Posts tagged property in canterbury
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!
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!
Tanya MacLeod, Property Manager at iConn Property Management writes;
Canterbury City Council have introduced some changes to the collection of waste in Canterbury recently.
The Canterbury City Councils website states;
Changes to your waste collection service
In the summer we will be making some changes to the waste collection service. We will be picking up your food waste every week and collecting glass every two weeks. To complement the new service we will be giving you some new bins and boxes.
Once we’ve delivered your bins, your first collection will take place on your next scheduled recycling day. That week, put out your blue lidded bin (glass, tins, cartons and plastics) with your red insert box (paper and card) inside along with your food waste caddy. If you have a garden bin, put that out too.
Here is some useful information taken from the Canterbury City Council’s website which may help you with the new system;
What goes in my bins?
Black household waste bin
Your black wheeled bin is for household and food waste, and items which cannot be recycled.
You can recycle the following items in your clear sacks:
- Cans, aerosols with nozzles removed and aluminium foil.
- Paper, magazines, newspapers, catalogues and phone directories.
- Wrapping paper (remove Sellotape).
- Cardboard food boxes and egg cartons (flattened).
- Toilet or kitchen roll inner cardboard.
- Plastic drinks bottles, shampoo bottles, and washing up liquid bottles.
If the wrong materials are found in the sack, it will not be collected.
Please remember to flatten boxes, wash and squash plastic bottles and remove lids, empty and rinse food containers, put materials loose in your clear recycling sack and tie securely. Secured bundles of cardboard and newspapers will be collected if placed beside recycling sacks.
Green lidded bin
You can place the following items in your green bin:
- Grass cuttings, hedge clippings, dead plants and weeds.
- Cut flower and shrub prunings.
- Bark, leaves and small twigs.
- Branches (Up to 4cm thick).
We will not empty bins which contain the following:
- Stone, concrete, timber or builder’s waste.
- Glass, plastic, metal, paper or cardboard.
- Plant pots, soil or turf.
- Household rubbish and food waste.
You can also find more information regarding this matter on their website, https://www.canterbury.gov.uk/bins-recycling/
Iris O’Connell, Managing Director of iConn Property Management writes:
Tanya Macleod has worked for over six years in the Lettings and Property Management industry and specialises in Property Management.
She has previously worked for a well known large Agent in Canterbury and brings with her a wealth of knowledge.
Going forward, if you have any maintenance queries, please contact Tanya in the first instance firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes;
REMINDER!! Student Tenancies for 2013-2014 – Your administration fees are due to be paid by the 1st May 2013… remember to budget for this in the next month
Sam Douglas, Accounts co-ordinator for iConn Property Management writes;
I came accross an article from LetRisks which I think may be an interesting an useful read.
Important safety alert
In a recent claim a landlord suffered over £100,000 worth of damage to his property and loss of rent following a fire from a faulty fridge freezer. This case highlights the number of potentially dangerous brand new appliances in rented property and the action that letting agents can take to protect their landlords and tenants.
Over the past few years there have been hundreds of fires involving white goods, particularly fridge/freezers, tumble dryers and dishwashers, with more than a dozen blazes deemed “serious”. According to recent press articles, almost half a million potentially dangerous dishwashers are still being used in households because their owners cannot be traced. As an example, a batch of faulty Bosch dishwashers, made over a seven-year period, are at risk of catching fire. Just one in four has been traced.
Although manufacturers issue product recalls, via national advertising, letters and phone calls to consumers there are difficulties in tracing the purchasers, particularly if tenants have moved address or landlords have appointed an agent.
The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) found that the average success rate of recalls is just 10-20%. With 266 electrical product recalls in the last six years and manufacturers often producing hundreds of thousands of units, there are likely to be millions of dangerous products threatening safety every day. Following a survey, they claim that 2 million adults have purposefully ignored a product recall notice, a third won’t return an item if it seems too inconvenient and a fifth would not go without a luxury product such as a television or hair straighteners.
LetRisks has put together a checklist to help you protect landlords and tenants:
- Register your contact details with the manufacturer for any new appliances when purchased. This is not just for marketing purposes – it may save a life.
