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New Mistoria HMO property video walk-through

We’re delighted to present a video walk-through of another recently renovated and refurbished HMO property.

This 4 bed, 1 bathroom, 1 reception room house share property in Salford is an example of the Mistoria Standard.

Tenants

This property is available for the next academic year (from 1/7/21). Please contact our Salford branch to request a viewing. You can view more details about the property here.

Rental properties from Mistoria are renovated to a similar standard. We have HMO and student house share properties available in Bolton, Liverpool and Salford. Contact your local branch or visit the websites for current listings.

Bolton – 01204 800 766

Liverpool– 0161 707 6106

Salford – 0161 707 6106

Landlords

Are you interested in investing in an HMO or student property like the one shown here? Speak to our Property Investment team on 0800 500 3015.

5 Wythburn Street, Salford

 

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A landlord’s guide to avoiding winter hazards in your property

student accommodation Salford

When winter arrives in the UK and the weather turns, there are a number of property hazards that you may want to look out for. Staying on top of property maintenance can help you catch issues early and avoid having to claim on your landlord insurance.

Having a maintenance schedule in place can protect your investment, and tenants, against a range of property pitfalls, including those that may be more likely during the winter months. 

The follow have been identified by leading property insurers as the top winter hazards facing property owners:

  1. loss of roof tiles
  2. water penetration due to poorly maintained flat roofs
  3. guttering and chimney stack damage
  4. problems with walls and outbuildings including damage to garden cabins/sheds, garages and greenhouses and
  5. damage to garden equipment. 

What property hazards should I look out for in winter?

Research shows that many landlords leave their properties, and therefore their investment, at risk of damage. Each property can differ when it comes to key weaknesses during colder weather however, the above mentioned common issues to watch out for are explained in more detail below:

Loose roof tiling – get a professional roofer to inspect your roof. Damaged, missing or loose tiles can cause serious damage in high winds.

Water damage – it’s key that any leak, severe condensation and/or mould is identified and fixed as soon as possible. Prolonged water exposure will cause serious damage to the structural health of your property, and potentially the health of your tenants, as exposure to mould can cause respiratory problems.

Blocked gutters – as the leaves fall from the trees, they can become clogged, preventing rainwater from draining properly. If left unchecked, this could lead to issues with your roof, including internal leaking.

Loose fence panels – fix or replace them if necessary. Fence panels can fly off in extreme win and cause damage to your home and potentially your neighbour’s property.

Secure loose objects in your garden or move them elsewhere – wind can play havoc with your garden furniture and ornaments; move them indoors or secure them.

Cut back branches – tall, overgrown trees and large bushes in your garden can cause damage in storms. Cut them back to reduce the chance of this happening.

Put up flood defences before bad weather arrives – you can find sandbag-like products to block doors and entrances.

Also keep an eye on the boiler in your rental property during the winter. The last thing you want is for your tenants to be left without heating and hot water, especially when the temperature has dropped.

Another issue to bear in mind is when water is left in the pipes and the heating is not on (perhaps you have student tenants that travel home for an extended break over Christmas, leaving your property empty), the water could freeze and later lead to burst pipes.

How can I protect my property from these winter perils?

A good place to start is regular maintenance checks. By taking a look around the interior and exterior of the property, you can keep an eye on its condition. The sooner you spot an issue, the better your chances of fixing it before it gets worse. You should especially consider performing a maintenance check soon after any extreme weather, such as heavy rain or snow.

Understandably, you can’t be at the property all the time to notice such issues however, you could encourage your tenants to be extra vigilant. Tell them to look out for signs of leaking pipes, damp patches and mould. You’d expect them to be in touch if these problems occur anyway, but there might be some areas that they don’t go into often, such as a loft, attic or hard to reach areas where the pipes are. Encouraging tenants to report any maintenance problems might also allow you to catch them early.

Help to avoid burst pipes by keeping the heating on at a constant temperature or by having the property professionally drained down if it is left empty for a while. 

Sometimes damage to a property is inevitable, and you will have no choice but to pay for repair work. Having suitable landlord insurance in place might also provide you with the financial protection you need.

