If you are looking into letting out property for the first time, there is quite a lengthy checklist you must tick off to ensure you are legally compliant and safe from any potential clashes with your future tenants.
At Caledonia Property, we’ve been managing a portfolio of 400 properties in the West of Scotland and have local, fully trained staff to guide you through the process of safely letting out your property. That is why we have put together a brief checklist to give you an idea of all the important legal aspects when becoming a landlord.
Register with the local council
If you have decided to put property on the market with the purpose of letting it, you need to announce your local council. You register here and obtain a registration number that appears on the letting listing when the property goes on the market, as a legal requirement.
Contact your lender
Your mortgage provider must be aware of how you use the property, as buy to let financing products have different conditions to other mortgages. So make sure you give your bank or mortgage advisor a call and find out your options as well as your new mortgage conditions.
Should you claim council tax exemption?
If your property is unfurnished and unoccupied, you might have the right to claim council tax exemption, something well worth looking into, as it might save you money.
The repairing and tolerable standard
These legal standards are put in place to ensure the property is fit for living and compliance can be observed simply by inspection. The home must be wind and watertight, with no signs of damp, structurally sound, have all the amenities necessary for living – light, heat, bathroom, etc and be in a good condition throughout.
Compliance is easily achieved by making a list on potential issues and repairing or improving where and if appropriate. Our team works with a portfolio of well-vetted local tradesmen we can recommend, should you need our advice.
Safety checks: fire, gas, electrical
The property must comply to current fire, gas and electrical safety regulations. Appropriate assessments are carried by registered local tradesmen who can advise and issue compliance certificates. At Caledonia Property, we keep a close eye on all compliance certificates for the properties we manage and make sure work is carried out on your behalf to keep your property safety compliant.
It is now a legal requirement to list the property’s energy performance certificate. If you have recently bought the property, check if the EPC attached to the Home Report is still valid, if not, a new one must be issued.
Tenant Information Pack, including inventory
When a tenant moves in, as a Landlord, you must provide a Tenant Information Pack with all the useful information and contacts your tenant needs including necessary legislation, information about you and how to report emergencies and repairs. You also need to include meter readings for gas and electricity as well as an inventory. The pack must be signed by you and the tenant and is a legal requirement. The lack of it can mean a fine of up to £500.
The legal requirements for deposits
It is the law that your deposit is held by one of the accredited organisations in Scotland, we use Safe Deposit Scotland and you’ll receive an email confirming the money has been deposited into their account for safekeeping.
At the end of the tenancy, the deposit can go towards any damage to your property, unpaid rent or any other bills left unpaid.
Peace of mind with rent guarantee
As your letting agent we aim to find high quality tenants for your property ensuring they have a sound financial record and references, however tenants who pass at the start of the tenancy may well find themselves in difficulty in the future, from redundancy to long-term illness or separation of relationships can affect tenants ability to pay rent every month. With rent guarantee you have peace of mind should this situation occur the policy will pay rent arrears until vacant possession, cover up to £2,500 rent per month and give £50,000 legal expenses in order to obtain vacant possession of the property if it becomes necessary to have the tenant legally evicted from the property. Read more about our letting services here.
Let with Caledonia
Legal requirements around property lettings constantly change. That is why having a local letting agent that hires fully trained local people and tradesmen can offer major advantages in the long term. With our Rent Guarantee, periodical inspections and helpful team at hand when you need them you will have peace of mind your investment is in safe hands. Last but not least, we are a small independent business, that hires local people, give to local charities and as such, keep more money locally rather than send them to a corporate headquarter.
Get in touch with our team today to find out what rent you can expect or find out more about our letting services here.