Monthly Archives: September 2014

How Bristol landlords can maximise their property rental return

With a month of focusing our rented property blog on advice and tips for Bristol landlords, at City Rental Services, we found a report from the National Landlords Association (NLA) with statistics highlighting that only a quarter of small landlords break even or even make a loss on their rented property portfolios.

central Bristol lettings agency

According to the NLA report, 27% of landlords in the UK who let out a single property break even or run at a loss.

The NLA findings also claim that 19% of landlords who let out between two and four rented properties just break even on their property portfolios.

Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the NLA, commented:

“With proper planning and financial protection in place many could turn a failing business into a success, and we’re urging landlords to explore the range of support the NLA can offer to help run a successful and profitable business.”

In our experience as a leading independent letting agency in central Bristol, it’s critical for rented property landlords in BS postcodes to ensure that rents are paid, providing good communication to all tenants, and making sure that re-lets happen quickly and efficiently.

How efficient are you as a rented property landlord in Bristol?

We’re happy to provide advice to new rented property landlords at our Gloucester Road-based office, so pop into see us this Autumn.

If you’re looking for advice on how to rent properties in Bristol, call in to 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

Bristol landlords – make sure rented property repairs are documented

At City Rental Services, we appreciate that many of our Bristol landlords are busy and on the go all day.

So when a tenant rings up to report a broken washing machine, the immediate response is often to try and deal with it on the spot, over the phone. Our advice here would be simple – stop. Get it documented first.

Repairs to rented properties should be dealt with via emailed incidents, detailing any repairs, the repair needed, the date and time first reported, and the full nature of the remedial work needed from the tenant.

advice for rented property landlords in bristol

This email trail acts as a legal record, as well as giving a landlord time to think about the most appropriate solution for the tenant.

In line with Bristol landlords needing to keep a full written record for accuracy, having emails covering all actions taken covers the landlord in the long-term, and provides for a more efficient rented property management service, reduces comebacks from unhappy tenants, reduces errors overall – and quite simply makes common sense, too!

We know, for example, of many Bristol landlords who no longer take phone calls to their mobiles, but will respond to texts only instead – this also, of course, provides a provable communication trail should issues arise later.

If you’re looking for advice on how to rent properties in Bristol, call in to 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

The importance of record keeping for letting-only landlords in Bristol

We work with many letting-only landlords in Bristol at City Rental Services, and part of our remit includes giving these landlords the very best advice possible from our experience as a leading independent letting agency in central Bristol.

This advice sometimes also covers basic hints and tips on keeping effective records, to make sure that tax matters and legal financial obligations are met.

advice for letting-only landlords in Bristol

Tax advice is not, of course, something we provide as financial advisors – as we are not regulated by any relevant Ombudsman or financial regulatory body – but here are some simple hints and tips for letting-only landlords in Bristol looking to increase the effectiveness of their record keeping practices. Ensure that you keep records for the following:

* Tenants and Guarantors contact information

* Deposit Scheme, Tenancy Agreement & Inventory details

* Rents

* Start & stop dates for all tenancies

* Gas Safety notices

* PAT and NECEIC dates for electrical safety

* Property inspection dates

* Other maintenance records, such as garden tidying

* Records of all invoices and receipts

* Invoices for all expenditure on rented properties in tidy order

If you’re a new letting-only landlord in Bristol, the importance of setting up an efficient and thorough filing system straight away cannot be stressed enough.

Also, don’t forget clearly-marked keys for your rented properties – but not with the address attached to them, in case they get stolen by a third party!

If you’re looking for advice on letting-only services in Bristol, call in to 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

Buy To Let demand increasing in BS5 and BS7 postcodes

At City Rental Services we’ve noticed a steady increase in demand for buy-to-let properties across Bristol in recent months – particularly across BS5 and BS7 postcodes.

Advice for buy to let landlords in Bristol

Local agents have reported high demand in these areas of Bristol, whilst buy-to-let remains an ever-popular investment in the city.

BS5 and BS7 are an easy distance to the city centre, and offer a modest investment for good returns.

In line with this, it appears that experienced buy-to-let landlords are slowing down on the amount of remortgaging. This trend could indicate that long-term rented property investors have hit ceilings on their property portfolios.

According to recent research, remortgages in the UK dropped overall by 6% by the end of June this year, whilst buy-to-let mortgages have increased by 6% in the first half of 2014 across the country.

As a rule of thumb, the cheaper the property to purchase, the higher the % return on the initial investment, although it’s important to factor in the costs of ongoing upkeep through refurbishment and refreshment of these rented properties in Bristol, of course.

Being based on Gloucester Road, we’re able to spot properties coming onto the market quickly in the area, and as a leading independent lettings agency in Bristol, we’re always happy to advise and assist potential and existing rented property landlords.

If you’re looking to invest in properties in BS5 or BS7, call in to 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

Considerations for rented property investment in Bristol

Whilst reviewing industry news at City Rental Services last week, we found an article discussing the budgeting required for private rental sector investments.

You can read it in full here.

advice for rented property landlords in Bristol

And whilst it’s sensible to consider incomings and outgoings, we believe that property landlords in Bristol need to consider much more than the basics such as letting agency fees, insurance costs and maintenance expenses.

Property investment is a long-term financial strategy, and isn’t a quick fix to make easy money.

It’s easy to buy an investment property if you have the deposit and can obtain the balancing funds. However, once you enter into a contract with tenants you become a responsible party.

Bristol landlords need to cover unforeseen expenses as well as short, medium and long-term costs, such as refreshing and refurbishing a rented property after five years.

If you’re a Letting-Only landlord in Bristol, for example, you’re on call all the time. If you’re a Licensed Property landlord, you need to be living close to the BS-based property. There are many other considerations for both options.

Letting-Only landlords need to be on call for all their tenants’ niggles and issues, and are responsible for Health & Safety, including gas safety, EPC, PAT tests, wiring, Property Inventories, key handling, services and utilities – the list goes on!

As the tenants come and go, wear and tear will take its toll, and a good rented property portfolio strategy should include replacement and refurbishment, to ensure that the maximum rental potential is maintained.

Before setting out to develop a rented property portfolio, consider whom you’re investing with, and in what legal format such as Sole Trader, Limited Company, or Partnership.

Consider what’s at risk: after all, the investment is at risk if your tenants turn nasty and it doesn’t go to plan.

If you’re looking to invest in properties in BS7, call in to 58 Gloucester Road to see us.