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What is Deposit Free Renting?

salford student housing

In partnership with deposit alternative provider, Zero Deposit, Mistoria Estate Agents is now able to offer deposit free renting, making moving into your student house considerably cheaper and easier. 

How Does It Work? 

Zero deposit renting is simple, affordable and easy. Instead of paying your traditional security deposit and one month’s rent, you simply have to pay a one-off non-refundable fee of one week’s rent (a Zero Deposit Guarantee) plus a £26 admin fee. Once you’ve signed the relevant paperwork, you’re all done – it’s now time to move into your new student house and use the money you saved to treat yourself to something nice! 

At the end of your contract, if you owe any rent or you’ve damaged the property, you’ll be expected to pay to cover the costs. The Dispute Service settles all disputes over claims with their impartial arbitration process. If you’ve left your house as you found it when you moved in, you’ll have nothing to pay. 

If you decide to stay in the same house the following year, you’ll only need to pay a small admin fee to Zero Deposit when you renew your contract.   

For absolute peace of mind, you can rest assured that Zero Deposit is FCA regulated. You can find out more about the benefits Zero Deposit renting offers here and download our simple guide to deposit free renting here. 

The Traditional Security Deposit 

SInce April 2007, landlords and agents have had to protect tenant deposits in one of three government-backed tenancy deposit schemes; mydeposits, the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) and DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme). If you would prefer this traditional method, we can still cater for your needs. No deposits are held by Mistoria Estate Agents. 

Before moving in, you’ll need to pay a deposit to secure your property. Once we’ve received the deposit, we’ll make sure the property won’t be let to anyone else. As we let out the majority of our student properties on a room-by-room basis, every member of your group must pay their own deposit. This keeps you protected if one of your friends suddenly decides to leave the property without paying some of their rent. We’ll then provide you with an inventory of everything in the house and a description of the state of the property. It’s your responsibility to check that you agree with this inventory before signing it.  

At the end of the tenancy, if your house is in the state you found it in, you’ll get your full deposit back. There are a few things for which your landlord can’t deduct from your deposit, including general wear and tear and issues which they were told about but did not act on to resolve. If there are only a few scuffs and marks on the wall, your landlord cannot use your deposit to redecorate the entire room. 

If you’ve caused any damage to the property and haven’t reported it, or you’ve failed to pay rent, you’ll forfeit some or all of your deposit at the end of your contract to cover any costs. If the damage has occurred in a communal area, the cost of repairs will be divided between all tenants; if it’s in a bedroom, only that tenant will have to pay. We will always inform you if we intend to make a deduction. You have the right to appeal our decision, at which point your deposit protection scheme will work to settle any disputes. 

Any Questions?

Mistoria Estate Agents are specialists in Liverpool, Bolton and Salford student housing. If you would like to find out more about our deposit free properties please contact the team on 0800 500 3015. 

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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Electrical Safety Legislation for Landlords

student houses liverpool

Under recently proposed Government legislation, which looks set to be approved, landlords in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) must arrange for an electrical safety assessment to be carried out by a qualified and competent inspector. Failure to comply with the new laws could leave landlords facing hefty fines.

Mandatory Testing 

The new legislation, formally called The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, is due to be rolled out over the next two years. Inspections will be compulsory for all new and renewed tenancies from 1st July 2020 and for existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. 

As a result of the legislation, every fixed electrical installation must be assessed every five years and should meet the 18th Edition of Wiring Regulations. The qualified person who carries out the inspection must also produce an electrical installation condition report (EICR) for the landlord, which presents the inspection’s findings and which must be given to any existing tenants within 28 days. The landlord should keep a copy for their records until the next inspection. If a new tenant moves into the property, they must be supplied with a copy of the most recent report prior to moving in. Furthermore, should the local housing authority request a copy, this must be supplied within seven days; if a prospective tenant makes the request, it must be provided within 28 days.   

If a landlord fails to organise for the inspections to take place and cannot provide a written report to the local housing authority when asked, they will be liable to pay fines of up to £30,000. 

