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Amazon Echo 2017 price slashed ahead of Black Friday

Amazon’s second-gen Echo smart speaker[1] will be going for ?20 less ahead of and during black Friday. The more friendly-looking Echo comes with a 3.5mm out, so you can hook it up to another speaker, if you need some extra oomph. Along with the new Echo, the smaller Echo Dot smart speaker[2] is also taking a tumble, down to ?34.99 from the usual ?49.99.

If you need a smart plug to connect everything to your router, you’ll also be able to pick up this TP-Link smart plug, which normally costs ?30, for a tenner. Other Amazon-related products that are getting the pre-Black Friday snip include Dash Buttons[3]. Normally a fiver at a time, these Pavlovian single product order buttons can be stuck anywhere in the home and let you add individual items to your next Amazon Prime delivery with a simple tap.

While you’ll want to keep these out of the reach of smaller hands for obvious reasons, Amazon’s also cutting the cost of its range of children’s tablets; the Fire 7 Kids and Fire HD 8 Kids will cost ?69.99 and ?89.99 each, down from the regular ?99.99 and ?129.99.

Note that the following prices won’t apply ’til tomorrow, but you can use the following links to jump to the relevant pages and bookmark them in the meantime:

References

  1. ^ second-gen Echo smart speaker (uk.pcmag.com)
  2. ^ the smaller Echo Dot smart speaker (uk.pcmag.com)
  3. ^ Dash Buttons (uk.pcmag.com)

Ban on letting agent fees introduced as draft bill

The government will today introduce a draft bill to parliament to ban letting agents from charging tenants fees in England, as it pushes ahead with reforms in the private rented sector. The proposed ban, originally laid out in last November’s Autumn Statement[1], has now moved a step closer to being brought into law. It will form part of the draft Tenant Fees Bill, which the government claims will ‘help millions of renters by bringing an end to costly up-front payments’.

How would a letting fees ban work?

Under the legislation, letting agents would be prohibited from charging tenants a fee to rent a property.

Currently, the fees charged to tenants are ‘often not clearly or consistently explained’, the government said in a statement. The ban would also prevent agents ‘double-charging’ landlords and tenants for the same services. When the government consulted on the proposed ban, seven in ten tenants said letting agent fees currently affected their ability to move into a property.

The draft bill also proposes capping holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than six weeks’ rent. It also aims to to set strict rules on how and when holding deposits should be returned to tenants.

Which? backs ban on letting agent fees

Responding to the government’s announcement, Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: ‘Navigating the rental market is stressful and expensive.

It’s right for the government to ban unfair fees, as this will help renters with the significant costs of moving home.’ ‘This new law must also be enforced so letting agents don’t abuse the system.’

Criticism of a proposed fee ban

While tenants are likely to welcome lower and more clearly-designated fees, questions remain about how the ban would work in practice. Letting agent association ARLA Propertymark has previously claimed that shifting letting costs to landlords may result in tenants paying higher rents.

A ban on letting fees for tenants was launched in Scotland in 2012, and the Welsh government has expressed an intention to follow suit. Currently, the Northern Irish government is considering its options regarding reforms to the sector.

Fee protection consultation launched

The government has also launched a consultation today on making membership of client money protection schemes mandatory for letting and managing agents. This move would add an extra layer of protection for landlords and tenants, and has long been called for by ARLA Propertymark.

The latest consultation comes hot on the heels of calls for evidence on leasehold issues,[2] managing agent fees[3], and reforming the home buying process[4].

References

  1. ^ last November’s Autumn Statement (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ leasehold issues, (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ managing agent fees (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ home buying process (www.which.co.uk)

Character World 91 cm Single “Transformers Disguise” Rotary Duvet Set, Multi-Colour – Price Deal

Transformers…robots in disguise! This duvet set is light weight and silky to touch. This easy-care bed linen is an essential everyday purchase for every home as it is machine washable and is tumble dry friendly. Once washed it has great resistance to wrinkles, fading and shrinkage.Size: 135x200cm, 53″x78″. 100% Polyester. Machine washable at 30°C. Can be tumble dried. Official Merchandise

  • Officially Licensed Product
  • Duvet 135cm x 200cm, pillow case 48cm x 74cm
  • Machine washable
  • character design
  • Co-ordinating bedding and bedroom accessories also available

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