Monthly Archives: August 2013

Is your Bristol rented property up to date with gas safety checks?

At City Rental Services one of the biggest elements of our letting agency expertise comes in delivering the right advice at the right time to our professional tenants and student tenants looking for rented accommodation in Bristol.

This advice also includes making sure that our landlords are keeping on top of legal requirements – such as gas safety checks in rented properties.

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It’s a landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all gas appliances are safe and that yearly checks are carried out.

When moving into your new rented home in Bristol, one of the first things most tenants do is to read gas and electric meters, to gain accurate readings to pass onto utility providers. Many tenants take photos of their meter readings, to ensure an accurate record is kept for all future bills.

It’s also important to establish who the current providers are – we have a free handy reference guide at our Gloucester Road-based offices, listing helpline numbers for British Gas, EDF Energy, Bristol Wessex Water and Bristol City Council services.

When choosing gas and electric providers for your rented property, it’s also worth setting up new accounts with one tenant as the main account holder for each utility, to avoid one individual being responsible for all utilities provided.

You can get a quick and simple set of hints for gas safety from the Gas Safety Register website here.

By law, gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register, so make sure you ask to see their ID card and be safe with gas checks in your rented home.

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

Bristol rental market on the move as UK properties rise again

We’ve saw an encouraging article at City Rental Services last week from Property Wire, highlighting that UK rental property values are on the up again this year.

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The article reveals how UK-based rental property activity has soared 22% year-on-year, as the supply of rental homes is boosted by improved buy-to-let mortgage availability.

And whilst the trend for the whole UK appears to be a positive one, there has also been an increase in tenant demand. This is certainly the case in Bristol.

We’ve seen an increased request for rental family homes in Bristol, as more homes are being sold, flats are letting more quickly, and property in general is on the market for a shorter period of time.

Our advice? Landlords in Bristol need to have rental properties clean and tidy as the market in the city hots up.

It’s also important to remember that whilst some rental values will be naturally uplifted due to tenant demand, even rental properties that have been static for a while could gain additional rental incomes during the remainder of the year.

Are you a landlord in Bristol and need impartial advice on how to maximize the rental return on your property or portfolio of properties? Pop in to see our team of negotiators on Gloucester Road and have a chat with us.

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

What are the implications on Bristol landlords of the Rodrigues vs Superstrike legal case?

We’ve come across an interesting case recently at City Rental Services that has set a legal precedent for the rented property sector, and could impact Bristol landlords.

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London-based lettings agency Superstrike took tenant Marino Rodrigues to court through the Court of Appeal, further to a judgement by the Lord Justice Lloyd in favour of the tenant, stating that possession of Notice couldn’t be issued, as the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement was established before April 2007, and thus the deposit did not have to be protected under a Deposit Scheme such as the TDS.

The tenancy was for 12 months and expired in January 2008, and then it proceeded into a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT).

The case brings up that when a tenant is allowed to go into a SPT, this is seen as a new tenancy and not a continuation, and therefore the deposit should be protected.

Because the landlord took the tenant to court on a Section 21 Notice, the court refused to recognize it. Following the court case, this ruling could potentially affect Bristol landlords.

It’s worth reviewing your rental portfolio and Tenancy Agreements, to see which tenants have signed Agreements before April 2007.

As a landlord in Bristol, do you need to protect tenants’ rental deposits in a current Deposit Scheme to demonstrate goodwill should legal action take place in future? It’s worth considering.

For full details of the case and its implications, visit the National Landlords Association (NLA) blog post on the ruling here.

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

How does your letting agent in Bristol manage a heatwave?

We’ve been enjoying the recent spell of heatwave weather at City Rental Services and the wonderful spell of days of hot sunshine got us thinking.

How does a landlord in Bristol deal with heatwave weather? What problems arise, one of the frequent issues arising during spells of high temperatures can be fridge freezers and showers giving up the ghost in the heat as motors overheat or showers break down.

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Small local suppliers will usually offer a good price for a reconditioned fridge freezer or replacement shower unit.

Fridge freezers need to stand for a few hours after delivery, so a bit of help might be needed in getting food transferred over from the old freezer to the new one.

A little bit of help to your tenants at this time is much appreciated, especially if they are at work during the swop over process. It’s also important to dispose correctly of fridge freezers.

We regularly use the following two suppliers who will dispose of the old units as well as give a good price on the new one:

www.nailseaelectricalonline.co.uk

www.eddysdomesticappliances.co.uk

Other issues to consider during a heatwave are the windows: do they open easily, are there good window locks, so that windows can be left slightly open?

It’s also important to remember the increase in burglary at this time of year – so make sure your windows have sturdy locking systems in place, even when they are slightly opened.

We recently cut a new Velux skylight into a roof for a landlord, to help the tenant gain much-needed ventilation. Velux windows should be fitted with a dark blind, to cut down too much heat from the sun or early morning light.

We hope you like these few ideas to consider while the sun stays high in the sky!

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