Category Archives: rental deposits

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:

www.depositprotection.com

www.mydeposits.co.uk

www.tds.gb.com

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.

How to leave student rented property in Bristol this June

As we enter June, at City Rental Services we’re preparing for one of the most important days in our annual calendar – 30th June.

This is the big day when many of our student tenancies come to an end.

Advice on student accommodation in Bristol from City Rental Services

Exams are over, leaving parties are in full swing, the Glastonbury weekend is upon us (rain or shine) and our student tenants are getting ready for the big pack-up and clean-out in their rented properties across Bristol.

It’s also the month that student tenants should be thinking about maximizing the amount of rental deposit they see returned to them from their letting agencies and landlords in Bristol.

Here’s our checklist of things to do during June to ensure you get a full rental deposit back at the end of the academic year:

* You’re responsible for clearing, cleaning and tidying your bedroom and the communal areas of your rented property. Make sure you clean under the bed, behind the wardrobe, window sills and skirting boards – basically, a thorough clean is required. Does your vacuum work? If not, contact your landlord or letting agency.

* Communal areas will include the bathroom, which can be quite a challenge. Make sure the toilet is thoroughly cleaned, including bath and wash basin. Full cleaning and polishing is needed, with all rubbish removed, and shower curtain washed, or cleaned fully if glass. Wipe down and remove any mould on window sills.

* One of the main communal areas to consider is the kitchen. Fridge freezers will need to be turned off before 27th June, to give time before the final weekend for all foodstuffs out and the freezer de-frosted fully. Use a good oven cleaner, including the racks, grill and hob – and remember the oven sides, inside and out.

* General rubbish needs to be cleared, so make sure all black bin bags full or refuse are cleared. Ask a friend with a car to do a local tip run – the Council can also help remove larger items such as furniture, for a small fee.

* With the full student rented property thoroughly clean and tidy, and ready for inspection, keys need to be returned, and a new address left with the letting agency or landlord. Also remember to read all meters and note the readings.

* If there are any damages you know of which are your responsibility, let the letting agency or landlord know, as this will speed up deposit refunding if mentioned at the time of rented property vacating.

Sticking to the above simple points should go a long way to helping student tenants to get their rental deposits back quickly and straightforwardly.

If you’d like to find out more about our Bristol lettings agency, please feel free to visit us at 58 Gloucester Road or get in touch here.

 

Which rented property deposit scheme should you use in Bristol in 2015?

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear at City Rental Services is “Where is my rental deposit held – and why?” and we’re always happy to advise our Landlords and tenants further on this.

Landlords, it’s vital to ensure that you’re part of a rented property deposit scheme in Bristol.

advice on rental deposit schemes in Bristol from leading letting agency City Rental Services

There are currently three main schemes in existence for rental deposits in 2015, namely:

Deposit Protection Servicewww.depositprotection.com – this scheme is typically used by single-property landlords, who give the rental deposits to the Deposit Protection Service. They retain the monies, and provide a Certificate to the landlord within 30 days with the required prescribed information for the tenant. This scheme is delivered without cost to the landlord.

www.mydeposits.co.uk (TDSL) – this scheme is used mainly by landlords with two or more rental properties, who retain the rental deposits, and pay to join the scheme. Landlords pay per deposit held, and register this within the scheme, to obtain a Certificate.

TDS – this scheme is run by www.thedisputeservice.co.uk also known as www.tds.gb.com and is effective for property management companies such as our friendly competitor www.city-property-lets.co.uk.

The property management company holds the rental deposits for multiple managed and rented properties. The company retains the deposit, and pays an annual fee to TDS based on the number of rental deposits held and Certificates given. Keeping property Inventories here is a key consideration.

But why?

These schemes provide a framework for tenants, landlords and agents to operate in – whereby there is protection for all parties.

This, in turn, leads to greater attention being given to property inventories, and ultimately provides a fairer system for tenants, too.

Think carefully about which deposit scheme you’re a part of 2015 – but make sure you’re a part of it.

If you have any queries about our BS7 letting agency, please feel free to contact us here, or visit us at our offices on 58 Gloucester Road in buzzing BS7.

Where is my rental deposit held for my Bristol rented property?

One of the most common questions we get asked at our central Bristol lettings agency is “Where is my rental deposit held – and why?” and we’re always happy to advise our tenants further on this.

 

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There are currently three main schemes in existence for rental deposits, namely:

 

Deposit Protection Servicewww.depositprotection.com – this scheme is typically used by single-property landlords, who give the rental deposits to the Deposit Protection Service. They retain the monies, and provide a Certificate to the landlord within 30 days with the required prescribed information for the tenant. This scheme is delivered without cost to the landlord.

 

www.mydeposits.co.uk (TDSL) – this scheme is used mainly by landlords with two or more rental properties, who retain the rental deposits, and pay to join the scheme. Landlords pay per deposit held, and register this within the scheme, to obtain a Certificate.

 

TDS – this scheme is run by www.thedisputeservice.co.uk also known as www.tds.gb.com and is effective for property management companies such as our friendly competitor www.city-property-lets.co.uk.

 

The property management company holds the rental deposits for multiple managed and rented properties. The company retains the deposit, and pays an annual fee to TDS based on the number of rental deposits held and Certificates given. Keeping property Inventories here is a key consideration.

But why?

