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Buy-to-let beginners

Buy-to-lets are an attractive investment because they have the potential to provide additional monthly income while also representing a long-term commitment.

If you’re considering buying a buy-to-let property and becoming a landlord, then you’re in good company. Buy-to-let property purchases are on the increase, and house prices in the UK have been rising for years. There is currently a shortage of rental properties in the UK, and demand for them is high.

While buying to let can be lucrative, investing in property is a big financial commitment, and it’s important to know both the risks and the benefits before you begin searching for investment property for sale.

In this guide, we will explain the basics of how buy-to-let mortgages work and the advantages and risks involved with investing in one.

What is a buy-to-let property?

A buy-to-let is a property that the owner rents out to tenants to earn an income rather than living in it themselves.

Many people invest in buy-to-let properties to start earning an additional income on top of their day job, although some people manage multiple buy-to-let properties full-time.

Any property type can be a buy-to-let, from small city flats to large family homes.

Unless you have a big ol’ pile of cash saved up, you’re going to need a mortgage to finance your buy-to-let venture. If you plan to buy a property to rent, rather than applying for a standard residential mortgage, you’ll need to apply for a buy-to-let mortgage.

Can I live in my buy-to-let property?

No, buy-to-let properties require specialist buy-to-let mortgages. One of the conditions of a buy-to-let mortgage is that you rent the property out to tenants and do not live in it yourself. If you want to live on the property, you need to apply for a standard mortgage.

What are the differences between a residential mortgage and a buy-to-let mortgage?

Buy-to-let mortgages work a little differently from standard mortgages. Here’s a rundown of the key differences you should know before applying for one:

Interest-only – Most buy-to-let mortgages are interest-only mortgages. This means that you are only required to pay the interest on the mortgage each month, not repay any of the loans. At the end of the mortgage, you will need to either pay back the loan in full or re-mortgage. Many people pay off the loan using savings from the rental income they have earned by letting the property, or by selling it.

The amount you can borrow – When assessing how much to lend you, most lenders will consider the property’s potential rental income as well as your personal income.

Higher rates – Usually, buy-to-let mortgage rates are a little higher than standard residential mortgage rates because lenders deem them to be riskier.

Larger deposit – You will usually require a significantly larger deposit for a buy-to-let mortgage than you would for a standard residential mortgage. Most lenders require a deposit of between 20% and 25% of the property value.

Higher fees – Most lenders charge higher arrangement fees on buy-to-let mortgages. While you are usually charged a flat fee for taking out a standard mortgage, buy-to-let arrangement fees are usually charged at a percentage of the mortgage value.

Can anyone get a buy-to-let mortgage?

Taking out a buy-to-let mortgage can be more challenging than taking out a standard residential mortgage.

Lenders tend to view buy-to-let mortgages as riskier, so there can be more hoops to jump through, criteria to meet, and money to be paid to secure one.

The rules and criteria for getting a buy-to-let mortgage vary depending on which lender you choose and which property you wish to buy to let.

Common requirements for a buy-to-let mortgage include:

  • A deposit of at least 25% of the property value
  • A good credit history
  • You must be under the lender’s age limit (usually 70-75 years old) when the mortgage ends
  • You must earn enough to afford to invest in property (usually upwards of £25,000 p/a)
  • Sometimes you may also need to be a homeowner (either owned outright or with a mortgage).

If you don’t meet all the criteria above, you may still be able to get a buy-to-let mortgage, depending on your circumstances. The best way to find out if you are eligible for one is to speak to a trusted mortgage advisor.

Can a first-time buyer buy to let?

While many lenders expect you to already own your own home before you apply for a buy-to-let mortgage, it may still be possible for first-time buyers to get a buy-to-let mortgage if they meet the lender’s criteria.

There are, however, some important things to know before you take the plunge as a first-time buyer.

No first-time buyer benefits. You won’t get the same first-time buyer benefits on a buy-to-let as you would on buying a home to live in yourself. Neither stamp duty nor first-time buyer’s relief is available on buy-to-let properties.

