudsman Lettings. Our client monies are held within a separate account and all our accounting practices are audited to ensure transparency and protection for our clients.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail please contact our office on 01227 765008; feel free to pop into our office for an informal chat if you wish at 26s Castle Street, Canterbury, CT1 2PU.

vicky

New Promotional Option from iConn – Letting agent in Canterbury

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Vicky Cranthorne, Office Manager at iConn Property Management writes:

We are always looking for new ways to corner the advertising market and ensure that your property is seen by as many prospective tenants as possible. We are in the process of setting up promotional videos for all our properties. This is something that no other agent in canterbury is offering at the moment and is of no extra cost to our current or new landlords.

Check out our new video for a sneak preview of what to expect…..

iris

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked in or Youtube

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Iris O’Connell, Managing Director for iConn Property Management Canterbury writes:

Join the growing iConn Property Management group on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Link in to the team for the latest information on legislation, new properties on the market, offers and competitions and advice for all:

STUDENTS APPLYING FOR TENANCIES WITH ICONN FOR JULY 2012- JUNE 2013 HAVE THE CHANCE TO WIN A FREE ADMINISTRATION FEE BY JOINING THE FACEBOOK PAGE.

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Approved Contractors – Contact details

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Sam Douglas, for iConn Property Management writes:

We often receive calls from Landlords and tenants asking for local contractors to help them out with maintenance at their properties. I thought it may be useful to create a page of our approved contractors in case you ever needed to call on them.

Please see the relevant contractors’ link to find out further information about their company and the services they provide.

http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/approved_contractors.php

vicky

Why you should choose an ARLA Regulated Agent

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Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

An Agent regulated by ARLA ensures a Landlord or tenant that they are choosing an agent that has to follow strict guidelines and work within stringent industry standards. An ARLA agent has to offer professionalism and commitment to all its clients and customers at all times.

ARLA members are required to work within a robust Code of Practice, which entails covering the key stages in all letting and property management. There are comprehensive membership Byelaws which include compliance with handling and accounting for Clients’ money; the mandatory ARLA Client Money Protection Bonding Scheme; Professional Indemnity Insurance; Dealing with Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures.

ARLA members are kept up to date with all new and changing legislation and require all offices to have at least one member of staff fully trained to ARLA standard.

sam

Advice for Tenants When Completing Viewings

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 Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes:

As the student market has begun again, those who are looking to move or are venturing off campus for the first time may find this advise useful:

LOCATION Research the local area thoroughly. Consider local public transport, good local amenities, good schools and Universities, easy access to motorways, good doctors, dentist, bars and restaurants and most importantly good neighbours.  

CONDITION OF THE PROPERTY When viewing take a check list with you and make sure you know what you are looking for and what requirements are. Look for a property that has been well maintained. Check the windows, decoration, condition of white goods, heating system and types of shower. Don’t forget to check the outside and the condition of the guttering and garden.           

RENT LEVEL Make sure that you research the local rent levels for the type of property you are looking for. There are many ways to make comparables with other properties. Try looking at main property portals like Right Move or Property Live to compare other properties currently on the market and the level of rent they are being advertised for. 

LETTING AGENT If you decide to rent through an agent rather than a private Landlord, make sure the Agent is a member of ARLA, has a good reputation, charges fair administration fees and has the facility to protect your deposit.

vicky

Have Yourself a Very Green Christmas!! :)

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Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

The local council have released some useful information for recycling over the Christmas period so that we all have a green Christmas……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Christmas

This year, like every other, we want to make sure that you not only have a great Christmas, but get rid of your Christmas waste on the appropriate day in the appropriate way. So please take note of the following points:

Check your calendar for your collection dates - some of them may have changed 

In bad weather conditions put your waste out on your usual day and leave it.  We will collect it soon as we can.

Garden Waste won’t be collected between 23 December 2011 and 09 January 2012 

Don’t forget we will collect your real Christmas tree for free – if you leave it out for collection on recycling day.  Place it next to your clear sacks not in the garden waste bin.

Old trees can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres and placed in the green garden waste containers for composting. Your local council may also be able to take your real Christmas tree for composting if they provide a kerbside green garden waste collection service.

Alternatively, why not buy a Christmas tree in a pot or with a root that can be planted in the garden for use the following year! Some companies now also hire real Christmas trees which are re-planted after Christmas!

Recycle your Christmas cards and non foil wrapping paper in the clear recycling sack, or look out for one of the high street charity schemes.

Flatten and secure your cardboard boxes for collection.  These can be put out for collection next to your recycling sacks.

To clear space give unwanted clothes and toys to charity shops and clothing banks.

Recycle your glass bottles at the bottle banks and the Household Waste Recycling Centres

Think about what you buy and who you are buying for. We all like to put on the best Christmas Day spread for family and friends, but afterwards, without a bit of pre plannng, we can still be eating the brussel sprouts four days later!!

Make use of any left over food, visit http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ for recipes and ideas.

Although our contractor can sort most plastics, many of them have a negative value and black plastic cannot be sorted at all, so please only give us your clear or opaque plastic bottles over the christmas period.

Remember you can take your unwanted plastic bags back to a major supermarket for recycling, they all now provide in-store banks.

If you are not sure about collections over the Christmas period, then please call Serco on 0800 031 9091.

Here’s hoping  you have a very happy Christmas.

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