Tag Archives: free advice for buy-to-let landlords in Bristol

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.

Bristol landlords – are you ready for Property Ombudsman rules?

This week at City Rental Services we’ve been considering the effect of new Property Ombudsman Regulations and their new Code of Practice for Residential Letting Agents, which came into effect on 01 October.

Advice for Bristol landlords from letting agency City Rental Services

There is a huge amount of information and direction to be found in the new Codes and Guidelines – which can be read here and this should be read by all letting agents and buy-to-let landlords in Bristol.

They will benefit from appreciating how tenants should be treated.

The sister organisation to City Rental Services, City Property Lets, has been focusing on the regulation relating to access to tenanted properties in various BS postcodes across the city.

We’re asked to ensure that all tenants grant permission before we go into a property on behalf of a landlord.

Property landlords must also be aware of the need for permission and so it would be advisable to obtain this in writing by email to let your tenants know of an imminent visit.

This way, it should make relations between you and your tenants more transparent and professional, as they know when you may be ‘popping in’ for a maintenance visit or property viewing.

Respecting tenants is vital: after all, it’s a two-way road between landlords and tenants. One party provides the property and the other the payment. So we’ll be revising our systems for keeping tenants fully informed of any visits and updating where needed.

We hope you’ve found this useful – but don’t forget to also check out the Property Ombudsman’s new guidelines here.

If you’re looking for advice on letting 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.

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.

 

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.

Further Government attacks on buy-to-let landlords in Bristol

Whilst sitting in Boston Tea Party in BS7, and waiting for the City Property Lets car to be cleaned, we were contemplating the issues faced by buy-to-let landlords operating in Bristol.

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

These issues currently include:

* Immigration Act

All buy-to-let landlords in Bristol need to note – do your applicants have a ‘right to rent’ in the UK? From October it will be necessary to check all of your future tenants have a Right to Rent. Review here for further details.

* Goodbye Green Deal

The Green Deal starting and stopping has enticed many buy-to-let landlords in Bristol, with the thought of using the green deal to cut costs and improve housing stock. Unfortunately, even before cutting through the red tape, the government has decided to scrap it, as well as stopping future Deal funding.

* Shortage of housing stock

Private landlords across Bristol and the wider UK have been encouraged to spend pension pots on investment properties, but on the other hand there’s a dearth of available, fairly-priced investment properties in Bristol to purchase.

* Buy-to-let mortgages

Another issue facing buy-to-let landlords in Bristol is the potential crack-down on buy-to-let mortgages across the country, as reported here recently.

* Tenant expectations

Professional and student tenants in Bristol really appreciate – and expect – serious landlords offering them great properties with flexibility and fluidity. Today’s modern tenants have high expectations, pay considerable amounts of money in rent for properties in BS postcodes, and landlords need to respond.

Never a dull moment when you stop for a coffee!

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