Tag Archives: advice for bristol property landlords

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.

Wavering property landlords could force up rental prices in Bristol

The team at City Rental Services came across a useful industry news article recently, and wanted to highlight the concerns in the news story for our readers.

The news article, which can be read in full here, discusses growing concerns in the PRS over hesitant property landlords feeling unsure and uncertain about the property market after the Brexit vote.

advice for property landlords in Bristol from letting agency City Rental Services

Although, according to the article, the industry overall has responded to Brexit in a calm and organized way, there are pockets of buy-to-let property landlords in Bristol and across the wider UK that are faltering on growing their property portfolios, for fear of negative financial implications post-Brexit.

As one of Bristol busy Lettings Agents we are finding that the demand for rental property continues to grow and has not in any way faltered since the leave vote.

Those buy-to-let landlords in various popular postcodes such as BS7 who have both student and professional well maintained reasonably priced properties appear continue to keep their properties tenanted all year round.

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.

Tips on preparing your property to let in Bristol

One of the most popular questions our lettings negotiators at City Rental Services are asked by our letting-only landlords is how to prepare a rented property in Bristol for letting.

advice for letting-only landlords in Bristol from City Rental Services

There is no doubt that the better a property looks, the easier it will let. Here are some of our simple tips:

Decoration – use neutral colours in living areas. A feature wall can bring a touch of class to a room.  All woodwork should be white.

Flooring and windows – use fresh neutral-coloured hardwearing carpets or laminate flooring. Curtains and blinds should be plain and light in colour.

Kitchen – worktops should be smart and light in colour. Standard-sized pieces are always a good idea if you should need to replace a section.

Bathroom – white suites, tiles and laminate flooring has a chic look and is easy to maintain.

Bedrooms – consider built-in wardrobes for added impact, whilst plain walls with a feature wall can also be very attractive. Good storage is always a great selling point especially if there is no garage.

Garden – keep a well-presented front garden to give the property curb appeal.  Front doors should always be kept looking smart and well-painted. A bike parking area can save damage to inner hallways.

When a potential tenant visits a property for the first time they are looking for a place to call home. Creating a clean-looking blank canvas will allow them to imagine what it would look like with their own belongings inside.

We’re more than happy to offer advice on an informal basis, and also provide interior design hints and tips via team member Bonnie, who provides professional interior design services for many of our letting-only landlords, too.

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.

The importance of good record-keeping for buy-to-let landlords in Bristol

This week at City Rental Services we’re taking a closer look at a subject which is very close to our hearts, and one which we spend much time on when working with our buy-to-let landlords in Bristol: namely, the importance of good record-keeping.

free advice for buy-to-let landlords in Bristol from City Rental Services

Record-keeping is critical for each property, and we stress the need for excellent paperwork management to our letting-only landlords too.

If you’re a landlord in the city with more than one rented property, it’s worth considering these hints and tips from our experienced letting agents:

Full tenant details for each tenant in your properties, including Name, Date of birth, National insurance number, Passport number, Email address, Phone number, Next of Kin, Place of work, and previous address details.

Copy of the Tenancy Agreement for each tenant in every rented property.

Rental deposit Certificate for each tenant in every rented property.

Council Tax account number, which Band each property is, how much it costs each year, a note of tenant departure dates so you can cover Council Tax payments during tenant departure dates and any related information needed.

Water Rates per month or quarter, plus account numbers for each property.

Gas and Electricity details for each property, including account numbers – this can be the hardest information of all to keep track of, so try and find out which providers your tenants are using, have copies of any account details, keep copies of any bills, and ensure that you have contact numbers, account numbers, MPAN numbers and meter numbers all in one accessible place.

The more of this information you have as a property landlord, the better: it takes a long time on occasion to deal with utility providers, but the more information you have to hand, the easier this will be for you and your tenants.

Rents – remember to check your rental incomes monthly, and keep a close eye on the payments you receive, especially if you have more than one property, and more than one tenant in each rented property in Bristol.

Service Contracts – do you have any, any equipment in any rented properties under Guarantee of Warranty? For example, when was the boiler purchased?

Safety – keep your Gas Safety Certificates and dates of when this was completed, PAT tests, NICEIC Certificates, fire alarm Certificates, and what systems are in each rented property – plus, when they were last checked.

Having all of this information to hand will make your life easier as a property landlord in Bristol, as well as giving your tenants added confidence that you’re a property professional who ensures their full safety when renting from you.

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.

Things letting-only landlords in Bristol need to be aware of – keeping ahead of legislative changes – a handy reminder list

One of the ways on which the team at City Rental Services consistently help our landlords is by informing them of recent and rented property legislation changes they face.

advice for Bristol landlords on rented property legislation from City Rental Services

So, as we head into Spring, here’s a few of the important legislative changes affecting property landlords in Bristol.

Before the tenancy starts:

How to Rent – the latest version of this information booklet must be given to tenants before the tenancy starts.

Gas Certificate – a current gas safety certificate must be provided at the start of the Tenancy.

Smoke & Heat alarms – appropriate protection must be fitted in each rented property AND checked immediately prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

Section 21 6A – this has replaced 4 and 4A as of 01st October for Notices seeking possession.

Stamp Duty changes – these will be 3% from 01st April, 2016 on second home investment properties.