- Property management staff and inventory clerks should record the make and model numbers of each of the landlords appliances and check them against the Product Recall information websites (see below).
- Ensure that appliances are checked regularly: The law surrounding Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) simply requires you to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger. New equipment should be “supplied in a safe condition”. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on how to maintain equipment including the use of PAT.
- Remind tenants to check that any electrical appliances are safe and refer them to the Product Recall information websites. It is a condition of most tenancy agreements that the tenant must not bring on to the premises anything that might be a fire hazard.
- Retain forwarding addresses for tenants and arrange for mail to be forwarded, if possible. It may include product recall information.
- Use the Product Recall information websites (see below)
- Electrical Safety Council (ESC): www.esc.org.uk/recall. You will need to enter a model number, brand name or description of a particular item. If the product has been recalled, the website will advise on next steps.
- RecallUK is the primary product recall site that lists all UK product recalls, for all product types, announced in the last few weeks: www.recalluk.com/default.aspx
- White Goods Help – Archives for Safety Warnings & Appliance Recalls: www.whitegoodshelp.co.uk/category/safety-warnings-recalls-houshold-appliances
- Arrange appropriate insurances, for both the structure of the building (that includes fixtures and fittings), and contents. Make sure that the insurance is suitable for let property and includes Property Owners Liability. Even if you are letting an unfurnished flat, we recommend that you arrange cover for limited contents (covering carpets, curtains and white goods) which will also come with cover for liability to the public and injury to tenants.
Iris O’Connell, Managing Director for iConn Property Management writes:
Within the industry we are used to regulations being changed and updated but none so much as the requirements of the EPC (energy performance certificate).
I have detailed the amendments below for your information and future reference.
Changes to the EPC rules
Changes to the rules from 9th January 2013, include
- Agents must ensure that an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) has been commissioned before they can market a property for rent.
- From 9th January 2013, when a building or building unit is offered for sale or rent, the energy rating must be stated in “commercial media” (includes adverts and the internet) where one is available.
- There is no longer a requirement to attach the front page of the EPC to any written materials.
- The EPC must be ‘made available’ in copy form to prospective tenants at the earliest opportunity and at the latest, before entering into a contract. When the letting is finalised, the EPC must be given free of charge to the tenant.
Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator at iConn Property Management writes:
Our new lettings list for July 2013 – June 2014 is now available, click on the image below to view in full
Early signs show a busy student market for this year so are not expecting these properties to be on the market for long.
Vicky Owen, Office Manager at iConn Property Management writes:
Over the past few years the way we advertise and market properties to rent has evolved dramatically! Prospective tenants have replaced peering in the window fronts of local agents with anytime internet search sites giants like Rightmove, Primelocation and Findaproperty.
In a age where Internet is King – with nearly 98% of our sucessfully let properties coming from an internet enquiry, it is important for us to keep up with our prospective tenant habits.
We now take “Featured Property” slots on the three largest property portals – www.rightmove.com; www.primelocation.com; www.zoopla.com meaning that our clients properties are advertised at the top of the page, seperating them from the competition, highlighting them first and giving their properties a head start.
Now we see another change to the media market with the use of social media sites becoming more popular and opening companies out to interactive, on the spot feedback; the biggest being Facebook and Twitter… even the mighty property portals now provide links for people to “Like” or “Share” their properties on their page!
We have now signed up to PropertyPlace which is an app on these sites created to advertise properties which has over 10,000 monthly users showing the evolution of these social sites to a place of advertising potential.
Our social media sites are growing by the day, with our company Facebook page having nearly 350 likes, our Twitter account has over 600 followers coupled with our blog following and our LinkedIn sites and the new Google+ page – we are bringing our properties to a new market.
Although this highlights the benefits to our Clients as this new advertising potential unfolds, there is a huge benefit to the prospective tenants – social media is instant, with property portals taking up to 24 hours to update their new listings – social sites provide an exclusivity in a fast moving rental market. It provides interaction for the customer not only with the company that is advertising but also with their friends: liking a property or commenting on a post spreads their activity to all their friends who then comment with advice or provide feedback for that person.
