Posts tagged canterbury agents

Position Available in our iConn office – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Student Key Return – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Calling all students!! Please note that your keys must be returned by 5pm on Tuesday 30th June. Keys returned after this date will result in tenants being charged a days rent for each day these are not returned. Any problems contact Amy and Nadine in lettings on 01227 765008

 

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Possible changes concerning tenant safety – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Gov.uk have posted an article regarding potential changes to installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms within their rented properties:

 

Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, under measures announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis today (11 March 2015).

The move will help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year.

The measure is expected to take effect from October 2015, and comes with strong support after a consultation on property condition in the private rented sector.

England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities are expected to support private landlords in their own areas to meet their new responsibilities with the provision of free alarms, with grant funding from government.

This is part of wider government moves to ensure there are sufficient measures in place to protect public safety, while at the same time avoiding regulation which would push up rents and restrict the supply of homes, limiting choice for tenants.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:

In 1988 just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed – now it’s over 90%.

The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection.

But with working smoke alarms providing the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant’s responsibility.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:

We’re determined to create a bigger, better and safer private rented sector – a key part of that is to ensure the safety of tenants with fire prevention and carbon monoxide warning.

People are at least 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm.

That’s why we are proposing changes to the law that would require landlords to install working smoke alarms in their properties so tenants can give their families and those they care about a better chance of escaping a fire.

Ensuring the safety of tenants

Other measures to support the private rented sector include investing £1 billion in building newly-built homes specifically for private rent, giving tenants support against rogue landlords and publishing a How to rent guide so tenants and landlords alike are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

The proposed changes to the law would require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and test them at the start of every tenancy.

Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.

Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms would face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.

This would bring private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that already require newly-built homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed.

And it’s in line with other measures the government has taken to improve standards in the private rented sector, without wrapping the industry up in red tape.

Further information

New regulations will be laid in Parliament to require landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, and are expected to come into force, subject to Parliamentary approval, on 10 October 2015.

The allocation of funding to fire and rescue authorities to offer free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to local landlords will be announced shortly.

The government’s Fire Kills campaign will be encouraging people to test their smoke alarms when they change their clocks to British Summer Time. The ‘Tick Tock Test’ campaign will run on radio, online and in the press from 16 to 29 March 2015.

See Fire Minister Penny Mourdant’s speech to the Local Government Association fire conference.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tenants-safer-under-new-government-measures

 

May Bank Holiday – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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The office of iConn will be closed for the May Bank Holiday.

 

The office will be closed on Monday 4th May 2015 but will re-open on Tuesday 5th May 2015 from 9am.

 

As usual we have arranged an emergency call out service for all our managed properties. Please note; for tenant find properties, please contact your Landlord directly as normal.

 

For managed properties; faults should be reported as follows:

For Plumbing, Heating/ Electrics and Security faults please contact One Call Property Services on 07515369200

For locks and keys please contact Acme Locks on 01227 785551

 

Please also refer to our website for emergency details under the Tenant/Student Tab for when

the office is closed. http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk./emergency_contact.php

 

Please note that if you have a British Gas Homecare service contract in place, you should call them in

the first instance on 0800 365100

 

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Student Deposit Deadline – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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For all students taking a property for the next academic year, please note your deposits are due by today. You can make payment either via a bank transfer, calling the office and paying with a card (please note card charges apply), or bring cash to the office. For more information contact Amy or Nadine in the office on 01227 765008

 

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iConn’s DOs and DONT’S – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Congratulations to the staff at iConn – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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well done

 

Congratulations to Nadine in lettings for passing her fourth and final unit in NFOPP Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management, and of course to Paul in maintenance for passing unit one!

 

Nadine has now obtained the industry recognised ARLA membership, meaning that four members of staff here at iConn are now ARLA qualified.

How you can protect your deposit – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Rightmove reveal a few handy tips in order to prevent losing your deposit at the end of your tenancy:

As a young professional, moving into your first rented property is an exciting time; exploring your new local area, buying a variety of brightly coloured decorative items for your various rooms and ‘investing’ in homely goods (slow cookers, smoothie makers etc.). You’ve made it! You have your own home!

