FAQ For Edinburgh Landlords
by Clan Gordon - Edinburgh Letting Agent
What does a letting agent do?
A letting agent is a professional who helps landlords to manage their rental properties. Letting agents are responsible for finding tenants, collecting rent, and managing the day-to-day operations of the rental property. Letting agents may also provide additional services such as property maintenance, tenant screening, and legal advice. Letting agents are required to keep detailed records of all transactions, including rent payments, maintenance costs, and tenant information.
I own a property in Edinburgh, can I rent it out?
Owning property in Edinburgh is a lucrative investment. Many of our clients would like to know if they could capitalise on this by renting out their property, and how to go about doing this. That’s where we come in. As a qualified letting agent in Edinburgh, we can let you know exactly how much you could let your property for, as well as managing this process for you. For an instant free online valuation click here.
Do I need a letting agent?
The answer to this will be different for everyone, but letting your property isn’t as straightforward as simply collecting the rent at the end of each month. There is a lot to think about, ranging from gas safety certificates to legionella checks as well as regular maintenance. Employing a reliable Edinburgh letting agent can save you both time and money, not to mention a lot of very valuable expertise. Letting out your property can quickly feel like a second full time job for many landlords, so having a reputable letting agent on hand relieves a lot of the stress and ensures that you as a landlord meet all the legal obligations expected of you. You can read more about exactly what a letting agent is and why you need one here.
What do letting agents provide landlords?
At Clan Gordon we will provide you with comprehensive property management and cover a wide range of areas to give you peace of mind as a landlord. We make sure we:
- Are realistic about rent – we won’t inflate the rental value of your property just to win business. This wastes everyone’s time.
- Advertise your property widely – our properties are found on Rightmove, Zoopla, CityLets Premium, OnTheMarket, Primelocation and Lettingweb.com
- Help you find the right tenant by taking charge of tenant vetting so you have peace of mind your property is going to be looked after
- Take care of organising a photographic inventory in order to record your properties condition as well as making sure any outstanding deposit payment has been cleared before moving day.
- Arrange all your tenancy agreements. These are adapted from the model agreement produced by the Scottish Government which means that you don’t have to worry about compliance.
- Take care of moving day by settling your tenants in and showing them how everything works so you don’t have to.
- Manage your safety compliance so that’s one less thing for you to worry about.
- Take care of any renovations, repairs or cleaning that are needed so that you can rent your property faster.
Do I need to renovate my property before letting it out?
As a letting agent in Edinburgh we see that rental properties that have been recently renovated are in high demand in the city. People want to live in places that feel new and fresh inside, so if you’re in a position to be able to do this we would recommend it. The benefits of doing this include being able to ask for higher rent, attracting better tenants and having tenants who want to stay in the property for longer. All of which are win-wins for you.
Not every landlord is able to newly renovate their entire property but we can help you to find key areas where you could upgrade to get the best return. These could include a new bathroom or kitchen, redecorating to freshen it up, fitting new flooring or even replacing those old curtains with some more attractive blinds.
Our approved contractors can provide you with quotes for all works that you may require doing and property managers can project manage this for you to make sure you reach the Repairing Standard.
Should I let my property furnished or unfurnished?
The answer to this question is one that most Landlords want to know the answer to, and it will vary depending on your property and who you are looking to let it to. As letting agents in Edinburgh, we would say that typically the demand for furnished properties in the city is higher, especially in 1 or 2 bedroom flats. However, there are more people starting to want unfurnished properties and there are less of these on the rental market so if you did choose to go unfurnished, you should still be able to attract tenants.
It's important to think about your market though. If you were looking to attract students, then furnished is likely going to be what they are looking for, whereas a family would typically have their own furniture so would look for unfurnished. You can read more about our recommendations regarding this here.
I’m a new landlord and have been told I need an EPC. What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a rating that is given of the property’s energy efficiency. It is required by law that all rental properties have a valid EPC before they are put on the market for rent.
EPCs are valid for 10 years, and you can check the Scottish EPC register to find out if your property has this certificate already.