If you also want to buy a house to live in yourself. If you buy to let before buying your own home, it could make buying your own property a little tricker later down the line. This is because when assessing your suitability for a mortgage, lenders will take into account the debt you have outstanding on your buy-to-let mortgage. You would also need to pay the full buy-to-let surcharge if you buy another property when you already have a buy-to-let.

How to choose a buy-to-let mortgage

Just like a standard mortgage, buy-to-let mortgages are available in all different shapes and sizes, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, tracker, and discounted variable. The appropriate buy-to-let mortgage for you will depend on several different factors, including your financial situation, the size of the deposit you put down, the property that you are buying to let, and the property’s rental value.

What are the advantages of a buy-to-let?

According to an article published by the BuyAssociation, the appetite to invest in property in the UK is rising, with buy-to-let landlords more active with property purchases in the first quarter of 2022 than they have been since 2016.

Let’s find out a few key reasons why so many people are choosing to invest in property and become landlords now.

Rising house prices

Whilst buy-to-lets are by no means a foolproof investment, investing in property in the UK is a pretty safe bet as house prices have been rising reliably for a long time. You can maximise your return on investment by carefully researching which areas are most in-demand and the type of rental properties that people are looking for there.

Capital growth

Capital growth is the amount by which your property goes up in value during the time you own it. As UK house prices have been increasing for some time, the outlook for long-term capital growth on buy-to-lets currently looks good.

Extra income

The rental that you charge on your property should cover your mortgage interest payments by at least 125%, meaning that once you’ve covered your buy-to-let’s monthly mortgage payment, you should still have some additional profit leftover to do with as you please.

Potential to own a property at the end

Many people save the additional income that they earn from their buy-to-let to pay off the mortgage on the property. If you do this and the property also undergoes capital growth, you could gain a very valuable asset in the long term.

Opportunity to expand

Why stop at one buy-to-let? If your first venture into property letting is a success, you could save the profits from your first to invest in a deposit for another. Who knows, you may even end up with your own buy-to-let investment portfolio, investing in different property types in different locations.

High demand

As mortgage rates rise, so does the demand for rental properties. According to Rightmove, total tenant demand is up by 6% on last year, but available properties are down by a whopping 50%. There is currently a shortage of rental properties available in the UK, making competition for rental properties high and reducing the risk for those looking to break into the buy-to-let sector.

High rental value

As demand for rental properties soars, so do rental values, which are currently at their highest on record. According to Rightmove, in 2022, the national average asking rent has increased by 10.8% since last year.

Can provide passive income

Once you’ve found your property, got your mortgage, and welcomed your tenants, buy-to-let properties can quietly tick over in the background providing a passive income with little input from you for months on end. Of course, things won’t always be like that, you may experience other months where everything seems to be going wrong with the property, or your tenants are causing you a headache, so be prepared to take the rough with the smooth.

What are the disadvantages of a buy-to-let?

Buy-to-lets can be lucrative investments, but they’re not a guaranteed way to make money and do come with their challenges and risks.

If you’re planning on buying your first buy-to-let, it’s important to know the risks involved and make sure you’re going into the venture with your eyes wide open.

House prices could go down

While house prices have, generally, been rising for many years, they could go down, and then your buy-to-let could lose value.

Costs when the property is empty

It can be very difficult to keep a buy-to-let property occupied at all times, especially if a tenant leaves unexpectedly. You will need to have the financial means to pay the mortgage on your buy-to-let out of your own pocket during any periods where it is not occupied by tenants.

Property maintenance

Unless you invest in a property maintenance service, you will need to be on-call for your tenants 24/7 to maintain the buy-to-let property and carry out repairs.

Finding tenants

Finding tenants to fill a rental property can be very time-consuming unless you enlist the help of letting agents like our professional team here at Mistoria Estate Agents Liverpool.

If you decide to go it alone, you will need to make sure you are aware of all the relevant laws and regulations. At a minimum, you will need to advertise your property, arrange, and carry out property viewings, check references, use an appropriate deposit scheme, and fill out all relevant paperwork.

Extra stamp duty

If you already own another property, then when you buy a buy-to-let it counts as an ‘additional property’, and you will need to pay a stamp duty surcharge. This means that you are required to pay an extra 3% in stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on top of your usual stamp duty rate.