Sadly though, the sting comes at the end of your tenancy, when it comes to getting back your deposit…

Many landlords and letting agents have had problems with tenants in the past so those contracts you signed, without scrutinising, at the start of your tenancy can sometimes come back to bite you at the end. So here’ some things to think about before you jump in, to ensure you glide happily into your next home:

Before you move in

At the start of your tenancy, go around your property with the landlord or letting agent and go through each point on the inventory, with particular attention to damages. Only sign the inventory when you are happy that everything is included. If they claim they will repair something which is broken, as it is not on the inventory, then follow the conversation up with an email so you have a paper trail. It is also worth recording the meter reading.

Take photographs of all rooms before you unpack (to show the condition in which you received the property) and of any particular issues or broken objects on check-in, preferably with a camera which displays the date, to prove when it was taken.

During your tenancy

At any point during your tenancy, if anything is broken or damaged which you cannot repair, such as damp or electrical faults, tell your landlord or letting agent as soon as possible. If you talk to them via phone, follow it up with an email so that, again, you have a paper trail. And, again, take photographs of any damages.

Moving out

On check-out, get out your contract and inventoryand read it thoroughly before you begin. If it states in your contract that you should professionally clean the property, do so and retain the receipt – as if the landlord disputes the standard then you have evidence. Adhere to any other conditions, such as defrosting the kitchen’s white goods, if it is in your contract.

You should leave the property in the same condition as you moved in, but your contract will state, and it is legally projected, that ‘fair wear and tear’ is completely expected and acceptable. Things which don’t class as ‘wear and tear’ and which you should sort out are, for example, damp around the grouting of sash windows, limescale around the bathroom and general dirt and grime. This should have been maintained by you throughout the tenancy and is therefore not acceptable to leave behind.

Before you leave, and preferably when you have moved out your belongings, take photographs of all of the rooms, as you did when you moved in. Also, take pictures of any problems or damages, which you will have, hopefully, discussed already with the landlord or letting agent. Remove all rubbish and belongings from the property, even if you don’t wish to take them on with you, and check your meter reading again.

It is definitely worth requesting to go over the check-out inventory with the landlord or letting agent. If they allow that, you can look at any issues together and any reductions from your deposit won’t be a surprise.

If, after following this advice, you do have any problems with retrieving your deposit, you can log an issue with the tenancy deposit scheme with which yours is registered, who will give you advice, guidance and, if it comes to it, mediate a fair communication between yourself, the landlord and the letting agent with all of the evidence you have – so the paper trail and photos you have will be handy – to decide what portion you will get back.

Moving house is a busy enough time, so taking a little time before, during and at the end of your tenancy to protect your deposit is well worth it to save you the hassle and bad taste left afterwards.

Don’t get stung! Get back your deposit and enjoy your new home.

 

iConn ensure all deposits are protected with an appropriate scheme. If you have any questions regarding the above, or cannot locate your inventory and wish to have a copy emailed out to you in preparation for your check out, please do not hesitate to contact the office on 01227 765008.

 

Source: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/articles/property-news/how-can-i-save-my-rental-deposit

Calling all of our renewing students – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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rent due
CALLING ALL RENEWING STUDENTS!! This is just a reminder that your rent in advance is due by the end of February 2015.
You can either pay via a bank transfer (details can be provided if you do not already have these), bring cash to the office or call the office and make a card payment over the phone.

If you wish to speak to a member of our lettings team to discuss, please call either Amy or Nadine on 01227765008.

Tenant who tripped on path not owned by landlord wins case – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Rosalind Renshaw, on behalf of Property Industry Eye, writes about this interesting case that will see changes being made in property inspections by agents on behalf of landords:

 

An important new case has major implications for letting agents who manage properties and for landlords.

It may also have implications for insurance.

In the case of Edwards v Kumarasamy, the tenant tripped on a path outside the block of flats where he lived on the second floor, injuring his knee.