How can we help look after your rental property?

Part of the professional letting agent service from Mistoria Estate Agents includes managing any maintenance issues your property may require. We conduct thorough property inspections and the beginning, end and during any tenancy to ensure your property is being looked after and is fit for habitation.

Our dedicated maintenance team has inspected hundreds of properties and knows exactly what to look out for, ensuring your property is kept in top condition and is fit for purpose. We specialise in student accommodation Salford, however if you are a landlord of any sort and would like to discuss in more detail the service Mistoria Estate Agents can offer you, please contact us on 0800 500 3015.

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Student Landlords Face Increased Tenant Deposit Disputes

student house deposit

Recent research from the DPS reveals that student house deposit disputes are twice as likely as other tenants, with 22%, or one in five, not receiving the full amount when they leave their accommodation.

Disagreements over cleaning and damage together caused half of all claims that entered the DPS free-to-use dispute resolution process between 2015 and 2019 (26% and 24% respectively). Other disputes included redecoration (14%), rent arrears (10%) and replacing missing items (6%).

The Mistoria Group is urging student landlords and agents to conduct thorough check-in and check-outs at the start and end of the tenancy, supported by a professional inventory. Clear communication on the tenant’s responsibilities when they move into the property will improve the chances of a trouble-free check-out at the end of this academic year.

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director of The Mistoria Group comments: “The common mistakes in landlord inventories are essentially lack of detail. Landlords often write just a brief shopping list and often do not have the appropriate photographs and videos, along with accompanying written descriptions to show the condition of the property and its contents.

“Our experience shows that when landlords take the time to spell out tenants’ responsibilities in terms of cleaning and caring for the property, students are more likely to conduct their tenancy in a way that is respectful to the property and this minimises any potential damage.

“Landlords and agents may need to review the deposits they take for student accommodation to cover any potential costs incurred at check-out. In some parts of the UK, the deposit simply is not enough to cover the costs to return the property back to its original condition at the end of the tenancy.

“On many occasions, we have been faced with maintenance related losses.

“If the landlord or agent finds the tenant fails to agree to the deposit deductions, they need to ensure they have the evidence such as a thorough and fully detailed inventory, copies of which are given to the tenant at check-in and check-out. It is imperative that tenants sign their acceptance of the contents of the check-in within seven days of the move in, and this signed copy should be retained by either the landlord or letting agent.”

The Mistoria Group has outlined some common mistake which increase the risk of a student house deposit dispute:

  • Landlords and letting agents make the mistake in thinking that inventories can be heavily comprised of photography and video. Completely photographic or filmed inventories without a complete written accompanying report are almost useless. If photography or film has been used in the inventory, make sure it is detailed enough and dated. Include photographs of the garden; inside of the oven; interior of the shed or garage; and keys handed over to tenants – these are the main areas of problems that occur and are often down to misinterpretation at the end of a tenancy.
  • There is no need to photograph every single corner of the property as this is simply a waste of time – stick to the important things. Films and photographs alone will be of little use in a dispute when an adjudicator is trying to find hard evidence of a particular area.
  • Many landlords and agents do not carry out a thorough and full check-in and check-out of the property at which the tenant was present. Landlords and agents who don’t have this available when they go to court, have little chance of winning the case.
  • Often there is no correspondence with the tenant that is documented and no receipts are kept for the deductions on the deposit eg cleaning and repairs.

The Mistoria Group is a high yielding student buy-to-let investment specialist, offering HMOs and armchair investments in the North of the UK, generating combined net cash yield up to 13% (Rental and Capital Growth). For more information on our currently available investments and the services, email info@mistoriagroup.com or call 0800 500 3015.

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Landlords: Are You Up To Date With MEES Regulations?

north west letting agents

The domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations set the minimum energy efficiency level for private rented property under the Energy Act 2011. There have been changes to these regulations that you need to be aware of, so here our North West letting agents go over the important details for you.

When you need to take action

Since 1 April 2018, it has been unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease for properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, unless the property is registered as an exemption. On 1 April 2020, the prohibition on letting F and G properties was extended to all relevant properties, irrespective of whether there’s been a change in tenancy.

