Posted on

Mistoria Estate Agents expands with new Cheadle branch

Mistoria Estate Agents is opening its 6th North West based office, this time in the suburbs of Cheadle. The new branch joins the already successful Mistoria Estate Agents outlets in Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool and Salford.

Parent company, The Mistoria Group, specialist in property investment, with a particular interest in student accommodation and HMOs. As a result, the Group’s estate agents are heavily involved in the student lettings market, whilst simultaneously providing traditional residential sales and lettings services. The Cheadle branch will further expand on these core property services by also offering mortgage brokering and conveyancing services. This is made possible by the fact that the new estate agents will share office space with MCC Accountants (also a part of The Mistoria Group) at their Church Road location in the heart of Cheadle’s busy high street.

Cheadle Branch Manager, Dewi Caughter, is keen to get going and build up the Mistoria reputation in the local area . He says, “Cheadle offers a new demographic make-up for Mistoria, but we’re keen to establish ourselves here and grow the Mistoria brand across the wider, more lucrative south Manchester area.

“We will provide a bespoke estate agency service for all pricing levels of the local property market. Our aim is to provide high quality customer service standards and competitive prices.”

The Mistoria Group CEO Mish Liyange comments, “This is an exciting time for The Mistoria Group. We already have five successful branches in the North West and have plans to expand into five more areas over the next five years, with the first being Cheadle. As well as Mistoria Estate Agents, our acclaimed in-house accountancy practice, MCC Accountants have also taken up residence in the new office and we hope the two companies will work together and complement one another to meet the needs of the south Manchester property and business sectors.”

Mistoria Estate Agents Cheadle have two opening offers that they hope will attract sellers and landlords alike. Those wishing to sell their property can enjoy fees of just £999, with no hidden extras. Landlords are being offered a fully managed service for just 8%. Both are hugely competitive offers and both are available for a limited time only.

More information can be found by visiting the website: www.mistoriaestateagents.co.uk/cheadle/

Posted on

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.

Posted on

What’s Driving the Current Surge in Property Valuation Prices, and is it Sustainable?

broughton estate agents

2020 was undoubtedly a unique year by any standards. COVID-19 took the world by storm, forcing humanity to rethink its definition of normality and disrupting the global economy profoundly.

In the UK, the housing market was one of the most affected sectors of the economy. The factors affecting this sector include:

  • Brexit
  • The pandemic 
  • The success of the vaccine
  • How businesses will act post-pandemic

However, contrary to many expert predictions, the global pandemic has not spelt doom for the property market. On the contrary, demand for housing has increased tremendously, and it does not seem likely to wane any time soon.

Mistoria’s Broughton estate agents look at the factors driving the surge in property values and predictions about its sustainability.

What is Driving the Surge in Property Valuation?

The primary reason for the drastic increase in the valuation of property is the chancellor’s stamp duty holiday. The government introduced this tax holiday to maintain stability in the housing sector, and the plan is working well.

The government is keen to maintain stability in the housing sector to avoid a severe crisis, as was witnessed in 2008. This single move has played the most significant role in ensuring that property value did not plummet due to the pandemic.

Additionally, banks throughout the country are being pragmatic and not increasing interest rates for mortgages. This has undoubtedly played a role in increasing the value of properties because buyers are not afraid of seeking loans to finance property purchases.

Moreover, people have been saving more over the past year than they did previously. This behaviour has also played a part in ensuring that the value of property keeps going up.

The pandemic itself has also led to increased valuation of the property. This is because of working from home, which has forced people to redefine what they want in a home.

For many city dwellers, staying at home for days on end led to the appreciation of space in a house. Consequently, many people are looking to move to the suburbs to have enough space to work comfortably from home.

On the flip side, property in the city has seen a drop in valuation, reflecting the decline in demand for homeownership in urban areas. People are no longer concerned about commuting for hours since they are working from home, which further decreases the lure of city property.

Is the Surge in Property Valuation witnessed by Broughton estate agents Sustainable?

According to many financial experts, the value of real property will level off in 2021. This is partly because the stamp duty holiday is set to expire by the end of June, making the transfer of property quite expensive.