If it doesn’t then we can arrange for you to have EPC on your behalf. Our contractor currently charges £47.50+VAT.
What safety certificates is a landlord responsible for?
Landlords are responsible for making sure they keep up to date with any changes to legislation in order to ensure their property complies with this. We know this can seem daunting so we will take care of this side of things for you.
Requirements to meet safety legislation can vary from one property to the next so you might not need every single one of the alarms or certificates that are listed. Rather than trying to work this out yourself, we will assess your property and provide you with a fully personalised list of safety requirements necessary, along with the costs involved, at the lettings valuation.
We will then ensure that we take care of all the required safety certificates and alarms on your behalf. We’ll also keep copies of certificates and renew these as required throughout the tenancy, so you can be free from the worry of not being compliant.
Where should I advertise my property to rent?
The more places you advertise your property, the more likely people will see it and the more interest you’ll receive. We are one of the few letting agents in Edinburgh who advertise our properties one all of the main property portals so if someone is looking for a property to rent in Edinburgh, the chances are they’ll see our advertisement.
We advertise on:
How do I find good tenants?
Finding good tenants is something any reputable letting agent prides themselves on. Our Lettings Negotiator will meet all the potential tenants at the property for an individual viewing. This is helpful to both the tenant and to you as the landlord. It enables prospective tenants to look around the property and ask any questions feeling pressured or rushed by other applicants. It also allows us to provide you as the landlord with some helpful insight into each tenant which will help you to choose the best person for your property.
We also choose not to work on a first-come first-served basis, unlike other letting agents in Edinburgh. The landlord will be sent details of all tenancy applications for their property and will be the one who makes the final decision regarding who rents their property.
Do you do checks on tenants before they are approved to rent my property?
Yes, all adult tenants are reference checked by a third-party company. The reference checks we ask for include:
- Credit check
- Bank validation check
- Background search
- Financial sanctions check
- Current landlord reference
- Employment check
- Affordability calculation
If a tenant does not meet the criteria, then they would be required to have a UK based guarantor listed. In these instances, we would make sure that the guarantor is referenced checked as well as the tenant so you have complete peace of mind.
How do I make an inventory of my property?
We will take care of creating an inventory of your property for you. We use an independent third-party company to create a full photographic inventory of your property from the beginning of every tenancy in order to maintain impartiality and fairness.
The cost of this will vary depending on whether or not your property is furnished or unfurnished, as well as determined by the size of the property.
Do I need an inventory?
Yes, we would always advise a full inventory be conducted prior to you renting out your property. These are vital when it comes to negotiating deposit deductions at the end of a tenancy. They will also give you peace of mind that your interests are protected.
How do I know my property is being looked after?
Edinburgh is a beautiful city with a lot of wonderful properties, and we know that for people who buy property here this is a huge investment. As a landlord you may even have called the property home before you decided to let it out. As a letting agent in Edinburgh we therefore make sure to check in with your tenants, doing regular inspections to make sure the property is being cared for.
We ensure that the first inspection is done at the 8-week mark to see that everything is being looked after as it should. Following that, inspections are carried out every 6 months so that you can have peace of mind that your property is in good hands.
Inspections are also a good time for us to make sure the property is functioning as it should for the tenant so issues that may escalate and cause damage are rectified. Things we look out for include:
- Signs of damp in the property
- Cracked grout and tiles
- Deterioration of any sealant
- Deterioration of the property’s windows
Who is responsible for property maintenance?
As a landlord it is your responsibility to maintain your property and fix any problems that may arise for the tenant. At Clan Gordon we have accumulated a wide range of contractors who are local and well established, and who we trust to work at a high standard on our properties. This takes the stress out of maintaining your property because you don’t have to worry about managing all of this by yourself.
We will liaise directly with your tenant and ask that they send a full description and photographs of any problem that may have arisen, in some cases even visiting the property ourselves, before arranging for a contractor to come out. This will avoid any unnecessary charges and you’ll know that when someone does get called out to the property that it is absolutely necessary.
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