About Nicola Byers

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So far Nicola Byers has created 133 blog entries.

Moving? Putting your unwanted stuff to good use

Congratulations! You’ve found a swap, your application has been approved and now all that’s left to think about is the move itself. Moving home is a chance to shed some of the possessions that over time, have turned into clutter. Instead of sending them to landfill there are places you can put them so others can find your unwanted goods. When preparing for a big move, items hidden [...]

By |August 27th, 2020|

What does a Member of Parliament do?

With all the current goings on, the news has been filled with our Members of Parliament (or MPs). Especially at this time, it can feel as though a lot of decisions about our day-to-day lives are being made for us. But who are the people that are making them and how can you have your voice heard? This week we’re giving you the lowdown on what an MP is and [...]

By |August 6th, 2020|

Building Better, Making Our Streets Safer

Over the last 5 months you may have noticed new pop-up barriers for wider pavements and cycle lanes that have been put in place to take the strain off public transport and help people safely social distance while getting around. According to Cycling UK, 11,000 people have reached out to councils across England to support these temporary barriers, paving the way for these to become a more permanent change. Those [...]

By |July 31st, 2020|

Void Properties: What this means

Have you ever looked on HomeSwapper and seen a property that’s labelled ‘No swap needed’? This is what’s called a ‘void property’, which means that it is immediately available to be moved into! On HomeSwapper, landlords are able to upload any properties that they have that might be sitting empty and need a tenant. Why are there void properties? As of 2019, there are an estimated 216,000 empty [...]

By |July 10th, 2020|

How the Customer Support Team works

During your time using HomeSwapper, you’re almost certain to chat to our fantastic Customer Support Team. It may be that you’ve got a question about how certain functions work or perhaps you’d simply like to know how you can get the best out of the system. If you can’t find the answer to your query on our Help Centre, our Customer Support Team are here to help. While the [...]

By |June 26th, 2020|

Could you become a Local Councillor?

Across the UK, the outpouring of those protecting and nurturing their communities has been overwhelming. It may sometimes seem that the problems facing us all are too big to address - but that’s why small actions to impact your immediate environment can be the best way to start. Over the past few months, we’ve been writing our series on ‘What local councils are responsible for’ and it got us thinking… [...]

By |June 12th, 2020|

Meet the Customer Support Team: Lynn

This week we’re revisiting our Meet the Team series, where we introduce you to the members of our Customer Support Team that many of you will have spoken to during your time on HomeSwapper. We’re chatting to Head of Customer support , Lynn Darling about customer focus and the ways in which she works every day to ensure the best experience for all. First of all, tell us [...]

By |June 5th, 2020|

Switching Energy Providers

We’ve all been spending more time at home than we usually would and that may mean that use of electricity and gas in households will likely have risen. It’s estimated that by switching energy providers, a single household could save up to £350 per year! Read on for our tips on finding the cheapest option and how to go about switching. Switching energy supplier may seem like a [...]

By |May 14th, 2020|

When to report another swapper

We can’t control the behaviour of others and on HomeSwapper we want to protect our users from negative contact as much as we can. Using the report button means we can take action for you and make sure that your time on HomeSwapper is enjoyable and safe. Blocking another user If another swapper is harassing you or being rude, it is possible to block them from sending you [...]

By |April 28th, 2020|

Features you may not know about: Sharing contact details

We want you to be able to use HomeSwapper to its fullest potential and so this week we are continuing with our blog series, highlighting some of the clever features that exist within HomeSwapper that you may not have seen before. Here we’re taking a look at… Sharing contact details There is a function within HomeSwapper that allows you to share your contact details publicly. It is of [...]

By |April 23rd, 2020|

Changes to overdraft fees

We understand that at this particular time, we may all be a little anxious about what the future holds. And while the world’s news is full of stories about the global coronavirus pandemic, we want to draw your attention to another piece of news that may affect some of you, so that you can make sure that you’re better prepared for some changes that will be coming in next week. [...]

By |April 1st, 2020|

What local councils are responsible for – Northern Ireland

We’ve come to the last instalment in our series on how local government works in the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland lies across the Irish Sea from mainland Britain and local councils there hold different responsibilities than those in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland there are 11 councils run by elected councillors. Only in 2015, Northern Ireland put reforms in place around how local councils work in the country. [...]

