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Advice for First Time Tenants

Looking to rent? Here's our advice for first time tenants

Renting a property for the first time can be daunting but it doesn't have to be! Drawing on my experiences as a Letting Agent I'll highlight below the key points for ensuring a smooth process. If you are unsure of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant you should always seek advice.

1. Whether you deal directly with a landlord, through a letting agent, or via a university accommodation service, ask if they are members of a professional organisation such as The UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) and check their membership status via the online register of members. Other recognised groups include the National Landlord Association (NLA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agencies (ARLA).

2. Always ask the agency to disclose their fees - reference fees, check-in fees etc. An installation fee at the beginning of the tenancy is normal however make sure to ask if there is a hidden check out fee at the end of the tenancy!

3. Before signing an agreement, study the Gas Safety certificate to ensure it up-to-date. The law requires a Gas Safe registered engineer must check all gas appliances every year.

4. The property’s Energy Performance Certificate should be provided and will indicate how efficient your homes insulation is - increased efficiency means lower bills.

5. Budget what the whole cost of renting the property may be, not just the rent and set aside a contingency sum in case of emergencies.

6. Ensure the agent gives you time to properly read the contract before you sign as it is legally binding.

7. Check the inventory before paying your deposit - this may be a third party or in-house report so it is up to you to check that it is an accurate assessment of the condition of the property. Take your own photos for your own records and make sure to note any damage, marks, wear or tear before signing.

8. Ensure your deposit will be protected with a tenancy deposit protection provider such as the Deposit Protection Service (DPS). It is legal requirement for agents or landlords to protect the deposit and send you the prescribed information shortly after your tenancy begins. You should receive a receipt from the scheme within 30 days and be sure to follow this up if it is not forth-coming.

9. During the tenancy report any damage or issues to the landlord as soon as possible so that they may be resolved, keeping copies of any correspondence 

10. When you come to leave the property, ensure it is in the same condition (apart from fair wear and tear) as when you moved in - Tenants often lose part of their deposit for minor issues. Be sure to clean all surfaces and dispose of any rubbish.

I hope this is helpful for our tenants. Remember if you are unsure of anything don't hesitate to contact us :)

West Kirby Letting Company Update

Company Outlook

We have seen tenant demand for properties to rent in the West Kirby area greatly increase since the decision was taken to advertise through Rightmove. We are now receiving enquiries from as far afield as Germany and expect this interest to continue as our reputation through Rightmove grows.

We currently have no properties available to let at this time and are actively looking for new properties to let and/or manage on behalf of landlords.

If you are interested in using our service please contact David Mayhew on 0151 625 3344 or 07989 400 990


West Kirby Letting Company Update

Letting News

The cost of renting a home in England and Wales fell for the second month in a row in December, a survey by LSL Property Services suggested. The monthly falls in rental costs in November and December came after 10 months of rises, amounting to a year on year increase of 4%.

"The rental market was sheltered from the full impact of the seasonal lull by the strength of underlying tenant demand as many prospective renters took the opportunity to move in the run-up to Christmas at a time when the market is traditionally less competitive," said David Newnes, director of LSL, which owns lettings agents including Your Move and Reeds Rains.

Tenant demand has improved since the beginning of 2012 for 2-3 bedroom properties in West Kirby. This is despite rental prices remaining steady since their peak in the late summer of 2011.

Matt Hutchinson, director of flat and house share website has said

“The fundamentals have not changed. Demand is still significantly outstripping supply of new rental stock, and while December was a quieter month for the rental market, January and February are typically two of the busiest months. We would expect to see upward pressure on rents resume in early 2012.”

However with household income decreasing and the fear of job uncertainty around, rental prices could remain flat throughout 2012. The economic worries combined with above target inflation is impacting on tenants, many are now spending two thirds of their income on rent leaving little leftover for savings.

Despite the economic outlook the private rented sector will continue to offer an excellent investment opportunity for buyers of buy-to-let properties, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). In their recent report figures showed a significant number of landlords investing in new properties.