However, demand for suburban property is set to continue increasing since the viability of working from home has been tested and proven. Therefore, people are bound to continue with the practice long after COVID becomes a thing of the past. If you want to sell your house fast, this is certainly the time to do it.

Contrary to many predictions, the value of property in 2021 has been increasing steadily despite the pandemic. This can be attributed to government policies as well as consumer behaviour. However, property value is set to level off in 2021 as the dust settles post-COVID.

To find out more, or for help and advice in any other property related matter, call our Broughton estate agents on 0800 500 3015 or use the details on our contact page.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

The rise of virtual property viewings

salford student house share

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 Salford student house share, 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 a Salford student house share

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 Salford student house share 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 0800 500 3015 or use the details on our contact page.

Posted on

Stamp duty holiday extension: what you need to know

house for sale salford

As part of his 2021 Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the stamp duty holiday will be extended for a further three months until the end of June. For those looking to purchase a property in the near future, this provides much-needed reassurance and an incentive to push ahead with their purchase. If you have a house for sale Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents have put together all you need to know about the stamp duty holiday extension and how it could affect you.

Stamp duty holiday extension: the details

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a tax on the purchase of property or land in England and Northern Ireland.

Last year, many buyers took a financial hit because of the coronavirus pandemic and began reconsidering their options. In response, the government announced it would temporarily increase the nil-rate band (the amount at which tax becomes payable) to £500,000 until the end of March. This has now been extended to the end of June. After that, it will reduce to £250,000 until the end of September, when it returns the standard rate of £125,000.

How does this affect you?

The stamp duty holiday has boosted the property market as intended, but this has created delays in the purchase process. Through no fault of their own, many buyers have found themselves stuck, unsure whether their purchase would be completed in time to qualify for the stamp duty holiday. The extension has relieved pressure on these buyers and encouraged them to push ahead with their purchases.

For those buyers who don’t meet the initial deadline, the staggered return to the standard stamp duty rate ensures they won’t run off a cliff-edge at the end of June. Providing they complete their purchase before the end of September, they still stand to make a significant saving.

If you have a house for sale Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents can help

Whilst the stamp duty holiday extension has eased the pressure on buyers, a swift, hassle-free sale is still essential to ensure you make the maximum saving. Mistoria Estate Agents is a professional letting service with many high-quality, affordable properties in Salford and our team of experts will seamlessly guide you through the process. For more information, call us on 0800 500 3015 or use the details on our contact page.

Posted on

How to sell a property in 2021

sell a property salford

Last year property demand surged, as buyers rushed to capitalise on the Stamp Duty holiday and repeated lockdowns left many people wanting to move. With Stamp Duty set to return in April 2021 and restrictions set to continue, it’s likely to be another busy year in the property market. With this in mind, if you’re looking to sell a property Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents has put together some top tips…

Make your home look its best

Clean your house and clear any clutter (including the front and back gardens, if you have them). If your property is messy and covered with personal belongings, it can be difficult for a viewer to imagine their ideal version of it, making them less likely to buy.

In addition to cleaning up, you could invest in some home improvements, such as installing a new fireplace or redecorating a room – however, first check with an estate agent if this would be worth the cost. If not, some DIY work, such as hanging new wallpaper or replacing a light fitting, could give your property an edge.

When trying making your house stand out, consider how the pandemic has changed what people look for in a living space. Home-working is now common, and therefore an office is highly desirable for many buyers. If you have one, make sure it’s clearly stated and pictured in your listing, and ensure it’s optimised for working in. Perhaps you don’t have a purpose-built office, but do have the space for one – if so, you might consider transforming it before you sell.

Set the right asking price

Overvalued properties take longer to sell, which in turn creates more problems, because a property that has been on the market for a long time is less attractive to potential buyers. It also reduces your chances of capitalising on the Stamp Duty holiday.

To avoid this, think carefully and research similar properties that have recently sold in your local area. Then, ask some estate agents to value your property. It’s wise to obtain several valuations from different agencies to gain a figure you can be confident in.