If your property is let on an assured tenancy, a regulated tenancy, or a domestic agricultural tenancy, and it is legally required to have an EPC, then it’s covered under the regulations. If it’s covered and has an EPC rating of F or G, you will need to take measures to bring it up to E or above before you can let, or continue to let, the property.

It’s possible that the MEES Regulations will be upgraded further in 2022 to C or D, so now is the time to take action to ensure your property is compliant.

What you need to do

First of all, it’s important to remember that a cost cap of £3,500 (including VAT) applies, so you’ll never be required to spend more than this on energy efficiency improvements.

There are 3 ways to fund improvements to your property:

  1. Third-party funding
  2. Combination of third-party funding and self-funding
  3. Self-funding

Contained in your EPC report, you will find a list of recommendations for improving the energy efficiency of your property, along with the indicative cost, the typical savings per year, and the EPC rating after the improvement has been made. The recommended measures are varied, but could include:

  • Internal or external wall insulation
  • Increase hot water cylinder insulation
  • Low energy lighting
  • Solar water heating
  • Draught proofing

If your EPC rating is F or G, you must make ‘relevant energy efficiency improvements’ to your property, which means using the recommendations on the list up to the £3,500 cost cap. If you reach the cap but your property is still not rated as E or above, you can register an ‘all improvements made exemption’, under which you will not be penalised and can continue to let the property.

Be aware: if your chosen methods for energy efficiency improvements do not appear in the list on your EPC report, and they fail to improve your rating to an E or more, you cannot register an exemption and will be expected to invest further in measures that will help your property to meet the requirements before you can let it.

Exemptions

If you don’t think you can meet the requirements under the MEES Regulations, don’t panic. In addition to the ‘all improvements made’ exemption, there are others under which you can register if your property meets the criteria:

  • ‘High cost’ exemption
  • Wall insulation exemption
  • Third-party consent exemption
  • Property devaluation exemption
  • Temporary exemption due to recently becoming a landlord

These need to be registered on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register, which can be done online. After they expire, you must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating, or register another exemption.

Penalties

The MEES Regulations are enforced by local authorities, who may serve you with a compliance notice if they suspect there’s been a breach. This will request information to aid their decision. If a breach is confirmed, they may issue you with a financial penalty. There is a maximum £5,000 penalty in total per property. Within these regulations, the amount is decided by the relevant local authority. It’s worth remembering that local councils keep these fines, so they are incentivised to enforce them.

How our North West letting agents can help

Mistoria Estate Agents offers a variety of highly sophisticated, professional and tailored property management solutions. With branches in Bolton, Liverpool and Salford we are a leading North West letting agents. We can go through your EPC and gas and electrical safety certificates with you, to ensure you are complying with all legislation including the MEES regulations and give you peace of mind in the process. If you’d like to discuss options, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0800 500 3015
today.

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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Preventing Deposit Disputes with your Lettings

student letting agents

Deposit disputes can be difficult and time-consuming for tenants, landlords and letting agents alike. Fortunately, with proper planning and preparation, most can be avoided altogether. Here are some things our student letting agents think landlords and fellow agents should know about that reduce the likelihood of this happening.

Schemes, Agreements and Legislation

The Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) Scheme and Prescribed Information

As a landlord, you must put your tenants’ deposits in one of three government-approved tenancy deposit schemes (TDP), which protect the deposits, within 30 days of receiving them. Within the same timeframe, you must serve all ‘relevant persons’ the Prescribed Information which contains information about the scheme, including how the deposit is protected and how to apply to get it back. A ‘relevant person’ is any person, company or organisation that contributes to a tenant’s deposit payment, which often happens with student lettings. Failure to place the deposits in a TDP and serve the Prescribed Information within 30 days will incur penalties.

