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Keeping Your Student House Clean

student estate agents manchester

Once you’ve moved into your shared student house, it’s not long before the mess starts to build up. We’ve written this article to help you keep on top of the cleaning in your house and stop arguments starting over whose turn it is to scrub the bathroom!

Rota

If you haven’t set up a cleaning rota yet, do so as soon as possible. Sit down together and make sure that all the household chores are shared out equally between every member of the house. Set out the key things that need to be done, such as taking out the rubbish and cleaning the kitchen. Make sure everyone agrees on the schedule and that everyone has a say. Aim to clean everything once a week; you may want to set the same day and time for everyone to do their chores. If you do it regularly, it’ll be far easier to manage. 

Cleaning Products

Ensure there is a store of communal cleaning products that everyone contributes to, but make sure that none contain ingredients that members of the household are allergic to, or that they might object to (if they have been tested on animals, for example) 

Doing the Washing Up 

Deciding whether to do the washing up on a rota or as individuals is up to you. If you do it as part of a rota, you know that everything will be done regularly. However, some people may find that unfair, especially if they use fewer bowls and less cutlery than other household members. If you do it individually, each person will be responsible for their own cleaning, but the chance of people leaving their pans ‘to soak’ is high and plates may soon begin to pile up. 

Communal Areas

If you’re in a communal area like the lounge or kitchen, try and tidy up after yourself. In the bathroom, ask everyone to keep their toiletries in their own rooms, or if you have a cabinet, on each shelf. Don’t leave your various bottles out in the shower as it’ll become impossible to track what’s yours. 

Tidy Up Before You Go Away

If everyone is leaving the house during the holidays, tidy up everything before you vacate the property. Empty the fridge and cabinets of anything that might go off, take the rubbish out and wipe down all surfaces, especially kitchen counters. This will mean you won’t come back to a house that has been taken over by mice and flies.

Student Houses in Salford and Manchester

Are you looking for a student house for next year? Student estate agents, Manchester based Mistoria, still have properties available. Speak to a member of the team to find out how we can help you.

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How To Decorate Economically

Manchester student letting agents

When decorating their student rental properties, many inexperienced landlords spend too much time and money creating an aesthetic that appeals to them, but not to their tenants.

We’ve written this blog post to provide landlords with guidance on best practice when decorating, to ensure they save money and attract tenants.

Paint vs Wallpaper

You should always avoid wallpaper when decorating your property because of its tendency to tear and mark. It’s difficult to repair such issues without having to repaper the entire wall, but it’s easy to touch up knocks with a light application of paint. In the void period between tenancies, landlords often wish to refresh the look of their property. This is easy with a new coat of paint; the same effect cannot be quickly achieved with wallpaper without quite some expense.

When choosing a paint colour, landlords should pick one which is neutral and bright and which does not clash with many other colours. Whether the property is modern or traditional, a neutral tone such as magnolia will always look good and will not look dated after a few years.

Saving Money On Paint

If you are a portfolio landlord with a number of different properties, it is best to use the same colour scheme throughout all of them, buy your paint in bulk and keep an eye out for special promotions and discounts. Choose a popular colour from a well-known brand so that you know shops will always have it in stock. When a tenant moves out at the end of their tenancy, don’t change the colour of paint you originally used. By using the same colour, you won’t have to use several coats, saving you valuable money.

Before You Begin

Before you start painting, check the walls for signs of damp. Covering them up and leaving the damp to spread could cost you an eye-watering sum of money later down the line. If it is ignored, it will lead to cracking paint, mould, and will eventually leave the house unfit for human habitation. If you do discover damp, fixing the issue should be your number one priority. The room may have to be replastered and fitted with a new damp course. Remember to allow the plaster to dry completely before painting it.

Use a Paint Sprayer

Before you begin painting, wipe down the walls and fill in any small holes. Then, invest in a paint sprayer. Whilst there will be some expense when you first buy the product, you will thank yourself later, when decorating large expanses of wall becomes easier and ultimately cheaper (using a paint sprayer is far more efficient than using a roller). Take the same precautions when paint spraying as you would when painting normally, such as using sheets to cover carpets and affixing masking tape around windows, skirting boards and light switches.

Flooring

Once you have decorated the walls of your property, you may notice the flooring looking the worse for wear. Consider replacing the carpet with something new, but again, keep it plain (but don’t go for something too light, as stains will show up easily).  Don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest carpet though, as it’ll quickly wear down in high traffic areas.

Don’t have the time to decorate?

Manchester student letting agents, Student Haus can source suitable properties for investors and landlords, before fully decorating them in a style that appeals to tenants, leaving you to relax while we do the hard work for you. Contact us now on 0161 694 6427.

