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I N H E R I T A N C E T A X Are you sitting on an asset portfolio above the threshold S U M M E R 2015 2 0 1 5 ISSUE I S S U E 5 £2.75 £2.75 AUGUST

Asian

HOUSE&HOME T H E U LT I M AT E R E A D F O R P R O P E R T Y

DESIGNER STYLING without the designer!

SPOT THE COWBOY

Avoiding rogue builders

STRENGTH IN UNITY

Running a family business

YOUR YOUR ESSENTIAL ESSENTIAL

45 PAGE PAGE AUCTION AUCTION GUIDE GUIDE including insider including insidertips tips

PLUS: OUR EXPERTS GIVE INSIDE INDUSTRY TIPS 09:06


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WELCOME

Welcome to…

Asian

HOUSE&HOME ASIANS AND PROPERTIES GO TOGETHER. Some would remember the hardships even looking for a small room to rent, when they arrived in this country. Next step is to own a ‘home’ which is the most valuable possession of many families or individuals. It is also a stepping stone especially in the UK for an incremental wealth creation and a great majority succeed in achieving such objectives. Of particular interest to me is the profiles of the Asian Business owners who come to this country with practically nothing and have achieved so much. They serve to highlight the core values which we Indians have held on to in order to achieve this success, such as living in extended families and running family business. Property has always been in the Asian heritage even from the times of the Mahabharata where the conflict was over land and property. It has formed the backbone of many businesses, serving as an PROPERTY insurance against hard times. When HAS ALWAYS BEEN IN THE ASIAN businesses declined there have HERITAGE EVEN been many actual stories of when FROM THE TIMES OF the property portfolio became a THE MAHABHARATA businessman’s saving grace. WHERE THE CONFLICT WAS OVER LAND & Asian are a dominant force in PROPERTY the UK property market, and our presence is felt in both the residential and commercial sector. This magazine has risen from an idea to a reality and we aim to snowball this edition even further. It covers many important topic for our readers and am sure it will be read with interest. I appreciate the support of the editorial board, advertisers and most profoundly, our esteemed readers as well as the hardworking members of the ABPL team. PUBLISHER/EDITOR

WELCOME TO OUR THE FIFTH EDITION OF ASIAN HOUSE AND HOME. This edition has been brought to you with a new and fresh design by a new team who have recently joined us. As you can see, this magazine is a big step up from the last copies we have brought out. We wish to continue to polish the magazine, both in terms of content and its look with each subsequent issue. This can only be achieved through valuable feedback from our readers and from our regular editorial meetings. This edition has been brought to you in an environment where the property market is in a state of flux, property prices in London certainly are now pausing for breath. The outcome for the elections will be crucial to what happens to the London property market, whether the market will weather the storm as it has done until now, or is the run finally over which I personally doubt. There exist few places like London property to invest around the world. You cannot replicate financial expertise and a world class education system in a hurry. Furthermore, we are an Island, there is no changing this. We bring to you a wider coverage than ever before covering topics such as interior design, inheritance tax to Divorce and some amusing ‘on the road stories’. We have profiled some big personalities in the Gujarati business world, and hope to have this as a recurring theme. This will serve as a beacon to motivate others. Most Indians, especially the first generation of Asians have not been born with a silver spoon in their mouths; they have started with very humble beginnings living as extended families to makes ends meet. It was a very different culture which greeted them when they arrived in the 60’s and 70’s, to the tolerant and mixed one we have today. It was inspiring to see snap shots of the before and after situations, and the uniquely Gujarati traits which they have still kept intact.

CONSULTING EDITOR

THE TEAM:

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGERS:

EDITOR/PUBLISHER: CB PATEL

ROVIN GEORGE & URJA PATEL

MANAGING EDITOR: KOKILA PATEL

SALES EXECUTIVE: DAXA GAMI

ASSOCIATE EDITOR: RUPANJANA DUTTA

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS:

NEWS EDITOR: KAMAL RAO

HARISH DAHYA & AJAY KUMAR

CONSULTING EDITOR: JYOTSNA SHAH

CUSTOMER SERVICE: RAGINI NAYAK

ASIAN BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS LTD KARMA YOGA HOUES, 12 HOXTON MARKET, LONDON N1 6HW Tel: 020 7749 4085

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www.abplgroup.com

ADVERTISING MANAGER: KISHOR PARMAR

©Asian Business Publications Ltd

SUMMER 2015 | ASIAN HOUSE & HOME

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CONTRIBUTORS

ORS

The experts of… xperts of… Asian

n

EXPERT 1 A PERSON WHO HAS EXTENSIVE SKILL OR KNOWLEDGE IN A PARTICULAR FIELD 2 SKILFUL OR KNOWLEDGEABLE 3 PERTAINING TO, COMING FROM, OR CHARACTERISTIC OF AN EXPERT.

HOUSE USE& HOME&HOME Our core team

Rachel Dimond of experts cover

t

EXPERT 1 A PERSON WHO HAS EXTENSIVE SKILL OR KNOWLEDGE t A PARTICULAR FIELD IN 2 SKILFUL OR KNOWLEDGEABLE 3 PERTAINING TO, COMING FROM, OR CHARACTERISTIC OF AN EXPERT.

Rachel Dimond Kish Bhudia Rachel Dimond, Contributing Editor has

Kish Bhudia

‘KK’

George Bushati

Kish is a Chartered Architectural Rachel Dimond, Contributing Editor has brought her wealthKish is a Chartered Architectural of editorial experience Technologist & Party Wall Surveyor an extensive brought her wealth of editorial experience to Asian House and Technologist Party Wall Surveyor Home. With&her with over 20 years experience in Local overview to Asian House of and Home. With her with over experienceAuthority in Local & Private Building Control. He runs an extensive background in publishing, she 20 hasyears enjoyed extensive background in publishing, she has enjoyed Authority &the Private Building and Control. He runs an the property guiding the team throughout development Architectural & Building Consultancy based in Harrow. guiding the team throughout the development and Architectural & Building Consultancy based in Harrow. rebranding of this issue. market, rebranding of this issue. Mitesh Vekaria providing you Anna Patel Mitesh Vekaria Mitesh Vekaria is a First Class Honours with Patel cutting Anna MiteshatVekaria is a First Class Honours Graduate of the Cass Business School, Anna Patel is a partner Stenfield edge andat Stenfield Anna Pateladvice is a partner thethe Cass Business School, London and a Chartered Surveyor with Solicitors and hasGraduate helped setofup Solicitors and has helped set up the London and a Chartered withyears real estate experience. He is the practice with a following of clients. Having Surveyor over 13 news to make practice with a following of clients. Having over 13 years reallaw estate experience. He isManaging the practiced and specialised in Family for 12 years, Director of Vascroft Contractors Ltd, a sure you get the practiced and specialised in Family law forshe 12 has years, Director of Vascroft Contractorsfamily Ltd, aowned and operated Main Contractor dealt withManaging high net worth divorce and financial hottest tips of she has dealt with high net worth divorce and financial family ownedmatters. and operated Main Contractor matters and complex children the moment. matters and complex children matters. Csaba Horvath Csaba Horvath Kamlesh Padhra Csaba started working for property Kamlesh Padhra Csaba started working for property Kamlesh Padhra Director of Infinity developers where he learnt to effectively Kamlesh Padhra Director of Infinity where learnt to effectively Property Solutionsdevelopers Ltd. Has over 10he years’ manage and develop prime Central London Property Solutions Ltd. Has over 10 years’experience in the property manage and develop London market. He prime Central Properties. With over 12 years’ experience he has experience in the property market. He Properties. With over 12 years’ experience he has a diverse range of knowledge and experience in is an expert in residential sales, lettings and tenant gained is an expert in residential sales, lettings and tenant He is angained diverse range of knowledge in problems. experta property commentator for and experience property sourcing, development and management. problems. He is an expert property commentator local andfornational property media. sourcing, development and management. local and national media. Saina Asadi Saina Asadi Pankaj Parekh Saina recently graduated from The University Pankaj Parekh Saina recently graduated Pankaj Parekh is an Independent Financialfrom The Universityof Hertfordshire with a First-Class degree Pankaj Parekh is an Independent FinancialAdvisor specialising of Hertfordshire a First-Class degree in Mortgage with Advice. in English, and her love of journalism has Advisor specialising in Mortgage Advice. He has 20 years ofin experience English, andand her love hasmany opportunities. Saina, also an experienced haveof journalism opened He has 20 years of experienceprovided and have opened also an experienced his clients advicemany on allopportunities. areas of theirSaina, financial blogger, is driven by her avid interest in writing and she provided his clients advice on all areas of their financial blogger, is driven by her avid interest in writinghas andanshe needs, especially Mortgages. His aim is to continue eye for style, bringing a touch of creativity and needs, especially Mortgages. His aim is toproviding continue the besthas an eye bringing a touch of creativity and to the magazine as our Features Editor. advice for for hisstyle, clients. innovation providing the best advice for his clients. innovation to the magazine as our Features Editor.

‘KK’

George Bushati ‘KK’ has been in accountancy practice for A well-qualified construction project ‘KK’ has been in accountancy practice for25 years, dealing with A well-qualified construction project audit and taxation manager with ten years’ experience of 25 years, dealing with audit and taxation of his clients. He ismanager with tenspeaker years’ experience of also a popular the full construction process including of his clients. He is also a popular speaker seminars organised the full at numerous by construction banks and process including architectural principles/concepts, site, project and H&S at numerous seminars organised by banksKBMD. and He has trained architectural principles/concepts, site, projectmanagement and H&S many ACCA students to enable for international commercial, residential KBMD. He has trained many ACCA students toto enable management for international commercial, residential them qualify and become astute accountants. and retail projects. He has a track record of consistently them to qualify and become astute accountants. and retail projects. He has a track record of consistently meeting budgets and deadlines for high profile clients. meeting budgets and deadlines for high profile clients. Jayesh Patel Jayesh Patel Jayesh joined Everglade after a successful Lisa Duke Jayesh joined Everglade after a successful career in banking and Lisa Using her design experience from an array runsDuke the entire sales her design experience from an array of magazine titles such as Olive, Grand career in banking and runs the entire sales and customer careUsing operation. As Sales magazine titles such and customer care operation. As Sales of the largest window &ofdoor Designs and Tesco Magazine to name a Director manufacturer in as Olive, Grand Designsadvises and Tesco Magazine to name Director of the largest window & door manufacturer few, Lisa,a Contributing Art Director, has restyled AH&H London.inHe is an expert who regularly customers Lisa,construction Contributingcompanies. Art Director, has restyled AH&H London. He is an expert who regularly advises customers creating a fresh and exciting look taking us into a new era. from homeowners few, to major creating a fresh and exciting look taking us into a new era. from homeowners to major construction companies.

