Things to consider

Once you have made the decision to rent out your property, there are some points you will still need to consider.

How long might you want to let your property out for?

The shortest legal tenancy is for 6 months, after which you can go on a month-to-month basis. Holiday lets are different though; ask us if this is the area you are more interested in.

What items do you want to leave in the property? Will you let it out furnished or unfurnished?

This is entirely up to you and will depend on your personal circumstances.

A property will inevitably look much better furnished appropriately and in keeping with its style, and dressed with cushions, throws or flowers. Of course, it will also be more appealing to a tenant who will be able to move in immediately. To comply with fire regulations, all furniture and furnishings need to be up to spec and if you provide electrical items such as kettles, televisions or washing machines, these will need to be PAT tested (unless they are brand-new) regularly and you will need to provide instruction books.

However, you will obviously need to consider that there will be an outlay for the cost of furnishings and their upkeep and you will need to replace items which are showing signs of wear and tear. You might also want to consider removing anything that is of high value, whether sentimental or monetary, for the duration of the tenancy.

An unfurnished property will appeal to a tenant who may be bringing or buying their own items and is interested in the flexibility of room usage – will that third bedroom be a playroom or an office?

Have you got adequate insurance cover in place?

Insurance for landlords is slightly different to standard home owner /occupier policies because of the extra risks associated with letting, so it offers you third-party liability in case of the following example scenarios:

  • Your tenant damages your property, or any of the contents you provided;
  • You are left without income if your tenant fails to pay the rent;
  • You need to pay for temporary re-housing of your tenant(s) while your home is repaired after serious damage has left it uninhabitable;
  • Someone is injured on your property.

Every policy is different so you will need to check with your provider what is covered and what may be excluded: there is no point choosing a policy that excludes letting to students or tenants on housing benefit if that is something you wish to do! Remember that you will need to explain to the provider that you are looking for specific landlord cover otherwise your policy will not be valid and you will be left uninsured and open to a fine or imprisonment if something goes wrong. If you need any more information about landlord insurance, get in touch and we can send you our e-mail factsheet.

Are you aware of your legal responsibilities as a landlord?

You will need to be able to provide certificates to prove compliance with regulations regarding smoke alarms, deposits and insurance, for example. Have a look at the section of our website that talks about legal stuff. We can assist you with practically interpreting all aspects of current legislation.

What happens next?

When you are ready to begin the process, we will come out and offer you an honest appraisal and discuss what rental income you are likely to achieve in the current market. We will then arrange for potential tenants to have viewings, which can either be conducted by you or by us, and can then negotiate an offer on your behalf if required. Once a tenant has been found and a moving-in date confirmed, we then check their references using a specialist company so we are as sure as possible that the prospective tenant has not been blacklisted. We will also carry out an inventory and take plenty of photographs to accurately record the condition and contents of the property. The first month’s rent plus a deposit can then be collected from the tenant, and we will register the deposit with Tenancy Deposit Scotland to ensure you remain compliant with the law. We will then issue keys to the tenant and also give them a copy of our information pack, which contains lots of useful information about the property, the local area, and who to contact if they have any difficulties.

What we do once the tenancy is in place

We will everything to ensure your property is well-maintained and is looked after. We deal with anything and everything from safety certifications, lost keys, broken boilers, and problem repairs, to performing quality maintenance inspections and periodic checks to ensure everything is as it should be. We also organise new contracts if tenants change or leases extend. We aim to make things as easy as possible for you so that you can get on with doing other things and not worrying about your investment.