Monthly Archives: August 2012

Why should a landlord use a letting-only agency in Bristol?

At City Rental Services, we like to keep an eye on industry news and events across the city and UK – this enables us to better inform our tenants in Bristol and give superb service.

So, it was interesting to come across this article from property portal www.propertydrum.co.uk regarding the benefits of using a letting-only agent, and to consider why more private landlords in Bristol are looking to us.

The survey in the article, carried out by the National Landlords Association proved useful reading – for both rented property professionals and private landlords alike.

Buy-to-let remains a growing market in Bristol, and for this very reason more landlords are looking to third parties such as letting-only agencies to let their properties for them. But why use a letting-only agent in Bristol?

For us, the reasons are simple and straightforward:

  • Fairness – we ensure that despite the hype about property values going up and down, our service to landlords in Bristol remains consistent and fair.
  • Balance – as a well-established letting-only agency in Bristol, we work hard to maintain a balance between the expectations of both landlords and tenants at a very fair price where landlords want to manage for themselves, but need help finding those all-important tenants.
  • Support – we make sure that our landlords are supported: after all, it’s not just about letting properties. We’re often in-between landlords and tenants as the agent, and try to help both parties fairly and equitably.

One thing we understand at our central Bristol letting agency is that good working relationships with both landlords and tenants help to develop long-term association. Each and every landlord and tenant is valuable to us.

If you have any queries about our central Bristol letting agency, please feel free to contact us here.

What can the Olympics teach us about letting properties in Bristol?

At City Rental Services, we watched the Olympics with pride, excitement and enjoyment – as did so many others. An incredible series of events, and wonderful for the UK.

One of the things which stood out for many Bristolians watching the Games was the staggering success of the British cycling team.

The example of the British cycling team is a good one, too. Did you know that the helmets used by the team were designed and manufactured in Bristol?

Read here for more information on the amazing collaboration between Bristol businesses to help the cycling team power their way to Olympic success.

The helmets were specially designed for each individual cyclist, utilising an innovative honeycomb design, and ensuring that each helmet fitted the cyclists perfectly. A uniform, standard approach wasn’t going to get Gold!

The British cycling team enjoyed huge success – largely because they had the right investment. And, importantly, they were helped when it was needed.

This got us thinking here in the central Bristol offices of our lettings agency about lessons the Olympics can teach us all in our daily lives – and in how we deliver our services as a leading independent lettings agency in Bristol.

At our Gloucester Road offices, our team of Bristol lettings negotiators work hard to get a perfect fit for each tenant, too.

Our approach is simple: we try to listen first, to quantify our tenants’ needs. Then we match up what our Bristol landlords are looking for, in terms of ideal tenants. Finally, we tailor our rented properties in Bristol to fit both parties, all being well!  It may not always work perfectly, but we do our very best for both parties.

For example, during the student year 2011/2012 we had an Architecture student looking for rented property in Bristol. We ensured that he had a larger desk in his room, to meet his requirements whilst studying his Architecture postgrad degree.

His rented accommodation in Bristol also had a great view from the bedroom window, to inspire him as he put together architecture designs.  Following a successful Graduation he now has a great new job and home, and even a puppy.

If you have any queries about our central Bristol letting agency, please feel free to contact us here.

Helping student tenants find their perfect property in Bristol

At City Rental Services, working with student tenants to find their perfect rented properties in Bristol forms a large part of what we do as a lettings agency.

And this becomes even more important as we approach August, the time of year when students going through the UCAS clearing system are looking for last-minute availability on rented properties across the city.

It can be a difficult task for them, too, with student Halls already full. Most student tenants in this difficult position will go online to try and find suitable rented accommodation in Bristol, which can be stressful – even before they’ve arrived to start their studying and a new life in Bristol.

This is where we can help.

At City Rental Services, we’re happy to rent room-by-room for student tenants as required, and we try to match college courses and interests with our shared student accommodation where possible in Bristol.

We specialise in providing late student placement in rented property, and this can be especially important for foreign students coming to Bristol and looking for last-minute accommodation in the city.

It’s crucial to remember that good quality rented property is a fundamental part of a student’s college life, and we believe that student tenants should be well cared-for by their letting agent.

After all, the first three months at college from October to December are when many students will make friends for life. Their accommodation helps this to happen in our experience, and of course happy tenants makes us happy, too!

If you have any queries about our central Bristol letting agency, please feel free to contact us here.

City Rental Services utilises Facebook for Bristol rental property updates

At City Rental Services, we’ve been using social media platforms on a personal basis for a while now.

With the advance of sites such as Facebook, we thought it would be a good time to join the online revolution and start utilising Facebook as a powerful online tool to help advise and guide tenants and landlords alike.

So, why not come and visit us on Facebook today? You’ll see weekly rented property updates via our Page, as well as links to useful property websites, our weekly Blog and more.

Micheala Thompson, one of our negotiators, is managing our Facebook Page, and has been enjoying the world of social media engagement – as well as her other duties in the office, including meeting clients, rented property inspections, collating property Inventories, taking rented property photographs, preparing Tenancy Agreements, managing advertising, writing property reports, organising property viewings, uploading rented property details and images to RightMove for our landlords, and adding new rented property details to our main website daily.

Micheala has been with us for two years, and is Bristol-born-and-bred. Although only 21, she’s worked for another letting agency in Bristol before joining our team, and has plans to travel around Asia later this year.

Micheala will be making sure that our very latest rented properties are uploaded onto our Facebook Page, so stop by and have a look today.

If you have any queries about our central Bristol letting agency, please feel free to contact us here.

The new Energy Act – and why Bristol Landlords need to act now

At City Rental Services, we keep on top of ongoing housing and rented property legislation, to better inform our Bristol tenants and landlords of laws affecting them.

One interesting pieces of  Government legislation we’ve come across recently are the Government’s suggestions around providing low-cost loans which are recoverable via energy bills, as a way of encompassing the new ‘Green Deal’ as outlined in the 2011 Energy Act.

This has been taken a step further, with funds being now provided for landlords to buy various improvements items such as wood burning stoves, shutter, under-floor heating and insulation for rented properties in Bristol.

The new Act will have some potentially major problems for high-energy-consuming properties when it comes into force.

Landlords and tenants alike in the Bristol rented property sector are expected to be affected by the legislation when it comes into effect in October 2012 – it’s all about improving the energy efficiency of a property to achieve Government targets.

And take note: the initial recommendations are for the project to be self-financing for landlords with rented property in Bristol via energy bills.

The second stages of the Act will come into play between 2012 and 2016, to include provisions that by April 2016, private residential landlords will not be able to refuse a tenant’s reasonable request for consent to energy efficient improvements – where a finance package (such as the ‘Green Deal’ and/or the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) are available.

Provisions in the Act also allow for powers to be granted to ensure that from April 2018, it will be unlawful to rent out a residential or business property which does not reach a minimum energy efficiency standard – the intention is for this to be set at EPC rating E.

Furthermore, as we approach 2018, properties in Bands F and G valuations will begin to drop. Landlords in Bristol should begin acting now to consider a plan of improvements sooner rather than later.

As more on the Act comes into the public domain, it is clear that it is important for Bristol-based landlords with city centre properties built many years ago need to take note of the ‘Green Deal’, and the potential to damage their properties’ Rental Value. More to follow on this in a few weeks from us.

If you have any queries about our central Bristol letting agency, please feel free to contact us here.