Category Archives: Bristol lettings

April Fool delights – the top landlord jokes of all Time

This week the team at City Rental Services have decided to celebrate April Fool’s Day by scouring the internet to find the very best landlord jokes out there – and sharing them with our letting-only landlord Bristol readers.

advice for landlords in Bristol from letting agency City Rental Services

So, in no particular order, here’s the best landlord jokes on the internet which made our team chuckle in the office – we hope you like them too!

If you dropped a slug and a landlord off the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which one would hit the ground first? Who cares!

What do you get if you cross a landlord with a weasel? No change whatsoever!

What do you have if you see a landlord buried neck-deep in concrete? A good start!

What do landlords do for fun? I don’t know, I haven’t seen mine in months!

What’s the definition of a perfect tenant? One who the landlord doesn’t know what your name is!

A housewife called up a pet store and said “Send me 30,000 cockroaches”. “What in the world do you want with 30,000 cockroaches?” asked the pet store owner. “I’m moving out of my flat in Bristol today, and I want to leave it exactly as I found it for the landlord,” she answered.

Some fantastic April Fool’s Day landlord jokes – but rest assured, they do not relate to any of our property landlords who are all well-trained, and care about their tenants!

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

An amazing week for our Gloucester Road letting agency in Bristol

Goodness me, what a week! The final week in January is always hectic for our letting agency team in Bristol, and this surely must be one of the busiest weeks of the letting year.

With over 70 properties advertised on Rightmove the phones have rung continually and 100’s of enquiries have poured into our email inboxes for rented properties. Our team of student lettings experts have worked so hard.

Student accommodation in Bristol from letting agency City Rental Services

With the student market well underway for 1st July 2016, we let over 25 student houses in Bristol last week alone.

Andy and Ben have been out of the office conducting back-to-back viewings all over the city in various BS postcodes.

This of course has the knock-on effect of creating enormous amounts of administration and paperwork, that Bonnie and the front office team have taken on board and dealt with.

The introduction of the new Right to Rent legislation has also meant that all applicants have to now come into the office with their passports or visas, creating even more office activity. It’s been fantastic to see happy tenants and landlords at our Gloucester Road lettings agency office.

We are pleased to say that our new systems and procedures are holding up as expected, and the electronic application, processing although input-intensive, has given way to faster, clearer and more accurate documents.

A big ‘well done’ to the whole student letting team in our Bristol office this week – great work.

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

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.

Property maintenance tips in late Autumn for Bristol property landlords

With Autumn upon us here at City Rental Services, this week our rented property blog in Bristol is all about general maintenance.

tips on rented property maintenance from City Rental Services

Bristol Landlords – a few tips for checking your properties before Winter really sets in.

Our top tips for you are:

  • Clear all guttering and pipes of debris, leaves and rubbish
  • Ensure that all pipework is ready for Winter and won’t freeze – this includes checking the condensate pipes, overflows. and gutters for leaks
  • Remove rubbish from gardens and front of house areas
  • Get the central heating system serviced and make sure your gas safety is up to date
  • Check for any issues in student houses over Christmas holiday period when the house may be empty.
  • Check for condensation and demould, then advise tenants how to minimise condensation and to ventilate the property
  • Regularly put on heating in all properties during Autumn and Winter months during any absences

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

 

New student houses in Bristol for 2016-17 season now available

We’re really excited here at City Rental Services this week – with the start of our student accommodation season for 2016-17.

What this means, of course, is that we now have a new selection of student houses in Bristol ready to be viewed by incoming groups of new students.

Here’s a few pictures taken this week of one of our student houses in central Bristol, to give prospective student tenants an idea of our rented properties.

student accommodation in Bristol from City Rental Services

student rented accommodation in Bristol from City Rental Services

Student housing in Bristol from City Rental Services

We have over 50 rented student properties in various BS postcodes, ranging from 4-12 bedrooms, and covering areas such as Bishopston, Redland, St Andrews, Horfield and Clifton.

Prices range from £330 to £430 per person per month for our student houses and flats across Bristol.

To review our current list of student properties in Bristol, please visit here.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in Bristol, call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us – as an independent letting agency in Bristol, we’re here to help.

Alternatively, ring us on 0117 908 0057 today to discuss our student accommodation in Bristol in further detail.

Where do Bristol landlords stand with evicting troublesome tenants?

