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‘Article 4 Direction’ Regulations – The impact on student and landlord

Article 4 Direction regulations were established on 1 October 2010 by local councils to restrict the development of house share style properties.  This affects all shared properties housing between 3-6 occupiers, who are not related to one another and is highly likely to take effect in areas with a high number of HMO properties ie; College and University locations.  Usually, a local council will give one year’s notice prior to an Article 4 Direction becoming applicable.

In areas where Article 4 Direction has come into force, the impact is evident on both the home occupants and the landlords.  These regulations affect HMO properties popular with students and other young people.  For landlords considering purchasing in locations where the Article 4 Direction exists, one could buy and develop a property, then be unable to use it as a house share if refused planning, thus the rental flow on the property would be diminished.  In addition, the value of owner-occupier houses can fall as the market for buyers is reduced.

Currently, in Salford, the Article 4 Direction is not yet in place and therefore, development can proceed without restriction, although Selective Licensing regulations have already been enforced in the nearby areas of Seedley, Langworthy and Weaste.  This particular scheme is designed to tackle the most severe issues in the private rented sector, and intended to address the problems of poor quality landlords and anti-social tenants.  It is hoped that through this process, both the management of the properties and the quality of the properties themselves, can be improved.

Mistoria Estate Agents and its associated group of companies are specialists in refurbishing, furnishing and managing properties within areas of Salford affected by Selective Licensing regulations.  We ensure that these properties are fully compliant in terms of the required specification and graded well by the council, thus achieving a far greater rental income.

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Letting Agents to be more upfront when it comes to cost

A new ruling by The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) now means letting agents must now be much clearer about their fees for rental properties.

Certain estate agencies have been accused of hiding compulsory administration fees making it difficult for the consumer to really know what they were going to be charged for their rental properties.

The ASA have said that all prices now quoted must be transparent to ensure a much fairer system. Now when an agency is letting a property the monthly rent must be advertised alongside any extra admin fee to be paid including information about a property’s deposit, any rent to be paid in advance and also any contract fees involved. These changes are being made to protect all renters but especially vulnerable people such as first time renters and students from looking for a home.

With these new regulations in place consumers will now have all the information they need to compare prices and shop around, so that they can be confident when choosing a property. 

Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the Advertising Standards Authority, said:

“Hidden fees are not only unfair, they hit those who are struggling hardest. Our ruling today makes clear that Letting Agents need to get their houses in order and treat potential tenants fairly.

Renting a property is a significant commitment. And for those who are new to the rental market, like students, navigating it can be particularly difficult. That’s why the ASA is clamping down on Letting Agents who hide fees. Today’s ruling makes clear that agents must include all compulsory fees and charges in their quoted prices. If the fees cannot be calculated in advance then the agent must make clear that fees have been excluded, and provide enough information for consumers to establish how fees are calculated. It’s now our priority to make sure agents across the sector bring their advertising into line.”

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Landlord Advice, Why Students Make Good Tenants

Here at Mistoria Estate Agents we’ve compiled some top landlord advice as to why letting your property to students is the way forward…

You can normally fit more students into your property than you would if it was a professional let. A three bedroom property can often accommodate 4 students meaning more rent for you, the landlord. It is possible to turn the lounge into a bedroom and make the kitchen the “social room”.

Students are prepared to live in areas that are not considered desirable by professional tenants, so the capital values of properties are much lower.

For undergraduate student tenants it is normally their first experience of life away from home, so the newness of the kitchen or bathroom suite is not always their priority when picking their accommodation. Having said that, landlords cannot afford to be complacent, standards are rising and mature and foreign students often demand professional levels of accommodation.

Due to student loans being delivered in large instalments some students find it works better to pay their rent in large lump sums in advance. In some cases the parents will pay upfront for each semester.

According to research, University towns have outperformed other towns in terms of house price growth.

Letting your property to students can be daunting but Mistoria Estate Agents can manage your property, from finding you tenants, looking after any maintenance and refurbishment issues to making sure your tenants look after your house.

We give Landlord Advice but more importantly manage EVERYTHING ensuring you have a regular income with no hassle whatsoever.

