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Landlord obligations when letting to students

If you live in a university city, buying a property to let to students could be a profitable move.

Letting property to students has both its up and downs. While demand is high and you can maximise your property’s earning potential by charging per room, it is also likely to require more regular maintenance and repairs, and you may have to deal with complaints from neighbours if your tenants like to party!

While letting to students isn’t too different from regular letting, landlords should make sure they’re clear on their responsibilities and legal obligations as student accommodation landlords before advertising their property to let for students.

Understanding the key differences between regular letting and letting student accommodation will help to ensure that you provide a good service to the students living on your property as well as protecting you against prosecution.

Here at Mistoria Estate Agents, we have a team of expert letting agents in Salford who understand the legal responsibilities of student landlords inside out.

Getting set up as a student landlord

First, to let your property to students, you need to make sure you’re set up correctly. This may involve obtaining an HMO (house in multiple occupation) license.

An HMO license is required if your property is going to be shared by three or more tenants from different households, making it applicable to a lot of rented residential student accommodation.

Next, you’ll need to draw up your student tenancy agreements. Most student tenancy agreements are fixed-term assured shorthold tenancies. You will either require a joint tenancy agreement or a sole tenancy agreement.  With a joint tenancy agreement, the contract starts and ends at the same time for all occupants, and everyone shares joint liability. A single tenancy agreement is usually more suitable for students as this type of contract means that each tenant’s contract can be started or terminated at a different time if required. It also means that each tenant is responsible for their own payments, deposit, and actions.

Landlord obligations when letting to students

If you decide to let your property to students, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of your legal obligations. Failure to understand your obligations could cause you to unwittingly commit a criminal offence which may result in a fine or even prosecution.

Ensure that the property is safe

According to the government website, it is a landlord’s legal responsibility to keep student housing ‘safe and free from health hazards.’

This includes:

  • Having gas appliances and boilers serviced annually by a Gas Safe engineer
  • Provide tenants with a copy of the gas safety certification, which must have a minimum rating of ‘E’
  • Fitting smoke alarms on every floor
  • Ensuring electrical systems and appliances are safe and providing tenants (in England) with a copy of the latest Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
  • Checking furniture and furnishing are fire safe
  • Fitting a CO2 alarm in any room containing a solid fuel-burning appliance
  • Providing fire alarms and extinguishers in any large HMO properties

Register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

As a landlord, you will need to collect and store personal details about your tenants, prospective tenants, and their guarantors. This means you are classed as a ‘data controller’ and are required to ensure that you are using the personal details you collect according to the principles of GDPR (general data protection regulation). To legally collect and store individuals’ personal details, including their names and contact details, you will need to first register with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Use a government-approved deposit scheme

According to the Housing Act 2004, landlords must place tenant deposits in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP). In England and Wales, there are three schemes to choose from, these are:

These schemes are designed to ensure that tenants receive their deposits back, providing that they meet the terms of their tenancy, don’t damage the property, and pay their rent and bills. Landlords are obligated to put the deposit into the scheme within 30 days of receiving it and should return the deposit within 10 days of agreeing on how much is being repaid to the tenant.

Tenants should also be supplied with details of the scheme that their deposit is being kept in within 30 days of giving it to the landlord.

Verify that tenants are students

Landlords are required to verify that all tenants are full-time students and are registered at an educational institution.

Not charge fees for administrative tasks

According to the Tenant Fees Act 2019, landlords should not charge students fees for any of the following:

  • Referencing
  • Letting contract
  • Inventory
  • Credit check
  • Administrative tasks

Carry out repairs and maintenance

It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the structure of the property is always in good condition and to carry out any repairs and maintenance as required.

Give notice before entering the property

If you require access to the student property you’re letting for any reason, you must always give at least 24 hours’ notice before turning up on the doorstep. You cannot legally visit the property without giving your student tenants adequate warning.

Pay to service, maintain and repair all essential installations

This includes the property’s water supply and plumbing, electricity, gas, and heating appliances.

