Once the steps to prepare the property have been completed, it is time to advertise and find a tenant. Finding the right tenant for a property is important so this is the area where our specialist Lettings team spend the majority of their time and energy.

At Clan Gordon we understand that every property is different, so our Lettings process is not ‘one size fits all’. We work to be as flexible as possible to meet the needs of individual landlords and tenants.

Our Lettings team manage all aspects of the lettings process, so Clan Gordon landlords can relax knowing that their investment is in safe hands. See below for further details on what we do.

Our current average time to let is just 11 days, compared to an industry average of 20-26 days [Source: CityLets]. Contact us to find out how we can help to minimise void periods in your Edinburgh lettings property.

Advertise Everywhere

We are one of just a handful of letting agents in Edinburgh who still advertise absolutely everywhere. Advertising is one of the biggest monthly costs for letting agents so many have cut back on the platforms that they use, decreasing the number of potential applicants viewing their adverts. Although demand usually outstrips supply in the lettings market, we believe that it is in our clients best interest to have the largest possible pool of applicants to choose from. If a property matches an applicant’s search criteria, we make sure that they see our advert!

We currently advertise all of our available lettings properties on:

We also have an active database of active applicants who are sent details of new properties matching their search criteria as soon as they become available. 

 

Relocation Agents

Many Edinburgh companies – especially in the growing Financial sector – use specialist relocation agents to handle the relocation of new employees arriving in the city. These can be either professionals looking for 1 or 2 bedroom properties, or families looking for a 3+ bedroom home close to local schools.

We work closely with the key relocation agents across Scotland, and have found some of our best tenants through these contacts.

 

To Let Boards

To Let boards can be a great advertising tool, these are especially useful for potential tenants who are looking to move but want to stay within the same area. A To Let board is put up at every available property (where possible), unless we are advised otherwise by the landlord. 

Applicant Screening

Applicants are screened from when they first phone or email to request a viewing. We talk to applicants on the phone to check that they will meet the affordability criteria, pass our credit checks, and are a suitable tenant for the property before scheduling a viewing.

 

Individual Viewings

Applicants have individual viewing slots with Thomas. This allows applicants to view the property uninterrupted and ask any questions that they have about the property.

 

Quality Tenants

Many agents work on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, allowing the first applicant who passes the referencing check to rent the property. We don’t believe that this is an effective approach to find the best tenant for the property. We always take offers and provide our landlord clients with as much choice as possible.

Individual, accompanied viewings also mean that Thomas can meet each applicant, enabling him to provide personal insight to support a landlord in selecting their new tenant. Regardless of how good a potential tenant looks on paper, this personal insight is always valuable to landlords when making their final decision. We believe that this approach ensures that the best possible tenants are chosen.

We use a third party company to thoroughly reference all potential tenants. Referencing includes:

  •          Credit check
  •          Bank validation check
  •          Background search
  •          Financial sanctions check
  •          Reference from current landlord
  •          Employment check
  •          Affordability calculation

 

In some cases, where the applicant does not meet the referencing criteria, a UK based guarantor will also be referenced and sign a separate Guarantor Agreement. This would be discussed with the landlord beforehand. 

Kim draws up the tenancy documents and meets new tenants in our office to sign and talk through the paperwork. All of our tenancies are set up as Short Assured Tenancies, tenants must sign the following documents:

  • AT5 document
  • Tenant Information Pack
  • Prior Grounds
  • Lease Agreement

The minimum term for a Short Assured Tenancy is 6 months, however, we try to ensure that tenancies begin on an initial 12 month contract where possible. If a 12 month initial term is not possible or advisable, this will be discussed with the landlord on a case by case basis.

Following the initial fixed term period, our default management is then for the tenancy to roll on a monthly basis with two months’ notice from either party. In some cases tenants request a 12 month extension after their initial period to give themselves increased security, we always check that the landlord is in agreement before proceeding.

The legislation surrounding landlord responsibility for safety in lettings properties has been strengthened considerably since Clan Gordon was founded in 2008. This is positive progression as it increases safety for tenants and protects them against rogue landlords and letting agents, however, it does mean added costs for landlords.

The following must be in place before the start date of a tenancy; we can arrange safety certificates on behalf of landlords.

  •          Gas Safety Certificate
  •          Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR)
  •          Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
  •          Legionella Risk Assessment
  •          Mains wired smoke and heat detectors
  •          Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm/s

Every rental property is different so requirements to meet safety legislation can vary. We provide property specific guidance on safety certificate requirements.

See our Safety Certificates page for full details of each certificate and up to date pricing. 

Cleaning

A final deep clean of the property is required before a new tenant moves in. In order to ensure that our tenants get a consistent service we would strongly advise that the final clean is carried out by a professional cleaning company.

Although we understand that many of our landlord clients are excellent cleaners, a professional cleaning company will have the materials required to return to even the most well used oven to like new. Tenants appreciate this, and are therefore more likely to have the property professionally cleaned when they vacate.

We regularly work with trusted, local cleaning companies who are happy to provide a quote.

 

Inventory

A photographic inventory is created at the start of each tenancy. This is carried out by an independent third party company and records all aspects of the property – from paintwork and fittings, to furnishings – creating an unequivocal report of its condition.

Tenants are provided with the inventory and asked to return a signed copy within the first week of their tenancy, confirming that they agree with the content. The inventory is a valuable tool when negotiating any deposit deductions with outgoing tenants.

The cost for an inventory currently starts at £60+VAT, depending upon the number of bedrooms. 

We arrange a check-in at the property for new tenancies where possible. Many letting agents simply hand over keys at their office, however, we see a check-in as a good opportunity to help our tenants get settled in their new home.

With the best will in the world, most tenants will not read all of the obligations outlined in the tenancy agreement. The check-in allows us to ensure that tenants understand their obligations and are aware of how best to look after the property.

At the check-in Thomas can provide property specific information and advice on:

  •          Heating and ventilation
  •          Cleanliness
  •          Care of flooring and furnishings
  •          Safety checks and certificates 

At the beginning of every tenancy we take meter readings and switch the gas, electric and council tax accounts into the new tenant’s name. Tenants are then responsible for setting up their own payment method.

At the end of the tenancy we take closing meter readings and change the accounts back into the landlord’s name (care of Clan Gordon) and then into the new tenant’s name. Any bills for short vacant periods in between tenancies are received in our office and paid on behalf of the landlord.

Our tenancy agreement clearly states that tenants are responsible for their own TV licence, landline and broadband.

Landlord should ensure that a mail redirection is in place if they have previously lived in the rental property. 

All new tenancies must pay a deposit, usually equivalent to the monthly rent plus £200. A larger deposit may be required for some student properties. The maximum deposit amount permitted by law is 2x the monthly rent.

Clan Gordon tenancy deposits are lodged with SafeDeposits Scotland, a government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme provider. We send the Prescribed Information to the tenants within 30 days, as is set out in the tenancy deposit regulations, so our landlords and tenants know that their deposit is properly protected. 

The majority of Clan Gordon landlords choose to use our Fully Managed service, find out more here