How to Find Roommates and Rooms to Rent Birmingham

Finding rooms to rent Birmingham is not the easiest of tasks in a city as big as this.  However, there are good websites to help in such a search. These sites such as spareroom and easyroommate have powerful search filters that will allow you to search by rent, area, interests and even roommate preferences. It is also good to remember that there are plenty of crooks and all sorts of weird people on these sites so it is important to exercise due diligence.  You can still get good roommates and rooms to rent Birmingham by following a few tips.

Look at the details

Go over everything with a sharp eye. When looking at the ‘rooms to rent’ posts   start with the basics. These include the size of the room, rent costs, distance to the subway, and amenities like laundry services.

Next, look at the details the person doing the posting has provided about themselves. Are there weird habits or hobbies (like 10 cats)?  How do they describe their personality? What are they looking for in a flat mate?

Some pointers can also tell you much about the potential house mate. If the post has been done in poorly done English or feels a bit disjointed, that would point to a foreigner, or a person who is careless about the way the posting comes out. This could also be the attitude adopted towards you. But if the post has been well done with enough details, you are looking at an organized person who would make a good flat mate.


It is good to do a search with an open mind. Seldom will you find rooms to rent Birmingham with affordable rent and an easy commute. You can try to get as close as possible to the right balance using Google Maps. This is a very useful tool that can give you an idea of the commute and the amenities in an area.

Compatible house mates

Trying to live with an incompatible is an exercise in futility. It is highly advisable that you find out as much as you can about your potential house mate. Visit their social media profiles and you might be surprised. It is also good to have a one to one talk to check them out.  Be honest about personality and hobbies and ask them in return. If the personality and interest clashes are too high it would not be worth it.

Make sure to meet everyone in the house. You could spend time during mealtime to check out how the house mates get along. And see if you like it.

5 Natural Home Cleaners You Can Make

Artificial chemical manufacturers are very opaque when it comes to disclosing the chemicals in their products. Dangerous toxins such as phthalates will be labelled as ‘fragrances’ while corrosive agents like sodium hydroxide are claimed to be powerful cleansers. Scientific studies have shown that using cleaning products containing these compounds can be linked to a myriad of ailments including asthma, skin irritation, burns and even cancer. The good news is that you can make cleaning products from natural and friendly ingredients. Here are some examples you can try out.

All-purpose cleaner

An all-purpose cleaning liquid will be suitable for appliances, walls, counter tops, sinks and pretty much any other cleaning need. To make this kind of cleaning agent you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 10 drops each  of lemongrass oil and tea tree oil, or lavender oil

Mix the essential oils, vinegar and a little water to make an even solution before adding the baking soda. For cleaning appliances, don’t use lavender as it has a sharp scent.

Kitchen ‘soft scrub’ cleaner

Use this cleaner to clean off greasy pots, pans and the sink. You will need:

  • 1 ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup of natural soap
  • 10 drops of tea tree and lemon essential oil

Mix the soap and baking soda in a mixing bowl to make a fine paste. Add the essential oils. Store the final mixture in an airtight container for use.

Dishwasher detergent

This cleaning liquid will be ideal for cleaning plates, and other utensils that are greasy and sticky. You will need:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups borax
  • 1 cup environmental friendly dishwasher

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to make an even mixture. Use 2 teaspoons at a time for a sink full of dishes.

Disinfectant wipes

You can make environmental friendly disinfectant wipes from old t-shirts cut into small pieces.  You will need:

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 8 drops each of lemon oil, tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil
  • 20 squares of cut up t-shirts (Cotton)
  • A container

Mix the water, vinegar and essential oils in a bowl until evenly mixed. Fold the cloths and place them in the container. Pour the mixture over the clothes and close the container.

All-purpose disinfectant

You can use this to mop floors, clean counter tops and disinfecting anywhere any other surfaces. You will need:

  • A jar full of lemon or orange peels
  • Undiluted vinegar

Pour vinegar into the jar until it covers the peels. Leave the jar to sit for 2 weeks then strain out the citrus infused vinegar.

Do not just hire a van service, hire a Man and Van

Many people look for ways to cut costs when it comes to relocation. One of the mistakes they do is to believe that hiring a van and doing the relocation on their won is likely to cost them less. Unfortunately, most of them end up paying more for a number of reasons explained below.

