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All Inclusive Student Housing

2 Students Mistoria Estate Agents

With water, gas and electric bills increasing year on year, we prefer to offer “All Inclusive” bills in our student housing.

You may be more accustomed to hearing the phrase ‘all inclusive’ when it comes holidays. The price you pay will include your flight, hotel, food, drink and activities. Our all inclusive student housing works along the same principles, but instead of two weeks by the beach your monthly rental payment will include your accommodation, utility bills, broadband, rental of white goods such as your washing machine and dishwasher, fixtures and fittings and some electrical goods like a plasma TV.

The all inclusive rent option is ideal for student housing. It’s a straightforward and less complicated way of paying. For most of our student tenants this is their first time away from home and the hassle and responsibility of paying and keeping up with bills can be somewhat overwhelming. It also prevents any unnecessary falling out with fellow housemates when it comes to dividing the bills.

At Mistoria Estate Agents we believe our all inclusive rents are transparent and give you the peace of mind that there will be no hidden costs.

All inclusive rents are also appealing to landlords as they have the reassurance that there will be no outstanding bills at the end of a tenancy. It also helps retain good tenants, many are unlikely to move to a different property where they have to organise their own bill payments and keep track of how much they owe each month.

David Cox, senior policy officer at the National Landlords Association says,

“All-inclusive rents can be very appealing to tenants, so landlords who offer these can have the edge over those who don’t. Students prefer all-inclusive rents as these reduce the number of things to worry about when they move in to their first rental property.”

Please take a look at our property selection available to rent and if you would like more information, please call 0161 707 6106.

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The Deposit Protection Scheme – Keeping Your Money Safe

Deposits can be a scary thing.  You’re handing over a large sum of money to someone you barely know, and trusting that you’ll get it back.  Unfortunately, landlords have broken this trust in the past, which is why in 2007, the Government introduced tenancy protection laws in the UK.  These laws mean that landlords are obliged to place your deposit within a deposit protection scheme to keep it safe until you get it back.

The schemes are government run, meaning they’re completely reputable and trustworthy.  The four schemes available to landlords are:

Each of these websites contains a tool which, as a tenant, you can use to double check that your deposit is protected.  Your landlord is also legally obligated to tell you which deposit protection scheme they are using and how you can apply to get your deposit back.  For a full list of landlord responsibilities regarding your deposit, and to check your landlord isn’t keeping any important information from you, follow the link here.

So what if your landlord hasn’t used a deposit protection scheme?  Well, the four aforementioned websites all offer help and advice for such an event.  The official government website on deposit protection also recommends contacting a county court, who may demand that the landlord repay you the deposit or pay it into a scheme within two weeks.

Moving house is stressful enough without the added anxiety of what your new landlord may be doing with your deposit, so keep your mind at ease by making sure your money is stored away in a reputable deposit protection scheme.  It’s the law!

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Lettings Regulations explained – what to expect from the new procedures

Formerly, a general lack of regulation in the lettings industry has resulted in some tenants and landlords falling foul of unscrupulous methods, with a reported 40% of letting agents failing to sign up to self-regulation.  The recent changes to the laws governing the lettings industry have stated that, going forward, all lettings agents will be required to register with an Ombudsman, the objective being to uphold best practice and to ensure than both tenant and landlord are better protected.    

Under the new regulations, failure to register with an Ombudsman can potentially result in civil or criminal penalties for agents.  It is believed the amendments will come into force in autumn of this year.  When this is so, should tenants wish to lodge a complaint, they will be able to do so through the appropriate channels.  Prior to addressing an Ombudsman, tenants are being advised to firstly: 

– Ensure that the firm is infact registered with the Ombudsman.

– Ensure that the tenant has written in complaint to the firm in the first instance.

Under the new regulations, any complaint should be investigated within an eight week period, following which, if unresolved, the matter can be referred to the Ombudsman.  If a firm has written to a tenant and the outcome is deemed ‘unsatisfactory’, the case can again, be referred to the Ombudsman.  Sending copies of all correspondence and supportive documentation to the Ombudsman is advised.

However, there are certain matters that cannot be handled by the Ombudsman, these being:

– If your complaint is not against a registered agent.

– If your complaint is being handled by a court or similar body.

– Your complaint refers to an incident prior to the agent joining the lettings part of the TPO (The Property Ombudsman) scheme or more than 12 months before you complained in writing to the agent.

– Your complaint is referred to the Ombudsman more than 6 months following the date of the agent’s final correspondence.

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International Students set to fill UK’s Student Housing

Student HousingAny uncertainty over whether landlords of student housing would struggle to let their properties after a sharp increase in the price of Uni tuition is over, following a rise in university applications, driven by foreign students.

The number of foreign students coming to the UK is fast increasing, and over the next 10 years it is predicated to rise further. University recruiters are working hard to attract an international mix who are not put off by our high tuition costs. After all international students studying in British universities have been paying fees since the 1980s.

Many student housing landlords did have major concerns after the number of University applications seriously fell when the Government increased tuition fees to more than £9000 a year. The owners of student housing felt uncertain about whether they would continue to fill their properties year on year. However, University applications have started to rise, with a large proportion of those being from overseas students wishing to live and study here in the UK. Almost 559,000 students made applications to British universities by the official mid-January deadline, up by 3.5 per cent on the same point last year. Statistics show that numbers were being partly driven by a sharp rise in demand from foreign students, with applications soaring by almost 10 per cent.

China and Hong Kong continues to send the largest numbers of students to British universities and numbers were up by a quarter among those from Malaysia this year.

Owning and renting out your property to students both British and international is a salient way to earn steady inflation-matching investment returns. If you have a property you would like Mistoria Estate Agents to manage, we offer a tailored property management solution guaranteed to satisfy all your property requirements. We help you realise your property investment returns from day one.

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Why use a property lettings agent?

Do you have a property that you need/want to rent out?

First of all ask yourself how much do you know about property lettings?

It is possible to let your property privately without the use of a property lettings agent, but using one like us has quite a few advantages. We will market your property for you and organise viewings, get references from your tenants and draw up a tenancy agreement for you. We will also manage the property and take care of any maintenance issues, dealing directly with the tenant on your behalf.

A very important task we handle is rent collection. According to The Tenant Arrears Tracker, published by LSL Property Services the number of tenants who are more than two months behind of their rent has risen dramatically in the first quarter of 2013 from 4,000 to 94, this represents an increase of nearly 5 per cent. We take the worry and stress out of this part of letting.

Did you know that your tenant’s deposit must be kept in a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme. It is held there until the end of the tenancy when it should be returned, assuming the tenant has kept your property in good order. The idea is to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords who withold it unreasonably.

WHAT WE DO AS YOUR PROPERTY LETTINGS AGENT

  • Advertise the house for rent
  • Show potential tenants round your property
  • Screen potential tenants
  • Collect rent and security deposits
  • Negotiate rental agreements and sign leases
  • Conduct periodic property inspections
  • Handle repair and maintance issues
  • File evictions, if necessary

Many people don’t want to handle all these extra responsibilities or simply don’t have the time. At Mistoria Estate Agents, your property lettings agent we will ensure that your property and tenants are well looked after.

For more information please see our LANDLORDS page.

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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.”