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Leaving your Mistoria property

liverpool student lettings

To ensure a smooth exit from your Mistoria Salford or Liverpool student lettings there are a few things we need you, the tenant, to do. Most of it is common sense and involves cleaning up after yourself to ensure the property is left in the same state you found it in when you moved in.

The less cleaning up and maintenance work the Mistoria team have to do at the end of a tenancy, the quicker your deposit can be returned to you, in full.

So we all know where we stand and to ensure a happy outcome, we’ve put together the following check-list so you know what is expected of you before you leave.

Kitchen
Please ensure the fridge freezer is defrosted and that there is no food left inside it, or in the kitchen cupboards.

Do not leave any cutlery, cups, glasses, pots and pans or any other kitchenware behind.

Please clean oven and hob. We recommend ‘Oven Pride’. This is a fairly cheap product that can be purchased from any leading supermarket. (Please ensure you read and follow the instructions on the packaging when using this product).

Bathroom
Please ensure the seal around bath/shower is cleaned and that no bathroom products are left behind. Please ensure bath/shower plugholes are draining and that there are no blockages (from hair for example).

Bedrooms
Please ensure no personal items are left behind. When cleaning your bedroom, please pull-out and clean behind the bed and wardrobe. For safety, ask another housemate to help you with this as these can be heavy items.

Floors and Surfaces
Please ensure that all surfaces all cleaned (desks, wardrobes, windowsills, etc). Ensure all carpets have been hoovered and floors mopped, where applicable. Please empty the hoover when finished.

Rubbish
Remove all rubbish from the property and ensure it is placed into the correct bins. (Failure to place the rubbish in the correct bins may result in the council refusing to empty the bins. Should this happen, tenants will incur a charge for this removal).

Please note, if any rubbish is left behind, you will be charged. This is classed as Tenants Damage and can be deducted from your deposit.

If you have had any pictures or posters etc. hanging on the walls of your bedrooms, please ensure no marks are left from blue tac, Sellotape, etc.

If you would like any further advice regarding what could be classed as Tenant Damage in your property please do not hesitate to call Ian, the Mistoria Maintenance Manager, on 07794 913 390. He will be more than happy to help.

If your property is left in the same condition as when you were given the keys, we will endeavour to return your deposit within 14 days of the final utility bills being received by Mistoria.

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Tenant duties in a Mistoria Liverpool or Salford student house

Salford student house

There’s lots going on throughout the academic year, and we understand that studies, sports and socials sometimes take priority to your responsibility in your student house. So, we thought it worth reminding you of your duties as a Mistoria tenant.

When you first moved in, you and your housemates will have been told how we expect you to behave and look after your property whilst you’re living there, but here’s a reminder of your the simple dos and don’ts…

  1. Keep the property clean and tidy at all times – common sense, surely you do this at home, so why not in your term-time house.
  2. No food to be left/eaten in bedrooms – we know you do this, but be smart and don’t leave evidence of it.
  3. No Blu-Tac on walls – it causes grease marks.
  4. Rubbish to be removed, do not pile up bags in the yard – again, common sense, who wants to live in a rubbish tip?
  5. Keep all rooms vented – open windows a little whilst you’re at home, use extractor fans in bathroom when showering and the kitchen when cook, or open the windows and back door.
  6. Tenants are shown how to top up boiler, clean out hoover and clean out filters in washing machine – stuff you may not have known before to a little maintenance on your part will ensure these essential; household items stay in a good state or repair and effective working order.
  7. Tenants to be shown what the likely cause of black mould is and shown how to avoid black mould and condensation in the property by using the silent fans as well as opening the windows and doors frequently – as in point 5, plus don’t put wet clothes directly on radiators. Also see our dedicated condensation page.
  8. Smoking is NOT allowed in properties, especially Cannabis – make your student house a nice environment for everyone and smoke outside, away from open windows and doors.
  9. Drug taking is Forbidden. Any form of recreation drugs are Forbidden – it’s illegal. End of.
  10. Baby wipes/wetwipes and kitchen roll must be disposed of in a bin and NOT flushed down the toilet – these wipes do not break down like toilet tissues and can cause blockages.
  11. Shower plugs to be kept clean as they will clog with hair – a quick wipe with some toilet roll after each shower should do the trick.
  12. Use boiler timers or set rooms stats – this help keep the house pleasant, stops mould and prevents pipes from freezing in cold weather.
  13. INTERNET – Downloading/streaming films will reduces speed and restrict other household users.
  14. Use the Freshdesk online ticketing service on the Mistoria Estate Agents website to report maintenance issues – texts and emails won’t be responded to.
  15. Keep gardens and yards clean – see point 4.
  16. 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.

