Entries Tagged as 'Tenants'

Zero Tenant Fees During December

Terms & Conditions

Applies to all applicants who make an offer to rent a property in December 2017, which is accepted by the Landlord, subject to satisfactory references and contract.

We will start the referencing process and prepare your Tenancy Agreement as soon as your offer is accepted. You will have five working days from when you receive the Tenancy Agreement to read and approve its content and then sign and return it to us. During these 5 working days we will label the property as ‘Let Agreed’ and not accept any other offers. If the Tenancy Agreement is not signed within 5 working days, the property will be re-marketed immediately.

You will be referenced by Van Mildert, a large referencing agency in the UK. After you have paid your Administration Fee, you will receive an email from Van Mildert, in which there will be a link to your own online referencing form, which you should submit as soon as possible.

In addition to some personal data, the below references will be required:

– An acceptable income reference from your current employer.
– A positive reference from your former Landlord if you were renting.
– A positive credit history check with Experian.

You will also need to supply us with the appropriate documents in accordance with Right to Rent laws.

If you cannot provide an adequate income reference, you can choose to pay the rent in advance or we can reference a Guarantor on your behalf. Should you choose to pay the rent in advance, you will be expected to pay in advance.

You cannot occupy the property if you or your Co-Tenant’s references fail. Your Tenancy can only proceed upon the completion of satisfactory references. For this reason, any commitments you make relating to your prospective Tenancy are at your own risk.

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The General Election & The Private Rented Sector

When the United Kingdom goes to the ballot box on the 7th of May, the electorate will cast their votes with a host of prominent issues in mind, but how will your choice of political party impact on Tenants and Landlords in England?

The key parties’ manifestos don’t make for the most thrilling reading, so we made a strong pot of coffee and scrutinised them for you.Conservatives

The Conservative Party‘s manifesto actually makes no explicit reference to the private rented sector, but focuses intently on helping more people onto the housing ladder by extending the Help to Buy scheme. Their Help to Buy ISA will aid renters trying to save up for a deposit, and they aim to build 200,000 ‘Starter Homes’ exclusively aimed at first-time buyers under 40.

As far as the lettings industry goes, the Conservatives are taking an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach. Over the past five years, the coalition has made minor adjustments to legislation to make letting agents’ fees more transparent and to increase living standards and security within privately rented properties, and they seem to feel that this has left the industry in a good position.

Labour Party 3

In this area, the Labour Party has taken a drastically different approach to their rivals. Ed Miliband is proposing a shake-up to the industry which will involve a ban on ‘unfair letting agent fees [which] will save renters over £600’. The Labour manifesto does not stipulate what constitutes ‘unfair’, but it is not clear whether this will be the blanket ban on fees that some had expected, such as the one implemented in Scotland in 2012.

Other Labour initiatives include legislating to make three-year tenancies the norm, and imposing a ceiling on ‘excessive rent rises’. As with the above policy, ‘excessive’ will presumably not be defined until after the election, but it is bound to be linked to inflation rates. Finally, Labour has pledged to ‘drive standards up’ by introducing a national register of private landlords, doubtless designed to weed out ‘rogue’ Landlords.Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats‘ manifesto covers similar ground to that of Labour, in that it proposes standard ‘multi-year’ tenancies with rent increases linked to inflation. They also moot a ban on letting agent fees, although this would not be implemented until 2017 and would be on the condition that fees have not dropped to an ‘affordable level by the end of 2016’ following transparency requirements brought in by the coalition.

Nick Clegg has also pledged to introduce a new initiative called ‘Help to Rent’. With other parties placing sole emphasis on helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder, the Liberal Democrats would also aim to assist those struggling to save a deposit for a rented property. This would be aimed at first-time renters under 30, and would take the form of a government-backed tenancy deposit loan.