The landlord did not own the path and did not own the block. However, the landlord did own a flat within the block and the path was the essential means of access to the block.

Until now, it has always been assumed that repairing obligations only apply to what the landlord actually rents out to the tenant, and also that the landlord cannot be held liable if they have not been notified of the need for a repair.

However, in this case, the tenant took a disrepair claim under Section 111 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and, at the Court of Appeal, won his case.

Solicitor David Smith, of Anthony Gold, says this is “a big deal” for agents and landlords, and will have “serious consequences”.

Smith warns that as a result of the case, any landlord can now be sued for disrepair to areas serving their property, irrespective of ownership.

It also means that agents doing property inspections should look not just at the property itself but also at areas over which the landlord has rights, such as paths and drives.

There is, says Smith, no obligation on the tenant to report disrepair, so it is up to the landlord or agent to identify it and resolve it.

This particular case also raises another question, although one not dealt with by the Court of Appeal: paving stones that are merely uneven, rather than being in a state of disrepair.

The full case is reported here

David Smith’s commentary is here

 

Source: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/tenant-tripped-path-owned-landlord-wins-case/

 

 

Reminder to Landlords: January Tax Return is now due – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Rightmove have printed this relevant article taken from The Muney Advice Service, reminding Landlords to complete their tax return before the end of the month:

There’s more to being a landlord than collecting rental payments and deposits. Paying your tax is one job you really need to be on top of – and the clock is ticking.

You must complete the online tax return by 31 January (if you’ve not paid in another way by 31 October 2014) having registered for self-assessment by 5 October.

All landlords need to keep HMRC in the loop

You must inform HMRC as soon as you start renting out a property, even if you’ve not yet made any income from it. Once you have earned £2,500 in rental income, you may be liable to pay tax on it. Landlords whose properties generate more than this amount in rent each year must complete a Self-Assessment Tax Return.

How you can reduce or avoid a tax bill

The amount of tax you pay depends on the type of property you are renting out and your personal circumstances. The tax obligations are different for each of the three categories – residential properties, furnished holiday lets and commercial property.

As a buy-to-let landlord you – or your company – pay tax on any profit you make from renting your property to residential tenants. This means you don’t pay income tax on what are known as allowable expenses – and there are plenty of these to get your teeth into. For example, you can claim back letting agents and accountant’s fees. Maintenance and repairs are also covered, as are buildings and contents insurance premiums.

Keep a record of your property-related outgoings

There are plenty of elements to renting out property that you need to keep a record of, including Council Tax bills, any utility bills you pay on the rented property and other direct costs like advertising and phone calls to tenants. Even so, it’s probably best to seek professional advice when calculating tax obligations and allowance expenses. The HMRC Self-Assessment helpline can be reached on 0300 200 3310 if required.

What you can’t claim for

You can’t claim for capital expenses such as buying the place or renovating it, but can lodge a claim for wear and tear. Be aware through that excessive claims will be scrutinised, so don’t think the tax office will automatically claim for the cost of a new bathroom suite or a plush kitchen. HMRC allows you to claim up to 10 per cent of the net rent as a wear and tear allowance if you provide a furnished flat or house, but make sure you have the receipts to hand.

Cheap rentals and HMRC

Even if you don’t earn £2,500 a year from your tenants – after considering all the costs you can claim to reduce tax – you still need to keep HMRC in the picture. They will be able to help ensure you tick all the right boxes as a landlord. You can also visit the Money Advice Service’s guide on your responsibilities as a buy to let landlord for more information.

 

 

Source: Rightmove, on behalf of Money Advice Service http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/articles/buy-to-let-landlord-dont-forget-your-january-tax-return

 

Numerous student properties still available for the next academic year – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Calling all students still searching for their property for next year! We still have a few three, four, five and six beds available for the next academic year, some even offering FREE JULY and AUGUST RENT as well as NO DEPOSIT TO PAY!!

 

Furthermore, for all tenancies that are compelted within the specified time frames, you will be entered into a raffle with the chance to win £200 CASH!