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Mistoria Group Celebrates 10 Years of Property Growth in the North West

The Mistoria Group founded in 2009 has just completed 10 years of major growth and expansion into one of the leading providers of student housing in the North West. Over this period the group has also refurbished 250 properties importantly delivering new life into local communities. With over 900 properties in its portfolio alongside over 2000 tenancies under their management Mistoria now employs over 50 staff/contractors across the region.

Responding to the dramatic growth and demand for quality student accommodation Mistoria have expanded their property footprint into Liverpool and Bolton alongside growing their presence in Salford, Manchester. With its entrepreneurial CEO Mish Liyanage at its helm, Mistorias’ assets have dramatically risen over the last decade from £3m to £115m. Meanwhile the groups turnover has been transformed from £578,000 to over £20m in the same period delivering an impressive growth in nett profit after taxes from £15,000 to £337,000 across the Group of companies.

Apart from managing student property Mistoria have also carved out a successful niche in offering investment in the ‘buy to let’ market and with their experience alongside local knowledge they have delivered yields for their investor clients of up to 13%. Meanwhile the recent purchases of regional property businesses Pick my Pad and Student Haus confirm the acquisitive nature of Mistoria to deliver future growth for their rapidly growing business.

Following this impressive growth The Mistoria Group recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester with staff and business partners alongside announcing long service awards for Rob Flint and April Calderbank who have worked for the group for 8 years. In addition the staff and management team also helped to raise £6,000 for the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Liverpool Hospital Oncology Team and Centrepoint.

Mish Liyanage, The Mistoria Group’s CEO commented;

‘From humble beginnings I am proud to have grown The Mistoria Group into a reputable and fast growing property business here in my home region – the North West. We are committed to servicing the needs of clients who demand the very best possible results in all aspects of property investment and management. With a young and hard working team supporting me we also look forward to supporting the growing needs of our landlords, students as well as residential tenants by delivering high quality accommodation over the next decade. As we celebrated our 10 year anniversary we were very pleased to support three important charities who undertake vital work across our region and which have been personal to me.”

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Making Your Property Ready For Winter

student accommodation salford

As Winter begins, it’s time for landlords to start thinking about getting their properties ready for the cold weather.

We’ve written this blog post to explain a few of the steps you can take to ensure your property is not affected by the adverse conditions.  

Check The Roof and Gutters

You should make sure that your property’s gutters are free of leaves and any other debris to prevent rain overflow. Water damage and damp can be particularly problematic as the results are not immediately obvious; tenants may therefore not report the issue until it has become a major problem. 

Damp and water ingress can also be caused by missing roof tiles. These are easy to spot and fix. Slightly harder to see are cracked tiles, so they require a thorough inspection. Splits can become far worse during winter, as water freezes and expands, breaking the tiles even further. 

Lights

As the nights get shorter, it’s worth ensuring that if your property has external lights, they are working properly. This will make tenants feel safer and should hopefully reduce the chance of break-ins. Whilst tenants are expected to change their own lightbulbs within their property, doing so in external fittings can sometimes be difficult. It might therefore be worth taking the time to change them yourself. 

Check Pipes 

You should check all the pipes to which you have access to ensure they are not leaking or broken. As they are prone to freeze up and burst during Winter, it may be worth fitting lagging  Ensure they are properly secured to the wall and that the brickwork around them is showing no sign of cracking where water might get in.  

Void Periods

It’s likely that student tenants will go home over the Christmas holidays. Before they vacate the property, you should advise them to set the heating to 7-10 degrees, to ensure that the property’s pipes don’t freeze up. Ask that they don’t leave any valuable items in sight in their rooms to reduce the chance of the property being broken into. Remind them to close and lock all windows and doors.  

Check the Heating

The property’s heating system may not have been used for quite some time, so it’s worth having the boiler serviced, checking all pipes and bleeding the radiators, which should warm up the house more efficiently. Take the time to ensure the property’s insulation is in order, especially in the loft, through which a quarter of the heat in a house can escape. Also consider fitting draught excluders to doors.

Ventilation

When it’s cold, tenants often don’t open their windows for months on end. However, if they remain closed, condensation can quickly build up. We’ve previously written a blog post about damp and condensation. You’ll find lots of helpful advice about protecting your property during the colder months there. 

Fix Small Issues

You may have let lots of little issues build up over time that you haven’t got round to doing. It’s a good idea to sort these issues out whilst you carry out your Winter checks. If they are not addressed, small problems can quickly become much worse when the cold weather sets in. 

