GUIDE TO LETTING
Cullen Kilshaw Solicitors & Estate Agents
Letting of property has never been as popular, and the present mortgage market means that there are plenty of people looking to rent their home. Rental values are holding up, offering you the chance of funding most of your borrowing from rental income, and at the same time investing for your future.
Successful renting is virtually 100% about getting a good tenant, and this is where we can help. Advertising in our town centre offices and in the local Property Guide, taking up references, preparing the legal rent agreements and forms, and in some cases actually managing the entire letting process for you, our staff will guide you each step of the way.
If you have property to rent in the Borders, give us a call or complete our enquiry form and we'll contact you.
Free Pre-Letting Valuation
If you are thinking of letting, why not contact us and arrange for a free valuation of your home?
Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on your budget, a 2 bedroomed apartment tends to be the most popular rental as it provides flexible accommodation at a reasonable cost to the tenant.
Don’t make the common mistake of buying the kind of property that you would like to live in, remember that this is a business transaction and that you should be looking to buy at a size and in a location that will rent well. A town centre flat with no garden ground to look after is much more attractive to most tenants than a substantial family home with large garden to be maintained.
Generally a rental return of 5-6% of the value of the property can be expected depending on the size and location of the property. In a rising market you also get the benefit of the capital appreciation of the asset. However, all markets are cyclical and cannot continue rising forever.
Before you buy your investment property come and speak to us to make sure that the anticipated rental justifies the purchase price.
The rental market has been booming of late with rental values increasing as a result. Getting the price right first time is important though. Remember that the higher the percentage occupancy the better. If a £500 per month rental sits on the market for one extra month while you try to achieve a rental of £550 it will take 10 months to recoup that lost month’s rental.
At Cullen Kilshaw we deal mainly with Short Assured Tenancies under the terms of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. The law provides protection for landlords so long as the correct notice documents are provided to your tenant before they sign the lease. Briefly, this ensures that a court must give you a court order for removing a troublesome tenant.
We would always recommend carrying out a thorough screening process for example asking for an employer’s reference, a reference from the tenant’s bank and personal references for each tenant along with taking a deposit from a tenant up front to cover things like breakages or non payment of rent. It is usual to ask for one month’s rent as a deposit.
Refurbishing a buy to let property can be costly and time consuming and once your tenants are in, even with a thorough background check, you may find that your tenant does not take the same care of the property which you would expect.
That being said in a competitive rental market a property that presents well and features all the mod-cons that are found in modern properties is bound to rent out better.
Generally, the tenant is responsible for the condition of the interior of the property, but the landlord can restrict their tenants in the tenancy agreement from doing any redecoration. It is for the landlord to keep the property wind and water tight.
Utility Bills / Council Tax
In general, a landlord wants to be kept free of any expense during the tenancy, so the tenancy agreement should state that the tenant is liable for all outgoings including council tax, utility bills, common repairs and the like.
Use of the Property
This is normally restricted to residential use only with limitations for the number of pets if any, and number of vehicles to be parked at the property. Smoking is generally not permitted.
A landlord should reserve a right of access on reasonable notice given so as to ensure that the property is being maintained during the tenancy.
There has been recent legislation introducing a system for registration of private landlords. This is complex and we would strongly recommend that you do not simply set up as a private landlord without taking advice on your legal obligations. You may end up breaking the law.
Generally, to keep the premises wind and water tight, to ensure that the property is in a safe and tenantable condition and to allow the tenant the peaceful use of the property during the tenancy. It is normal for the landlord to insure the property. You should always advise your buildings insurer before letting a property as the cover provided for tenanted properties is slightly different.
As with insurance, you should make your lender aware that your property is being used for letting. This will probably result in your paying a slightly higher interest charge and a slightly higher deposit.