 

Please check out our remaining properties on the link below, and should you wish to organise a viewing feel free to contact either Amy or Nadine in the Lettings Department, who will be happy to assist you :)

 

http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/search.php?town_postcode=&searchtype=student&search.x=16&search.y=11

Christmas Fault Reporting – iConn Property Management

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As usual we have arranged an emergency call-out service for the Christmas & New Year period. The service will operate between the following:

 

 

1pm Wednesday 24th December to

9am Saturday 27th December

1pm Wednesday 31st December to

9am Friday 2nd January

 

During this period, faults should be reported as follows:

Plumbing / Gas Heating / Electrics /Security – One Call 07515369200

 

Please also refer to our website for emergency details under the Tenant/Student Tab for when the office is closed.

 

Please note that if you have a British Gas Homecare service contract in place, you should call them in the first instance. 0800 365100

 

Best wishes from everyone at iConn Property Management

Staff Training Afternoon: Friday 19th December – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Our offices will be closed from 1pm for a staff training afternoon tomorrow; if you have any emergencies please contact One Call Property Services on 07515369200.

For more information visit our website: http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/emergency_contact.php

Protecting your property during winter – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Here are a few key tips to ensure your home is ready for winter!


Protect your pipes from freezing: Insulate your pipes with pipe insulator to prevent them from freezing and potentially bursting

 

Check drains and gutters:  Remove all debris and blockages from your guttering to prevent the water from draining away and in extreme circumstances causing flooding

 

Clear paths from debris: C lear any leaves and debris from your paths to prevent any accidents; wet weather and frost can lead to extremely slippery pathways

 

Keep your garden tidy:  To ensure your property isn’t damaged in bad weather and especially high winds, make sure any garden furniture is stored away if possible, and branches cut back where necessary 

 

Bleed your radiators:  Bleeding your radiators is a great way in which to ensure they are working to their full potential

 

Organise a kit for emergencies: Put together a box full of matches, candles, a torch, batteries and blankets in preparation for any power cuts

Rent a property with iConn & win £200! iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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For all of you students frantically trying to organise your accommodation for the next academic year, here at iConn alongside our NO DEPOSIT and FREE SUMMER RENT offers, we also are running a competition whereby for each student property rented for the academic year 2015-16,  you will be entered into a draw and a property will be picked at random (date to be confirmed), with the winning group of tenants winning £200 CASH!

 

There is absolutely no catch, all you simply have to do is complete all of your paperwork on time and pay any monies due, and then your details will be entered into the raffle!

 

If you have any questions, or would like to book a viewing, feel free to give a member of the lettings team a call  on 01227 765008 :)

 

 

Student property list 2015-16 goes live – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Calling all students looking for accommodation for the academic year 2015-16!!  Here at iConn we have just released out student property list detailing all available properties. Some are even offering FREE JULY AND AUGUST RENT and NO DEPOSIT TO PAY so check out our list now and contact either Amy or Nadine in the lettings department on 01227 765008 to arrange a viewing today! Visit the website below for more information:

 

http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/search.php

 

 

General Gardening Services – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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CALLING ALL TENANTS!! For those of you who aren’t a fan of gardening, why not instruct our very reasonable gardener Pete from General Gardening Services to organise this for you? Or even obtain a quote!? Call 07814863228 for more information

UK rental prices rising at a slower rate – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Another interesting article from Property Drum:

UK rental prices rose at a slower rate last month, with every region of the country witnessing smaller rises than in previous months, the latest index shows.

Fresh figures from the August HomeLet Rental Index reveal that the average rent in the UK now stands at £921 a month, compared to £851 a year ago.

The average monthly variation in rent across the UK was 2.3 per cent, led by the South East at 3 per cent and London at 2.4 per cent. The biggest drop in rental prices was recorded in the North West, down 3.5 per cent month-on-month.

Martin Totty (left), Chief Executive of the Barbon Insurance Group, which owns HomeLet, commented, “August can traditionally be a slower month for the rental market and similar dips have been seen in rental prices in previous years.”

