Posted on

Moving back into your student house

Welcome back!  We hope that all our students had a restful break and a very happy new year.  We’re sure that you’re all eager to move back into your student properties and get back into the uni lifestyle after a few weeks at home with your families, but what should be at the top of your to-do list now that you’re back?  Here are our suggestions…

  • Open a couple of windows.  In order to avoid condensation which can lead to mould, crack open a window or two and let some fresh air in.  The house should have been all locked up over the winter break which, while safe, can cause it to become stuffy and prone to condensation.  Let some air flow through while you’re home, but don’t forget to lock up again before you go out!
  • Have a quick clean.  While things should have been spick and span before you left, an empty house can lead to dust, and any forgotten abandoned food may have gone bad and left a nasty smell.  With exam and coursework deadlines looming, you may be spending a lot of time studying (and celebrating afterwards!) in the common areas so make a pact with your house mates to keep it clean.  A quick wipe down of the work tops and a sort through your cupboards and fridge can make a big difference, so start the year as you mean to go on!
  • Check for any problems.  Whether it’s the harsh winter weather taking its toll on the property, resulting in fallen roof tiles or frozen pipes, or whether you’ve just sprung a leak, drop us a line right away and the Mistoria team can get things fixed up as soon as possible.  Give us a call on our emergency maintenance number 07794 913 390 and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
  • Sort out your student housing for next year.  If you’ll still be studying in the next academic year and haven’t yet sorted out your accommodation, make sure to get it booked so you don’t lose out.  If you’ve grown attached to your student house this year, give us a call and rebook for 2014/15.  The process is quick and easy, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can keep your digs for another year.  Contact us to arrange a viewing on 0800 500 3015 or through our website – we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.

We hope you all have a fantastic second term in your Mistoria property and that you’ll consider rebooking with us for next year.  If you have any questions or comments, as usual don’t hesitate to contact us – whether by phone on 0800 500 3015 or through our website.  We’d love to hear from you!

Posted on

Merry Christmas from Mistoria Estate Agents!

The term is coming to a close. It’s time to finish off half-written coursework, pack up your dirty laundry and travel home for the Christmas holidays – at last!

To those currently living in a Mistoria student house, we hope you’ve had a pleasant first term and are enjoying your stay in our property.  Make sure everything is locked up while you’re away, and be sure to check out our tips for keeping your student house safe over the Christmas holiday.  We look forward to seeing you again after your much deserved break!

We’d also like to extend a big thank you to those who have recently put down a deposit for a student house with us for the next academic year – have a happy new year and we’ll see you in 2014.  If you’re still looking for next year’s digs, why not check out our available properties and give us a call on 0800 500 3015 – we’d love to have you with us next Christmas!

On behalf of everyone at Mistoria Estate Agents, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – eat, drink and be merry! See you next year.

student house

Posted on

Is your student accommodation booked for 2014?

As the term draws to a close, now’s the time that most students are beginning to sign for their student accommodation for the next academic year. To avoid the rush and to save yourself weeks of stress trying to find a decent pad next year, it is recommended that students get a room booked before Christmas break. At Mistoria, we’ve been working hard to renovate all our properties to the highest standard, and we’re pleased to report that many houses have already been let for 2014/2015. Here are just a few of our favourite available properties – feel free to have a browse, and don’t hesitate to contact us if a house takes your fancy. These properties are sure to go fast, so get in touch before Christmas to ensure you end up with a dream house for you and your friends next year!

Liverpool – 28 Connaught Road

We love this 5 bedroom property in Kensington, Liverpool. Renovated to Mistoria’s Platinum Standard, this student house has 5 beautifully decorated bedrooms, plus a bright open-plan kitchen/living room, complete with plasma TV and iPod docking station. Two bathrooms means no squabbling over the shower in the morning and as if that isn’t enough, all bills are included! Click here to view more.

student property Liverpool bedroom   student property Liverpool living room

Salford – 1 Duncan Street

This 10 bedroom house is perfect for a group of friends who just don’t want to be parted when it’s time to move out of halls. Fully furnished to the highest standard and complete with bills and broadband, this property really is something special. Each room, whether a double or an en suite, comes with a bed topped with a memory foam mattress for maximum comfort, as well as plenty of storage space and, of course, a desk. Interested? Why not get in touch…

student property Salford bedroom   student property Salford bathroom

Preston – 6 Balcarres Road

Studying in Preston? We may have just the property for you! This 4 bedroom property is tastefully decorated and beautifully laid out, with an open-plan kitchen/living room and four great sized bedrooms. This house was recently renovated, meaning everything is in top condition – including a top spec plasma TV! This is a very unique property, perfect for those looking for a student house with a bit of extra character. Take a look here to find out more or to arrange a viewing.

student property Preston bedroom   student property Preston kitchen

At Mistoria, we pride ourselves on our exceptionally high standards, and we think our properties reflect this. All our houses are decked out to the highest standard and are inclusive of all bills, meaning you can relax knowing all the hard stuff is taken care of. Properties are being snapped up fast, so now’s the time to act or risk missing out on your perfect student pad. To browse all our available properties, take a look at our website. Alternatively, you can contact us on 0800 500 3015 or via our contact page to get more information or to arrange a viewing. You can also download our student property guide for advice on how to house-hunt, check-lists for moving in and out, and other top tips!

