Category Archives: Lettings agency in Bristol

A new career at City Rental Services

This week at City Rental Services, we’re handing over our Bristol rented property blog to new recruit Scott Matthews, to highlight his new career so far with us:

Scott Matthews at independent letting agency in Bristol City Rental Services

Having worked for City Rental Services for just over six months, I have learnt a lot in my short time here, including the ins and outs of not just letting a property but maintaining it throughout its tenancy.

Having been a student myself, I have found an enthusiasm for helping students find their ideal properties at this time of year when there is such a competitive demand.

For students it can be a stressful and time-consuming time whereby in most cases, they have had just months to kindle new friendships and must commit to finding accommodation for the next year of study.

I have had the opportunity to meet some of these students facing the challenge this year and I have taken great pride in being able to help them find their perfect home.

At City Rental Services, we strive to make our application process as easily accessible as possible.

Through the use of electronic application forms and online payment details, the large majority of the process can be completed from the comfort of their own homes.

We also offer a lot of flexibility for when they do need to pop in to see us.

Each day at City Rental Services has brought something new, and I have enjoyed rising to different challenges and the experience that it brings.

As we move closer to the start of the next academic year we are preparing for the period in which we move students in and out of our properties.

I am very much looking forward to this time, where all of the work pays off and the students, in their hundreds, embark on the next chapter of their life at university.

Scott

Wishing our valued CRS property landlords a very Merry Christmas & a Healthy, Happy New Year

It’s now our 20th year of providing simple specialist services to a selected group of letting only landlords operating in the Bristol area – and we wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Christmas wishes for property landlords in Bristol from City Rental Services

As we all look forward to our long-awaited time off for Christmas and the New Year we also take a bit of time to reflect on our successes.

Our success is based upon the objective of letting your properties satisfactorily at a fair and reasonable rent that is sustainable for your tenants.

Whether you are a student landlord with a 12-month let, six months already completed, or a professional landlord with steady tenants in a one or two bedroom flat or family home, we aim to ensure that you are so satisfied with our service that when you are ready to re-let in Bristol, your choice will once again be City Rental Services.

During the last 12 months, we have become aware that there are other services that our letting-only landlords would like some help with, so we will be offering a new range of services tailored to individual needs.

Some of you experimented with these during the Summer changeover weeks and we felt confident that we were able to help you enjoy the Summer, secure in the knowledge that CRS would be caring for your clients – namely, your tenants.

This year has seen the completion of the installation of our new database and electronic systems.

We are now proud to announce that we are running a fully electronic and online application and payments system, bringing new expertise and speed to our busy student and professional lets.

With the letting of our 2017 student properties already well underway, we prepare to take on new challenges in the coming year.

As the industry is constantly changing and it seems like new legislation every ten minutes, we have kept our ear to the ground and passed on as much information to our landlords to keep them within the ever changing new guidelines.

Throughout the year there has been a great deal of demand for both the smaller properties and larger houses with an increased demand for professional sharers.

This is due to the increased cost of living and as budgets are squeezed the prospect of renting alone with all the associated costs is less appealing so groups of young professionals get together.

With regard to student properties, the larger properties are very popular with the student groups with property sizes ranging from 2 beds to 12 beds.

It is our duty to ensure that as we provide a wider variety of services that the rules and regulations set up to protect tenants and keep them safe in their rental properties are adhered to. This protects them, which in turn protects our property landlords too.

There are more onerous laws and regulations for the larger properties associated with letting these bigger units. The regulations can be reviewed here

So as we reach the end of 2016, a big thank you to you all for letting us let your rented properties in Bristol for you.

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

New legislation could impact Bristol property landlords with HMOs

This week at City Rental Services we’ve noticed that the Government has published a consultation document which proposes extending the mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation, or HMOs.

advice for Bristol property landlords from City Rental Services

This could, of course, potentially impact many property landlords in Bristol – particularly those dealing with groups of student tenants or young professionals sharing rented properties in various BS postcodes.

The main proposals are:

  • Removing the storey rule, so all rented houses – regardless of how many floors – with five or more people from 2 or more households are in scope – we think that this will further enable local authorities to tackle poor standards and the problems being seen in high-risk smaller properties as the sector has grown
  • Extending mandatory licensing to flats above and below business premises (regardless of the number of storeys), as evidence suggests that there are more problems in these type of rented properties in Bristol
  • Setting a minimum room size of 6.52sq-m in line with the existing overcrowding standard (Housing Act 1985) to close a loophole recently created by an upper-tier tribunal ruling. This is enabling some landlords to let rooms far too small for an adult to legally occupy.