“Nevertheless, the cooling in the rental sector may prove to represent the beginning of a trend towards a more settled market after several months of much more significant growth. A similar cooling has been seen in the wider housing market, with house price indices recording an easing of house price growth,” he added.

On an annualised basis rental growth remains firm, with only the North East and the East Midlands reporting lower rents for new tenancies in August than in the same month of last year.

Across the UK, the average private home rent increased by 8.2 per cent over the year to August 2014. In London, rents were up by 11.4 per cent on a year ago, while East Anglia saw annual growth of 8.4 pent cent and the South East 5.3 per cent.

Landlords in the UK are now estimated to be collectively earning more than £32 billion a year, or almost £2.7 billion per month, in rental income annually, according to new analysis by Direct Line for Business (DL4B).

Landlords in London collect the largest proportion of private rental income in England at £14 billion per year, more than the North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia combined.

In total, 44 per cent of the entire country’s rent is paid in London. Outside the capital, Leeds pays the greatest amount of any city, with annual private rent totalling £565 million, followed by Birmingham at £521 million and Manchester at £401 million.
“Buy to let is becoming an increasingly attractive option for people as property prices continue to soar,” said Jazz Gakhal head of DL4B.

With landlords now playing an increasingly important role in the private rented sector (PRS), the Government last week launched a new PRS code, designed to provide guidance for letting agents and landlords on how to achieve high standards.

Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the British Property Federation, one of 17 organisations that assisted with the code, said: “As the private rented sector grows, it is coming under more and more scrutiny, and it is important that good practice is constantly encouraged and promoted.”

Christopher Hamer (right), the Ombudsman, said, “The new Code is a milestone for the industry as it provides a set of principles for every landlord and letting agent in the private rented sector to follow, which TPO has championed the idea of for many years.

“The new Code will act as a complementary pathway to the more detailed standards in TPO’s Lettings Code of Practice that was established in 2006 and which forms the basis of the decisions I make when reviewing disputes between member letting agents and landlords or tenants.”

“The overarching principles outlined in the new Code will ensure agents, landlords and investors across the industry have a shared understanding of what levels of service to expect from agents letting and managing property in the private rented sector in England.”

More than 11,500 letting agents are already following TPO’s Code of Practice, which enables their landlords and tenants to access TPO’s free, fair and independent dispute resolution service.

TPO member agents will not be required to take any action following last week’s launch of the PRS Code, as their membership and commitment to follow TPO’s detailed Code of Practice means that they already meet the principles outlined in the new PRS Code.

 

Source: Property Drum –  http://propertydrum.briefyourmarket.com/Newsletters/JUNGLEdrum—the-newsbeat-from-PROPERTYdrum124/Rent-increases-slow-down-as-new-PRS-Code-is-launched.aspx?utm_source=BriefYourMarket&utm_medium=Newsletter%2c+Email&utm_term=&utm_content=JUNGLEdrum+-+the+newsbeat+from+PROPERTYdrum&utm_campaign=Instance%3a+propertydrum.briefyourmarket.com+-+MessageId%3a+12270

 

Student Key Collection – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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For all of you students for 2014 – 2015 planning on collecting your keys on Monday 1st September, as long as all of your paperwork has been completed and monies received (check with the lettings team on 01227 765008 if you have any queries), then our office is open between 9am and 5:30pm. We are located on Castle Street in Canterbury, CT1 2PU.

 

**Please remember all paperwork and monies will have needed to have been received in order to release keys; you would have received an email and also a telephone call should there be anything outstanding on your file**

Rooms available for professionals – iConn Property Managament, Canterbury

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Calling all professionals looking for a room available in a shared house! We have rooms located in Gordon Road, Tudor Road, Sturry Road, Old Park Avenue and Castle Street ranging from £310 PCM to £358 PCM! Call us today to organise a viewing!

Student Advice: ‘Keeping the Peace’ – iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Students! Read this interesting article by Property News with regards to settling in with your new housemates as University begins….

Ok, so you’ve just moved in with your mates and you’re ready to party, or perhaps you’ve never met your new flat mates but hey, it’s going to be great, right?

