Monthly Archives: November 2013

Student accommodation in Bristol defies the UK recession trend

At City Rental Services we know what a fantastic city Bristol is for the provision of high-quality student accommodation, for both undergraduates and postgraduates, in the popular BS postcodes preferred: BS6, BS7, and BS8.

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In our Gloucester Road office recently we come across this news story from the Bristol Post, highlighting a boom in student accommodation, despite the recession trend in rented property across other UK cities.

As experts in the student lettings market in Bristol, we read the article with interest, and whilst we’re preparing for the student lettings season for 2014-15, CRS is monitoring the market, to ensure that student property landlords in Bristol get the correct market rental level for their properties.

If you’re a student looking for quality rented accommodation across those ever-popular postcodes BS6, BS7, and BS8, or a landlord with student accommodation to offer in Bristol, feel free to pop into our Gloucester Road offices for a no-obligation chat.

Or check out our properties now being listed on www.rightmove.co.uk/students or on our two web sites:

www.city-rental-services.co.uk and www.city-property-lets.co.uk

There will be a large selection of student houses from two to 11 beds advertised, with over 100 to choose from by Christmas.

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

Tips for Bristol landlords on how to protect your rented portfolio in Winter

It’s that time of year here at City Rental Services when storm damage and the effects of Winter weather start to be experienced by some of our Bristol landlords.

Costly repairs to rented properties as a result of harsh weather conditions can be time-consuming to deal with, as well as very costly at this time of year.

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This useful article from the National Landlords’ Association pinpoints action that landlords can take when claiming for storm damage.

Our top tips for Bristol landlords to help protect your rented portfolio in Winter include:

* Gutters and drains – all clear of rubbish and debris and not leaking?

* When are students leaving for Christmas? They could be gone for 4-5 weeks, so make sure you check these properties especially if there is a big cold snap.

* Make sure your students know how to work the timer to run the central heating on a low level while the house is empty or drain the system down, but this isn’t done much these days.

* Check for drips or running overflows, these could ice up and cause the boiler to break down or ice to build up and burst pipes.

* Don’t forget to purchase Building AND Contents Insurance for your portfolio.

* Have your student tenants got the right emergency phone number for you, or that of a nominated person in your absence?

* Student tenants might appreciate your inputs and advice before they leave their rented properties for Christmas, so help and advise as necessary.

*  Who’s on 24-hour call when needed? Is maintenance available for tenants?  Speedy responses cut down bigger problems arising.

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

Tenants spending 31% of income on rented properties in the UK

The BBC published a controversial story about rental properties and tenants’ expenditure this week from statistics via homelessness and housing charity Shelter, and here at City Rental Services we thought it was worth a closer examination. One of our main priorities is to monitor the market.

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According to Shelter, 31% of people paying rent spend more than one third of their disposable income each month on rental payments – higher than the recommended figures for outlay on rental properties across the UK, as the basic benchmark of housing affordability.

Whilst the figures are concerning for some groups of people in vulnerable positions, or in reduced-income groups at risk of financial hardship across the country, it’s worth remembering that Bristol is one of the most prosperous, lively and exciting cities in the UK to live and work in.

Despite the BBC article and comments from Shelter, we believe it’s not only possible to have a good selection of rented accommodation in central BS postcodes, but at CRS we also try and ensure that the rents on offer for our professional and student tenants are also well-researched, appropriately priced, and not inflated.

This helps to increase tenant loyalty, for tenants to also stay in rented properties for longer, and for tenants to treat rental accommodation in our Bristol portfolio with greater respect.

With our 18 years’ experience in Bristol, we’re able to provide the very best letting agency advice to both tenants and landlords across the city, too.

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

Bins Out campaign drives recycling awareness to Bristol student tenants

At City Rental Services we’ve seen a month-long Bins Out campaign in action from Bristol City Council working in partnership with the University of West of England and Bristol University and Police Community Support officers, to raise awareness amongst student tenant households in Bristol.

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The aim of the Bins Out campaign is to highlight the need for student tenants across the City to be good neighbours, and to recycle household waste wherever possible.

Full story details on the Bins Out campaign can be seen here.

There’s also a responsibility with landlords in Bristol, to educate their tenants on waste management.

If you have new tenants in rented properties and student accommodation in Bristol, don’t forget to remind them about the waste and recycling services available in Bristol.

A green wheelie bin is also useful, but there is an associated cost: another option can be a visit to a local tip, but this also incurs commercial waste costs in some instances. Ultimately, waste management and recycling matter.

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

Tips for risk assessment and prioritisation for Bristol landlords

At City Rental Services we’ve been meeting with our contractors recently to discuss Risk Assessment.

It’s an obligation on behalf of a landlord in Bristol and/or a letting agent working on behalf of a landlord to ensure that a Risk Assessment has been undertaken before assigning any contractors to work on your rented property.

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Make sure that the contractors you use also have a Risk Assessment Policy in place before allowing them to attend your rented property in Bristol.

The discussions in our Gloucester Road-based lettings agency this week also moved onto general points about access to rented properties, making sure that tenants are aware of any issues, who will be carrying out any repairs, when, and for how long these repairs will take.

If your tenants can be in the rented property when contractors attend that helps. Contractors should always carry appropriate ID with them, and leave a proper note if they cannot complete any work immediately, or if they need to get parts.

Furthermore, all contractors should have Liability Insurance before going onto any site, and should give landlords or agents a copy of their current insurance to keep on file.

Common problems occurring in rented properties during the onset of Autumn (and heavy rainfall) can include gutters filled with leaves – this can cause blockages rapidly, and then internal damage.

To find out more about Risk Assessment, please visit here.

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