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INTERIORS

Selecting the right

FRONT DOOR

With a wealth of experience in front doors and double-glazing windows, Jayesh Patel provides you with his expert opinion and top tips

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INTERIORS

he front door acts as the face of your home. Makingi a good impression relies heavily on how the exterior of i your home has been created. The ideal front door must be i tough enough to withstand wind, rain, and would-be i intruders, yet striking enough to make a good first impression. i A high quality door will convey a lot about the rest of the property, i which could attract more buyers and a more lucrative sale. i There are an overwhelming variety of options to choose from, i both in style, materials and construction but fortunately, there i are some pointers to guide you in the process. Currently, one of the most popular trends in replacement entrance doors is a composite door. The term ‘composite’ door simply means it is made up of a mixture of materials, but not all composite doors are made the same way. You can buy cheap, low quality composite doors or pay more for higher quality. Although many manufacturers provide similar looking products and brand them all as composite doors, there can be a drastic difference in the creation of materials, quality and price. Most composite doors are filled with relatively cheap foam, with fewer designs and hardware options and lower guarantees, resulting in cheaper price tags. What would you choose — a short-term fix or a long-term THE IDEAL FRONT DOOR MUST solution? Remember, you are buying craftsmanship, BE TOUGH ENOUGH durability and quality. TO WITHSTAND WIND, Through close partnership with a RAIN, AND WOULDThe term leading manufacturer, Everglade BE INTRUDERS, YET STRIKING ENOUGH TO ‘composite’ door offers premium, high quality MAKE A GOOD FIRST simply means it is composite doors, which have IMPRESSION. an engineered hardwood made up of a mixture of timber core. Our range offers materials, but not all composite a growing variety of styles and doors are made the same way. designs – both classic and visit a good showroom to discover what is on offer You can buy cheap, low quality contemporary, an assortment and what matches your personal requirements for composite doors or pay of hardware options, high-level your home. This not only allows you to see products more for higher security and a 12-year guarantee. in person, but also gives you an idea of the quality quality. Most old doors leak heat like a of company you might be dealing with. Everglade sieve and are not draught proof. New has an extensive and Award Winning showroom composite doors are designed to comply where customers are welcome to visit. Book an with current UK building regulations, which are appointment today, so we can arrange for one of very stringent. Our doors outperform the current our qualified advisers to be available when you visit. regulations by up to 40%, making them even more Alternatively, you can visit our website to get more of Our expert JAYESH PATEL energy efficient than the building regulations require. an understanding of our services. IS THE SALES Depending on the quality of your current door, BY JAYESH PATEL DIRECTOR OF THE you could be losing more heat than you need. This LARGEST WINDOW means you are literally throwing money out of the & DOOR MANUFACTURER IN LONDON, AN EXPERT door. By upgrading to one of our energy efficient WHO REGULARLY ADVISES For more info: Asian well-insulated front doors, you could start saving on CUSTOMERS FROM your bills and help the planet. HOMEOWNERS TO MAJOR & http://www.everglade.co.uk/entranceCONSTRUCTION COMPANIES. doors/entrance-door-designer/ When you are looking to upgrade your front door,

HH

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RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE SPECIALISTS

Property Insurance Initiatives (P.i.i.) is an independently owned UK Residential and Commercial Real Estate Insurance Broker based in London. We act on behalf of private investors, High Net Worth individuals, property companies, property managers and developers, with a view to providing standard and bespoke insurance solutions for the property sector, be it a single asset or a portfolio. P.i.i. provide insurance coverage for property based in the UK, and across Europe. Based in the heart of the City of London we have excellent relationships with all the major insurers, including the Lloyds of London market, and have negotiated exclusive deals with a range of carriers to suit specific client needs. This gives us the ability to offer the most competitive terms for both Residential and Commercial property owners and issue documentation promptly. Terms can be obtained for difficult and hard to place risks, such as unoccupied properties or those undergoing redevelopment. An example of our flexibility and competitiveness is the recent insurance placement of a London residential risk for Sow & Reap, a property management company based in London. P.i.i. provided terms within 24 hours and were comfortably the most competitive provider approached. In addition to arranging cover for your property, we can also arrange competitive premiums for a range of ancillary covers which you may need, including Professional Indemnity insurance as well as a whole range of Title and Legal Indemnity insurance covers. In respect of Title and Legal Indemnity Insurance, P.i.i. have acted on behalf of some of the top property law firms in the UK.

If you wish to find out more about how we can assist you, please contact: Sandy Mooneeapen Director Property Insurance Initiatives Limited – P.i.i. E: sandym@piiuk.com M: 0777 243 9833 W: www.piiuk.com


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DOOR ACCESSORIES

DOCTOR’S DOOR KNOCKER Named as the doctor’s knocker, this luxury design is reputed to have been used on many doctors’ front doors.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT £90, www.chloealberry.com

Decorating ideas can come from many different avenues. Accessorizing your front door is the last decorating layer for your home. It is the icing on the cake, so to speak. By Saina Asadi Aesthetically speaking, your property’s front door is your opportunity to make first impressions count. We’ve heard how its important to choose the right blend of materials to make your entry door tough and secure, but what about those finishing touches? Most people neglect the idea of accessorising their front door and concentrate on the intricate detailing of decorations and furniture on the inside of their – after all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts…Right? Strictly speaking, the answer to this is no. The front door acts as the face of your home; it is what greets your friends and family. If you want to make a commanding first impression as well wishers make the approach to your property, then why not go that step further in ensuring your door is accessorised to its full advantage.

A lick of paint goes a long way Adding a coat of paint to your front door is a great way to brighten the appearance of your home. Whether you are focused on generating that modern feel by keeping with neutral colours, or your colour palette is focused on personal preference, a splash of colour is a great way to add character to your front door and differentiate your home on your street.

Good lighting Enhancing the entrance of your home’s entry point with lighting is one of the best ways to make a grand impression. Not only does lighting add a striking feature to your front door, it also provides a security measure allowing you to clearly discern the identity of visitors through the peephole. When finding a type of lighting fixture for your home’s entrance, ensure you select a bulb with a higher wattage.

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise No front door is complete without a range of striking additions. From brass doorknobs and knockers,

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SMALL POLISHED BRASS DOOR KNOCKER If you’re looking for something very simple, this affordable design will suit almost any door

£9.99, Homebase

IRON LION HEAD DOOR KNOCKER Available in black iron, this timeless door knocker will make a statement on your door

£16.99, Homebase ANGEL FACE DOOR KNOCKER You can get door knockers that look like almost anything, this is another visually interesting piece

HAND KNOCKER Looking for something bolder? Consider this

www.chloealberry.com

www.chloealberry.com OVAL RING KNOCKER This timeless nickel piece is timeless due to its circular design - perfect for a simple door, but it may be a little too understated for a period property.

£90, www.chloealberry.com to pewter letterboxes and nameplates - all this can transform your front door from simple to stylish. Available in a number of colours, styles and fusions of material, these detailed add-ons can act as a reflection of your personality. We’ve all seen the classic lion-head doorknockers and felt the element of classic luxury they bring to the overall appearance of an entrance door.

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REAL LIFE

TAKING THE EGGS without killing the goose The recent Stamp Duty Changes have done little to dampen the unquenchable thirst for the London property market. In a nutshell, these changes have made smaller properties cheaper to buy and made the larger ones a lot more expensive than under the old regime. In addition, the Capital Gains Tax charge is to be applied to all sales by non-resident by the 5th April 2015. This alone demonstrates the robustness of the London market.

T

here are still two coins in the air, which may still serve to happening. The honeymoon period, which many property dampen the demand - the main one being the results of owners have been floating on, will soon come to an end. the upcoming elections in May 2015 which, these results Many property owners are paying Rates of 1% or even could decide whether mansion tax is to be implemented or lower for the last 6 years. Lucky investors who are on the not. If labour comes in, this this tax looks to be a certainty. The base rate have been enjoying this unexpected monthly cash terms of this tax and how it will be implemented are flow from their BTL properties. This is likely to come still not totally clear. The consensus is properties, to an end sooner rather than later. This could which are above ÂŁ2m, will be hit with a cause this sector in the property market to finally THE CONSENSUS IS continuous yearly charge. This will serve to hit be squeezed. The implications on this are not PROPERTIES, WHICH the net yield generated by London property, expected to be adverse, as property prices in ARE ABOVE ÂŁ2M, in a market where the yield is already very low general have increased since the credit crunch. WILL BE HIT WITH due to rents not managing to keep pace with Therefore, there is enough equity to refinance with A CONTINUOUS the recent raises in property values. another lender - had the rates gone up whilst the YEARLY CHARGE Hong Kong has implemented a similar tax, property would have been in negative equity, these despite the initial uneasiness amongst investors landlords would have felt the pain. after the dust settled, the prices kept rising. London These are interesting times for the London Market. It has a far wider appeal and if Hong Kong is anything to go by, has survived many blows and still continues to rise and prosper. London will recover even more quickly. Property is understandably a golden goose to the government The second is an interest rate hike on the current 0.5%, of the country - whoever it may be - the trick is to take carefully which has been in existence since the 9th March 2009. take the eggs and not kill the goose in the process. BY SURESH VAGJIANI As more time goes on, the stronger the chances are of it

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PROBLEMS SOLVED

Ask Anna

THE AGONY AUNT Our resident superwoman is our regular expert for all your issues and problems. This issue we tackle domestic abuse… Domestic abuse can be described as the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence and any other forms of deliberate infliction of suffering. An estimated 6-10% of women are affected by domestic abuse every year; though most suffer in silence and are forced to accept the role of the victim not only due to fear, but also the lack of awareness. The role of a family lawyer is often similar to that of a family consultant or therapist, where they will not only clarify viable options and goals for you, but also support you through stressful times. Family Law specialist, Anna Patel, answers your questions with advise on dealing with domestic and financial matters.

Understanding domestic abuse

Q

Dear Anna, my husband often forces me to have sex with him even though I have clearly informed him that I do not want to have sex with him. I feel obliged to have sex with him as we are married ... Is this right? Domestic abuse can take many forms including physical assault, sexual abuse, psychological violence and emotional neglect. Physical abuse in a domestic sphere refers to the force of injury and pain against an intimate partner. Sexual abuse is a further form of physical abuse, whereby you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity. Any form of forced sexual activity, even by a spouse or intimate partner remains as an act of aggression and violence. No one should have to endure such patterns of behaviour, nor should they accept this kind of pain as a way of life in an intimate relationship or marriage.

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6-10% OF WOMEN ARE AFFECTED BY DOMESTIC ABUSE EVERY YEAR, THOUGH MOST SUFFER IN SILENCE

Domestic abuse can take many forms including physical assault, sexual abuse, psychological violence & emotional neglect.