At City Rental Services we’re sometimes called in to act as the middle man between property landlords and professional and student tenants in Bristol – using our considerable experience and expertise to mediate and help resolve issues.

Sometimes, however, issues can’t be resolved – and the only course of action facing a property landlord is to evict a troublesome tenant from a property.

Advice for Bristol property landlords from City Rental Services

Plus, with the fears over the scrapping of wear and tear allowances and ever-increasing legislative burdens, we’ve seen a few property landlords in Bristol looking to leave the Bristol property market, cash in on the strong sector position, and remove all tenants from their rented properties by serving Notice.

However, serving a Section 21 Notice seeking possession of a rented property may just be the start of a long-winded process of trying to regain possession of the rented property a Bristol landlord owns and lets out.

You may find, as a buy-to-let landlord in Bristol, that your tenant may resist the Notice served. They may not be in a position to move out at the expiration of the Notice.

Rents will certainly have increased, and the supply of private rented accommodation in Bristol will have diminished.

Bristol property landlords may also have to consider applying for accelerated possession, and assistance from Court bailiffs – all of which is costly and time-consuming.

This recent article from property industry portal Landlord Zone concerning the increase in tenant evictions across the UK also makes for useful reading and reference for Bristol property landlords.

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

Updates on Right to Rent – and the impact on Bristol landlords

At City Rental Services we closely monitor and report back to our Bristol property landlords on issues and hot topics which could affect them and their property portfolios in Bristol.

And one of the biggest potential issues in recent months is the Right to Rent legislation currently being discussed across the country.

Advice on right to rent for Bristol property landlords from City Rental Services

From keeping an eye on latest commentary and industry articles on the topic, it appears that the Right to Rent debate is going to continue for some time.

Recent updates to the Right to Rent that Bristol property landlords need to be aware of include:

A new criminal offence –

This is expected to focus on repeat offenders and organised crime, carrying a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment. It’s also anticipated that only those failing to complete checks and end tenancies when instructed to by the Home Office should find themselves on the wrong side of the Law on this.

A new possession –

The Home Office has agreed that landlords need effective means of ending tenancies where a tenant is found not to have the Right to Rent. There will most likely be an amendment to the Housing Act 1988 to incorporate this.

A legal Home Office notice –

This will be a means to bring a tenancy to an end, where the Home Office determines the tenant doesn’t have a Right to Rent. This will involve the Home Office, not the landlord, serving notice to the tenant – subsequently, landlords will be able to service a notice on the tenant ending the tenancy.

There will be further minor amendments to existing Law on some of these points, to allow for concerns landlords have been voicing regarding the additional cost burden around removing tenants without a Right to Rent.

For example, it won’t be necessary to obtain a court order for possession, as the tenancy will no longer be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy with the new rues in place – although landlords may still elect to use court bailiffs to carry out an eviction where it is necessary.

This should serve to reassure Bristol landlords that the costs of evicting tenants without a Right to Rent will be minimised wherever possible by evolving legislation around this difficult and controversial area.

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

Was the Summer Budget positively focused on buy-to-let landlords in Bristol?

Here at City Rental Services, we like to keep an eye on industry legislation, so we’re better placed to advise and assist our buy-to-let landlords in Bristol.

A significant piece of Government legislation recently has, of course, been the Summer Budget – and it’s sparked a huge amount of debate in the lettings industry and Bristol rented property market in recent weeks.

advice for buy-to-let landlords in bristol from letting agency City Rental Services

We found a useful industry article here, covering a few concerns that the recent Budget would force private landlords and buy-to-let investors in Bristol to raise rents.

For us, as experienced independent letting agents in Bristol, there are two main areas of concern for landlords with the Summer Budget – namely:

  1. The restriction on ability to claim interest rate relief on the higher rate for taxpayers (40%) on buy-to-let mortgages
  1. The loss of 10% wear & tear allowance against income – in future, receipts must be available to prove that expenditure has been incurred

We’ve seen a number of legislative and financial attacks on buy-to-let landlords and property investors in Bristol during this year, and we’d advise all potential new private landlords and property market investors to seek professional industry advice before ploughing pensions pots into property.

We’re not accredited financial advisors here at City Rental Services, but we’re always happy to help and assist our private landlords in Bristol, and often find each week sees a number of our property portfolio landlords in Bristol popping in to see us and discuss the Bristol property market in depth.

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