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Protection guidance from CMA for the letting industry

CMA guidelines

The Competition and Market Authority has released a new protection guidance for lettings professionals to improve their understanding and compliance with consumer protection law.

The guidance provides standards over a number of issues that tenants and landlords can encounter.

The CMA has worked along with the trading standards services to agree on how the law should be applied and how to improve standards.

The new protection guidance includes the following:

• ensure that tenants and the lettings agent’s landlord clients know what charges and fees they will have to pay and what these are for

• avoid using misleading advertising or statements, and ensuring that the tenant or landlord is given all the information they need, at the appropriate time

• provide clear information before occupation such as guarantor and deposit requirements, and the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement

• deal fairly and professionally with tenants and landlords, and using fair contractual terms

• ensure that services and repairs are carried out in a timely manner and with reasonable care and skill

• give clear and full information to tenants about how to end a tenancy agreement

The guidance is relevant to all professional lettings agents in the United Kingdom with the aim to suppress legal variations from one area to another.

Nisha Arora, CMA Senior Director, Consumer, said: “Renting a property is a big financial commitment, and it is important that tenants can be confident that their landlord or letting agent will treat them fairly. This guidance will help lettings professionals understand how to comply with the law and should ultimately improve overall standards in the market.”

Meanwhile the Department for Communities and Local Government has issued a checklist to successful renting for tenants.

The checklist is actually very close to our own Guide to your first student house.

Although this news is relevant to all professional lettings agents, we are already one step ahead at Mistoria, always making sure our student lettings are in line with legal and ethical standards and our student tenants feel safe and secure doing business with us.

Find out more about Mistoria and our student lettings by calling us on 0800 500 3015 or emailing info@mistoriaestateagents.co.uk.

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Mistoria, Liverpool letting agents who will treat you right

Liverpool letting agents

As a student walking into a letting agents when trying to find accommodation for the school year, can sometimes be a little daunting.  You’ve never done this before, you don’t know the right questions to ask and you feel the staff in there aren’t as helpful or friendly as they could be.  Well, at Mistoria, most of us have been students ourselves and remember how it feels not to be taken seriously when it comes to finding suitable accommodation.

We specialise in student lettings and have a team of Liverpool letting agents, Preston letting agents and Salford letting agents who understand the needs, expectations and budgets of students.  We have many properties of all different shapes and sizes across these top North West university cities and provide fully furnished, all-inclusive bill accommodation.  By choosing Mistoria, you choose not only quality but safety. You can rest assured that if you ever have the tiniest problem, our dedicated maintenance team will do everything they can to fix it for you.  We even have a 24/7 emergency call out service.

We are only a phone call away to give help and advice should it be required and we welcome our tenants to communicate with us by phone (0800 500 3015), email, Facebook, Twitter, or better still, in person.  Advice can range from “finding the nearest supermarket” to talking to tenants who may be unhappy at University etc.  We want our tenants to be happy in their student home and unlike many letting agents, are willing to go the extra mile to help make that happen.

Find out more by checking reviews of our former and current tenants in our Testimonials section!

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How to avoid arguments in student lets

Student Housing

When looking for student lets, sharing a house with friends can be a very positive and enriching experience, however, sometimes communal living can turn into a complicated and uncomfortable situation.  When it comes to deciding who to live with, it sounds tempting to move in with your friends, those people you share the same interests and tastes as and are generally around the same age as you.  This combination usually works, but not always.

According to Judi James, UK body language and behavior expert, people tend to expect their best friends to act as they do in every aspect and when this doesn’t happen problems can occur.  James highlights how, even being a bit idealist, some popular TV series such as Friends, illustrate how different personalities make for a better living environment than those that have very similar characters i.e. a very tidy and particular Monica and a laid-back and messy Rachel.  People who are too similar will have the same flaws, but a mix of traits will mean strengths in different areas, making for a more hormonious home.

Even though they may sound obvious, the most common house sharing conflicts are:

  • Respecting each others belongings is essential when it comes to avoid arguments with housemates. You might be one of those people who don’t care if people use your stuff without asking, but not everyone behaves like that.  It’s advisable to act with caution at the beginning to see where the boundaries lie.
  • Make a rota for all the household tasks such as cleaning, paying the bills, taking out the rubbish etc. This will be helpful not just in maintaining the house but also in maintaining a good relationship with your housemates and avoiding arguments.
  • Lack of communication amongst housemates can cause little issues to build up into big problems that could be easily solved with a polite chat at the right time.

It’s inevitable that the odd conflict will arise with other housemates during your student lets tenancy, but over all the experience should be an enjoyable one, filled with unforgettable moments.  Find out more about Mistoria Estate Agents and our Preston student lets, Liverpool student lets or Salford student lets by calling us on 0800 500 3015 or emailing info@mistoriaestateagents.co.uk.

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Paying student loans upfront can cost thousands

paying student loans

We came across an interesting article about paying student loans last week that we wanted to share with you.  It sounds odd but paying your student loan upfront could end up costing you (or mum and dad) more!  Read on to find out why….

The extract below is taken from stv.tv ‘Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis: top five counterlogical cost cutting tips’

Paying student loans upfront can cost thousands

With the deadline for new students in England to apply for finance by the start of term less than two weeks away, this is an important point to consider. Students in Scotland have until June 30 but, unfortunately, the deadline has passed for Wales and Northern Ireland.

With the cost of studying in England increasing, students starting university since 2012 can leave with loans of nearly £50,000 after three years. In addition, they pay above-inflation rates of interest, up to Retail Prices Index plus 3pc.

To beat the cost some parents are extending their mortgages or using their savings to help their children avoid this debt but this can be a costly mistake.

What matters is the amount to be repaid and not what is borrowed. Current repayments are 9pc of everything earned above £21,000 a year (likely to rise with earnings from 2017). Repayments continue for 30 years, unless the whole loan plus interest is cleared. Many won’t repay in full before the 30 years is up.

An example for parents. If the £27,000 tuition fees are paid upfront, and their scholar becomes a poet and never earns above £21,000, the money is wasted. Even many earning over the threshold won’t repay what they borrowed in real terms, so paying upfront would result in a loss.

If you are going to save up for your kids, then it’s likely the money would be better used to provide a deposit for a house, or prevent other more damaging forms of debt.