Know your rights

Q

Dear Anna, I have suffered mental and physical abuse from my husband throughout my marriage, however, I am concerned about how I would survive financially if I file for divorce. My husband has always been the breadwinner and I have always been a housewife, taking a backseat in my career to bring up my children. All the assets are in my husband’s name; does this mean I do not have any claims on them? You will need to seek legal advice to obtain a Non-Molestation and Occupation Order to continue to reside alone in the family home with your children. As seen in Case Law, the Court does recognize that when a spouse remains at home to bring up the children, this is her contribution to the marriage. This has allowed the husband to pursue a professional career, in order to financially provide for the family. If the property is in your husband’s sole name, then you should urgently register a Matrimonial Home Right Notice at the Land Registry.

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Recognizing abuse is the first step to getting help

Speak up if you suspect abuse

Q

Q

Not all domestic abuse results in physical aggression and injury. Many men and women suffer from emotional or mental manipulation, which is no less destructive. Acknowledging the signs of any type of abusive relationship are your first steps towards ending it - the most telling sign is living in fear of your partner. Even if there is no physical violence, a non-molestation order can be obtained as both mental and emotional abuse is a form of harassment. In respect of the divorce proceedings, you can approach this case against your wife on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, as you can no longer be expected to continue to live with her.

For many, expressing concern for yourself and your family is the most daunting step. Around 1 in 5 children have been exposed to domestic violence. As a result of witnessing domestic abuse at home, children are at risk of developing emotional, behavioural, developmental or academic problems. A lack of information about alternative options will force yourself and your children into suffering silently within the four walls of your home. In terms of taking a legal step, you can obtain a NonMolestation and Occupation Order, ousting your husband from the family home, allowing you and your children to continue living safely. Non – Molestation Order – Your husband is forbidden to use violence against you and must not instruct or encourage any other person

Dear Anna, I have not suffered from domestic violence, but have suffered from mental and emotional abuse by my wife who has a highflying career. It was agreed that I would stay at home to take care of the 3 children of the marriage. My wife is very controlling in the marriage and I am extremely concerned about the welfare of the children. I now want to file for divorce, however, I will need to continue to reside in the family home with my wife until all the financial matters are dealt with. Please can you let me know the options available to me?

Asian

& HH

For more info:

Dear Anna, I have been suffering from domestic violence in my marriage for several years, but have not mentioned this to anyone or sought professional legal advice. I want to seek help but I am absolutely terrified. The violence takes place in front of my children and this has made them unstable. They also witness the arguments between me and my husband. What can I do in this situation?

to do so. He will be forbidden to communicate with you by telephone, text, e-mail. Furthermore, your husband will be prohibited from visiting the family home, enter the vicinity of your workplace or the school of the children. An Occupation Order - Your husband will be requested to leave, allowing you and your children to reside in the family home alone. He will need to seek alternative accommodation and is forbidden to return to the family home or go within the area in which you reside.

www.stenfield.com

ONE IN FIVE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. AS A RESULT OF WITNESSING DOMESTIC ABUSE AT HOME, CHILDREN ARE AT RISK OF DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL, BEHAVIOURAL, DEVELOPMENTAL OR ACADEMIC PROBLEMS.

Our expert ANNA PATEL ANNA PATELIS A HAVING ISSOLICITOR A PARTNER PRACTICED AND OF STENFIELD SPECIALISED IN FAMILY SOLICITORS. LAW FOR 12AND YEARS, HAVING PRACTICED SHE HAS DEALT WITH HIGH NET SPECIALISED IN FAMILY LAW WORTH DIVORCE AND FINANCIAL FOR 12 YEARS, SHE HAS MATTERS AND COMPLEX DEALT WITH HIGH NET WORTH CHILDREN MATTERS. DIVORCE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS AND COMPLEX CHILDREN MATTERS.

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SQUIRES

BUILDING CONTRACTORS LTD

Tel: 0845 108 0577 : Fax 0845 108 0578

Varnak House Unit 7 Genesis Business Park Rainsford Road London NW10 7RG

Email: info@squiresbc.com

Special Needs Project Design & Build – Early Stages

Special Needs Project Design & Build – Finishing Stages

NEW BUILD/DESIGN & BUILD · REFURBISHMENT & CONVERSIONS · AIDS/ADAPTATIONS WE ARE PREFFERED CONTRACTORS TO SOW AND REAP

SUMMER 2015 | ASIAN HOUSE & HOME

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BUYING ADVICE

CREDIT HISTORY

A clean credit history. If you have any concerns you should get a copy of your credit report from Experian or Equifax (www. experian.co.uk, www.equifax.co.uk). Both are credit reference agencies and monitor your relationship with credit providers. In addition both of these companies can provide you with your credit rating or credit score. The higher the score, the better chance you have of securing a mortgage. One thing that has become more common in the last few years are pay day loan companies. Avoid these at all costs as mortgage lenders may not lend to you if you have used them recently.

Key points for

FIRST TIME BUYERS Specialising in mortgage advise, Pankaj Parekh, our independent financial advisor, shares his key points of importance for first time buyers.

Deposit Saving for a deposit is a must. The greater the deposit, the better the mortgage deal. The Government has now introduced Help to Buy schemes which require only a 5% deposit. These options are great to get on to the property if your savings are minimal. If no savings are available then you should approach your family. Under no circumstances should you arrange finance via credit cards or loans to raise a deposit.

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Survey Property surveys are absolutely essential and a requirement when buying a property that requires a mortgage. Costs depend on the type of survey you require. Generally, the older the property the detailed the survey. There are three types of surveys available: BASIC MORTGAGE VALUATION Minimum required by the lender HOMEBUYERS REPORT AND SURVEY Similar to the above but more detailed FULL STRUCTURAL REPORT AND SURVEY Generally required for much older properties and the most detailed but also the most expensive.

Solicitors Fees These include the Solicitors personal fees and the following: Stamp Duty- this is a tax charged by the Government on the purchase of land or property. The amount payable is based on the value the property. Land Registry and Search Fees- the land registry fees are dependent on the value of the property and search fees costs on the local council.

Mortgage Arrangement Fees

Don’t forget‌ Property surveys are absolutely essential and a requirement when buying a property that requires a mortgage

These fees are dependent on the product you chose. Lenders will give you the option of lower Interest rate products with fees and higher rate products without fees. This is something your mortgage broker will advise you on and help you chose the most cost effective option.

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HOME INSURANCES You are required by law to have Buildings Insurance on your property. Contents Insurance is also a must but not a legal requirement. It is, however, important to have both and there are many options available which your broker will advise you on.

PERSONAL INSURANCES When entering into a mortgage you need to consider protecting not just yourself but your family. Mortgage lenders will insist that you consider Life Insurance and Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance when taking out a new mortgage. There is plenty of information on the Internet but you should get professional advice from your Mortgage Brokerr if qualified or an Independent Financial Advisor.

Removal Costs

Furniturre Costs

THIS IS SOMETIMES When buying you ur OVERLOOKED AND first property you u IMPORTANT ESPECIALLY IF will probably have to buy new w YOU HAVE AMASSED A furniture and HUGE AMOUNT OF appliances. Y You ou PERSONAL can sometime arrange nge BELONGINGS with the current ownerss to purchase unwanted items ms at a cheaper cost than buying new. Although not fully comprehensive the information detailed represents the key points you need to consider when buying your first home. Y You ou can attempt to do this on your own however using a Mortgage Broke er or Independent Financial Advisor would be a wiser er option. Y You ou may be charged for their services but they will help you through the process and make it as stress free as possible.

Our eexpert xpert

PANKAJ PAREKH IS AN EXPERT INDEPENDENT FINANCIA AL ADVISOR SPECIALISING IN MORTGAG GE ADVICE. HE H HAS 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AND HAVE PROVIDED HIS CLIENTS ADVICE ON ALL AR REAS OF THEIR FINANCIA AL NEEDS, ESPECIALLY MORTGAGES.

FIRST TIME BUYER CASE STUDY S This case study follows how a recently married ed couple managed to buy their first home by making a few changes. John and Lea Smith were recently married and living in rented accommodation. They were introduced to me by existing clients of mine who mentioned that they wished to buy their first property together. I contacted them and arranged a meeting to see what position they would be in. Like many others, they made the transition from living with parents to renting. However, the big challenge they faced when buying a home of their own was raising a deposit. Being their first property, they were looking at two bedroomed flats in their h i area. The prices ranged from £200,000 to £250,000. They both had good jobs. Their credit history was clean, with no outstanding credit commitments and their overall affordability for a mortgage was more than sufficient. John was an IT analyst and Lea an office manager at a firm of solicitors. They had initially thought about buying a property a couple of years ago, but the challenge was enormous because most lenders expected them to have at least a 10 per cent deposit which, in reality, put house buying beyond their reach. I asked them about the possibility of borrowing money from their parents, but this was not an option as their parents although comfortable had small pensions and very little in savings. The only option therefore was to save themselves to build up the funds necessary for the deposit and associated costs like survey fees and Solicitors fees. They had already saved £10,000 but that would only cover half the deposit. They had noticed that some lenders were offering Help to Buy mortgages with only a 5% deposit, but these attracted high Interest rates and fees. They also l did didn’t ’t want to go down own the Help to Buy ‘Equity Loan’ route te as they didn’t want to owe anyone ne any money or give up any profit on future f sale. http://www.helptobuy.org.uk rg.uk Having looked at their ir monthly income and outgoings, itt seemed

odd that they were re only saving a few hundred pounds unds per month. We discussed their outgoings and it was agreed that these e could be reduced significantly. I drew rew up a monthly budget plan whicch they would need to stick to for the e next 6-12months. Based on their diisposable income we calculated tha at they could comfortable save e £1,000pm. Ten months later, ater, John called and updated me on their progress. They managed to o save more than £1000pm. In fact,, they saved closerr to £1,250pm. £1 250pm. This s meant that with their original £10,000, they had d increased their i overall savings avings to £22 22,500. Th Thankfully, property prices were still at we simi milar prices in their area; so I told them to t considerr properties s up to £220,000 00 with a view v off offering less. I told d them t to ccontinue saving to as much as possible, pos ible, as the process can take a couple e of months, even if they have an offer ffer on a property accepted. These extra savings could supplement the deposit or pay for mortgage and solicitor olicitor fees. Two weeks later, ter, they had an offer accepted on n a flat for £210,000. We quickly arran nged a mortgage with Abbey and had a mortgage a few weeks later. John and Lea now own their first property. They couldn’t ouldn’t have done this had they not changed their spending habits. I find this to be one of the major nega ative factors with First Time Buyers. rs. That coupled with poor credit history h make it very diffi lt to get on difficult n the property ladder. It’s very easy to make poor choices but very difficult to make things right when it comes to o lending money. Therefore if you have any thoughts on buying properrty, it’s best to get Independent advvice first.

