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House Prices In Salford

student houses salford

Salford is an attractive place for homebuyers who want a place in Greater Manchester to call their own.

It’s a thriving, modern hub with plenty of green belt land nearby. In fact, it’s one of the UK’s greenest cities, making it the perfect marriage between ‘urban’ and ‘natural’ for its residents.

As with any desirable location in the UK, this means that newly available properties attract a lot of attention in no time. Salford house prices are no exception to the turbulent nature of house prices in the UK, but what makes it such a desirable place to live, and why would new buyers face competition there?

Is Salford a city or town?

Salford is a city in Greater Manchester, though there is some confusion around its status. Strictly speaking, the City of Salford is a metropolitan borough with city status. It’s formed of a collection of towns, villages, and suburbs that includes Walkden, Swinton, and Worsley.

Having only existed in its modern form since 1974, Salford doesn’t have its own single city centre. It was also a subdivision of the historic county of Lancashire, named the Salford Hundred, a status that lasted until the 19th century.

Salford has a storied history that enthusiasts are sure to find fascinating considering the historic contrasts with Manchester, its close neighbour.

What are house prices in Salford like?

Salford enjoys a particularly advantageous position in the housing market as of late.

In 2021, a study conducted in Greater Manchester revealed that the borough has the biggest return on house value in England’s North West. House prices in Salford increased by an average of 47.6 per cent between 2016 and 2021.

This placed Salford third out of 377 UK local authorities.

Information from Zoopla’s house price index shows that over the past 12 months, the average sale price of a property in Salford is £217,703.

This is up from the average sale price for the past five years from its own data, placing average sale price at £191,054.

First-time buyers may find the latest figure encouraging, especially when compared to data from the Barclays First Time Buyer Index which shows that UK first-time buyers paid an average of £281,900 in 2021 for their properties.

These numbers help to paint a healthy picture of Salford house prices whilst also conveying the achievable entry points for first-time buyers and investors looking to make a handsome return on property.

Why buy a house in Salford?

Salford enjoys vibrant urban spaces combined with beautiful waterfronts and energising green areas. Its location gives you the benefit of several towns and their respective centres, as well as Manchester itself which is a short distance away.

Salford is an ideal place for those looking to work in media. The city has become somewhat of a media hub thanks to investments and opportunities such as MediaCityUK, a large mixed-use property development located just beside the Manchester Ship Canal. It sports the Quayside shopping centre as well as media organisation tenants such as the BBC and ITV Studios.

Despite its advanced urban landscape and modern architecture, Salford remains one of the UK’s greenest cities and there are plenty of opportunities to disengage from busy life and recharge. Options like these make it an attractive prospect for first-time moves among younger buyers.

Investors looking to break into property development have the advantage of the University of Salford and the student rental opportunities it offers. Popular student areas like Pendleton, where the university itself is located, are well-connected by public transport and have a range of shops and restaurants, lending plenty of selling points for those looking to rent or buy.

Those looking for peaceful walks and relaxing waterfront views in an energetic, lively city would do well to consider Salford.

What types of properties are available in Salford?

Being all at once a media hub, home to a university, and a modern city with plenty of investment, Salford has a wide offering of properties for those looking to move, no matter their reasons. Groups looking to share a living space – or individuals happy to share their living space with others – can consider HMOs and house shares, and investors can provide plenty of options in this area while seeing a healthy return on their efforts.

First-time buyers also have a wide choice of convenient locations with plenty of fantastic local amenities. Salford’s average house price is on the accessible side of the price spectrum for first-time buyers, making it an overall excellent choice.

When should I buy a house in Salford?

The housing market is still busy following on from the suppression of the pandemic, but according to property experts, things are beginning to slow.

It could be that you’re about to sell a property and want to buy in Salford before things get much more expensive. Alternatively, you may think it safer to hold off and observe before making a commitment.

Figuring out the right time to buy is always a tricky task in property, which is why seeking expert help and advice can make all the difference.

Mistoria Estate Agents Salford

Our expert team has all the local knowledge needed to empower your investment decisions and make your purchase in Salford a great move. Our collective experience gives us the ability to offer advice on all kinds of property sales, from Salford house prices to the opportunity for HMOs.

