Getting started as a landlord in Edinburgh is much easier than many property owners think. Prospective landlords without prior experience or a helpful contact or recommendation can be put off by the perceived difficulties relating to the number of things they need to think about. As any landlord who has gone through the process of becoming a landlord for the first time will attest, it’s nowhere near as much hassle as many prospective landlords perceive it to be.
Get Advice and Choose a Letting Agency
The easiest and quickest way for prospective landlords to learn about what is involved and make an informed decision is to speak to a good letting agency. There are a few simple steps for a prospective landlord to follow when choosing which letting agencies to contact. Most letting agencies will be happy to provide information and how-to guides on getting started (Umega’s new landlord guides are available for free on our website). A good letting agency will also provide an indicative rental valuation of the property and meet the prospective landlord at the property for a free, no obligation discussion. The letting agency will provide an overview of what’s involved and answer any questions specific to the property and the landlord’s circumstances. At Umega, we carry out hundreds of these visits every year and the majority of prospective landlords are pleasantly surprised at how much easier life as a landlord will be than they had anticipated.
Understanding Landlords’ Obligations
New Edinburgh landlords will learn a great deal from their initial meetings with their letting agency about what is involved in being a landlord and how to get started. The agency will take on as many tasks from the landlord as possible and provide advice and support for the few tasks that the new landlord will need to deal with themselves. There are many things that the agency can offer to do for the landlord and some landlords will choose to do these themselves.
Below are some examples of tasks that the letting agency can carry out on the landlords behalf (although landlords can choose to do them):
- Arranging an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for advertising the property
- Installing suitable smoke and heat alarms
- Arranging gas and electrical safety certificates
- Arranging a legionella risk assessment
- Taking wide-angled marketing photos and producing a floorplan
- Putting up a marketing board at the property
- Advertising the property on the main online portals
- Fielding enquiries and carrying out all viewings at the property with prospective tenants
- Screening offers from prospective tenants and helping landlords decide on an offer
- Credit-checking and referencing prospective tenants
- Preparing and signing the lease documents
- Arranging the inventory photos and documents
- Lodging the tenants deposit with a government approved deposit protection provider.
The list of things that the landlord will usually do is comparatively short:
- Register online as a landlord with Landlord Registration Scotland
- Declutter the property of any personal items or furnishings not required as part of the rental
Renovations and Repairs
If there are any tasks involving repairs or renovations at the property before it is marketed for let then the agency can either; get quotes, arrange and complete this work on behalf of the landlord or, provide recommended trade contacts for the landlord to arrange this themselves. The agency will arrange this work for free unless it’s a major renovation in which case a project management fee may be applicable, but all advice and recommendations are usually provided free of charge.
Be Clear on Agency Fees
There are a lot of tasks listed here and prospective landlords can be wary of getting hit with a raft or fees from the agent for undertaking these tasks. At Umega Lettings, we charge a small marketing fee once the first tenancy begins for all the work done up to that stage and then an ongoing monthly management fee. That’s it.
Get started as a landlord in Edinburgh now by completing a free and instant online valuation of your property and get an idea of what the rental income might be!