Monthly Archives: October 2012

Why a landlord should use a letting-only agency and not take a DIY approach to renting property in Bristol

At City Rental Services,  landlords sometimes ask  where the value comes from using a letting-only agency.

In Bristol, we have a fast-moving market with many applicants to be shown around the properties and vetted.

When it comes to renting a property, there’s no doubt that a significant number of tenants will head straight for the online portal Rightmove  to search for rented houses and flats.

The value for money in using a letting-only agency, comes from our use of  property portals online.  Properties are uploaded to the portals and our own web sites within hours of receiving full instructions to let the property.

Emails are sent to registered applicants who are then fully informed of any newly available properties.  We’ve seen an increasing amount of online traffic to our website, rising month-on-month as applicants search for flats and houses to rent for professionals and students in Bristol.

So, landlords, why spend cash on a scattergun approach to advertising, when a decent letting agency such as City Rental Services can target and pinpoint exactly the right audience for you?

We’re proud to have landlords working with us who joined us when we first opened our offices on Gloucester Road in central Bristol 16 years ago.

Mixed with this trust gained, we also get regular enquiries from new landlords who soon enjoy working with us – including five new landlords in the last 12 weeks.

Most importantly, much of our letting-only business comes from word-of-mouth recommendations, highlighting the levels of landlord satisfaction we enjoy at our Bristol lettings agency.

A recent example of how we deliver was last week, when a new rented property in Bristol was marketed, and within 24 hours from initial contact from the landlord we had five applicants wishing to view.

If you’d like to find out more about our central Bristol lettings agency, please feel free to get in touch here.

In what state is the roof of your rented property in Bristol?

At City Rental Services, we work hard to ensure that the condition of our portfolio of rented properties is in a good condition for tenants, and with Autumn well and truly upon us, it’s the time of year for landlords to consider the state of the roof – before wet and windy weather sets in for good.

Gale-force winds and torrential rain can bring an avalanche of calls relating to roof leaks in rented properties in our Bristol portfolio, so consider the following hints before the bad weather gets the better of your rented property:

Ensure that skylights are checked and sealed – as these can often be the first area for rain leakage when there is excessive water run-off.

Roof repairs are something most roofers would rather not do, it’s usually a temporary fix that will need revisiting. Consider whether more major works are really needed,  a repair or a re-roof, or maybe some general improvements.

Roof checks should include elements such as flashings around chimney stacks, hips and ridges where cement deteriorates over time, coping stones which may need re-bedding or replacing,  rendering free from cracks to keep rain out, cracked or missing tiles replaced, good conditions on all fascias and soffits, as well as free-flowing gutters and drainpipes.

It’s crucial to make sure that you use a suitably-qualified, experienced roofer – with a full working knowledge of all potential Health & Safety requirements, including using long ladders and scaffolding.

As with so many elements of being a successful letting agency in Bristol, it’s all about getting the right man for the right job.

Two of our preferred contractors are First Choice Roofing and Premier Scaffolding.

If you’d like to find out more about our central Bristol lettings agency, please feel free to get in touch here.

What do you look for in a rented property in Bristol?

At City Rental Services, the change of seasons always brings with it different requirements from our tenants looking for rented properties in Bristol.

With Autumn well upon us, there are a few things to consider which will help your search for the perfect rented property in central Bristol, including:

  • Check the property’s Energy Performance Certificate
  • Heavy curtains to keep out drafts
  • Decent windows to ensure heat is retained
  • Good cooking facilities for winter grub
  • Comfortable beds & sofas for long nights in
  • How is the WIFI set up – longer evenings inside
  • Check all lighting in the rented property
  • Ask about refuse collection & recycling facilities
  • Unfurnished can be fun! Try local Bristol stores for great furnishings

We can, of course, help you with the perfect selection of rented flats and houses in Bristol, to make sure your Winter is a warm and cosy one.

If you’d like to find out more about our central Bristol lettings agency, please feel free to get in touch here.

Are the boilers in your Bristol rented properties up to standard?

At City Rental Services,  we notice that as October comes around, the office starts to think about boilers – after all, October 01st is the big turn-on for most rented properties in Bristol for their boiler systems, as Autumn advances.

But what if your boiler switch on is a big turn-off?

New legislation surrounding flues is due to come out on January 01st, and with literally 1,000’s of tenants in Bristol switching on their boilers in October, there are always inevitable problems associated with boiler and heating systems.

It’s vital that landlords in Bristol ensure that they check their Gas Safety Certificate – firstly, to see if any remedial action advice is listed from the previous inspection.

Most importantly, of course, is to check that the Certificate is actually in date.

A useful additional activity is to check the boiler pressure in all rented properties, backed up with a visual inspection and walk-round of each property to check that no rad valves are missing, no radiators are leaking or rusting, and that all Bristol tenants have instruction manuals for working the boiler in each property.

These can be downloaded from the internet, if you search under the boiler make, model and year of installation.

If you’d like to find out more about our central Bristol lettings agency, please feel free to get in touch here.