How much deposit do you need for a buy-to-let?

The deposit required for a buy-to-let mortgage is typically more than that for a standard mortgage.

According to Barclays, you usually require a deposit of 25% of the property’s value for a buy-to-let mortgage.

The amount you need to put down as a deposit can vary depending on the deal that you choose. Generally, you won’t find a buy-to-let mortgage that requires a deposit lower than 20% of the property’s value, but you could be required to pay a deposit of up to 40%.

Should I use a letting agent?

Whether or not you choose to use a letting agent is a personal choice and depends on how much time you have available to spend on the day-to-day running of your buy-to-let and how confident you are at doing it all yourself.

If you are a buy-to-let beginner with little or no experience in property investment, buy-to-let legislation, or acting as a landlord, then you may benefit from teaming up with a letting agent.

Many buy-to-let Liverpool landlords trust our team of experienced Liverpool letting agents to manage their investment property in Liverpool or buy-to-let properties in the UK for the following reasons:

  • We will advertise your property – Providing you with more exposure to prospective tenants
  • We will carry out viewings – Saving you time and inconvenience.
  • We perform extensive reference checks – Ensuring we find the “right” tenants for your property.
  • We offer an inventory service – Inventory video/photographic evidence to provide you with property protection.
  • We provide business knowledge and expertise – A qualified team of accountants and marketing, advertising, and PR professionals.
  • We provide a trusted and regulated service – We are members of the National Landlords Association (NLA) and are regulated by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

For further help or advice about buy-to-let properties in the UK, buy-to-let in Liverpool, or to find out more about our letting agent services, get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team here at Mistoria Estate Agents, by calling us on 0151 317 5383.

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Buy-to-let explained: How to become a landlord

liverpool estate agents

Those looking for ways to break into property investment have likely come across the term ‘buy-to-let’.

A buy-to-let mortgage offers a great opportunity for prospective landlords and a route for them to get a foot on the property ladder.

A mortgage is not an agreement that many take lightly, and naturally there will be a lot of questions before undertaking one.

Here we explain what a buy-to-let mortgage is and what you can get out of one when looking for buy-to-let properties in Liverpool.

What is a buy-to-let mortgage?

Like a standard homebuyer’s mortgage, a buy-to-let mortgage involves a lender helping you to purchase a property, subject to rather stringent checks and requirements, with a sum that you pay back.

However, there is some choice in how you repay your borrowing that you don’t normally get in a standard mortgage, and the means of securing a buy-to-let are slightly different.

The amount your lender will offer you depends on the projected rental income from the property in question, and you’ll need a higher deposit than for a standard mortgage.

Many buy-to-let mortgages need at least a 25 per cent deposit to get started, and some demand as high as 40 per cent.

Buy-to-let mortgages can be fixed rate or variable, like standard mortgages.

Fixed-rate mortgages keep interest out of the equation for the agreed term and your repayments will stay the same. Variable-rate mortgages can take advantage of low interest rates but similarly fall victim to higher ones, so repayment amounts can fluctuate over time.

What does interest-only mortgage mean?

Many buy-to-let mortgages are interest-only, meaning you don’t pay back the actual amount borrowed like in a normal mortgage. Instead, you pay back the interest accrued on the mortgage each month until the end of your term.

At the end of the mortgage term, you’ll owe the full amount originally borrowed. You’ll also still need to pay interest on this full amount until it’s repaid.

Interest-only mortgages can be an attractive idea as they’re more affordable than repaying your borrowed amount, and many investors plan to sell the property off at the end of the mortgage to pay off the borrowed sum.

However, there is an element of risk in that the value of your property could drop during the term of the mortgage. Selling the property at a loss after borrowing on a higher amount means an overall loss as you will still need to pay back the original amount lent to you.

What is a repayment buy-to-let mortgage?

A repayment structure is closer to what you’ll likely recognise on a mortgage, wherein you pay back the borrowed amount plus interest in instalments. This means higher repayments each month, especially considering the higher interest rates on buy-to-let mortgages in general, but it also means that you’ve repaid your borrowing at the end of your term.