A recent report from buy-to-let mortgage provider Paragon revealed that more than 22% of landlords expect to buy additional properties this year, while just 8% expect to sell. National figures suggest buy-to-let investors are still struggling to acquire capital but with first time buyers priced out of the market, rental properties will continue to be the only viable alternative. Rental prices should therefore remain stable for the foreseeable future.

Company Outlook

Since the previous update in October 2011, we have experienced stronger than expected performance. Whilst November and December were relatively quiet months, this was in line with the LSL Property Services figures. Since the beginning of the New Year, West Kirby Letting has let a number of properties in quick succession. The letting market is stable and should continue to perform in line with analysts’ expectations throughout 2012 however this will be dependent on the outcome of the Eurozone crisis and its impact on credit and borrowing. We are currently looking for landlords to supply residential properties to our growing number of prospective tenants. For further information please contact David Mayhew, director of West Kirby Letting Ltd.

West Kirby Letting Company Update & Market News

West Kirby Letting News

Welcome to the first West Kirby Letting update. These posts will inform our readers of our properties available to let, company news and changes, activity in the rental market and any changing legislation or landmark cases. If you would like to receive these automatically by email, please subscribe to our mailing list.


High Demand for Quality Property

According to resrecently let property, located in west kirbyearch published by the Association of Residential Lettings in July 2011, there is a falling trend in the balance of rental property supply and demand. The report highlights, that there is an undersupply of good quality property which is impacting on the rental market as demand from increasing numbers of tenants are failing to be met.

In 2009 10% of ARLA members reported that there were more prospective tenants than properties available. In the second quarter of 2011 that figure had increased to 74% of its members, suggesting an undersupply of rental homes.


Unlicensed Letting Agents

It isn’t just the quality of rental supply which is lacking but also the quality of service for the letting. West Kirby Letting notes the comment from Adrian Wray, director of Bradgate Property Management in Leicestershire.

‘There is a lack of quality properties being made available through licensed agents. The rental properties available are often offered through unlicensed lettings agents, so we would urge prospective tenants or landlords to research their agent carefully, or else risk an unprofessional service,’ he explained.

Also Caroline Kavanagh, group lettings director for Townends Estate Agents, part of Badger Holdings suggested,

A lack of means or desire to buy has led to some agents looking to compensate for the sales market by diversifying into the rental market, meaning landlords also have greater choice of letting and management agencies. ‘Some of these accidental agents have little or no experience of this market but have attracted landlords with too good to be true agent fees, only to later close down and in some cases defraud their clients,’.

Landlords are in the driving seat and do have the opportunity to shop around for the best agent or management company and the best tenants. However, with a thriving yet unregulated market come an increased number of people looking to cash in on it, so landlords should remember service levels and price usually come hand in hand,’ she explained.


Company Outlookrecently let 2 bed property, shrewsbury road, west kirby

The company is reporting a mixed performance during the quarter ending September. Despite moving premises and completely refurbishing the company website, the company has appraised around a dozen properties, securing a total of 3 tenancy agreements. Our most recent letting was a one bedroom ground floor flat in Shrewsbury Road which we let within 2 weeks of first advertising!

West Kirby Letting notes that the local property lettings market is in good condition however it remains cautious as to the likeliness in securing new residential stock for rent in the current climate, with existing rental properties taken or failing to meet client needs and buy-to-let investors sitting in cash.

Tenant demand appears to be focused on prime semi-detached property rentals comprising 2-3 bedrooms. There has been a clear trend of an increasing number of tenants wanting to stay on in what we classify as prime rental properties. These are defined as well located properties which are presented in a smart condition throughout attracting close to the FRV (full rental value).

The market has remained positive with demand in many places continuing to outstrip supply, giving landlords the choice select their preferred tenants to a certain degree. However there is a good supply of 2 bedroom apartments/flats in the West Kirby area which are attracting interest but are failing to secure a tenancy despite current rental prices. Rents are at a level which reflect that demand as a whole is exceeding supply, family sized semi-detached/terraced houses are in particular demand.

We are now offering a discounted rental figure for a number of our 2 bedroom properties which are all 6 month negotiable leases. For further information please contact David Mayhew, director of West Kirby Letting Ltd.   

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