UKIP

UKIP‘s manifesto is another that focuses solely on home ownership and does not set out any major changes for Tenants or Landlords. They wish to build more affordable housing aimed at first-time buyers, and aim to bring some of England’s ‘279,000 privately-owned long-term empty homes’ back into use through increasing taxation on properties that remain empty for more than 2 years.Green

The Green Party manifesto usurps Labour’s proposals and sets out its own plans for what would be a highly regulated private rented sector. Natalie Bennett’s party would introduce a ‘living rent’ tenancy which would include five-year fixed tenancy agreements, as well as ‘smart rent control’ that caps annual rent increases to the Consumer Price Index.

Local not-for-profit letting agencies would be set up, and fees for tenants would be abolished across all agencies. A mandatory license for Landlords would be established, and alterations would be made to make buy-to-let mortgages less attractive, including removing tax incentives such as mortgage interest relief.

In Summary…

The Conservatives and UKIP seem content with the current condition of the lettings industry, and do not address private renters or landlords in their manifestos. The Liberal Democrats and Labour both outline alterations to the sector, with both parties agreeing on rent control, standard multi-year tenancies and regulation of agency fees. The most radical policies are those of the Green Party, whose plans would drastically change how renting works for tenants, landlords and agents.

On May the 7th, Britain’s political landscape may well change; it remains to be seen whether the private rented sector will also be affected.

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Reside is OnTheMarket (.com)

18_Stacked_See_PropThe launch of OnTheMarket.com on January 26th heralded an important day for the property industry; it saw the arrival of the first genuine rival to the two established property portals, Rightmove and Zoopla.

OnTheMarket.com provides the consumer with a cleaner and fresher browsing experience, free from the advertisements, promoted properties and unnecessary information which burden other websites. It is designed to automatically adjust to all manner of screens, so whether you’re browsing on a smartphone, tablet or a PC, you will always be given the most optimised version of OnTheMarket.com. iPhone and iPad users can now also download the OnTheMarket app, which has a similarly user friendly interface.

Here at Reside, we are delighted and excited to announce that all of our properties are now displayed on OnTheMarket.com, as well as across Rightmove and our own website. We have already started to receive leads through OnTheMarket.com and feel that it is on the way to quickly establishing itself as an essential tool for property hunters.

Despite only being a few weeks old, you may already be familiar with OnTheMarket.com; a major advertising campaign has started across a variety of national television channels, as well as on the pages of the UK’s major daily newspapers. For those of you yet to see it, you can watch the advert below, which was filmed using a remarkable eight-propeller drone called The Octocopter!

Click here to view all of our properties on OnTheMarket.com, and to have a look around their new website. We think you’ll be seeing a lot more of it for years to come.

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First time landlords invest as tenant demand increases

Bath shutterstock_101583367

A recent study by major buy-to-let lender, Paragon Mortgages, found an increase in borrowing by first-time landlords as compared to the same time period last year.

Similarly, the percentage of business coming from landlords looking to grow their rental portfolios also increased.

John Heron, director of Paragon, said: “It would seem that an investment in property is increasingly attractive against a background of low returns on cash and volatility in global markets.”

“With perceptions shifting in terms of the improved availability of buy-to-let finance too, the lending industry is in a good place to support the ambitions of both new and experienced landlords.”

Also of interest to new landlords are the increases in average monthly rental costs in England and Wales – up by 3.5% in the 12 months to May 2013, according to LSL Property Services’ buy-to-let index.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, said: “With wage growth so weak compared to inflation and house price growth, it looks like deposits will become less affordable – which will keep demand for rented accommodation high.”

He added that “private renting will become a more and more vital aspect of the economy.”

In line with these findings, we at Reside are seeing local demand for properties increasing significantly. July 2013 was our busiest month ever in terms of properties let, which were up 44% compared to July 2012 and 116% compared to July 2011. New properties added to our website also rose by 33% in July 2013 compared with last year.

Given also that rent arrears and voids are in decline, according to the National Landlords Association, this suggests that now is an excellent time for new landlords to consider investing in rental properties.

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You spin me right round…

We’re always looking for new ways to show our landlords’ properties, and better ways to help our tenants decide which properties suit them. So when we came across BubblePix, producers of a brand new technology that creates 360° photographic images, we saw an exciting opportunity.

