Landlord Guide - Craigflower Lettings

 
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Landlord Guide - Craigflower Lettings
Landlord Guide
Landlord Guide - Craigflower Lettings
Thank you for considering using the services of Craigflower Lettings. We are based in
Shandon and specialise in the letting and management of good quality residential
property.

We were established in 2006 by Angus and Heidi King and between us we have
decades of experience in property management.

Whether you are a homeowner looking into letting your property or an experienced
buy-to-let investor we hope you will find us helpful, knowledgeable and
approachable.

In 2018 new regulations will require letting agents to register with the Scottish
Government and meet certain criteria in terms of standards of service, training,
insurance and client money handling. We have already been through a relevant
training course and put all the required accounts and insurance in place to meet
the requirements of the code.

We know what it takes to get your property let quickly, for the best price, to the
right tenants.
                                             About us

                                             We find that tenants and landlords like
                                             our service as we are small enough to
                                             offer a personal service yet have the
                                             capacity and experience to deal with any
                                             eventuality. Our office is situated in
                                             Shandon and a large percentage of our
                                             portfolio is in and around this area.

We are members of the Council of Letting Agents and protect deposit money
through an organisation called MyDeposits Scotland. We can provide a Rent
Guarantee Scheme but this does not suit every property or landlord.

We offer a free, no obligation valuation of your property and promise very
competitive rates. Whether you need an agent to manage you property or portfolio
or simply need help finding a tenant we will be able to tailor our service to meet
your needs.
Landlord Guide - Craigflower Lettings
The Lettings Market

Increasingly, good presentation is vital in terms of securing the best price and
quickest let. The rental market is very competitive and we have a great track record
for letting property very quickly – almost all of our properties let on the first viewing.
The properties that let quickest, and for the best price are the ones that have had
the most effort put in to the presentation. Showing a property that is messy or
asking tenants to use their imagination to see past all your packing crates etc is not
the way to guarantee a speedy let or a good price.

Landlords are often surprised at how quickly many tenants need to move in so for
us, a property that is clean, tidy and in move-in condition is the one that will
command the best price and quickest let. Tenants can get frustrated at seeing messy
properties and places that look in walk-in condition are snapped up if the price is
right.
                                                Advertising

                                                We will advise you on the type of
                                                tenants to whom your property is likely
                                                to appeal and how to present the
                                                property in terms of furnishings, price
                                                etc. Our properties appear on the top
                                                four sites for lettings in Edinburgh.

                                                Internet advertising (on sites such as
                                                Zoopla and Lettingweb) delivers the bulk
                                                of our lets but we also always have a
                                                database of tenants looking for specific
                                                types of property.
Landlord Guide - Craigflower Lettings
Choosing Tenants
We will check on tenants’ employment, rental and bank status to assess their
suitability. We can also offer a rent guarantee scheme by passing the referencing on
to a third party credit agency. The drawback to this is that they can reject many
perfectly good tenants as they may not meet the criteria of having been in their
current job long enough or have not been UK residents long enough. This process
can be counterproductive as it can mean longer void periods (and therefore less
money to you).

Service and fees
Our fully managed service costs 12% of each month’s rent including VAT (equivalent
to 10%+VAT at the current rate). The first time we let the property we charge a
letting fee of £275 (including VAT). This covers everything from advertising,
viewings, a To Let board, referencing, leases and inventory. Subsequent lets are
charged at £150 (including VAT).

With the management service you can have as much or as little to do with the
property as you like. We can handle everything from setting up utility accounts,
organising repairs to providing you with annual summaries for your tax returns.

If you are comfortable with the idea of managing the property yourself, we offer a
Let Only service. We can still handle everything up until the tenants move in but
after that you and the tenants would liaise with each other directly. This service is
priced at £375 including VAT.

Deposits
Since 2012, tenancy law insists that tenants’ deposits are held in an approved
Deposit Scheme. We use an organisation called MyDeposits Scotland. The deposit
body can act as an arbiter to settle any disputes over deposit deductions. The
deposit rules are lengthy but as a general rule of thumb they are there to both
ensure landlords can receive fair compensation for cleaning and damages but also to
ensure that tenants are not charged for things unfairly or for items that have
reached the end of their expected lifespan.

Other costs and safety compliance involved in being a landlord

Before letting your property, we have to consider the Repairing Standard, which is
part of a 2006 Housing Act that sets out basic rules for landlords to follow in terms of
presenting tenants with a property that is safe and habitable. Changes came into
effect from December 2015 that have insisted on a great range of safety checks to be
carried out.