To find out more about buying homes in Salford, get in touch today and we’ll happily answer your queries.

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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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How to rent out a property

How to rent out a property

Becoming a landlord can be a fantastic chance to make a return on a property you own, but it’s not a choice that should be taken lightly. Letting a property comes with a slew of responsibilities and legal requirements for the tenants who will become your responsibility.

When done correctly and with the right knowledge behind you, letting your property can be a lucrative and even enjoyable undertaking. Here we take a look at the ins and outs of property letting and what you need to know before taking your first steps.

Who can become a landlord?

In theory, anybody. There is no special requirement that one must satisfy in order to gain the legal right to become a landlord, though there may be several conditions to check before you have the ability to let a property.

If letting an HMO (house in multiple occupancy), you will require an HMO licence. This comes with its own requirements, including the condition that the landlord be ‘fit and proper’, i.e. having no criminal record and no history of breaching laws and codes of practice relating to letting property.

If the property you own is under a standard repayment mortgage, it is recommended that you speak to your lender before deciding to let it out. You may need to remortgage to a buy-to-let, which is the typical mortgage sought by investors who want to buy a property specifically for renting it to others.

You may also need to check whether your property is a freehold or a leasehold. Freehold properties mean that the owner holds both the property itself and the land upon which it is built, whereas a leasehold is a fixed term ownership of a property but not its respective land. Therefore, a leasehold property will need permission from the freeholder in order to be let for others.

Why become a landlord?

Becoming a landlord can be a great choice for certain individuals who want to let a property for logical, financial, or career-based reasons. You may want to move into property letting if:

You have a property you don’t need

Property doesn’t always find its way into people’s hands through purchase. If you inherit property that they don’t want or need, it may make more sense to let the property rather than sell it outright.

The housing market could be in a place where the property’s value is below what you feel is reasonable or representative for the area, and want to hold off on an eventual sale until prospects improve. Alternatively, there may be sentimental value attached to the property that prevents you from wanting to sell, but you have your own home to live in.

Letting a property in such a situation means a financial return in lieu of other options that might not be right for the time being.

You want the extra income

Some landlords don’t go deeper than a single property into investment, and choose to let a property they own and used to live in. This can present an eventual longer return over selling the property, and means a secondary income stream as opposed to the upfront sum that selling would fetch.

The rent payments from letting a property can also cover the repayments needed to cover an existing mortgage on it, making it an ideal way to cover the cost of an existing property whilst being able to pay for another, such as in the case of a house move.

You want to make a career of it

House lets can provide the passive, steady income as mentioned above, but for many people it can be a fully fledged living. Commonly referred to as house flipping or property flipping, many investors look for cheaper properties that need renovations to bring them up to modern standards or reintroduce them to a safe, habitable state.

It is thought that since the start of the pandemic in 2020, around 19,000 properties have been flipped in this manner. Though many property flips are done with the aim to sell and thus make a profit as soon as possible, some landlords play a longer game and flip properties in order to let them out.

This can be especially true for HMOs, where renovations are done specifically to increase the number of rooms to reap multiple rent payments each month, making the gap between monthly payments and upfront sale profit considerably smaller.

Letting a property is an important first step to getting a foot on the ladder and building a portfolio.

You want to improve housing prospects in the area

Not all property investment will necessarily be done with the goal of pure profit. Some investors may be looking to improve the condition of homes in their local area in whatever way they can, using the profit from rent to do the same for further investments.

This could be to give back to the community they grew up in, or to help patch over the gaps in deprived areas of their town or city. Turning a rundown property into an affordable rented home for a family may be a reward equal to, or greater than, the financial gain for the right kind of investor.

Everybody has their own reasons for getting into property investment and being a landlord doesn’t need to follow any specific ethos or reason for being. It does, however, come with legislation and codes of practice that must be observed.

How do I let a property?

There are stringent needs that must be satisfied for a property to be suitable, both functionally and legally, for renting.

Appliance safety

Gas and electrical appliances must be proven to be safe and fit for purpose. This extends to fixtures like chimneys and flues, provided they’re useable and not sealed off.

