Tag Archives: Bristol lettings agency

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.

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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.

Recent student accommodation fire highlights new legislation for private landlords in Bristol

At City Rental Services we breathed a sigh of relief recently, following the breakout of a large fire at student accommodation in Bristol, resulting in no fatalities – but which saw the rehoming of more than 100 students in Bristol.

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The blaze, which was caused by an unattended oil pan, caused significant damage to the student accommodation in Colston Street, but the presence of fire alarms undoubtedly prevented the loss of life, according to local officials.

And this ties in closely with new legislation that came into force on 01st October around smoke and carbon monoxide regulations.

The legislation – which is contained within the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations 2015 – requires all private landlords in Bristol to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every level of their rented properties, as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance, such as a coal fire or a wood burning stove.

The landlord must also ensure that all alarms are fully working at the start of each new tenancy. This now applies to all rented properties in Bristol.

To review the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations 2015 in full, please visit here.

You can read more about the student house fire in Bristol here.

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

Bristol Landlords – are you aware of new rules on tenant evictions?

At City Rental Services we’ve been carefully monitoring a raft or recent legislation affecting Bristol landlords and buy-to-let investors in various BS postcodes.

And the latest series of property sector-related legislation concerns what private property landlords can do around the thorny subject of tenant evictions.

lettings sector insights in Bristol from City Rental Services

The legal changes – which are part of the Deregulation Act 2015 – have been criticised by some buy-to-let landlords in Bristol for choking the average private landlord with mounting rules and regulations to comply with.

The new changes, however, make it more straightforward for Bristol property landlords to evict a tenant where they are legally allowed to do so.

Landlords can face high costs when taking a tenant to court to seek possession of their property – and technicalities and minor errors in applications for section 21 evictions can be thrown out by the court.

Tenancies entered into after 01st October can utilise a newly-produced form from Bristol City Council, designed to reduce mistakes and help save time and money for private landlords – as well as enabling them to get their properties back as soon as possible.

Landlords need to adhere to the new legislation around tenant evictions, particularly around the information which must be provided to tenants before landlords can serve the new Section 21 form and guidance notes.

To find out more, Bristol landlords should contact Julie Norris, Landlord Liasion Officer at Bristol City Council, on Julie.norris@bristol.gov.uk.

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

Bristol landlords – is your rental portfolio covered for property damage?

It’s that time of year at City Rental Services, with the seasons changing and student tenants looking to the end of the Summer and the start of a new academic year in Bristol, that we consider various issues for private landlords across various BS postcodes – including covering property damage to rental portfolios across the city.

advice for property landlords in Bristol on property damage from lettings agency City Rental Services

We saw an interesting article here, highlighting an estimated 400,000 private landlords nationwide being apparently affected by property damage in the last 12 months.

Property damage can be a significant issue if the damage caused exceeds the value of a tenant’s deposit – this quickly eats into property profit margins.

There are simple steps that property landlords in Bristol can take to reduce the likelihood of sustaining property damage to their rental portfolios, such as:

  • Carefully vet all tenants before an Agreement is signed
  • Ensure that the home insurance policy cover is thorough
  • Talk to property management experts in Bristol such as CRS

It’s also worth considering the implications of void periods on rented property insurance for landlords, as well as carefully researching specific landlord insurance policies available on the market, to reduce the financial stress of property damage affecting a property portfolio during the remainder of 2015.

To find out more about our letting agency services in Bristol, 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.

A Day in the Life of our Accounts Manager at City Rental Services

By Wendy Pinker, Account Manager

It’s always busy at City Rental Services, and I usually arrive at the Gloucester Road offices for 7.45am, to check and action any emails from the night before.

The next task is to check bank accounts, to ensure that all fees, rents, deposits and associated payments have been received and made, as well as keeping paperwork up-to-date.

leading advice on rented properties in Bristol from City Rental Services

One of my main daily tasks is to assist with accounts, payments, purchase ledger, wages, VAT and all other financial duties required to maintain the day-to-day smooth running of a busy independent letting agency in Bristol.

I also ensure that holidays, staff sickness and any related issues are covered, and I’m always busy in this challenging but rewarding full-time position.

I’ve worked in sister company City Property Lets as a book-keeper, and first joined the business as a tenant of City Rental Services in 1999!

On a personal basis, I’ve set up and run a guest house in the Himalayas, which I’ve been responsible for over the last eight years – this ties in with a blood transfusion clinic in the area which treats 120 children suffering from various types of incurable cancers in Kathmandu.

The children receive transfusion services every fortnight, which basically keeps them alive. You can find out more about the clinic here.