(photo credit: BubblePix)

The BubblePod creates 360° images that will give our prospective tenants an honest view of property interiors – before they decide to visit.

We’re proud to announce we’ve made a small investment in BubblePix and that inventor Tom Lawton has agreed that Reside will be pioneering this exciting technology.

There are two elements to the technology: the BubblePod and the BubblePix App.

The BubblePod is a clockwork turntable that grips your smartphone and smoothly, silently rotates it by 360º.

Meanwhile the BubblePix App on your phone captures the 360º image. Users can shoot and share images in less than a minute.

Reside has agreed to act as a test bed for the early production versions. This means we’ll be one of the first letting agencies to use these images to present our properties.

Once they go into production, this will create a fantastic tool for letting agents everywhere.

To find out more about the BubblePod, click here.

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Rent payments to go on tenants’ credit files

By the end of 2012, tenants will have details about their rental payments included in their credit file under an initiative launched by Experian, one of the UK’s three credit reference agencies.

Under the new scheme, tenants who consistently pay their rent on time will benefit from an enhanced credit rating, thus boosting their chances of being granted mortgages, loans, credit cards and future tenancy agreements. Conversely, tenants who have paid their rent late will find that their credit score falls – something that will show up on future credit checks by banks, landlords or letting agencies.

Tenants living together under a joint tenancy agreement will also have to keep on their toes, as late joint rent will also count against them, regardless of who is to blame.

Reaction to the announcement has been mixed, with experts coming out both for and against the proposal. Quoted in The Guardian, Sian Williams, head of Transact, said “this could be a very useful tool for allowing [renters] to access a wider range of services at a more affordable cost.” She concludes that it is a “very welcome development for many people living in private rented accommodation, who until now have often found it difficult to build a credit history.”

Dan Plant, a money analyst for MoneySavingExpert.com, is rather more reserved in his reaction to the initiative: “This adds to the ever-expanding pool of information banks can use to make a snap judgement about you, and it’s not even about how you’ve previously borrowed money. This makes it absolutely crucial you pay your rent on time, and regularly check credit files to make sure everything that’s reported is true – and if not, get it put right.”

Experian is now beginning the process of talking to major letting agents and landlords to encourage them to state in tenancy agreements that they can share tenants’ payment history. If successful, the data should start to appear by the end of the year.

At Reside, our tenants are referenced through Endsleigh, a branch of of Experian.

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Will changes to EPC law be delayed yet again?

Back in January, we blogged about the ongoing saga concerning changes to EPC law in England. Letting and estate agents are required by law to commission an Energy Performance Certificate prior to marketing a property, but current legislation regarding how much of the report must then be shared with clients is very lax. The EPC gives an indication of how energy efficient a property is, and what can be done to improve its rating and decrease fuel costs.

Since early 2011 the government has been promising to tighten up EPC laws, but the proposed changes have been consistently delayed and pushed back. With the latest deadline of April 6th coming up shortly, it remains to be seen whether or not they will be postponed yet again.

The warning signs look ominous; last week, agents were due to be issued with guidance on the upcoming changes by the Communities and Local Government department. This did not happen. However, Estate Agent Today reports that a government insider has indicated that the changes will ‘definitely go ahead on April 6‘, despite the fact that the redesigned EPC has not yet been approved.

It is widely believed that, after April 6th, letting and estate agents will be required to attach the entire first page of the new-look EPC to all property particulars, although no guidance has yet been issued about online marketing.

While many believe that this marks an important step towards encouraging tenants and homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their home, others see the EPC as something that is ignored by the vast majority of people moving into a new home. A recent report in The Guardian suggests that ‘nearly four-fifths of people (79%) who had received an EPC when buying or renting a new home had not acted on any of its recommendations to make it more energy-efficient and thereby save money’. The government will be hoping that the redesigned EPC, with a front page that clearly and simply details recommendations for improving the property’s energy efficiency, will have an impact on the amount of people who then act on the recommendations.