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TENANT EVICTIONS

GET OUT! In the past three years, tenant eviction across the UK has increased by more than 33% and last year alone saw landlords evicting 36,211, according to the Ministry of Justice. xperienced Landlords, who have problematic tenants, do not always know and understand what the process and the cost elements are of evicting tenants. However, experienced tenants, will always know what their rights are when it comes to evictions. As a letting agent, landlords always ask us what the quickest and cheapest process of evicting a tenant is. The answer to this question would be ensuring that you have the correct terms and conditions in place at the start of the tenancy agreement. If you lack knowledge on the Housing Acts, employ a specialist eviction company or a solicitor specialising in tenant evictions. So why would you want to evict a tenant? Below are a few of the reasons. Rent Arrears. Breach of tenancy agreement. Anti-social behaviour. Landlord wanting to move into their property.

The correct way of evicting the tenant from your property is by issuing the correct notices, depending on what grounds you require the possession. In our experience, we always recommend that landlords have a twelve-month tenancy agreement with 6 months break clause. The reason for this is that with a fixed term tenancy agreement, without any break clauses, the time it takes to get possession can be very long and costly as you are relying on Section 8 Notice and the different grounds within this Notice. Where you have a break clause, we would always recommend Section 21 notice, as this is quick, cost effective and an accelerated procedure.

If you are not experienced in carrying out the right procedures of evictions, below are typical examples why the judges might not grant the landlord possession. Landlord failed to protect the tenants deposit in the correct government scheme with the prescribed information. The tenants names are spelled incorrectly when preparing the notices and court paper work. The Notices have the wrong expiry dates. Rent arrears statements are confusing or incorrect. The court possession forms filled incorrectly.

As a landlord, you will always get frustrated when you have a problematic tenant and the key to possession of your property is to follow the correct ways of evictions and not by harassment or illegal evictions. Below are a few examples of harassment and illegal evictions Stopping services like Gas, Electricity and Water. Refusing to carry out repairs. Threats and physical violence. Changing the external door locks. Eviction without court order.

Infinity Property Solutions advice on preparing for a tenant eviction Always issue a 12 month tenancy agreement with a six month break clause. Always issue a Section 21 Notice at the start of the tenancy agreement, as tenants are more likely to sign the acknowledgement of the notice. Allows protect the tenants deposit in an approved government scheme. Employ a specialist eviction company or a solicitor to carry out the eviction.

CASE STUDY

Our expert A client came into our office to state that she has been managing her own property and she has been issuing her own tenancy agreement. The landlady issued the tenant with a section 8 notice and the dates on this notice were incorrect. The tenant was claiming housing benefit and she was in rent arrears. Furthermore, their tenancy agreement had expired and was on a periodic tenancy. The landlady wanted to evict the tenant. The local council advised the tenant to remain in the property until the landlady went to court and the tenant received a bailiff’s warrant from the courts. When I looked into the case in detail, the solution to the problem was to issue two section 21 notices to the tenant, as the dates on the original tenancy agreement were incorrect. Within 2 months of the expiry of the section 21 notices, the tenant was evicted and the landlady carried out remedial works and the property was re-rented via our agency within 1 week.

THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE: ENSURE THAT THE TENANCY AGREEMENT HAS THE CORRECT DATES

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MR. KAMLESH PADHRA DIRECTOR OF INFINITY PROPERTY SOLUTIONS LTD. HAS OVER 10 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE IN THE PROPERTY MARKET, EXPERT IN RESIDENTIAL SALES, LETTINGS AND TENANT PROBLEMS. QUALIFIED WITH BSC (HONS) AND AWARDED NFOPP QUALIFICATION. EXPERT PROPERTY COMMENTATOR FOR LOCAL AND NATION MEDIA.

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RENT ARREARS BREACH OF TENANCY AGREEMENT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR LANDLORD WANTING TO MOVE INTO THEIR PROPERTY

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INTERVIEW

STRENGTH IN UNITY

the secret to running a family business Suresh Vagjiani, consulting editor Asian House and Home catches up with Bharat Thakrar, an extremely humble yet articulate businessman who has immense interest in the property market.

Q

Tell us a bit about your journey from Uganda to the UK

bedroom house in Whitchurch Lane, Edgware. I was born in Jinja, Uganda in 1957 and from One of my brothers was working at an off licence; there I went to India in 1969 to study and play semianother brother was a cashier at a post-office. My professional cricket. My family were forced out of parents relocated here at the age of 62, so they were Uganda under the Idi Amin regime and moved to retired since the initial move. We were raised to be England. I followed my family and moved to England ambitious and hard working and followed from our from India in 1978. I soon took up my first job in the fathers example. UK with a firm of Chartered Accountants, Fischer After the first year, our ambition and the family and Company based in Golders Green. I worked with support helped us in buying one shop every year until them for 6 years and passed my level 2 in SSCA. we had five. Immediately, we grew an understanding In 1983 whilst attending an audit I came across an of the game and the natural progression to wholesale opportunity to purchase an off licence in Greenland, took place in the 80’s. Stoke Newington. Between my brothers and myself What do you think you did differently to others that we felt that the off licences would be a fantastic fit made you so successful? since we had business and retail experience and we My Father, brothers and myself had a very strong were seeking an opportunity. work ethic and committed ourselves 7 days a week My three brothers and I bought this first off-licence to our work. All my brothers were working together, for £16,000 – 95% of that we borrowed out, the juggling shifts. We opened our shop(s) at further 5% we also borrowed from friends 11am and closed at 9pm or later. We also and family. HUMBLE had two opening hours on Sundays My brother’s colleague, a Jewish BEGINNINGS as well. gentleman named Mr Meyer, gave MY THREE BROTHERS We then sold our shops to Victoria us initial help in our investment. AND ME BOUGHT THE FIRST OFF-LICENCE wine, and went onto buying a small His assistance was absolutely FOR £16,000 – 95% OF warehouse in Edgware where vital and to this day, we hold it in THAT WE BORROWED we started wholesaling. My first the highest esteem. His belief in OUT, THE FURTHER 5% customer was Eddie Sahoo from us along with his generosity led WE ALSO BORROWED FROM FRIENDS AND Shamin shop in Burnt Oak. him to invest in my brother and FAMILY. The next time we met was in 1992; myself.. He has not even taken his . by that time my company’s turnover was 5% back. In return, we decided to buy 35 million pound. We had also grown into the him a Mercedes for Christmas and continue property market, including three hotels in King’s cross, to recognise his generosity to this day. which we developed into one. Due to the recession in Where were you first living once you got here? the business industry, we had to give up on the entire When I came here in 1977, my family had structure. Business was also affected by the Iraq war bought a small three bedroom house on Mollison and black Monday. In 1993, we restarted to build the Way in Edgware. In all we are 5 brothers and 4 business again. In 1995, I started to commit myself full sisters. At the time I moved to the UK, my sisters and time to the property business as a re-investment vehicle eldest brother were married. Myself, three brother for our wholesale business. My Brothers continued to and my parents . run the Wines and Spirits Wholesale business. I have That property was bought by my elder brother for created a flourishing property investment business from £18,000 and had a £15,000 mortgage from memory. scratch and over the years we have added a number Once I arrived from India, we bought another sixof property service sectors to the business. My first real

Q

Q

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INTERVIEW

estate transaction was a development in Dewsberry. The knowledge I got in property was from one of my business partners in the film industry, Kamal. He used to be in the property business so he guided me through his experiences. Since then, I have been buying and selling properties, giving me my company, B&S Property based in Mayfair.

Q

How did the credit crunch affect you?

Unfortunately, it affected us as it affected everybody. Luckily, with good advisers and brokers we have been able to restructure some of the properties that were in the red. We have managed to engage with a number of our lenders in restructuring our debt or in some instances buying the lender out of the frame by way of debt purchase or discount redemptions.

Q

Why are you averse to providing personal guarantees when buying real estate?

Because in 1992, we had an issue due to me appearing as a personal guarantee. Since that particular date, we have a family constitution not to provide PG’s in any circumstance. Today, all our loans are secured with specific assets and not with personal guarantees. We make sure we make educated and smart decisions, thinking about the future and the present when undertaking any investment. It also helps that I have got skilled advisers who guide me through the process; so we are doing fine.

Q

So would you say that after the credit crunch, the banks had a problem and not you? As the saying goes – If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s their problem.

Put it that way. This credit crunch was a problem for everyone. I have seen many professional people in the property game that have gone downhill. By God’s grace, we are okay and we have survived. We did a lot of buying and selling during the credit crunch. We bought and sold very quickly. We focussed on key areas of the West End of London and particular affluent suburbs, only in a bid to ensure that the assets were stable in value and also desirable for buyers if we wish to exit.

Q

Can you tell us about the high profile deals you have been involved with?

We owned 1-5 Baker Street, which we had bought for £11million in 2000. We then sold it to British Land two years ago for £22.5 million.

Q

What is the worst decision you have made in your business? You mentioned something about South Africa, could you elaborate?

I now believe in the motto, “grow your flowers where you can go and water them”. So it’s better to invest in what you can see right in front of your eyes, rather than investing in other countries. It was a joint decision with the family to invest in Africa. However, I now firmly believe in investing in the UK.

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Q

Are there any further businesses that you are involved in?

We have been involved in the Wine and Spirits business, pharmaceutical wholesaling, insurance, and we also have shares with Spread Betting Company. Recently, we also bought a gift packaging company, called Gift Creation. My nephew Samit has further expanded the pharmaceutical business recently with some large strategic acquisitions of competing wholesale business in friendly deals.

Q

HIS CREDIT CRUNCH WAS A PROBLEM FOR EVERYONE. I HAVE SEEN MANY PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE IN THE PROPERTY GAME THAT HAVE GONE DOWNHILL. BY GOD’S GRACE, WE ARE OKAY AND WE HAVE SURVIVED.

What tips would you want to give to those wanting to enter business?

If you are investing in property, it is better to understand the model of the business and know whom you are doing the business with. I believe credibility is everything. And don’t try to do double the work and then quit. Try to grow slowly and work with experienced partners.

Q

How important has been your family unity in your business growth?

Our family values are the most important thing. We are five brothers, four sisters and their families. Even today, we think of ourselves as one unit. ‘One is one, two is eleven’; that’s what my father used to say.

Q

How have you maintained the unity?

In a large family, you have to give more than you take. You have to be able to analyse and be methodical. Everybody has their ups and downs and changing moods; you have to be able to understand each other’s psychology.

Q

This family principle is true in your father’s generation, slightly true in your generation, but even lesser in the third generation and so on. How do you see your family unit staying in the future?

We have structured everything. And we think it should continue for a few generations. Together we have learnt a lot of techniques and we should stick to the basics. We have embedded in our children the basic values: Do good things and good things will happen to you.

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VIEWPOINT

At the coffee shop Today Rachel Dimond managed to grab one of our team Experts, Mitesh Vekaria Managing Director of Vascrot Contractors, over a hot drink to delve a little into how it feels to be in the property market. Being an extremely busy and successful businessman, managing many projects, he gave me insight into his journey.

Q

What ignited the spark in you to venture into the property business?

