Posts tagged property rental

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


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





























Wedding Announcement and Congrats!! iConn Property Management, 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! :)







The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow….


Vicky Owen, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

As most of Canterbury was covered with snow this week, which caused some disruption in Canterbury but also some great snowmen! its a good time to think on the winter repairs that may need attending to. Our referencing company LetRisks send us a monthly newsletter in line with trends they recieve on claims, they have really interesting article on inspecting flat roofs which is worth a read: Click on the link below for the full article:









Social Media for Property Advertising – iConn Lettings, Canterbury


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 –;; 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:








Common Questions from Tenants (Canterbury Lettings)


Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes:

ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) supplies lots of answers to common questions which tenants might need to know.

This link takes tenants direct to their website:

Here is one of the questions I spotted earlier which I thought would be useful to know:

What About Rights Of Access To The Property, What Are The Rules?

A landlord, or his agent, or someone authorised to act on his behalf has a right to view the property to assess its condition and to carry out necessary repairs or maintenance at reasonable times of the day. The law says that a landlord or agent must give a tenant at least 24 hours prior notice in writing (except in an emergency) of such a visit. Naturally, if the tenant agrees, on specific or odd occasions to allow access without the 24 hours prior written notice, that is acceptable. [A clause in the tenancy agreement which tries to diminish or over-ride a tenant’s rights in this respect would be void and unenforceable.]


Canterbury Letting Agent iConn Wins Gold for 2012 :)


M & S Wanstall – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


My wife and I invested some money into two properties for rent almost two years ago.  We had heard stories about bad tenants and the problems that could bring and so we were a little anxious.  Not having any previous experience as landlords we approached iConn Property Management and we were very much assured by their professionalism. 

iConn explained what was required but basically did all the work for us, including finding the right tenants, drawing up contracts and making sure we had the right insurance and safety certificates.  The company regularly carry out inspections of our properties and keep us informed.  In short, my wife and I can relax knowing that our properties are in good hands.  We would certainly recommend iConn Property Management to anyone who has property to rent. 


Warning to landlords Letting in Canterbury


Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management, Canterbury writes:

Landlords considering using a letting agent to manage their portfolio or to help them secure tenants should consider the agents qualifications and memberships with regulating bodies before instruction.

It is obviously important to choose an agent that offers you the service you are looking for within the budget you have, and to look into recommendations and testimonials but most importantly ensure that the agent is regulated as this will protect you and your monies.

If an agent is not regulated then there is a very high risk of money paid by your tenants in rental amounts or as deposits are unprotected. In the worst scenario this could mean the landlord picking up the bill if the agent or company hits any financial difficulties or decides to close.

iConn is a ARLA regulated agent, we are also members of the Property Ombudsman Lettings. Our client monies are held within a separate account and all our accounting practices are audited to ensure transparency and protection for our clients.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail please contact our office on 01227 765008; feel free to pop into our office for an informal chat if you wish at 26s Castle Street, Canterbury, CT1 2PU.


Why you should choose an ARLA Regulated Agent


Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

An Agent regulated by ARLA ensures a Landlord or tenant that they are choosing an agent that has to follow strict guidelines and work within stringent industry standards. An ARLA agent has to offer professionalism and commitment to all its clients and customers at all times.

ARLA members are required to work within a robust Code of Practice, which entails covering the key stages in all letting and property management. There are comprehensive membership Byelaws which include compliance with handling and accounting for Clients’ money; the mandatory ARLA Client Money Protection Bonding Scheme; Professional Indemnity Insurance; Dealing with Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures.

ARLA members are kept up to date with all new and changing legislation and require all offices to have at least one member of staff fully trained to ARLA standard.

Happy Christmas from all at iConn Property Management, Canterbury!! :)






STUDENT LETTINGS LIST FOR 2012-2013 RELEASED by iConn Property Management


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:

You will also find all the student terms and documents on this page:

Good Luck! :)


Advice for Potential Landlords looking to invest in property…


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.


Property Rental Demand in Canterbury, Kent


Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes:

I have recently completed some Canterbury rental demand reports generated through

During the last seven days (05.10.11 – 12.10.11) Rightmove reported that:

6376 people searched for a 1 bed apartment in Canterbury (5847 of them have a maximum budget of £900.00)

5544 people searched for a 2 bed apartment in Canterbury (5291 of them have a maximum budget of £1000.00)

4882 people searched for a 3 bed property in Canterbury (4843 of them have a maximum budget of £1500.00)

4724 people searched for a 4 bed property in Canterbury (4695 of them have a maximum budget of £1750.00)

These are healthy figures showing that the rental market seems to be keeping up although normally at this time of year we will begin to see the market slow slightly as we head towards Christmas.

I think it is particularly useful to note the maximum tenants are putting in against properties. Rightmove gives us the option to really tailor make the report we receive so by adding in other factors like if tenants required parking, furnished properties or within a certain postcode we can receive a more specific report as to the average budget of new tenants which provides us with a good insight for valuations.

It also helps current landlords see the amount of rental which could be achieved at the top end of the market, helping to decide if refurbishment work would be beneficial based on the new rental return.

If you are thinking about investing in property or increasing your portfolio then we can provide you with the average rental price being achieved for the area and type of property plus the level of demand before you purchase.   (more…)


Telephone Landline Installation – Landlords Responsibility


Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

When tenants view a property to rent if a telephone socket is visible or advertised as available then the landlord has a responsibility to ensure it is in working order. This means that the physical lines and wiring into the property are in place.