It’s a legal obligation for landlords to arrange a gas safety check every year to be carried out by a qualified engineer. A copy of the resulting record should also be given to your tenant(s).

As of 2021, it’s also a requirement for landlords to have properties tested for electrical safety every five years. This will also produce a safety report, a copy of which must similarly go to tenants.

Safety inspections

The local council may want to carry out what is known as a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) check. If they have reason to believe an inspection is necessary, either through a report or the results of a survey, this is something you will need to accommodate.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

In England, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will be wholly compulsory from 1st October 2022.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 provide that, in all rented properties, any room with a fixed combustion appliance must have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. This includes gas boilers and wood stoves, however it has not yet been extended to gas cookers.

Landlords in the private sector must have at least one smoke alarm fitted on every storey of their properties where a room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation, and the alarms should ideally be checked for good working condition at the start of every tenancy (and at reasonable intervals during).

Alarms found not to be working properly must be repaired or replaced ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’.

Fire safety

Further to having smoke alarms, monoxide detectors, and gas safety checks, landlords must also abide by the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations. All loose furniture and upholstery must be fire safe as laid out in the regulations.

Note that this applies to furniture you as the landlord provide – landlords are not currently responsible for tenant-owned and provided furniture.

These are just some of the safety-based requirements of property letting. There are also ongoing obligations to keep the property well maintained and safe, pay income tax on your rental income, and ensure that tenants are kept informed and listened to when problems or emergencies arise.

The GOV website is an invaluable resource for the responsibilities of landlords and the necessary admin to stay compliant.

What kinds of properties can be let?

Many kinds of standard residential properties can be let, and some will come with certain advantages or drawbacks when compared with others. Flats and bungalows, for instance, mean only one storey to concern yourself with, making them relatively simpler than a two or three-storey house.

Many landlords will let individual living spaces such as contained flats and houses, but landlords with more capital and experience may look to buy and let blocks of flats or whole housing developments.

How can I get help with letting property?

Even the most seasoned landlords can benefit from help with managing their properties.

Managing higher demand properties like HMOs can become complex. Multiple tenants mean multiple agreements, and needing to juggle the needs of each can quickly tax your energy and attentions. The need to respond quickly to high-priority incidents like boiler failures or water leaks can be impossible for landlords who live in different time zones or who also work a full-time job.

For many landlords, gaining the help of experienced letting agents is the relief they desperately need.

Mistoria Estate Agents Salford’s experienced team is ready to help landlords with all kinds of property management and letting enquiries. Our knowledge of property management and lettings puts us in the strongest position to bring landlords up to speed on their obligations and help their properties run smoothly.

To find out more about our work in property letting, please contact us today.

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How Much Deposit Do I Need to Buy a House?

How Much Deposit Do I Need to Buy a House?

Deposit-free mortgages that cover the full value of a house are a thing of the past. These days, deposits are essential to pay off a part of the amount upfront and show your commitment to the mortgage itself.

Your deposit to buy a house plays a more significant role than the security deposit typically needed for renting a property. You have a certain amount of choice which will affect your mortgage and the repayments you make for years to come.

So, how much deposit do you need to buy a house?

How much is the minimum deposit to buy a house?

The minimum amount of deposit you need depends on the lender of your mortgage, and how willing they are to ‘take a risk’ on lower percentage deposits.

Typically, the smallest deposit you will be able to place today is 5%. This is ideal for those who can’t afford the large upfront cost that a deposit requires – after all, 5% of a £200,000 house still means a £10,000 payment before lending can begin – but is offset by the fact that you’re borrowing more from your lender. This likely will mean a longer repayment term, or larger repayments over a shorter term.

In the past, there were mortgages that demanded no deposit from you. As of the 2008 financial crisis, these mortgages disappeared. Banks and lenders played a much safer game from then on, though 100% mortgages are showing signs of making a return. These are not the same as they were, however, and current offerings involve a ‘temporary’ deposit.

How much deposit do I need to buy a house in 2022?

The amount of deposit you’ll need depends on the percentage you plan to pay. The minimum you need is 5%, but it’s worth considering how feasible it is that you could afford a higher percentage.