This may be a better choice for investors who have more capital available and want to own their property long-term, though repayment buy-to-let mortgages are less common than the interest-only kind.

Where can I get a buy-to-let mortgage?

Many of the same lenders that offer standard mortgages for homebuyers will also offer buy-to-let mortgages. These will come with the lender’s own specific set of requirements and terms, as with any other mortgage.

Some lenders will want more detail about your financial circumstances than is normal for a standard mortgage. Due to the aforementioned risk of a property dropping in value during the interest-only payment term, lenders may want to know what your plan is if the sale value of the property becomes insufficient to cover the original sum borrowed.

When would you want a buy-to-let mortgage?

There are a number of reasons why someone might take out a buy-to-let mortgage for a property, including:

  • Wanting to move into property investment with a structured, organised way of borrowing
  • You don’t have a massive amount of upfront capital but you have reliable income streams to afford monthly repayments
  • You want a property that you aren’t specifically relying on a resell to afford
  • You want an investment that effectively pays for itself (at least in part)

Additionally, some of the costs of running your rental property can be offset against tax when the time comes to fill out your self-assessment tax returns.

When do you become a landlord?

As soon as you own a property to let, whether it’s an outright purchase or through a buy-to-let mortgage, you’re a landlord.

Unfortunately, you’re still the landlord of a property even if there’s nobody in it. As such, you need to repay your mortgage even if there’s no rental income to speak of. This means having a reliable fallback for harder times, whether that’s paying out of your own savings or using the income from another property to cover it until you can find new tenants.

Becoming a landlord means a host of other financial responsibilities such as paying a three per cent Stamp Duty surcharge, maintaining the property with services and safety checks, and paying for repairs when things go wrong. This might mean emergency callout fees if essential facilities should break at the worst time, so simply covering mortgage repayments won’t be enough to effectively manage your investment.

Circumstances can change quickly between tenants, the housing market, and the overall health of the financial sector, but sound planning with the right knowledge and advice can help navigate many of these issues before they should ever occur.

Property investment with Mistoria Estate Agents Liverpool

We know where landlords go wrong and we can help you avoid costly mistakes. Whether you’re looking for buy-to-let properties in Liverpool or simply to get some advice on buy-to-let mortgages, our team can give you all the answers you need to take your first steps towards becoming a landlord.

To ask us for advice or get more information on our services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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Should parents invest in buy-to-let to help their children with university?

student properties in Liverpool

A recent survey found a massive two thirds of parents are considering investing in buy-to-let student properties in Liverpool to assist their child through university as fees and costs of living become more and more daunting.

The rising price of rent as well as high fees is making university a harder and harder prospect for many students who can often struggle to make ends meet with just their maintenance loan and a part time job.

The online mortgage broker Trussle found 66% of parents believe helping their child via purchasing a buy-to-let student property was a smart idea.

The idea is to let their child live in the property while they were at university for whatever in-house rent the family agreed, hopefully lowering their living costs.

Once their child had finished their course and were ready to move onto the next stage of their life the parents would then be able to rent out their house to other students and begin making returns on their investment.

The survey of 2,000 homeowners even found 53% of parents would consider downsizing their family home to help support their child through university.

Parents are not wrong that student buy-to-lets are a sound investment at the moment for the past few years they have outpaced the rest of the rental sector, with yields growing by as much as 17.86% larger than the rest of the rental sector.

The value of the private rental sector as a whole has also soared recently.

According to the Shawbrook Bank the total value of the private rental sector rose by 5.8% between August 2020 and August 2021 to a total of £1.4 trillion.

This is lower than the general rise of all properties which increased by almost 10% in the same period.

Shawbrook bank also found demand for rent was soaring with 42% of landlords saying they had more people than ever looking for a property, with a third of landlords adding they are looking to add another property to their portfolio in the next year.

Trussle did note in their survey that tax changes had skewed against landlords in recent years making buy-to-let investments not the super lucrative investments they used to be.

However, Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at Trussle said their data showed “that property is still seen as a safe and reliable way of generating extra income.”

