Monthly Archives: December 2015

The importance of honest valuations for Bristol rented properties

The team here at City Rental Services are looking ahead to 2016 – and one of the hot topics we always come back to every year in our Gloucester Road offices is that of the importance of honest valuations for rented properties in Bristol.

advice on Bristol rented property valuations from independent letting agency City Rental Services

In recent years property landlords have benefitted from a colossal increase in the demand for rented accommodation in Bristol.

It seems everywhere the cost of renting has shot up. No more so than in BS7, where diverse bars, cafés, and shops provide the trendy city-life so many private rented tenants now seek.

The current market leaves plenty of opportunity for property investment landlords in Bristol to pursue strong rents.

Yet, landlords take care – empty rented properties can cost you dearly through Council Tax, utility bills, insurance increases if the void period is long-term, plus the danger of intruders – large and small.

Whilst sky-high rents are appealing to many investment landlords in Bristol, overshooting the property market can cause problems.

If a rented property advert is online for too long it becomes stale. It will be missed by those using search criteria ‘show only properties added to site within the last ‘x’ days’ for example.

When advertising properties for rent in Bristol, the first week is important. If there is little interest in this period it is unlikely to gain greater interest in the following week. Timing is everything.

In addition, high rents can out-price potential tenants: the higher the rent, the smaller pool of interested parties that will be available.

It is often the case that when that pool becomes too small, those potential tenants that are left may be desperate or unsuitable.

In the long-term, the wrong tenant on more money costs the landlord more than the right tenant on less money – and for these reasons, we feel honest valuations on rented properties in Bristol have never been so important. 2016 will highlight this further.

At City Rental Services, Michaela and Andy have good experience in providing such valuations. Their valuations ensure Bristol property landlords achieve strong returns, quick lets, and the provision of good quality, reliable and well-checked tenants in all properties.

If you’re looking for advice on how to value rented properties in Bristol, please call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us – as an independent letting agency in Bristol, we’re here to help.

How will Stamp Duty Tax changes affect property landlords in Bristol?

We’ve had many conversation recently here with our buy-to-let landlords in Bristol at the Gloucester Road-based offices of City Rental Services  – and the majority of them seem to be centred upon the recent changes introduced by the Government on Stamp Duty Tax.

Advice on Stamp Duty tax for Bristol property landlords from letting agency City Rental Services

Most of our property landlords in Bristol have been asking the same question – namely, how will the Stamp Duty Tax changes affect us?

The 3% surcharge tax increase on all buy-to-let properties form April 2016 will undoubtedly have an impact on the property market in Bristol – but the main issue, as always, is mainly to do with who will pay for the taxation rise.

We would suggest that although there will be rent increases – after all, it’s likely that rented property tenants will subsidise the payment of the extra 3% – it doesn’t mean the death of the buy-to-let sector in Bristol. Far from it.

There could be a slow shift over time from Generation Rent to Generation Buy, with the Government also pledging to build 400,000 new homes nationwide with plans in place to offer financial incentives to first-time-buyers.

This is in response to criticism in recent years that buy-to-let landlords have been squeezing property buyers out of the market in Bristol and the wider UK.

Time will tell if there’s a shift from the Private Rented Sector to home ownership in Bristol – the Stamp Duty Tax changes might prevent some property landlords from increasing their portfolios in 2016 and beyond, but is it enough to spark a revival in home purchasing in the city? We’re not sure.

If you’re looking for advice on how to manage rented properties in Bristol, call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us – as an independent letting agency in Bristol, we’re here to help.

A festive message from our Gloucester Road-based lettings agency

As Christmas approaches here at City Rental Services, we’ve finally got a moment to reflect on 2015. And what a fantastic year it’s been for our Gloucester Road-based lettings agency – now in our 19th year of trading in Bristol.

independent letting agency in Bristol City Rental Services

More than 600 student tenants have signed up, moved into their new student accommodation in Bristol, and are living their dreams in the city.

There’s no doubt that both UWE and Bristol University are among some of the most prestigious further education institutes in the country, with 1000’s of young adults flocking to Bristol every year: this creates an enormous demand for a place to call home for these student tenants across various BS postcodes every academic year.

Here at City Rental Services we’re proud to say that we’ve let every single room on our books this year, with the rental of a number of properties being completed before the New Year even begins.

Our office is as busy as ever, with our close-knit team of energetic lettings negotiators and property experts not just a year older, but a year wiser.

Enormous amounts of work have been done in the lettings, management, and accounts areas of the business to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our buy-to-let landlords in Bristol.

As time moves on, the requirements of individual landlords and tenants change, and we’ve been quick to accommodate all requests put forward.

Our small team is well-established and holds an enormous wealth of property lettings knowledge between us.

Our systems are continuously improving and our enthusiasm is greater than ever, driving us forward into the challenges due in 2016.

There has never been a better time to be involved in property lettings and property management in Bristol, despite recent Stamp Duty Tax changes – more of that to follow in an upcoming blog post.

This time of year is usually a time to slow down and prepare for festivities, but not this year for our independent letting agency team: a selection of our rented properties in Bristol have already been launched and let.

The increase in business is a sure sign that our Gloucester Road-based lettings agency provides an affordable, efficient, and speedy letting-only service that both tenants and landlords continue to find user-friendly.

The whole team would like to thank you for your continued business and we look forward to working with you in 2016.

If you’re looking for advice on how to manage rented properties in Bristol, or how to find the best rented accommodation for tenants, please call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us – as an independent letting agency in Bristol, we’re here to help.

How to deal with condensation issues in Bristol rented properties

It’s that time of year at City Rental Services, with Winter weather upon us and Christmas calling, that we regularly deal with condensation issues in rented properties in Bristol.

advice on dealing with condensation in Bristol rented properties from City Rental Services

Condensation is caused by moisture in the air turning into water droplets – the most obvious sign of condensation is mist on windows. In extreme cases, condensation causes black mould, and can rot woodwork within a property.

Condensation is different to damp: damp is where water enters a property fro the outside, via the walls, floors, roof and leaking pipes. The typical signs of damp in a property are tidemarks on walls and ceilings.

Our top 10 tips to deal with condensation in rented properties in Bristol during Winter months are:

  • Ventilate the property – in particular, bathroom and the kitchen, where moisture is produced
  • Turn on all extractor fans and if possible leave a window slightly open
  • Keep doors closed in any rooms where moisture is produced
  • Position furniture, especially wardrobes, away from walls for ventilation
  • Cover pans in the kitchen when cooking and don’t leave kettles boiling
  • When drying clothes indoors, put in bathroom with window open and fan on
  • Wipe moisture off surfaces daily – including all window sills throughout home
  • Do not block up permanent vents or fireplaces, or dry clothes on radiators
  • Wash down any mould with fungicidal wash and follow user instructions fully
  • Do not draughtproof rooms where there is condensation or moisture is found

If you’re looking for advice on how to manage condensation issues in rented properties in Bristol, call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us – as an independent letting agency in Bristol, we’re here to help.