Monthly Archives: October 2013

A closer look at the new ASA rulings for advertising rented property

At City Rental Services we’ve been keeping a close eye on the recent ASA ruling regarding the advertisement of rented properties by letting agencies around fee amounts.

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This useful article from industry website Landlord Zone provides a handy overview, as well as highlighting the fact that the ASA ruling demands compliance by letting agents by 01st November.

The crux of the issue lies with the fact that many letting agencies have complicated fee structures. At CRS, ours are simple and clear, and we believe that if a potential tenant decides to arrange a rented property viewing, this is a financial decision, and letting agents need to be really transparent on their fee structures to all potential tenants from the outset.

The guidance is also simple from a legal perspective:

‘Consumers are entitled to material information on fees when deciding to rent. Any administration fee should be provided or clearly indicated in the quoted price, and should provide enough information to allow the consumer to establish easily how further charges could be calculated.’

From 01st November 2013 all letting agents are obliged to make it clear to potential tenants what their charges will be, and to inform of all concurrent costs incurred to move into a property.

At CRS, we have one charge only – 35% of a months’ rent plus VAT for obtaining a property, referencing and preparing the tenancy agreement. For  charges or fees for any agent, we’d recommend looking closely at a letting agencies’ Terms & Conditions before signing up.

Letting agencies will need to have their fee structures listed, and we’ve noted that leading property portal Rightmove is doing its best to comply: other portals will follow on with their own methods of showing Agent’s fees.

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

Calling all Bristol landlords – City Rental Services can help you!

At City Rental Services we deal with a large number of landlords in Bristol, providing letting-only property rental services, giving landlords just the right help when they need it.

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Some of the ways we help landlords in Bristol include:

* Bringing rental property to market with substantial exposure

* Helping ease the burden of rental accommodation legislation

* Finding the right tenants for our landlords’ property portfolios

If you’re a landlord in Bristol and are tired of regulations, and not sure where to go or what you need to do, let a letting agent take the strain.

We’ll guide you through the myriad of legislation, as well as helping you to work your way through the complexities of managing a rental portfolio – including access to our considerable amount of information and database of approved contractors.

Basically, our expertise are focused on helping letting-only landlords in Bristol.

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

Will the Government’s Help to Buy scheme keep Bristol’s property sector moving?

We came across an interesting article at City Rental Services from the BBC this week, highlighting the latest developments in the Government’s Help to Buy property scheme.

With a shortage of rental properties in Bristol at the moment, the new scheme could help alleviate the pressure on property in the city by helping first-time buyers to move from a rented property into their first home of their own.

Help to buy equity loans are open to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes worth up to £600,000 but you won’t be able to sub-let, so this is not an easy route for investors.

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This injection of new mortgage lending should help to keep the property sector moving through Autumn and Winter and into 2014: and hopefully release some much-needed rental property in Bristol in the New Year, as the market starts to work more freely – but hopefully not over-inflate it.

The demand for rented accommodation in Bristol and especially in BS7 has never been stronger, so if you are struggling to let a property or understand the property market in any way, why not call in and chat to one of our Letting Negotiators or Property Managers.

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

Are you looking to increase your Buy-To-Let portfolio in Bristol and considering the student rental market?

At City Rental Services we’ve noticed a rise in interest in recent months in the student rental market in Bristol, and this is with good reason.

According to a report published by the Telegraph, the average cost of student flats and houses has increased in Bristol by 7.7% in the past two years.

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This means that rented accommodation for students remains popular, and if you’re a landlord looking to increase your Buy-To-Let portfolio across the city, it may well be worth considering the student rental market.

Our top six reasons to consider Bristol for rental property investment include:

* There is a large and well-established student population of over 40,000 at two Universities in Bristol

* At City Rental Services, we have 100% annual take-up of our rented student accommodation

* Bristol is a great city, with loads going on – including the Gromit Unleashed appeal with 80 Gromits in and around the City over the Summer

* The Telegraph’s growth rate of 7.7% indicates a solid ROI in Bristol

* The mass of mid-terraced rented properties in Bristol remain popular with students, especially second-year students in the city

There’s a good choice of property rental areas with value for money in Bristol due to the two Universities, one in the centre and one in North Bristol.

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

Free rented property Inventory Guide for Bristol landlords

At City Rental Services we spend a lot of time liaising with landlords in Bristol, student tenants and professional tenants, to reduce the potential for disputes between parties.

Any rent arrears can easily escalate: landlords, make sure you check your rents monthly and present a clear and accurate record to your tenant if there is a shortfall.

Have a degree of patience and decency, it’s very hard being a tenant and trying to get the monthly rent together along with all the many calls on one’s money.

One other area where disputes can sometimes arise in rented properties in Bristol is around the subject of Inventories, the condition of the goods and chattels, and the property itself must be clearly described and agreed at the beginning of the tenancy for a fair check to be made at the end of the tenancy.

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A handy, free Inventory Guide has been published by the National Landlords Association (NLA) – which you can download for free here.

If you don’t provide a thorough Inventory at the commencement of the tenancy, you will have little chance of succeeding in the event of a dispute.

It’s important to also remember that between mid-September and mid-October, students from UWE and the University of Bristol are coming back to the city, and settling into new student accommodation in Bristol.

Student landlords in Bristol please ensure that all safety aspects are considered, including these useful reminders:

* Fire alarms

* Carbon monoxide detectors

* Gas Safety Certificates

* Lightbulbs and emergency lighting working, especially in communal hallways

* Informing local authorities of new student tenants for council tax exemptions

* Maintenance representatives available to tenants on behalf of landlords

* Confirming contact details for student tenants in rented properties

* Checking rental payments monthly: don’t leave it too long before notifying tenants and or guarantors of missing standing orders

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