Posted on

Student House Viewings – What To Look For

Trying to find the right student house can be stressful.  So many viewings in such a short space of time can leave you unsure of what it is you’re actually looking for.  And so, here at Mistoria Estate Agents, we’ve devised a helpful list of things to bear in mind during student house viewings

  • Furniture – What comes with the house?  Most student accommodation will come equipped with the basics – beds, sofas, wardrobes etc.  But what about white goods?  Will you need to buy your own toaster and kettle?  What about a bookcase sturdy enough for all your textbooks?  And don’t forget the TV!
  • Location Location Location – Have an idea in mind for where you want to live to narrow down your property search.  Would you rather be closer to the university or further afield where it’s quieter?  Remember to consider transport costs – if you find a house that isn’t within walking distance, you will most likely have to buy an annual bus pass.  Ask yourself, does the area feel safe?  We recommend Googling the street to double check. 
  • Security – Every landlord is legally obligated to make sure their property is as safe as possible.  This includes both fire safety and security measures to prevent burglaries.  Student houses are notorious for being break-in targets, so it’s definitely worth making sure you choose a house that measures up in terms of security.  We’re talking locks on windows, multiple locks on the doors and outside lights.  If you find a house you love that doesn’t feel secure enough, you are well within your rights to demand an security upgrade from your landlord.  There’s nothing worse than coming home to find your laptop (and with it, all your coursework) missing!
  • Price Rent is obviously one of the first things students consider when choosing a house but what about other costs?  Does the rent include any bills?  What about internet costs? And don’t forget food!  Rent won’t be the only thing coming out of your account every month so remember to add up the total costs and figure out a hypothetical budget when considering whether or not you can afford a place.
  • Housemates One of the best things about a student house as opposed to halls is the communal aspect.  A good sized living room and kitchen is essential if you plan to spend a lot of time with your housemates or hold a lot of parties.  A garden may also come in handy for the summer.  However, remember that things don’t always go smoothly!  One bathroom between five may cause early-morning fights, and if it turns out you can’t stand your housemate’s taste in TV, you may want to avoid the living room, so make sure to choose a bedroom you don’t mind spending a lot of time in if necessary.
Posted on

Student Accommodation FAQs

So, you’re looking for your first student house and everything is a little bit overwhelming.  There’s so much to consider and loads of new jargon to wrap your head around.  What’s a deposit?  What’s a holding fee?  Do I need to pay them both?  And what’s this NLA I’ve been hearing so much about?  Don’t panic!  Sit back, relax, and check out Mistoria’s Student Accommodation FAQs…

  • What is a guarantor and why do I need one? 
  • A guarantor is a third party (usually a parent or legal guardian) who guarantees that your rent will be paid.  Your guarantor will need to sign a form to confirm that, should you fail to pay the rent, they will pay the landlord on your behalf.  Basically, they act as a safety net, since most students cannot be 100% trusted with their funds!
  • What is a deposit and will I get it back?
  • Your deposit is there to ensure that you take care of your property.  Most landlords will ask for approximately a month’s rent as a deposit, and given that the property is not damaged, you will get this money back at the end of your tenancy.  Bear this in mind during your stay and work together to keep the property in a reasonable condition – it’s a lot of money to lose for one person’s careless behaviour. Also remember that your landlord is obligated by law to place your deposit in a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. Always ask your landlord which scheme they’re using in order to make sure your money is safe.
  • What is a holding fee?
  • A holding fee guarantees that the property is yours if you want it – the landlord will stop holding viewings and it gives you some extra time between viewing the property and signing the contracts to get things in order.  However, holding fee policy differs from landlord to landlord.  Some do not accept a holding fee, while others will require one.  Some will take the holding fee amount out of your deposit, and others will consider it an additional payment.  Make sure you know where your prospective landlord stands on holding fees, especially if you’ve found a house you love.
  • Who pays the bills?
  • While some properties come with bills included, usually it is up to the students to pay.  Make sure each of you keep some money aside for bills every month, and work out a system to split the cost.  To keep your bills as low as possible, check out the efficiency rating of every house you view – the more efficient the property, the lower your bills will be.
  • What about internet or TV?
  • Again, this differs from property to property.  Remember that internet is essential for uni work, so if it’s not included, make arrangements ASAP to avoid any problems at the start of term.  Discuss with your flatmates whether or not you need a TV.  On the one hand it can encourage the group to be more sociable, but remember that a TV will require a TV license – another additional cost.
  • What’s the NLA?
  • When looking for student accommodation, you may have come across the phrase “NLA registered”, meaning that the landlord is registered with the National Landlords Assosiation and therefore more reputable.  If possible, it is always recommended that students choose an NLA registered landlord to ensure that they are protected.
Posted on

Regulation of Letting Agents

Landlords and tenants are to be better protected by rogue letting agents under new government legislation.

A recent amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill has introduced the regulation of letting agents. Until now letting agents have not been legally required to be a member of an ombudsman scheme, despite the huge sums of money the industry handles each year.

It’s thought prior to this new legislation up to 40 per cent of letting agents did not sign-up to self regulation.

This made the situation difficult when things went wrong.  Tenants and landlords now have the chance to get money they are owed back from rogue agents without resorting to the courts.

Mistoria Estate Agents welcomes tighter regulation, we believe until now many agents have been able to operate with impunity as consumers have had no way of addressing the actions of unscrupulous or negligent agents.

Lady Hayter, the Labour peer who has led the campaign for lettings regulation comments,

“While this is definitely a step in the right direction, I think it’s a shame that the government stopped short of introducing full regulation of the lettings industry.”

Ian Potter, managing director of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents says,

“The government’s amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill marks a positive move for the private rented sector and in particular, for consumers, who only stand to benefit from a formal system of redress. However it is vital that the Government begins the process of consultation quickly, taking on board the views of the sector and moves to introduce secondary legislation as soon as possible.”

It’s hoped this new legislation will come into effect by the autumn, following a consultation with both industry and consumer groups.

If you have a property you would like us to manage for you, please get in touch. Call us on 0161 707 6106. We look forward to hearing from you.