Category Archives: Bristol letting agency news

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.

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.

How will the Deregulation Bill impact property landlords in Bristol?

This week at City Rental Services, we’re taking a closer look at certain items of legislation and their impact on rented property landlords in Bristol.

Following the Election fever across the UK, and the changes that brings, we’re reflecting on the mood of people in Bristol and are aware that housing remains a major focus in Bristol and across the wider UK this month.

Investment landlords need to be aware of the effects of the Deregulation Bill as highlighted in the Queens Speech in Parliament.

advice for bristol rented property landlords from City Rental Services

We found a useful article around the Deregulation Bill worth reading here,  which clearly sets out the impact on rented property landlords.

In essence, the Bill introduces legislation for landlords around three key areas, namely:

1. Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

2. Tenancy Deposit Protection

3. Section 21 Notices & Disrepair issues

Here’s how the Bill legislation breaks down:

Energy Performance Certificates – all landlords will need to provide tenants with an EPC and Gas Safety Certificate before the tenancy begins, and if at a later date the landlord wants to serve a Section 21 Notice on the tenant, he’ll need to prove the tenant has been provided with these documents.

Tenancy Deposit Protection – the landlord needs to be compliant around the TDS available by 23rd June of this year – for further information, visit here – this particularly relates to tenancies that commenced before April 2007.

Section 21 Notices – there are various changes for landlords in the bill, one is the Form of Notice, which means that from 01st July 2015 one type of Notice can be served regardless of whether the tenancy is fixed or periodic, there are other new rules so check before you serve a notice.

There have also been changes around Retaliatory Evictions brought about by the Bill, namely that if a tenant serves a written complaint on a landlord, the landlord must respond within 14 days, specifying the proposed action they are going to take. The landlord must now respond within 14 days to the tenant.

Furthermore, the landlord cannot then service a Section 21 Notice on that tenant (sometimes called a Retaliatory Eviction) until the remedial action has taken place.

With important changes coming into effect from the Deregulation Bill, we’re here to help our landlords and tenants make their way through the legislation landmine, and safely onto the other side of it all. Pop in and see us today.

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

Why are our student rented property landlords in Bristol smiling?

Here at City Rental Services, it’s a case of ‘job done’ as we hand folders to our student letting-only landlords like Bob below.

letting agency services for students and landlords in Bristol from City Rental Services

Landlords like Bob can look forward to another 12 months with their student houses fully let to carefully selected student groups ranging from three sharing to 12 sharing.

Bob is smiling, as he’s enjoyed this level of professional service from us for over 10 years, and he’s worked in partnership with CRS throughout that time.

If you haven’t let your student property yet, we’ve got student tenants pleading for more group rented student properties in Bristol, so pop in to see us.

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

What do the Election results mean for landlords and letting agents in Bristol?

Here at City Rental Services we’re heaving a big sigh of relief and hoping that the new Government will leave us alone – or, at least, leave us alone for a while.

election result overview and impact on Bristol landlords and letting agents from City Rental Services on Gloucester Road

The Election results will hopefully mean – at least for the foreseeable future – that the threatened swing to anti-landlord legislation, rent controls, compulsory long-term tenancies and more will be avoided.

There’s a useful overview here of what the Election results will mean for landlords and letting agents in Bristol and across the wider UK under the new Government.

The Tories are supporting all house-building including social, owner occupation and private renting – so it will be interesting to see how this unfolds for landlords and letting agents across various BS postcodes in 2015.

Some of the Conservative post-election property pledges include:

* Build 100,000 new homes

* Right to Rent immigration checks rolled out nationally

* No housing benefit for 18-21 year olds

Find out more here – useful for landlords and letting agents alike.

To find out more about our expert opinion on the state of the rented property sector in Bristol, get in touch today: simply call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

A Day in the Life of Michaela Thompson, CRS Lettings

Here at City Rental Services it’s that time of the month when we hand over our rented property blog to one of the team, for them to showcase their stuff!

What’s your full name and job title?

Michaela Thompson, CRS Lettings

rented property expertise from City Rental Services lettings team member Michaela Thompson

How long have you been at CRS?

Five years.

What are your main responsibilities?

My main responsibilities are to keep a record of all the properties ready to go on the market, and advertise them on our website.

I do regular property inspections to ensure the properties are being looked after, and do inventories for our portfolio of rented properties in Bristol.

I meet with landlords to value the properties, and carry out viewings for people looking for a new home. Once someone has applied for a property tenancy, I make sure we have all correct details to proceed with the tenancy application.

Why are property inspections so important?

It is important to carry out regular inspections to keep the properties up to a decent standard, and to ensure the property is being looked after properly.

How do you deliver the best rented property inspections?

By taking lots of photos, and by being thorough in my reports.

Why do rented property inspections help landlords to rent properties?

It allows the landlords to keep on top of the property maintenance, and ensure it is shown at its best for potential tenants. Inspections for advertising should also take into account for the rented properties kerb appeal.

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

It is important to make sure that both the landlords and tenants are equally happy, for landlords to achieve the best rents, and for tenants to be happy in their rented accommodation in various BS postcodes.

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

I started off doing admin with another Letting Agency in Bristol, and I have always been interested in property.

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

There is very high demand for rental properties in Bristol and we like to be able to help with a decent home for applicants.

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

To continue to be strong, especially with student tenants across the city.

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

Why Stokes Croft is like Marmite – love it or hate it!

A personal perspective by Sue Powell, City Rental Services

Here at City Rental Services, we recently read an article here extolling the virtues of living in Stokes Croft Bristol, with the Sunday Times claiming it’s one of the Top 10 most stylish places to live in the UK.

But opinion is divided.

Stokes Croft is now a very popular location for many young professionals and students alike, but may not have such an appeal to families.

rented property advice in Stokes Croft from City Rental Services

The area offers a vibrant mix of café society, bars and shops. Although there are still empty buildings that seem to miss each property boom, these tend to be livened up with graffiti that adds to the colourful nature of Stokes Croft.

Since the Canteen opened with its range of workshops and studio spaces, this has increased the Stoke Croft magnetism as a place to gather, to meet friends, and generally hang out.

Each evening a large number of people walk up from the city centre where they have been working or studying, and stop in at one of the cafes or bars:  small new bars seem to pop up from nowhere, so there’s a great choice.

Venture further up towards BS7 and you come to one of the longest shopping streets in the Country – the famous Gloucester Road.

Our City Rental Services letting agency is based at 58 Gloucester Road, along with City Property Lets. Both offer a very wide range of student accommodation in units ranging from two to 12 bedrooms.

We still have a 12-bedroom student property available in Montpelier and some super new 4 and 5 beds have just been released in BS7.

For more details of properties available, visit here if you’re a professional tenant and here if you’re looking for student accommodation in Bristol.

Whether you love it or hate it, Stokes Croft provides a busy and exciting entry to Bristol – the home of Banksy, and the place where graffiti took off as an art form.

For my money you can’t beat a coffee and bacon sandwich outside Cafe Ronak just sitting and watching the world go by.

For me, Stokes Croft is a definite ‘love it’ not ‘hate it’ for the Bristol buzz.

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