Monthly Archives: May 2013

How to leave a student rented property in Bristol in June

As we enter June, at City Rental Services we’re preparing for one of the biggest days in our annual calendar – 30th June.

This is the big day when many of our student tenancies come to an end.

Exams are over, leaving parties are in full swing, the Glastonbury weekend is upon us (rain or shine) and our student tenants are getting ready for the big pack-up and clean-out in their rented properties across Bristol.

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It’s also the month that student tenants should be thinking about maximizing the amount of rental deposit they see returned to them from their letting agencies and landlords in Bristol.

Here’s our checklist of things to do during June to ensure you get a full rental deposit back at the end of the academic year:

* You’re responsible for clearing, cleaning and tidying your bedroom and the communal areas of your rented property. Make sure you clean under the bed, behind the wardrobe, window sills and skirting boards – basically, a thorough clean is required. Does your vacuum work? If not, contact your landlord or letting agency.

* Communal areas will include the bathroom, which can be quite a challenge. Make sure the toilet is thoroughly cleaned, including bath and wash basin. Full cleaning and polishing is needed, with all rubbish removed, and shower curtain washed, or cleaned fully if glass. Wipe down and remove any mould on window sills.

* One of the main communal areas to consider is the kitchen. Fridge freezers will need to be turned off before 27th June, to give time before the final weekend for all foodstuffs out and the freezer de-frosted fully. Use a good oven cleaner, including the racks, grill and hob – and remember the oven sides, inside and out.

* General rubbish needs to be cleared, so make sure all black bin bags full or refuse are cleared. Ask a friend with a car to do a local tip run – the Council can also help remove larger items such as furniture, for a small fee.

* With the full student rented property thoroughly clean and tidy, and ready for inspection, keys need to be returned, and a new address left with the letting agency or landlord. Also remember to read all meters and note the readings.

* If there are any damages you know of which are your responsibility, let the letting agency or landlord know, as this will speed up deposit refunding if mentioned at the time of rented property vacating.

Sticking to the above simple points should go a long way to helping student tenants to get their rental deposits back quickly and straightforwardly.

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

Bristol landlords – are you missing out on the Green Deal?

At City Rental Services we’ve been keeping a close eye on the Green Deal for our landlords and professional and student tenants, to make sure they’re getting the best benefits from this energy-saving scheme.

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And, with news coming this week from the National Landlords’ Association (NLA) of a sizeable increase in the number of Green Deal assessments recently, it looks like the scheme is growing.

In essence, the Green Deal enables landlords in Bristol to make energy efficiency improvements to their rented properties to benefit their tenants, and reduce ongoing energy costs, via an all-in-one solution.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, commented:

“Landlords only have a few years to comply with the scheme until their hands will be forced. And with the private-rented sector playing such an important role in the provision of housing, this is a key opportunity for them to prove they are able to self-regulate.”

It’s important for landlords in Bristol to have a look at the Green Deal to see what they can get out of it, and how their tenants can benefit. Are you missing out? To find out more, visit here or call 01844 265439.

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

Bristol private rented sector faces immigrant onus from Queen’s Speech

At City Rental Services we watched with interest the measure introduced around immigrants in this year’s Queen’s Speech, and the impact on the private rental sector in the city.

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According to proposed plans, residential landlords are to be forced to vet a tenant’s right to live in the UK before agreeing a Tenancy Agreement.

The new measures were heavily criticized by the National Landlords’ Association’s (NLA) Chief Executive Officer Richard Lambert, who said of local authorities:

“They must undertake robust, intelligence led, targeted enforcement, otherwise illegal immigrants who are refused housing by reputable landlords will face homelessness or be pushed straight back into arms of the criminals who deliberately exploit vulnerable people.”

It’s disappointing to see more legislation facing the private rented sector, and the burden is being placed on letting agents and landlords in Bristol to help in the battle against illegal immigrants.

Landlords and reputable letting agencies already use due diligence and carry out stringent checks when accepting new professional and student tenants, so there should be very little amendment to the measures already in place at City Rental Services.

The additional potential paperwork will prove unpopular with landlords in Bristol, but we’re on hand to help and advise, of course.

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

Bristol landlords – are your rental properties electrically safe?

At City Rental Services part of our remit as a leading central Bristol lettings agency is twofold – to maximize the rental return for our landlords, whilst also ensuring the best possible rental properties in Bristol for our professional and student tenants.

Part of this includes ensuring the safety of rental properties in our portfolio, particularly around utility services such as gas and electricity. This means keeping up with relevant legislation on behalf of our landlords and tenants.

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When it comes to safety and regulatory responsibilities concerning electricity, we look at NICEIC, which acts as the electrical contracting industry’s independent voluntary body for electrical installation throughout the UK.

As a landlord, it’s your responsibility, for example, under law to make sure that the electrics in your rental properties in Bristol are safe. We use PAC Engineering, who provide us with electrical and gas engineers in Bristol – you can find out more about them here.

NICEIC has the highest number of Part P-approved contractors on its register, whilst NICEIC Registered Contractors are assessed annually, to ensure that they comply with national safety standards and codes of practice.

If you’d like further information, visit www.niceic.com or call 0843 290 3476.

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

Predictions for Bristol rental prices following national property report

At City Rental Services we came across an interesting rental prices national report from Property Wire recently – you can read the full article on rising UK rental prices here.

The report, commissioned by RICS, highlights that tenant demand is growing faster across the UK than current supply from the private rental sector. This is pushing rental prices up.

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Rental prices are rising above the inflation rate in London – as is to be expected – whilst in Bristol, we’re seeing a steady rise matching a consistent demand level from our professional and student tenants, rising in line with inflation. Fewer foreign students coming into the city is also having an impact.

The end of 2012 was disappointing for many Bristol landlords, with the average rental price standing at £799 per month across Bristol, according to the report. This is a 2.96% increase from the end of 2012 in BS postcodes.

With Spring well and truly upon us, we’d expect to see rental houses and flats with outside space coming into premium demand. Landlords with the best presented rental properties will continue to see the highest returns.

Supply of two-bedroom rental flats and houses in central Bristol are outweighing demand at the moment, but this will even out during the year.

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