Hello readers, and welcome back to the Cullen Property blog! In today’s piece we will be helping you self-assess whether you are compliant if managing your own property. As an Edinburgh Letting Agent, we hear all too often the stories of landlords managing their own property in a way that they think is compliant, but in fact isn’t. We’re here to make sure you don’t make the same mistake…
Now, we realise that despite the vast majority of landlords operate with the best intentions, but this alone is no defence in the eye of the law if they are not up to scratch with the 170+ pieces of legislation that pertain to letting in Edinburgh. There are so many pieces of legislation in fact, that a typical Edinburgh Letting Agent will be a training member of ARLA to ensure that they keep on top of it all! So ask yourself, if you are self-managing your property do you have the time, energy and resources to keep up to date with legislation? If the answer is no, read on!
A large number of Edinburgh-based landlords self-manage their property and think they’re doing a good job. However, with constantly changing legislation, very few landlords actually do meet the legal requirements when letting out their property. In fact, legislation changes so frequently that most landlords don’t even realise they’re breaking the law! Take a look below for a non-exhaustive list of typical things that should be in place before renting out your property. If any of the below are not in place, contact us today – we are an industry leading Edinburgh Letting Agent and are here to help you with free impartial advice or our award-winning property management services if you are looking for someone to take the strain of managing your property.
Do You Have The Appropriate Certifications?
Certifications take many forms. The most important ones though are EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report), Gas Safety, PAT test (Portable Appliance Testing), Legionella Risk Assessment. If you are managing an HMO property (House of Multiple Occupancy), Fire lighting equipment, emergency lighting and smoke alarm system certificates are required.
Is Your Property's Fire Equipment In Date?
An important part of managing your rental property is ensuring the safety of your residents through frequent testing of fire equipment and replacement before they are deemed ‘out of date’. Checks and replacements pertain mostly to smoke heads, but can apply to many different items in the home, especially if managing an HMO property.
Do You Have The Correct Lease?
Many landlords are unaware that in Scotland, Fixed Term leases are a thing of the past. In fact, they have been completely replaced by PRT leases (Private Residential Tenancy). This means that any new tenancies started after the 1st of December 2017 must be started through a PRT agreement whereby tenants can give at least 28 days’ notice to terminate an agreement. Click here to learn more about PRT contracts on the Cullen Property blog.
Are Your Tenants’ Deposits Placed Into A Scheme?
In Scotland, it is a legal requirement to have your residents’ deposits stored by an impartial third-party deposit scheme. At Cullen Property, we use Safe Deposit Scotland to securely hold our residents’ deposits and are proud to say that 99% of deposit return decisions were undisputed by our residents. We believe setting out clear resident expectations at the beginning of the tenancy is why we have managed to achieve such a fantastic rate. We are glad to see that the decisions our accounts department make about charging fees where appropriate for cleaning and replacement of damaged household goods is deemed fair by our residents.
Has A Deposit Certificate Been Issued To Your Tenant?
Once you have lodged your tenant/s’ deposit into an appropriate deposit scheme, it is a legal requirement to issue a deposit certificate which outlines the name and contact details of the scheme. Click here to read more about the rules applicable to tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland and watch the helpful explainer video from Safe Deposits Scotland.
Are You A Registered Landlord?
Surprisingly, many landlords in Scotland are not registered on the Scottish Landlord Register. If this is you and you’re letting out your property or thinking about it, please register immediately by clicking here.
Once registered, your name and property details will be publically available.
Are You Correctly Insured?
Public indemnity insurance is an absolute must if letting out your property. At Cullen Property, we seek to make it even easier for our clients by arranging landlord insurance on their behalf!
Insurance can cover a range of things, depending on which policy you choose. However, standard landlord insurance policies typically offer protection against:
- Storm and rainwater damage
- Damage from explosions
- Fire damage (excluding damage from cigarette smoking, scorching, or melting)
- Water damage
- Malicious damage and vandalism
- Theft and attempted theft
- Impact damage (e.g. if a car crashes into the home or a burglar damages it)
- Lightning damage
- Earthquake damage
- Civil unrest and rioting
- Debris removal
- Escape of liquid (excluding the costs of repairing or replacing the item that leaked)
- Lease break and loss of rent
- Legal action against bad tenants
- Legal liability
Get in touch with the Cullen Property team and our team will be able to assess your situation as a landlord and recommend the best policy cover for you!
We believe that property management is a full-time job, and as it’s our full-time job we understand the ins and outs of successful property management. With over 30 years of experience in Edinburgh’s real estate sector, we feel confident in our abilities to take the strain of managing your property from you to allow you to spend your precious time doing what you love most! Request a free rental valuation today to see what your property could fetch on the Edinburgh rental market.