Q My parents purchased a house six months ago. The previous owner did not leave a forwarding address, now they are being plagued with unwanted mail.
Q My parents purchased a house six months ago. The previous owner did not leave a forwarding address, now they are being plagued with unwanted mail. They have tried putting the mail back into the post but to no avail. Now they are scared to leave the house in case someone is coming to collect money for unpaid bills. What do you advise?
A Your parents are following the correct procedure by returning the mail to the sender. It is illegal to open someone else's mail. If there is no return address, the Royal Mail will deal with the letter at one of their centres. They should also make sure that they have registered on the electoral roll at their new address and that the former occupants' details have been removed, so that there is no question over who lives there now. A bailiff would only visit if there was a County Court judgment against the previous occupant. Your parents would be able to prove unequivocally that they are not this person by showing proof of their ownership and residence at the house, which should stop the problem. Also, no one is allowed to enter their property and they should not let anyone in. If they are worried by a visitor they should contact their local trading standards office as debt collectors have to follow a strict code of practice.
Q I would like to buy a flat in a town centre but there is no parking with the property and it is surrounded by yellow lines and multi-storey car parks. Will I be at a disadvantage when I come to sell it later on?
BW, by e-mail
A Many people do look for at least one parking space - if not for themselves then visitors - and some properties will command a premium for parking. It's not important to everyone, however, and the convenience to a town centre location is likely to be the draw for future buyers. On the other hand, flats nearby may have parking facilities so you may find that they will sell for more than yours. You could ask at the local council if residents' permits are likely to be introduced in the near future, which may provide an alternative.
Q Will double glazing my property make it harder to sell? I don't like it but it could be the cheaper option.
MM, by e-mail
A It depends on the property and its style. Any window replacements should be in keeping with the original property as far as possible, whether you choose uPVC or wooden frames. You could ring a couple of agents to ask their opinion on price with or without new windows and ask for examples of other houses like yours for sale in the area. If you live a conservation area, this may dictate the type of replacements you can make. The local planning office will be able to give you more details. If you do choose double glazing, make sure the installer is a member of FENSA, which means the company's products meet UK building regulations.
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