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FANCY EARNING YOURSELF £50?

Refer your friends to Mistoria Estate Agents and for each one that chooses to rent with us we’ll give you £50!

We’re always on the lookout for good new tenants.  Whether you’re an existing or previous Mistoria Estate Agents tenant and can give us a first-hand reccommendation, or you know someone on the lookout for a new place, point them in our direction.

We’ve got whole properties and individual rooms available to move into immediately and we need your help to fill them.  Covering all the major North West university cities, we’ve got houses in Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Salford.

How to get involved

Fill in the form below with your details and the email address(es) of your friends and we’ll let them know about our great available accommodation.

Alternatively, let your contacts know about Mistoia Lettings and ask them to get in touch with us and to mention your name.

For every genuine referral you pass us, we’ll give you £50 when they sign on the dotted line.

REFERRAL FORM

[contact-form-7 id=”650″ title=”Tenant referral form”]

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Landlord responsibilities in an emergency

Earlier this month, LPS (Lettings Protection Service) Scotland celebrated its first birthday.  To celebrate, they conducted a poll amongst 150 Scottish letting agents to determine the strangest “emergency calls” received by landlords from their tenants.  Some of our favourites include:

  • “There’s a mouse in my flat and now I’m too scared to go inside.”
  • “The toaster is broken, and without my girlfriend to cook for me I can’t eat without it.”
  • “How do I turn off the tap?” and,
  • “Where do I buy batteries?”

LPS Scotland is one of the three Scottish deposit protection schemes designed to ensure that tenants’ money is protected.  While landlords are indeed required to place tenants’ deposits into an available deposit protection scheme such as LPS, they are certainly not obligated to fix the tenant’s possessions or help them open doors!

So what exactly are universal landlord responsibilities?  And what constitutes a real emergency?

For one thing, landlords are required to ensure the safety of gas and electrical appliances installed in the home.  If you smell gas, an emergency call to your landlord is probably a wise move.  But of course, remember to call the National Grid’s emergency number first.

Landlords are also responsible for repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, which means if you find a leak, you’re absolutely within your right to call your landlord – day or night.

However, in certain “emergency” circumstances tenants are advised to consider whether this is a problem they can solve themselves, whether they are at fault, or whether the issue can wait.  For example, should you find mould, telling your landlord is advised but wait until normal business hours and consider having a spring clean.  Additionally, if your smoke detector doesn’t appear to be working, ensure that you’ve done everything you can before calling.  This includes changing the batteries – and it is not up to the landlord to tell you where to buy them!

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What to do during a viewing

Following on from the last blog about “curb appeal” and the exterior of your property, we’re now stepping inside to take a look at what you can do to make your house more presentable during a viewing, and what actions you should take afterwards.

Initial Preparation

It’s essential that the house is clean and tidy.  The less clutter, the bigger the rooms will feel.  Remove coats and shoes from behind the front door, get some plug in air fresheners around the house and, if you can, invest in a café tier even if you don’t like coffee, it makes the house smell homely.  Turning the radio and television off is a must; if you leave them on, the buyers will feel like they don’t have your full attention.

If you have pets it is a good idea to put them outside while the viewing takes place.  Also, if you have small children it may be a good idea to send them on a visit to their grandparents’ house for an hour or two.  The potential buyer will need your full attention, and animals and children can be a distraction for both parties.

During a viewing

If the agent is conducting the viewing, let them.  You can add your support when asked, which you will be.  A good agent will have most of the answers anyway but your knowledge of your home will be called upon.

Point out all the good things that the house has to offer.  Make a list, and if you have carried out any enhancing modifications such as new windows, bathroom fixtures or kitchen fixtures, make them aware as you conduct the viewing.

Although it’s important to be polite and friendly, it is even more important to remember why these people are walking around your house.  Keep your mind on the sale and never disclose personal information or get involved in conversation that has nothing to do with selling your property.  The viewing should last no more than 20 minutes.

After the Viewing

See them to the front door, exchange pleasantries and stand at the door until they have gone.  You want your agent to follow up the viewing the very next day.  Get onto them, don’t wait for them to call you!

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Child off to university? Considered a buy-to-let student property?

So, your son or daughter is flying the nest and moving to a new city in September for university.  There’s lots to think about; costs, safety, transport, diet…. accommodation?

Where will your beloved offspring be resting their head at night, studying for those exams, cooking their meals, washing their clothes (well, the latter might still be with you)?  For many parents the worry of where their child will be living can cause much anxiety.   You want them to be safe, close to the university and in a good place to mix with peers and to meet new friends.  Often university run or approved halls of residence are the best option to fill these criteria but they can be expensive, and with the cost of tutition fees and everything else a student needs, loans and overdrafts are soon into their tens of thousands!

However, there is a solution that will not only save your child money but, earn you some in the process: invest in a buy-to-let student property.  By purchasing a house in the city where your son or daughter is studying, you can allow them to live rent free whilst collecting an income from the other housemates.

The figures are attractive too.  You can expect to achieve average annual yields of 10% on the cost of your buy-to-let student property.  Compare this to the 3% ISA interest rates offered by most banks and building societies and you are suddenly seeing an extremely profitable investment.

What’s involved when buying a buy-to-let student property?

If a buy-to-let student property is a viable option for you, make sure you do your homework.  Ask any landlord, being a landlord is no easy task.  Researching possible locations, the type of property you wish to purchase, and determining if any work or alterations need to be done to the property are all considerations.  An investment of this size will require professional advice to ensure you are within the law and meeting building and planning regulations with regards to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) legislation.  And once your child and their housemates move in there’s also the matter of maintenance to think about.  If you live in Doncaster and your buy-to-let student property is in Liverpool, who do you contact when your tenants call to tell you the boiler has broken or the shower is leaking?  Many landlords opt to have their properties managed by letting agents such as Mistoria Estate Agents who eliminate all the stress of repairs and faults.

There’s lots to think about when purchasing a buy-to-let student property but the returns speak for themselves.  If you would like some expert help sourcing, financing and/or managing your buy-to-let student property The Mistoria Group tick all the boxes.  Our teams of financial, property, lettings and maintenance professionals can make your journey from parent to buy-to-let student property portfolio holder a smooth one.

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Curb appeal and preparing your home for a viewing

When preparing your home for a viewing, it is important to consider curb appeal as a selling point.  Potential buyers will often decide whether or not to book a viewing based on the way the property looks from the outside, and will most likely form an opinion before stepping foot inside.  Therefore, when preparing for a viewing, home-owners should pay as much attention to the outward appearance of the property as the home itself.  For example…

  • Ensure that the garden is tidy.  Mow the lawn, remove any weeds and tidy up pathways or decking.  If your property has hedges or large trees, make sure they’re trimmed neatly.  To inject some colour into your garden, consider planting some flowers or buying a hanging basket for a quick fix.
  • If it’s within your budget, give the house a lick of paint – this could include window surrounds, drains, pipes and doors.
  • If restoration is beyond your budget, there are a few other quick and easy ways to tidy up your property.  Cleaning your windows and doors can give your home a more polished look.  Store away any gardening tools or unnecessary garden toys, and always keep your bins out of sight.

It’s also important to be prepared to answer certain questions about your property too.  Ahead of any viewing have these pieces of information at the ready…

  • The council tax band the property falls under and the subsequent cost.
  • The property’s energy performance certificate.
  • When the property was built.
  • Whether the property is leasehold or freehold.  If it’s a leasehold property, it’s also important to know long the lease has left, and how much the ground rent is per year.