Monthly Archives: February 2013

Considerations for Bristol landlords when refurbishing rented properties

At City Rental Services, we spend a lot of time advising landlords in Bristol on how to maximize the rental values of their rented properties for professional and student tenants.

One of the best ways to maximize rental values is with effective internal decoration, contemporary fixtures and fittings, and attention to detail – a good tenant will notice the small differences between rented properties when viewing. This might include the state of the flooring or carpeting in a property.

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This week, we’re handing the CRS blog over to London-based experts in wood flooring, www.woodandbeyond.com, to provide some hints and tips:

On occasion landlords struggle with the question as to which flooring solution is most suitable for a their property. A well-fitted flooring solution can improve the interior of almost any property and make it more appealing to a bigger group of tenants. As a landlord looking to let your property, choosing a flooring solution should be based on a compromise between practicalities such as durability in the property over time and visually pleasing so your tenants are content as they enter the property each day.

Nowadays your new flooring solution can be made of various materials. Options vary from vinyl to carpet to laminate and wood. Each has its own pros and cons and you will do well to evaluate each of these options based on your type of property and more often, based on your budget.

A popular choice in residential properties is wood flooring. Equally, wood is also the toughest to choose correctly due to its variations. Hence, it is the subject of this blog post.

Types of Wood Flooring

To the naked eye all wood flooring must look alike, but nothing can be further from the truth. There are two options that fall under the definition of ‘real wood flooring’ and fitting an incorrect option in your property is a sure way to drastically shorten its service life, thereby incurring more costs. The two are solid wood and engineered wood.

Solid Wood – Each board is made from a core of solid hardwood such as common oak or exotic hardwood such as African Walnut. To meet the definition of ‘solid’, the board must be made from 100% wood. If it contains additional materials, it falls under the next category of engineered wood.

Engineered Wood – Each board is made from a top layer (called ‘wear’ or ‘lamella’ layer) of solid wood. Below this 3mm to 6mm layer you will come across several layers of synthetic materials such as Plywood, Softwood and MDF. Only the solid wear layer is visible when the boards are fitted.

Suitability In Your Property

Solid hardwood is by far the stronger of the two options and makes for a sensible choice when service life is concerned (it can exceed 100 years). Engineered hardwood is slightly more affordable and makes a sensible choice when renovating on a tight budget. It is easier to decide on the type based on the area where the floor is to be fitted.

Properties With Under Floor Heating – Under floor heating create high levels of heat that can damage natural wood due to expansion (a common feature of natural woods) and therefore makes solid hardwood an incorrect choice. Engineered wood flooring on the other hand, are suitable.

Rooms That Contain Humid and Wet Conditions – Wood and humid conditions do not go hand in hand. These conditions are likely to occur in the bathroom and kitchen area. Therefore, one option is to completely avoid fitting wood in these areas or to fit engineered wood flooring with a heavy waterproof coating.

All Other Areas – Solid aka real wood floor is the best long-term choice if heat and humid conditions are of no consequence. Besides its durability features, you are able to sand and recoat the boards when needed, thereby greatly extending its service life and looks.

Type of timber

The type of timber that is used as the core of the board varies from common to exotic kinds. Oakwood flooring is the most widely used in the UK followed by walnut flooring. Exotic species can include Teak, Cumaru and others. When comparing options, also look at the origin of the wood to ensure it was ethically sourced. Most UK merchants will source their stocks from managed forests in which timber is legally harvested from forests that are then replenished.

For more information on wood flooring, please feel free to visit www.woodandbeyond.com.

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

A Day in the Life of a central Bristol lettings agency Manager

At City Rental Services, we’re really proud of our brilliant team of lettings negotiators, including Michaela Thompson, our newly-appointed Lettings Manager.

Having been with us in our central Bristol office last year before a three-month trip to Thailand, Michaela’s come back, and was delighted to be promoted, based on her track record, her knowledge of the Bristol rented property market, and her brilliant efforts in managing our lettings here in Bristol.

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So, it’s over to Michaela to share her “Day in the Life of” on the CRS blog:

‘I oversee all the advertising and marketing for our student rented accommodation in Bristol, and part of this includes ensuring that the landlords we work in partnership with have completed and passed in the relevant paperwork and documentation needed, this is an important part of each day.

This includes gaining EPC information, Gas Certificates, good internal and external photographs of each rented property, the agreed rental price for this year, clear and precise information, when viewing access is available, plus phone and email contact details.

I co-ordinate all of our student rented properties, which also includes setting up each new student house we let on the various websites we use.

Other tasks during the day will include organizing house signs for our rented properties, liaising with our contractors and tradesmen, as well as responsibility for the professional lettings management of our 1,2 and 3-bedroomed rented properties in various BS postcodes, including BS6, BS7 and BS8 and BS3.

When a landlord receives a Notice from a tenant and instructs us to let the property for them all forms are downloadable from our main website here for convenience.

Part of my daily routine is to sign-off on all documentation for prepared tenancies and manage the marketing of new rented properties, which will include viewing new properties for letting in Bristol, discussing rental values with landlords, plus advising on how to make minor property improvements to increase rental value for the year ahead. I also organize the lettings office Diary daily.

Having had such an incredible break exploring Asia, it’s been amazing to come back to Bristol and be working with the CRS team again, and I’m really pleased to have been given the extra responsibilities for 2013.’

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

How landlords can create a 2013 home in Bristol worth renting

At City Rental Services, we spend a lot of time assisting and advising our portfolio of Bristol landlords on how to maximise revenue potential from their rented properties.

And one of the simplest ways to increase length of tenancies is to take care of the basic requirement that any private, professional and student tenant in Bristol has – to view a clean, well decorated, well-presented rented property before deciding to commit to make it their home. It’s simple, but it counts.

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So, Bristol landlords, when you receive Notice from an outgoing tenant, why not quickly visit and assess what you can do as the landlord owning the rented property to make it the most attractive option for good quality applicants looking to make a home out of your rented property in 2013.

For example, we’ve noticed that there’s a strong demand at the moment across the BS7 postcode for one and two-bed properties.

Consider wood flooring, painting and decorating, and reviewing inspirational magazines such as Grand Designs to give you ideas and a better idea of what tenants in Bristol are looking for from a rented property in the city.

Also, when a tenant emails you their Notice, make sure you’re marketing your rented property to its best potential. We can, of course, help you here.

Come into our Gloucester Road office and chat to our expert team of lettings negotiators Andy, Scott and Michaela to get hints and tips before the Spring.

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

How will the new Sainsburys in BS7 affect rental property values in 2013?

At our Gloucester Road-based letting agency offices, there’s been a lot of speculation from landlords and tenants alike regarding the proposed Sainsburys development in BS7, and how this will impact rental property values in 2013.

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It’s been abundantly clear that local traders don’t want it, but the new supermarket development will undoubtedly increase footfall on Gloucester Road, with other new projects coming to fruition.

This includes 4,000 new properties near Filton Airport and a new flat, swimming pool and library complex currently entering building stages on Gloucester Road itself.

The BS7 postcode has increasing rental market power, which is being realized by retailers, tenants, landlords and politicians across Bristol.

The main concern is that Gloucester Road retains its unique image amidst local developments and retail supermarket growth.

There is a totally different kind of buzz along Gloucester Road, and whilst we all want to welcome new businesses, professional and student tenants to the area as it continues to grow in popularity, it’s crucial to protect our uniqueness.

We believe that the Sainsburys BS7 development could be a positive point for Gloucester Road on the whole, and look forward to seeing it unfold.

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