Guidance notes for Landlords
The following information is given as a guide to assist you in letting your property.
Testing & Landlord Registration
The letting of a property in Scotland requires the landlord to be registered with the local authority as well as conforming to all current safety legislation and testing.
Furniture & Equipment
When deciding what furniture to leave (furnished lettings only) it is usually a good idea to put yourself in the tenant’s position and give consideration to what you would require yourself. It is important to remember that the furnishings and equipment form part of the letting for which the tenant is paying rent and therefore everything should be serviceable and functional. We would always advise that you do not leave TV, Hi-Fi, video etc and any items which are delicate or irreplaceable. It is not advisable to store personal effects in the property as their safety cannot be guaranteed.
Tenants are responsible under the terms of the lease for their own supply of the utilities and are accountable direct to the respective companies. Owners should ensure that final readings are taken on their departure. Tenants are also responsible for Council Tax . Any discounts for council tax must be applied for by the owner.
We strongly recommend that you disconnect the line on vacation so that the tenant must have the telephone transferred to their name; this avoids any bills being run up in your name. There is a slight danger that the telephone number could be lost and a re-connection charge may be made on your return however, we would suggest that this is preferable to being held responsible for unpaid telephone bills.
Forwarding of Mail
Arrangements should be made with the Post Office for the re-direction of all mail for you. We cannot guarantee that tenants will pass mail on to us.
You must ensure that your property and its contents are adequately insured. You should inform your Property and Contents Insurers, in writing, of your intention to let the property. Failure to do so may result in the rejection of any subsequent claim. You should ensure that all premiums continue to be paid when due and that the insurance cover does not lapse. We can offer various insurance products relating to the letting of your property. Further information is available on request.
Most mortgage deeds provide that lenders must give their consent before a letting is arranged, many lenders usually make a charge for this. You should consult with your mortgage lender at the earliest opportunity.
A Property is let under a Private Residential Tenancy Agreement known as a PRT. We take every precaution to ensure that possession can be regained at the end of the tenancy. It should be noted however, that once let, the Tenant is entitled to remain in occupation for the full duration of the lease providing the covenants contained within the Tenancy Agreement are being complied with. Possession by the landlord can only be gained under specific conditions. Any legal action is referred to the First Tier Tribunal
Rent Arrears/Legal Action
It can sometimes occur that Tenants, for various reasons, find themselves in difficulties and this can result in problems of rent arrears. If legal action is required in order to obtain payment of rent arrears and/or re-possession of your property then this would involve the services of a solicitor. You can employ your own solicitor if you wish or we can arrange for such matters to be dealt with by a local solicitor. In any event you would be responsible directly for your costs in connection with any legal action taken against the Tenant.
Sale of the Property
Through our connections in the property business we will be able to advise you on the sale of the property, even if you are abroad.
You should continue to pay your insurance premiums. We do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or otherwise of any insurance cover, nor can we verify service/maintenance charges, demands or estimates. We will accept and pay on your behalf demands and accounts, which appear to be in order at the time of such payments. You must agree in writing with us at the outset which outgoings you wish us to settle for you.
The income from rented property is taxable, subject to certain allowances. Overseas landlords can apply for dispensation to allow all rent to paid to them without deduction of tax. Whilst we will endeavour to offer advice on this matter, we would strongly advise that you arrange for your tax affairs to be dealt with by a qualified accountant. We can recommend accountant to you.