Ensure room sizes meet the minimum requirement for HMOs

If your student property is an HMO, there is a minimum floor area requirement for rooms that are to be used for sleeping in. These minimum requirements are as follows:

  • 4.64 square meters for one person aged under 10 years
  • 6.51 square meters for one person aged over 10 years
  • 10.22 square meters for two people aged over 10 years

Abide by the terms of the tenancy agreement

As a landlord, you will expect your tenants to abide by the agreed terms of your contract by paying their rent on time and looking after your property. In return, student landlords should always ensure that they also respect the terms of the contract, including giving the agreed amount of notice before entering the property and providing the services stated in the agreement.

Should you use a letting agent when renting to students?

Whether or not you use a letting agent to manage your student accommodation is a personal decision.

Many landlords that let to students choose to use a letting agent because of the more complex rules, and regulations for landlords surrounding rented student accommodation.

Here at Mistoria Estate Agents Salford, we have specialist student letting agents in Salford helping many student landlords in and around Manchester understand student accommodation rules for landlords and helping them to fulfil their student landlord obligations.

Read more about our letting agent services for student landlords online or give our team a call on 0800 500 3015 to find out more about how we can help you to manage the student accommodation or student housing you let.

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Managing HMOs for landlords in Salford

Managing hmos for landlords

HMOs – or houses in multiple occupation – can be fantastic investments when managed wisely.

They can demand many times the attention of a typical rented property, and for that reason it’s not uncommon for landlords to seek help managing them.

But what actually goes into the management of an HMO, and why might a landlord want to seek this help rather than simply doing it themselves?

What is HMO management?

HMO management is, quite simply, the management of an HMO property. In the context of HMO management as a service, this is done on behalf of a landlord to save the time and attention they would otherwise need to dedicate to the HMO and its tenants.

This can sound like an impersonal or dismissive stance on the surface, but HMO management is often a wise and well-placed decision for a landlord to take. Landlords who have many other properties to manage, or other demands such as a full-time job, often cannot dedicate the appropriate time to an HMO.

Since an HMO is partly defined by the presence of at least three occupants who aren’t from the same household, any HMO property is going to involve a minimum of three separate tenancy agreements. That is in addition to managing the tenants themselves – for example, their needs as residents and the necessary admin – and the all the usual business of letting a property responsibly such as organising gas safety checks and ensuring good maintenance.

HMOs can be seen as a greater fire risk than standard residential properties, meaning there will be more cost to sink into safety measures like smoke alarms, fire safety doors (for the increased number of rooms), and other equipment like fire extinguishers.

HMO management can also involve needing to manage disputes within the HMO itself if problems arise between tenants. This can be common for any group of people sharing a living space, so landlords may find their skills in diplomacy and mediation being tested in situations that don’t have clear answers or resolutions.

More tenants mean greater use of facilities, which can lead to more frequent and costly maintenance of appliances, communal areas, and gardens. While there is some responsibility on tenants to keep the property clean and in good condition, that ultimately extends only as far as their agreement states, and in situations where every tenant leaves at once – such as may be the case in student HMOs – this leaves you, the landlord, with the task of tidying up in their wake.

HMO management is undoubtedly much more complex than standard property management due to the number of involved parties. Dealing with multiple tenants within a single property means many more opportunities for challenges and complications to arise, which can quickly tax a landlord’s energy when they compete with other demands for time and attention.

Do estate agents manage HMOs?

Yes. Estate agents are a great option for landlords who need help managing their HMO properties. In fact, estate agents can lend their services from the very first day, sourcing tenants and dealing with the necessary referencing to get an HMO filled as smoothly as possible.

Once tenanted, estate agents can provide ongoing HMO management to ensure that resident queries are answered and dealt with promptly. This can be vital in the case of emergency situations like boiler failure or serious property damage that needs fast repair. In such cases, a quick conversation between landlord and agent can set up the resolution and lead to fast action.

Left solely in a landlord’s hands, this would leave one person to ascertain the issue, seek out tradesperson quotes, and book the work for as fast as possible. Estate agents have the advantage of working closely with local traders like plumbers and builders, forming strong and reliable working relationships that mean situations are resolved quickly.

Estate agents can also provide landlords with advice to build their experience and fill in knowledge gaps. This means that while property investors have their burdens lightened with active help in the management, they are also building a strong base of knowledge and experience to help them make future investments wisely.

