Rental searches for homes with gardens hit record high for the year

Now that spring has sprung and the days are growing longer, many of us want to spend more time outdoors.

But for lots of people, spending enough quality time outside is proving particularly difficult in the current lockdown period.

So it’s perhaps not surprising that searches by renters looking for a garden are the highest they’ve been this year – and are now almost double the level compared to the first week of lockdown.

That’s because many renters don’t have direct access to a garden, or even their own private balcony, and so are restricted to just one form of outdoor exercise a day, as permitted by the government.

Over the longer-term, rental searches for gardens are now 16% higher compared to the average seen in January and February, and are also up 26% on the same week last year.

Will I have to relocate to find a garden?

Having a garden is often a rarity for many rental properties in larger cities, and so it may be that during lockdown people are rethinking their needs and location and are searching for some outdoor space and tranquillity.

That allure may draw them further away from where they have habitually lived and travelled to work from, however.


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How to Arrange Space When Everyone Works and Studies at Home

Three interior designers share advice on how to carve out space and the best ways to set up a productive work area.

These sole traders, who have all worked from home, share their professional and personal tips to help you set up a home office that works for you.

Professional advice from: Giulianna Del Popolo of GDP Interior Design; Frances Cosway of White Pebble Interiors; Jane Thomson of Jane Thomson Interior Design

Take stock

Working from home causing your energy bill to soar? Save money with these simple energy-saving tips

New research has revealed that household energy bills could soar by £195 during the lockdown. Try and keep costs down with these tips on how to save money on energy bills in lockdown.

If you are among the millions of people no longer going into your normal workplace, you’ll see a spike in the amount of gas and electricity that you’re using.

Research from a comparison site, Uswitch, has estimated that household with people working from home will use an extra 25 per cent more electricity. They will also use an extra 17 per cent gas each day.

But what does that mean for our energy bills? The extra electricity and gas usage could potentially add £195 to a households energy bill, or £16 a month.

Many energy suppliers are working with the government to provide support for those struggling with their energy bill at this time.

However, if you are looking for a few ways to stop your energy bill from surging in price, here are a few tips to get you started.

Save money on energy bills in lockdown

Batch cook

Batch cooking isn’t just for creating convenient lunches for the office. ‘Cooking one big meal instead of lots of little ones will save energy )and cut down on the washing up),’ explains Joe Richardson, UK General Manager at Bulb.

However, make sure you allow leftovers to cool down before storing them. Warm food will raise the temperature of the fridge, meaning it will have to work harder (and use more energy) to cool itself down.

Work in a room with plenty of natural light

‘Taking advantage of natural light can save energy and reduce your bills – but it can also help improve your mood and boost productivity when working from home,’ explains Joe.

Turn the heating down by 1 degree

‘Close doors to empty spaces and focus your heating on the room you’re using,’ says Joe. ‘Reduce draughts and make friends with your thermostat – turning your heating down by just 1 degree can make a big difference to your energy bill.’

Stop leaving your electronics on standby

That red dot on your laptop or TV is all costing you money.

‘Electronics and appliances on standby mode use a surprising amount of energy, given half a chance,’ says Joe. ‘Turn your devices off at the switch when you’re not using them to avoid paying for that little red dot.’

Unplug devices you aren’t using

If you are guilty of leaving your phone or laptop plugged in when they fully charged, you are still using electricity.

Switch off, unplug and save every penny.