The Tenancy Agreement

Knowing what to include in the tenancy agreement will ensure that your tenants know what is your responsibility and what is theirs, which is crucial to preventing disputes. Two aspects of the tenancy agreement that are often overlooked are:

  • Joint and several liability
    This means that all of your tenants are equally responsible for adhering to the tenancy agreement, so for example if one tenant cannot pay the rent, then the other tenants are liable for that as well.
  • Cleaning and maintenance responsibilities
    This should state who is responsible for things like mowing the lawn and cleaning the gutters. In student lettings, it’s also important to state that every tenant is responsible for keeping communal areas clean and tidy because many of these are let to individuals by bedroom.

The Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) legislation

If your letting is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) then you as the landlord have extra legal responsibilities. This is primarily to reduce the risk of fire and ensure tenants have adequate facilities. It includes ensuring that annual gas safety checks are carried out and making necessary repairs to communal areas of the property.

Furthermore, the HMO may require a licence. This generally applies if it has five or more unrelated people living in it or two or more separate households living there; however, some local councils require all HMOs to have a licence so it’s worth checking with them.

Helpful Tips

Know your tenants’ contact information

A simple but oft-forgotten way to reduce the risk of deposit disputes is to maintain clear and open communications with your tenants. Obviously, you cannot do this if you don’t have their up-to-date contact details, such as email addresses and phone numbers. As students often change these, it is important to check in with them occasionally to ensure you have the correct information.

Market early for student lettings

Students often begin their property searches around October-time for the following academic year. This is ideal, because it means you can ensure everything is ironed out in plenty of time before the tenancy begins. Therefore, you should try to market your property early. If you need help, Mistoria Estate Agents have an expert marketing team who can help with compelling advertisements, shrewd social media management, to-let boards and floor plans and more, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Further Information about our student letting agents

Bear these points in mind and you’ll drastically improve your chances of a successful, dispute-free tenancy for your property. However, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Mistoria Estate Agents specialises in student tenancies in the areas of Bolton, Liverpool and Salford. We offer extensive reference checks so you can find the “right” tenants for your property, and our Comprehensive Property Protection means all properties go through our inventory service to include photographic or video evidence, protecting both landlord and tenant.

If you’d like help, or simply wish to know more about, TDP schemes, tenancy agreements, HMO legislation or anything else related to lettings, contact us on 0800 500 3015 so we can advise you further.

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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Main Sponsor of the National Landlord Investment Show

We are delighted to be both the main sponsor and keynote seminar speaker at the National Landlord Investment Show this week.

Tune in on Thursday 8th October at midday to hear our CEO, Mish Liyanage give his 15 Top Tips on Being a Successful Student HMO Landlord.

You can register here> https://www.landlordinvestmentshow.co.uk/midlands-north-online

There is a great line-up of leading industry speakers, so it is well worth attending for some great advice and insights. You will also have the chance to ask your own questions in the Q&A sessions.

#landlords #investment #hmos #studentaccommodation #studenthousing #studentproperty #investmentproperty

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Lease Options Explained

investment property bolton

Lease option deals – also known as “rent to buy” or “lease with the option to buy” – are essentially agreements in which a tenant or investor leases a property from a seller with the option to purchase when the lease expires, or at any point within the duration of the contract.

In this arrangement, the tenant or investor claims the option to buy by paying a fee, which usually ranges between 3 and 5% of the property value. Although having obtained the exclusive right to buy, tenants are not obligated to exercise this right and can always change their minds, unlike sellers, who do not have this option. Lease terms are negotiable but usually last between one and three years.

Coming to a Lease Option agreement has several advantages for both tenant-buyer and seller, but there are also some disadvantages that should not be overlooked. Before purchasing an investment property in Bolton, Liverpool or Salford with Mistoria, see if a Lease Option is the best choice for you. 

Advantages for the Buyer

Lease options can be a great choice for people that do not qualify for a mortgage. They provide tenant-buyers with the opportunity of locking in a sale price before a purchase and thus, buys them the time they require in order to improve their credit ratings and save up for a down payment. 

Considering that most lease option contracts are made to set a fixed purchase price in advance, the buyer might benefit greatly from the appreciation of the property during the lease period and thus, might be able to buy it for a considerably lower price than the market value at the time of purchase. In addition to this, a higher lease payment is often agreed upon beforehand, with a part of the amount credited towards the purchase price. Should the tenant-buyer decide to exercise his or her option, these payments will have reduced the overall purchase price.