Failure to follow the above points may result in the Mistoria maintenance team being called out and you being charged for any work carried out to fix or replace the problem.

If you have any questions about any of the points listed above, please contact your local Mistoria office on 0800 500 3015.

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

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Student house deposit procedure and quarterly inspections

student house deposit

As Mistoria Estate Agents tenants, you should already be aware of our deposit procedure. It is laid out in detail in your tenancy agreement. However, we still get asked lots of questions about deposits and we’re always looking for ways to improve our processes and communications with our tenants to ensure the best possible outcome for all concerned when it comes to returning deposits at the end of the tenancy. With this in mind, we thought it worth highlighting again how we handle your student house deposit, and some improvements we have put in place to ensure we’re all happy at the end of the year.

Last year there were a few delays on our part in returning deposits in a timely manner to a small number of tenants. This was an internal issue that we have since addressed and put right, however the situation inevitably caused some upset to those affected and we were determined to take tenant comments on board and make changes where necessary. We took the opportunity to look at the whole deposit process and how we can do things differently to avoid similar problems in the future.

The biggest change is the increased focus on our Quarterly Inspections. Going forward we will use these to help us identify any possible issues in plenty of time before the end of the tenancy, and inform tenants in writing of these issue so they may be rectified before vacating the property.

To give this some context, there are four reasons why deductions may be made from your deposit:

  • If you are in rent arrears
  • Late (rent) payment fees
  • If you have caused damage to the property
  • If you have exceeded your utility usage (gas, electric and internet)

Quarterly inspections of the property should enable us to identify the above, giving all a full audit trail of any damages, and time to act on them.

Here’s how the whole process works:

  • Inventories are carried out at the beginning of tenancy to represent the condition of the property on move in
  • Any maintenance will be picked up during quarterly inspections and tenants will be notified in writing of any possible tenant damages shortly after to allow opportunity to rectify them.
  • Photo evidence is taken at quarterly inspections which will show any damages and also show if the tenants have rectified between inspections to the end of the tenancy. A final dated photo will be taken on check out for any outstanding damages that are to be deducted from the deposit.
  • Utility usage is notified to tenants on a quarterly basis, this way any over-usage is known before move out and also gives tenants the chance to alter the usage in the property throughout the year. This will help to reduce or eradicate any deductions for utility usage exceeding the CAP stated in the tenancy agreement from the deposit.
  • A final check out will be carried out on move out and any damages notified to the tenants on the quarterly inspections will be checked to see if rectified. If not then the cost to repair will be deducted from the deposit.
  • Tenants are also advised to take their own photos on move out to use if there are any disputes.

Tenants will be notified of the inspection dates in advance and the appropriate 48 hours notice will be given.

We hope the inspection system will help improve transparency and a better relationship with our tenants. Everyone will know where they stand and any potential delays to deposit returns at the end of the year should hopefully be avoided.

If you have any further questions about our student house deposit procedure or quarterly inspections, please call 0800 500 3015.

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How to stop condensation in your house

how to stop condensation

Have you ever noticed that your windows or cold external walls sometimes get water droplets on them? That’s condensation.

It’s caused when warm moist air makes contact with cold surfaces. It happens in all homes from time to time but if it’s happening a lot, then it could lead to bigger problems.

Why is it a problem?

If left untreated, mould can form – black furry deposits in the corners and grooves of your windows and walls. This is bad for two reasons. Firstly, mould can be dangerous to your health as it contains harmful bacteria. Secondly, mould means that water has seeped into the gaps and is now settled on the inside of the walls or window frames. Over time this can turn into damp which can cause supportive structures in the home to weaken. This is when it becomes a big problem for us.

How to stop condensation

Enough of the scare stories. Here are some really simple things you can do to avoid condensation…

how to stop condensation– Use extractor fans

You know these? Extractor fans aren’t there for no reason, they remove moist air from bathrooms and other spaces with little to no other ventilation mean such as windows. Make sure they’re are switched on EVERY time you wash, shower or bathe.

Similarly, the hood above the hob in the kitchen has an extractor fan fitted. Whenever you’re cooking on the hob, make sure it’s turned on. Boiling water generates lots of steam which will settle on the walls and windows unless extracted.

Where installed, bedroom fans should also be left on.

how to stop condensation– Open windows

Opening the windows in your home also helps to prevent condensation. It lets the warm air escape and fresh cooler air come in. When it’s cold outside you might not want to open the windows but a little fresh air for 5 or 10 minutes a day will make all the difference. Plus, fresh air is good for you and could get rid of a few of those nasty smells that can appear over time. Leaving bedroom windows on the first vent setting whilst you are asleep and leaving your bedroom door slightly ajar will help air circulate and reduce condensation on your bedroom window in the morning.

