Monthly Archives: February 2014

Are you a portfolio landlord in Bristol looking to increase rental incomes?

At City Rental Services,  we work in partnership across BS postcodes with many portfolio landlords.

By definition, if you own and rent more than one property in Bristol, you’re a portfolio landlord.

With 2014 well underway, it could be a good time to review rental incomes, in particular if you have tenants who have been in situ for more than 12 months.

It’s also important to carry out rented property inspections, to keep up to date with repairs and maintenance of your portfolio.

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We came across this useful article recently, which discusses the Do’s and Don’ts of rent increases for landlords and tenants.

It’s worth both landlords and tenants reviewing, with some useful information, including this quote from Matt Hutchinson, Director of SpareRoom:

“If you’re a good tenant, don’t automatically just accept an increase. Use it as an opportunity to talk to your landlord and get some improvements carried out in return.

“If you’re facing rent increases check your contract.  Rent increases should be carried out at the end of the fixed term and then annually thereafter and also I line with the terms of the tenancy agreement.”

Portfolio landlords in Bristol, review what is being charged locally, examine the going rental rates, on for instance www.rightmove.co.uk.

Rent increases need to be done correctly with the right forms being used, and at least one months’ notice given.

Useful information from Lawpack can be found here on how portfolio landlords can increase rents.

Remember, a tenant has a right to discuss rent increases with a landlord, and these are usually in line with the rate of inflation, or when looking at specific market conditions.

Rent increases need to be carried out in a considered manner. Landlords in Bristol – why not do things properly, with a visit to the tenant, and treat each case on its own merits.

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

How can a letting agent in Bristol let so many student properties in Bristol in one month?

Here at City Rental Services, we wanted to dedicate a blog post to say thank you to all our student landlords in Bristol this week.

It’s always a pleasure to be given good quality, well-maintained, well-equipped houses to let: these are the ones that let first – usually in the first two weeks of the new student term.

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Then we saw a deluge of applications for the large assortments of houses from 12 bedrooms to 3 bedrooms across BS6, BS7 and BS8 postcodes.

Discerning student tenants carefully pick and choose, often rejecting over-priced or poorly-maintained properties in favour of the decent deal offered by a ‘well trained’ student property investor who clearly understands the relationship between Landlord and Tenant in Bristol.

In our BS7 letting agency, we find that at the start of the year it’s a really busy time, getting all student rented properties marketed, signs and boards up and the office fully prepared for students starting the new Spring term and eager to find good value rented student accommodation.

The largest properties get viewed first, and then a combination of room numbers, the right rental price, and a good location bring applications flooding in.

Prices have increased a bit in BS7, but student tenants are always looking for value for money, and expect a good deal from us which they get. They are far more street savvy about BS-based rented properties.

We dealt with 50 student rented properties in one month alone, an increase of 10% on last year.

BS7 is increasingly popular, as it has the whole package – better value rents, lots of attractive and interesting mid-terrace rented properties with gardens, and many landlords completing houses to an excellent standard.

These landlords in Bristol are, of course, rewarded with the best student tenants, and this has been reflected in the increase in our business, too.

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

How Bristol landlords can avoid rent arrears in 2014

Here at City Rental Services, we came across a really useful article last week, highlighting ways in which rented property landlords can avoid rent arrears.

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According to research carried out by the National Landlords Association (NLA), 40% of UK landlords earn just enough to break even on their rental portfolios, often finding that rent arrears leaves them financially vulnerable.

The hassle, stress and time it takes to chase overdue rental payments from tenants can be a huge burden, which is why we offer a letting only or property management service, to act as brokers between landlords and tenants in Bristol.

The article highlights a few critical measures that landlords can take to lower the risk of rent arrears in Bristol rented properties, including:

* Landlord-tenant communication:

Monitoring the receipt of rental payments closely is crucial in this area, to ensure that a landlord’s rental portfolio monies are being paid on time across the whole range of rented accommodation that they own in Bristol.

* Pragmatic approach:

The landlord should remain calm and professional if they discover a shortfall or non-payment of rent, as it could be due to an administrative or bank error, and not necessarily because a tenant hasn’t paid their rent on a given month.

* Arrangements to pay arrears:

If there is a shortfall, rather than moving straight to expensive legal and court action, Bristol landlords should first consider discussing the matter directly with a tenants, to try and make a formal agreement to pay the shortfall. This reduces the additional legal and court costs, saving both parties money.

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

Obligations of tenants and landlords in Bristol – are you fulfilling your part of the deal?

Here at City Rental Services, we act as the broker between tenants and landlords in Bristol, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and all parties are happy.

Disputes between tenants and landlords can, and do, happen, but as a leading independent letting agency in Bristol, we use our considerable experience to smooth out disputes as and when they arise.

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We came across an interesting article here, highlighting that one in ten tenants have, for example, withheld rental payments due to landlord delays in completing rented property repairs.

The full article is worth reading as a lesson to both landlords and tenants.

We’d advocate ideally bringing both parties together before disputes actually happen – after all, you can’t legislate for Life, but you can prepare for it.

If you’re finding tenant and landlord relationships difficult, and your letting agency in Bristol isn’t fulfilling their part of the deal in helping you, why not pop into our Gloucester Road office for a no-obligation chat, too?

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