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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.

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How to let or rent a property during lockdown in England

houses to rent salford

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

Advice for letting in lockdown

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

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

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

Advice for renting in lockdown

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

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

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

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

Available Mistoria houses to rent Salford

If you’re looking for houses to rent Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents has a wide range of impressive student properties available for rent and for buy-to-let agreements across the city. We have implemented measures to ensure the safety of our existing tenants and those looking to rent with us. If you’d like to know more, please use our contact page or call us on 0800 500 3015.

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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How to Avoid Deposit Disputes as a Student Tenant

Salford student houses

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

The Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) Scheme and Prescribed Information

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

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

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

The Tenancy Agreement

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

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

Sharing a house with other tenants

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

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

Helpful Tips

Know your landlord’s contact information

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

Start your search early for the next academic year

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

Further Information about our Salford student houses

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

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

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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Surviving in a Share Student House

student housing salford

Living with your friends in a shared house can be one of the best bits of your time at university. But maintaining domestic harmony can sometimes be a struggle, especially during stressful times like exam season. That’s why we’ve written this blog post – so that you know how to survive in a shared student house! 

Choose Your Housemates Wisely

Before you even start looking for a house, you need to sort out who you’ll be living with. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. A good idea is to live with the people from your halls in first year who you get on with and who you know can live without mess and drama. Alternatively, you could live with people from your favourite society, as that way you’ll have something in common (though that’s no guarantee they’ll be good housemates!). 

We find that the most popular months or house hunting are October to December, which gives you some time to get to know your friends before deciding to live with them. If there’s something you find irritating about a friend, remember that this will be much more noticeable when you see them all the time in your own home. You should also consider how many people you want to live with; in larger houses, there’ll be more chance of arguments and less chance of privacy, but if you’re a social butterfly, a large house might be perfect for you. 

Room Allocation

When you move into your new house, there’ll probably be a desperate rush for the biggest room. But to avoid arguments, deciding who gets which room should be a democratic process. Each room will have its advantages and disadvantages and you should consider what’s most important to you. If some rooms are considerably bigger than others you may consider splitting them by price, or you could allocate on a first come first served basis.  

Keep Things Tidy

To keep up good relations with everyone in your house, try and avoid conflicts wherever possible. Arguments usually start over the cleanliness of the house. It’s fine to have a messy room, but in communal areas, you should make sure your things are packed away after you’ve used them. Make sure you wash your dishes once you’ve used them. It’s really easy to let plates build up until you have a festering mess in your kitchen and nothing to eat from. 

It’s worth sitting down with your housemates to write up a cleaning rota. That way, every part of the house will be cleaned regularly and no one will be able to argue about whether it’s their turn later down the line.

Ask To Use Your Friends Things

If you’ve run out of cutlery because you’ve not done the washing up, it’s tempting to ‘borrow’ your friends’ things. If you come in drunk and have no food in, you may even decide to steal some of your friends’ food from the fridge. That can cause huge arguments, especially if someone comes down to find they have nothing for breakfast. It goes without saying that you should always ask before taking anything. It may also be a good idea to mark your things with your name.

Don’t Let Your Partner Move In

There is usually only enough space in communal areas for the number of occupants in your property. It can be really frustrating when someone you barely know spends all their time hogging the kitchen or taking lazy showers when you need to get ready to go to lectures. Your housemates will also get irritated that your partner isn’t paying rent or bills but is still using the house’s facilities. No one is stopping you having your partner over a few times a week, but if they’re there all the time, don’t be surprised when your friends get annoyed. 

Pay Your Bills

If your house has opted to pay their own bills rather than move into a bills-included home, it’s best to have one person responsible for collecting all utility payments. Make sure you pay them the right amount, on time. It’s unfair on the lead payer if you’ve not paid your share and they’re left covering for you. Remember that everyone is sharing the cost, so don’t turn up the heating just to walk around in shorts!

Looking For A House For Next Year?

Experts in student housing, Salford based Mistoria, have a wide range of student properties available to rent. Contact us now. 

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Your Guide to Guarantors

salford student lettings agency

When searching for your perfect student house, there’ll be many new terms and phrases you’ll hear for the first time. Renting is new territory and with it comes a whole load of new jargon to get your head around. One of them that will crop up all the time is ‘guarantors’. Before you dismiss the idea as no big deal, let us tell you a bit about the role of a guarantor…

What is a Guarantor?

