We understand that letting your property, especially for the first time, can be a worrying experience and with this in mind our most important consideration is providing you, the Landlord, with the best possible service and the right tenant for your property.
We never forget that the property is your most important asset and we can confidently assure you that by instructing us to act as your Letting and Management Agents your asset will be in professional and caring hands.
A Personal Service
Because we are a small firm, we are able to offer a personal service, with attention to detail, whilst at the same time maintaining a high standard of competence and professionalism.
Our fees are competitive and may be open to negotiation dependent on the level of Service required. We are particularly committed to investment Landlords and savings can be made on the smallest of portfolios.
Carefully Selected Tenants
All prospective Tenants are thoroughly referenced and credit checked.
A Tailored Service
We offer a high level Fully Managed Service while maintaining a flexible attitude towards our client's individual circumstances and needs.
This is our inclusive Service, which provides for the marketing of the property and carrying out viewings, leading to the introduction and vetting of a prospective Tenant. This proving satisfactory, we then go ahead and prepare the tenancy agreement and an inventory of the property.
During the tenancy we carry out periodic inspection visits. Should these bring to light any maintenance issues, we will (within the confines of our Management Agreement) arrange or recommend any necessary repairs.
Collecting and processing of rental payments is also an important part of our Full Management Service. Rental balances will be credited automatically to the Landlord’s nominated bank account.
Towards the end of the tenancy, we liaise with the Tenant to re-advertise the property to let, arrange their check-out and offer our pre-checkout service to provide support and assistance where needed. This help to achieve a successful and amicable checkout, satisfying all parties involved.
This Service is suitable for Landlords who are not residing locally, or would rather not deal with the Tenants directly, preferring all aspects to be handled by an Agent.
We offer a competitive fee structure and can offer reductions on our standard charges for multiple property portfolios. Please telephone or email us to discuss your requirements.
As appointed introducers we are able to offer a range of insurance policies for landlords, including the following:
Please ask for further details.
Before a property can be let, there are several matters which the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and also that he/she complies with the law. We provide summarised information below. If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:
We have found that a good relationship with Tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Managers this relationship is our job, but it is important that the Tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for their money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in a good decorative order will go towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental figure. Tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater respect.
Electrical, gas plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the Landlords expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what level. As a minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtains and light fittings. Remember that there will be wear and tear on the property and any items provided.
Personal items, ornaments etc.
Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises, especially those of real or sentimental value. Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owner’s risk. All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the Tenant’s own use.
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools. However, few Tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange visits by our regular gardener.
At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the Tenants' responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.
Information for the Tenant
It is helpful if you leave information for the Tenant, e.g. on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.
You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee’s written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.
You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies. We can provide information on Landlords Legal Protection, Rent Guarantee Cover and Landlords Contents and Buildings Insurance if required.
Bills and regular outgoings
We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit. However where we are managing the property, by prior written agreement we may make payment of certain bills on your behalf, provided such bills are received in your name at our office, and that sufficient funds are held to your credit.
Council tax and utility accounts
We will arrange for the transfer of Council Tax and utility accounts to the Tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing your closing gas and electricity accounts to be drawn up. All these matters we will handle for you, however British Telecom will require instructions directly from both the Landlord and the Tenant.
When resident in the UK, it is entirely the Landlords responsibility to inform the Revenue & Customs of rental income received and to pay any tax due. Where the Landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, he will require an exemption certificate from the Revenue & Customs before he can receive rental balances without deduction of tax. Where we are managing the property we will provide advice and assistance on applying for such exemption.
It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the Landlord to prove any loss, damage or significant deterioration of the property or contents. In order to provide a complete Service, we will, if required, arrange to prepare an inventory and schedule of condition, at the cost quoted in our Agency Agreement.
Tenancies, covered by the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016, are granted under a Private Residential Tenancy, this means tenancies are open ended with no fixed term period and no end date. To end this type of tenancy, 28 days written notice must be given by all tenants. If your tenant has resided in the property for longer than 6 months then you, the Landlord, will have to give at least 84 days notice to leave.
The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where we are managing the property they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will ensure compliance, any costs of which will be the responsibility of the landlord.
Private Landlord Registration
In accordance with the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004), all private landlords letting properties in Scotland must have applied for registration in the register of landlords with their local authority. You must prove to be a 'fit and proper landlord' in order for your application to be successful. Further information can be requested from our office or can be found online at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk
Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must be maintained in a safe condition at all times, records kept for at least 2 years, and a copy of the safety certificate given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences.Where gas, including liquid propane gas, is supplied to the accommodation, the landlord should provide suitably located carbon monoxide alarm(s) with a sealed lithium battery.
Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Plugs & Sockets etc (Safety) Regulations 1994 and related regulations, electrical installations and equipment must be safe. These must be checked every one to two years (PAT testing) by a competent person.
As of the 1st December 2015 it is a legal requirement to hold an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) carried out every 5 years or sooner, if directed by your electrician. While your property is occupied the Government has allowed a one year period of grace, if however your property becomes available for re-let before 1st December 2016 then the above will be required before the commencement of a new tenancy.
There are strict rules about who can carry out these inspections and what they must cover.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, and certain other items. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2004 requires adequate provision for the detection of fire. A mains powered interlinked smoke detector system must be fitted in every room which is frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes, one functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space, such as hallways and landing, one heat alarm in every kitchen and all alarms must be interlinked. It must comply with BS5839 Part 6. All our properties are non smoking. The detectors must be checked for safety at least once a year. Tenants should undertake a regular testing program.
Is your property a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules will apply.
A landlord has a duty to repair and maintain the property at the start of the tenancy and at all times during the tenancy, including a duty to make good any damage caused by carrying out this work (Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 S14:1-2) Upon notification or awareness of a defect, the landlord must complete the work within a reasonable time (Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 S14:4)
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
In Scotland EPCs for rental properties have been required since January 2009. The certificates must be provided free either when (or before) any written information about the property is provided to prospective tenants or a viewing is conducted. An EPCs is valid for 10 years. We can arrange an EPC inspection for our landlord clients upon request.
The Health and Safety Executive has issued new Legionnaires’ disease guidelines, which will apply to hot water systems in private residential properties. Responsibility will lie with landlords. For more information, please look at http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires
The above is a brief summary of landlords' responsibilities and of the laws surrounding tenanted property. We hope that you find it useful. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please ask us. We look forward to being of assistance to you in the letting and management of your property. If you wish you can print this page by using your browser Print option.