What are the legal compliance issues?
In recent years the private rental sector has increasingly been the subject of new regulatory requirements from both the UK and Scottish governments. Normally we will advise on conformance with these requirements and coordinate any work required to gain full compliance with the latest regulations.
We have put together a full resource on legal obligations and compliance for landlords in Scotland.
How much does compliance cost?
This will vary from property to property, but in a typical two-bedroom flat with no installed smoke or heat detectors the cost would be around £600. Note that the majority of this cost is spread over five to ten years, with the annual cost of compliance being around £175 for a property with gas. If there are no gas appliances the annual cost drops to around £100.
How long will it take to rent my property?
The main factor will be the asking rent. It is important to have your property looking and smelling fresh and clean. If the paintwork is tired or dirty, re-decoration will pay dividends. When we provide a rental valuation, it will be based on what similar properties are renting for in the prevailing market. Another factor worth considering is the lead time between securing a tenant and the start of the tenancy. Often, a let will be agreed upon within a few days but the entry date will be three weeks later. This is particularly true with unfurnished property, where it is not unusual to find viewers who are looking to move in one to two months.
How much does the service cost?
We have a simple pricing structure. Our full management rate is 10% of rent collected (subject to a minimum of £60) and our re-letting fee is £300. The re-letting fee is payable each time we market your property and secure a tenant and is recovered when we receive your first rent. Both the management commission and the re-letting fee are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate. You will never be subject to any other fees for our services.
Note that we almost never take payment for anything in advance. When we take on the management of your property, we simply sign an agreement and start preparing and marketing your property. When your tenant moves in and starts paying rent we will recover any outlays we have made on your behalf as well as any fees due.
How do you go about vetting tenant applicants?
Firstly, we will screen applicants based on your criteria and our feelings about their suitability. After taking a holding deposit, we out-source the gathering of references to an external company, called Vouch. Vouch will carry out residency, credit and affordability checks. They will also obtain a previous landlord reference where possible. If your applicant is self-employed appropriate checks will be made. When all checks have been carried out the information is made available to Western Lettings. We then take the final decision after consultation with the landlord.
Are you a member of any accreditation bodies?
Yes, we are members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS) and The Property Ombudsman (TPOS). If a landlord or tenant has an unresolved complaint or grievance against us they are able to seek redress through these bodies. TPOS in particular has significant powers, including the ability to award compensation of up to £25,000 to a tenant or landlord.
What if my tenant is late with their rent?
We will pursue late rents within a few days and keep you informed of progress. We use a variety of communication mechanisms including SMS, email, telephone and letter. Each case has to be dealt with differently however, there are some general guidelines that we use. The main thing is to keep communication open. If the tenant does not respond to our requests, we will arrange an inspection visit. We will normally serve notice as soon as permitted under the current legislation.
What if my tenant stops paying their rent?
This is a scenario that haunts many landlords. As explained above, we will normally serve notice when the law permits. Usually, we reach an agreement with the tenant and arrange a departure date. If the tenant persistently withholds rent and does not communicate we would take legal action to recover vacant possession. We maintain good relationships with our tenants and it is extremely rare for such a scenario to unfold. Prior to Covid, for example, we had one tenant with more than one month of rent overdue.
What if I have my own contractors for maintenance work?
We are able to store details of your own contractors and call on them when an appropriate maintenance event occurs at your property. You simply enter their details on our Management Information Form and we will set the appropriate alerts in our software system.
Why should I choose Western Lettings?
- We are 100% dedicated to managing residential property in the West End of Glasgow.
- Your call to our office is guaranteed to be answered. If we fail, you get a free month of management service.
- Your emails to our office will be answered on the same business day. If we fail, you get a free month of management service.
- We are one of the highest-rated agents in Glasgow on Google and other review sites.
- You will have a dedicated property manager (and backup property manager) from day one.
- We’re a multi-award winning business.
- Our team morale is sky high and it is very rare for anyone to leave the team. This means you will always be communicating with a knowledgeable and trained team member.
- You can take comfort from the fact that we are members of The Property Ombudsman Service (TPOS) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
- We have comprehensive professional indemnity and public liability insurance.
- We hold comprehensive client money protection (CMP) insurance.