Here are reasons why you should hire a man with a van rather than just a van

You get a professional service 

Most of the people that just hire a van have to hire untrained manual labor to help with packing and loading items into the van. Unfortunately, the untrained labor always results in scratches, breakages and other damage on the property. In contrast, you get a professional service when you hire a man with a van. This ensures that the relocation is smooth and you reach the destination with everything intact.

The service is easier and fast 

You may have to pay a little more to hire a man with a van, but it is worth the extra expense. It saves you the hassle of running up and down to ensure that everything is going on smoothly, looking for extra hands or having to drive the truck yourself. The workforce is friendly and will work with you every step of the way. Therefore, you will not have to back orders and move all over the place to ensure that everyone is working right.

Trained personnel can make the right decisions in the way

Mishaps happen even in the cases where you have made all the plans. It may rain too hard and make some roads impassable, a road to your destination may be closed, or some items may require extra protection to prevent breakage on the way. The man and van teams have faced similar problems in the past. Therefore, there is a high chance that they know how to go about looking for a way out. Therefore, you will not be scratching your head looking for a solution.

Are you moving soon? Do not gamble with self-relocation. It will be a headache and very hard for you to accomplish on your own. Hire a man with a van. A professional team will handle all the aspects of your relocation to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You will not be stressed, and your items will reach the destination as good as they left your old place.

Benefits of a housing service

When traveling for extended periods, accommodation is typically an issue of concern for most people. Although there are numerous options available at your disposal such as hotels, apartments, resorts and guest houses, it can be difficult to select the best accommodation for your needs and preferences. During the selection process, the budget of the accommodation in question is usually at the forefront of the decision-making process, however, other than costs, other important additional running costs should determine your decision. Such additional factors include food costs, utility expenses, transport and so on, which is why relying on a housing service could be the best option for you.

Why a housing service?

A housing service consists of community-based residential properties and retrofitted housing, which is generally available on a rental basis. A housing service is made up of a list of apartments that are serviced and are ideal for travelers that are looking for a home-like atmosphere and environment during their travels.

Apartments under a housing service are better than other accommodation choices such as hotels because they tend to be larger and they also contain self-cooking spaces. When traveling for extended periods, the ability to prepare one’s own meals can be satisfying, especially when traveling far away from home.

A housing service allows one to concentrate on the things that matter such as one’s social and professional aspects of life without having to worry about the day to day stresses of living in a rented apartment. Housing services eliminate the stress by arranging ahead for important things such as housekeeping, cable, wifi, and utilities. The cost difference of renting a traditional apartment over accommodation under a housing service is negligible; however, based on all the conveniences one receives with a housing service, it is clear that a housing service is the better option.

Advantages of a housing service:

When traveling, a housing service can be cheaper than a traditional hotel or resort because a housing service can accommodate close to six adults per apartment while a typical hotel or resort room can only handle one or two people.

Housing services are more flexible when it comes to moving out and in, supplying suitable parking, fixing in-house problems such as poor wifi connectivity, and so on.

Most high-end housing services actually have trained staff to deal with complaints and grievances from renting clients. This means that problems can be attended to as soon as they occur, which eliminates any inconveniences or living difficulties.

The benefits of using a hotel cleaning service

Running a hotel can be difficult and overwhelming, which is why it is quite common for hotels to outsource their housekeeping to hotel cleaning services. A hotel cleaning service works to ensure that all the housekeeping components of a hotel are taken care of properly.  Sometimes hotels, especially large ones, do not have the capacity to assume the workload of cleaning an entire hotel, which is why the hotel subcontracts a cleaning service to handle the difficult task.  Here are some of the benefits of using a hotel cleaning service:

To save money

The prospect of saving money is why a large number of hotels consider hiring a hotel cleaning service. In cases where a cleaning service has stepped in to help out, the labor costs in the hotel can decrease by more than 25%.  Hiring a cleaning service helps not only to reduce the direct wages and benefits, but it also helps to reduce the cost of training and recruiting new cleaning staff.  Most hotel cleaning services operate under a contract and offer services on fixed monthly costs, which means that there are no fluctuations to be expected with each month.

It allows the hotel to concentrate on other things

Hiring a hotel cleaning service allows the hotel management to concentrate on other important aspects of running a hotel or resort efficiently such as customer service and marketing.  Because the guests only get to experience the positive results of a hotel cleaning crew, it allows the management team to work on all the elements that can improve the customer experience and aspects that can grow the business further.