It is a tenants choice as to whether they wish to have a working line during their tenancy. If you do require a telephone line then it is their responsibility to pay for any set up fees that may be applicable to have a working line as this is the tenants account set up fee.

Most telephone line providers have a general rule that if a line is not used for longer than a month they will disconnect it from the exchange and allocate the space to someone else. This means that if the previous tenants choose not to have a line, or used a different provider to the one the tenant would like to use, there is a high chance that the provider will charge the tenant to reconnect the line to the exchange.


Fire Retardant Labels


Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager at iConn Property Manager writes:

I came across some new information this week which may be very useful for Landlords who provide furniture in their rented properties.

One of our current landlords wanted to purchase a second hand sofa for their furnished property. They visited a reputable charity shop in Canterbury and found an ideal sofa but on inspection it did not have any fire resistant labels…..well actually, the last owener had cut them off!

It was evident the sofa was nearly new and they called us for some advice. As far as I was aware the regulation is as follows:

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 Amended 1993:

It is an offence to supply in a property any furniture that does not comply with the regulations.  The regulations cover all upholstered furniture and furnishings with permanent or loose covers including cushions, pillows and headboards which must be able to pass a ‘smouldering cigarette’ and ‘match flame’ test, and carry labels to prove it.  Failure to comply with the regulations carries a fine and or imprisonment, and in addition a Tenant could sue you for damages against any loss or injury caused as a result of a breach.  Furniture manufactured prior to 1950 is exempt.  There are also stringent controls on houses in multiple occupation (i.e. sharers) involving formal registration with your local council which we can undertake on your behalf.

I did however call the Canterbury Council housing department to confirm and they advised me that if an item of furniture does not display the required labels there are another two options a landlord could take in order to prove that the furniture is up to regulation.

1. If the item was made and/or purchased after 1993 and the landlord can provide proof of this then this is sufficient. This is because the law changed in 1993 relating to the production of fabric and upholstery items and it became illegal to sell any products after this date that are not fire retardant.

2. There are companies that provide a spraying service and will provide a certificate to prove that the items is now fire retardant. This is ideal for antique furniture and could be useful for older second hand furniture.

B.Davenport – Landlord with iConn Property Management


We are very happy with the way iConn markets and lets our property in Canterbury. 

We have found the service to be professional and speedy – we are kept up to date with what is happening when marketing the property and have regular reports on the condition of the property when it is let.

M.D – Landlord with iConn Property Management


I am delighted to tell you that we have always been most impressed with the professionalism and speed with which your staff have dealt with our requirements. Indeed, your staff have always kept us informed of the process and progress of marketing our property and once a suitable tenant has been found your efficiency at preparing and producing the various contracts and references are second to none. The management and staff at iConn are a pleasure to work with which is why we return to look for your services year after year.

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A Fish Called Goggles


A fish called Goggles… 

Once upon a time there was a nameless fish who swam around a small glass bowl dreaming of a better existence…

 He dreamed of moving to a high spec fish tank with all the mod cons where he could show off his swimming skills including the backwards vertical shimmy which was his speciality.

 His owners also dreamed of moving home and when they did….they forgot to take the nameless fish with them. :(

 This made the fish very very sad. He sank to the bottom of his glass bowl but never gave up hope that his dreams may be fulfilled.

 When a member of iConn Property Management came to his empty house and discovered this nameless unhappy fish….his life was transformed!


  iConn brought the fish into their office and their hearts!

 After lots of “ahhhhh”s and “oooooo”s the staff at iConn made it their mission to restore happiness into this little fishy’s life.

 They gave him a name Goggles  and life began to get better.  Goggles was cleaned and fed and fussed over and cared for until his owners reclaimed him…

 But they never did… :(

 iConn then decided to do what they do best and hunted for a new home for Goggles, they worked hard to meet all of his requirements as they wanted the best for their new team member and finally the day arrived for The big Move….

 Goggles packed up his things….put a sign in his old home and made the leap into fresh waters…

 His new home was huge! With a red coral reef to hide in and brush off his old scales. He had a colourful reef house which he could swim through and brightly coloured red and black stone floor, the ultimate in luxury. He gorged himself on dinners of frozen thread worms and specially designed fish capsules.

 His dreams had come true…He repaid the team at iConn by showing off his swimming skills and always coming to greet them when they go to his tank.

 He performs regularly for children and provides a great distraction so that parents can do what they need to in the office.

 He really is a valued member of the iConn team.

 And so that concludes the story of a fish called Goggles….who lived happily ever after….

Thanks to iConn Property Management! :)


Advantages of Using iConn Property Management as your Letting Agent


Iris O’Connell M.A.R.L.A, Managing Director for iConn Property Management writes:

We can take the stress and anxiety away from you the landlord. We can deal with any issue that may occur whilst your tenant is residing at the property. Your tenant deals with us direct.

We can deal with all tenancy law and can offer legal advice with regards to Insurance, notices and possession. iConn looks at any issue objectively and impartially.

We are here to help the Landlord and the tenant.  We keep up to date with all new legislation, tenancy laws and Health and safety practices that effect Landlords and tenants.

We can advice you with your Buildings, contents and public liability insurance. We offer free quotes and can set up and pay from your rental income an appropriate Insurance catered to your needs.

iConn is an expert in its field. We can achieve higher rent yields due to our marketing expertise. We deal with all the administration involved in letting out your property; Tenancy agreements, notices to quit, possession notices, Inventories and schedule of condition, renewals and deposit protection. We also thoroughly reference all prospective tenants and arrange for rent guarantees to safe guard you in times of uncertainty.

iConn is here to offer free independent advice. We pride ourselves in being a superior independent Letting agent.

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