A guarantor is someone who agrees to ensure that the tenant follows the terms of a tenancy and will step in to make up any shortfall if they don’t. This includes, but is not limited to, paying the rent if the tenant doesn’t. In short, if you decide to blow your student loan on an iPhone11 instead of your rent, your guarantor will have to cough up instead. Depending on the agreement, a guarantor’s liability can also include damages to the property.

A guarantor, particularly in the case of students, is often a parent or close relative of the tenant, but can be anyone that is prepared to take on the responsibility. The usual requirement for a guarantor is that they are employed, are a UK resident, have sufficient earnings to cover the tenant’s rent, or are a relative or family friend.

Why do I Need a Guarantor?

There are many different reasons tenants may be asked for a guarantor. Primarily, it’s down to their financial situation. If you have no credit history or a low credit score, are starting a new job, or are on a low salary, you’re paying rent via benefits, or if you’re a student, you’ll be asked to provide a guarantor.

Your new prospective landlord may wish to make the same checks on your guarantor as they will on you as the tenant to ensure they are ‘good for it’ and are able to pay, should they need to. Don’t underestimate the importance of a guarantor or the gravity of what you are asking them to do; you’re asking someone to lay bare their own financial circumstances, as well as be responsible for ensuring you stick to the terms of your lease.

The Process

When asking someone to be a guarantor for you, make sure they understand all that that entails. Provide them with a full copy of your tenancy agreement; don’t assume, or just ask them to sign it. In the worst case scenario, should you fall into rent arrears or cannot pay for any property damages that are your fault, you could be putting your guarantor in financial jeopardy. Be honest with your guarantor about what you’re asking of them and make the time to sit down with them and have a serious conversation about what it all means.

To make the process as easy as possible for all involved, and to build trust with your student landlord or student letting agency, following this sequence of steps will help:

  • Provide a reference for yourself as a tenant
  • Provide details and references for your guarantor
  • Send a draft, UNSIGNED, copy of the full tenancy agreement and the guarantor agreement to your chosen guarantor
  • Ask your guarantor to have their signing of the agreement witnessed, and dated
  • Send the signed agreements back to your landlord/letting agent in a timely manner
  • Sign the tenancy agreement in person, in front of the landlord or agent and ensure they do the same.

The Guarantor Agreement

Ensure the guarantor agreement includes the names of the landlord/letting agent and the tenant (you), as well as the address of the rental property.

It should also contain an explanation of exactly what the guarantor is liable for, as well as a description of the guarantor’s liability. This is especially important for student lettings. In some cases, if there is a guarantor for one individual in a joint tenancy, i.e. a shared house with a single tenancy agreement like that of a student house, then often the guarantor is also liable for the other tenants in the property, as this is a ‘joint and several liability tenancy’. You as the tenant, and your guarantor, should read the deed you are signing carefully, and ensure it is set up so that individual guarantors are liable for individual tenants.

Salford Student Lettings Agency – Mistoria

If you are unsure about any of the terminology used in your Mistoria tenancy agreement, or guarantor agreement, please make an appointment to come and see us to discuss it. We’d be happy to help you, and any prospective guarantor, to ensure everyone in the process understands their responsibilities when renting a Mistoria property. Please contact us by phoning 0800 500 3015.   

We are members of ARLA and NAEA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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‘Hutching Up’ Increasingly Popular Outside London

student homes in salford

The concept of ‘Hutching up’, which involves people, usually young professionals, living together in smaller accommodation to meet soaring rental costs, is typically associated with the London property market. But according to Mistoria Estate Agents, the trend has now expanded to the rest of the UK, and is prevalent in many cities, including Salford.

What Does Hutching Up Mean?

Across many cities in the UK, flats, houses and HMOs are filled with young people who can only afford to live independently if they share accommodation with affordable rental charges. Mistoria has seen a 17% rise in the number of young professionals in the North West renting rooms in HMOs to save money over the past year.

Tenants in the UK are now paying an average of £959 monthly rent. according to the HomeLet Rental Index for May, representing a 2.7% increase on the same month a year earlier. 