Not always! So although no one really wants to sound like their parents by setting out the ground rules, it’s best to have a open chat with everyone about how living together is going to work out for the best. Even the most domesticated Nigellas and budding Bob the Builders will soon get fed up of always doing the cooking or fixing the broken boiler.

So as you start your tenancy, here are a few things to consider:

– Make sure that everyone knows the details of the tenancy agreement – sounds simple, but if just one person took responsibility at the outset the others need to know their share of the rent, when and how it’s due and how long they are obliged to pay under the length of the tenancy agreement. It’s most straightforward these days to set up a standing order to pay rent directly into the Landlord or Estate Agent’s bank account.

– As a household you need to budget for additional bills like electric and agree at the outset if they will be divided equally among everyone. There’s no point arguing every quarter over who uses the electric shower more!

– It’s a good idea to split ownership of various bills or make sure that the bills are in joint names to avoid one person being responsible for everything and, in the worse case scenario, the one being chased for payment at the end of your tenancy. If student bills are left unpaid this will possibly incur a poor credit score which could come back to haunt you later in life.

– A kitty is a common sense idea for shared items like tea/loo roll etc! And it may even encourage everyone to be more sociable – why not add in a little extra every so often and eat together in the evenings or go out for a drink or two.

– Going one step further than a loose change kitty it makes sense to pool resources and cook together – a lot cheaper than take aways or meals for one. And if you’re environmentally conscious it’s a lot less wasteful.

– If there are a number of you sharing and cleaning the oven is the last thing on anyone’s mind, it might be cheaper than you think to club together and employ a cleaner for a couple of hours a week. One less excuse to fall out with each other over who’s turn it is to clean the floors!

– Be open and honest and don’t let grievances fester. If you are annoyed at ‘Jonny’s’ girlfriend practically moving in as a new house guest say so!

– Be respectful of your other house mates at all times. Yes, everyone likes to party but if someone has important exams on the horizon know that organizing a party the night before is not the best idea.

– Decide at the start of the tenancy if your house is going to be smoking or non smoking.

– Remember, a tenancy agreement is only for a maximum of a year so if things don’t work out you’ll find new flat mates next year!

 

SOURCE: http://www.propertynews.com/blog/students/keeping-the-peace/

Calling all Students – iConn Property Management

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Not only are all of our properties including free summer rent, but now free admin fees too! Contact iConn on 01227 765008 to arrange a viewing today!

Agents to suffer if ban on tenant fees are implemented – iConn Property Managment, Canterbury

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Another interesting read from Property Industry Eye:

Eric Walker, managing director of Northwood, was scathing about Labour’s proposals, including the pledge to make it illegal for agents to charge fees to tenants.

He said some agents would not be able to survive such a move. “Contrary to the universal misconception that agents are raking it in, many make small profits indeed and this policy may push some over the edge.”

He went on: “If agents are forced to scrap fees from tenants, then inevitably, landlords will end up paying more which in turn could increase the rent the tenant pays.

“Couple this with the proposed draconian rent-capping idea, then of course some landlords will reconsider their position.

“It is of sinister concern that rent caps would be introduced at a time interest rates are predicted to rise, which spells disaster for many landlords.

“The lettings market is fine. It’s regulation and consumer protection which should be Miliband’s priority, not State controlled pricing.”

Carole Charge, director at lettings chain Leaders, said: “Labour’s three-year tenancy proposals are unrealistic. Without the right to regain repossession of their property, most investment landlords would not take the risk and pull their property from the market.

“The picture painted by Labour of tenants being forced out of their homes is not accurate. Reliable statistics show that the majority of tenancies are ended by the tenant rather than the landlord.”

Dorian Gonsalves, director of franchising at Belvoir, said his firm would be “dead against” the changes proposed.

“The existing Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement can already run for a longer period, and changes to this could have a devastating effect on the supply of available rental properties.

“Ultimately, tenants would bear the brunt of fewer rental properties, higher rents and no alternative housing solution being provided by the Government.

