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Whether you are an experienced landlord or you are looking to buy an investment property for the first time Belvoir Edinburgh offers you a tailor made service to meet your needs.
We pride ourselves in developing long lasting relationships with our landlord clients that allow us to deliver our market leading letting and managment service to you for many years.
Our service to landlords includes Let-Only and Full Management and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your exact requirements in detail.
Call us today on 0131 226 2545 or drop us an Email
Belvoir Edinburgh - Helping Landlords Meet Their Legal Requirments
As a landlord there are many requirments that you must consider and ongoing changes to legislation mean that these requirements are constantly evolving.
Belvoir Edinburgh aims to make your life as a landlord as hassle free as possible and we will advise you as required and where possible deal with many of these requirements on your behalf. The issues to keep in mind as a landlord include the following:
As a landlord you need to put in place specialist landlord buildings and contents cover to make sure your property is fully protected. Belvoir works in association with Endsleigh to offer you market leading insurance policies. Naturally you can choose to make your own arrangements.
Private landlords in Scotland must register with the relevant local authority. Your registration is valid for 3 years and it is a criminal offence not to register. Belvoir Edinburgh is a fully registered and accredited agent and can help with this application process on your behalf. It might be useful to note that if your property is fully managed by Belvoir Edinburgh our address can appear on the public register rather than your home address.
THE REPAIRING STANDARD
There are legal obligations on landlords in Scotland that relate to the maintenance and upkeep of their property. Amongst other things landlord must ensure that ;
>The property is wind and water tight and reasonably fit for human habitation
>The structure and exterior of the property are in reasonable repair and proper working order
>The installations in the house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water are in reasonable repair and proper working order
>Any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided under the tenancy are in reasonable repair and proper working order
>Any furnishings provided under the tenancy are capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed
>There is satisfactory provision for detecting and giving warning of fires
Before the start of each tenancy landlords must ensure that the property meets this condition or make arrangements to bring it up to standard. During the course of our no obligation property appraisal Belvoir Edinburgh will carry out a risk assessment on your behalf and will advise you of any appropriate work needed to meet the Repairing Standard. We will also identify any essential or desirable improvements to the presentation of the property that will maximise the marketing potential of your property in a very competitive market.
As a full management client Belvoir Edinburgh will carry out regular inspections of your property to ensure it continues to meet the Repairing Standard during a tenancy. We will manage any repairs that are needed giving you peace of mind that your property is always fully compliant.
If there is a gas installation or appliance in your property you have an obligation under health and safety legislation to provide an annual gas safety certificate to your tenant. A landlord gas safety inspection can only be carried out by an appropriately registered gas engineer who appears on the Gas Safe Register.
CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY
In addition to the need for a gas safety inspection it is recommended that landlords supply and fit a carbon monoxide detector beside all open flue gas appliances such as fires etc.
Every electrical installation deteriorates with age and to satisfy the requirements of the Repairing Standard it is recommended that an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR) is carried out every 5 years. In addition there is a requirement that all portable electrical supplied by a landlord for use by a tenant be PAT Tested (portable appliance test) annually.
The Repairing Standard requires all rented properties to be fitted with a smoke detector on each level within the property. Where there is more than one level within a property, all smoke detectors must be interlinked. In a single level property, provided that the smoke detector is in working order, it is permissible for any smoke detector fitted before 3rd September 2007 to be battery operated. If no smoke detector is present or an existing detector requires replacement, it must be hard wired.
It is recommended that a fire blanket be fitted in the kitchen of all rented properties. Fire extinguishers are acceptable, but not recommended, as they require to be serviced annually.
Any furniture or soft furnishings supplied for use by a tenant must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. This can be verified by checking furniture labelling.
It is a legal requirement for landlords to arrange an energy performance inspection of the rental property. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) states the energy efficiency of a property allowing prospective tenants to compare performance with other dwellings.
THE TAX POSITION OF LANDLORDS
Rental income is taxable and landlords become responsible for assessing their own tax. Income tax is payable on letting income whether the landlord lives in the UK or abroad, however non resident landlords can apply to receive UK rental income without deduction of tax.
There are provisions for claiming expenses on unlet properties and relief can be claimed for repairs and maintenance, insurance, management and other fees, depreciation of furnishings etc. For fuller tax and accounting advice it is recommended that landlords seek specialist advice.
PROCEDURES AT THE START OF A TENANCY
Most lets in the Private Rented Sector in Scotland are done so on a Short Assured Tenancy (SAT) basis which guarantees a period of occupancy for at least 6 months and can allow for a continuation on a periodic basis thereafter, usually month to month.
To correctly create such a tenancy a legal AT5 Notice must first be served on the tenant informing them that the tenancy about to be created is a SAT. There is a legal requirement thereafter to provide a written tenancy agreement setting out the terms of the let.
PROCEDURES AT THE END OF A TENANCY
There are certain legal procedures that must be followed when a landlord wants their property back. A Notice to Quit (NTQ) must be served along with a Section 33 Notice. A landlord can recover their property on 2 month’s notice but not before the end of the initial fixed period.
TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME
All new tenancy deposits must be paid into a custodial tenancy deposit scheme for the duration of the tenancy.
Belvoir Edinburgh's preferred scheme provider is Safe Deposits Scotland, a not for profit company supported by amongst others by the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
Belvoir Edinburgh is accredited through Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS) a voluntary best practice scheme through which landlords and letting agents can assure tenants that the tenancy arrangements they have, adhere to the high standards outlined in the Scottish Core Standards for Accredited Landlords, above minimum legal requirements.
Belvoir are also members of The Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) and have full Client Money Protection (CMP) bonding for all client’s money held.
Belvoir Edinburgh offers two letting options to our landlord clients, ‘Tenant Find Only’ or ‘Full Management’.
Both service options include all advertising, accompanied viewings, tenancy referencing and all tenancy set up administration.
With the Full Management option Belvoir Edinburgh will collect the rent, inspect your property on a regular basis and respond to maintenance requests from tenants and manage any repairs that are required during the tenancy.
Unfortunatelty nothing in life that is worth doing is risk free so it would be unrealistic for Belvoir Edinburgh to claim that we can eliminate all of the potential risks a landlord faces.
Belvoir are confident however, that our experience, professionalism and customer service will reduce the risk to close to zero. Our ongoing risk assessment, the application of specialist insurances and industry best practice, together with the adoption of appropriate safeguards are designed to protect you from any risks associated with being a landlord.
To discuss our service in more detail and to fully understand how Belvoir Edinburgh can deliver a market leading lettings and management service Call us today on 0131 226 2545 or Email us to arrange a no obligation property valuation and appraisal.