For those unsure if property management for an HMO would be a good choice, it’s always best to open a dialogue with a local estate agent and talk to them about their services. Find out what they already manage and what their chosen approach to property management entails.

HMO Property Management in Salford

Covering an extensive region of different towns and vibrant locales, Salford can be a tricky market to understand due to the various factors that affect property within its borders.

Thankfully, Mistoria Estate Agents Salford understands the market and the area itself on an intimate level. Our team has a wealth of experience to draw upon, allowing us to give property investors in Salford the best level of advice and guidance in their choices. Student HMO management in Salford can be a simple and profitable venture with the help of our knowledgeable agents on hand.

Managing HMOs can be complex with sourcing and managing multiple tenants under a single roof, but we ensure that your tenants are well-cared-for and that your investment is running smoothly. Our membership in the National Landlords Association (NLA) and regulation by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) leaves you with peace of mind that we’re making the right choices for your property every time.

Mistoria Estate Agents is one of the leading estate agencies in the North West. Our award-winning work has made us a premier choice for property investors and landlords who want to see the best returns from their properties.

To learn more about our HMO management services in Salford, phone us on 0800 500 3015 or contact us today.

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

Salford student houses

A recent survey found a massive two thirds of parents are considering investing in buy-to-let Salford student houses 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 Salford student houses and other areas like Liverpool and Bolton, 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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State of the market: Is now the time to invest in Salford property?

invest in Salford property

With lockdowns now firmly behind us and no prospect of them returning in full force any time soon the property market has come roaring back – could now be time to invest in Salford property?

There is certainly plenty of evidence the housing market is booming –although figures have been inflated by the rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday which came to an end in October.

According to HM Revenue and Customs, in the UK in last month an estimated 160,950 homes changed hands, which was almost 70% higher than in August and 68% higher than the previous September.

Compared to the 50% drop in sales which occurred in April and May 2020 due to the pandemic, it is clear the market has put Covid behind it.

Zoopla has predicted 2021 will be the strongest year in the housing market since 2007, with around £500bn in sales.

Now that the stamp duty holiday has come to an end it is expected the residential sales market will slow and price growth is set to stall making now a perfect time to invest in Salford property.

Sensing opportunity of a market lull before further growth, investors are out in force cash buying property left right and centre after laying low throughout the pandemic.

Property is on the verge of flipping from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.

What does this mean for rental?

Research from Zoopla found rents were rising at their fastest pace in over a decade in all places in the UK except London.

They found rent would be on average £500 more per year by the end of 2021 compared to 2020.

Demand for rental properties across the country is expected to rise in the coming months.

As people decided to stay put during lockdowns, and with evictions made temporarily very difficult, tenants very rarely moved.

But now the economy is looking increasingly strong and lockdowns fading into memory more and more tenants will start looking for a place to move.

With a rise in demand, it could be the perfect opportunity for House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) property investment.

With the ability of being able to house multiple separate tenants into a single property, HMOs can easily absorb any rise in demand.

Combined with a rise in rents and the reproductive growth HMOs offer, they could be a wise investment.

If you are thinking of investing in property for rental and would like help and advice on how to manage a successful tenancy, please contact our experienced team or visit our contact page to find your local branch.

We manage 1000 properties and 3000 tenancies in the private and student rental sector and can help you with all aspects of rental property management.

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 Salford are Salford 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 checks and what is means for you, please contact our team on 0800 500 3015 or use our contact form.

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End of Stamp Duty Holiday: first deadline fast approaching

stamp duty holiday

The Stamp Duty holiday in England will end on 30th June 2021, lowering the nil rate band from £500,000 to £250,000 for all but first-time buyers, who have a threshold of £300,000 before stamp duty is due. The rates will then change again in October to return to the standard amount pre-Covid-19.

The temporary nil rate for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) was introduced in 2020 when the UK went into lockdown amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, allowing anyone to purchase a primary residential property up to the value of £500,000 without paying Stamp Duty. From 1st July to 30th September 2021, the nil rate band will be reduced to £250,000 and then will be reduced again to return to the standard threshold of £125,000, again, except for first-time buyers who have a threshold of £300,000.