The Lease Option can also act as a trial period and allows the potential buyer to assess an area or neighbourhood as a living or investment opportunity.

Disadvantages for the Buyer

Some of the advantages listed could also potentially turn into disadvantages. If the tenant does not manage to qualify for a mortgage during the lease term or to save up any money, the higher payments made towards the purchase amount are lost and will not be reimbursed. The same goes for the option fee that was paid to reserve the right to buy. Furthermore, in the event of a decrease in property value, the seller might insist on the agreed-upon price, which would result in the buyer overpaying compared to the market value or losing out on the property entirely.

Advantages for the Seller

Coming to a lease option agreement can be very beneficial to a landlord when the market is slow or there is too much competition, which makes selling difficult. 

Therefore, receiving monthly payments is still better than a vacant house, and if the tenant decides not to exercise his or her option to buy, the seller will be able to keep the potential extra fees made towards the property purchase, if such extra fees apply to the particular agreement. In addition, he or she will also be able to retain the option fee.

Another advantage is the fact that Lease Option tenants are likely to take better care of a property, since they have moved in with the intention of eventually buying it. So even if they ultimately do not end up purchasing, the seller could save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on maintenance and repair costs.

Disadvantages for the Seller

Great advantages for the buyer can be great disadvantages for the seller: if market fluctuations increase the value of the property beyond the agreed-upon option price, the seller will be forced to give it up at a lower price than the current value. Therefore, it is always advisable to set the price higher to account for potential appreciation. 

Ultimately, one of the biggest disadvantages concerning such arrangements might be the uncertainty that comes with them – if after years of leasing, the tenant or investor decides not to buy, the seller will need to invest energy, time and financial resources into finding a new buyer and going through a similar process. 

 

In general, a lease option agreement binds the seller, but not the buyer, who always has the option of opting out at the end of the lease term. But it can be a great option for both if circumstances and benefits are considered carefully.

Further Information

If you’ve still got questions about Lease Option agreements, or are considering purchasing an investment property in Bolton, Liverpool or Salford, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Mistoria Estate Agents. We are members of ARLA and NAEA Propertymark, which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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Finding Repossessed Properties for Sale

investment hmo salford

Buy to Let landlords have long recognised the excellent opportunities for investment afforded by repossessed properties. For those who are new to investing or who have not gone down this route before, however, the purchasing process can seem daunting and there are a number of factors which many fail to consider. With mortgage companies unwilling to openly advertise properties as repossessed, how do you go about finding a suitable one and making the most of the often significantly discounted prices? In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the key aspects to look out for and explain how to get a great deal on a property, whether you’re just making your first foray into the market or are looking to add to your existing portfolio. 

Telltale Signs

There are a number of things to look out for when purchasing a property which may hint that it is a repossession. Even before you view the property in person, you may be able to tell from the language used to describe it, either on the estate agent’s website, or on sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla. As the mortgage company wants to get the best possible price, it’s not uncommon for them to invite further bids even when a good offer has been made. Whilst varying slightly by agent the language used is fairly similar, referencing the offer that’s been made and calling for other interested parties to submit their own offers.

When it comes to actually visiting the property, the signs are usually fairly obvious. When you arrive, look for boarded up windows and doors, or windows with metal grates over them. On the front door, there may be a sign notifying the previous tenants that they must collect their belongings; this is known as a Chattel Notice. Inside the property, you may see signs on toilets and taps, or even coverings to stop you using them.  That’s because the systems will most likely have been drained. You may also come across the previous inhabitant’s personal belongings. If this is the case, looking around can be a somewhat eerie experience. 

Motivated / Distress Sellers

Mortgage companies and banks are often unwilling to admit that they are selling a repossession, believing that the stigma around them will lead to a lower final price. These organisations don’t themselves sell the properties; they’ll instead use one of three methods. The most common is enlisting the services of an estate agent, especially for repossessions which at one point were owner occupied,  

Properties which were instead formerly owned by Buy to Let landlords will usually be sold via LPA (Local Property Administrator) Receivers. Should a property fail to be sold through these means, the mortgage company may then opt to sell through an auction house, where some of the best bargains can be found. 