My family has ties to the property (construction) industry, which spans over 3 generations. My grandfather founded and ran a reputable construction business in Uganda, East Africa in the 60’s/70’s. Following the expulsion of Asians from Uganda and the family then moving to the UK as refugees - my father and uncle founded Vascroft Contractors Ltd and worked in the industry as labourers themselves. I could say that property is in the family blood!

Q

What are the most important factors when you are seeking a property to invest in?

Without sounding like a cliché, it is location, location and location. You shouldn’t have any emotional attachment to the property, although it is a very easy trap to fall in to.

Q

When attempting to tackle a difficult decision, whom would you turn to for advice?

Without a doubt, my father. He has a wealth of experience in areas aside from property/construction. He’s What has been a grand master in emotional your worst experience intelligence with great in your current property? business acumen. If anything, sometimes the ‘turning to Learning the hard way, what the advice for’ is simply me true impact of bridging finance looking to him for a boost of and mezzanine finance can cost a confidence or affirmation of a development project when there decision that I have made. are project over runs beyond

anyone’s control and how quickly that can turn a viable project into a disaster.

Q

If you had the chance to start all over again, what would you do differently?

Nothing. Despite qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor with a good professional grounding in the industry property and construction is not something that you can learn by textbooks. You have to walk the course, try things out and make mistakes and learn from them.

Q

What are your key tips of importance for a young investor? Make yourself a good

network of key stakeholders: agents, lawyers,

22

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM contractors and LOCATION TO BUY financiers. You A PROPERTY (UK OR ABROAD)? will need all of MY DREAM LOCATION WOULD them to make HAVE TO BE A PROPERTY a success in SITUATED IN KENSINGTON the industry. PALACE GARDENS! AN OASIS IN LONDON’S SUPER PRIME Are there any AREA.

Q

typical questions that you find yourself always being asked?

Yes, how much will it cost to build this/that? This is not a simple and straightforward answer - a lot of time and effort goes into compiling a construction quote. The quote compilation itself is an expensive task to resource, often taking on average 3 to 4 weeks for an estimator to undertake properly!

Q

Can you share with our readers a horror story or one of your funniest anecdotes as experienced in Property?

During a deep excavation for a very high-end residential project in central London, where we were forming a triple basement - we happened to find one of the “lost rivers of london”. Basically, a river had receded over time to a depth where it had simply disappeared from the maps of the Environment Agency. However, Vascroft finding it during an excavation was not a pleasant experience as we found our site suddenly dealing with a surge of water, and an unexpected hazard to resolve. Fortunately, with extensive engineering input and design we managed to overcome the problem and divert the river around our site.

Q

Does it help to work in property to know the market better, or would you advise anyone to get involved.

Yes, there is no better way to engage yourself in the industry then getting ‘stuck in’!

Q

Finally, any quick advise you can offer our readers seeking their place in the business?

You have to learn and have the ability to take risks. Without risk there is no reward.

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LEGISLATION

My neighbours are having a

PARTY WALL AGREEMENT Most people by now will have heard about Party Wall Agreements, but will know very little about them or be mis-informed regarding it’s use and power. I’m going to attempt to demystify this paranormal legislature that is a mine field for anybody contemplating extending their home, but without getting too technical. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996’ came into effect in July 1997, and applies throughout England and Wales. It was designed to mitigate issues surrounding party wall matters without the need for expensive and protracted legal action between two (or more) neighbours. It is a dual purpose legislation that assists the building owner carrying out the works, but also provides protection to the adjoining owners that could be affected. It is essentially a legal document that sets out precisely what works can be carried out, and stipulates the time and manner by which it should take place.

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LEGISLATION

What is a Party Wall? A Party wall is defined as a wall forming part of a building that stands on the land of different owners, or as much of a wall that separates buildings belonging to different owners. For example, the common wall that separates a pair of semi-detached houses, or in terrace of houses and also walls (and floors) separating flats. A masonry garden wall built astride the boundary line could also fall into this definition.

When does the act apply? A Party Wall Notice should be served if any one of the following applies: It is intended to build upon the line of junction (i.e. boundary line) that has not been built upon. It is intended to make structural alterations to the Party Wall for the purpose of. Installing steel beams (i.e. typically in a loft conversion). To raise the wall to enclose a proposed extension. To cut into the party wall to insert a damp proof course, lead flashing, or any other weather protection for a structure being built against it. To underpin a party wall (i.e. when forming abasement). When excavating foundations within 3m of an adjoining structure and the proposed foundations would be lower than those of a structure within 3m. When constructing foundations which would be within 6m of your adjoining owners building, and the depth of the proposed foundations would cut a line drawn at 45 degrees from the base of their foundations towards your foundations, e.g. when forming deep piled foundations. If proposing to form a Through-lounge opening between the front and rear reception rooms. Where the Chimney Breasts are being removed and attached to the party wall. The above is not a comprehensive list, but covers the most frequent scenarios for the average home owner.

What is the procedure for serving a Party Wall Notice? A notice, in simple terms, is a written document served by the building owner proposing to carry out the works to all of the adjoining owners that have an interest in the Party Wall. The notice must contain the following information as a minimum for it to be valid: 1 The name and address of the building owners carrying out the works. 2The name and address of the adjoining owners with a legal interest in the Party Wall. 3 A description of the proposed works. 4 The date when the works will commence. It is also necessary to attach a full set of the construction drawings, specifically those illustrating the proposed works subject to the Notice.

What are my options if served with a Party Wall Notice? As the adjoining owner you have the following options: 1 Consent to the works; or 2 Dissent to the works, then

IT IS NOW VERY COMMON TO RECEIVE LETTERS FROM PARTY WALL SURVEYORS OFFERING THEIR SERVICES WHEN ONE OF YOUR NEIGHBOURS HAS SUBMITTED A PLANNING APPLICATION FOR AN EXTENSION OR A LOFT CONVERSION. THESE SURVEYORS ARE EFFECTIVELY TOUTING FOR BUSINESS, MUCH LIKE AMBULANCE CHASERS

The common wall

that separates a either concur in the appointment of the Party pair of semi-detached Wall Surveyor to act for both parties, or to houses, or in terrace of appoint an independent Surveyor. houses, and also walls Dissent would allow the Surveyors to carry out a Schedule of Condition Survey (and floors) separating flats. of the adjoining owners premises to record A masonry garden wall built the condition before works commence, astride the boundary and prepare an Award, which is line could also UNDER the name given to the final fall into this NORMAL agreement. Subsequently, definition. CIRCUMSTANCES, any reported damages would THE BUILDING OWNER WHO IS therefore be evaluated by CARRYING OUT THE the Surveyors against the WORKS IS LIABLE FOR Condition Survey. THE COSTS OF THE SURVEYORS

Who pays for the surveyors costs? Under normal circumstances, the building owner who is carrying out the works is liable for the costs of the Surveyors, including the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyors reasonable fees.

Beware of the surveyor It is now very common to receive letters from Party Wall Surveyors offering their services when one of your neighbours has submitted a Planning Application for an extension or a loft conversion. These surveyors are effectively touting for business, much like ambulance chasers. Although some are reputable and established firms, many are preying upon the vulnerable, and hoping to be appointed, on the basis of it being a ‘free service’ for the adjoining owner, as the building owner is liable for their costs. You are advised to always consult your neighbours before embarking on this route, as this often creates a dispute before the notices have even been served. These Surveyors are often the most expensive too. Many people will be tempted to ‘have a go’ themselves, and use the standard templates available on the Internet. This is perfectly acceptable, so long as there isn’t a dispute during the works, as a professional surveyor will not be available to mediate between the parties.

Asian

& HH

For more info: There is of course much more to Party Wall Notices, the procedures, Surveyor’s powers etc., which can be fully appreciated by referring to the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors website; www.fpws.org.uk or the government website ‘www.gov.uk/party-walletc-act-1996-guidance’.

Our expert KISH BHUDIA IS A CHARTERED ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGIST & PARTY WALL SURVEYOR WITH OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN LOCAL AUTHORITY & PRIVATE BUILDING CONTROL & RUNS AN ARCHITECTURAL & BUILDING CONSULTANCY.

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HOUSE INSPIRATION

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Snug up with a fabulous throw made of incredibly soft wool, by the interior designer of choice for many of Hollywood’s A-list, Kelly Hoppen. Throw folds sits beautifully on your bed or on the sofa for wrapping up warm on those chilly nights!

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AUCTIONS

Why?

A guide to… THE SMART GUIDE BUYING TO BUYINGRESIDENTIAL AT PROPERTY AT AUCTION 1

Some years ago in the auction, there was a flat in W2, impulsive buyers who had perhaps lost out on other properties in this auction, then bid for this particular property, in the hope for bagging a deal. During this period nothing in W2 would have been sold for less than £300,000. So when the hammer fell and the successful bidder ended up exchanging on a property for £200,000, they were elated. They paid the 10% as per auction contracts and then went FIND OUT INFORMATION for their first viewing of the property. To their amazement, Information on all properties, legal it was the size of a cupboard. It had the utilities connected, information and dates of future auctions can be as was mentioned in the particulars, but the size was not obtained via an online catalogue or in print. Suresh Vagjiani sharessold twowithout stories, internal based on real experiences at property mentioned as the property was being IDENTIFY LOTS auctions that he believes have real learning value. Read on to discover inspection. Lookto through the catalogue and identify why one particular property was sold multiple times, only find that the The miniscule size made it impossible to rent and those Lots that may be of interest. A list of purchasers continued to fail in completing on. properties can be found at the front of the therefore the ‘successful’ purchaser decided not to complete catalogue. Remember, some Lots are offered on this deal and chose to default on the contract and lose on with vacant possession, some are tenanted and the 10% they had already paid. The owner then released it some may be part-vacant. again for the next naïve buyer at the next auction. CHECK GUIDE PRICES This is certainly one way to make your property earn a Guide prices are mailed with the auction good yield - it beats renting! catalogue, but are subject to change. Up to the

AUCTIONS 2 3

The 24hr Property conversion

Another story is of a quick conversion. A builder regularly purchases property and then does a 24-hour conversion into two flats. For this reason, it does not matter if you go and view the property as it has the kitchen, the bathroom units etc. However in this case, these utilities were not plugged to the mains, neither did they have planning permission in place! The units had just been placed in the property to give the appearance of two flats and therefore, having an increasing effect on the value and the potential rental income. Naturally, bidders eager to grab a bargain will be quickly deceived as T&Cs they see the two flats going for Check that you have cheaper than market price. read and understood This has been done time and all the various legal time again, with the property documents and terms being sold at the auction and & conditions when buying at auction. netting the traders a good sum of money. These examples illustrate the need for due diligence. Small mistakes can turn very expensive. The information below will help you to purchase in a safe manner and profit from the current downturn in the property market. 40 28

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P39-43 AUCTIONS FINAL.indd 40

minute guide prices can be obtained from the relevant auctioneer’s site. Please note: Guide prices are not necessarily figures at which a property will sell. They are only intended to be an indication of the seller’s minimum expectation.