The investments also make sense in the medium term through rental income and in the long term through the rise in property prices.

So, although the cost of entry may be higher than before, and the returns may not be as massive, there is still a huge demand for rental properties plenty of room to grow and huge amounts of confidence the rental market will remain strong.

One way to maximise your returns is to get the best advice on where to invest and how to manage the property.

The multitude of taxes and regulations that come with managing a buy-to-let student property can be mind boggling at first and this is where Mistoria can help.

Mistoria manages 1000 properties in the private and student rental sector and is a specialist in helping investors interested in getting involved in the market.

On top of this Mistoria can also give advice on where to invest, the dozens of university towns and cities across the UK present plenty of options but some offer vastly higher returns than others.

Rents may be high in London but property prices are even higher.

Whereas student properties in Liverpool and places like Manchester, Bolton and Salford, property prices are low but the ever-increasing student population means yields are only going to increase over time.

Call us on 0800 500 3015 or email info@mistoria.co.uk.

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Right To Rent changes from 30th June 2021

right to rent changes

Changes to Right to Rent legislation in the UK come into effect from 1st July 2021, ending the grace period put into place following the country’s exit from the EU. The change means that letting agents will move from checking nationality to checking the UK immigration status of all adult tenancy applicants.

Right to Rent is the legislation that requires landlords and agents to check the immigration status of prospective tenants to ensure they have the right to rent in the UK. The temporary changes meant that citizens of European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland only needed to prove their citizenship while applying for settled status in the UK. When the interim measures lift, it will mean that these people need to provide evidence of their UK immigration status too.

New guidance has been issued by the Home Office for agents and landlords to follow from 1st July 2021. The Home Office has been working with ARLA Propertymark, who says that “From this point, if someone is an EEA, EU, or Swiss national, you will need to see evidence of their UK immigration status rather than their national identification”. Anyone who has applied for and been granted settled status will have digital evidence of their application, and this should be shared digitally using the online Right to Rent services from the Home Office on the Gov.uk website.

Digital checks have been an option since December 2020 and involve the prospective tenant sharing a time code and their date of birth, which landlords use to check their immigration status online. However, not all applicants will use the digital service and may have other evidence of their immigration status, including physical documents.

Another change to Right to Rent checks is related to Covid-19. The way that checks were carried out was temporarily readjusted to make them safer during the pandemic. From 1st September, landlords and letting agents will be returning to face-to-face and physical document checks. This is in accordance with the easing of lockdown rules and social distancing measures, aligning with the roadmap for England set out by the Government. This change has been postponed twice, first set for 16th May, then 20th June.

Currently, Right to Rent checks can be made over video calls and tenants can send scanned documents or photos of documents using email or a mobile app. The online Right to Rent service can also be used during a video call if the prospective tenant has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system. When these temporary changes end on 1st September, landlords and their agents must either check the applicant’s original documents or check their right to rent online if given their share code for the service.

Both landlords and EEA/EU/Swiss citizens applying for tenancies should be aware of these changes related to Brexit and to Covid-19. The situation regarding Covid-19 could also be subject to change, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what’s happening.

Mistoria Estate Agents Liverpool are Liverpool property experts and can help guide both landlords and tenants through any property related matter. If you need help and advice on the new Right to Rent changes and what is means for you, please contact our team on 0161 707 6106 or use our contact form.

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Two Views on the Ending of the Evictions Ban in the UK

liverpool letting agents

For the pandemic period, a “new normal” has been in place. This new normal has included an unprecedented financial package from the government to help individuals who have lost their incomes to support themselves and find new work. One helpful measure has been the “eviction ban” that prevents landlords from evicting tenants who can’t pay their rent. But as the pandemic nears its end this ban has been lifted prompting concerns on both sides of the divide. In this article our Liverpool letting agents look at the views of both landlords and tenants, each of whom has equally valid views on the government’s latest pandemic decision.

The view of tenants

As the Covid-19 pandemic draws to a close the government has decided to curtail the ban on evictions put in place during the pandemic to protect the homes of tenants. Under this law, tenants are not able to pay the rent due to pandemic circumstances – job loss or furlough – we’re not legally obliged to leave the property – that is no longer the case.

