From 2018 anyone who carries out Letting Agency work in Scotland will be required to Register with Scottish Ministers and abide by a statutory code of practise if anyone wishes more detail on this go to www.mygov.scot/letting-agent-registration.
RICS predict that rents could increase by a fifth in the next few years. In association with the National charity Crisis they see real difficulties ahead for those on low incomes and a huge social dilemma looming unless the Government acts now. Many Landlords have already stated that they would be happy to rent their property to those most in need if there were to be assurances given regarding deposits and guarantees on rents but so far no clear strategy has emerged. Theres a shortage of about 1.8 million homes in the UK and over 80% of those landlords questioned said that they had no immediate plans to expand their portfolio until some new incentives were provided.
Digital tax returns: a bit of good news
One of the measures Hammond announced was a delay to the deadline after which the self-employed will be forced to submit digital tax returns.
The Residential Landlords Association said the one-year delay will be a good thing for landlords: its research suggests just 48 per cent use spreadsheets for record keeping – 38 per cent use paper records and 13 per cent use specialist software.
“While we support efforts to improve the efficiency of the system, faced with unhelpful changes to the way they will be taxed, the last thing landlords needed was an imminent change to the way they keep their records,” said Douglas Haig, the Association’s vice chairman.
“The chancellor has made the right decision in giving landlords more time to prepare for this important change.”
We note that one major UK city is now considering banning Agents from putting up boards , on the grounds that they may attract unwanted attention from opportunist thieves and that the proliferation of them in certain areas is becoming an eyesore. Boards are an excellent way of identifying where the property is located and provide contact information for tenants but with new technology and more especially mobile applications linked to property sites perhaps they will become less prevalent. The real issue is perhaps that boards often are not removed when a property is let and although they do provide some measure of advertising this is misleading and leads to some wasted calls about property that is in fact no longer available. Rentlocally offer our landlords the choice to have a board or not and we will continue to do so for the forseeable future.
2017 is going to see some major changes to the tenancy laws that will offer more security for tenants but might cause a few headaches for landlords. So what , in simple terms does it say ?
Firstly , the no fault ground for eviction will be scrapped which means that unless certain criteria are met tenancies will be almost indefinite.
Increasing rents will be more difficult and any proposed increase must be communicated to the tenants at least three months before the proposed increase is to come into effect. The tenants will have a right of appeal through the rent officer who can intercede and set an open market rent.
Some landlords might find that their property is in what are to be termed rent pressure zones. This means that any increase in rents will be restricted to one percent above the consumer price index plus one percent for up to five years.
Repossession is going to be somewhat harder and there will be a set of statutory grounds that have to be adhered to.
Rentlocally property managers will be able to expand on any of these points should they be required to do so. Our aim is to inform our landlords as fully as possible about changes that may affect them so that clear decisions can be taken and also for our tenants whose rights must be upheld.
A new survey has confirmed that using an Agent will save you money rather than the reverse position. In fact its easy to see how that can be. Letting privately may seem to be the most cost effective option but lets look at the facts.
Agents have the tools to value your property correctly so that you obtain the best possible rent. Most landlords say that the one thing that they need to avoid most of all is a void period. Your Agent should be able to help by proactively re advertising in good time and securing a new tenant so that the changeover is seamless.
Advertising and marketing is an expensive part of the process and some key sites are only available to Agents. These costs are all part of our letting fee but if you were to place individual adverts it would be hugely costly.
Agents such as ourselves regularly deploy a range of contractors to complete necessary work in our rental properties. We tend to get more advantageous rates because of the leverage we have and these savings are passed on to the owners.
An Agent will monitor late payments , changes in circumstances and so on thereby ensuring that the appropriate steps are taken to safeguard your rent and in many cases can offer rent guarantee . In an uncertain world that service may be increasingly valuable. Details of our rent guarantee are available on request.
Zoopla have been providing their services to Rentlocally for some time and this announcement further enhances their standing as one of our most effective partners.
Hometrack provides residential property market insight to mortgage lenders and investors. It will give us additional tools to deliver valuations on property for sale / purchase to ensure that if your buying through Rentlocally you can be sure that we have the most up to date analytics and if your selling we have access to the most current valuation services.
Its becoming clear that as the industry regulates its conduct , practitioners will have to meet certain basic standards. This all has direct correlation to what happened in the financial services industry when it went through this process.
Property managers are starting to apply in numbers for the Scottish – SCQF LEVEL 5 which will serve as an introductory qualification for them and distinguish those Agents with qualified staff from others , helping Landlords to make a choice based on competence. Follow the link for more information.
What are the benefits of a RentLocally property valuation?
- We assess the suitability of your property for rental and give guidance on achieving the best possible return on your investment.
- We explain our fee structure and other costs you may incur, enabling you to calculate the return you will earn from your property.
- We give you information about your local market and provide comparable rental data, so you can feel confident about the valuation.
- We guide you through the lettings process, which can be a minefield for new landlords. We provide explanations in simple terms, taking away any apprehensions you may have about leasing your property.
Stunning three bedroom apartment in the desirable Barnton area of Edinburgh now available for long term let. A very fine example with super dining kitchen , island cooking area and breakfast bar. Open plan lounge with views out to the adjoining golf course . Partition doors if privacy is required and tastefully furnished throughout. Beautiful bathroom with white suite and built in cubbys for towels and ornaments featuring a separate shower cubicle , there is a further shower room ensuite to the master bedroom. Lots of storage space in the first of two entry halls & all of the bedrooms . A neat but useful utility room with washer / tumble dryer. The complex is fully factored and each flat has one allocated parking space.