Industry Response 

ARLA have for the most part been supportive of the proposals. Chief executive, David Cox stated “It will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants.” He stressed that landlords who act professionally will hardly be affected by the legislation and that many already carry out effective testing voluntarily. ARLA were initially concerned that there would be insufficient engineers to carry out the testing, but assurances have been made by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that this will not be an issue. 

Although they do not believe it is the intention of the bill, the RLA has highlighted the fact that in its current form, the legislation invalidates any existing non-mandatory EICRs that do not meet the requirements of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. These Regulations were only introduced in 2019, rendering the majority of EICRs invalid. It is hoped that when the legislation’s wording is finalised, it will allow for existing EICRs to remain valid. 

Issues Discovered

If the competent inspector discovers an issue with your property, you need to ensure that they carry out the work, or further investigations, within 28 days. This timeframe may need to be reduced if that is the recommendation of the report. Once the remedial work has been carried out, a new written report is necessary which declares that the property now meets the legislation’s requirements and can be deemed safe. This report must then be submitted to the local authority. 

How Mistoria Can Help

If you would like some more information about obtaining an EIRC and your duties as a landlord, please feel free to get in touch with the team at Mistoria Estate Agents on 0800 500 3015. We have a dedicated maintenance team who will be able to ensure your property is compliant with any legislation the Government demands. We can also help if you are looking to purchase student houses in Liverpool, Salford and Bolton. 

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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Take a Tour Of Mistoria Villa

Following a full renovation and high specification upgrade, we can now unveil our flagship development in Bolton: Mistoria Villa. 

Perfect for students and professionals alike, the luxury accommodation boasts 15 spacious en-suite rooms and studios, complemented by well equipped kitchens and comfortable social spaces. The stunning bedrooms, each with a unique contemporary design and finished to a superb standard, are light and airy and all come fitted with desks, chairs, wardrobes, large, comfortable beds and modern furnishings.

A communal living area has also been added, providing the perfect space to socialise, watch TV or catch up with a book. Whether you want to relax with friends or unwind on your own, Mistoria Villa has it all. 

Situated within the Trinity Gateway Zone, the property offers excellent road and rail transport links, including the A666 to Manchester and beyond and Bolton Trinity Street train station, which is just a five minute walk away. Residents can also benefit from easy access both to the bustling Town Centre, with its wide variety of shopping and leisure opportunities and the academically excellent University of Bolton. 

To make life as easy as possible for you, your rent includes all of your utility bills as well as a fibre optic WiFi connection at no extra cost.

Call the office today to speak to one of our helpful team and arrange a viewing.

Take a tour of the property:

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New Services at our Bolton Office

bolton student house

Our popular Bolton branch is about to get even busier! Known for their attention to detail,  exceptional customer service and expert local knowledge, the team of property professionals at Mistoria Bolton are expanding their service offering. Although they are already known for their residential sales and lettings, consistently negotiating the best price for sellers and finding buyers their dream homes, they have recently introduced a new auction facility and have started handling commercial tenancies and HMOs. 

New Auction Facility  

In partnership with Pattinsons, the branch has now also launched a Modern Method Auction service facility. This comes with a number of advantages over the more traditional property sale method, including; your sale will be handled with no agency fee; you have the power to set your reserve price to get the price you want; a fast timeline, with both 28 and 56 day auction periods available; immediate exchange of contracts; and complete transparency. 

With an auction, the lengthy sales process, lack of buyer commitment, high risk of an aborted sale and no firm sale date, all well known pitfalls of the traditional sales method are avoided. You can find out more about the auction process here

HMOs

The branch has now also started to undertake work on every aspect of HMO ownership, from the initial purchase of the property, through renovation and conversion works, to the finding and vetting of suitable tenants. This type of property is particularly popular both amongst students looking to live with their friends during their time at university and young working professionals hunting for affordable accommodation. Given the plans for expansion at the academically excellent University of Bolton as well as the new jobs currently being created in the area, which are attracting a new population of young people, there has never been a better time to invest in a Bolton HMO property. For more information on the HMO opportunities offered by Mistoria, please visit our dedicated property investment website by clicking here

Commercial Tenancies

As Bolton town centre and the surrounding regions develop and thrive, the number of commercial tenancies the branch has been handling has increased massively. With the town set for further growth and expansion, the team is now calling on all individuals either looking to let or rent such property, whether it be office space, retail locations, industrial warehouses or leisure facilities, to get in touch.  

Talk to the Team

Whether you are a seller or buyer, investor or landlord, or you’re looking for a Bolton student house, please contact the team on 01204 800 766; they’ll be more than happy to answer any queries you may have. 

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Welcome to Mistoria Villa

On 13th February, 4pm – 7pm, we’ll be hosting an Open Day at our latest luxury development, Mistoria Villa, in the heart of bustling Bolton. If you’re a North West investor or landlord, come and join us and discover the opportunities for exceptional returns that our newest property can offer you. 

Mistoria Villa has undergone extensive redevelopment and is now home to 15 beautiful en suite rooms, spread over 4 floors, each with a large bed, wardrobe, chair, desk and modern furnishings. They are complemented by well-appointed kitchens and large communal social spaces. 

Located within the Trinity Gateway Zone of Bolton, the property is excellently located for easy access to the town centre, the University, and, thanks to its fantastic transport links, Manchester and further afield. The accommodation is therefore perfect for both students and professionals. 

The event will take place at:

Mistoria Villa

106A Castle Street

Bolton 

BL2 1JL

If you wish to attend the Open Day, please email natasha.cross@mistoriagroup.com.

To get just a flavour of what awaits you at the Open Day, watch our short video below.

 

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MIstoria Villa: Open Day

mistoria villa

On the 13th February 2020, 4pm – 7pm, we’re inviting our landlords and investors to look around Mistoria Villa, our latest brand new luxury development, aimed at students and young professionals. Will you be joining us?

The event will be held at:

Mistoria Villa

106A Castle Street

Bolton 

BL2 1JL

Following a full renovation and high specification upgrade, Mistoria Villa now boasts 15 luxury en suite bedrooms, complemented by well equipped kitchens and comfortable communal social spaces. The stunning bedrooms, each with a unique contemporary design, are spacious and airy and all come fitted with desks, chairs, wardrobes, large, comfortable beds and modern furnishings. 

Situated within the Trinity Gateway Zone, the property offers excellent road and rail transport links, with easy access both to the bustling Town Centre with its wide variety of shopping and leisure opportunities and the academically excellent University of Bolton, just a ten minute walk away. 

You can view further images of the property and find out more by clicking here

To confirm your attendance, please email natasha.cross@mistoriagroup.com.

We look forward to seeing you!

Know someone who might be interested in the event? Don’t forget to spread the word amongst your contacts.

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ARLA Accreditation Success

propertymark protected

We are delighted to announce that, after three months of hard work, five members of our team have achieved ARLA Membership (MARLA) status. Congratulations go to Mish, Tanya, April, Julie and Daniella, who each successfully passed four exams after their extensive Level 3 training programme on both property management and sales. The four units covered; Health and Safety, Security and General Law; Legal Aspects of Letting and Management; Residential Property Letting Practice; and Residential Property Management Practice.  

Why You Should Use an ARLA Propertymark Protected Letting Agent

When you let your property, you want to know that those to whom you entrust the management of the process know what they’re doing and know how to manage the issues which regularly arise. By choosing a company such as Mistoria, who have voluntarily chosen to become regulated by ARLA, you can rest easy knowing that they are committed to raising standards within the industry and providing the best possible service to you. 

ARLA Propertymark Protected agents offer a highly professional service and have the ability to manage your property portfolio with a high degree of skill. We work to higher standards than the law demands to ensure the best possible experience for our landlords. 

But there are also advantages for tenants. By choosing to be regulated by ARLA, Propertymark Protected companies commit themselves to helping the tenancy run smoothly and hassle free. For example, any maintenance issues which may arise will be resolved quickly and efficiently. If you want to avoid a terrible agent who does not care for your needs and who may not follow the law, choose an ARLA Propertymark Protected agent. 

The Propertymark Protected Offering

All agents who are recognised as Propertymark Protected are backed by a Client Money Protection scheme, are members of an independent redress scheme which has been approved by the Government, attend regular training courses to ensure continued professional development, are informed of the law and new legislation to ensure they remain compliant, submit financial records to Propertymark and adhere to a nationally recognised code of practice. As a result, their service is as transparent as possible and all they do is subjected to review by an external body. 

Further Qualifications

Other members of the Mistoria team are now also working their way towards NAEA Membership status. The in-depth training programme requires great effort on their part, but will be worth it in the end!  We’ll let you know how they’re getting on in the new year. In the meantime, if you have any questions, contact us

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How To Protect Your Property Over Christmas

liverpool letting agents

The Christmas holidays are nearly here, which means thousands of students will be heading home later this month. But that can cause quite a headache for landlords, as many houses will be left vacant for a number of weeks. So what can you do to safeguard your property this festive season? Read on to discover Mistoria Estate Agents’ advice. 

Keeping Burglars Out

Perhaps the biggest problem landlords face during any vacant period is that of the increasing chance of burglaries. This is especially the case in student houses, because it is easier for thieves to guess when properties will be empty. But the problem is exacerbated during winter, when the clocks have gone back and burglars can operate under the cover of darkness. The best way to protect your property during this period is to make the house look occupied. You can do this inexpensively by purchasing timers for lights that plug into the mains. Lights with built-in timers are also available. Depending on how sophisticated you want the system to be, you might have the lights turn on in a pattern which reflects that of ordinary use throughout the evening. If you haven’t already installed them, it would also be a good idea to fit some motion detecting lights outside the property too, especially near doors and windows. 

Before they leave, you should also advise your tenants not to leave their valuables and possessions in view and to ensure that they lock all of the property’s windows and doors. If you have installed a burglar alarm, make sure your tenants know the code and encourage them to make use of the alarm when they leave the property. 

Festive Issues

Students love a string of fairy lights and Christmas gives them a great opportunity to get creative with their displays. Remind them to buy high quality lights from a reputable source which are appropriate for their location – some lights are only suitable for indoor use. Advise your tenants not to overload plug sockets when they put up their lights, too. When it comes to leaving their property for the holidays, they may forget to unplug their decorations. This is of course a major fire risk, so you need to make sure you remind them to switch off any electrical equipment that doesn’t need to be on throughout the property.

Fire Safety

Of course, Christmas lights are not the only source of fire in the home. With no one around to discover blazes in a vacant property, the results can be catastrophic. But you can reduce the chance of a fire breaking out, just by following your duties as a landlord. You are legally required to fit smoke and fire detectors throughout your property and to check them regularly. Further, you are expected to to carry out gas safety checks and organise for a registered electrician to carry out PAT Testing, to ensure that all the electrical appliances in the property are functioning correctly. 

You may also consider switching to LED bulbs. They produce more light, but less heat than traditional bulbs. Not only will you save money on your electricity bills, but the chance of them overheating and causing a fire if they’re accidentally left on over the holidays is also massively reduced. 

More Information

For more information about getting your property ready for winter, read our blog post. If you have any other questions about letting an investment property to students, get in touch with the team at Salford, Bolton and Liverpool Letting Agents, Mistoria.

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How To Decorate Economically

letting agents salford

When decorating their student rental properties, many inexperienced landlords spend too much time and money creating an aesthetic that appeals to them, but not to their tenants. 

We’ve written this blog post to provide landlords with guidance on best practice when decorating, to ensure they save money and attract tenants.

Paint vs Wallpaper

You should always avoid wallpaper when decorating your property because of its tendency to tear and mark. It’s difficult to repair such issues without having to repaper the entire wall, but it’s easy to touch up knocks with a light application of paint. In the void period between tenancies, landlords often wish to refresh the look of their property. This is easy with a new coat of paint; the same effect cannot be quickly achieved with wallpaper without quite some expense. 

When choosing a paint colour, landlords should pick one which is neutral and bright and which does not clash with many other colours. Whether the property is modern or traditional, a neutral tone such as magnolia will always look good and will not look dated after a few years.    

Saving Money On Paint 

If you are a portfolio landlord with a number of different properties, it is best to use the same colour scheme throughout all of them, buy your paint in bulk and keep an eye out for special promotions and discounts. Choose a popular colour from a well-known brand so that you know shops will always have it in stock. When a tenant moves out at the end of their tenancy, don’t change the colour of paint you originally used. By using the same colour, you won’t have to use several coats, saving you valuable money. 

Before You Begin

Before you start painting, check the walls for signs of damp. Covering them up and leaving the damp to spread could cost you an eye-watering sum of money later down the line. If it is ignored, it will lead to cracking paint, mould, and will eventually leave the house unfit for human habitation. If you do discover damp, fixing the issue should be your number one priority. The room may have to be replastered and fitted with a new damp course. Remember to allow the plaster to dry completely before painting it. 

Use a Paint Sprayer

Before you begin painting, wipe down the walls and fill in any small holes. Then, invest in a paint sprayer. Whilst there will be some expense when you first buy the product, you will thank yourself later, when decorating large expanses of wall becomes easier and ultimately cheaper (using a paint sprayer is far more efficient than using a roller). Take the same precautions when paint spraying as you would when painting normally, such as using sheets to cover carpets and affixing masking tape around windows, skirting boards and light switches. 

Flooring

Once you have decorated the walls of your property, you may notice the flooring looking the worse for wear. Consider replacing the carpet with something new, but again, keep it plain (but don’t go for something too light, as stains will show up easily).  Don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest carpet though, as it’ll quickly wear down in high traffic areas. 

Don’t have the time to decorate?

If you don’t have time to decorate yourself, come to Mistoria letting agents, Salford. Once we have sourced suitable properties for investors and landlords, we then fully decorate them in a style that we know appeals to tenants, leaving you to relax while we do the hard work for you. Contact us now on 0800 500 3015. 

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Making Your Property Ready For Winter

investment hmo manchester

As Winter begins, it’s time for landlords to start thinking about getting their properties ready for the cold weather.

We’ve written this blog post to explain a few of the steps you can take to ensure your property is not affected by the adverse conditions.  

Check The Roof and Gutters

You should make sure that your property’s gutters are free of leaves and any other debris to prevent rain overflow. Water damage and damp can be particularly problematic as the results are not immediately obvious; tenants may therefore not report the issue until it has become a major problem. 

Damp and water ingress can also be caused by missing roof tiles. These are easy to spot and fix. Slightly harder to see are cracked tiles, so they require a thorough inspection. Splits can become far worse during winter, as water freezes and expands, breaking the tiles even further. 

Lights

As the nights get shorter, it’s worth ensuring that if your property has external lights, they are working properly. This will make tenants feel safer and should hopefully reduce the chance of break-ins. Whilst tenants are expected to change their own lightbulbs within their property, doing so in external fittings can sometimes be difficult. It might therefore be worth taking the time to change them yourself. 

Check Pipes 

You should check all the pipes to which you have access to ensure they are not leaking or broken. As they are prone to freeze up and burst during Winter, it may be worth fitting lagging  Ensure they are properly secured to the wall and that the brickwork around them is showing no sign of cracking where water might get in.  

Void Periods

It’s likely that student tenants will go home over the Christmas holidays. Before they vacate the property, you should advise them to set the heating to 7-10 degrees, to ensure that the property’s pipes don’t freeze up. Ask that they don’t leave any valuable items in sight in their rooms to reduce the chance of the property being broken into. Remind them to close and lock all windows and doors.  

Check the Heating

The property’s heating system may not have been used for quite some time, so it’s worth having the boiler serviced, checking all pipes and bleeding the radiators, which should warm up the house more efficiently. Take the time to ensure the property’s insulation is in order, especially in the loft, through which a quarter of the heat in a house can escape. Also consider fitting draught excluders to doors.

Ventilation

When it’s cold, tenants often don’t open their windows for months on end. However, if they remain closed, condensation can quickly build up. We’ve previously written a blog post about damp and condensation. You’ll find lots of helpful advice about protecting your property during the colder months there. 

Fix Small Issues

You may have let lots of little issues build up over time that you haven’t got round to doing. It’s a good idea to sort these issues out whilst you carry out your Winter checks. If they are not addressed, small problems can quickly become much worse when the cold weather sets in. 

Mistoria’s Services

If you are looking for an investment HMO, Manchester, Liverpool and Bolton based Mistoria Estate Agents are here to help. Once you have made your purchase, we have a dedicated Maintenance team who can assist with any issues around your property. Contact us now to find out more.