By |March 19th, 2020|

Features you may not have seen: Customising location

This week we’re carrying on with our blog series letting you know about some of the clever tools within HomeSwapper, designed to make your HomeSwapper journey even easier. This time, we’ll be taking a look at… Quick Answer Dashboard > Menu > My Details > The Home I Want Type the area you want and click on the Map icon On the larger map Zoom in and out +/- and [...]

By |March 5th, 2020|

Carl’s Swapper Story: Taking the perfect picture

Remember Carl? A few months ago we spoke with him on how he used HomeSwapper to swap across a few different properties to finally move to his family’s dream home in Dorset. When we chatted to Carl, he also gave us lots of advice on how to prepare your home for the kind of pictures that are going to get your house attention on HomeSwapper. Most homeowners use the [...]

By |February 21st, 2020|

What local councils are responsible for – Scotland

This week we are continuing our trip around the UK, taking a look at what local authorities are responsible for in the different countries that make up the UK. Scotland’s local governments have developed over the ages from ancient ‘Burghs’. They watch over thriving big cities like EdinBURGH and the sparsely populated areas of outstanding natural beauty in the Highlands. Local councils in Scotland have to manage the delivery of [...]

By |February 7th, 2020|

Features you may not have seen: Already messaged

Continuing our blog series highlighting some of the clever tools within HomeSwapper that you may not have used before, we’re taking a look this month at the… Already messaged function When you go to your Matches you’ll see a list of all the properties that you could try to form a swap with. It will look something like this: Now, we all know the best way to [...]

By |January 24th, 2020|

Housing and happiness

Home is where the heart is, so the old saying goes. Beyond bricks and mortar the safety and stability of a home is key to our happiness. According to Shelter, in the UK 85% of people living in social housing are happy in their homes. These numbers are in line with those who own their homes and far higher than those privately renting. Here we’re celebrating social housing and the [...]

By |January 10th, 2020|

Round up of 2019

It’s been a busy year for us at HomeSwapper and as 2019 comes to a close, we’re looking back at all the great things that have happened. We wanted to share with you all some of the best bits from the past year… The Prize Draw First up, we're celebrating all of our winners from the year! Congratulations once again to: January’s winner: Carys, tenant of Guinness Partnership February’s [...]

By |December 30th, 2019|

Beating Christmas Stress

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but there’s no doubt that it can come with high expectations of perfect, happy families enjoying celebrations and gifts. Because of this, many of us can end up feeling stressed trying to live up to it all. With tensions potentially running high, even acknowledging that it may not be ‘perfect’ can make it a calmer affair. In this week’s article we’ve been thinking about [...]

By |December 19th, 2019|

Features you may not have seen: Amenities tab

Last month we started our new blog series that highlighted some of the clever tools within HomeSwapper that you may not have used before. Each month we’ll be giving you our top pick of functions for you to start using - and this month we’re drawing your attention to the… Amenities tab When you click onto another swapper’s advert, you’ll see this screen: Now, you’ll probably be [...]

By |December 13th, 2019|

What local councils are responsible for – Wales

Local councils are extremely important to the running of Wales. The country has 3.1 million people living in it, and with a lot of those people living in the countryside, it has half the population density of the rest of the UK. The place where the majority of decisions are made changed from The Houses of Parliament in London to the Welsh Assembly (which is known as Senedd) in the [...]

By |December 4th, 2019|

Tenant scrutiny panels

Housing Associations and local authorities are seeking out tenants for their opinions on how they work. Scrutiny panels are groups led by tenants that point out areas to investigate that matter to them, such as repairs, anti-social behaviour or debt advice. The outcomes from the findings are reported to the leadership and board members of your landlord and could make a difference to their decision-making. What is a [...]

By |November 29th, 2019|

Features you may not have seen

We’ve filled the HomeSwapper site with all the tools and features you need to swap your home – from our MultiSwap tool to our messaging function and match filters, we try to make using HomeSwapper as easy as possible for you. But aside from the main features, there are a few clever tools we want to draw your attention to for when you’re next using HomeSwapper to find your match. [...]

By |November 22nd, 2019|

Keeping yourself healthy this winter

With the cold weather closing in, in the UK we can expect buckets of rain, gale force winds and maybe even snow coming our way over the following months. Whilst this season has many good things: cosy evenings, the return of the roast dinner and Christmas, winter can also be challenging for homes and health. But there’s help out there and things you can do to prepare for the cold [...]

