- Instruction for Letting Property signed by Landlord/Landlady
- Copy of the most updated certificates: Gas certificates (if it is the case), Periodic Inspection Report or PIR, Portable Appliance Testing or PAT, Energy Performance
- Copy of energy supplier contracts (Electricity, Gas)
- Energy supplier keys or cards, if it is the case
- One set of Keys
Do I have to register with the council as a landlord?
All landlords in Scotland must register with the relevant Local Authority by law. It costs £55 per owner and £11 per property and must be renewed every 3 years. It is an offence to let any house without being registered. You can register online: www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk. As well as a fine of £50,000 for operating as an unregistered landlord, each local authorities has the power to seek a criminal record certificate if it deems necessary when applying the fit and proper person test. It is also an offence not to disclose if you are using an agent. This will be punishable by a fine of up to £1,000.
Tenants’ circumstances can change and even the best references in the world cannot forecast what lies around the corner. We can offer Landlords a policy to protect their rental income and cover any expenses incurred if legal action has to be taken against the tenant for unpaid rent.
In addition, finding specialist insurance for rental property can sometimes be a challenge. All too often, landlords find their property is not adequately covered by standard insurance policies. We can also offer you a Landlord Household Insurance Policy, which provides comprehensive property insurance solely for the rental market.
Click on the Rentguard logo below to get an insurance quote.
I am moving overseas, what should I do regarding my tax affairs?
We provide “Let only”, “Let & Rent Collections” and “Full Management” services. We are able to offer a free rental valuation on your property. Our knowledge of the property market enables us to provide an accurate evaluation of your property so that we can market it at the correct and optimum value.
Who is responsible for utility bills while my property is let?
The tenant becomes responsible for energy bills and council tax during the tenure of the lease. We will advise the energy suppliers and the council of the incoming and outgoing occupier.
Should I buy furniture?
The option to purchase furniture depends on some factors, the type, location of the property and ultimately the landlord. Speak with one of our lettings team who will be able to advise you on the options for the presentation of your property and also rental valuation for furnished and unfurnished.
What level of furnishings is expected in a furnished property?
A fully furnished property should be equipped with furniture such as beds, wardrobes, desktops, chairs … (bedrooms), pots and pans, crockery, microwave, washing machine, oven, kettle … (kitchen) sofas, dining table, chairs (living room), etc.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 set levels of fire resistance for upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. All upholstered furniture must meet current legislation. These detail how quickly an item will ignite in the event of a fire. Furniture affected includes curtains, bed bases, headboards, cushions, pillows, duvets and loose covers.
Any furniture purchased or reupholstered after 1990 will comply with current legislation and will have a permanent label attached to it stating ‘Carelessness causes fire’. If non-compliant furniture is provided to the tenant you could be prosecuted for breach of this legislation. The only exception will be for furniture made before 1950.
What if my tenant does not pay the rent?
Most of our tenants are referenced before entering into a tenancy with our landlords. In the event a tenant falls into arrears due to a change in circumstance we will advise you immediately and keep you informed of action taken to secure payment. We offer our landlords the opportunity to obtain rental guarantee insurance with Rentguard to insure against loss of rent and legal costs, to ensure that they are protected against unforeseen changes in a tenant circumstances such as redundancy.
How is maintenance arranged?
As part of our fully managed service all maintenance and repairs to the property will be undertaken by our contractors with the exception of where the landlord has indicated that repairs will be carried out by their own contractors. Our landlords can have peace of mind knowing that the best quote will be obtained for any maintenance work to their property without having to waste time searching around themselves for quotes.
What are PIR/PAT?
From 3rd September 2007 the Tolerable Standard within The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 has been extended. Electrical wiring, components and fittings must be adequate and safe to use.
A Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) is an inspection of the condition of the existing electrical installation within a property. A PIR will:
- Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment is overloaded
- Find any potential electrical shock risks and fire hazards in your electrical installation
- Identify any defective electrical work
- Identify any lack of earthing or bonding
As a Landlord, the law states that you have a duty of care to make sure the property electrics (fuse box, light switches, sockets, etc.) are safe to use and the only way to do this is to have a PIR test carried out. ELA (Edinburgh Landlord Accreditation) and the newly formed SLA (Scottish Landlord Accreditation) both request that we have valid PIRs for all our properties as part of their code of standards however, they both agree that, as the PIR is NOT a statutory obligation, it is the Landlord’s decision whether to carry one out or not. As an accredited agent we do strongly recommend that you have a PIR test conducted once every 3 years, which we can arrange on your behalf.
If you let property you must ensure that the electrical system and all appliances supplied are safe. Failure to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a criminal offence and may result in:
- A fine of £5,000 per item which does not comply
- Six months imprisonment
- Possible manslaughter charges in the event of deaths
- The Tenant may also sue you for civil damages
- Your property insurance may be invalidated
These regulations are enforced by the Health & Safety Executive. There is no statutory requirement to have annual safety checks on electrical equipment as there is with gas, but it is advisable for landlords to have periodic checks done by a qualified electrician. Therefore we require all our Landlords to have a Portable Appliance Test carried out annually.
What is an EPC?
As part of the government’s ongoing climate change and energy-efficiency drive, the latest industry ecological initiative is the introduction of ‘Energy Performance’ certification to act as a barometer of a property’s energy-efficiency rating. As of 4th January 2009, all properties being advertised for the first time or re-advertised after a tenancy termination are required to have an accredited inspector carry out a full energy-efficiency audit, submitting a report of their findings.
This report indicates areas of weakness in energy-retention and usage throughout the home, while offering suggested measures to improve them, thus providing prospective tenants with an easily comparable chart representing various economic factors to assist when deciding between two properties. Energy Performance Certificates will remain valid for 10 years, or until such time as alterations or improvements are made to the property, after which point it will need to be re-certified for the next tenancy.
What type of smoke alarm is required in a let property?
All properties let through us must have at least one smoke alarm on each floor. If there are multiple alarms, they should be interlinked. However, a smoke alarm installed from 3 September 2007 onwards must be mains powered. Although it is best practice to install mains powered smoke alarms, an existing smoke alarm may be mains powered or battery powered. Landlords should ensure that smoke alarms are regularly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.