I view a flat and want to take it. What if I’m not the only one interested?
All offers for a rental property will be put to the landlord to make a decision on which offer to proceed with. For an offer we need details of who will be living in the property, your employment details and address history.
What criteria do you assess prospective tenants on?
We recommend prospective tenancies for consideration to our landlords where the applicants can provide three years’ worth of address history and employment details. Applicants need to meet the affordability criteria that their gross monthly income (combined if more than one tenant) meets at least 2.5 times the monthly rent. If this is not the case then the landlord may still proceed but expect to provide a UK based guarantor or pay a period of advance rent.
Do you charge tenants fees for setting up a tenancy?
No. None whatsoever.
How much deposit will I need to pay?
We normally ask for a security deposit equivalent to between 1 month and 6 weeks rent. This depends on the landlords requirements. This deposit will be held by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. You will be informed of all details
What is the tenancy deposit scheme?
Since 2012, tenants’ deposits are no longer held by a letting agent or landlord but in a government approved third party scheme. Any deductions that might be made for cleaning, damages, rent arrears etc. need to be applied for from the scheme so that the tenant has the opportunity to present their case if they disagree.
Will I be referenced?
Yes, you will be referenced. We’ll ask you to complete an application form and will conduct a credit check and normally request an employer and previous landlord reference (where one or both of these is not possible, if you were a home-owner or are self-employed, we may request references from other parties).
If you have an adverse credit history, don’t panic! Just be honest on your application form with regards to your credit history, each case will be considered, with the landlord, individually. It may be that we will simply request more rent to be paid up front or may request that a guarantor be added to the tenancy, to give the landlord peace of mind, so don’t be scared to be honest!
Will there be an inventory carried out?
An inventory is an essential document which provides a written and photographic record of the property and it’s contents at the beginning of the tenancy. Our inventory contains full details of all fixtures, fittings and contents of the property and it will be checked after the tenancy expires. You’ll have 7 days to check, make any comments and sign the inventory after you move into the property.
What type of Tenancy Agreement will I be signing?
Since December 2017 almost all residential tenancies created in Scotland Are Private Residential Tenancy agreements. A Private Residential Tenancy PRT is the most common type of tenancy agreement for private rental in Scotland.
What information is included in a Private Residential Tenancy?
In it's simplest form, a private residentialtenancy is a legal binding agreement between the landlord(s) and tenant(s), outlining all of the obligations of both parties. In general a private residential tenancy agreement should include the following;
1. The name and address of the landlord or agent (or both)
2. The length of the tenancy agreed, with a start date
3. Rent: amount due, when it is due, how it should be paid and if it will increase during the tenancy and if so, when
4. How much is the deposit
5. Who is responsible for internal decoration and internal and external repairs and maintenance.
6. How many tenants may occupy the property
7. Any condition or restrictions on the use of the property, for example about pets, guests or smoking
What does 'Joint and Several' mean?
If there's more than one tenant named on the tenancy agreement then those tenants are ‘joint and severally’ liable during the course of a tenancy agreement. This means that all of the tenants (and guarantors) on the tenancy agreement are jointly responsible for all tenancy liabilities including rent or any breach of tenancy. For example, if one tenant is acting anti-socially, all tenants are deemed to be acting anti-socially. Similarly, if a tenant doesn't pay rent then all tenants (and guarantors) either individually or as a group can face debt recovery proceedings. If a tenant wishes to serve notice to end your tenancy you need to get the permission of the other joint tenants before doing so.
How long does a tenancy last?
The length of a tenancy depends on the preference of the tenant or the circumstances of the landlord. A Private Residential Tenancy does not have a specified period or end date, however, the terms of the agreement may make allowance for circumstances where the duration is less than that indicated and agreed at the outset.
How do I pay my monthly rent?
At the time of completing the tenancy agreement a standing order will be set up to pay the monthly rent.
The standing order should be set up to pay us a couple of days before your monthly rent due date in order that the rent clears in our account on, or before, the rent due date. If you set up your standing order on the rent due date, your rent could be late every month.
Is there anything else I need to do when I move into my new property?
Yes, you need to;
- Check, comment and sign the inventory and return it to us within 7 days of moving in
- Set up accounts with council tax and energy supplier(s) – you can choose whoever you want
- Set up your telephone/broadband/television contracts (if required)
- Buy a TV license
- Familiarise yourself with where the water stop cock and gas shut off valves are…..just in case! We'll normally leave a reminder note under the kitchen sink.
What do I do if I have a maintenance issue in my property?
As outlined in your tenancy agreement, it's your responsibility to notify the landlord (or us, as the landlord’s agent) of any maintenance issues. Once an issue’s been reported, we’ll make sure it gets to the right person in our team and they’ll get to work to ensure the issue is resolved. We have systems in place to ensure emergencies are dealt with more urgently.
If you go ahead and organise a tradesman yourself, without having given us an opportunity to rectify the issue, you may be liable for the cost of the work (and maybe even a whole lot more if the tradesman you use doesn't do a good job or doesn't have the relevant insurances etc).
When reporting maintenance issues, please either call or e-mail us.
Please ensure that the problem is actually something that is the landlord’s responsibility to rectify. If your heating isn't working, check your thermostats (including the "room" thermostat) and that the boiler is pressurised and that the pilot light has not gone out (if there are no instructions on this in the property these will be available online). If a call out is made for a problem which is deemed to be down to you, then you will be responsible for paying the contractors invoice.
