From the 1st of May 2013, all landlords in Scotland who provide an assured or short assured tenancy in privately rented housing will have to provide their tenants with tenant information packs. The Scottish Government gives the following reason for putting the tenant information pack in place:
“The overall aim of a tenant information pack is to put in place a framework that ensures that tenants are given all the information that they need in order to be aware of their general and specific rights and responsibilities and those of their landlords in the private rented sector.”
The pack will not be part of the tenancy agreement, but will set out: information on your new home and its condition; the tenancy agreements; your new landlord; the responsibilities of you as a tenant as well as the landlord’s responsibilities and information on the landlord’s duty to repair and maintain the property. This information pack must be presented to all new tenants by the tenancy start date; however, there will be no legal requirement to provide tenant information packs to existing tenants.
The tenant information pack can be delivered either electronically or as a hard copy, with the pack required to be signed by the tenant and landlord unless if provided electronically and acknowledged through email. If people are sharing the property, one information pack for joint tenants will suffice.
If the landlord does not provide an information pack, this is a criminal offence and the fine can be up to £500. Even when a letting agent manages the property on behalf of the landlord, the legal responsibility still lies with the landlord to provide the tenant information pack but the letting agent may provide the information pack on the landlords behalf.
The pack is available as a publication on the Scottish Government website and will be regularly updated in the future for any changes in housing law. Therefore, whenever landlords are providing new tenants with an information pack they should take the most up to date version from the Scottish Government website.
If you would like more information about the new legislation and the effects this may have on you as a tenant or a landlord, here at Fine Lets we are more than happy to help.read more
Protecting your property from fire, burglary and the vagaries of the British weather whilst it is unoccupied is vital. Although you may have an insurance policy in place, very often if you need to be away for an extended amount of time on business, are travelling, or your property is vacant between lets, your policy may be compromised.
Fine Lets can offer a solution by providing a simple Empty Care Service. This service is available to landlords, tenants, owners wishing to sell or owners who need to be away from home.
A member of Fine Lets’ team can provide:
• Weekly visits
• Check security
• Provide access for your contractors
• Arrange emergency maintenance and repairs
• Cleaning (including windows)
• Take meter readings and inform utility companies
• Water plants
• Forward mail
• Dispose of junk mail
• Gardening service
Call us now to see how we can give you peace of mind on 0141 810 4396.read more
Many first-time landlords are unaware they need consent to let their property from their mortgage lenders.
Some lenders may approve an application without penalty others will charge a one-off fee, whilst some companies may increase the interest rate on the existing mortgage.
Depending on a mortgage company’s policy, it may be worth considering transferring to a buy-to-let mortgage. This may be a little more expensive than a residential mortgage and early repayment fees on an original mortgage may be incurred. A long term saving, however, may achieved be over the rental income and capital growth of the property would outweigh the initial set up costs.
For prospective landlords, an interest only mortgage may not only offer the benefit of cheaper repayment terms, but also potential tax advantages.
Please don’t be tempted to go ahead and let without your lenders permission as this may breach the conditions of your mortgage agreement. This can have serious consequences culminating in the lender taking possession proceedings against you.
Our recommendation is to seek professional advice from an independent financial adviser who specialises in mortgages before making any decisions.read more
New regulations have been drafted for a compulsory tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland.
As soon as the regulations have been approved and come into force, landlords and landlords’ agents must lodge the tenancy deposits they are holding for all relevant existing, new and renewed tenancies with the regulatory body within 6 months (for long-term tenancies, this may be extended to 9 months).
A tenancy deposit scheme is designed to protect tenants’ deposits and provide an independent body to assist in dispute resolution. If a tenant and a landlord can’t agree on deductions at the end of a tenancy for repairs and dilapidations, the scheme will decide how the funds are refunded and to who, based on evidence they will be given by both parties.
It is expected the regulations will come into force during March 2011. Watch this space…read more
"Fine Lets Limited has been absolutely great. From day one they were extremely proactive and used their wide client base to ensure we had plenty of viewings. Our property re-let within a month, completely hassle free and very professional. We look forward to a long relationship with Fine Lets Limited."
— Mr & Mrs Bell, Hampshire
"I am delighted to say that since putting my properties in the capable hands of Fine Lets Limited my mind has been put at rest. This company provide a first class service. They are competent and efficient, the client’s interests being a priority at all times. I would have no hesitation in recommending this letting agency."
— Mrs M Mercer, Glasgow
"Even with the help of friends and family we found it impossible to look after our Ferry Village flat following a move to Australia. Fine Lets Ltd have turned this potential liability into an asset, taking all of the stress out of managing and maintaining our property, finding an excellent tenant, helping us to satisfy all of the administrative issues. With their local knowledge they have sourced every service we needed, from insurance to odd jobs, from repairing storm damage to arranging storage. First class, hard working and excellent value - we are in good hands"
— Mr & Mrs H Todd, Australia