Our Services

If you are looking to invest in student accommodation, Salford estate agent, Student Haus, are here to help. Once you have made your purchase, we have a dedicated Maintenance team who can assist with any issues around your property. Contact us now to find out more.

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Letting To Students: Dispelling the Myths

student lets salford

Many landlords often worry about letting out their properties to students, fearing that they will not receive rental payments, or that their houses will be destroyed during wild parties. However, issues like these are exceptionally rare. We thought we’d dispel some of the popular myths about renting to students in this blog post.

Damage to the Property

A landlord’s worst nightmare is undoubtedly that their property will be destroyed by a particularly wild student party. However, with the rising cost of living, students are increasingly opting to drink and party less, with some studies suggesting that 30% of the student population does not drink at all. With less spare money, students are also more conscious of the need to care for their house to protect their deposit. 

A recent survey by student utility supplier Glide also recently showed that 82% of students would rather stay in to binge watch TV and films than go out to party. Therefore, the chance of a landlord’s property being ruined is now much reduced. 

Payment Problems 

The typical image that society has of a student is of one surviving off pasta because they’ve spent all their money on alcohol. That, alongside the fact that this is the first time many will have had payment responsibilities before, leaves landlords worried that their student tenants will not have enough money to pay their rent. However, such issues are actually relatively rare in student properties, because tenants receive student loan payments termly. Furthermore, if students do miss their rent payments, they are almost always backed by strong guarantors – their parents. 

Noise Complaints

Students are typically known for playing loud music and screaming and shouting late into the night. But as they reduce their alcohol intake and opt to stay in for film nights with friends, landlords should actually see a reduction in the number of noise complaints they receive from neighbours. 

Finding the Perfect Tenants   

One of the best ways to look after your property is to engage with your tenants. If they feel like you are listening to their queries and worries, they are more likely to trust you and therefore respect both you and your property. Having a good relationship with their landlord is one of the key things students look for when renting a home. 

Still Have Concerns?

If you are worried about letting your property to students, come and speak to the experts in student lets, Salford based Student Haus. 

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Surviving in a Shared Student House

student homes salford

Living with your friends in a shared house can be one of the best bits of your time at university. But maintaining domestic harmony can sometimes be a struggle, especially during stressful times like exam season. That’s why we’ve written this blog post – so that you know how to survive in a shared student house! 

Choose Your Housemates Wisely

Before you even start looking for a house, you need to sort out who you’ll be living with. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. A good idea is to live with the people from your halls in first year who you get on with and who you know can live without mess and drama. Alternatively, you could live with people from your favourite society, as that way you’ll have something in common (though that’s no guarantee they’ll be good housemates!). 

We find that the most popular months or house hunting are October to December, which gives you some time to get to know your friends before deciding to live with them. If there’s something you find irritating about a friend, remember that this will be much more noticeable when you see them all the time in your own home. You should also consider how many people you want to live with; in larger houses, there’ll be more chance of arguments and less chance of privacy, but if you’re a social butterfly, a large house might be perfect for you. 

Room Allocation

When you move into your new house, there’ll probably be a desperate rush for the biggest room. But to avoid arguments, deciding who gets which room should be a democratic process. Each room will have its advantages and disadvantages and you should consider what’s most important to you. If some rooms are considerably bigger than others you may consider splitting them by price, or you could allocate on a first come first served basis.  

Keep Things Tidy

To keep up good relations with everyone in your house, try and avoid conflicts wherever possible. Arguments usually start over the cleanliness of the house. It’s fine to have a messy room, but in communal areas, you should make sure your things are packed away after you’ve used them. Make sure you wash your dishes once you’ve used them. It’s really easy to let plates build up until you have a festering mess in your kitchen and nothing to eat from. 

It’s worth sitting down with your housemates to write up a cleaning rota. That way, every part of the house will be cleaned regularly and no one will be able to argue about whether it’s their turn later down the line.

Ask To Use Your Friends Things

If you’ve run out of cutlery because you’ve not done the washing up, it’s tempting to ‘borrow’ your friends’ things. If you come in drunk and have no food in, you may even decide to steal some of your friends’ food from the fridge. That can cause huge arguments, especially if someone comes down to find they have nothing for breakfast. It goes without saying that you should always ask before taking anything. It may also be a good idea to mark your things with your name.

Don’t Let Your Partner Move In

There is usually only enough space in communal areas for the number of occupants in your property. It can be really frustrating when someone you barely know spends all their time hogging the kitchen or taking lazy showers when you need to get ready to go to lectures. Your housemates will also get irritated that your partner isn’t paying rent or bills but is still using the house’s facilities. No one is stopping you having your partner over a few times a week, but if they’re there all the time, don’t be surprised when your friends get annoyed. 

