Monthly Archives: March 2015

The benefits of property inspection – and how this improves a Bristol landlord’s chances of renting properties

A Day in the Life of Andy Hawkins, Property Manager, City Rental Services

Andy Hawkins, Property Manager at City Rental Services in Bristol

Here at City Rental Services it’s time to interview another one of our property lettings team at the Gloucester Road offices of City Rental Services – over to you, Andy!

Q. What’s your full name and job title?

Andy Hawkins – Property Manager.

Q. How long have you been at CRS?

I have worked at CRS for 13 years.

Q. What are your main duties?

I deal mainly with the property management side of things. I organise the larger maintenance that we carry out, ranging from preparing quotations and then organising the jobs themselves. I also oversee the lettings team and carry out any valuations for Bristol landlords in rented properties we manage.

Q. Why are property inspections so important?

We need to inspect properties to eradicate any issues that could be present both structurally and internally. We also are able to keep an eye on how tenants are treating the rented properties in our portfolio.

Q. How do you deliver rented property inspections?

You have to ensure that you are thorough, and take your time, I use an iPad and take as many photos as possible, so that we can keep visual records.

Q. Why do rented property inspections help landlords to rent properties?

We need to maintain all rented properties to a good standard: any problems left untreated will worsen and eventually cost more. Potential tenants are always wise to issues at the properties they view. A better maintained property usually attracts a better standard of tenant in the longer term, too.

Q. What issues do you help landlords and tenants overcome in Bristol?

I personally help our Bristol landlords in maintaining the integrity of properties and ensure that any problems our student and professional tenants have are dealt with speedily and effectively.

Q. How did you get into the rented property sector as a career and why?

I had spent time in the military and the second hand car industry – both of which had helped with my organisational and sales skills. I felt I needed a new challenge, and had always been interested in property. I originally worked for George Press in a lettings role, and then moved onto CRS.

Q. What do you think of the Bristol rented property sector at the moment?

I feel that a good property in Bristol will have no shortage of good potential tenants. We are always busy and looking for more properties to feed the demand. The market is buoyant in both a professional and student capacity. People love Bristol!

Q. What are your predictions for the rented property market in Bristol in 2015?

I’m sure the market will continue to grow, as many professionals are struggling to actually own their own home. Students are always a mainstay of our business, and they will always be attracted to Bristol as it is a cool place to be.

To find out more about our letting agency services in Bristol, get in touch today: simply call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

Letting agency fees in Bristol – are you getting a fair deal?

Here at City Rental Services one of the questions we get from our tenant applicants is “How much are your fees, what does it cover, and why do we have to pay it?”

Letting agency fees can be a mystery but it’s a subject we’re more than happy to deal with in a straightforward and professional manner.

Advice on letting agency fees for Bristol landlords

We provide a letting service for sought-after accommodation for both professional and student tenants in Horfield, Bishopston, Montpelier, Redland, Stokes Croft, Cotham, and Clifton as well as south of the river in BS3.

There’s a great industry article here, discussing the expectations and demands of student tenants in the competitive and fast-moving property lettings sector.

As a leading independent letting agency on Gloucester Road, we have no hidden charges, and a one-off Fee of only 35% +VAT for our services to help you find a suitable property, carry out the application process to include referencing, guarantors if required, preparing the Tenancy Agreement, and getting it all signed up, sorting out future payments by Standing Order and giving general assistance to start your tenancy.

If you are still seeking student accommodation – although the majority of our student houses in Bristol are already let, don’t give up: rented properties for students in BS postcodes will come up in the next few months, so keep checking here in coming weeks.

We also have a selection of professional properties in many different price bands, with the selection changing daily.

To find out more about our letting agency services in Bristol, get in touch today: simply call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

Bristol Landlords – are the fire protection measures in place in your rented properties a cause for alarm?

As an independent letting agency on Gloucester Road BS7, here at City Rental Services we’re used to advising our landlords and tenants on related issues – one very important issue is Fire Protection and the maintenance and upkeep of Fire Alarms and Emergency Lighting.

fire alarm advice for bristol property landlords from City Rental Services

Landlords have a duty of care to ensure that all equipment supplied to their tenants is in good working order and is regularly checked and maintained.

We are frequently reminded about the need for Gas Safety Certificates, but Fire protection is equally important.

If the property has a licence then the fire alarm system should be checked and a Fire Alarm and Emergency Lighting Certificate produced twice a year.

Whatever fire protection system is in place inside a rented property – whether it’s an integrated full fire alarm system, or battery-operated detectors – please make sure it’s all in working order for your tenants and your peace of mind.

Have it checked regularly, and consider whether it provides sufficient protection. There are new products on the market that can provide great cover, but are not as costly or as complicated to install.

Rented property landlords! If there’s no provision for fire protection in place in your rented properties, it’s time to get fire protection systems in place to protect your tenants and reduce your liability and risk.

To find out more about our letting agency services in Bristol, get in touch today: simply call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

The Pros and Cons of written inventories for rented properties in Bristol

Here at City Rental Services, we came across an industry article outlining the importance of written inventories for rented properties – and thought it was worth highlighting further.

advice for rented property landlords in Bristol

The article looks at some of the dangers in using modern technology and devices such as tablets and phones to itemise for inventories in rented properties.

Although the article isn’t in favour of bought-in Inventory packages, much of the rented property industry now uses them for ease and convenience.

We wanted to confirm how important a well-prepared Inventory is, with Tenancy Deposit Schemes in use.

With the possibility of a dispute it is vital to have a clear and precise record of the contents and condition of rented accommodation.

Some of our top tips for rented property inventories include:

* Backing it up with photographs is good practice, but some way of dating the photos is necessary.

* Include readings of the gas and electricity meters if possible.

* Don’t forget to inventory the front and rear gardens of rented properties.

* Several Inventory packages or apps can be bought to make the job easier – it is a simple matter then to update the Inventory after each check in or out.

* If you do have any issues that you want to deduct money for at the end of the tenancy you must advise your outgoing tenants first, and get their agreement – or you could well end up with an indefensible dispute on your hands.

* A clear and FAIR presentation of any potential costs usually prevents disputes.

* Tenants are entitled to know that the reasons why a deduction needs to be made – and this should be presented with a clear record of what and why.

To find out more about our letting-only landlord service in Bristol, get in touch today: simply call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us.