Tag Archives: independent letting agency Bristol

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.

independent letting agency in Bristol City Rental Services

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.

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.

The implications of tenant screening legislation on Bristol landlords

As we head into the latter part of the Summer, here at City Rental Services, we’ve been giving major consideration to the potential introduction nationwide of tenant screening legislation, further to the ongoing Immigration Act.

advice for property landlords in Bristol on tenant screening from City Rental Services

We’ve already introduced systems to take account of this new legislation at our independent letting agency offices on Gloucester Road.

It’s also worth noting that Bristol City Council will be holding a Landlords Forum at the Create Centre in Spike Island on 07th October at 7pm to discuss related issues and how this will affect property investors and buy-to-let landlords across Bristol when the legislation comes fully into effect in the UK.

If you’re a private landlord in Bristol, this Forum could be worth attending to air issues, discuss related matters with industry professionals, and also to hear what Bristol City Council are doing around the Immigration Act legislation.

Contact Julie Norris on Julie.norris@bristol.gov.uk, or visit here for further information.

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

Celebrating 10 years of expert lettings negotiation in Bristol

It’s celebration time this week at City Rental Services, with our Senior Lettings Negotiator Bonnie Jones (pictured below) completing 10 years with us at our Gloucester Road offices.

expert lettings negotiator in Bristol

Bonnie helps to run the front office, making sure that all paperwork is in hand, as well as dealing with tenants, landlords, maintenance billing, property repair work, invoicing and liaising with contractors.

But why has Bonnie stayed for a decade? We’ll let her answer that one:

“It’s a small office with a family feel. Everybody knows us here on Gloucester Road after 20 years of providing independent lettings advice, and there’s a real community atmosphere. We’re a diverse team and work well together.”

“Gloucester Road has the biggest mix of independent retailers in the UK, and every day is different with constant challenges. It’s a great place to work.”

Bonnie is also a qualified interior designer, and recently completed a project for The Flower Shop opposite our offices – see some of her work here.

We also offer a no-obligation interior design consultation service for landlords looking to maximise rental return with expert refurbishment advice – for only £99 per property in Bristol. Simply speak to Bonnie for further details.

Bonnie is a keen animal lover, with chickens, ducks, a cat and dog at home, and also enjoys travel, scuba diving and sailing in her spare time.

If you’re looking for advice on rented property in Bristol from a leading independent lettings agency, call into 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

 

Just who are City Rental Services?

When we have new landlords in Bristol visiting City Rental Services for the first time at our 58 Gloucester Road offices, many of them ask who we are as a leading independent lettings agency in the city, and our background.

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City Rental Services was formed nearly 20 years ago by the indomitable duo of Sue Powell and David Freeman, to provide a letting-only service to Bristol landlords.

Back then, Gloucester Road and BS7 in general were a far cry from the bustling and successful location we now see – in fact, it’s one of the fastest growing and most sought-after areas not only of Bristol, but of the whole UK.

Gloucester Road, with two miles of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, attracts families, young professionals, students and retirees.

Every Saturday is a great time to experience the BS7 buzz, with an eclectic mix of independent boutique retailers, and being in the midst of this unique atmosphere has always been enjoyable.

City Rental Services operates from the City Property Lets offices – where full property management is available – and the CRS team provides a highly knowledgeable service to the many letting-only landlords in Bristol who like our speedy and effective service across various BS postcodes.

Our Bristol rented property landlords love to call in for a chat, talk about the rented property market in Bristol, how to find suitable tenants, how to present their rented properties, what contractors would assist with property refurbishment and maintenance works, and to negotiate through the highly legislative world of residential property investment across the city.

Whatever you need to know about in rental property management, call in to 58 Gloucester Road to see us.

A closer look at the new ASA rulings for advertising rented property

At City Rental Services we’ve been keeping a close eye on the recent ASA ruling regarding the advertisement of rented properties by letting agencies around fee amounts.

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This useful article from industry website Landlord Zone provides a handy overview, as well as highlighting the fact that the ASA ruling demands compliance by letting agents by 01st November.

The crux of the issue lies with the fact that many letting agencies have complicated fee structures. At CRS, ours are simple and clear, and we believe that if a potential tenant decides to arrange a rented property viewing, this is a financial decision, and letting agents need to be really transparent on their fee structures to all potential tenants from the outset.

The guidance is also simple from a legal perspective:

‘Consumers are entitled to material information on fees when deciding to rent. Any administration fee should be provided or clearly indicated in the quoted price, and should provide enough information to allow the consumer to establish easily how further charges could be calculated.’

From 01st November 2013 all letting agents are obliged to make it clear to potential tenants what their charges will be, and to inform of all concurrent costs incurred to move into a property.

At CRS, we have one charge only – 35% of a months’ rent plus VAT for obtaining a property, referencing and preparing the tenancy agreement. For  charges or fees for any agent, we’d recommend looking closely at a letting agencies’ Terms & Conditions before signing up.

Letting agencies will need to have their fee structures listed, and we’ve noted that leading property portal Rightmove is doing its best to comply: other portals will follow on with their own methods of showing Agent’s fees.

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

A guide to choosing a letting agency in Bristol

At City Rental Services, we understand that when it comes to choosing an agent to let your property in Bristol, a proven track record is invaluable.

We’ve been trading on Gloucester Road since 01st August 1996, and it’s with a bit of pride we now find ourselves in our 17th year as an independent letting agency in Bristol.

We believe that it’s crucial to have the right people for the right job, and have a great balance of long-term industry experience sitting comfortably alongside our young and enthusiastic lettings negotiators in our Bristol office.

Some of the key things to remember when choosing a letting agency in Bristol include:

  • Well-established agency with good landlord & tenant feedback
  • Evidence of successful property marketing campaigns in place
  • Knowledge and top contacts within the Bristol lettings sector

Let us come and value your property. It’s important to also remember that property values change weekly in the Bristol lettings market, as available properties come and go.

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

How planning legislation affects the Bristol lettings sector

Keeping up-to-speed and informed regarding central Government and Local Authority planning legislation is a key consideration for any letting agency in Bristol – and rightly so.

The impact of housing law has a direct affect upon how a professional letting agency handles and manages all of its tenant and landlord relationships.

At City Rental Services, we monitor planning legislation regularly, to ensure we’re up to date in our understanding of the requirements of Bristol City Council.

One of the least-publicised – but potentially most powerful – pieces of planning legislation came into effect on December 2011, concerning the protection of homeowners in quiet residential areas, where student tenancies are in danger of overwhelming a street or series of streets.

Bristol City Council is one of the local authorities handling this new legislation in the city, but due to the lack of debate and discussion on a widespread level, it has remained largely under the radar and somewhat un-noticed in Bristol.

Essentially, under this piece of planning legislation that came into effect from April in Bristol, a planning application must be made by a landlord wishing to let a property to three or more persons, not a family, for the first time.

You can read the basic definition of the new legislation here, as well as earlier industry coverage of the legislation here.

As with so much planning legislation we see these days, the main issue to consider is how this will be enforced across the Bristol lettings sector.

This industry article gives an excellent overview. Well worth a look, and highlights some of the potential issues to come for Bristol landlords.

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