Monthly Archives: April 2013

Bristol landlords – are you aware of your Gas Safety responsibilities?

Whilst attending the Landlords Expo Show in Bristol last week, some of the team from City Rental Services who attended made lots of useful new contacts, met familiar faces in the Bristol rental market, and picked up literature and information on current legislation.

We found, in particular, updated information on landlords’ responsibilities around gas safety in rented properties helpful.

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As a Bristol landlord, it’s important – and a legal requirement – to be aware of, and to act upon, your responsibilities around gas safety.

Some of these basic duties for Bristol landlords include:

* To make annual gas safety checks of gas appliances and flues, using a Gas Safety-registered engineer.

* A copy of the gas safety record must be provided to tenants or to new tenants when they move into a rented property in Bristol.

* Annual servicing and maintenance of gas pipework, gas appliances and flues, as well as maintaining all equipment in a safe condition for tenants.

It’s also important to consider the requirements of tenants, should gas appliances such as a gas cooker have to be shut down unexpectedly.

Landlords must respond reasonably and quickly should, for example, a new gas cooker be needed in a rented property if an old appliance fails or is deemed to be unsafe.

We rotate our gas engineers annually, to ensure that no gas safety aspects are overlooked for our student and professional tenants in Bristol.

To find out more about gas safety and landlords’ responsibilities, visit here.

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

Important Council Tax changes for Bristol Landlords in effect

Keeping on top of legislation for the rental sector in Bristol can be a full-time job for landlords and student and professional tenants alike – which is why, here at City Rental Services we try and help on behalf of all of our customers.

Important changes have recently happened, too, regarding changes in Council Tax exemptions and benefits, which will potentially affect Bristol landlords.

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The changes – which came into effect on 01 April – will affect properties left unoccupied and unfurnished, second home discounts, and long-term empty properties.

The changes are as follows:

* Unoccupied and unfurnished homes:

These Class C exemptions were awarded a six-month Council Tax exemption of 100%. This exemption has been stopped, and from 01 April, unoccupied and unfurnished properties will be entitled to a 10% discount for up to six months.

* Long-term empty properties:

From 01 April, long-term empty properties will be charged 150% for those that have been empty for two years or more. This is to reduce the number of long-term empty properties, and get this housing stock back into use locally.

* Second home incomes:

Owners of second homes were awarded a 10% Council Tax discount for empty, furnished properties. This has now stopped, and the full Council Tax amount is due from 01 April.

To find out more about Council Tax, visit the Bristol City Council website here.

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

Why you should Spring clean your rented property in Bristol

It’s that time of year when everybody at City Rental Services starts thinking about warmer, sunnier days with the advent of Spring. And, yes, the time for Spring cleaning is with us.

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It’s important to spring clean your rented property in Bristol, too, for a number of reasons. Consistent care of a rented property helps in the long-term to provide happy landlords and happy tenants. Everybody wins!

This time of year, when the clocks have gone back, Easter holidays are done and dusted, kids are on holiday and the weather is (hopefully) getting better means the perfect time for tenants and landlords in Bristol to do basic spring cleaning tasks such as cleaning windows, cleaning carpets and giving rented properties a general spruce up for the season.

For general hardware items, we highly recommend Bishopston Hardware, whilst if you’re after a beautiful Spring bouquet, try The Flower Shop on Gloucester Road. Anna is amazing!

It’s worth remembering that you pay good money for your rented property, so why not also take time and care to make sure it’s looking the best it can.

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