From Tiles to Temporary Seams – Eight Ways to Protect Your Home from Flood Damage

THE Consumer Crew is here to solve your problems.

Mel Hunter will take care of readers’ consumer issues, Jane Hamilton will give you the best advice on buying your dream home, and Judge Rinder will take care of your legal issues.

Jane Hamilton, real estate expert


Jane Hamilton will give you the best tips for taking care of your home

Protect your home from flooding

Torrential rains have left homes across the country underwater this week.

Unfortunately, properties that have suffered flood damage may see their insurance premiums increase by an average of 128%, according to new data from insurance comparison site Quotezone.

Here's how to protect your home from flooding


Here’s how to protect your home from floodingCredit: Rex

But there are ways to protect your home from flood damage and lower premiums. Here’s how:

  1. Use ceramic or stone tile instead of laminate or parquet.
  2. Elevate electrical outlets more than 1.5 meters.
  3. Suitable for kitchens made of stainless steel or solid wood, instead of chipboard.
  4. Replace wooden window frames with UPVC plastic frames.
  5. Place items that could be easily damaged higher up in a room or keep them upstairs.
  6. Place a temporary seal on doors and windows and a specialized cover on your inflatable bricks.
  7. Installing check valves on toilets and drain pipes can reduce the risk of sewage backing up into a building during a flood.
  8. Consider a “pump and sump” system to drain water below ground level faster than it rises.

Buy of the week

This four bed Dewsbury townhouse has solar panels on the roof


This four bed Dewsbury townhouse has solar panels on the roof

NOEL Gallagher may be spending over £ 20,000 a year on electricity at his £ 8million mansion, but this four-bed Dewsbury townhouse promises to be much more economical as it has solar panels on the roof . It’s for £ 175,000 at

Airbnb rental

WOULD YOU LIKE to invest in an Airbnb rental?

After studying 27 cities, RationalFX concluded that Bradford is the best place to buy, with properties potentially paying off in just nine years. Swansea finished second, taking ten years to recoup the cost.

A spokesperson for the money transfer service provider said: “The demand for stays has increased dramatically amid the pandemic, showing that the private vacation rental sector is a growing area of ​​investment. “

Offer of the week

This Felicia jute laundry basket is £ 36 at Laredoute


This Felicia jute laundry basket is £ 36 at Laredoute

DO NOT let your laundry basket look washed.

This Felicia jute product is eco-friendly and super stylish.

It was £ 60 but has now been reduced to £ 36 on

SAVE: £ 24

Judge Rinder, lawyer

Judge Rinder has advice for readers with legal issues


Judge Rinder has advice for readers with legal issues

“The electric scooter on our sidewalks is a local threat. . . can I arrest and confiscate a citizen?

Q) I UNDERSTAND that it is illegal to use electric scooters (except when rented in certain areas) on public roads and sidewalks. But an electric scooter is regularly used on the sidewalks near us.

I challenged the horseman, who insists it’s legal. Other than calling the police, what I doubt would help, what can I do?

Can I make a citizen arrest for these reasons and keep the scooter until the police arrive?

BILL, Harrow, North London

A) You are absolutely correct that it is illegal to operate an electric scooter outside of specified areas – and certainly on public sidewalks.

However, you would not be able to make a citizen arrest in this case. Even if the scooter driver breaks the law, it is likely a traffic violation or a “summary only” offense – a crime that can only be tried by the district court.

For a citizen’s arrest to be lawful, the offense has to be more serious – theft, serious violence, that sort of thing. Given the difficulty of making this decision, arresting a citizen is unwise except in desperate circumstances.

I hear what you are saying about the police, but given the number of dangerous scooter riders, your local force might just take this seriously and send the driver a warning.

Report the problem to them and your city councilor, who can often be helpful in cases like this.

Q) I AM the tenant of a building. The management company received my bank details for the monthly management fees and associated fees.

The company tried to take £ 93.99 using my details to get money to pay for a separate business. I believe that this is an abuse of my contact details and in no case do I owe any money to the third party.

