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Agent Insight: Adam Rastall of Belvoir Lettings, Liverpool

Stephen Maunder continues his series of interviews with some of the leading estate agents in the UK by speaking to Adam Rastall, director at the award winning Liverpool (West Derby) branch of Belvoir Lettings.

Stephen Maunder continues his series of interviews with some of the leading estate agents in the UK by speaking to Adam Rastall, director at the award winning Liverpool (West Derby) branch of Belvoir Lettings.

Could you please tell me a bit about your location and the areas you cover?

We are located about 4 miles from Liverpool city centre and generally deal with apartments and semi-detached properties. Our main market is local people, from those in their early twenties in search of their first rented property to retired couples.

What kinds of properties do you let?

We deal with both new-build properties and older homes, but we could always do with more stock as we are inundated with tenants. We work closely with investors, from those with two or three properties to the handful of larger landlords who own twenty or more. A two-bedroom apartment in the area might be priced in the region of £450-575 pcm, while a terraced two- or three-bedroom home would be in the region of £500-600 pcm. A three-bedroom semi would be in the region of £575-725 pcm and an apartment in a new build development might cost up to £800 pcm.

What services do you provide to landlords?

We carry out full reference checks, including employment history and previous landlord references. We also arrange a moving in inventory with photographs and ensure properties have a gas safety certificate. We will then set up the tenancy agreement, which is regularly updated to meet current legislation.

Once tenants have moved in, we look after standard day-to-day issues and regularly undertake inspections on behalf of the landlord. After these inspections, we provide a full photographic guide to the landlord, which can help in terms of assessing both how the tenants are treating the property and identify any wear and tear issues that need dealing with.

Do you often encounter problems with arrears and repossessions?

It does happen, but such instances are very rare. The last time we encountered a repossession was over 12 months ago, and we manage over 330 properties, so it's a very rare occurrence. In instances of unpaid rent or arrears, we communicate with the tenant on the landlord's behalf and try to reach an amicable solution.

What tips would you offer to prospective property investors?

Landlords sometimes approach us and say ‘I’ve bought a property’, but it’s not always what tenants are looking for. I would always recommend speaking to local agents and asking them what kind of properties they need to meet demand. Tenants like to be close to the schools and transport links, and to get good quality tenants it is vital to purchase good solid properties – and these aren’t always the ones with the biggest yields.

Belvoir lettings recently won eight regional awards at the 2014 Estate & Letting Agent Awards. Liverpool (West Derby) won a Silver award for the North West region.

To speak to Adam or one of the other members of staff at Belvoir Lettings West Derby please call 0151 256 0880.

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