LOOK OUT FOR CHANGES TO THE INFORMATION

4

Occasionally changes need to be made to the Lot information or the Special Conditions of Sale. These can be found in the Addendum section.

VIEW THE PROPERTY

5

This can be done as a group viewing or through the estate agent.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

6

If you find a property that is of interest, it is worth enquiring with the auctioneer if it can be sold prior to the auction. The auctioneer may alert you if there are any offers going through currently.

OBTAIN LEGAL DOCUMENTATION

7

The vendor’s solicitors prepare legal packs containing (where applicable) special conditions of sale, title deeds, leases, office copy entries, searches, and replies to pre-contract enquiries, which are normally available for a small charge. These will help you make an informed decision about the Lot. If you need further legal information please contact the vendor’s

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AUCTIONS

Why?

A guide to… THE SMART GUIDE BUYING TO BUYINGRESIDENTIAL AT PROPERTY AT AUCTION 1

Some years ago in the auction, there was a flat in W2, impulsive buyers who had perhaps lost out on other properties in this auction, then bid for this particular property, in the hope for bagging a deal. During this period nothing in W2 would have been sold for less than £300,000. So when the hammer fell and the successful bidder ended up exchanging on a property for £200,000, they were elated. They paid the 10% as per auction contracts and then went FIND OUT INFORMATION for their first viewing of the property. To their amazement, Information on all properties, legal it was the size of a cupboard. It had the utilities connected, information and dates of future auctions can be as was mentioned in the particulars, but the size was not obtained via an online catalogue or in print. Vagjiani shares twowithout stories,internal based on real experiences at property mentioned as theSuresh property was being sold IDENTIFY LOTS auctions that he believes have real learning value. Read on to discover inspection. Look through the catalogue and identify particular property was and sold multiple times, only to find that the The minisculewhy sizeone made it impossible to rent those Lots that may be of interest. A list of purchasers continued to fail in completing on. can be found at the front of the properties therefore the ‘successful’ purchaser decided not to complete catalogue. Remember, some Lots are offered on this deal and chose to default on the contract and lose on with vacant possession, some are tenanted and the 10% they had already paid. The owner then released it some may be part-vacant. again for the next naïve buyer at the next auction. CHECK GUIDE PRICES This is certainly one way to make your property earn a Guide prices are mailed with the auction good yield - it beats renting! catalogue, but are subject to change. Up to the

AUCTIONS 2 3

The 24hr Property conversion

Another story is of a quick conversion. A builder regularly purchases property and then does a 24-hour conversion into two flats. For this reason, it does not matter if you go and view the property as it has the kitchen, the bathroom units etc. However in this case, these utilities were not plugged to the mains, neither did they have planning permission in place! The units had just been placed in the property to give the appearance of two flats and therefore, having an increasing effect on the value and the potential rental income. Naturally, bidders eager to grab a bargain will be quickly deceived as T&Cs they see the two flats going for Check that you have cheaper than market price. read and understood This has been done time and all the various legal time again, with the property documents and terms being sold at the auction and & conditions when buying at auction. netting the traders a good sum of money. These examples illustrate the need for due diligence. Small mistakes can turn very expensive. The information below will help you to purchase in a safe manner and profit from the current downturn in the property market.

minute guide prices can be obtained from the relevant auctioneer’s site. Please note: Guide prices are not necessarily figures at which a property will sell. They are only intended to be an indication of the seller’s minimum expectation.

LOOK OUT FOR CHANGES TO THE INFORMATION

4

Occasionally changes need to be made to the Lot information or the Special Conditions of Sale. These can be found in the Addendum section.

VIEW THE PROPERTY

5

This can be done as a group viewing or through the estate agent.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

6

If you find a property that is of interest, it is worth enquiring with the auctioneer if it can be sold prior to the auction. The auctioneer may alert you if there are any offers going through currently.

OBTAIN LEGAL DOCUMENTATION

7

The vendor’s solicitors prepare legal packs containing (where applicable) special conditions of sale, title deeds, leases, office copy entries, searches, and replies to pre-contract enquiries, which are normally available for a small charge. These will help you make an informed decision about the Lot. If you need further legal information please contact the vendor’s

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solicitor. Legal packs will usually be available for inspection in the auction room. Remember that you buy, subject to all documentation and terms of contract, whether or not you have read them.

8 9

OBTAIN A SURVEY A survey is well recommended prior to auction.

ARRANGE FINANCE

If you need to arrange a mortgage, it is important that you obtain an agreement from your lender in principle before the auction day. Most building societies and banks will wish to instruct a surveyor to prepare a valuation report before making a mortgage offer so you will need to make your mortgage application as early as possible. You will usually need to complete your purchase up to 20 working days after the day of the auction.

10

MAKING AN OFFER PRIOR TO THE AUCTION

You can make an offer for a property at any time up to the date of the auction, but if your offer is accepted you will have to be in a position to exchange contracts and pay your deposit immediately.

11

UNDERSTAND ALL TERMS & CONDITIONS

Buying property at auction is different to buying property privately and we strongly advise potential purchasers to check that they have read and understood all the various legal documents and terms & conditions.

List of

AUCTIONS PROPERTY AUCTIONS NOT TO MISS! BRENDONS AUCTIONEERS Doubletrees By Hilton, 2-8 Hanger Lane, Ealing, London, W5 3HN 12:00 - 29/07/2015

BRENDONS AUCTIONEERS Doubletrees By Hilton, 2-8 Hanger Lane, Ealing, London, W5 3HN 12:00 - 15/09/2015

BARNARD MARCUS Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA TBA - 30/07/2015

COUNTRYWIDE PROPERTY AUCTIONS Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel, 21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH TBA - 16/09/2015

COUNTRYWIDE PROPERTY AUCTIONS Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel, 21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH TBA - 06/08/2015

EDDISONS LONDON Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel, 21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH 12:30 - 20/10/2015 ALLSOP COMMERCIAL The Dorchester, Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Lane, London, W1K 1QA TBA - 21/10/2015 NETWORK AUCTIONS Grosvenor House Hotel, 90 Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN 14:00 - 21/10/2015

ALLSOP RESIDENTIAL Cumberland Hotel, Great Cumberland Place, London, W1H 7DL TBA - 22/09/2015

STRETTONS Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA TBA - 08/09/2015

ANDREW SCOTT ROBERTSON Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5BE TBA - 01/10/2015

BARNARD MARCUS Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA TBA - 09/09/2015

HARMAN HEALY Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX TBA - 05/10/2015

ACUITUS Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, 22 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BG TBA - 26/10/2015

MS AUCTIONS Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, 22 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BG TBA - 07/10/2015

ANDREW SCOTT ROBERTSON Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5BE TBA - 27/10/2015

MCHUGH & CO The Montcalm Hotel, 34-40 Great Cumberland Place, London, W1H 7TW 12:00 - 12/10/2015

BRENDONS AUCTIONEERS Doubletrees By Hilton, 2-8 Hanger Lane, Ealing, London, W5 3HN 12:00 - 27/10/2015

NETWORK AUCTIONS Grosvenor House Hotel, 90 Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN 14:00 - 10/09/2015

ASIAN HOUSE & HOME | SUMMER 2015

BARNARD MARCUS Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5BE TBA - 15/10/2015

HARMAN HEALY Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX TBA - 07/09/2015

AUCTION HOUSE LONDON Everyman Cinema, 203 Haverstock Hill, London, NW3 4QG 12:00 - 10/09/2015

30

ALLSOP RESIDENTIAL Cumberland Hotel, Great Cumberland Place, London, W1H 7DL TBA - 17/09/2015

LAMBERT SMITH HAMPTON (NATIONAL) Millennium Hotel London Mayfair, Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 2HP 11:00 - 12/10/2015

COUNTRYWIDE PROPERTY AUCTIONS Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel, 21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH TBA - 22/10/2015

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AUCTIONS

BARNETT ROSS Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, 22 Portman Squarre, e, London, W1H 7BG TBA - 28/10/2015

THE SMART GUIDE TO BUYING AT

ALLSOP RESIDENTIAL Cumberland Hotel, Great Cumberland Place, London, W1H 7DL TBA - 28/10/2015

AUCTIONS

AUCTION HOUSE LONDON Everyman Cinema, 203 Haverstock Hill, London, NW3 4QG 12:00 - 29/10/2015

Suresh Vagjiani shares two stories, based on real experiences at property auctions that he believes have real learning value. Read on to discover why one particular property was sold multiple times, only to find that the ALLSOP RESIDENTIAL purchasers continued to fail in completing on. Cumberland Hotel, Great Cumberland Place, London, W1H 7DL TBA - 03/11/2015 STRETTONS Grand Connaught Rooms, Grreat Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA TBA - 03/11/2015

Hotel, 34-40 Great Cumberland Place, London, W1H 7TW 12:00 - 02/12/2015

Everyman Cinema, 203 Haverstock Hill, London, NW3 4QG 12:00 - 09/12/2015

HARMAN HEALY Kensington Town Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX TBA - 02/12/2015

NETWORK AUCTIONS Grosvenor House Hotel, 90 Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN 14:00 - 10/12/2015

ANDREW SCOTT ROBERTSON Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5BE TBA - 05/11/2015

LAMBERT SMITH HAMPTON (NATIONA AL) Millennium Hotel Lond don Mayfair, Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 2HP 11:00 - 07/12/2015

ACUITUS Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, 22 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BG TBA - 10/12/2015

BARNARD MARCUS Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA TBA - 16/11/2015

BRENDONS AUCTIONEERS Doubletrees By Hilton n, 2-8 Hanger Lane, Ealing, London, W5 3HN 3 12:00 - 08/12/2015

MS AUCTIONS Radisson Blu Portman H t l 22 Portman Hotel, P t Square, London, W1H 7BG 12:00 - 01/12/2015

ALLSOP COMMERCIA AL The Dorchester, D chester Dor h t H Hotel, t l 53 Park Lane, London, W1K 1QA TBA - 08/12/2015

MCHUGH & CO The Montcalm

AUCTION HOUSE LONDON

HARMAN HEALY Kensington T Town own Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX TBA - 04/11/2015

STRETTONS Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA TBA - 10/12/2015 ANDREW SCOTT ROBERTSON Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5BE TBA - 15/12/2015 EDDISONS LONDON Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel, 21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH

12:30 - 15/12/2015 BARNARD MARCUS Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA TBA - 15/12/2015 COUNTRYWIDE PROPERTY AUCTIONS Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel, 21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH TBA - 16/12/2015 BARNETT ROSS Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, 22 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BG TBA - 16/12/2015 ALLSOP RESIDENTIAL Cumberland Hotel, Great Cumberland Place, London, W1H 7DL TBA - 16/12/2015 ALLSOP RESIDENTIAL Cumberland Hotel, Great Cumberland Place, London, W1H 7DL TBA - 17/12/2015

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INTERIORS

Making the most of your

KITCHEN

As one of the most essential rooms of your home, the kitchen’s functionality must evolve to match every inch of floor space. By Saina Asadi

Small or large, the kitchen is the hub of your home. Bustling with activity, your kitchen is the heart of family gatherings, day-to-day family life and the occasional weekend entertainment. Making the most of your kitchen is crucial. With spacesaving storage options and well-designed functional accessories, we have produced our own ‘how to’ guide in creating the perfect kitchen for all the family to enjoy.

