Monthly Archives: August 2015

Are tenancy deposits an issue for landlords and tenants in Bristol?

Here at City Rental Services we spend time helping our buy-to-let landlords, professional tenants and student tenants understand Tenancy Deposit Schemes.

There are three main schemes:

Advice for Bristol property landlords on tenancy deposit schemes from City Rental Services

We don’t want our landlords falling foul of their legal obligations, with the ever-changing nature of legislation affecting the property letting market in Bristol.

There are frequent horror stories in the national Press around rogue landlords and their mismanagement of tenants deposits – that should, by Law, be administered within a Government-approved Tenant Deposit Protection (TDP) Scheme.

Our CRS landlords all use one of the three listed schemes and our tenants should receive details of their deposit registration within 30 days from the payment of the deposit.

At the end of the tenancy it should be a fairly simple process to get the deposits returned, of course after the property has been cleaned and rubbish removed, service bills paid, etc.

It’s fair to say that the majority of private landlords and letting agents comply with the legislation and have a good understanding of the schemes, but if you are at all unsure about your deposit protection why not give us a call whether you are a Bristol landlord or a Bristol tenant.

Tenancy deposit schemes have raised standards and communication between landlords and tenants – indeed, Government figures show that 86% of landlords and agents no longer regard deposit disputes as an issue.

The main reasons listed in a recent article in Property Drum for disputes around rental deposit returns in 2015 so far include the following issues:

* Cleaning

* Damage

* Redecoration

* Gardening

* Rent arrears

The Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) recently reduced dispute resolution times, aiming to receive evidence from both landlord and tenant within a fortnight.

Adjudicators then have 28 days to make a decision – with a resolution sometimes being reaches within days, according to the DPS.

To get a concise overview of tenancy deposit protection, visit here.

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

Further Government attacks on buy-to-let landlords in Bristol

Whilst sitting in Boston Tea Party in BS7, and waiting for the City Property Lets car to be cleaned, we were contemplating the issues faced by buy-to-let landlords operating in Bristol.

free advice for buy-to-let landlords in Bristol from City Rental Services

These issues currently include:

* Immigration Act

All buy-to-let landlords in Bristol need to note – do your applicants have a ‘right to rent’ in the UK? From October it will be necessary to check all of your future tenants have a Right to Rent. Review here for further details.

* Goodbye Green Deal

The Green Deal starting and stopping has enticed many buy-to-let landlords in Bristol, with the thought of using the green deal to cut costs and improve housing stock. Unfortunately, even before cutting through the red tape, the government has decided to scrap it, as well as stopping future Deal funding.

* Shortage of housing stock

Private landlords across Bristol and the wider UK have been encouraged to spend pension pots on investment properties, but on the other hand there’s a dearth of available, fairly-priced investment properties in Bristol to purchase.

* Buy-to-let mortgages

Another issue facing buy-to-let landlords in Bristol is the potential crack-down on buy-to-let mortgages across the country, as reported here recently.

* Tenant expectations

Professional and student tenants in Bristol really appreciate – and expect – serious landlords offering them great properties with flexibility and fluidity. Today’s modern tenants have high expectations, pay considerable amounts of money in rent for properties in BS postcodes, and landlords need to respond.

Never a dull moment when you stop for a coffee!

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

The vital importance of maintaining fire and smoke alarms in Bristol rented properties

We don’t want to be boring here at City Rental Services, but at this time of year it’s really important to remind our property landlords in Bristol about the importance of getting fire alarms checked with so many properties changing hands and new rules to follow.

advice for Bristol private landlords on fire and smoke alarms from lettings agency City Rental services

New legislation has been passed around the provision of fire and smoke alarms – which any property landlord should read here and be aware of.

It can be confusing to understand what to do around certain legislative items, but maintaining smoke and fire alarms in Bristol rented properties is a very clear subject indeed: as a basic minimum, property landlords should provide 10-year battery operated smoke detectors on each landing in all their rented properties, and ensure that regular testing takes place for all smoke and fire alarms.

We also recommend installing carbon monoxide alarms, whether or not an open fire is supplied to a rented property: this is a far better option than attempting to defend oneself in court against charges after a tenant dies from monoxide poisoning. A carbon monoxide detector is cheap and easy to install.

As private landlords in Bristol, you owe it to your tenants to get this done.

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