Q. How much do you charge for full management?
The fee for this service is charged at a commission of the monthly rental income. In addition to this there is a New Tenancy Fee which is payable upon the first tenancy being secured and any change-over of tenants thereafter. This fee will be deducted from the first month’s rental once a new tenancy is secured. For specific rates please contact one of our property managers.
Q. Where will you advertise my property?
In this day and age the internet is the number one search tool used by tenants to locate suitable rental properties and as such we ensure your property is listed on the most suitable and most popular property portals. We review where every enquiry comes from on a weekly basis to ensure we are putting all our efforts in to the best return for our landlords. As a result we currently list properties on the following sites:
- Our own website (www.dlscotland.com )
- Rightmove which is the leading property website for Rental / Sales within the UK.
- Zoopla and Digital Property Group (www.zoopla.co.uk) which in turn feeds to the following websites: S1 Homes, Fish 4 Homes, Asserta Homes, Property Finder, Homes24.
- Citylets (www.citylets.co.uk) which in turn feeds to the following websites: Prime Location, Find a Property and Homes&Property
- Gumtree (www.gumtree.co.uk) which we have chosen to advertise all our properties on also as it is another avenue to help us reach our captive audience.
In addition to our internet advertising we also pursue a more traditional local marketing strategy; promoting both your property and our brand to potential tenants through use of the following:
- Rental boards placed on or near the property
- Full colour schedules in our local office window
- Weekly property lists which are available to all tenants in our offices as well as being distributed to local businesses
- Our branded pool cars – Volkswagon Golfs and Ford Fiestas with eye-catching logos
- Regular leaflet drops in prime rental areas
- Local press advertising
- Individual marketing campaigns
Q. Do I pay extra for accompanied viewings
No, Direct Lettings understands the importance of being available and being flexible and therefore offers accompanied viewings with one of our experienced property negotiators including late night viewings on weekdays as part of our tenant finders service.
In addition we also offer flexibility to potential tenants should they request a viewing out with those hours as we understand the importance of getting potential tenants’ feet over the door!
Q. What steps do you take to ensure applicants are suitable?
Appropriate references are obtained and followed up for all potential tenants prior to their tenancy being confirmed in order to ensure that to the best of our ability the right tenants are found. We carry out as standard full Credit Checking of potential tenants via an independent third party at no extra charge to our Landlords. Landlords can play an active part in the referencing process should they wish and will be provided copies of all references if requested.
We also strongly recommend that all our tenants take out appropriate tenancy insurance, to give added protection in the event of any damage to the landlord’s property.
Q. What type of lease is best?
Direct Lettings produce Short Assured Tenancy lease agreements (a minimum term of six months) with a rolling two month contract after the initial lease period. Notice can only be given after the fourth month of a Short Assured Tenancy and the lease end cannot be less than a six month period.
Q. Do you use a Tenants Deposit Scheme?
We certainly do. Direct Lettings will retain a security deposit from the tenant, this is placed with our nominated Scottish Government approved provider. This deposit is the equivalent of one month’s rent plus £50. We expect that tenants return the property and contents in the manner in which they were found upon arrival to the property. If any item does not meet this expectation then we will arrange for the appropriate cost to be deducted from the tenant’s deposit. We will coordinate works with contractors as required and liaise with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. At the end of the tenancy we need to agree with the tenant how the deposit should be allocated and advise the Scheme holding the deposit. The Scheme will then repay the deposit in accordance with the agreement unless there is a dispute between the parties over the deposit allocation.
Q. Does an inventory cost more?
No, Direct Lettings will prepare a detailed inventory report using a table application called I Survey at the start of the tenancy. The tenants have 7 days to check this against the property and return a signed copy to us, which we will store on file in order to refer back to at the end of the tenancy when conducting the final Check-Out Report. Taking fair wear and tear into account we will conduct a full inspection of the property and contents including the following: meter readings, inventory check, evaluation of cleanliness and general condition and will write out to you with a full report on our findings before arranging the uplift of the tenant’s deposit.
Q. What about routine inspections?
Direct Lettings carry out inspections approximately every 6 months and will follow these up with a report to you detailing the condition of the property, identifying any maintenance issues and generally giving an indication of the appearance of the property. This allows us to keep an eye on your investment and pick up any maintenance issues which have been overlooked by the tenant. The inspections are carried out using the I Survey application which means these can be automatically forwarded onto you by email and accessed by simply clicking on a link (Paper Copies are also available).
If you have further requirements in terms of the number of inspections carried out this can be arranged at an additional cost.
This is collected by Direct Lettings and forwarded into the account of your choice. Rental statements are issued on a monthly basis via email or paper form and can also be forwarded to an accountant if required.
Q. Do you provide a maintenance service?
Yes, Direct Lettings will organise and manage any repairs or maintenance required to be undertaken to your property during our management. We work very closely with an approved list of external contractors and test them regularly against the market to ensure that landlords are getting best value and also importantly a good quality of service. We also have a list of nominated emergency contractors who have agreed to be available to Direct Lettings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure the property is looked after at all times, even when the office is closed.
Q. Do I need a HMO license?
If your property has three bedrooms or more and you wish to let this to unrelated tenants you are required by law to hold a valid HMO licence. At Direct Lettings we offer tailored HMO Management services for landlords and will undertake anything from required upgrading works, new applications through to annual renewal applications/ inspections, please contact us for further information on our HMO Management services.
Q. Is there anything else I need to know?
Landlords should be aware that the items listed below have to be complied with before a tenancy commences. Direct Lettings can arrange for these to be carried out on your behalf as required, and will monitor these as part of the management of your property.
- Energy Performance Certificate is required by law before we can advertise your property. These are valid for 10 years.
- Landlord Registration - You are required by law to register yourself and the property with the local authority prior to the property being advertised. Registration must be renewed every 3 years.
- Landlord Gas Safety Certificate is required by law and must be carried out prior to the start of the tenancy and on an annual basis thereafter.
- Legionella Risk Assessment is a legal requirement and must be carried out prior to the start of tenancy and on an annual basis thereafter.
- Portable Appliance Test should be carried out prior to the start of the tenancy and every 3 years thereafter.
- Fire Safety - smoke alarms should be fitted prior to the start of a tenancy and we strongly recommend that these are hard-wired. We can provide a quote for appropriate fire safety equipment for your property upon request. We also recommend the property is kitted out with a fire blanket, fire extinguishers and a carbon monoxide detector where applicable.
- Non-Resident Landlords - If you are a Landlord living overseas you are required to inform HMRC of the letting and they will provide you with Non Resident Landlord ID No.
Q. Can you guarantee rent?
At Direct Lettings we are very proud of our record of collecting rents and follow strict procedures to ensure non-payment is dealt with swiftly and effectively. That said, we do understand that in the current financial climate landlords are rightly demanding more income certainty. With this in mind we are pleased to offer an optional Rent Guarantee Scheme which guarantees that your rental income will be paid for up to 6 months in the event that the tenant does not pay and that in addition all costs associated with legal action pursuing non-payers will be met by the scheme. If you would like to add this option onto our Full Management package then please let us know and more information can be provided.