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director, comments: “Many young people struggle to rent on their own and there is certainly a growing trend of flat and house sharing amongst young professionals. Whilst students have been sharing accommodation for many years, more and more recent graduates are finding that they can’t afford to live independently. If they’ve stayed in a good quality HMO as a student, unsurprisingly graduates see no reason to change their living circumstances when faced with a huge hike in rental costs.

“We have seen lots of young professionals take on our student lets – mainly a room in an HMO, with a shared kitchen and sitting room. Our properties are finished to a very high standard and require just £80-£110 a week to rent, bills included. We are even able to offer Deposit Free Renting. For many, not having to set up electric, gas, broadband and TV accounts or pay council tax and find hundreds of pounds for a deposit and for the month’s rent, is a massive bonus. Having the luxury of being able to budget, without having fluctuating monthly bills, has all contributed to the rise of hutching.”

“The quality of HMO accommodation on the market has improved dramatically over the last few years. Young professionals are very discerning and large flat screen TVs, leather furniture, high speed broadband and en-suites are all quite standard now. Landlords can no longer cram as many people in as possible to maximise rental income.  A property with three medium/large rooms finished to a very high spec will easily generate £80-110 per week in rent, compared with four small rooms with a poor spec at just £65-75 per week.”

Student Homes in Salford

If you’re on the hunt for student homes in Salford for the next academic year, look no further than Mistoria Estate Agents. We can help you and your friends find the property that’s right for you, at the right price. Please get in touch with the team to find out how we can help.

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.

If you are interested in purchasing an investment property, please visit the Mistoria Group website

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What is Deposit Free Renting?

estate agent salford

In partnership with deposit alternative provider Zero Deposit, student estate agent, Salford based Mistoria, is now able to offer deposit free renting, making moving into your student house considerably cheaper and easier. 

How Does It Work? 

Zero deposit renting is simple, affordable and easy. Instead of paying your traditional security deposit and one month’s rent, you simply have to pay a one-off non-refundable fee of one week’s rent (a Zero Deposit Guarantee) plus a £26 admin fee. Once you’ve signed the relevant paperwork, you’re all done – it’s now time to move into your new student house and use the money you saved to treat yourself to something nice! 

At the end of your contract, if you owe any rent or you’ve damaged the property, you’ll be expected to pay to cover the costs. The Dispute Service settles all disputes over claims with their impartial arbitration process. If you’ve left your house as you found it when you moved in, you’ll have nothing to pay. 

If you decide to stay in the same house the following year, you’ll only need to pay a small admin fee to Zero Deposit when you renew your contract.   

For absolute peace of mind, you can rest assured that Zero Deposit is FCA regulated. You can find out more about the benefits Zero Deposit renting offers here and download our simple guide to deposit free renting here. 

The Traditional Security Deposit 

SInce April 2007, landlords and agents have had to protect tenant deposits in one of three government-backed tenancy deposit schemes; mydeposits, the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) and DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme). If you would prefer this traditional method, we can still cater for your needs. No deposits are held by Mistoria Estate Agents. 

Before moving in, you’ll need to pay a deposit to secure your property. Once we’ve received the deposit, we’ll make sure the property won’t be let to anyone else. As we let out the majority of our student properties on a room-by-room basis, every member of your group must pay their own deposit. This keeps you protected if one of your friends suddenly decides to leave the property without paying some of their rent. We’ll then provide you with an inventory of everything in the house and a description of the state of the property. It’s your responsibility to check that you agree with this inventory before signing it.  

At the end of the tenancy, if your house is in the state you found it in, you’ll get your full deposit back. There are a few things for which your landlord can’t deduct from your deposit, including general wear and tear and issues which they were told about but did not act on to resolve. If there are only a few scuffs and marks on the wall, your landlord cannot use your deposit to redecorate the entire room. 

If you’ve caused any damage to the property and haven’t reported it, or you’ve failed to pay rent, you’ll forfeit some or all of your deposit at the end of your contract to cover any costs. If the damage has occurred in a communal area, the cost of repairs will be divided between all tenants; if it’s in a bedroom, only that tenant will have to pay. We will always inform you if we intend to make a deduction. You have the right to appeal our decision, at which point your deposit protection scheme will work to settle any disputes. 

Any Questions?

If you would like to find out more about our deposit free student houses, please contact the team on 0800 500 3015. 

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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Take a Tour Of Mistoria Villa

Following a full renovation and high specification upgrade, we can now unveil our flagship development in Bolton: Mistoria Villa. 