Pay Your Bills

If your house has opted to pay their own bills rather than move into a bills-included home, it’s best to have one person responsible for collecting all utility payments. Make sure you pay them the right amount, on time. It’s unfair on the lead payer if you’ve not paid your share and they’re left covering for you. Remember that everyone is sharing the cost, so don’t turn up the heating just to walk around in shorts!

Looking For A House For Next Year?

Experts in student homes, Salford based Student Haus, have a wide range of student properties available to rent. Contact us now

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Dealing With Damp and Condensation in Your Property

salford student letting agents

The days are getting shorter, the leaves are falling from the trees and there’s a noticeable chill in the air. That must mean it’s Autumn! It also means it’s time to start thinking about ways to prevent damp and condensation in your property. 

Condensation

The most common cause of damp in a property is the build-up of condensation. It should be made clear to your tenants that it is their responsibility to prevent condensation in the property. Once you have installed extractor fans in bathrooms, stress that tenants should switch these on every time they shower or take a bath. It might be worth investing in an extractor fan that switches on automatically in time with the bathroom light. That way, you won’t have to rely on your tenants remembering to do so. Extractor fans should also be fitted in the kitchen above the hob. Boiling water causes lots of steam to be produced, which will settle on the walls and windows if not removed. 

Advise your tenants to open their windows regularly, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. During the colder months, they may be reluctant to do so, but windows need only be open for ten minutes a day for a noticeable difference in the levels of condensation build-up. Remind them that they need to close and lock all of their windows before leaving their house each day. 

Tell your tenants not to put wet clothing on radiators. The water vapour mixing with the hot air will rise and settle on walls and windows. You may wish to fit a clothes line to encourage your tenants to dry their clothes outside.

Rising Damp  

Rising damp occurs when groundwater seeps through the bricks and mortar of a building because its damp course has failed. It is your responsibility as a landlord to make the building watertight again by fitting a new damp course. The cost should not be passed on to your tenants. You should ask a professional for their advice; rising damp is often misdiagnosed and fitting a new damp course could end up being a needless expense. 

Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp occurs when water enters a building via an external wall or the roof and settles inside. This will invariably be because of a fault within the building, such as holes in the roof, damaged gutters, or cracks in the external render. Again, it is your responsibility to ensure that these issues are remedied and that the house is fit for habitation. Fixing penetrating damp is usually a simple process. Make a note of anywhere that the damp appears and find that point on the exterior of your property. Around this area you should be able to quickly find the fault and fix it yourself with some simple DIY. For serious problems, consult an experienced surveyor. A check of the whole building may be required to ensure the damp has not become wet rot, which would be disastrous for the structural integrity of your property.     

Resolving Damp Issues  

Salford student letting agents, Mistoria have a dedicated maintenance team on hand to resolve any property issues for our landlords and tenants. Contact us now to find out how we can help you. 

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The Mistoria Group Eyes £10k Challenge Supporting Liverpool Hospitals

The Mistoria Group Eyes £10k Challenge Supporting Two Liverpool Hospitals

The Mistoria Group is raising a total of £10k to help fund important research for the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and the Liverpool Oncology Centre to mark the 10 year anniversary of their North West property business. Mish Liyanage the Groups CEO has experienced first hand the excellent work that both hospitals undertake following his treatment for eye cancer.

The Liverpool Oncology Centre specialises in cancers and tumours of the eye and patients travel across the world to be treated by their dedicated team. Their success is down to patients who donate tissue for research and also from generous financial support provided by previous patients helping to purchase state of the art equipment to study eye tumours.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, the second of The Mistoria Group charities, provided Mish with important radio proton therapy and delivered successful treatment on his optical nerve, saving the sight in his eye. He was very impressed by the dedicated care and attention provided by the hospital team not just to himself but also the support provided to his family.

Mish’s personal experience with the Liverpool Oncology Centre and the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre shows the importance of continued investment in new research facilities whilst delivering a high level of care to patients and their families.

His successful treatment, the dedicated staff and the excellent care provided by both hospitals made them both natural choices for The Mistoria Group when deciding to choose two charities in Merseyside to mark the company’s 10 year milestone.

Mish Liyanage CEO ‘The Mistoria Group’ commented:

“Following life changing surgery and the world class care that I experienced, I am proud that The Mistoria Group is supporting the Liverpool Oncology Centre and the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre as part of our 10 year anniversary celebrations.’’