“Experts have warned of the dangers of making changes to the existing AST or forcing landlords out of the market, which clearly some of these proposed changes by a Labour Government are likely to do.

“Tenants already have the choice of not paying letting agent fees. They can rent privately and this may be attractive to those tenants who prefer a lower standard of service, with no consumer redress and a landlord who may or may not respond to maintenance issues.”

Carol Pawsey, lettings director at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, described Labour’s proposals as “disastrous”. She warned that rent caps could lead to “many” landlords quitting the market.

The National Landlords Association said the proposals were “completely unworkable”.

Richard Lambert, its chief executive, said: “Were they to become government policy it would strike a devastating blow to investment in housing of all tenures and further constrain supply at a time of real housing crisis.”

The Residential Landlords Association said Labour had quite simply got it wrong. Vice-chairman Chris Town said: “All the evidence clearly shows that rent controls of the kind proposed would critically undermine investment in new homes to rent and are not needed, given that official statistics show rents increasing by much less than inflation.”

The British Property Federation also savaged the rent controls proposal. Director of policy Ian Fletcher said: “It makes no sense.

“Good landlords will be getting a perverse message that if you are providing a premium product the most you can expect is the ‘average’, whilst bad landlords with sub-standard accommodation can find another justification for charging over the odds.”

Source: Written by Rosalind Renshaw on behalf of Property Industry Eye http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/ban-fees-tenants-kill-agents-warning/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking News from Property Industry Eye – iConn Property Management

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Check out this article we’ve found where ARLA accuses the Labour shadow housing minister in a row over ‘reforms’:

 

The lettings industry has poured scorn and fury on Labour’s proposed reforms for the private rented sector, amid fears that landlords will desert the industry in droves.

Labour – keen to capture votes from Generation Rent – plans to introduce three-year tenancies as the norm, impose rent controls, and ban agents from charging fees to tenants.

It would also make evictions harder. Landlords would have to give two months’ notice and cite one of three grounds – sale of property, rent arrears, or anti-social behaviour.

However, tenants would be able to give one month’s notice whenever they wished.

Tenancies would run for a six-month probation period, and then automatically continue for another 29 months.

Ian Potter, managing director of ARLA, accused Labour of political posturing ahead of this month’s local and European elections.

He warned that the proposals would cause “lasting damage” to the supply and quality of private rental homes, and said that none of the reforms proposed were the ones actually needed to protect consumers.

In Labour’s pledges, there is no mention of protection of client money, or regulation of the industry to impose minimum standards and stop anyone setting up as a letting agent as well as drive out crooks.

Potter said that Labour’s stance appeared to be quite different from when Jack Dromey was shadow housing minister, and added: “Emma Reynolds, the current shadow housing minister, has ducked and dived, and consistently refused to engage with us.”

He said: “Political posturing, when it has such an impact on people’s lives, is unfair.”

He also pointed out that three-year tenancies will have to be enacted by deed and require a legal presence.

He said: “Tactics such as proposals for rent controls may gain traction, but a simple history lesson looking at similar policies from 1919, 1939 and the 1960s will show that they only lead to a significant lack of investment in existing properties and new rentals. Labour’s pledge is short-sighted.”

Meanwhile, Emma Reynolds herself took to Twitter to send out a series of messages about the reforms, including accusations that the Tories had abandoned Generation Rent. She also tweeted: “We are proposing predictable rents so that tenants and landlords can plan & have certainty. The market will set rent at start of tenancy.”

Trade union Unite said Labour’s proposals were “a progressive step forward”.

 

Source: Written by Rosalind Renshaw on behalf of Property Industry Eye http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/arla-accuses-labour-shadow-housing-minister-row-reforms/

 

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How to avoid Condensation & Damp, iConn Property Management Canterbury

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Samantha Hooper, Lettings Negotiator at iConn Property Management writes;

Autumn season has arrived and we have been experiencing a lot of rain over the last few days!  At this time of year, our tenants start drying clothes inside their homes, which later down the line can result in damp / condensation build up in the property.  Here’s a few tips on how to avoid this common problem!