Paying a larger deposit means better rates offered by your lender, and less to borrow against your mortgage in the first place. The remainder is called the loan-to-value. If you pay a 20% deposit, that leaves a loan-to-value (LTV) of 80%, representing the split between the amount you’re borrowing and your equity (the amount that you own through the money you’ve already paid).

The average deposit for a first-time UK buyer is around 15%, which is a healthy amount to prove low risk whilst staying within reach of many people who are in the position to buy a home.

Is a 10% deposit enough for a house?

A 10% deposit is the standard amount for first-time buyers, and would be enough for most lenders to consider.

10% is a popular amount as it’s substantial enough to get your foot in the door in terms of equity, whilst being in the reachable amount for first-time buyers to save up. Larger deposits have their benefits as mentioned above, but a 10% deposit should be plenty for a first-time buyer hoping to get a mortgage.

Of course, this depends on the market value of the home you’re looking to purchase, though this is somewhat limited by the checks and evaluations done by lenders and mortgage advisers. A lender will likely not be interested in a single first-time buyer who is aiming for a property for which they could barely afford the monthly repayments.

If you are unsure about the amount you wish to pay as a deposit versus the value of the house and what it would mean for a mortgage, it may be best to get the help of a mortgage adviser who can help you lay out the facts and perhaps get you a mortgage in principle. Also known as an agreement in principle, these give you a forecast of what a lender would likely offer you in your current situation, though they are not set in stone and are more of an estimate than a quote.

What is a good amount for a house deposit?

The current average may be 15%, but this does not mean that you need to have 15% of a house’s worth in your pocket before anybody will talk to you. First-time buyers are often unable to produce so much money upfront, and many people can only afford their first home through help from family, gained inheritance, or other means outside of their usual income.

A 10% deposit is a good start as it gets you a tenth of the way there (relatively speaking) and shows lenders that you do not have the bare minimum at 5%. Remember, lenders evaluate you on risk first and foremost, and they’re looking for evidence that you’re a worthwhile investment.

A mortgage adviser could help you ascertain a good amount based on the lenders that interest you, and it may be a good idea to go as high as you can comfortably spend without hindering your ability to pay for other expenses that inevitably arise with a house purchase, such as conveyancing fees.

Should I save for a bigger deposit?

There is rarely a need to save for a deposit bigger than the minimum being asked by the lender. Doing so can give you the aforementioned benefits of better rates and a more manageable mortgage – either through smaller monthly repayments or a shorter term – but paying a larger deposit is almost always a choice that you can take freely.

A mortgage adviser may recommend a slightly larger deposit based on their specific knowledge of a lender’s policies, or it may be that a slightly more attractive deal becomes available to you with a 15% deposit over 10%.

It’s not uncommon for first-time buyers to feel financial strain in the process of buying a house, but it’s important that your money is still being managed wisely and that you’re not simply draining your accounts.

How to save for a house deposit

Saving for a house deposit is, in theory, as straightforward as saving for anything else. However, the relatively large amount of money needed for a deposit to buy a house means that you may be saving longer or with more drastic cuts than normal.

Reducing your largest outgoings as much as possible can make all the difference whilst saving for a deposit. This could be payments tied to a car, either for the car itself or for tax and fuel. If you’re able to commute to work on foot, via (affordable) public transport, or by bicycle, this could easily save you considerable money over time.

If you’re currently renting as you save up for your deposit, think about the ways through which you could reduce your rent or outgoings. This could be a move from a property you rent alone or as a couple, to something you share with other tenants. Some landlords will take a lump sum of rent every month that covers your contributions to utilities, internet, and tax.

Be aware that if you rent a property and there is a spare room, you mustn’t simply let that room out to somebody else as a way of collecting your own rent. This is known as subletting, and many landlords will forbid it in their contract with you, or else require that you obtain their permission for it. Your landlord could seek legal action against you if you sublet a room illegally. Check your tenancy agreement first and ask the necessary questions to your landlord or estate agent.

Certain government schemes may help you in the process of saving up for a deposit. The UK government’s Help to Buy ISA scheme has been closed to new accounts as of November 2019, but there are other ways that you can apply for certain reliefs that might make buying your home that bit more manageable.