The secret to this social media growth is connectivity, interesting and relevant posts and recommendations. Please take a moment to explore our sites and by providing recommendations or getting involved and interactive with us helps us to broaden our auidence which in turn benefits our clients and tenants.
Click on the links to join in:
You can link with our personal Linkedin Profiles here to:
Vicky Cranthorne, Office Manager from iConn Property Management writes:
Our friends from Propertyads have provided us with their top tips for Landlords – Hope you find them useful.
Top tips for landlords considering buy-to-let properties
Buy-to-let properties can be an excellent way to supplement your income or your pension, and a little research and a bit of clever property market know-how can help you make the most out of your buy-to-let property. So if you’re considering adding a little extra to your pocket each month, here are our top tips for potential landlords looking at getting into buy-to-let properties.
1. Investigate the best area for good investment Before you buy a property, you have to think about what kind of tenant you want, and where you want to buy. Your rental property doesn’t even need to be in the same city! For example, buy-to-let properties in Sheffield and Canterbury, student cities, are a great investment. Each year new students arrive to study, and each year they need additional accommodation. Investing in a student area is an excellent idea when you’re looking for almost-guaranteed income. Much like student rental properties, investing in a business-oriented city near a financial district such as Canary Wharf in London will be a costly venture, but will also help you to secure a tenant relatively easily.
2. Decorate for demand to cater to your tenants Decorate and furnish your home according to your ideal tenant’s requirements. If you’ve bought a buy-to-let property in Canterbury, for example, make sure that each bedroom is furnished with a bed and a desk to allow multiple students to rent out the rooms. A large living room and plenty of storage space in the kitchen are also preferential, so make sure you don’t clutter it up with unnecessary décor.
3. Plan for empty flats As a landlord with a buy-to-let property, it’s important that you make financial provision for empty flats. If you’re unable to find a tenant you will still need to make mortgage repayments. Make sure you have access to funds if you need to do this. Another option would be to sign with a rental agency that guarantees rentals for your flats so that you’re always covered, or take out an insurance policy that insures you against non-payment of rent during a rental agreement.
4. Write in increases to your tenancy agreements and set up a direct debit Make sure that you write in annual increase agreements in your tenancy contracts to make the most out of your rental property. Setting up a direct debit agreement will guarantee the rental income on a particular day (instead of collecting funds on different days each month when the tenant remembers to pay)
5. Protect your property with insurance Landlord’s insurance can help you protect yourself against unpaid rental, theft by tenants, or damage to a property due to tenant negligence or weather damage. A good insurance policy is a good investment when you’re in the landlord market to make money out of your buy-to-let property – especially if it is situated in a different city to your own residence
If you are looking to grow your portfolio or first time invest into the property market in the Canterbury area please contact us for free independent advice.
We have worked with iConn for a number of years during which they have let our properties in the Canterbury area. We are enjoying excellent service form the agent and the team members with speedy responses to our queries, prompt appointments and viewings and an efficient execution of referencing and contract provision. The staff are always friendly and polite which makes it a pleasure to do business on this basis.
I moved to iConn after many years with another letting agent and was immediately impressed by their professionalism and set up. The team are friendly, engaging and helpful. When on the very odd occasion I have had to rise an issue or concern regarding my tenancy, it is soon resolved in an effective and efficient manner. Their communication is good and overall service is excellent. It is a world apart from the service I had received from my previous agent. Overall I am extremely content with their service, professionalism and overall letting package. I am clear they are well ahead of their competitors and have recommended them to family and other landlords as a very satisfied customer and landlord!
We have 2 properties which have been let by iConn since around 2005. I only have positive words to say about iConn, the staff that we have contact with (namely Vicky) is always helpful, friendly and efficient. Any problems have been dealt with professionally and swiftly and therefore we have the utmost confidence in them. I also know that they are helpful to our tenants. We have the pick of lettings agents here in Canterbury, but as we receive such an excellent service, I have no reason to move my business elsewhere – a completely satisfied customer on all counts!
Iris O’Connell, Managing Director for iConn Property Management writes:
ARLA has recently created this great article to help explain what this years budget announcements will mean to us; definately worth a read: ARLA Budget News
Sam Douglas, Accounts Co-Ordinator for iConn Property Management writes:
The Localism Act comes into force on April 6th 2012 and makes an important change to the timescale for protecting deposits.