The rate of SDLT that applies to a purchase depends on the date that the purchase is completed and not the date that contracts are exchanged. This means that many people who are in the process of buying a house now could miss out on the extra relief but still have the opportunity to benefit from the £250,000 nil rate if they complete by October. The rate above £250,000 will be 5% on the next £675,000 (up to £925,000), 10% on the next £575,000 (up to £1.5 million), and 12% on the value above £1.5 million.

The adjustments to the Stamp Duty nil rate apply to main residences. Additional properties, for which there is no nil rate unless they are bought for less than £40,000, incur a 3% tax up to £500,000 until 30th June. This then changes to 3% up to £250,000 until October.

Anyone hoping to take advantage of the lower Stamp Duty rates, whether buying a main residence or an investment property, should think about moving quickly. Property purchases can take a number of months, and there are just over three months left until the SDLT rates revert to the standard amounts.

June 30th is the first Stamp Duty holiday deadline to pay attention to if you’re currently in the process of buying a property. Now is the time to try and speed things up and perhaps try to set a completion date before this deadline. If you miss this first deadline, you can still benefit from the Stamp Duty holiday, with a further three months to take advantage of the £250,000 nil rate. To check how much you’re going to pay, you can use the Stamp Duty Land Tax calculator.

If you have yet to find the perfect property, Mistoria Estate Agents can help you to speed up your search. Our estate agents will listen to your wants and needs and suggest properties for your shortlist. Please contact us on 0800 500 3015 or use our contact form. If you’re currently viewing properties, you can also speed things up by getting other necessities out of the way, such as lining up a solicitor and talking to a mortgage broker. This will put you in a good position to move quickly once you find the right property.

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

salford 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 Salford 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.

Salford Letting Agents

As Salford 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 0800 500 3015 or use the details on our contact page.

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Landlords: are you prepared for the EICR deadline?

salford letting agents

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. Salford 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 can our Salford letting agents help?

As a professional Salford 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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Now is the time to switch to a smart meter

student landlord salford

Smart meters use wireless networks to send data about your energy usage straight to the supplier, and they are becoming increasingly common in homes as a replacement to existing gas and electricity meters. There are many benefits to using a smart meter, and changes resulting from the pandemic have added to these. Because of this, more landlords are opting for them, particularly those who own student properties. If you’re a student landlord Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents explain here why switching to a smart meter is the smart choice.

What are the benefits of switching to a smart meter?

The overarching advantage to using a smart meter, as opposed to a standard one, is that it allows energy usage to be accurately measured. This is particularly useful right now, as most people are spending more time at home due to lockdown, and as a result are using more electricity and heating than usual. However, the pandemic has created a culture of working from home that is here to stay, and therefore the changes to our energy consumption habits will be lasting. This means that being able to accurately assess energy usage will continue to be important after restrictions ease.

Smart meters are also more convenient for landlords and tenants alike. They produce statements and bills more efficiently and accurately, so tenants should only pay for what they use. In addition to this, readings can automatically be sent straight to the supplier. This removes the hassle of physical meter readings, which are especially difficult in the current circumstances, and of estimated usage, which is often difficult to get right and can lead to landlord-tenant disputes.

Alongside this, smart meters enable tenants to easily track their energy consumption in real-time, through the option to link up to an ‘in-home display’. This is a gadget that communicates wirelessly with the smart meter to show tenants how much energy they’re using in kilowatt hours (kWh), and how much this costs in pounds and pence. As a result, over-usage can be addressed before it becomes an issue, both in the form of high bills and the harmful effect excessive energy usage has on the environment.

How we can help if you’re a student landlord Salford

If you’re a student landlord Salford based Mistoria Estate offers a variety of highly sophisticated, professional and tailored property management solutions to effectively manage your student accommodation. If you would like to know more about smart meters and making the switch, or about the services we offer, we would be happy to talk it through with you. To get in touch, please use our contact page or call 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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How to let or rent a property during lockdown in England

houses to rent salford

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, Salford-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.

Available Mistoria houses to rent Salford

If you’re looking for houses to rent Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents has 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.