To get professional help

The crew that offers the hotel cleaning service is typically vetted before they can start any job at a new hotel.  Alternatively, when a hotel hires cleaning staff directly, they have to evaluate and vet their strengths and talents to assess whether they are the best person for the job, which could take days or weeks.  When a hotel hires a crew, the housekeeping team has already been vetted, which means that the best and most professional team is charged with the responsibility of keeping the hotel clean.

No need for special equipment

When a hotel hires a hotel cleaning service, they do not need to purchase any expensive equipment because the cleaning company takes care of all the important details. The hotel only needs to provide the basics for the cleaning process such as such as sufficient water, which allows the cleaning crew to get the job done successfully.

How to Hire a Cheap Tenancy Cleaning Service

The decision to hire a home cleaning service is usually made after some weighty deliberations. This is because you will usually have some reservations on issues of privacy, security and of course cost.  You will be thinking that a DIY cleaning job will cost you less and put you in control of your home. However, the benefits of using a cleaning service always outweigh those of DIY cleaning in a big home. Further, there are many cleaning companies such as Citi Clean that can provide you with great cleaning prices and end of tenancy cleaning prices. This leaves you to search for an affordable cleaning service. How can you do it?

Listen out for referrals

There will be that person praising such and such cleaning service. These kinds of conversations are easy to find on different social media platforms. Go to Pinterest where there are plenty of mums comparing different household issues like cleaning and cooking. You can also ask around the office of someone who knows a good cleaning service that they can recommend. You will also find plenty of classifieds of cheap cleaning services. One cleaning company that offer very affordable end of tenancy cleaning prices is Citi Clean. They also offer package deals when you book two or more services together.

Collect quotes

This is a quick way to compare different cleaning services.  Come up with a standard work schedule and ask 3 cleaning services for price quotes. Compare the quotes on price and other issues like bonus services or discounts.

Ask to have a site visit

Sometimes, a cleaning service will give an arbitrary figure erring on the higher side to avoid getting burnt in case the job is more than expected. You can help them make an accurate price quote by having a home visit by one of their professionals.  You may be surprised that the cleaner sees the work as a matter of a few hours and quotes a significantly lower price than you expected.

Keep a clean house

If your house is in relatively good order and you just need deeper cleaning, it will be hard for the cleaning service to charge you a lot on the basis that there is a lot of dirt. Ensure your house is in relatively good shape when the cleaning agent comes around for a site visit.

Offer to help

When the cleaning service makes their quote, look at it and check for details on what is costing how much. If there are items on the quote that you can handle, offer to do that yourself.  Striking these items off will bring down the cost.


Negotiation is allowed anywhere. Negotiate with the service for a lower cost and show why they should go down. You could say that you had cleaned recently, or your living room is smaller. Use your negotiation skills.

9 Tips to Use in Engaging a Move Out Cleaning Service

Are you moving out in a hurry but still want your tenancy deposit refunded soonest? Your best bet for getting the deposit would be using a move out cleaning service. This way, the cleaning can be done professionally reducing the risk that the landlord will raise a dispute which could delay the refund of your tenancy deposit. There are tens of move out cleaning services in London. How would you pick one that will do the job satisfactorily?

Pick from several

Do not stick with the first brochure you come across.  It is advisable to choose from 3, 4 or 5 services. There is the web for research and you can always ask for a free price quote. Many services will be happy to provide you with the price quote and other information like discounts. Scrutinize these carefully.

Check for licensing and insurance

This is for your own protection. In case anything goes wrong, you will want to have someone take responsibility for the damage.

Define the scope of work clearly

Do not assume that the cleaning service knows that the bathroom sink needs to be scrubbed. Define what you need to be done clearly by writing it down.  Ask if there are off-limit areas in your scope of work that the cleaning service will not work on.

Ask for a clear price

Demand that the final price is clearly shown on the price quote including any terms and conditions for added costs. All applicable taxes should also show.

Mention special needs

If the children and pets will be in the house during the cleaning, be sure to mention it. Let the cleaning service know of any allergies or phobias. Let the presence of pets be known so that the cleaning crew is not caught off-guard.

Be clear on supplies

Who will supply the cleaning materials? What kind of cleaning materials will the cleaning service use? If you have specific cleaning materials that you prefer, have the cleaning service strike the costs of these from the price quote and buy them yourself.