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CONSULTING STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS G G G G G G G G G G G G G G

Flats Mixed developments Domestic buildings Commercial buildings Industrial buildings Basements Conversions Alterations Extensions Change of use Lofts Swimming pools New houses Temporary works

WWW.ALECKASSOCIATES.CO.UK (0044)-(0)208 446 6765 SUMMER 2015 | ASIAN HOUSE & HOME

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INTERIORS

STORAGE We understand that you can never have enough savvy storage but don’t forget that you can use your walls as a storage system too! With the growing interior trend of floating shelves, you can eliminate the clutter from your counter tops whilst showing off your kitchen-wear on exposed shelves. You can also use your walls to hang decorative pots to hold your staple items, but also to hang frequently used tools. Larger shelving units can be used to store infrequently used items and these can be hidden away in cupboards, outside the kitchen. Unsure of what to do with the storage space under the stairs? Create your own mini supermarket with racks and shelving stands to store things, like your big platters and the pots and pans that you rarely use but cannot let go of.

FINTORP CUTLERY STAND The IKEA FINTORP line offers a creative alternative to storage. These pots can be used to hang off the FINTORP rail using FINTORP hooks, or kept freestanding on the windowsill to help free space on your worktops.

VARIERA ASSORTED BOXES Ideal for drawer organization, these small boxes make it easy to store away smaller items. £2, www.ikea.com

£2, www.ikea.com

KNODD ASSORTED BINS (LEFT) These colourful steel bins are a playful way to incorporate character into your kitchen.

£12, www.ikea.com

SNIKA BOXES WITH LIDS (BELOW) Available in dark grey, green and white, these sheet metal boxes can be used to store anything from bread to infrequently used utensils.

£16, www.ikea.com TYPHOON VINTAGE KITCHEN BREAD BIN This vintage bread bin will keep your bread fresh and easy to cut. £49.99, www.argos.co.uk

KORKEN JAR Super cheap, durable and fashion friendly for holding your pantry staples.

£1.25, www.ikea.com 46 34

KILNER CLIPTOP JAR (FAR LEFT) The Kilner glass jars have graced our kitchens for decades now, not only due to their classic design, but also for their ability to keep your homemade jams and chutneys fresh.

HEART OF HOUSE CORK LID STORAGE JARS (ABOVE) Both stylish and practical, the perfect way to store away your tea and coffee.

£1.89, www.johnlewis.com

£19.99, www.argos.co.uk

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COLE & MASON 16 JAR SPICE CAROUSEL (LEFT) A visually inspiring, practical and space saving addition to your kitchen

CHROME WALL SHELF WITH HANGING BARS (BELOW) A wall mountable steel shelf, made to hold kitchen utensils whilst maintaining a modern look

£44, www.johnlewis.com

£19.99, www.argos.co.uk

OMAR BOTTLE SHELF (BELOW) This budget friendly shelving unit is ideal for storing away items in your pantry.

£56, www.ikea.com

VISUAL INTEREST When choosing a colour palate for your kitchen, stick to neutral backdrops as clean colours can make any small space appear bigger. You should also pay close attention to lighting. The more your kitchen is exposed to natural day light, the easier it will be to create the illusion of a larger room. If your kitchen is windowless, you should rely on bright, exposed lighting to create an airier environment. Count on accessories to liven the setting. Think about the way you store your ingredients. Can your food be decorative? If you’re a keen user of spices, herbs and seasonings, fill Mason jar -like containers to store your ingredients. This creates the illusion of a colourful canvas. You can also rely on bright storage containers and bins to add splashes of colour throughout your kitchen.

Recommended

READS HERE ARE A FEW BLOGS WHO SHOWCASE HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR HOME (& KITCHEN) TO ITS FULL POTENTIAL: www.hearthomemag.co.uk www.laurenconrad.com www.thekitchn.com www.kitchensourcebook.co.uk

SUMMER 2015 | ASIAN HOUSE & HOME

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BUILDING WORK

SPOT THE COWBOY BUILDER We’ve all heard the phrase being thrown around and we’ve all assumed that we’ve kept well away from the construction risks. The question is how do we really know who to keep an eye out for? Are there any true tell-tell signs that we should be aware of?

ith an average of 100,000 complaints made to The Office of Fair Trading a year, cowboy builders are becoming the bane of the construction industry. The general definition of a cowboy builder, or a rogue trader, is a substandard builder with little to no knowledge of building work, resulting in botched up jobs – if finished at all and distressed home owners. These reckless tradesmen are nothing but bad news. Cowboy builders cause destruction and disappointment and always leave behind piles of unfinished work and financial angst.

Do Your Homework The best thing is to learn how to spot cowboy builders and rogue tradesmen early on. This will save you from a lot of heartache and trouble later. One general tip is to ask for recommendations. By asking around your neighbourhood, or for recommendations from your architect, you can be paired with a builder who is best suited to you. Never set your heart on a builder and their work based solely on their website alone. Cowboy builders are known to frequently change their company names and addresses. This makes it difficult for you to do any research based on a single advertisement in the local paper. If you do find a builder’s website or advertisement and you like the look of their work, ensure that you ask them for at least two of their most recent references. This allows you the chance to

36

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THOROUGH CHECKS NEVER SET YOUR HEART ON A BUILDER AND THEIR WORK BASED SOLELY ON THEIR WEBSITE ALONE

EXPERTS SAY TAKE AT LEAST 5 QUOTES FROM A SELECTION OF BUILDERS AND TRADERS. BY COMPARING QUOTES FROM DIFFERENT FIRMS, YOU CAN IDENTIFY THE COMPETITIVE AND UNREALISTIC PRICE POINTS SUMMER 2015 | ASIAN HOUSE & HOME

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BUILDING WORK

The ‘How to Avoid’ Checklist: DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY SOMETHING YOU ARE PAYING FOR ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING A BUILDER, REQUEST AT LEAST TWO OF THEIR MOST RECENT REFERENCES ENSURE THE BUILDER HAS NOT ONLY RELEVANT, BUT A HIGH STANDARD OF REPUTABLE EXPERIENCE IN THE INDUSTRY ARE THEY A REGISTERED MEMBER OF A PROFESSIONAL BODY? AVOID PAYING IN CASH AND NEVER PAY THE TOTAL SUM UPFRONT DO NOT BUY INTO THE PROMISE OF NO VAT COSTS – QUESTION THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THIS GET QUOTES FROM A SELECTION OF DIFFERENT BUILDERS ENSURE YOU HAVE A VALID CONTRACT COMMISSION A COMPREHENSIVE SPECIFICATION; THIS WILL FURTHER CEMENT THE CONTRACT BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR BUILDER Have a look at their most recently completed projects. Nothing advertises a good builder like his last job. Have a look at the sites they are working on; are they relatively well organised and clean? If the site is the proverbial bombsite, this reveals a lack of pride in the builders work. You should also check if the builder is registered with a company house, or whether he is a member of professional body. Independent builders with fancy vans and smart logos mean nothing if the quality of their work is not recognized or reputable. Good builders keep things relatively simple, relying on the recommendations of industry members for work, rather than over-the-top advertising of their services.

Money Matters One of the best tip-offs should be if you are asked to pay upfront in cash, or cash-in-hand, all balanced with the incentive of no VAT having to be paid. No legitimate business will work off the books like that. Most certified builders will be doing a turnover in excess of £65k and therefore, are required to be VAT registered. Experts recommend you take at least 5 quotes from a selection of builders and traders. By comparing quotes from different firms, you can

38

CONTRACT ENSURE YOU HAVE A VALID CONTRACT, AND AGREE ON THE SCOPE OF WORKS, THE TIME IN WHICH IT SHOULD BE COMPLETED, & THE OVERALL COSTS

identify the competitive and unrealistic price points. Generally speaking, if they are well out of the price range, you should disregard the cheapest and most expensive sum. You should always be cautious of quotes that appear too good to be true – they usually are. If a single quote comes in well below the others, it is likely either to have omissions, or the contractor will overcharge you later in the project. Remember you are paying for the quality; you do not want to compromise your home. Similarly, expensive does not always mean perfect quality. Once you finally have a builder on board, ensure you have a valid contract and agree on the scope of works, the time in which it should be completed, and the overall costs. A written specification ensures both yours and the builders objectives are understood and met, maximising the chance of a successful job. BY SAINA ASADI

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OVERSEAS

OVERSEAS

IT TAKES MORE THAN A DREAM TO BUILD A

fairy tale

TOP: Hill Top Villa on the approach

o

Here at Asian House & Home, we were thrilled to have been contacted by one of our readers who was excited to share her own property venture in Jamaica. Having had explored the market to plan and develop their family home in North London, X and her husband were inspired to build their dream home, and in the dream location – the beautiful peaks of Jamaica. Little did they know their motivation would have been challenged when their fortune would have been met with a series of unfortunate events, as they were faced with one too many obstacles. p

TOP: Private court yard with BBQ and sun trap area ABOVE: Spacious, bright and airy lounge

Asian

& HH

FOR MORE INFO:

Our hill top villa can be viewed on www.holidayrentals.com (property ID: 670825)

40

RIGHT: A view of the gate and entrance to Hill Top Villa

LEFT: Private side entrance to Hill Top Villa

ur spontaneous decision to purchase possibility of this dream home becoming a place for land in St. Elizabeth – Jamaica, was our future retirement was an echoing promise. Brick driven merely by price and its idealistic by brick, we watched as our dreams were beginning location. I must admit, only after the to come true. We weren’t faced with many difficulties purchase was complete were we left in the erecting of the building, as most issues were to dumbstruck, not knowing what to do next. We were do with the land and the building of the road. met with the overwhelming decisions of how to do I don’t know if it’s a female trait, but having painted what and when. Its not till you start a planning and the property and put in the features such as the developmental project that you understand kitchen, I felt the property come to life. how much there is to actually consider Our bathrooms and kitchen selections and do. Even having to level the land, were all carefully chosen to cater the Taking a step due to its hilly location, appeared to needs of our St. Elizabeth holiday into the adventure home. The sunny climate of Jamaica be an impossible task. Admittedly, and watch the we spent too much time sitting on was a canvas for our decisiondream manifest was an making – bright colours and uplifting these decisions in order to sort out extremely exhilarating hues complemented our design and our finances and organisation. and motivating As we were both juggling full location perfectly. The views from the experience time jobs and our family, it felt that home were absolutely breath taking; we had bitten off a bit more than we they reassured me that despite some could chew. However, being true to our of the struggles and slightly going over our colours, we set about the task, as we are not budget and schedule, this was one of the most ones to start something without finishing. Overseeing satisfying accomplishments that I have made in my the preparation of land was a new experience and life. This made all our hard work 5 years ago worth it. took us slightly out of our comfort zone. However, With the project complete, we are filled with taking a step into the adventure and watch the excitement with each and every booking; each review dream manifest was an extremely exhilarating and we read online is a pat on the shoulder for all our hard motivating experience. efforts as we see families thoroughly enjoying our The gorgeous weather and uplifting spirit of creation. Our excitement continues as our family and the Jamaican people, potential rental income and friends can now all enjoy our holiday home.