As of May 2021 landlords with tenants who do not pay rent or are in substantial arrears can be evicted from the property. This means that those who have suffered a loss of income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and were not able to pay rent, as a result, might now find themselves homeless.

Who is affected?

According to recent reports, the lifting of the eviction ban could affect up to one million people in the coming weeks and months. It’s estimated that 400,000 people have already been served with an eviction notice by their landlords as a result of unpaid rent or rental arrears. This could precipice a housing crisis.

The pandemic has rocked the country as a whole and uncertain times lay ahead, but for renters, with low paying work or zero-hours contracts, their position was already precarious. The eviction ban was a lifesaver for many people as it allowed them some breathing space after losing a job and going onto benefits. While many of those people now have paid work again, rent arrears still put them at risk of eviction.

A housing crisis

Those same people who are only now getting back on their feet now have to stress about whether they will have a bed to sleep in after their shift or if they have to find a way of securing a new property on a low-income wage. Up to a million people are expected to be affected by the lifting of the eviction ban, raising the thorny question of where they are expected to go.

The view of landlords

When the pandemic struck it is fair to say it affected everyone. It’s also fair to say that the response to the pandemic was fair to governments, individuals, businesses, and landlords. It’s hard to imagine a landlord objecting to the eviction ban in the first few months of the pandemic. But now things are different.

As the pandemic grinds on and things appear to be looking more promising with the rollout of several vaccines, the government has decided to lift the eviction ban and give landlords the power to demand their rent from tenants once again. This has not been easy for tenants with high arrears but there are good reasons for it.

The counter-argument

It’s easy to take the side of tenants who have been affected by the pandemic and can’t pay rent temporarily, it’s even easier to take their side when the landlords in question are portfolio landlords with many properties on their books. But that isn’t always the case, and in fact, the majority are single property owners.

Single property owners use the rent from their tenants to pay for their own mortgage, so when this isn’t coming in their mortgage stops. With the eviction ban in place, landlords were finding that tenants didn’t respond to letters asking for rent because they knew they were safe from eviction – some even told their landlords to take mortgage holidays.

The future

As we leave the pandemic and the eviction ban is lifted it would seem to spell the end of a difficult financial time for landlords – but that isn’t necessarily the case. If tenants don’t pay their rent the landlord will be forced to evict them and shoulder the weight of arrears there are owed. Under present circumstances, there is no guarantee of a new reliable tenant either. What is needed is a benefits package from the government to help tenants pay landlords in the short term.

Liverpool letting agents

Liverpool letting agents, Mistoria Estate Agents, understands the property industry in detail. We specialise in student accommodation but can offer expert help and advice on all forms of property letting. For more information on what we do, contact us on 0161 707 6106 or use the details on our contact page.

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How to Avoid Deposit Disputes as a Student Tenant

Liverpool student house

Deposit disputes in student lettings can be stressful and time-consuming. Fortunately, with proper planning and preparation, most can be avoided altogether. As the new academic year begins, here are some things students should know about that reduce the likelihood of deposit disputes in our Liverpool student house shares.

The Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) Scheme and Prescribed Information

When you have paid your deposit, the landlord must place it in one of three government-approved tenancy deposit schemes within thirty days of receiving it. This ensures that you will get your deposit back if you meet the terms of your tenancy agreement, don’t damage the property, and pay your rent and bills. The rule applies even if your deposit is paid by someone other than yourself, such as your parents.

Within the same timeframe of 30 days, your landlord must serve you the Prescribed Information, which includes the details you will need on the TDP scheme, including how the deposit is protected and how to apply to get it back.

If there is a dispute over how much of your deposit you will get back, it will be protected in the TDP scheme until the issue is resolved. When you have come to an agreement with your landlord, they have ten days to return the agreed amount to you.

The Tenancy Agreement

A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and your landlord. It can be written or verbal, though it is generally better to have a written contract so that everyone knows what is expected of them. It should lay out the important details and responsibilities relating to your tenancy, including:

  • Your name, the name of your landlord and the address of the property that is being let
  • The start and end dates of your tenancy
  • The rent amount and who is liable to pay it
  • What the rent includes, for example council tax or electricity bills
  • Cleaning and maintenance responsibilities. This should include the landlord’s obligations for making repairs to the property, and your responsibility to keep the property clean and tidy.