The timescale for registering deposits and serving Prescribed Information has increased from 14 to 30 days – but the 30 days is an absolute deadline.
Our prescribed information will be updated in our current tenancy agreements and terms of business and this change will only really affect tenancies created after the 6th April but current clients may wish to take note of these changes for any future tenancies.
Iris O’Connell, Managing Director for iConn Property Management Canterbury writes:
Join the growing iConn Property Management group on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Link in to the team for the latest information on legislation, new properties on the market, offers and competitions and advice for all:
STUDENTS APPLYING FOR TENANCIES WITH ICONN FOR JULY 2012- JUNE 2013 HAVE THE CHANCE TO WIN A FREE ADMINISTRATION FEE BY JOINING THE FACEBOOK PAGE.
Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:
The local council have released some useful information for recycling over the Christmas period so that we all have a green Christmas……
This year, like every other, we want to make sure that you not only have a great Christmas, but get rid of your Christmas waste on the appropriate day in the appropriate way. So please take note of the following points:
Check your calendar for your collection dates – some of them may have changed
In bad weather conditions put your waste out on your usual day and leave it. We will collect it soon as we can.
Garden Waste won’t be collected between 23 December 2011 and 09 January 2012
Don’t forget we will collect your real Christmas tree for free – if you leave it out for collection on recycling day. Place it next to your clear sacks not in the garden waste bin.
Old trees can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres and placed in the green garden waste containers for composting. Your local council may also be able to take your real Christmas tree for composting if they provide a kerbside green garden waste collection service.
Alternatively, why not buy a Christmas tree in a pot or with a root that can be planted in the garden for use the following year! Some companies now also hire real Christmas trees which are re-planted after Christmas!
Recycle your Christmas cards and non foil wrapping paper in the clear recycling sack, or look out for one of the high street charity schemes.
Flatten and secure your cardboard boxes for collection. These can be put out for collection next to your recycling sacks.
To clear space give unwanted clothes and toys to charity shops and clothing banks.
Think about what you buy and who you are buying for. We all like to put on the best Christmas Day spread for family and friends, but afterwards, without a bit of pre plannng, we can still be eating the brussel sprouts four days later!!
Make use of any left over food, visit http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ for recipes and ideas.
Although our contractor can sort most plastics, many of them have a negative value and black plastic cannot be sorted at all, so please only give us your clear or opaque plastic bottles over the christmas period.
Remember you can take your unwanted plastic bags back to a major supermarket for recycling, they all now provide in-store banks.
If you are not sure about collections over the Christmas period, then please call Serco on 0800 031 9091.
Here’s hoping you have a very happy Christmas.
And so it begins….. We have released our available properties for next years academic term. For your ideal student property in Canterbury Don’t Delay and Take a Look Today!!!
Viewings are available and demand is expected to be high this year, so don’t miss out on the ideal property in the best location and book today!!
Full details and more photos are available on our website: http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/search.php?town_postcode=&searchtype=student&search.x=16&search.y=11
You will also find all the student terms and documents on this page: http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/student_information.php
Vicky Cranthorne, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:
ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) provides this useful article for potential Landlords looking to invest in property…
- Think of buying to let as a medium to long term investment.
- Seek advice from an ARLA letting agent on local market demands.
- Get your sums right. Will the rent cover borrowings and costs, after allowing for void periods?
- Decorate, fit out and furnish to high quality standards, especially kitchens and bathrooms, to attract the best tenants and let quickly every time.
- Use an ARLA member as your letting agent. They are bonded, hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to required standards, have staff trained to ARLA’s competency standards and are kept up to date with the latest legal and regulatory requirements.
- Let personal taste cloud your judgement. Be sure the property you choose meets market requirements.
- Purchase anything with potential maintenance problems like a lot of woodwork or large gardens. It will add nothing to the rental value and cost a lot to keep up.
- Think that the running of an investment property to let can be left to friends or relatives in your absence. Tenants require a full management service.
- Use off-the-shelf tenancy agreements from HMSO or law stationers, or forget to issue the right notices or fail to have a proper inventory and condition report made before a tenant moves in. Leave all documentation to a professional agent.