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REAL LIFE

STRANGE I

THE HALFI DEAD TENNANTI

ENCOUNTERS in the property business We’ve heard their advice and we’ve followed their steps. But what happens when you find yourself in an awkward position that no one could warn you for? Here are a couple of true stories from our team.

THE COSTI OF PASSIONI

Without going to the cause of this, I suggested a solution. few months ago, I I suggested the possibility of received a phone call an insurance claim against from a client. He asked the marble company, as I for a visit because there was couldn’t think of anything else something wrong with his ento propose. suite bathroom. The first part of Whilst discussing with the any problem is a diagnosis and in client, the first steps towards order to understand the problem writing a letter of complaint, I thoroughly, I arranged a visit. became aware with the couples’ The refurbishment had increasing unease with this been completed months suggestion. In the course of earlier so I was a little worried the conversation, the couple whether this issue would fall on reluctantly admitted that the my side of the court. smashed bathtub was a result Needless to say, I was a of a moment of intimacy. little nervous, and not just After this detail, there was a because of the problem. This moment of pause between us. client was no ordinary mortal, We then continued to decide he was a living God. He just how to move on from this point. happens to be one of the I even awkwardly suggested biggest rock icons ever. that a metal hot tub He and his good could be more wife did grace me suitable for their IN THE COURSE OF THE by offering me needs. They CONVERSATION, THE tea first. After a didn’t want to COUPLE RELUCTANTLY little bit of general go through the ADMITTED THAT THE SMASHED BATHTUB chit-chat, we got embarrassment WAS A RESULT down to business of filing a claim OF A MOMENT OF and went upstairs and agreed to INTIMACY. to inspect the enpurchase a brand suite bathroom. This new one, even though sight before me was nothing that the cost was in excess of I had anticipated. The beautiful £10,000. A few days later, we custom built and very oval agreed with the designers on marble bath was lying in pieces another beautiful bathtub that on floor. I stood there looking fitted perfectly in utterly gob smacked, turning my the en-suite bathroom. face to look over at the couple. Following this incident, I What on earth had haven’t received a further phone happened? I couldn’t understand call; I suppose it’s because of how a bathtub made of Italian the Italian, passion-proof Carrara marble could shatter in this way. marble. BY GEORGE BUSHATI

A

occurrences, including the evident signs of a deceased body. n 2005, we used to manage The lady on the other end a building just north of of the phone started to walk Oxford Street, W1. The me through some first aid property consisted of 72 Studio procedures, steps of CPR, Flats and an arrangement was turning the person on their set in place with Westminster back, tilt their head back Council, allowing them to lease etc. After following these the building from us. steps, I explained to the lady, They were letting the ‘you cannot be half dead’. I units out as temporary continued by saying there was accommodation (also known nothing I could do. As far as I as phase two accommodation), understood, this person had acting as a half way house. unfortunately passed away. Council tenants were housed However, the emergency here until they qualified for services persisted that I should permanent housing. Since the continue with the CPR process. government dropped the rental Again, I attempted to cap there has been explain that he an acute need is dead and CPR, TURNING for this type of nothing can be THE PERSON ON THEIR BACK, TILT accommodation. done, to which THEIR HEAD BACK ETC. she replied in Although AFTER FOLLOWING THE there was a lease an accusatory STEPS, I EXPLAINED in place, we were voice that since TO THE LADY, YOU CANNOT BE still employed I’m not a doctor, HALF DEAD to manage the I cannot for sure day to day running ascertain whether or of the property; such as not someone is dead. She checking the tenants, dealing even proceeded and suggested with maintenance issues and all I resuscitate the body. I consider general building management myself a helpful person and try issues. Given the size of the to go the extra mile, but placing building and as the building myself face to face on a dead manager, I had a team including body was something I was not security on site to report back prepared to do. I may not be a to me. doctor but the tenant appeared On Christmas Eve, I was pretty lifeless to me. Finally, after busy getting ready for our a battle of wills, she agreed annual family Christmas Eve to send a doctor over. Upon dinner when I received a sudden arrival, as I had expected, death call from my on-site security was pronounced and the body guard, informing me that one of removed. I have been through the tenants had died. some pretty bizarre situation I had to drop all plans of during my decades of dealing festivities and head over to the with property, but this was a first building to deal with the incident for me. BY SURESH VAGJIANI straight away. Upon my arrival and seeing of the tenant’s, it was evident that the body had been left in a lifeless state for a few days, as there were visible rigor mortis signs. I called 999 and spoke to the ambulance services, explaining the

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40-50.qxp_A4 Temp 24/07/2015 15:38 Page 43

HOUSE INSPIRATION

DESIGNER STYLING without the designer!

T

he flat contains 1400 sq. ft. of lateral space on the first floor in a listed building. Many of the propertyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original features have been kept and the high ceilings do a great job in creating a very light and airy atmosphere. The entrance has also been completed in keeping in accordance with the flat itself. The flat has been cleverly furnished, creating the impression of high class and luxury, meanwhile remaining very cost efficient. Finishing touches are something, which are often overlooked when developing properties. Though it is important to remember these can give the edge when it comes to selling the final products. For this property, this has been achieved through some very innovative methods, which we have listed below for the benefit of our readers. The property has been runner up in design awards and a well-known model requested to use it for her up and coming photo shoot.

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HOUSE INSPIRATION

The luxurious

SITTING ROOM Need a little living room inspiration? From colour ideas to living room design. A simple feature wall, living room lighting or even rugs can transform your space completely. So get inspired and dive into our living room design ideas below.

Armani cloth used to make the CUSHIONS for the sofas, giving a perception of designer sofas.

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ARTWORK are prints of famous artists â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which have been hand painted over to give a look of originality.

FALSE CHIMNEY to serve as a focal point with a Television mounted above the fireplace, this instantly adds a lot of character to the property giving the impression of an original fire place.

STANDARD BLINDS which were chosen carefully to give a made to measure custom fit.

EXPENSIVE LOOKING CURTAINS made from fabric sourced from a warehouse.

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HOUSE INSPIRATION

The calm & sophiscated

KITCHEN/DINER Good storage is the ultimate kitchen commandment. Providing you adhere to that rule, kitchens can be decorated to suit every taste - from a cosy country cottage to contemporary.

COLOUR COMBINATION Carefully selected rust brushed mirrors contrast the modern kitchen with an antique feel. The surface provides the impression of â&#x20AC;&#x153;traditionâ&#x20AC;? for family promoting eating together, whilst practical use for easy cleaning, deep reflection to open the space. The splash back sets itself apart from the average kitchen splash backs on the market.

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KITCHEN FLOORING The flooring provides a “blunt chalk finish” to provide the impression of warmth and deep comfort, playing again on the theme of “family”tsomethinoriginality.

KITCHEN UNIT CONTRAST The contrast of wall units to the kitchen cabinets were selected to widen the space. The wall units camouflage to the wall, as does the cabinets to the mirrored splash back. This opens the kitchen out completely.

THE KITCHEN BREAKFAST TABLE Engineered toughened glass, is made to measure and is completely bespoke. The legs were carefully selected to hold the weight but to offer the “Yang” contrasting with the softer “ying” tones in the Kitchen. All bought separately, making it cheaper than buying one off the shelf. This also allows you to have the dimensions in keeping with room.

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HOUSE INSPIRATION

Sweet dreams are made of this…

BEDROOM & BATHROOM Whether you’re looking for a sleep sanctuary or bathroom idea packed with stylish decorating to get you inspired, however large or small your space.

HEADBOARD AND BED The headboard is large, padded with a softened black and brown tone. The use of the size and colour mesmerises the person to the bed. The bed is inviting, warm and luxurious.

RADIATOR COVERS were custom made especially, giving the look of a high end heating system without having to replace the radiators.

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PORCELAIN TILES used instead of real Carrara marble in bathrooms looks and works just as good without the expensive price tag.

BATHROOM UNITS have been sourced from Sale stock, but the top is specially ordered Carrara marble - top this together with expensive handles. This transforms the bathroom has the look and feel of a full designer bathroom.

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HOUSE INSPIRATION

The welcoming

HALL & ENTRANCE From ingenious storage solutions to stylish furniture and lighting will make a fabulous entryway. Your home will thank you for it...

BEADING ON WALLS were recycled from damaged areas and reused in the Living room

MIRROR in hallway was designed in house but framed and shaped by the builders giving a unique and special piece for the hallway.

THE RUGS are in fact Calvin Klein carpets where the edges have been wrapped in fabric to give the impression it is a rug and not just a carpet.

THE TABLE in the Hallway is comprised of 2 tables from IKEA, fashioned into one giving this both a designer and individual look. There’s only one of these in the world! This was pieced together by the builders involved in the refurbishment to cut costs.

THE STUDY SHELVING The Brown shelving is housed within the wall, together with the ceiling coving, which wraps beautifully around the room. The shelves look ladder like, to display the ever expanding pursuit for knowledge the mind craves. The shelves draw you in, to sit, relax and read.

& the essential

HOME OFFICE Whether you work at home full time or not, it’s important to set your home office up just right. First and foremost, it should be functional and reach knowingly for whatever you need, whenever you need it. It should be comfortable – especially if you’re spending long hours there. And thirdly, it should inspire you. 50

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S I N C E 19 7 6

Since 1976, Streathers has grown into a respected and trusted firm offering a wide range of legal services to clients of every description. Whether you are buying, selling, investing in, or developing a property, our specialist teams in commercial and residential property, corporate and commercial services, and tax and private client are on-hand to help, providing an open, straight-talking and dependable service. To find out more about how we can help with your transaction, and for a full list of our services, visit streathers.co.uk

streathers.co.uk

London London London London London London London West End Highgate Clapham West End +44 (0)20 7034 4200 Highgate+44 (0)20 3074 1900 Clapham Crouch End +44 (0)20 7622 7257 +44 (0)20 7034 4200 +44 (0)20 3074 1900 +44 (0)20 7622 7257 +44 (0) 20 8347 2480 westend@streathers.co.uk highgate@streathers.co.uk clapham@streathers.co.uk westend@streathers.co.uk highgate@streathers.co.uk clapham@streathers.co.uk

  

  


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