If you decide to make an offer on a repossessed property via an estate agent’s listing on a property site or in a local newspaper listing, there are a few things to remember. Making an offer is no guarantee that you’ll get the property, as it is a legal obligation for estate agents to  welcome extra offers right up until the point of contract exchange, a period which is limited to 28 days. The mortgage company or bank who uses their services will have only one aim; sell for the highest price possible. There is every possibility, then, that you’ll be gazumped on the 27th day. 

Consider also that you will be expected to cover surveying costs, which you’ll have to pay whether you end up making the highest offer or not. Don’t be tempted to not hire a conveyancer; not getting a professional’s opinion on the state of the property is hugely risky. If you purchase a property that has numerous defects and issues which were not assessed prior to purchase, you could be left with a major drain on your wallet. When you visit the property yourself, you should also double check everything, ensuring the description is accurate and that any changes you’d need to make are feasible and affordable. It may be worthwhile having a second viewing to pick on some of the finer details you might have missed the first time. When it comes to the legal side of things, use a solicitor who has experience of repossessions and who can get the process completed quickly. That way you’ll reduce the chance of gazumping and ensure the property is yours within the 28 day limit. If you don’t secure a purchase within this time frame, the property may be relisted, even if there are no better offers. 

Estate Agents vs Auction

If you’re new to investing, it’s probably safest to purchase through an estate agent. However, if you opt to use an auction, the process can be daunting and there may well be wealthier cash investors there to outbid you. Remember to look through the auction catalogue beforehand and visit the properties which interest you. As before, you’ll need to pay a conveyancer. Sticking to a budget is even more important when purchasing via auction. It can be incredibly easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment. If you make the highest offer it can be difficult to go back if you’ve changed your mind as you have to complete within 28 days of exchange. At the very least, you will not receive the 10% deposit back which you will have had to provide. 

Further Information

This is just some of the information you need to be aware of if you’re considering purchasing a repossessed property. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the team at Mistoria. We have offices in Liverpool, Salford and Bolton, as well as sister branches Pick My Pad and Student Haus

We are members of ARLA and NAEA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected. 

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‘Hutching Up’ Increasingly Popular Outside London

North West student accommodation

The concept of ‘Hutching up’, which involves people, usually young professionals, living together in smaller accommodation to meet soaring rental costs, is typically associated with the London property market. But according to Mistoria Estate Agents, the trend has now expanded to the rest of the UK, and is prevalent in cities such as Manchester, Salford, Bolton and Liverpool.

What Does Hutching Up Mean?

Across many cities in the UK, flats, houses and HMOs are filled with young people who can only afford to live independently if they share accommodation with affordable rental charges. Mistoria has seen a 17% rise in the number of young professionals in the North West renting rooms in HMOs to save money over the past year.

Tenants in the UK are now paying an average of £959 monthly rent. according to the HomeLet Rental Index for May, representing a 2.7% increase on the same month a year earlier. 

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director, comments: “Many young people struggle to rent on their own and there is certainly a growing trend of flat and house sharing amongst young professionals. Whilst students have been sharing accommodation for many years, more and more recent graduates are finding that they can’t afford to live independently. If they’ve stayed in a good quality HMO as a student, unsurprisingly graduates see no reason to change their living circumstances when faced with a huge hike in rental costs.

“We have seen lots of young professionals take on our student lets – mainly a room in an HMO, with a shared kitchen and sitting room. Our properties are finished to a very high standard and require just £80-£110 a week to rent, bills included. We are even able to offer Deposit Free Renting. For many, not having to set up electric, gas, broadband and TV accounts or pay council tax and find hundreds of pounds for a deposit and for the month’s rent, is a massive bonus. Having the luxury of being able to budget, without having fluctuating monthly bills, has all contributed to the rise of hutching.”