What do I do if there's an emergency maintenance issue at my property?
What is an Emergency?
It's our view that an emergency situation is when the incident is dangerous, life threatening or may result in personal injury or a public liability claim or serious deterioration of the property. If you have an emergency situation, for example, water coming through the ceiling, we will endeavour to help you immediately.
Is the issue an emergency?
The landlord will only pay for contractors to attend to the property out of office hours in the event of emergencies. We deem an emergency to be placing tenants in danger or serious deterioration of the property. We expect our tenants to use common sense as to what is deemed an emergency.
Please note: If an emergency contractor attends unnecessarily you may be held liable for the costs involved.
Please take the following actions before calling our emergency line:
If you smell gas or suspect a leak or suspect fumes are escaping from an appliance immediately call the Gas Emergency Services on 0800 111 999 (24 hrs). Open windows and doors and if necessary vacate the property. Do not turn on any electrical appliances or switches.
Check fuses have not blown, circuit breakers are in the ‘ON’ position and that there hasn’t been a general power cut in the area.
If you have a power cut, check to see if your neighbours are affected as well:
- If your neighbours’ supply is still on – check your trip switch if you have one. If it has tripped, switch off all your appliances and then reset it.
- If your neighbours also have no power – call your local Electricity Network Operator’s 24 hour Emergency Helpline. Scottish Power Energy Networks, From a landline 0800 092 9290, From a mobile 0330 1010 222.
HEATING AND HOT WATER
The loss of heating and hot water is only deemed an emergency if the weather is extremely cold or you have a young baby in the property. If you think your boiler isn’t working properly, first check to see if the pilot light is on and, if you have a combi boiler, check that the pressure is between 1 and 2. The instruction manual will tell you how to re-light the pilot and re-set the pressure if you suspect this is the problem. If you don’t have a manual to hand, finding them on line is very simple.
For small leaks which can be caught in a container, please ensure that you put a bucket or similar container below the leak and remember to empty it regularly, please contact the office during office hours. If you suffer a burst pipe or severe water leaking into the property you must firstly locate the stop cock and turn off the water. We'll normally leave a reminder note under the kitchen sink to help you locate the stop cock quickly. Mop up all surface water as quickly as possible to prevent damage. Call the emergency number and we'll then arrange a plumber to attend as soon as possible. If water is coming from an upstairs property, alert the occupants above immediately and ask them to shut off the source of the leak. If they are not in, leave them a note to contact you, and call your local Environmental Health Department (numbers below) and ask for the water ingress team.
For all other emergencies not listed, please use common sense before calling. We will only respond to real emergencies that cannot wait until the next working day. For EMERGENCY gas-related, boiler-related, and plumbing-related issues contact
For any other emergencies contact
What do I do about condensation in my property?
CONDENSATION IS NOT DAMP! Condensation is created when a property is not ventilated well enough and becomes evident when there is a difference in temperature between inside and outside. It is a tenant’s responsibility to make sure condensation and mould do not build up in a property. Make sure you open your windows and doors to ventilate your property and don’t turn off the extractor fan in internal bath/shower-rooms. If you are concerned that mould in your property may be related to damp, please let us know ASAP and we’ll organise a damp specialist to survey the property to give us their professional opinion.
Who is responsible for external maintenance at my property?
External maintenance and upkeep is normally the responsibility of the landlord. Similarly, if your property is within a factored development, the landlord will normally cover the cost of communal costs such as stair cleaning / lift servicing / gardening. If your property has its own garden you are responsible for the upkeep of this.
I want to move out of my property. What should I do?
You simply need to provide us with written notice to leave in accordance with your Tenancy Agreement.
You can't legally walk away from your tenancy obligations without the necessary notice.
However in some situations we can negotiate with both parties to end the tenancy early, on a mutually agreed date. This all needs to be formally agreed (in writing).
How is notice served?
There are specific grounds by which a landlord can seek possession of the property during the course of the tenancy as outlined in your tenancy agreement.
Can I use my deposit as the last month's rent?
No way! The deposit is held against the property to cover damage and settle any outstanding amounts at the end of the tenancy. We are not able to touch the deposit until after the tenancy so if you don’t pay your last month’s rent the landlord will be out of pocket and will not be happy….and you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement. You may also start to incur costs for reminders and, in some cases, debt collection.
Is there anything else I need to do in the run up to moving out or on the move out day?
Yes! Make sure you;
- Cancel your monthly rent standing order otherwise you’ll keep paying us once you’ve moved out! We are not in control of standing orders, you are so it is up to you to cancel this, not us!
- Contact the Council tax department to let them know you’re moving out
- Cancel or transfer your television/broadband/telephone contracts
- Cancel or transfer your TV license
- Give final meter readings and your forwarding address to your energy supplier(s)
- Check the original inventory to see how the property and it's contents were before you moved in
- Give the property a very, very, very good clean when you move out. This will ensure we don’t have to clean the property and charge your deposit for this amount
- Arrange to return all sets of keys to us
What happens after I move out?
When your tenancy is over and you have vacated the property, we'll carry out a check out inspection where we assess the condition of the property at the end of your tenancy compared to the start of the tenancy, using the inventory – you are welcome to attend. If any cleaning or work is required at the property then you'll be notified and the necessary work ordered. Once the invoices come back from our contractors then we can notify the Tenancy Deposit Scheme provider of the final balance (if any) to be billed against the deposit held. This process can take a couple of weeks but we do it as quickly as we can.