I also make and distribute themed jewellery from the Nepal region, and use money from selling these items to put more cash into the clinic, too: visit the Jillie Millie website here to find out more. Hopefully you’ll love the gorgeous jewellery as much as I do!

To find out more about our speedy and efficient service, get in touch today: simply call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

How does City Rental Services know so much about lettings, and achieve so much in a small office?

Heading into 2015, the small but experienced team at City Rental Services, are giving ourselves a little pat on the back.

We have a new and bespoke online system for our letting-only landlords in Bristol for the year ahead,  we understand that everyone is an individual – whether you’re a property landlord in Bristol that needs special clauses, tenancy start and finish dates, or a tenant applicant who requires help in getting to viewings, or specialist information on which BS postcode in which to let a rented property: we care, and take the time to help.

rented property advice in Bristol from City Rental Services

At City Rental services, we know what we’re doing and aim to get the job done efficiently, too! How do we do this?

We’ve got a small team, and have worked together for years in our Gloucester Road-based office.  We have worked together for a long time and respect each other for our individual experiences and specialities.

However it’s not just about time served, we also really enjoy what we do!

It maybe just letting only to some, but it means more than that to us: City Rental Services provides additional services – such as key holding, help with contractors, tenant problems, monitoring the market and keeping up with industry trends: we pride ourselves on providing a one-stop-shop for the professional tenants, student tenants, and Bristol landlords we serve.

If you’re looking for advice on rented property in Bristol from a leading independent lettings agency in 2015, call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us – we’re happy to give a decent bottle of wine to anyone who can find a property letting question that our team can’t answer this month!

Top tips for Bristol landlords to reduce tenant eviction stresses

At City Rental Services, we came across a report from the BBC concerning an alarming increase in tenant eviction numbers in the UK – and thought this topic was worth a closer look, especially for any Bristol landlords dealing with tenant eviction issues.

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According to the BBC report, 37,738 private and public sector tenants had their homes repossessed by court bailiffs in 2013, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice – this represents the highest number since records began in 2000.

And in cases involving court action, 12,147 tenants had to hand back home keys between October and December of last year.

Our top three tips for Bristol landlords to reduce tenant eviction stresses are:

* Remember the landlord’s duty of care – this is not only to let the rented property and collect rental incomes, but also to check rental incomes regularly, especially if you’re a letting-only portfolio landlord with HMOs.

* Don’t let rental debts build up – discuss it straight away with tenants, and make sure that communication with tenants is good from the start of the tenancy Agreement.

* Communicate through the right channels, and ensure that you have contact details for all tenants in a rented property, not just a single point of contact. This information should be gained at the start of the tenancy Agreement.

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

Bristol landlords – are you committing fraud against your mortgage lender?

We came across an interesting article at City Rental Services from the Sunday Times, highlighting how failure to read the small print in his home load deal landed one landlord borrower on a national fraud database.

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Landlords in Bristol should be aware that homeowners who let their properties without informing their mortgage lenders can be hit with heavy financial penalties and even being reported for fraud.

Your lender will usually permit the letting of a property, but permission has to be given prior to the commencement of any tenancy. If you don’t, they could claim a breach of residential mortgage terms and conditions.

It’s critical to ensure that as a new landlord in Bristol you’re ready to rent your property, and have all legal matters in hand: property management looks simple at first, but there are stringent rules and legislation in place.

Why not contact CRS for a few simple guidelines on the whys and wherefores of how to prepare you and your property prior to entering the letting market.

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

Letting-Only landlords in Bristol…What If?

The Bristol property rental market can be a minefield – here at City Rental Services we try to mitigate the risks and potential losses by finding good tenants to secure your rental property income.

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City Rental Services now in its 19th trading year and has developed a wealth of property lettings expertise in Bristol. Our Letting Only landlords often call in for a chat and a few words of wisdom.

It might be for details of a good gas engineer, or EPC provider, how to serve a Notice seeking possession or how to deal with a rat infestation. Or maybe it’s just the grass that needs cutting.

Or it may be that you need to go away for a few days or even weeks – we could act as temporary caretakers.

Recently one of our landlords was suddenly hospitalized.  CRS stepped in and took over important maintenance immediately: we understand that it is vital to maintain tenant confidence in their landlords, and this can be achieved with quick response to any situation that arises in the Property Letting Business.

Letting-only landlords in Bristol – have you considered various ‘what if?’ scenarios that could reduce or completely restrict your rental incomes, or maybe you just need a friendly well informed lettings agency right in the heart of BS7?

Look no further than CRS.

We will be visiting the Landlords Expo this month to ensure that our knowledge level is up to date and we have access to Contractors, Solicitors, Accountants – in fact every sort of provider that helps service the ever-growing Buy to Let Property Investments Business in Bristol.

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