 

These schemes provide a framework for tenants, landlords and agents to operate in – whereby there is protection for all parties.

 

This, in turn, leads to greater attention being given to property inventories, and ultimately provides a fairer system for tenants, too.

 

If you have any queries about our central Bristol letting agency, please feel free to contact us here.

What’s the difference between wear & tear and damage to a rented property?

At City Rental Services, one of the most difficult areas involved with managing rented properties in Bristol can sometimes be handling disputes between what constitutes fair wear & tear versus actual damage to a rented house or flat.

And given that rental deposits are often required in full to ensure the tenant can move into another property, or to use the cash for their first home, it’s critical that both tenants and landlords understand and appreciate the differences between wear & tear and damage to a rented property.

One of the most important items in ensuring that fair wear & tear is established at the end of a tenancy is referencing back to the inventory which is provided to a tenant at the start of a tenancy – this will list all items included in the rented property, and the condition of these items prior to letting.

And whilst a tenant has a duty of care to return the rented property at the end of the tenancy in the same condition they received it, fair wear & tear is excepted from any damages.

It’s important to appreciate that the definition of ‘fair wear & tear’ will be dependant on the length of the tenancy – for example, a tenant who has been in a rented property for over a year would have a far higher level of excepted wear & tear compared to a tenant leaving a property after only six months.

Similarly, a family of 4 or 5 would have a greater allowance of ‘fair wear & tear’ over a single tenant occupancy.

A landlord should also not end up in a financially-better-off position than they were at the start of the tenancy – so, in practical terms, replacing a carpet for a brand new one should only be approved it absolutely necessary, rather than as an exercise in the landlord attempting to get something for nothing, and eating up a tenant’s rental deposit for unjustifiable reasons.

Appropriate steps to take if an item is out of the ‘fair wear & tear’ classification at the end of a tenancy agreement could include:

·      Cleaning or repairing an item
·      Replacement of an item so damaged it cannot be used again
·      Compensation for the value of the item

Most letting agencies currently use the Apportionment Method when looking at ways of accounting ‘fair wear & tear’ on rental properties: this breaks down the cost of ‘fair wear & tear’ to allow monetary values to be placed on items.

A classic example of this would be a red wine stain on a carpet sustained during a tenancy period – this is not considered ‘fair wear & tear’ and if the stain couldn’t be removed by cleaning, replacing the carpet and apportioning costs on the basis of carpet age, condition of carpet at the start of the tenancy, and the expected lifespan of the carpet would be a reasonable route.

If you’d like to find out more about our central Bristol lettings agency, please feel free to get in touch here.

Does your lettings-only agency in Bristol understand the Deposit Protection Scheme in full?

At City Rental Services, keeping up to speed with current property legislation is critical – especially rules and regulations around  the various Deposit Protection Schemes which changed in April of this year.

We wrote about this recently here to highlight the importance of choosing a letting agency in Bristol, with a full working knowledge of the current DPS schemes.

At this time of year, it’s worth reflecting on the 2012 student season.

Term has started, and most students are busy at college – a few are still coming to Bristol to choose a rented property and we are able to help them find a spare student room and introduce them to new flatmates.

But we are already receiving enquiries for the student season 2013-2014 and Bristol landlords have started to register their properties.

Dealing with the payment of student deposits, however, presents its own special problems – with payments being made for next year’s student season from January onwards.

The Localism Act which came into effect in April 2012 means that the correct Prescribed Information must be given to each student tenant when they pay their deposit, and those deposits must be registered within 30 days of receipt.

However, these student deposit payments are not made simultaneously – and letting-only landlords will have to make sure they have a system in place to handle the various payments received within the timeframe, and give the relevant information and deposit certificate.

Most letting-only landlords use one of these two schemes:

Deposit Protection Servicewww.depositprotection.com

or

TDSLwww.mydeposits.co.uk

If you’d like to find out more about our central Bristol lettings agency, please feel free to get in touch here.

Where is my rental deposit held – and why?

One of the most common questions we get asked at our central Bristol lettings agency is “Where is my rental deposit held – and why?” and we’re always happy to advise our tenants further on this.

There are currently three main schemes in existence for rental deposits, namely:

Deposit Protection Servicewww.depositprotection.com – this scheme is typically used by single-property landlords, who give the rental deposits to the Deposit Protection Service. They retain the monies, and provide a Certificate to the landlord within 30 days with the required prescribed information for the tenant. This scheme is delivered without cost to the landlord.

www.mydeposits.co.uk (TDSL) – this scheme is used mainly by landlords with two or more rental properties, who retain the rental deposits, and pay to join the scheme. Landlords pay per deposit held, and register this within the scheme, to obtain a Certificate.

TDS – this scheme is run by www.thedisputeservice.co.uk also known as www.tds.gb.com and is effective for property management companies such as our friendly competitor www.city-property-lets.co.uk.

The property management company holds the rental deposits for multiple managed and rented properties. The company retains the deposit, and pays an annual fee to TDS based on the number of rental deposits held and Certificates given. Keeping property Inventories here is a key consideration.

But why?

These schemes provide a framework for tenants, landlords and agents to operate in – whereby there is protection for all parties.

This, in turn, leads to greater attention being given to property inventories, and ultimately provides a fairer system for tenants, too.

If you have any queries about our central Bristol letting agency, please feel free to contact us here.