Perfect for students and professionals alike, the luxury accommodation boasts 15 spacious en-suite rooms and studios, complemented by well equipped kitchens and comfortable social spaces. The stunning bedrooms, each with a unique contemporary design and finished to a superb standard, are light and airy and all come fitted with desks, chairs, wardrobes, large, comfortable beds and modern furnishings.

A communal living area has also been added, providing the perfect space to socialise, watch TV or catch up with a book. Whether you want to relax with friends or unwind on your own, Mistoria Villa has it all. 

Situated within the Trinity Gateway Zone, the property offers excellent road and rail transport links, including the A666 to Manchester and beyond and Bolton Trinity Street train station, which is just a five minute walk away. Residents can also benefit from easy access both to the bustling Town Centre, with its wide variety of shopping and leisure opportunities and the academically excellent University of Bolton. 

To make life as easy as possible for you, your rent includes all of your utility bills as well as a fibre optic WiFi connection at no extra cost.

Call the office today to speak to one of our helpful team and arrange a viewing.

Take a tour of the property:

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New Services at our Bolton Office

salford student properties

Our popular Bolton branch is about to get even busier! Known for their attention to detail,  exceptional customer service and expert local knowledge, the team of property professionals at Mistoria Bolton are expanding their service offering. Although they are already known for their residential sales and lettings, consistently negotiating the best price for sellers and finding buyers their dream homes, they have recently introduced a new auction facility and have started handling commercial tenancies and HMOs. 

New Auction Facility  

In partnership with Pattinsons, the branch has now also launched a Modern Method Auction service facility. This comes with a number of advantages over the more traditional property sale method, including; your sale will be handled with no agency fee; you have the power to set your reserve price to get the price you want; a fast timeline, with both 28 and 56 day auction periods available; immediate exchange of contracts; and complete transparency. 

With an auction, the lengthy sales process, lack of buyer commitment, high risk of an aborted sale and no firm sale date, all well known pitfalls of the traditional sales method are avoided. You can find out more about the auction process here

HMOs

The branch has now also started to undertake work on every aspect of HMO ownership, from the initial purchase of the property, through renovation and conversion works, to the finding and vetting of suitable tenants. This type of property is particularly popular both amongst students looking to live with their friends during their time at university and young working professionals hunting for affordable accommodation. Given the plans for expansion at the academically excellent University of Bolton as well as the new jobs currently being created in the area, which are attracting a new population of young people, there has never been a better time to invest in a Bolton HMO property. For more information on the HMO opportunities offered by Mistoria, please visit our dedicated property investment website by clicking here

Commercial Tenancies

As Bolton town centre and the surrounding regions develop and thrive, the number of commercial tenancies the branch has been handling has increased massively. With the town set for further growth and expansion, the team is now calling on all individuals either looking to let or rent such property, whether it be office space, retail locations, industrial warehouses or leisure facilities, to get in touch.  

Talk to the Team

Whether you are a seller or buyer, investor or landlord, or you’re looking for a Bolton student house, please contact the team on 01204 800 766; they’ll be more than happy to answer any queries you may have. If you are instead looking for Salford student properties, please click here

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Mistoria Villa: Open Day

On the 13th February 2020, 4pm – 7pm, we’re inviting our landlords and investors to look around Mistoria Villa, our latest brand new luxury development, aimed at students and young professionals. Will you be joining us?

The event will be held at:

Mistoria Villa

106A Castle Street

Bolton 

BL2 1JL

Following a full renovation and high specification upgrade, Mistoria Villa now boasts 15 luxury en suite bedrooms, complemented by well equipped kitchens and comfortable communal social spaces. The stunning bedrooms, each with a unique contemporary design, are spacious and airy and all come fitted with desks, chairs, wardrobes, large, comfortable beds and modern furnishings. 

Situated within the Trinity Gateway Zone, the property offers excellent road and rail transport links, with easy access both to the bustling Town Centre with its wide variety of shopping and leisure opportunities and the academically excellent University of Bolton, just a ten minute walk away. 

You can view further images of the property and find out more by clicking here

To confirm your attendance, please email natasha.cross@mistoriagroup.com.

We look forward to seeing you!

Know someone who might be interested in the event? Don’t forget to spread the word amongst your contacts.