Landlord Insurance replaces existing buildings and contents cover and also should
include cover for loss of rent (should fire, flood etc cause the tenants to leave).
Speak to your current provider, look online or ask us for a quote as we act as an
introducer for a landlord insurance policy and can set it all up for you and deduct the
cost from the rent.
Landlord Guide - Craigflower Lettings
Landlord Registration will provide you with a registration number to grant you
consent     to       let     your      property       in      Edinburgh.     Visit
www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk to register yourself and your property. If
we will be managing the property you will need to quote our reference number
97847/230/01140.

                                              Gas safety
                                              If there is a gas supply to your property
                                              we will need a Landlord’s Gas Safety
                                              Certificate. This is an annual check
                                              carried out by a Gas Safe registered
                                              engineer. We can organise this for you.
                                              We recommend Contract Heating (tel
                                              0131 458 3377). They also offer a very
                                              comprehensive boiler breakdown policy
                                              for £198 per year. Any room with a gas
                                              appliance will require a carbon monoxide
                                              detector (a battery operated one is fine).

You will also need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If the property has been
bought/sold since late 2008 there’s a good chance it will already have a certificate
but if not we can arrange one for you. They last for ten years and cost around £75,
depending on the size of the property.

Electrical safety regulations are the biggest changes as of December 2015. Landlords
are now required to have an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) at least
every five years. This will highlight any areas of your electrics that need attention.

PAT Testing (Portable Appliance Testing) requires any electrical items with a plug (eg
kettle, toaster) to be checked each year. This is not too costly (can be just a few
pounds per item).

Fire Safety regulations require all rented property to have an interlinked smoke and
heat detection system that covers the hallway, living area and kitchen. Each property
should also now be issued with a fire blanket or extinguisher.

A test for Legionella will also have to be carried out. The frequency of further tests
will depend on the plumbing of the particular property but generally it will be valid
for three years. We also give tenants a guide to keeping them safe from the risk of
Legionella.

Contract Heating are able to do all of the compliance testing. They offer a fixed price
EICR and as part of that process will provide a quote for any required electrical work
and a quote for installing a smoke and heat detection system.

Taxation and dilapidations
It’s wise to budget around 10-12% of the annual rent for repairs and general upkeep.
You will also need to complete a Land and Property self assessment each year as the
income from the rent is taxable. If you will be living overseas you will need to
Landlord Guide - Craigflower Lettings
register as an overseas landlord, otherwise the HMRC can request us to withhold
part of your rental payments. It is a quick and easy form – just visit
www.hmrc.gov.uk, search for Non Resident Landlords and use our code
904/NA/041312. We can put you in touch with an accountant if you would prefer to
hand this task over to an expert.

General Points about being a landlord

Letting a property is not for everyone. People can sometimes find it hard to detach
themselves emotionally from their property and maintaining a rental property can
be not only financially but emotionally draining.

Landlords want a tenant who will look after their property but remember that
tenants are looking for a home, not for somewhere to house sit.

Budgeting on redecorating and refreshing the property regularly will help to get the
best price, cut down on void periods and attract tenants who want a property that
looks like it has had some thought put into it. It is much easier for us to let more
expensive but very well presented than tired but cheap places.

Getting your property on the books

Demand for rental property is high and there is little to be gained from advertising
your place before it is looking its best. It takes us no time to get the property
photographed and have adverts posted and we will keep you on track with all the
required compliance issues. The safety compliance needs to be in place before
tenants move in but for advertising the property we just need to make sure you have
an EPC and a landlord registration number.

Contact us:

Craigflower Lettings
36 Ashley Terrace
Edinburgh
EH11 1RE

0131 346 2400
info@craigflowerlettings.co.uk
Landlord Guide - Craigflower Lettings
Checklist 2018:

This page gives a brief snapshot of the compliance requirements for getting your
property ready to let. You can arrange it all yourself or let us help out.

Landlord needs to do this:
Landlord Registration (www.landlordregistrationscotland.co.uk – if we are managing
the property, use our code 97847/230/01140. Lasts for3 years

Living overseas? Register as a Non-Resident Landlord with HMRC. Our code is
904/NA/041312

We can arrange all this if required:

Gas safety (battery CO detectors mounted in any room with a gas appliance). Annual

PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) Annual

Consider a Contract Heating Landlord Agreement? £198 per year and includes the
gas safety certificate, PAT testing and breakdown cover on the boiler.

EICR (electrical check) & any follow up remedial work (lasts 3-5 years)

Interlinked, mains-wired smoke and heat detection system (should last 10 years)

Fire blanket or extinguisher in kitchen (optional – fire service may advise tenans to
simply get out in event of fire)

Legionella report (Lasts 1-3 years)

EPC (a copy will be in the home report, but it needs to be updated if you have new
windows or boiler)
Lasts 10 years

Insurance quote for buildings and contents
Landlord Guide - Craigflower Lettings
This chart is not exhaustive nor reflecting all current regulation but hopefully will
give landlords a basic overview of the many processes and stages involved in the
rental cycle:
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