News

Step by step guide to renting out your property

1LET's step-by-step guide to renting out your Edinburgh property

Landlords who are considering renting out their property for the first time and/or are choosing an Edinburgh letting agent for the first time in particular should find this useful. Although a lot of the responsibilities and information included in our guide are things that you can ask an experienced letting agent to manage on your behalf, there are some responsibilities that cannot be passed on to an agent.

Please read our guide and get in touch if you have any questions or would like some free no obligation advice.

LEGAL AND SAFETY COMPLIANCE

Should you choose 1LET to be your letting agent, we will be happy to talk you through every aspect of legal and safety compliance that applies to landlords in Edinburgh. Please call us on 0131 476 5500 or email mail@1let.com if you have any questions or would like to arrange a meeting.

Mortgage
If there is a mortgage on the rental property you are required to inform your mortgage provider of the intention to let.

Gas safety
Where properties are fitted with any form of gas appliance or gas heating system, the landlord must, by law, hold a current Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate for the property in question. This certificate must be renewed on an annual basis.

Electrical safety
Landlords must obtain Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and Portable Appliance Test (PAT) electrical safety certificates if not already obtained or renew certificates if they have expired. An EICR is required every 3 years - or after 7 years if the property is a new build and supported with the relevant certificates relating to new property. A PAT is required every year.

Energy performance certificate
From 4th January 2009 landlords in Scotland are now required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when letting a property. This only applies to new tenancies – landlords do not need to hold an EPC for properties which were already let prior to 4th January 2009 until the tenancy changes. EPC renewals are required once every 10 years. Visit www.energycertscotland.com for more information.

Furniture and fire safety regulations
All furniture and furnishings must comply with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993). Relevant furniture and furnishings should include a label to indicate compliance.

Repairing standards
Landlords should be aware of the requirements of the “Repairing Standard” for private rented housing which came into effect as part of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 on 3rd September 2007. Among other things, the new repairing standard requires satisfactory provision of smoke alarms and the new regulations that apply to them. For more information on repairing standards you can visit www.betterrentingscotland.com orwww.prhpscotland.gov.uk.

Smoke detection
Where not already fitted, landlords must provide hard-wired smoke detection. There is a minimum requirement of 1 detector per floor of accommodation. Multiple detectors must also be interconnected. Smoke alarms must be checked on an annual basis.

Additional gas safety
A Carbon Monoxide detector may be required if the property is fitted with any gas appliances. CO detectors must be checked on an annual basis.

Additional fire safety
Landlords must provide a Fire Blanket where there is not one already present.

TAX AND INSURANCE

Tax
Landlords living within the UK must declare all rental income received on their annual tax return.

Landlords living out-with the UK and receiving rental income must register with the Inland Revenue as a Non-Resident Landlord. If you plan on becoming a Non-Resident Landlord you can visit the HMRC website for more information.

Insurance
Some insurance companies do not provide cover for rented properties. Landlords must therefore make sure that their insurance company is aware that the property is let.

We offer all landlords the option to get a quote for landlord building and/or contents insurance no matter what service you choose. If you require landlord building and/or contents insurance, you can request a quote to be added on to 1LET’s block policy underwritten by LV. We work closely with Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers who offer several cover options and competitive prices.

To receive a quote to be added to 1LET’s block policy Please complete our online landlord's building and contents insurance form by clicking here.

LANDLORD REGISTRATION AND NRL

If you own a rental property or intend to let your property you are required to register as a landlord and provide us with your landlord registration number. Registering is straightforward and can be done on the Landlord Registration website. All letting agents require this as we are not legally allowed to advertise your property without it.

Landlords living out-with the UK must register with as a Non-Resident Landlord. If you plan on becoming a Non-Resident Landlord you can visit the HMRC website for more information. Or you can call the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme Helpline on: 03000 516 644 or 03000 516 651. If you are calling from abroad the number to call is +44 3000 516 644 or +44 3000 516 651.

PAPERWORK

Like every business, being a landlord requires paperwork and as your Edinburgh letting agent we would handle as much of this for you as we legally can. The Scottish private rental sector can seem daunting at first but at 1LET we try to make every part of it as easy as possible for you.

Agency Agreement
We ask landlords to complete and sign a 1LET Agency Agreement when we receive an instruction to advertise and market their rental property (EPC and Landlord Registration also required prior to advertising).