Sharing a house with other tenants

In addition to your tenancy agreement, it can be helpful to make a separate, informal agreement between yourself and the other tenants living at the property. It could be written or verbal, and might include the division of responsibilities like washing up and cleaning communal areas, and any rules to keep everybody happy, like not playing loud music after a certain time.

As well as maintaining good relationships between tenants, this could also benefit your relationship with your landlord by ensuring the house is kept in good condition and not disturbing the neighbours.

Helpful Tips

Know your landlord’s contact information

Your landlord must provide you with their name and address before they can charge rent. If you do not have this information, you can make a written request to the person who receives the rent for the full name and address of the landlord. They are then legally obliged to provide you with this information in writing within 21 days.

Start your search early for the next academic year

Landlords and student letting agents usually put their properties on the market early for the following academic year – often around mid-October. By taking advantage of this and finding your property early, you will have more properties to choose from and will be able to iron out all of the details with your landlord in plenty of time, reducing the risk of deposit disputes further down the line.

Further Information about our Liverpool student house shares

Whilst following the advice here will significantly improve your chances of a dispute-free student tenancy, it doesn’t cover everything. To learn more about TDP schemes, tenancy agreements or anything else related to student lettings, contact us on 0800 500 3015 so we can advise you further.

Mistoria Estate Agents is one of the leading student lettings agencies in the North West, with offices in Manchester, Salford, Liverpool and Bolton. Our Comprehensive Property Protection means all properties go through our inventory service to include photographic or video evidence, protecting both landlord and tenant.

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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Landlords: are you prepared for the EICR deadline?

student lettings liverpool

In July 2020, the Government introduced new Regulations on electrical safety standards in the private rented sector. They require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested at least once every 5 years. Currently, this applies to all properties that were let from 1 July 2020, but from 1 April 2021 it will also apply to pre-existing tenancies. With coronavirus restrictions ongoing, arranging the electrical safety inspection will require extra preparation, so it’s important you begin the work as soon as possible. Specialising in student lettings Liverpool letting agents, Mistoria Estate Agents has put together some useful information to help you understand and navigate the process.

The Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR)

The electrical safety inspection must be carried out by a qualified and competent electrician. For help finding one in your area, you can use the Registered Competent Person Electrical single mark and register, a Government-approved tool. From the inspection, you will obtain a report, known as the Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR). This will detail the results and set a date for the next inspection and test. As a landlord, you must supply a copy of this to:

  • the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test
  • a new tenant before they move in
  • any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report
  • the local authority within 7 days of receiving a request.

You should also keep a copy of the report to give the inspector when the next test is due. If the inspection reveals that further investigation or repairs are needed, you must ensure these works are completed within 28 days of receiving the report. You are then required to obtain written confirmation from the electrician stating that repairs have been completed, and supply this to the tenant and local authority within 28 days of completion.

Conducting electrical safety inspections under coronavirus restrictions

The inspection requires an electrician to enter the property to assess all electrical appliances – it cannot be done remotely. With stringent coronavirus restrictions still in place, landlords will need to take additional steps to ensure the inspection runs safely and smoothly.

If you have tenants moving out before the April deadline, you should leave a gap before new tenants move in, so that the inspection can be completed whilst the property is empty. For long-term tenants, you must inform them about the inspection and arrange a time and date that is most suitable for both of you. For example, the inspection could be completed whilst the tenant is out at work, or during a time when they are able to remain in one room for the duration, thus minimising any risk of possible infection. It’s also important to listen to any other concerns the tenant may have about the inspection and consider how they can be addressed.

How we can help with your student lettings Liverpool

Specialising in student lettings Liverpool letting agents, Mistoria Estate Agents understands the property industry regulations in detail. We can help you ensure your property meets these, including preparing for an electrical safety inspection. We specialise in student accommodation but can offer expert help and advice on all forms of property letting. For more information on what we do, contact us on 0800 500 3015 or use the details on our contact page.