Help to Buy equity loans only apply to newly built homes in the UK, but they will see government lending of up to 20% of the cost of your home. This means a smaller deposit and therefore smaller mortgage repayments, which could provide some respite if you cannot save as much as you like or if your finances are set to improve in future, but aren’t quite where you need them yet. Note, however, that the schemes available for your situation will change depending on your location in the UK.

House deposit for first-time buyers

Being a first-time buyer can put you at a slight disadvantage when it comes to taking out a mortgage. Lenders need to assess the risk that you represent, and many first-time buyers have never undertaken anything on the level of financial responsibility that securing a mortgage represents.

People who are self-employed or work on a freelance basis will also find that they are more likely to have a mortgage application refused compared to those in more ‘secure’ employment situations. For this reason, some might find that a larger deposit is necessary to show that they are a more trustworthy investment for lenders.

It’s not uncommon for first-time buyers to receive help with their deposit from family. This can sometimes be a cause of concern for lenders, as other parties having financial interests in the property can complicate matters if disputes were to arise.

Noting the cash as a gift along with verification from the person who gifted it will remove this complication, and your mortgage advisor or the lender themselves can show you how to do this.

House deposit for a second home

Getting a second home mortgage can be complex, despite already having secured a mortgage on your first home. With one property already mortgaged, lenders may see somebody in the market for a second mortgage as a very attractive investment.

At the same time, second mortgage shoppers may be perceived as higher risk precisely because they already have an existing mortgage to be responsible for. As a result, some lenders may need a higher deposit starting at around 20% of the second property’s value. Some may take the equity of your first house into account, but each lender is different.

If the second home is somewhere abroad, it’s highly unlikely that a UK-based lender will help you. Typically, you would need to source a mortgage from a lender based in the country of the house you’re looking to purchase.

House deposit for buy-to-let mortgage

Buy-to-let mortgages are for properties that are bought as investments. Since these are business transactions that differ from the concept of buying a home to live in, mortgages for them are slightly different.

Buy-to-let mortgages are commonly interest-only, meaning the borrower pays the monthly interest for the duration of the mortgage term. Once the mortgage term ends, the capital amount – the mortgage amount in full – needs to be repaid. This could be paid from savings or by selling the property itself.

Buy-to-let mortgages typically need higher deposits, usually around 25% of the value and above. The interest rates also tend to be higher than those on residential mortgages.

Understanding deposits with Mistoria Estate Agents Salford

We are a Propertymark-accredited firm with a wide range of properties in Salford and the surrounding area. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you get on the road to buying your next home in Salford and securing the right deposit to buy a house.

To find out more about our services and how we can help, contact us today.

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Dispelling the Myths

student housing Salford / student housing north west

Many landlords often worry about letting out their properties to students, fearing that they will not receive rental payments, or that their houses will be destroyed during wild parties. However, issues like these are exceptionally rare. We thought we’d dispel some of the popular myths about renting to students in this blog post.

Damage to the Property

A landlord’s worst nightmare is undoubtedly that their property will be destroyed by a particularly wild student party. However, with the rising cost of living, students are increasingly opting to drink and party less, with some studies suggesting that 30% of the student population does not drink at all. With less spare money, students are also more conscious of the need to care for their house to protect their deposit. 

A recent survey by student utility supplier Glide also recently showed that 82% of students would rather stay in to binge watch TV and films than go out to party. Therefore, the chance of a landlord’s property being ruined is now much reduced. 

Payment Problems 

The typical image that society has of a student is of one surviving off pasta because they’ve spent all their money on alcohol. That, alongside the fact that this is the first time many will have had payment responsibilities before, leaves landlords worried that their student tenants will not have enough money to pay their rent. However, such issues are actually relatively rare in student properties, because tenants receive student loan payments termly. Furthermore, if students do miss their rent payments, they are almost always backed by strong guarantors – their parents. 

Noise Complaints

Students are typically known for playing loud music and screaming and shouting late into the night. But as they reduce their alcohol intake and opt to stay in for film nights with friends, landlords should actually see a reduction in the number of noise complaints they receive from neighbours. 