Reassess your approach if necessary

If your property isn’t selling, you should try to find out why. Talk to your estate agent about this. Are there any desirable features that aren’t being advertised well enough? Or something specific you can address that’s holding back potential buyers?

Alternatively, you might need a new estate agent. If you’re considering this, it’s best to act quickly – there is often a set notice period you must give your current agent before another firm can re-list the property.

If you’re looking to sell a property Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents can help

With everything else going on at the moment, selling your home brings added unwelcome stress. We are a professional estate agent in Salford that’s here to provide expert guidance on how to sell a property in 2021 and beyond. Whether it’s developing a marketing plan or handling all the complex paperwork, we have the experience and knowledge you need. To find out more, call us on 0800 500 3015 or use the details on our contact page.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

Apprenticeship opportunities at Mistoria

estate agent apprenticeship salford

The benefits of taking on an apprentice have been an attractive proposition for employers for many years. An apprentice, as defined by the gov.uk website, ‘combines practical training in a job with study’ and it’s a win win situation for both employer and apprentice. The employer can train and mould the apprentice to fit the company structure, and even fill voids where there may be a lack of personnel or a skill shortage, whilst receiving financial support from the Government to train a potential new permanent employee. For the apprentice themself, they are learning in a paid job. They are gaining real, hands-on experience in their chosen field, whilst also working towards an official qualification.

The Mistoria Group and its associated companies, including its estate agent branches and accountancy firm, has enjoyed taking on apprentices for a number of years, to great success. A busy estate agency has many functions, and we’re delighted to be able to offer young people and apprentices the chance to gain experience in whatever role they are most interested in within the company structure. We also like to give our apprentices the opportunity to learn from experienced staff who have worked in the industry for many years.

The benefits to the company are numerous. Being able to take on ambitious people at an entry-level allows us to mould them and train them in a way specific to our company needs, whilst still following the National Apprenticeship Standard. The Junior Estate Agent apprenticeship standard was created by employers and is intended to develop someone at the beginning of their career into someone with experience and knowledge in all aspects of estate agency.

Mistoria’s Apprentices

In the last year we have taken on more than half a dozen apprentices, to cover various roles across the Mistoria companies. These include; Thaila Cunningham – MCC Accountants, Dilraj Singh – Mistoria Estate Agents Salford/ Student Haus, Alexis Cullen – Pick My Pad, Michelle Saunders – Pick My Pad and Mollie Ashworth – Mistoria Estate Agents Bolton.

Thaila Cunningham, Accounts Apprentice at MCC Accountants is positive about her experience as an apprentice with The Mistoria Group. She started her apprenticeship at Mistoria with Babington Online in August this year, working towards the Level 2 and Level 3 AAT qualifications. She hopes to then progress onto ACCA in the future whilst working up through the company to gain a higher permanent position and achieve the career of a Chartered Accountant. As an Accounts Assistant, Thaila’s role focuses on completing bookkeeping tasks for the internal property companies as well as analysing the companies’ expenses, preparing management accounts and tax returns for external clients, to name just a few. Of her placement Thaila says, “MCC Accountants and Mistoria have given me a real feel for the workplace, enabling me to gain an extensive range of skills and experience and develop an understanding of how the industry really works. My manager and supervisor really motivate me and provide endless opportunities in the present – regarding funding for education and qualifications – and in future – offering a permanent position as an accountant in the company.”

Thaila’s desire to obtain a permanent position with Mistoria is certainly achievable, given the company’s long-term vision. With plans to open 10 estate agency branches, apprentices present and future will be a key part of this. Each apprentice has a good opportunity to progress within the company, with views of one day being Branch Managers. Now a permanent member of staff and a great example of a successful apprenticeship is Rhianna Williams. She started at Mistoria as a Business Admin apprentice to help out with admin work, with an interest in property due to her family. Over the last 18 months, Rhianna has become the backbone of the Salford office, taking on more and more responsibility and has become a permanent, valued member of the team.

Estate agent apprenticeship Salford

Do you have a passion for property? Would you like to obtain a qualification whilst also working in an estate agent or accountancy environment? If you’re looking for an estate agent apprenticeship Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents could have an opportunity for you.

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.