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Thinking of renting a holiday home in Leicester?

Sunday Mirror

Stuart Hall, 48, a digital marketing all-rounder with an entrepreneurial streak lives with his partner Shirley Prudencio, 46, an accountant, in a former Cotton Mill converted apartment in Leicester. To help pay for their holidays, they’ve decided to rent their home out whilst they are away.

“We live in a Grade II listed converted textile factory right in the centre of Leicester. We have one bedroom, a bathroom and a huge living area with the original Victorian wooden floors.

“Shirley is from Brazil and the idea first came about because we are saving up to go to Brazil for the World Cup next year. Shirley suggested we look into renting our place out to provide some extra income whilst we’re away.

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“Then a couple of days after seeing the King Richard III discovery, I saw an ad on the Tube whilst I was in London, promoting the fact that Holiday Lettings is encouraging people to think about renting out their home whilst they’re away, so after the discovery we decided to go for it and list our home on the site as we believe it is one of the best places to stay in the centre of the city.

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“We had a look at the other properties on the Holidaylettings.co.uk site to gauge what to charge for our place. We realised we are not as posh as the country cottages on there and so we made this place cheaper than those and settled on £45 a night, all included.

“We’re super excited it’s already been rented out for three weeks in June, a French professor has taken it for a month whilst he’s lecturing at the university and another lady has taken a week next January.

“We’re going to try and ensure that we don’t spend as much as we are being paid on holidays that we take when this place is rented so that we can put some of the money towards our Brazil trip next year. And, my parents live nearby so if someone wants to rent here and we don’t want to go away at that time, we can always stay with them for a few days.

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Spotted the Back to the Future film poster?

“It’s been fun getting the place ready for letting out. We’re writing up a guide to using everything here and we aim to be here to give the tenant a key and walk them around the place.

“We’re a bit nervous about letting a stranger stay here, and we may lock a few of our more personal items away, but I think sharing your belongings is part of the fun of it. We’ve got a huge bookshelf of books and videos and I’d be happy for our guests to browse through it. It will help to give them a flavour of the people they are renting from and hopefully this will mean that they are more likely to treat the place well if they feel like they know us.

“The Holiday Lettings site website is really helpful and it has advice for property owners on how to prepare your home for paying guests, insurance implications, etc. We already have a handy man who will be on call whilst we’re away if any problems occur with the property. We think we have everything covered. So we’re really looking forward to welcoming our first paying guests.”

To find out about renting Stuart and Shirley’s apartment, either as a holiday apartment or for business, when you stay in Leicester please visit http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/330258 or email me at stuarth [at] stuart [dash] hall [dot] com

Written by: Anna Tobin
Published: The Sunday Mirror May 12, 2013

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Burning money?

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Fuel poverty and health campaigners today called on the newly launched Public Health England to address the devastating impact of cold homes on the health of the nation.

Campaigners welcomed the shift in responsibility for public health to local authorities and the opportunity this creates to address a major root cause of health problems in the UK – the woeful levels of insulation in the nation’s homes.

Mostly as a result of poor insulation levels, fuel poverty now affects over 5 million households in the UK. Living in cold homes doubles the likelihood of a respiratory illness such as asthma in children and quadruples the risk of mental health problems for teenagers. Fuel poverty is estimated to cost the NHS over £1bn every year.

The Energy Bill Revolution campaign estimates that on average over 7,000 people die every year from living in cold homes.  The big freeze that has affected the UK in recent weeks almost certainly means that more people have died because they cannot keep their homes warm.

The Energy Bill Revolution is calling for carbon tax to be used to fund an ambitious energy efficiency programme to super-insulate the homes of the fuel poor. The Government will collect over £60 billion in carbon tax over the next 15 years which is enough to make every fuel poor home highly energy efficient and slash their energy bill by over £300 ever year.

Carbon Tax can provide a massive financial boost for Public Health England and local authorities to support the delivery of such a programme.  This would help improve the health of some of the UK’s most vulnerable citizens, keeping them out of hospital and easing the burden on the NHS.

The Department of Health’s new ‘Public Health Outcomes Framework for England, 2013-2016’ identifies reducing fuel poverty as one of its key indicators for addressing the wider determinants of heath. Reducing mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and excess winter deaths are also identified as indicators against which the whole public health system should deliver improvements. It is vital that local authorities, in partnership with health and well-being boards, prioritise these indicators in local strategies if they are to fulfil their responsibilities to protect the health of their local population.

 Jo Butcher, Public Health Adviser for Friends of the Earth, said:

“As energy bills continue to soar and another cold snap hits the UK, millions of fuel poor households face difficult ‘heat or eat’ choices. It is a national disgrace that so many die each year due to cold, damp and poorly insulated housing. Public Health England must prioritise action to tackle fuel poverty and the Government must use carbon tax to fund a much bigger programme to insulate UK homes. Energy efficiency is commonly perceived to be the domain of the environment sector but I hope the new public health service will demonstrate it has a central role to play. The transfer of public health to local authorities is good news – they are used to managing housing and environmental health issues and are well placed to bring together the range of services that need to be involved in tackling the cold homes crisis.”

Jane Landon, Deputy Chief Executive at the National Heart Forum, commented:

“Cold, damp homes are responsible for avoidable deaths and needless health problems for many people in this country. The Government has committed to reducing avoidable mortality and action to tackle fuel poverty and its effects must be a priority to help achieve this. We welcome the establishment of Public Health England. Its role in the delivery of public health nationally and locally and its focus on reducing inequalities is a new opportunity to tackle fuel poverty.”

Energy Bill Revolution, the largest fuel poverty alliance ever assembled, is backed by 120 organisations representing the children’s, health, environmental, housing, disability and consumer sectors, businesses, academia, politicians, local councils and the public. The Energy Bill Revolution is asking Government to recycle the substantial funds it receives from carbon tax revenues (an average of £4bn annually over the next 15 years) into energy efficiency programmes to eradicate fuel poverty www.energybillrevolution.org