As with all investments, there is an element of risk involved when letting your property. We aim to keep this risk to a minimum and help you to maximise your profits. The following are some simple guidelines which may help.
Utilities & Council Tax
You must take gas and electric meter readings on commencement of the lease and inform the necessary utility companies as soon as possible. Likewise, the local authority must be informed of new tenant details. If you choose our management service, we will carry this out on your behalf.
No telephones, digital or televisions! This is strictly for your tenant to provide. Please make sure you check your title deeds as many flats in particular DO NOT ALLOW satellite dishes to be fitted to the building and this may be disagreeable to your potential tenant.
Landlord Registration is not optional! As stipulated in Part 8 of Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004, and as from 30 April 2006 all private landlords are required to be registered. Failure to do so can result in rental income being withheld or a £5000 fine. If you have not already done so, you should register with your local authority immediately. If you choose our management service, we can arrange this at cost.
Part of the lease comprises an obligation on behalf of the tenant to report any repairs that are required. If we manage the property, we will contact the owner immediately to inform them; it is then the decision of the owner to direct their own tradesmen to carry out the repair to have it carried out by ourselves.
If the repair or required maintenance is of a fairly serious nature, we reserve the right to carry out the repair if the owner has not done so in a timely manner, then charge the owner accordingly.
Insurance & Mortgage
Owners must ensure that all buildings and contents are adequately insured with an appropriate policy i.e. your insurer must be aware of your intention to let the property. We would like a copy of these policies prior to letting your property.
You must also make your mortgage lender aware of your intention to let and seek their permission to do so. We would strongly advise that you have thought about your cash flow and mortgage payments as bank transfers can take up to five working days and DSS payments are made in arrears rather than up front.
We can provide a full inventory of contents and statement of condition of the property prior to renting though there will be a cost involved for this. Equally you can carry this out yourself, but we do not check tenants into a property without one as it is required to ensure the contents on the tenants' departure.
All gas appliances must be serviced, inspected and certificated annually by a CORGI registered contractor.
All electrical installations and appliances must also be regularly checked. We recommend a Routine Inspection Report (RIR) be carried out annually which includes Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). A Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) should be carried out every three years.
Copies of these certificates must be presented to us prior to renting, or a date for these inspections must be arranged. We can arrange to have these tests carried out on your behalf.
Rental deposits are generally equal to one month's rent and will be held in a dedicated account on your behalf. Once the tenant has vacated and the property inspected, this will be returned to them provided the property is in an acceptable condition. You must allow for general wear and tear.
Whether to rent your property furnished or unfurnished is a matter of choice for you, though we will be happy to provide recommendations. You should not however, leave a television, telephone, PC, stereo etc. or other items that are personal or difficult to replace. You should also be aware that you are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of items or furnishings left.
You should also collate instructions and information for all white goods, boilers etc. that may be useful. Also helpful for the tenant is information such as bin day and where the water shut-off valves are.
The Repairing Standard
From 3 September 2007 as part of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, statutory obligations for private landlords have changed. Under the standard, a private landlord will have to ensure that:
- The property is wind and watertight, the structure and interior of the property is in reasonable repair and proper working order.
- The installations in the property for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation, space heating and heating water are in reasonable repair and proper working order.
- Any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided under the tenancy are in reasonable repair and proper working order.
- Any furnishings provided under the tenancy are capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed.
- There is satisfactory provision of working smoke alarms.