Right to Rent – the Tenant’s Passport needs to be presented to the agency to be checked or some form of acceptable ID produced.

Prescribed Information – there are three tenant deposit schemes, and the details of the deposit scheme being used must be given to the tenant including the relevant Prescribed Information for the scheme being used.

The legislative changes and the details which must be given by law to new tenants are equally important – if you’re unsure, please feel free to pop into our offices to discuss the legal requirements of property landlords in 2016.

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.

Landlord confidence vs rented property demand in Bristol

This week at City Rental Services we’re focusing on a contrasting set of opinions and views within the Private Rental Sector in Bristol.

The sometimes opposing views are concerned with levels of landlord confidence versus the demand for rented properties in Bristol.

advice for letting-only landlords in Bristol from City Rental Services

Two useful articles were uncovered by the team at our Gloucester Road letting agency offices recently from the website of industry body the National Landlord Association.

The first article here discusses the current state of landlord confidence in the midst of ongoing legislation, tax changes, and the remnants of the financial crash on the UK letting sector.

According to the National Landlord Association, landlord confidence in the lettings sector is now lower than it was in 2007 when they surveyed members.

This is balanced by another article from the Association, highlighting that rental demand has overtaken social housing provision, according to the latest survey results from the annual English Housing Survey across the country.

There are now four million households in the UK under the Private Rental sector, compared to 3.7 million under the social housing bracket.

Check out the full article on rental demand here.

This juxtaposition within the lettings sector presents an unusual position for the average property landlord in Bristol to find themselves – opposing opinions meaning that confusion can be caused.

We think it’s much simpler demand remains consistently high in the Bristol area, and for the seasoned investor the changes being imposed by the Government, whilst painful, will in time be overcome.

However, being an investment landlord is not for the faint-hearted and it is a long-tem commitment providing well-maintained, fairly-priced properties for the ever-growing queue of prospective 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.

 

 

Private rental sector in Bristol experiences biggest growth in UK

This week at City Rental Services we’re going to focus on an interesting news story we saw in the Telegraph, concerning the demand for rented properties in Bristol.

free advice for buy-to-let landlords in Bristol from City Rental Services

According to research published in the Telegraph, Bristol has experienced an 18% increase in rent rises in the last 12 months, and is now seeing rental incomes growing faster than in London.

London’s rent rise was 11% last year by comparison, and the increasing demand for rented accommodation in all Bristol is in recognition of the rise in popularity of private renting.

Bristol offers a combination of good quality rented accommodation for young professionals, families and students as well as being a bustling, vibrant and cheaper option in rented property than London.

You can read the full story and examine the top cities for renting here.

We believe that 2016 will be another strong year for Bristol landlords, but we also believe that rent rises should be kept within reasonable bounds to ensure that they remain realistic and do not outstrip tenants ability to pay them.

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.

Bristol property landlords – are you ready for Right To Rent?

This week at City Rental Services we’re taking a look at imminent legislation affecting Bristol property landlords – the new rules on Right to Rent.

advice for property landlords in Bristol on Right to Rent from City Rental Services

With effect from 01st February 2016, under the new Right to Rent legislation, as a landlord you will have a legal duty to ensure that any tenants taking up occupancy in a rented property you own have been checked for their ‘Right To Rent’ a property in the UK.

It is your obligation to do this, however as letting agents, City Rental Services will undertake reasonable steps to check the Immigration Status of all applicants in line with the legislation, on your behalf, if you are prepared to authorize us to do this, at the commencement of the tenancy.

It’s important to note that any potential new tenants with a VISA (they have a limited time in the UK) will need to be re-checked in good time before their current VISA expires.

It’s critical that all  landlords take time out to read this new Right To Rent legislation, as it will affect your upcoming tenancies in 2016.

There will be strict penalties imposed for failure to comply.

Read here to find out more.

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.

 

Raft of new legislation in force for Bristol property landlords

At City Rental Services we’ve been keeping an eye on the increasing amount of property letting industry-related legislation that seems to be coming into force this year.

Free advice for property landlords in Brisotl from letting agency City Rental Services

And the start of this month sees a number of new pieces of legislation becoming Law, so much so, that we’re doing a series of blog posts in the next few weeks to cover the new items which will impact property landlords in Bristol.

The first measure that’s come into effect from 01st October and which will affect the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in Bristol is the legislation brought into being by the Government around the Retaliatory Evictions of tenants.

As part of the Deregulation Act 2015, new provisions are now in effect to protect tenants in rented properties across BS postcodes from unfair evictions.

From 01st October, where a professional or student tenant in Bristol makes a genuine compliant about the condition of their rented property that hasn’t been addressed by their landlord, their complaint has not been addressed by the landlord, their complaint has then been verified by a local authority inspection, and the local authority has served an improvement Notice or a Notice of emergency remedial action, a private landlord now cannot evict that tenant for six months.

Furthermore, the landlord is now also required to ensure that the repairs are completed on the rented property, and demonstrate their full completion.

This is an important piece of legislation, and all private property landlords in Bristol should be fully aware of the implications of these new legal rights.

To find out more about Retaliatory Evictions, please visit here. 

Also feel free to get in touch with our experienced lettings negotiators at our Gloucester Road office to further discuss any concerns you might have.

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

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.