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The rise of virtual property viewings

student housing liverpool

Virtual property viewings can take various forms, but the most common is for the seller to show interested renters or buyers around the property via a video app such as WhatsApp, Facetime or Zoom. Their popularity has grown significantly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling people to keep moving despite the circumstances, and many predict that they will continue to be popular once it is over. So, what’s their appeal? Specialists in student housing Liverpool Mistoria Estate Agents explains…

They’re COVID-safe

Virtual property viewings remove the risk of infection entirely and mean that you don’t need to worry about safety measures such as masks, handwashing and social distancing which, although absolutely necessary for in-person viewings, can make them trickier and more stressful.

Quicker, easier and more convenient

By conducting virtual viewings of properties that initially appeal to you, you can quickly draw up a shortlist of those that fit what you’re looking for. This saves time and effort you’d usually spend traipsing around multiple properties that aren’t suitable, and not having to travel between properties saves money on fuel and reduces carbon emissions. Also, virtual property viewings offer more flexibility. You’re more likely to be able to book in for a time and date that suits you, and if there are multiple people searching together, they don’t need to be together for the viewing – internet access is all that’s required! In addition, in many cases an agent will participate in the viewing along with the seller, so you can get answers to all your questions about a property as normal.

In-person viewings are still possible

Before purchasing or renting a property, it’s natural to want to have a look around in-person at least once, and this shouldn’t be an issue despite the ongoing pandemic. Virtual property viewings haven’t overtaken in-person viewings completely; they simply offer a quicker, easier, COVID-secure way of determining which properties really appeal to you. Most sellers, landlords and estate agents are still happy to conduct in-person viewings for those who are serious about a property, and these should involve rigorous safety procedures including social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitised surfaces to minimise the risk of infection.

Virtually viewing student housing Liverpool Mistoria Estate Agents

The pandemic shouldn’t stop you from moving; it simply means that everyone involved must take extra precautions where possible, and virtual viewings are a great way of doing this. Mistoria Estate Agents specialise in student housing Liverpool and we are offering virtual viewings to help guide people in their property search. To find out more, or for help and advice in any other related area, call us on 0161 707 6106 or use the details on our contact page.

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How to let or rent a property during lockdown in England

liverpool estate agents

In these difficult times, dealing with property-related matters, such as viewings and move-ins, can be very stressful, as there are additional safety considerations involved for all parties. With this in mind, Liverpool-based Mistoria Estate Agents will explain what falls within the rules in England whether you are looking to rent or let a property in lockdown, and how to minimise the risk of infection in the process.

Advice for letting in lockdown

In England, government guidance says that estate agents, letting agents and removal firms can continue to work. This means you can let a property in lockdown to new tenants

The rules state there should not be more than one household in any home at any time, so ideally yourself and existing tenants should be absent from a property during an in person viewing. You should also ensure all surfaces are thoroughly disinfected before and after the viewing.

You can still bring in a professional cleaner if needed before new tenants move in, and tradespeople can carry out maintenance and repair work on the property provided they follow the safety guidelines.

Advice for renting in lockdown

In England, you are allowed to look to rent a property in lockdown. Carrying out activities related to renting a residential property is considered a reasonable excuse to leave home. However, the government says you should carry out initial property searches online if possible, rather visiting your local estate agent.

If you are considering renting a particular property, you can still book to attend a viewing in person, though it is advisable to request a virtual viewing first. Many agents and letting services have taken steps to enable this.

Should you wish to view a property in person, you must abide by the rules and take measures to avoid spreading the virus. This will include wearing a face mask, staying two metres away from other people, and washing your hands before and after the viewing.

When you are ready to move into a new property, people outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless it is absolutely necessary.

Properties available from our Liverpool Estate Agents

Mistoria’s Liverpool Estate Agents have a wide range of impressive student properties available for rent and for buy-to-let agreements across the city. We have implemented measures to ensure the safety of our existing tenants and those looking to rent with us. If you’d like to know more, please use our contact page or call us 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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New Mistoria HMO property video walk-through

student properties in Liverpool

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