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How To Make Your Student House a Home

student properties salford

Before you moved into your new student house, you probably saw hundreds of pictures on Instagram of beautifully decorated rooms decorated with hanging fairy lights and plants on the windowsill. Now that you’ve moved in, you might want to recreate that aesthetic for yourself. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to achieve the same look without breaking the bank. Your room will be like a home away from home in no time! 

Fairy Lights

Fairy lights are possibly the most instagrammable part of your room. Their soft light makes everything look great and can be really soothing when you’ve had a tough day of lectures. You can buy them shortly after Christmas for a massively discounted price. Make sure you buy ones that plug into the mains so you’re not constantly paying for new batteries. Drape a strand around your bed or over your noticeboard if you have one. Remember to turn them off before you fall asleep, though.

Print Out Family Photos

Many students struggle with homesickness when they first come to university. A good way to stay connected with home is to print out pictures of your friends, family and pets. Having these familiar faces around you can be really comforting. Once you’ve got some photos with your new university friends, you can print them off too. There are many online services that allow you to upload your pictures, print them as polaroids and have them sent straight to your door. You can then hang them from a piece of string with wooden pegs you’ve decorated yourself.  

Plants

A great way to make a room prettier is to buy some potted plants. They boost your mood and add a splash of colour and lots of oxygen to your room. Given that you’ll probably forget to water them from time to time, we recommend going for hardy cacti. If you know you’ll never remember, consider getting some realistic plastic plants to brighten up your room.  

New Bedding and Pillows 

Your bed will be the most noticeable thing in your room, so really make it stand out with some new bedding. You can go for something plain, something wacky, or something nostalgic (Disney duvet cover? Don’t mind if I do…). You can often find duvet covers and pillow-cases on sale at Primark. If you really want to go all out and make your room extra comfy, get some extra cushions from a charity shop. 

Posters

Show off your individuality with a few posters. They might be of your favourite TV show or film, or your favourite band. They make for excellent conversation starters, especially if you don’t know your new housemates particularly well. Don’t use something to stick them up that will leave a mark though, as you will risk losing your deposit.  

Keep Things Tidy

Buy a laundry bag so you don’t have to wade through mountains of clothes when you wake up every morning. Tidy up the rest of your room by putting your books and folders on shelves and buy storage boxes that fit under your bed to put some of your stuff in.

Good Speakers

Whether you plan to rock out to your favourite tracks on your own or at pre drinks, or host film nights for you and your friends, a good pair of speakers is essential. There are lots of cheap options available online. 

Looking for a House For Next Year?

If you’ve just begun searching for a house for next year with your friends, come and speak to the experts in student properties, Salford based Student Haus.

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Capital Growth vs Rental Yield – Do You Know the Difference?

student estate agents salford

If you are considering investing in Salford student lettings, two phrases will have popped up more than any others; capital growth and rental yield. But do you know what they mean? In this blog post, we break down the difference between the two; understanding these phrases is key to successful investing. 

Rental Yield

Rental yield refers to how much profit you will make by renting out your property. There’s an easy way to calculate it too. Just divide the annual rental income amount by the price for which you plan to purchase your property. Times your result by 100. Now you have your rental yield value.

Here’s an example:

You buy a property for £90,000. Your gross annual rental income is £6500. Your rental yield is therefore (6500/90,000) x 100, which gives a value of 7.2%.

You can expect particularly high rental yields in the student rental sector. At Mistoria Estate Agents, the rental yield on many of our Salford student lettings is far higher than can be achieved on a traditional Buy-To-Let (BTL) property. This is because when you rent out an HMO, or ‘House in Multiple Occupation’, to students, you are able to collect rent from every tenant. This is not possible in a conventional BTL property, in which you might only receive one monthly payment.

Capital Growth

Capital growth is the value by which your property will increase over time, from the point of purchase to the point of sale. So if you buy a property for £90,000 and sell it five years later for £120,000, the capital gain is £30,000.  

There are many factors which affect this value, from potential area regeneration to new transport links. Researching the area in which you wish to invest is key if your ultimate goal is capital growth. 

Investors should note that population growth does not necessarily lead to capital growth. You need a combination of an attractive property type, an increasingly attractive location and a large population with the finance to be able to buy property. Investors should research locations to see if any regeneration projects are in the pipeline and what the demographics are in a certain area. Investors should also be aware of stamp duty which now runs at 8% for properties over £250,001 if it is a second property.

How Student Haus Can Help

If you are considering investing in property but are unsure about the jargon and legislation, come and speak to the experts at Mistoria Student Estate Agents, Salford. Contact us on 0161 707 6106.