Direct Lettings offer various letting services to landlords, and our range of options means that we can create a bespoke package for you if one of our ready-made packages doesn’t suit your needs.
It all starts with a free, no-obligation valuation of your rental property. One of our knowledgeable property managers will attend your property to appraise the suitability for letting and talk you through the items you will be required to fulfill in order to bring your property to market. Following this appointment we will write out to you with the estimated rental value and our fee for the services you require.
If you are already a ,landlord with a property or properties with us, feel free to have a look around and if you need any further help or information just pick up the phone to your property manager .
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.
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.
- 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 – Volkswagen Golfs and Ford Fiestas with eye-catching logos
- Regular leaflet drops in prime rental areas
- Local press advertising
- Individual marketing campaigns
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.
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!
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.
Direct Lettings will produce a Private Residential Tenancy agreement (PRT), This new model tenancy will replace the existing Short Assured Tenancy (SAT) and Assured Tenancy (AT).
Over the recent months Direct Lettings Staff members have been readying ourselves for the change by attending the Letwell Training Program as well as all other available workshops to ensure that we have the upmost understanding, knowledge and qualifications to guide all our clients through the change. One of the most important differences under the new regime is the removal of the ‘no fault’ ground, which previously gave landlords the option to remove a tenant at the end of the tenancy solely on the basis that the agreed contractual term of the tenancy had come to an end.
Under the new legislation, landlords must satisfy one of the 18 grounds for recovering possession that are set out in the Act to bring a PRT to an end. The grounds permit for ending a tenancy in common instances such as: where you wish to sell, refurbish where this will entail significantly disruptive works, move back in as your principal home, allow a family member to move in, or the tenant fails to pay rent or breaks one or more of the clauses of the lease. Unlike the existing SAT there will be no initial fixed term. The tenants are entitled to hand in 28 days’ notice at any point from the commencement of the PRT. If the tenant agrees, this notice period can be extended by mutual consent.
Although there will be no minimum initial fixed term period, in our experience, most tenancies last at least 6 months or longer and we do not envisage there to be much upheaval from this. Tenants will stay longer if they have a property which is well maintained and they can make a home out of it.
For HMO landlords renting to students, it will mean that the lease length cannot be guaranteed for the full academic term as is the usual practice with the current SAT.
Please note that these changes are industry wide in Scotland and we are being provided with updated information from the governing bodies almost daily so if you have any questions then do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
The Scottish Government have also put together a handy guide for landlords regarding the changes which can be found here.
Direct Lettings will retain a security deposit from the tenant. 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.
Now more than ever it is imperative that both the inventory and check out report are conducted fairly, accurately and are detailed as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme has now been introduced in Scotland. By law, landlords are now required to submit the deposit to one of 3 Government regulated Schemes. The Scheme will hold the deposit until the end of the tenancy. 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.
INVENTORY & FINAL CHECK-OUT INSPECTION
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 license. 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.
LEGALITIES / RECOMMENDATIONS
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.
- Electrical Installation Condition Report is required by law and must be carried out prior to the start of the tenancy and every 5 years thereafter.
- 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 - the law is clear that if you are a landlord and rent out your property (or even a room within your own home) then you have legal responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of your tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards. This means in most cases no testing is required. However, an unwritten risk assessment must be carried out prior to letting and once any alterations are made to the property. Ultimately it is a requirement that landlords assure themselves that they have carried out the risk assessment correctly and any alterations to reduce the risk. Please note that the legislation has not changed and to put this into perspective, you should contact the Health and Safety Executive who have provided us with this advice. (www.hse.gov.uk).
- 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.
FULL MANAGEMENT WITH GUARANTEED RENTAL
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.
If you feel there’s something missing from our packages above, or if you’d like to handle certain aspects yourself then please get in touch to see if we can tailor a bespoke package to suit your needs.
Our Property Managers and Staff are always delighted if clients drop in to discuss their properties.
There’s never been a better time to invest in property. Did you know almost a third of people living in Scotland rent their home, with 290,000 people renting from a private landlord? If you’re thinking of investing in property, or adding properties to your current portfolio, we can help!
We can perform a complimentary rental valuation & put you in touch with market leading service providers for advice, quotes and product recommendations.