“The quality of HMO accommodation on the market has improved dramatically over the last few years. Young professionals are very discerning and large flat screen TVs, leather furniture, high speed broadband and en-suites are all quite standard now. Landlords can no longer cram as many people in as possible to maximise rental income.  A property with three medium/large rooms finished to a very high spec will easily generate £80-110 per week in rent, compared with four small rooms with a poor spec at just £65-75 per week.”

North West Student Accommodation

If you’re on the hunt for North West student accommodation in Liverpool, Salford or the Bolton and Walkden area for the next academic year, look no further than Mistoria Estate Agents. We can help you and your friends find the property that’s right for you, at the right price. Please get in touch with the team to find out how we can help. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Then try Student Haus or Pick My Pad

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

If you are interested in purchasing an investment property, please visit the Mistoria Group website

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Periodic Inspections: A Guide

salford student letting agents

If you’re a landlord that lets out a property to students, you’ll be well aware of the importance of carrying out periodic inspections throughout each tenancy. Doing so allows you to check your house in good condition and your tenants are complying with the tenancy agreement. 

At Liverpool, Bolton and Salford student letting agents, Mistoria, we conduct these inspections on your behalf, on a quarterly basis. We  evaluate the overall condition of the property, including both the interior and exterior, looking out for maintenance issues, tenants’ living conditions, damp and mould, leaks, fixtures and fittings, the garden’s condition and fair wear and tear. After our inspection, we will provide you with a report detailing any issues we found.

Repairs and Maintenance Issues

The main reason we carry out periodic inspections is to spot any obvious maintenance issues. It is the perfect opportunity to uncover and repair any minor problems, that if ignored could become much worse. It’s always easier and cheaper to repair problems as early as possible. Whilst most tenants do report the serious issues they find, relying on them for information isn’t enough to ensure that everything is in working order. We often find that they do not report minor issues until it’s too late. Moreover, some tenants, through no fault of their own, will be completely unaware of potential problems. It is always wise to have a fresh pair of eyes to look over the property.

Tenants’ Living Conditions

Whilst the property may be in a good condition, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your tenants are looking after your investment. Although you may not be able to evict them based on their living conditions, you may decide that you do not wish to renew their contracts at the end of the tenancy agreement. Of course, you cannot tell your tenant how to live if they are untidy, but we will inform them that their actions will damage the property if this is the case. For example, if they do not clean the bathrooms, this could result in staining of the fixtures and fittings.

Damp and Mould

Some of the most common issues we come across are damp and mould, the prevention of which tenants tend to overlook. Many tenants simply don’t realise how dangerous and serious mould infestations can be, but you must be aware of them. We will look around windows and sinks and pay particular attention to rooms prone to moisture, such as the bathroom and kitchen, as well as pipework hidden away in kitchen units. We’ve produced more detailed advice about preventing mould, damp and condensation in a separate blog post, which you can read here. 

Leaks

We run all of the taps in your property to check for any leaks. Leaks can be one of the main causes of mould and rot, which can have devastating effects on the health of your tenants. Furthermore, small leaks can often become much bigger, which could cause irreparable damage to your investment. We will also check the drains outside for blockages to ensure that water is not overflowing, as this can lead to much bigger problems.

Fixtures and Fittings

We check all of the property’s fixtures and fittings to make sure they have not been damaged and are still in good working order. We will do the same for any other appliances you may have provided.  

The Garden

If a clause in your tenancy agreement specifies that the tenant must maintain the garden(s), we will check that it is neat and not overgrown. We will make sure also there are no piles of rubbish in the outside areas, as these can attract pests.

Fair Wear and Tear

There is a fine line between fair wear and tear and actual damage, so one of the objectives of our inspections is to assess whether issues we discover in the property have been caused by tenant negligence. You can only make your tenants liable for damage, not fair wear and tear. As we look around the property, we will consider which issues were caused by reasonable use of the property on a daily basis (such as scuff marks on the walls).

More Information

Our maintenance team has inspected hundreds of properties and knows exactly what to look out for, ensuring your property is kept in top condition and is fit for purpose. If you are a landlord and would like to discuss in more detail the service Mistoria Estate Agents can offer you, please contact us on 0800 500 3015.

You can be assured that you are receiving the highest quality service when you use Mistoria Estate Agents because we are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.