Finding the Perfect Tenants   

One of the best ways to look after your property is to engage with your tenants. If they feel like you are listening to their queries and worries, they are more likely to trust you and therefore respect both you and your property. Having a good relationship with their landlord is one of the key things students look for when renting a home. 

Still Have Concerns?

If you are worried about letting your property to students, come and speak to the experts in student housing North West based Mistoria Estate Agents. 

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Dealing With Damp

Liverpool letting agent

During the colder months damp and condensation can become a problem in your property. Here we take a look at ways you can avoid these issues…

Condensation

The most common cause of damp in a property is the build-up of condensation. It should be made clear to your tenants that it is their responsibility to prevent condensation in the property. Once you have installed extractor fans in bathrooms, stress that tenants should switch these on every time they shower or take a bath. It might be worth investing in an extractor fan that switches on automatically in time with the bathroom light. That way, you won’t have to rely on your tenants remembering to do so. Extractor fans should also be fitted in the kitchen above the hob. Boiling water causes lots of steam to be produced, which will settle on the walls and windows if not removed. 

Advise your tenants to open their windows regularly, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. During the colder months, they may be reluctant to do so, but windows need only be open for ten minutes a day for a noticeable difference in the levels of condensation build-up. Remind them that they need to close and lock all of their windows before leaving their house each day. 

Tell your tenants not to put wet clothing on radiators. The water vapour mixing with the hot air will rise and settle on walls and windows. You may wish to fit a clothes line to encourage your tenants to dry their clothes outside.

Rising Damp  

Rising damp occurs when groundwater seeps through the bricks and mortar of a building because its damp course has failed. It is your responsibility as a landlord to make the building watertight again by fitting a new damp course. The cost should not be passed on to your tenants. You should ask a professional for their advice; rising damp is often misdiagnosed and fitting a new damp course could end up being a needless expense. 

Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp occurs when water enters a building via an external wall or the roof and settles inside. This will invariably be because of a fault within the building, such as holes in the roof, damaged gutters, or cracks in the external render. Again, it is your responsibility to ensure that these issues are remedied and that the house is fit for habitation. Fixing penetrating damp is usually a simple process. Make a note of anywhere that the damp appears and find that point on the exterior of your property. Around this area you should be able to quickly find the fault and fix it yourself with some simple DIY. For serious problems, consult an experienced surveyor. A check of the whole building may be required to ensure the damp has not become wet rot, which would be disastrous for the structural integrity of your property.     

Resolving Damp Issues  

Salford letting agent, Mistoria Estate Agents have a dedicated maintenance team on hand to resolve any property issues for our landlords and tenants. Contact us now to find out how we can help you. 

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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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How to avoid deposit disputes

What to do at the start and end of a tenancy to avoid a deposit dispute

Less than 1% of all tenancy deposits end in dispute, but when it does happen it can end up being an expensive nightmare for all parties involved.

Many potential disputes can be avoided and one of the quickest ways to make sure conflicts don’t happen is to ensure all the correct information is provided to everyone at the right times.

Keeping audit trails of any changes made to the property, both by the landlord and tenant, can drastically improve the chances of a dispute being sorted quickly and reduce the chance of any acrimonious feelings between those involved.

This needs to happen from day one until the last day of the tenancy. Make sure the new tenant knows what is expected straight away. By doing this it will help them as much as it will help you.

Here’s what needs to be done right at the start and right at the end of a tenancy:

When the new tenant checks in

Having a detailed as possible report about the condition of the property is important. This goes further than a full inventory and cleanliness. Make notes of the last time it was professionally cleaned as well as being up front about any marks or scuffs on the upholstery so any new ones can be noted.

Also point out brand new decorations down to the date it was done so it becomes clear what they are getting.

Making a note of different odours could also be a good idea, although smells can be subjective and caused by many things a distinct new one will be hard to avoid.

Always back all of this up with as much documentation and images as possible.

When the tenant checks out

This is where conducting a thorough inventory at the start will pay off. As the house is inspected, refer to it constantly, and if you had a hand in making it to start with you should know exactly what to look for.

As before, keep a note of every detail and compare your new document with the old one once you are finished.

Also, even if it looks clear make sure you touch it! Stickiness and pet hairs are often hard to detect but can be costly to remove.