Ensure you open the window in the bathroom and kitchen after bathing or cooking, again, just for 5 or 10 minutes to let the steam escape.  REMEMBER to close and secure them again before you leave the house!

how to stop condensation– Don’t cover radiators

Avoid putting wet washing on the radiators. The water vapours mixed with the warm air from the radiator will rise and settle on the walls and windows, creating condensation. Invest in a clothes horse and stand this next to a radiator instead.

Whose responsibility?

It is your responsibility to ensure you are doing all you can to avoid condensation and damp.

Following these simple steps will have a big impact. However, if the problem persists please let us know as soon as possible so our maintenance team can inspect and treat the affected area before it gets worse.

Please bear in mind we will have to pass on any repair costs to you and your housemates if you haven’t kept to your part of the deal. So turn on those extractor fans, open the windows, don’t cover radiators and wave goodbye to condensation!

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Demand for Shared Student Accommodation Surges in Liverpool

investment property liverpool

A shortfall of student beds in university halls of residence and student pods (PBSA) in Liverpool has led to a surge in demand for high quality shared student accommodation, up by 35% over the last 12 months, according to The Mistoria Group, specialists in high yielding investment property in the North West.

Demand for shared student accommodation is growing due to rising numbers of students attending the three universities in Liverpool. Last year, there were 60,000 students studying in Liverpool, up 20% on the previous year and it is expected the numbers will rise again this year. It is estimated that 60% of these students require accommodation.

Many universities don’t have sufficient accommodation to meet demand from first year students who usually live in the university’s halls of residence, creating demand for privately owned accommodation. According to Student Accommodation Tracker, only 28% of student accommodation currently meets rising expectations.

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director of The Mistoria Group comments: “There is a very real shortage of quality student accommodation in Liverpool and demand is consistently outstripping supply. The number of student rooms has swelled over the last five years, but their still remains a shortfall.

We have seen a surge in students looking for high quality, HMO accommodation with close proximity to the universities and occupancy across our student accommodation is at 98%. “Shared student accommodation in Liverpool gives investors excellent yields. There are many areas of Liverpool that are ideal for student property investment such as Kensington, Wavertree, Toxteth, Kensington Fields.

Investors can acquire a high quality, three bed HMOs which will house students from £120,000 onwards. An average room in an HMO can be rented for £85 per week including bills, but ensuites can be high as £110 per week. The return on investment is very attractive too, with 13% (8% cash rental and 5% capital growth).

Student property is the fastest growing sector of the market, giving investors strong returns that are well ahead of standard BTL. The growing numbers of student tenants in Liverpool is driving demand for quality accommodation in the city and this is likely to be a long term trend.

Liverpool is the UK’s top buy-to-let hotspot, delivering investors average rental yields of 8%, once mortgage costs are taken into account. As housing and mortgage costs have the biggest influence on yield, Liverpool takes the top spot, as it has a combination of low average house prices and strong rents.”

 

This story was featured in Property Reporter on 8th September 2017

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Record student admissions boost demand for accommodation

More than 409,000 students have been accepted onto UK Higher Education courses as A-level results are announced, a record high and a rise of 3% on the same point last year. The number of 18 year olds placed on depress articlegree courses is up 5% year-on-year, with a 2% rise in the number of 19-year-old entrants, but there are fewer acceptances from older age groups.

In some cities, the availability of quality and affordable accommodation is poor and this has led to the creation of student housing co-operatives. These offer student properties with cheap rent, no letting agent fees and no landlord. They are pitched to students as a way to escape sky high costs, and make a student house a real home, where democracy rules.

Between 2010 and 2013, rents rose 25%, according to the student housing charity Unipol. This compared with rises in the wider rental market over the same period of 13%, according to Homelet. The latest Unipol data, to be published in November, is expected to show further rises of around 7%.

It is clear that sky high rents are putting pressure on students’ pockets and demand is booming in university cities for affordable accommodation. According the Mistoria Group, there has never been a better time to invest in quality student property.

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director of The Mistoria Group comments: “The cost of student accommodation is a major consideration for most students, but the quality and location are important factors too. We know from our research that students want quality white goods, superfast broadband, security, large plasmas etc. The most common downfall of student digs was cited as poor quality build of the property and furniture followed by poor internet connection. Investors can buy a four-bed HMO in a good location for students and professionals, fully refurbished and furnished and tenanted for the coming year, for less than £150,000 in the North West based on 2015 prices. Typical rents are significantly higher for student properties, than a comparable buy-to-let property in the same city. The North West provide excellent returns and are clearly outperforming BTL investments. We have experienced a sharp increase in demand from investors looking to acquire HMOs for students this year. Investing in student HMO accommodation offers a long-term investment option, as the property is highly likely to be in constant demand throughout the calendar year.”