I called their actions theft and stopped the direct debit by telling my bank that I had not authorized it.

Can a business use my details to withdraw money from my bank to give to a third party without my authorization?

DEREK, London (more information requested)

A) In almost every case I can think of, a business that forwards your direct debit information to another business without your clear consent is breaking the law.

It is conceivable that in the lease agreement you signed, you authorized the managing agent to change the amount you pay each month to cover third party costs (such as elevator repairs) and to maintain the building. . Check this as soon as possible.

Write to the manager asking them to justify precisely why they believe they have acted legally. If that is not possible, it is a very serious matter.

Along with the other tenants, get additional legal advice as I would be concerned about the managing agent’s ability to handle your data securely.

Torrential pain

Q) WE live next door to a housing association house. The woman who lives there told the association about a gutter that was damaged in a storm over a year ago. But he failed to resolve the problem.

Whenever it rains we cannot use the back door of our property as it is like Niagara Falls with all the water flowing from the roof. I contacted the association myself, but they refused to tell me anything due to “data protection” laws. Is there anything we can do to get them to sort it out?

BRIAN, Milton Keynes

A) The housing association is responsible for the upkeep of your neighbor’s property. Water from the broken gutter on this property causes a legal nuisance to your land, which it is required to repair.

Data protection or not, I would email the housing association or anyone else registered as the owner of the property (which you can find online). Make it clear that unless they fix the gutter, you will take legal action against them in small claims court because they are preventing you from accessing your home. Be difficult.

Mel Hunter, Readers’ Champion

Mel Hunter Helps Reader Solve Cell Phone Problem


Mel Hunter Helps Reader Solve Cell Phone Problem

I can’t get my money back

Q) I BOOKED a Manchester-Sydney, Australia flight with Opodo to travel in March 2020.

This trip to visit one of my best friends was a treat for me after battling breast cancer and turning 50. But then, because of Covid, travel was banned.

I was constantly trying to call Opodo for a refund, sometimes being put on hold for over three hours. I just couldn’t get through, not even by email.

I finally contacted the Etihad airline. It would only give me credit. I didn’t want it but I felt I had no choice.

I transferred my flight in March 2021 and paid an extra £ 80, and of course in the end I still couldn’t travel.

I finally managed to reach Opodo and they say they requested a refund from Etihad. However, Etihad said the refund was not made by Opodo. I feel like I might never get my money back.

ANNE-MARIE, Huddersfield

A) It had been months since you last requested a refund the second time around, and due to the confusion as to whether it was actually requested, you worry – understandably – that you will never see each other again. your £ 733.

I went to Opodo to try to clarify things. While I didn’t know what happened to your refund request, I suggested that given the wait you had already experienced, the online agent could refund you immediately, rather than wait to receive Etihad’s money.

Two days after contacting Opodo, they agreed to reimburse you. Finally, you have your money.

Sunset over the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia


Sunset over the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, AustraliaCredit: Getty

Q) I am having trouble with Scottish Power. I have solar panels and because my meter is an old fashioned “dial” type, not digital, the panels roll back the dial when generating electricity.

I kept track of these readings in my calendar for two years, mainly because when a meter reader comes in from Scottish Power, the company ignores the readings and sends an estimated bill instead. A recent estimate invoice arrived at 813 units above the meter.

I spent hours on the phone with customer service. Each time they say they noticed the situation but I always have to say it again next time.

I need someone to come and read my meter and send an invoice for what I really owe.


A) I spoke to the energy company and asked the team to try to unravel what had happened.

Your meter turned out to be faulty – the energy company said it should never run backwards – and Scottish Power suggested you change it.

The company has also agreed to reduce your electric bill to zero for the past two years, leaving you with a more manageable total.

A spokesperson for Scottish Power said: “We would like to apologize to Ms Platt for the customer service she experienced when she contacted us and for any frustration caused in trying to resolve this issue.”

Woman reveals chic kitchen makeover with Wilko paint

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