BEDROOMS

Open bedroom windows when you go to bed at night; a 10mm gap will do. If it really is too cold to do this, wipe the condensation off the windows first thing in the morning, but please do not put the cloth you used on the radiator to dry as this will create more condensation.

SHOWER/BATHROOM

Ensure full use of extractor or ventilation fans. Where these are not provided, open a window after bathing or showering to give the steam and damp air a chance to escape. Wipe windows, walls and mirrors to remove condensation (a microfiber cloth is the most efficient means of doing this), and dry the shower tray or bath. Keep the door closed while the bathroom is in use to prevent the steam escaping to other parts of the house.

KITCHEN

When cooking, cover pans. Use exactor or ventilation fans where provided. If you do not have an automatic kettle, take care to ensure it is not left boiling. These precautions will help to reduce steam and therefore moisture in the air. Keep the door closed while the kitchen is in use to prevent the steam escaping to other parts of the house.

LIVING AREAS

Where there are chimneys, do not block them up. If a wall appears to be damp, do not put furniture right up against it; allow some circulation of air.

GENERAL

Make sure that any ventilation bricks or openings in the building are not obstructed.

WINDOWS

Keep glass as clear of condensation as you can. Wipe away any moisture that has formed using a soft cloth. Leave open any ”trickle” vents in double glazed units. Get into the habit of opening windows to keep moisture content in the air down and to air the property when you can.

LAUNDRY

Avoid drying clothes on radiators. Tumble dryers should be vented to the outside, unless fitted with a condenser.

HEATING

Provide a reasonable level of heating (no less than 10°C in an unused area, or 16C if in use); cold rooms are susceptible to condensation. Remember, the best way to heat a room and avoid condensation is to maintain a low level of warmth throughout the day rather than to turn the heating off while you are out and put it on at a high level when you return home.

PORTABLE HEATERS

Portable gas and paraffin heaters can create a significant amount of damp and condensation within properties. Please do not use these types of heaters unless you have permission from your landlord or property manager.

REMEDIES

Mildew may be removed from clothes by using a dry cleaning process.

 

Remove and kill mould by wiping the affected area(s) with a fungicide which carries a Health and Safety Executive approval number, precisely following the manufactures instructions. Alternatively a mild bleach solution will have the desired effect, but do test on a small area first.

Do not disturb mould by vacuuming or brushing as this can give rise to respiratory complaints.

 

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Wedding Announcement and Congrats!! iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Iris O’Connell, Managing Director at iConn Property Management writes;

A huge congratulations to our Accounts Coordinator, Samantha Douglas who tied the knot to Shaun Burgess this month! We hope you had a fantastic day, and we wish you lots of happy years together! :)

 

 

 

 

 

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Staff success! iConn Property Management Canterbury

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Iris O’Connell, Managing Director at iConn Property Management writes;

We are pleased to announce that our Property Manager Tanya MacLeod has recently passed all four units of the NFOPP Level 3 Qualification for the Technical Award in Residential Letting & Property Management, and our Lettings Negotiator, Sam Macdonald is also on her way and passed the first unit towards her qualification last week!  Well done to both of you!

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Student V Council Tax, iConn Property Management, Canterbury

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Sam Douglas; Accounts Coordinator at iConn Property Management writes;

 

We have recently noticed that Canterbury City Council have changed the rules regarding Council Tax exemption for students!  Canterbury City Council are now charging students for council tax from the date that their university course expires, up until the end of their tenancy.

For more information, please contact the Council on 01227 862 300 or email them: council.tax@canterbury.gov.uk

AMY

Support Cancer Research UK!! iConn Property Management Cantebrury

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Amy Chilvers, Lettings Negotiator at iConn Property Management writes;

Well done to our Lettings Negotiator, Sam Macdonald who did her bit for charity this month and ran the Race For Life in aid of raising money for an amazing cause, Cancer Research UK.  If you would like to make a donation, please feel free to donate online and show your support!

http://www.justgiving.com/cancerresearchuk

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