Regular readers may be aware that we at Coreco have been running a series about the first 90 days in your new home.
This period is the most difficult because everything is new and nothing is set up yet. We recently published a blog about setting up utilities in your new home, but the list of new home chores doesn’t end there, sadly. Much of what needs to be sorted is specific to the area in which you live, so you’ll need to know who to get in touch with. This blog offers you a checklist of the different laws along with the departments to get in contact with to clear up any confusion.
This always seems like something you can sort out later, right up until you’re wading through rubbish bags, wondering when the collection will come. You might also find out that the bin bags you left outside haven’t been picked up even though they ought to have been that day. Different boroughs and postcodes don’t just have different collection days, but also different rules and systems, so you will need to check with your local council. For instance, some councils won’t take rubbish if the bin it’s in isn’t fully closed, while some require black bin bags specifically. The information will be on the council website. To find your local collection information, click this link and enter your postcode. If you are sure you have complied with everything and still aren’t getting your rubbish collected, you can report a missed bin collection.
The environmentally friendly cousin to rubbish collection, recycling collection is something that also varies from council to council. A borough’s capacity to recycle depends on their particular recycling plant, so each one collects different refuse. Certain plastics are only recyclable in particular districts. Like rubbish collection, they may also have specific bags that you must use. Find out more about recycling in your areas by entering your new postcode on this website.
Garden waste includes leaves, flowers, grass, weeds, tree bark, pruned branches, clippings and twigs, and home-grown fruit of vegetables (uncooked). Not all councils have a garden waste pick up, so it’s important that you check if they do before you work out your garden refuse plan. If they collect in your area, they might deliver a reusable bag for you to fill and come and empty it routinely. If your council doesn’t collect garden waste, you should still be able to recycle it at your nearest recycling centre. Alternatively, you could always develop your own compost heap, which can act as fertiliser for your garden soil.
Clinical Waste Collection
The last of the waste collection concerns, you might have specific bins for clinical waste – such as syringes, drugs, or pharmaceuticals – if you take a lot of medication or are caring for someone. Unfortunately, clinical waste collection isn’t available everywhere, and not at all in Scotland or Northern Ireland. You might also need to pay a fee for this service. Find out more about your local clinical waste collection services by entering your postcode into this site.
If you would like to be fully prepared for the worst, then it’s a good idea to contact your local council to find out what their plans are. Situations that count as emergencies could include flooding, flu pandemics, or transport accidents. Being aware of the correct procedures in the event of such emergencies can help you to avoid panic or confusion if they do happen. Find out what your local emergency preparation plan looks like here.
Bonfires and the law
The law surrounding garden bonfires is universal in the UK, but if you are a first-time buyer then it’s a good idea to understand the details. The important thing to know is that there are no laws against a bonfire in your garden, BUT there are laws against the fire causing negative consequences. For instance, you can’t burn domestic waste in your garden because the pollution it releases is harmful to people’s health. In addition, if the smoke drifts across the road, it could cause issues with visibility and therefore be a danger to traffic.
If the bonfire is becoming a nuisance, then the council can issue an ‘abatement notice’. A bonfire can only be considered a nuisance if it happens regularly, but failure to abide by the notice could mean a fine of up to £5,000.
Fireworks and the law
Since you are buying a new property, it’s safe to assume that you are also old enough to legally purchase fireworks. However, the law states that you can’t set them off between 11pm and 7am. This cut-off point is extended on special occasions. On Bonfire Night, the cut-off is midnight, whereas New Year’s Eve, Diwali, and Chinese New Year have a cut-off time of 1am.
There are also different categories of firework, with categories two and three being those that you would normally find in a shop, and category four only allowed to be used by professionals. If you attempt to sell or use fireworks illegally, you could face a fine of up to £5,000 and imprisonment of up to six months.
Those are our top quick-checklist items for when you move into a new home. Is there anything we missed? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages or, if you’re interested in moving or becoming a first-time buyer, get in touch via our contact page, we’ll be glad to help!