Decide on your presence

Will you be present when the cleaning is going on?  If you feel awkward, leave the instructions written clearly and give the cleaning service a number on which they can reach you.

Do not be a busy body

While it helps to put away your private stuff, do not do the tidying and cleaning job on behalf of the cleaning service.  The cleaning crew are pros who know how to handle what they find on the site.


End of Lease Cleaning: Hiring or DIY?

When moving out, many tenants are torn between doing the end of lease cleaning themselves and hiring a cleaning service. Some people are shy on inviting strangers into their homes. Others believe that cleaning services take good money for work they could do in a few hours. However, as a tenant, there are some points to consider when making a choice between using a cleaning service and DIY cleaning.

Time convenience

How much is your time really worth? At the end of your lease, you have a lot of stuff to handle. You have to settle into your new home, ensure that bills at the previous house have been cut and changed, know new neighbours and a lot else. Spending 2 days doing the cleaning in a place that you may have left for unpleasant reasons is not the best thing to look forward to.

Hiring an after leasing cleaning service ticks off this chore off your to-do list leaving you with more time to concentrate on what is necessary.

Distance convenience

If you have moved a far distance from your previous address, DIY cleaning would mean returning to the house to do the cleaning. This could be very inconveniencing as you would have to take time off work, arrange for transport and lodging arrangements. Costs like these are the last thing you want on your budget seeing as it is that moving into the new house demanded tenancy deposit and other painful costs.  On the other hand, you can hire a cleaning service over the internet or the phone and have the cleaning done as you go about your daily tasks.

No disputes

After lease cleaning is supposed to go deeper than your normal thorough monthly cleaning. This is because the landlord will be going over the house with a microscope ready to raise a dispute at the slightest hint that the cleaning has not reached his expectations. If the landlord is not satisfied with the cleaning done, he could ask you to repeat it or cut a part of your deposit. If you had hired a cleaning service, you will simply ask the service to repeat the cleaning.

Cost benefits

If you have to do DIY cleaning, you will incur costs in buying cleaning materials and tools. You may even have to take on extra help. Incurring these kinds of expenses for a one-off job is not economical. When you hire an after lease cleaning service, you will just have to pay a one-off fee and forget about going shopping for cleaning materials or hiring temporary labour.

Why You Need London Cleaning Commercial Services

As a business owner in London, the cleanliness of your premises is a factor in the growth or decline of the business. The law requires that you keep a clean and safe working environment failure to which there can be legal consequences. Your clients will also form an impression about the business according to the cleanliness observed. However, keeping business premises clean is not an easy task especially for a busy business with high foot traffic. Engaging a London commercial cleaning service can benefit the business in several ways.

Professional cleaning

Asking for cleaning volunteers or making a cleaning schedule is most likely to have half-hearted efforts on those among the staff doing the cleaning. The staff could even refuse outright as cleaning is not in the work contract. This leaves hiring a cleaning service as the best option. The added advantage is that a cleaning service will have the necessary manpower, equipment and materials needed to do a proper job.   with competition among cleaning services high, the cleaning service you hire is bound to do a high-quality job to keep the contract.

Good work environment

A clean and safe work environment means more than a clean floor and shiny neat desks. The quality of air is also a part of having a clean environment.  Cursory cleaning by employees would only involve mopping and wipe the furniture. A professional cleaning service will go further than this and also wipe dirt off unseen areas like inside the HVAC system or the back of shelves.  The bleaches and disinfectants used will also kill bacteria accumulating on shared surfaces like handrails making the workplace safer.

Higher productivity

A dirty work environment lowers productivity as employees get sick from germs and dust which necessitates many medical sick-off days.  By keeping a safe and clean workplace, your staff will be happier and healthier raising productivity and performance of the business.

Fewer squabbles

Many grumbles at work arise from worker feeling that they are getting a raw deal, for example, added work without pay. By assigning cleaning duties to your staff, you are encouraging discontent and squabbles at work as different people argue over how this arduous task should be done.

Legal issues

You have a responsibility if maintaining a clean and safe workplace.  You can face legal problems if your business premises are dirty and unsafe for staff and clients. You could also be exposed to litigation if harm arises from the workplace being dirty for example a member of staff contracting a disease or having an accident could sue for damages.