At Reside, we have always made the entire EPC available to landlords and tenants and we will continue to do so after April 6th. Examples of our EPCs can be found on the property pages of our website.

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Reside introduces regular lettings newsletter

The first Reside eNewsletter, packed with the latest lettings news locally and nationally, was yesterday sent out to Reside landlords, colleagues and contacts. The first edition included stories on Reside’s sponsorship of a local Prince’s Trust event, the estimated rise in home rentals over the coming years, and much more.

To view our first eNewsletter, please click here.

To subscribe to future eNewsletters, please click here.

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Reside and Tenants featured in the London Evening Standard

Yesterday’s London Evening Standard had a great article about more and more city professionals making Bath their family home. Reside’s Tenants Alastair & Marianne Hogg were featured in the article along with Charlie Taylor of Knight Frank’s Bath office.

Click the image to view in full size.

 

Whilst the article itself primarily focuses on more Londoners purchasing in Bath, the small interview with our Tenants shows that many people choose to rent first in order to familiarise themselves with the area, with local schools and where they may wish to eventually buy. This is something that is happening more and more often, creating a greater demand in Bath for larger and higher end rental properties.

With London Paddington just an hour and 20 minutes from Bath Spa Station, more and more families are moving away from the city and into Bath. If you have a larger family home that you perhaps thought wouldn’t generate any interest on the rental market, now is a great time to take advantage of this current trend.

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Rents continue to increase due to high demand

Throughout 2010, Tenant demand was always outstripping the supply of properties coming into the rental marketplace, something that I blogged about at the time here. This had the effect of increasing rents throughout the UK, particularly in prominent cities in the south like London, Oxford, Exeter and Bath.

Rents have continued to increase in 2011 and Tenant demand is still very high, though there is now signs of more property coming to the rental market. ARLA’s (the Association of Residential Letting Agents)  survey of the Private Rented Sector, covering Q4 2010, was drawn from 554 member offices and concluded that demand for rental property will continue to outstrip supply for much of 2011 and into next year. You can read their report here. Similarly the  latest RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Residential Lettings Survey for November 2010 – January 2011 concluded that strong tenant demand and a falling supply of property, is increasing rents rapidly. RICS report can be read here.

With such reports from ARLA and RICS and continuing demand, Tenants across the UK are bracing themselves for more rent increases. According to research by leading property portal Rightmove, more than half of Britain’s tenants expect the cost of renting to increase during the next 12 months, while only four per cent predicted falling rates. The property website said that the UK’s rental sector was “creaking under the strain” of increased demand, with almost 60 per cent of tenants eager to buy a home but financially unable to do so. Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, commented: “Letting agents in many areas are reporting an insatiable demand, with prospective tenants coming from all backgrounds and requiring all types of property.

Tenant demand and increasing rent is very evident in Bath, particularly in the larger and more expensive properties that perhaps would not have come to the rental market only a few years ago. Reside recently let a beautiful and substantial three bedroom Georgian Townhouse on Lyncombe Hill for £3000 pcm after just a day on the market. Just outside of Bath we recently let Park House Farm, a large Grade II listed former farmhouse believed to date back to late 17th/early 18th Century for £2750 pcm and on Bathwick Hill, Reside achieved a rent of £2700 pcm for a detached modern home on St. Catherines Close.

It is not just the larger properties that are seeing an increase in rents, one and two bedroom apartments are the most in demand properties in the rental market in Bath and have also seen a dramatic increase. Reside recently achieved £695 pcm for a very small top floor apartment located on Princes Street in Bath city centre, £950 pcm for a beautiful one bedroom apartment on Henrietta Street and £1400 pcm for a contemporary two bedroom  apartment on Catharine Place.

According to new research recently carried out by Lloyds TSB, house prices in spa towns across England and Wales are on average £38,000 or 16%, above their local averages. Properties in Bath cost on average 42% more than in neighbouring south-west towns. This coupled with Tenant demand means rents will continue to increase in Bath for the foreseeable future. Landlords – Now couldn’t be a better time to rent out your property.

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