- Furnish with second hand furniture or cast-off soft furnishings. These will probably contravene the Furniture and Furnishing Regulations.
iConn has received some great advice from our friends at Roombuddies.com with some tips for tenants looking to share a property:
Safely Seeking Flatshares
When looking for a new flatshare opportunity, it is important that you exercise good judgement and stay safe at all times. This isn’t paranoia; it’s just being sensible. No; not everyone is out to get you, but one or two might be and they’re the ones you need to watch out for. Statistically speaking, you are very unlikely to be hurt by someone that you are seeking a flatshare or house share with. Of course, the same can be said about being struck by lightning, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to walk around holding a golf club over your head during a thunderstorm (unless you are either a hard-core golfer and/or a total nutter). Being sensible and keeping your eye-out for potentially dodgy situations will help you avoid trouble as much as possible.
Always remember the old cliché, “if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is” (it’s a cliché for a reason after all). Flats that are priced considerably lower than other similar properties in the same area will undoubtedly come with a catch. Always practice caution when an advertiser tells you that you won’t be able to view a property until you have either signed something or parted with cash and try to keep away from deals that involve paying/receiving money through a money transfer system (such as Western Union). When an advert is written in concise English, you should expect a similar standard in the rest of your correspondence (if the correspondent’s language use is broken or inconsistent then suspect foul play).
You need to view property before you agree to take it on and certainly before you hand over any cash. Property should always be of a safe and reasonably inhabitable standard. Any flatshare or house share opportunities that are not up to spec should be avoided and not taken on because of promises that they will be put right before you move in (wait until they are put right before agreeing to anything/giving a deposit). If there is to be a tenancy agreement (and you are advised to ask for one, though a landlord is not legally obliged to provide one to you) you should be given a copy and time to read it before you sign.
You will also want to ask what deposit protection scheme your landlord will use before you give them a deposit (deposit protection is required by law), though this does not guarantee your money will be returned in full when your tenancy is over (but it will give you more power to dispute any unfair deductions). Though these financial safeguards are important, they are not as important as making sure you are physically safe. You will want to check that the locks in a potential flatshare or house share are suitable for your purposes. If you are looking at getting a http://www.roombuddies.com/ then make sure the room has its own separate lock.
When you are actually attending a viewing, you need to take steps to ensure your safety then too. Ask the advertiser for a landline number (rather than a mobile) and call them on it to confirm they are where they say they are. Make a note of the address you will be viewing (and don’t agree to meet anywhere other than this address) giving it and the name of the person you are meeting to someone you trust (so they know where to look if you go missing). Arrange a time to call or meet your friend after the viewing so that they can react quicker if you don’t turn up and (preferably) take another friend with you when you attend the viewing.
We have used iConn for more than two years now and have been very impressed with their service. They have been very efficient at finding us tenants and when an issue arose with one set of tenants, they resolved it successfully through negotiation with the tenants in a timely and professional manner. All our contacts with the office have been friendly and constructive. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services to other landlords.
Iris O’Connell M.A.R.L.A, Managing Director for iConn Property Management writes:
What Insurances do I need?
iConn Property Management are members of ARLA and are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding lettings, property management, insurances or guarantees. As a Landlord you will require adequate buildings Insurance, contents Insurance for all fixtures and fittings and any items that you leave in the property for the tenants use and Public Liability cover. Tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents they bring to the property. iConn can provide free quotations for all Insurance policies. iConn is an appointed representative of Homelet and are able to advice you on all the different insurances available to landlords and provide competitive quotes. You can also find answers to other frequently asked questions on the link below.
iConn Property Management are proud to be a regulated member of
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
We believe that it is extremely important for all landlords and tenants to have the facility to be able to ask questions and gain free advice.
This is why iConn Property Management are offering free advice for anyone who needs it, whether you are a current tenant or landlords of ours, or even if you aren’t!
Please share your questions by replying to this blog, and we will endeavour to answer you as soon as possible, alternatively email us on email@example.com
Take advantage of our free advisory service and get all your questions answered today.
Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes:
Primelocation offer a great guide on their website which provides some good tips for tenants when viewing houses to rent – check it out: