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Your Guide to Guarantors

salford student estate agents

When searching for your perfect student house, there’ll be many new terms and phrases you’ll hear for the first time. Renting is new territory and with it comes a whole load of new jargon to get your head around. One of them that will crop up all the time is ‘guarantors’. Before you dismiss the idea as no big deal, let us tell you a bit about the role of a guarantor…

What is a Guarantor?

A guarantor is someone who agrees to ensure that the tenant follows the terms of a tenancy and will step in to make up any shortfall if they don’t. This includes, but is not limited to, paying the rent if the tenant doesn’t. In short, if you decide to blow your student loan on an iPhone11 instead of your rent, your guarantor will have to cough up instead. Depending on the agreement, a guarantor’s liability can also include damages to the property.

A guarantor, particularly in the case of students, is often a parent or close relative of the tenant, but can be anyone that is prepared to take on the responsibility. The usual requirement for a guarantor is that they are employed, are a UK resident, have sufficient earnings to cover the tenant’s rent, or are a relative or family friend.

Why do I Need a Guarantor?

There are many different reasons tenants may be asked for a guarantor. Primarily, it’s down to their financial situation. If you have no credit history or a low credit score, are starting a new job, or are on a low salary, you’re paying rent via benefits, or if you’re a student, you’ll be asked to provide a guarantor.

Your new prospective landlord may wish to make the same checks on your guarantor as they will on you as the tenant to ensure they are ‘good for it’ and are able to pay, should they need to. Don’t underestimate the importance of a guarantor or the gravity of what you are asking them to do; you’re asking someone to lay bare their own financial circumstances, as well as be responsible for ensuring you stick to the terms of your lease.

The Process

When asking someone to be a guarantor for you, make sure they understand all that that entails. Provide them with a full copy of your tenancy agreement; don’t assume, or just ask them to sign it. In the worst case scenario, should you fall into rent arrears or cannot pay for any property damages that are your fault, you could be putting your guarantor in financial jeopardy. Be honest with your guarantor about what you’re asking of them and make the time to sit down with them and have a serious conversation about what it all means.

To make the process as easy as possible for all involved, and to build trust with your student landlord or student letting agency, following this sequence of steps will help:

  • Provide a reference for yourself as a tenant
  • Provide details and references for your guarantor
  • Send a draft, UNSIGNED, copy of the full tenancy agreement and the guarantor agreement to your chosen guarantor
  • Ask your guarantor to have their signing of the agreement witnessed, and dated
  • Send the signed agreements back to your landlord/letting agent in a timely manner
  • Sign the tenancy agreement in person, in front of the landlord or agent and ensure they do the same.

The Guarantor Agreement

Ensure the guarantor agreement includes the names of the landlord/letting agent and the tenant (you), as well as the address of the rental property.

It should also contain an explanation of exactly what the guarantor is liable for, as well as a description of the guarantor’s liability. This is especially important for student lettings. In some cases, if there is a guarantor for one individual in a joint tenancy, i.e. a shared house with a single tenancy agreement like that of a student house, then often the guarantor is also liable for the other tenants in the property, as this is a ‘joint and several liability tenancy’. You as the tenant, and your guarantor, should read the deed you are signing carefully, and ensure it is set up so that individual guarantors are liable for individual tenants.

Bolton, Liverpool and Salford Student Estate Agents

If you are unsure about any of the terminology used in your Mistoria tenancy agreement, or guarantor agreement, please make an appointment to come and see us to discuss it. We’d be happy to help you, and any prospective guarantor, to ensure everyone in the process understands their responsibilities when renting a Mistoria property. Please contact us by phoning 0800 500 3015.   

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. 

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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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Your Duties in a Mistoria Student House

mistoria student house

Whether you’re attending lectures, working in the library, playing your favourite sport or meeting up with friends on socials, we know that you’ve got lots going on in your life. We understand that your responsibilities in a Mistoria student house will be the last thing on your mind. That’s why we thought we’d write this blog post, as a friendly reminder of some simple dos and don’ts… 

  1. Try and keep the property clean and tidy at all times. We’ve written a blog post in the past about creating a cleaning rota and the best products to use.  
  2. No food to be left/eaten in bedrooms – we know you do this, but don’t leave evidence of it!
  3. Don’t attach posters to the walls with Blu-Tac as it causes grease marks that are really difficult to get rid of.
  4. Put your rubbish in the correct bins and don’t let it pile up, especially in your garden or yard. This causes an unsightly mess and encourages vermin. 
  5. Keep all rooms vented to prevent condensation and damp. When you’re at home, open windows a little and use extractor fans in the bathroom when you’re showering and the kitchen when you’re cooking. 
  6. When you first moved in, you will have been shown how to top up the boiler, clean out the hoover and clean the filters in your washing machine, all things you may not have known before. With just a bit of maintenance on your part, household items will stay in effective working order.
  7. Smoking is not allowed in any of our properties. Make your Mistoria student house a nice environment for everyone and smoke outside, away from open windows and doors.
  8. Wet wipes and kitchen roll should be disposed of in a bin and not flushed down the toilet, otherwise you run the risk of causing blockages.
  9. Clean your shower regularly, removing hair from the plug and making sure mould doesn’t form. 
  10. Use boiler timers and your thermostat. This will help keep the house at a pleasant temperature and prevent pipes from freezing up in cold weather.
  11. When using the internet, be considerate of other people in your house; streaming films will slow your housemates’ connection speed down and can be really frustrating for anyone trying to work.
  12. Anti-social/irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated. You each have equal responsibility to make your student house a safe and pleasant place to live for yourselves and your neighbours.

If you don’t follow the guidance above, the Mistoria maintenance team might have to be called out and you may be charged for the work that they do to fix a problem. 

If you have any questions please call your local Mistoria office on 0800 500 3015.

If you’re looking for a Mistoria student house in Salford, Liverpool or Bolton, please get in touch and let us help you find the perfect place to call home for the next academic year.

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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.