What to do if you think a deposit deduction is needed

If you find yourself in a situation where the property has not been returned in a satisfactory state, you may need to deduct from the deposit.

This process can often cause disputes and conflict between landlord and tenant, so make sure you’re completely sure and have the documentary evidence to back it up.

Clear, concise reasoning as to why the landlord thinks a deduction is vital.

On top of this pointing out exactly where in the tenancy agreement the landlord believes the tenant has breached will be needed.

If the tenant decides to dispute the claim, then it will need to be taken to an adjudicator.

At Mistoria Estate Agents, part of our landlord service is to conduct inventories and property checks on behalf of our landlords. We carry out thorough check in and check out inspections to ensure there is official paperwork, documentation and photographs at the start and end of every tenancy. Whilst it can feel like an uncomfortable process, we understand how vital it is for both landlord and tenant to be clear and consistent when it comes to the condition of a property.

If you own a rental property and would like help and advice on how to manage a successful tenancy, ensuring you meet all the legal requirements and remain up to date on guidance and legislation, please contact our experienced team. 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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Property market continues to boom despite end of SDLT holiday

salford property prices

It’s fair to say the housing market is experiencing a remarkable surge at the moment. And in the words of our own agents; people are making up their own prices… and buyers are paying it, and then some!

The unprecedented boom in the price of property has been put down to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday, introduced by the Government at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, to keep the market moving during the numerous lockdowns. Nobody could have predicted the impact of this move.

The temporary nil rate for SDLT was introduced in April 2020 when the UK went into its first lockdown, allowing anyone to purchase a primary residential property up to the value of £500,000 without paying stamp duty. From 1st July, the nil rate band was reduced to £250,000 and will be reduced again on 1st October to return to the standard threshold of £125,000 (except for first-time buyers who have a threshold of £300,000).

Whilst potentially saving buyers thousands of pounds on the cost of purchasing a new property, it seems buyers are diverting the money “saved” in stamp duty and putting into the price they are willing to offer vendors. Add into the mix low interest rates, a stagnant stock market, savings made during lockdowns and no overseas travel, buyers suddenly have more disposable income that they are eager to put into a property purchase.

This action has driven up the cost of property to extraordinary levels, across the country. Mistoria’s own estate agents are seeing property selling for 30, 40, £50k more than it previously would have. Sarah Morris-Turner, branch manager at Mistoria Estate Agents Bolton said, “We can’t believe what we’re witnessing in the residential sales market at the moment. Every property that we bring to market we’re having to offer block viewings on due to the demand. From these viewings we’re receiving multiple offers, all of which are over the asking price!”

As original SDLT rates return on 1st October 2021, it was predicted that the end of the SDLT holiday would slow the market but, from Mistoria’s standpoint at least, this shows no sign of happening anytime soon.

Whilst rising prices has made for a seller’s market and boom time for the industry, there are concerns from an agent’s perspective. Morris-Turner continues, “It’s quite challenging valuing property in the current market. Some agents are valuing quite erratically giving false expectations to clients. As agents we have a responsibility to value property accurately, so as not to end up in negative equity. As and when the market dips, negative equity is a real concern for many buyers that suddenly find themselves with a property worth less than they paid for it.”

This call for caution is echoed by Dewi Caughter, branch manager at Mistoria Estate Agents in Cheadle. He says, “Whilst we are currently seeing property sell within seven days of coming to market, and for far more than the asking price, we predict next year may be more precarious for those currently paying overinflated prices for property. Should the market plateau, clients may face negative equity on their mortgages. It will be interesting to see how the market adjusts.”

There’s no doubting the SDLT holiday has done what it was intended to do in contributing towards keeping the housing market moving during the last 18 months of the Coronavirus pandemic but the long-term repercussions of such a rise in the cost of property is yet to be seen.

Salford property prices

If you’re considering buying or selling a property, the agents at Mistoria Estate Agents can help you navigate, make sense of and accurately value or make an offer on Salford property prices. Speak to our friendly and expert team on 0800 500 3015 or email salford@mistoria.co.uk. You can find a Mistoria Estate Agent in Bolton, Cheadle, Liverpool, Salford and Walkden.

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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.