Tag Archives: lettings agency Bristol

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.

independent letting agency in Bristol City Rental Services

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.

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.

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.

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.

CRS_Blog88

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.

Why Bristol landlords need to be accommodating

Whilst out walking by the Canal today, I looked at the boats and thought about how easy it is to make a home.

It’s a very simple challenge: shelter from the elements, warmth, functioning toilet facilities, bit of cooking, somewhere to wash and dry clothes, and a bit of security.

CRS_Blog76

At this time of year, our thoughts turn to those without shelter: around 80,000 children were homeless at Christmas. Bristol landlords have the ability to provide decent, well-maintained rented accommodation and at a fair price.

They need to do this quickly and efficiently.

If we provide this, then our tenants in Bristol should be able to stay and pay.  That’s the deal, and it’s a good deal. Bristol landlords, you own the property, the tenants pay, and you make a bit of a profit. This profit can go up and down.

A few tips for Bristol landlords as we start 2014:

* Have a successful system for communicating with your tenants.

* Respond quickly to their calls, texts or emails.

* Resolve maintenance issues effectively.

* Check for rents monthly – problems need to be followed speedily.

* Don’t be frightened to serve any necessary Notices to tenants.

* Make sure the notices are served correctly and take advice if unsure.

* Check the property regularly to find out if your tenants are still in residence.

* The vast majority of tenants try hard to keep up with the rental payments.

Worst-case scenario? Sort out the rented property and move on with new tenants.

If you’re aiming for a speedy re-let, get in touch with us at

www.city-rental-services.co.uk.

For an easy, efficient and effective independent lettings provider in Bristol, pop into our Gloucester Road offices to see how we can help you.

Wishing our Bristol landlords and tenants a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Reviewing the Bristol rental property market at Christmas

At City Rental Services, we’re in a festive mood, and looking forward to our Christmas and New Year break with family and friends.

It’s also the time of year to take stock of the past 12 months, reviewing the Bristol rented property market. In particular, to see how our rented properties have performed for our landlords over the previous year.

So, before our Christmas break, we’re busy talking to our landlords and in particular reviewing the student portfolios, a range of accommodation for both the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England students with properties ranging in size from 2 to 12 bedrooms – 5 and 6 bedrooms being the most popular.

By this time of year, with Christmas upon us, we usually find all of our student rented properties in Bristol are let, any issues our students may have encountered with their landlords should be resolved, although we are only letting agents, we like to make sure our students are well looked after by their landlords and any problems ironed out between both parties.

Rents are discussed and reset for the new student letting year – July 2013.

Forms are completed, gas and PATs checked again. As we get the information together, we also take new rented property photos and load up to the various web sites and property portals our central Bristol letting agency uses, such as Study Lets and RightMove student section.

This means that we can prepare for the first viewings to take place in January 2013 after the Christmas break.

It’s important for landlords and tenants to remember that if any of the properties might be empty over the holiday period that they must take care to prevent a freeze up, no one wants to come back at the start of the New Year with burst pipes.

Take valuables out of the houses such as laptops, ipads, ipods, Kindles, cameras, maybe to also consider leaving a light on a timer.

Landlords need to also remember that if major works are to be carried out, tenants should be informed properly of these plans.

Finally, of course, we wish you all a fantastic Christmas and a good New Year! Thank you for your business.

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

What do you look for in a rented property in Bristol?

At City Rental Services, the change of seasons always brings with it different requirements from our tenants looking for rented properties in Bristol.

With Autumn well upon us, there are a few things to consider which will help your search for the perfect rented property in central Bristol, including:

  • Check the property’s Energy Performance Certificate
  • Heavy curtains to keep out drafts
  • Decent windows to ensure heat is retained
  • Good cooking facilities for winter grub
  • Comfortable beds & sofas for long nights in
  • How is the WIFI set up – longer evenings inside
  • Check all lighting in the rented property
  • Ask about refuse collection & recycling facilities
  • Unfurnished can be fun! Try local Bristol stores for great furnishings

We can, of course, help you with the perfect selection of rented flats and houses in Bristol, to make sure your Winter is a warm and cosy one.

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

A Green Deal update for landlords in Bristol

At City Rental Services,  we’ve been keeping a close eye on the Green Deal, and blogged about it recently.

It’s important for landlords in Bristol to appreciate the impact of last year’s Energy Act, and to appreciate how their rental property values in Bristol could be affected if they don’t take action before the Act legally requires them to.

We came across this useful article highlighting some of the issues being raised alongside the Green Deal.

Our response is speedy – we’re currently undertaking a full review of all our letting-only portfolio of properties in Bristol, to establish which properties are currently an F or G rating for energy efficiency.

It’s also worth considering that to consistently rent out a property in Bristol, appliances will need to be energy efficient, and with a regard to EPC ratings, remember A-E is good, whilst F-G appliances may need replacing, including insulation improved and windows checked.

Other considerations are the overall efficiency of the heating in a rented property, including measures such as wall cavity insulation.

Are you ready for the new Green Deal?

Consider the overall efficiency of the property, as tenants do take this into consideration when choosing a rented property in Bristol.

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

Why our central Bristol lettings agency loves the Landlord Expo event

At City Rental Services, keeping up with current housing legislation and adding service providers in the lettings sector in Bristol can be a time-consuming job.

But it’s essential, to make sure we give our tenants and landlords the very best letting information we can obtain.

With that in mind, we recently attended one of our favourite annual events in Bristol, the Landlord Expo 2012 which was held this year at UWE.

The Expo was well organised, easy to get to, and offered an excellent housing industry showplace. It’s an event we usually attend every year, for the brilliant networking opportunities, introductions to new service providers for the lettings sector in Bristol, plus education on housing legislation updates.

This year was especially useful for finding out additional information about the new rules in place around the Localism Act, and the stalls managed by www.mydeposits.co.uk and www.thedisputeservice.co.uk proved to be really useful.

As a substantial letting agent in Bristol with many letting-only landlords, we know that they use the services of www.depositprotection.com and www.mydeposits.co.uk.

This is crucial in keeping tenants deposits correctly protected and for landlords to keep informed about changes in legislation around tenancy deposits.

The networking with local service providers was excellent, too – we connected with the fantastic Junk Buster at the Expo. This will be a particularly useful commercial contact when it comes to the imminent student handover period in the Bristol letting sector, which forms a large part of our let housing portfolio in Bristol.

All in all, another highly successful Landlord Expo – well done!

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