For information about buying investment property please take a look at 

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Manchester Gazette – ‘Mistoria Estate Agents launch ‘Best Kept House 2012-13’ Award’

‘Mistoria Estate Agents’, part of the Manchester based property investment company, the Mistoria Group, have launched a ‘Best Kept House’ competition for those living in their rented student accommodation, with the winners receiving a week’s holiday in Ibiza and £1000 spending money.

The initiative, aimed at encouraging students to keep their rented homes clean and tidy, will entail a member of the Mistoria Estate Agents team inspecting each house per quarter, with a final winner chosen at the end of the tenancy in June. Entrants will be judged on a number of criteria, including maintaining cleanliness in communal rooms and individual bedrooms, in addition to ensuring that both front and rear gardens are kept in a satisfactory condition. Consideration for the environment is also a contributory factor in winning the award, with tenants encouraged to consider utility usage both carefully and sensibly.

Mistoria Estate Agents Director, Paul Gwynne said “We are delighted to be able to launch the ‘Best Kept House’ competition. Hopefully, it will present a fun and light hearted approach in inspiring our tenants to take pride in their rented homes and maintain them on a consistent basis. Most importantly, it also ensures that the house is returned to us at the end of the tenancy in its original condition, thus saving the landlord money over the duration of the lease.”

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Mistoria Estate Agents and local University Netball Team raise funds for ‘Help for Heroes’

salford university netball

‘Mistoria Estate Agents’, part of the Manchester based property investment company, the Mistoria Group, have sponsored the University of Salford Netball Club in raising much needed funds for ‘Help for Heroes’.

The Netball Club has chosen ‘Help for Heroes’ as their charity of the year. However, with one of their players’ partner currently serving in Afghanistan in the 21 Engineers Regiment 73 AES 8 TROOP, the choice of charity holds particular significance.

The Netball Club (SUNC), which currently has two teams in the British Universities and Colleges Sport northern leagues and one recreational team, started the season with a strong win against the University of Central Lancashire and has high hopes of topping the league by the end of the season.

“Thanks to Mistoria Estate Agents and our first donation of unsold leisurewear by the University, we were able to send shoes boxes of small luxury items and letters to the troops.” said team player and co-social Secretary (SUNC), Puja Bhardwaj. “On 14th November, we hosted a public services fancy dress night at the students union bar and Tiger-Tiger nightclub in Manchester, raising a total of £408 and hope to continue to raise money for them. With Mistoria Letting’s help, we look forward to expanding our club by recruiting new players and continuing in our fundraising efforts to support Help for Heroes.”

Founder of the Mistoria Group, Mish Liyanage said, “We are delighted to be able to support the University of Salford Netball Club in their efforts and will continue to provide help and encouragement in their on-going fundraising activities for this extremely worthy cause.”

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Manchester based property investment company, The Mistoria Group, have announced the re-launch of their lettings website In addition to offering a fresh and modern interface, the upgraded website enables users to access information quickly and easily, whilst providing a number of further benefits.

As a prospective tenant, applications for accommodation can be undertaken online, with a property alert facility available with regards to current vacant rental properties. 

Landlords will now be able to view rent statements online and users will be offered the option to browse the new site in the language of their choice.  Regular news updates and social media interaction are also part of the new upgrade.

The website re-launch comes at an exciting time for the Mistoria Group, who have experienced considerable and sustained growth since they were formed in 2009 by Sri Lankan born entrepreneur, Mish Liyanage.

Consisting of a selection of customised companies dedicated to servicing the specific needs of clients in all areas of property investment, the Company provides a comprehensive turnkey property solution from property sourcing right up to taxation.

Commenting on the lettings website re-launch, Mish Liyanage said:

“We are delighted with the new website which we believe delivers a number of exciting key features, is easier to navigate and reflects our values and vision for growth.  It will provide a better overall user experience and enhance the company’s already well-established position within the industry.”

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21 is situated in “one of the worlds great resorts”

No. 21 is situated in “one of the worlds great resorts”, La Manga Club. Blessed by all year round Mediterranean sunshine and 1400 acres of stunning scenery, it is a sports and leisure paradise. The apartment, No.21 Las Terrazas De Montemares, offers a contemporary finish with exquisite views across the whole club down to the Mediterranean Sea. Situated 15 minutes from Murcia (San Javier) Airport, with rates ranging from £75 per night.