In addition to the main consultation proposals, Chapter 4 seeks views on a number of measures within licensing, and is seeking views to making changes regarding:

  1. the evidential basis for determining ‘fit and proper’ – dealing with some of the current difficulties around disclosure checks
  2. refuse disposal in licensed properties
  3. the treatment of certain types of purpose-built student accommodation, and whether these should have a license

You can find the full consultation document and a link to respond here.

The response deadline is 13 December 2016, so we advise Bristol landlords to ensure they’re up-to-speed on this.

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

New team member joins our Gloucester Road lettings agency

The team at City Rental Services are pleased to announce the arrival of a new team member.

Scott Matthews, pictured below, joined our lettings team at the end of July 2016 having come from a postgraduate teaching background in Bath.

Bristol letting agency City Rental Services

Scott has expressed a keen interested in property management, and we have been very impressed with his varied skills and his ability to settle into his role with ease and efficiency.

Scott is based in our central Bristol office and has already enjoyed meeting many of our valued Bristol landlords. We feel sure that over the coming months Scott will grow into and excel at becoming a fine ‘Lettings negotiator’.

Commenting on the new role, Scott said:

“Having recently been a student myself, I am familiar with the experience of renting while studying away from home. Though exciting, it can be pretty daunting – especially when it is a new experience. I am therefore keen to help in making tenants feel at ease when renting properties through our agency.”

Scott will be working closely with both tenants and landlords over the coming months, as well as helping to oversee the day-to-day running of the agency rented property portfolio. Welcome on board, Scott!

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

Another successful student changeover for our Bristol lettings office

The management team here at City Rental Services are recovering after the annual student changeover – but what exactly does it entail, you might ask?

Student accommodation in Bristol from City Rental Services

After months of careful planning, legislation compliance and 1000’s of forms being electronically signed we at City Rental Services are proud to say, “It all went very well”.

On the 01st and 2nd of July, our office team moved approximately 400 City Rental Services students, into a range of student accommodation in Bristol.

It became clear that many months of forward planning in the cleaning, gardening and general upkeep departments made the swap a much smoother and easier task than in previous years.

With most of the work being carried out prior to the move in date by City Rental Services the landlords had only to test the fire and smoke alarms while checking in their tenants leaving time for resolving any deposit disputes and arranging for deposits to be refunded to outgoing tenants whilst attending to the needs of new tenants taking up occupation of their chosen homes for the student season 2016/2017.

This year our portfolio of letting-only landlords in Bristol have relied on whatever help they can get from us to help them cope with the ever-increasing legislative burdens imposed on property landlords.

Maybe the recent Brexit developments will keep the policy makers busy and give hard-pushed buy-to-let landlords more time to get on with the job of providing fairly priced and good quality rented accommodation in the BS postcodes that remain popular each year.

It won’t be long until November comes and it will be time to start over again!

But until then, we hope that all of our new students, their families, and our student property landlords in Bristol have a lovely summer.

Perhaps by choosing City Rental Services as your Letting only Landlord agency you will have more time for the summer pursuits, whether it may be festivals, football, tennis or just watching the tide roll in and out we wish you all well.

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

Landlords given legal impetus on energy-saving improvements to rented properties in Bristol

This week at City Rental Services we want to dedicate our rented property blog to an important topic, and one which is on the minds of many letting-only landlords in Bristol – that of EPC legislation, and the implications of recent proposed changes.

Advice on EPC ratings for lettings-only landlords in Bristol from City Rental Services

As discussed in this article from 01st April, tenants in rented properties across Bristol can now legally request that landlords make energy-saving improvements on rented accommodation.

The long-awaited effect of the purpose of the EPC’s is now coming into effect, as tenants can now request energy improvements on rented properties.

The big difference for letting-only landlords in 2016, however, is that they are now expected to fund these improvements themselves, as the Green Deal initiative is no longer available from central Government.

Irrespective of the new legislation now in place from this month and in effect on all rented accommodation in BS postcodes, it’s really important for all landlords to review their current energy usage in their rented properties, including looking at the provision of hot water and heating in all accommodation they own and let out across Bristol.

Bristol landlords – are you aware of the energy consumption of heating systems in your rented properties? It’s a good idea to look at the heating and hot water systems in place now in all of your houses and apartments.

We would recommend that all property landlords take a bit of time to read recent information sheets published about tenants’ Right to request energy-saving improvements, so that they stay on the right side of the Law on this.

We can, of course, provide up-to-date advice and assistance to all landlords.

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.

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.

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.

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.