Consent from mortgage provider
Should you have a mortgage on the property you intend to let then your mortgage provider must be made aware of this.

Tenancy Agreement
Tenants and landlords are required to sign a contract known as a Tenancy Agreement. If 1LET manage the rental property for the landlord(s) then someone from 1LET will sign the agreement on their behalf. The Agency Agreement signed by the landlord allows 1LET to sign the Tenancy Agreement on their behalf.

Landlord Statements
1LET provide landlords with a monthly statement that includes full financial details of their account. Landlords will receive this either by email or post depending on their stated preferences.

Tenancy Changes
Tenants must inform the landlord/ letting agent of any change in circumstances that affect the original tenancy agreement. This could, for example, include a tenant swap or a new pet.

Tenancy renewal
Prior to the end of a tenancy, and if a landlord wishes to continue to let the property, a tenancy extension letter must be sent to the current tenants who can then inform the landlord, or the letting agent, of their wish to renew their tenancy.

Rent increases
Tenants must be made aware of any rent increases in plenty time to allow them to make the decision of whether to renew the tenancy or not. 1LET review rental valuations regularly to ensure landlords are achieving maximum rental income for their property.

PROPERTY UPKEEP

Inventory
An inventory records the contents and general condition of the accommodation and is agreed between the parties on or before the date of commencement of the tenancy. On signing the inventory the tenant agrees to replace or repair (or to pay the cost thereof) any of the contents and/or fabric listed which are destroyed, damaged, removed or lost during the tenancy, fair wear and tear excepted.

A detailed inventory has always been a basic requirement when renting a property. However, with changes in legislation with regards to tenancy deposits the need for a thorough inventory is essential.

A professionally drawn up inventory protects landlords from any unwarranted disputes at the end of the tenancy. If there is no inventory or indeed an insufficient and outdated one, then the landlord will have no evidence of the condition of the property prior to the tenants moving in.

If you are unable to provide documented evidence of any damage caused this means you will not be in a strong enough position to make a claim, should the tenant dispute the matter.

1LET offer landlords two options for the provision of property inventories:

1. Landlord inventory: no charge applies

The landlord may simply draw up a list of contents and/or note any other details which they  wish to have recorded and send this information to 1LET in electronic format.

2. External inventory: scaled price list
1LET have preferential agreed terms and discounts with an Edinburgh based independent,  accredited (APIP) inventory provider who provides a record of “detailed condition and  contents” and provides for the option of a detailed end of tenancy report which is again  subject to a scaled price list. Given that tenant deposit disputes in Scotland are now subject to external arbitration, this method of inventory offers landlords considerably greater deposit protection

Periodic Tenancy Visit
Property visits are carried out once every 6 months and involve a 1LET property manager arranging a visit to ensure the tenants are looking after the property. Landlords can also request more frequent visits at an additional charge. If, in the opinion of the agent, the occupants are not taking proper care of the property the agent will inform the tenant, copying such information to the landlord.

Repairs & Maintenance
As always, there is a chance that your property will be affected by maintenance issues during a tenancy.

1LET has close working relationships with a number of local contractors and we ensure that competitive prices are achieved for all repairs and maintenance work. 1LET operate a fully transparent price policy with no hidden costs. We also understand that different landlords will have different preferences with regarding consent to repairs. You can read more about repairs and maintenance in our Landlord information Pack  - it's quick to download and you get some free, useful information on how to rent your property.

Even though a good Letting Agent will advise you on the rules and regulations of property letting you’ll need to know before putting your property on the market, it is imperative that you familiarise yourself with these rules and regulations as it is ultimately the landlords responsibility to provide a safe home for their tenants. This will include fire, gas and electrical regulations, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) as well as Tenancy Deposit Protection. If you do not have the means to organise these yourself, your Letting Agent will organise these on your behalf, but ensure you receive copies of the certification.

TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME

A tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) is an independent third party scheme which has been approved by the Scottish Government to hold and protect a tenant’s deposit during the period of the tenancy.

Landlords are legally obliged to put all deposit monies received from tenants into an approved tenancy deposit scheme.1LET currently use Letting Protection Scotland, and for those who choose our Full Management Service, 1LET will organise this on the landlord’s behalf.


CHOOSING A LETTING AGENT