By |November 15th, 2019|

Keeping safe around fireworks

Bright lights, the excitement of sparklers and the smell of gunpowder mark the start of winter in the UK. Each November 5th we come together to remember Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up the Palace of Westminster in 1605 – and this Tuesday many of us across the UK will have been out doing just that. But this is only the start… the past week has also seen many people [...]

By |November 8th, 2019|

What local councils are responsible for in England

Local councils are responsible for providing a variety of services in the areas they manage. From education to waste disposal, local authorities provide and organise the frontline services that we all rely on. In England, more than 2 million people are employed by local government - these are some of the most respected workers in the country, such as firefighters, social services and schoolteachers. Over the next few weeks, we [...]

By |November 1st, 2019|

Dealing with Antisocial Behaviour

We can’t all get along with everyone all the time, in fact it’s completely normal to have your ups and downs with family, friends and neighbours. These little disputes can affect us in the moment and be forgotten about a day later. However, more disturbing or routine behaviour can make a real impact on our day-to-day lives and might actually be termed ‘antisocial behaviour’. Here’s what it means and some [...]

By |October 25th, 2019|

Carl’s Swapper Story: Accessibility Needs

A few weeks ago we spoke to Carl about his experience on HomeSwapper. To work his way from Lincolnshire to Poole, Carl had to complete a few swaps along the way. In the final MultiSwap that got him there, one of the swappers in the chain had accessibility needs. Carl told us about some of the things that they needed to consider as a chain. Carl and his family [...]

By |October 18th, 2019|

Setting up a bank account for your child

Securing your children’s future is a priority for all parents. There are many financial products out there that can help you set aside small amounts of money each month that can’t be accessed until they become an adult. There are also current accounts that can teach them how to manage their money, deposit wages and savings into. To start with you may just want to start setting small amounts [...]

By |October 11th, 2019|

Swapper Stories: Carl’s Story

Sometimes in life, to achieve your goals you may have to take some unexpected steps – and this counts for HomeSwapper as well! We spoke to HomeSwapper user, Carl. He and his family were determined to move from a small village in Lincolnshire in the midlands to Poole in Dorset on the south coast. It took them a bit longer than expected, but they learnt a lot along the way. [...]

By |October 4th, 2019|

Following the rules on HomeSwapper

While we know that the majority of you use HomeSwapper well, we recently spoke with a swapper who told us that there are a few users out there who aren’t quite following the rules. So, we wanted to remind everyone how to best use HomeSwapper with a quick guide of the most important rules (and some general best practice too). Cash incentives Some people may offer you cash incentives [...]

By |September 25th, 2019|

World Car Free Day

This Sunday, the 22ndSeptember cities around the world will shut down their streets to cars and vehicles, giving people the chance to enjoy a car-free city. From Budapest to Sao Paolo, World Car Free Day is asking us all to imagine our lives without cars. In urban areas, levels of toxic air are one of the biggest public health emergencies and vehicles are one of the main causes of [...]

By |September 19th, 2019|

Registering to vote

In recent weeks there has been a lot of talk of elections and if you’re eligible to vote, you’ll need to register to make sure you have your say. But whether or not a general election is called in the coming weeks, registering to vote is a good idea, as it improves your credit score and is a great proof of address and identity! Most people living in the [...]

By |September 12th, 2019|

Heritage Open Days: Free days out for all the family

Between 13-22 September each year 40,000 volunteers organise events up and down the country at National Trust sites, museums, places of natural beauty and other cultural sites. All of these events are FREE and a great chance to check out our country’s culture and history. Founded in 1994, Heritage Open Days began working with European Heritage to throw the doors open to places normally closed to the general [...]

By |September 6th, 2019|

Tenant events: why they’re great and how to make them work for you

Many of the landlords that are signed up to HomeSwapper hold events throughout the year to touch base with you all, answer any queries and – often – put on a day of activities and games. No doubt you’ll have attended one with your landlord before, but if not, we recommend giving them a try! Here we tell you why… Meeting other swappers There will probably be other tenants [...]

By |August 30th, 2019|

Childcare – what you’re entitled to

Childcare – what you’re entitled to The costs of childcare in the UK can eat up a big chunk of the family budget – but there is help to be had! In this article, we’ll take a look at the financial support out there that you can access, from when your children are toddlers, right up to when they’re teenagers! Tax-free childcare If you're a working parent with [...]

By |August 21st, 2019|
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