Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve pitched our fees to cover the time we spend on providing diligent attention to detail, keeping the properties almost constantly occupied and landlord maintenance costs to the minimum. We’re not VAT registered, which amounts to a considerable saving in comparison to many of our competitors. Please contact us to request a free rent appraisal.
In the last decade there have been many changes to lettings regulations and the main ones affecting all Scottish rented properties are listed below. We aim to ensure that all Colinton Lettings properties are safe and comply with the current lettings regulations but that can have significant cost implications for some landlords. Where costs must be incurred we have negotiated competitive rates for services with our tried and tested trade contractors. These fees can be deducted from rental income and already include VAT where applicable.
Scottish Landlord Registration
It is a legal requirement in Scotland for all landlords to be registered with the local government.
An application can be made using the online system at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk. For support using the online system, contact the Landlord Registration Team, City of Edinburgh Council, Level 3, Chesser House, 500 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, EH11 3YJ, Telephone: 0131 469 5293, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EU Energy Performance Directive 2009
From January 4, 2009, all EU member states had an obligation under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to promote improvement in the energy performance of new and existing buildings. This introduced a requirement for landlords to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to any prospective buyer or tenant of a property. An EPC is a document which states the energy efficiency of a building based on the standardised way the building is used and provides the building owner with a number of ways in which the efficiency could be improved. The certificates are valid for 10 years and must be displayed within the rented property BEFORE the property is advertised for let.
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
We can arrange for an annual GAS service & safety certificate OR Full GAS Maintenance Contract including annual service, certificate & any repairs.
These regulations deal with the installation, maintenance and use of gas appliances, fittings and flues in domestic and certain commercial premises. They place duties on landlords to ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants use are safe.
In practice this requires Landlords to obtain an annual gas safety certificate by a specialist gas engineer. We recommend a full gas maintenance contract for complete peace of mind and insurance against breakdowns.
The Electrical Equipment Regulations 2015
Scottish Government Statutory Guidance on Electrical Installations and Appliances came in to effect on 1st December 2015 requiring EICR (Electrical Inspection Condition Reports) and PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) to be carried out at least every 5 years.
These regulations state that all electrical appliances or equipment supplied in the course of business must be safe. This applies to all appliances supplied in rented accommodation.
Smoke Alarms Guidance 2007
Guidance was issued for the Housing Act 2006 Repairing Standard with effect from 3 September 2007 which included special provisions for smoke alarms. There should normally be at least one smoke alarm on each floor of a rented property, and in each living room, with a further heat sensor in the kitchen, and they should all be mains wired interlinked. Although it is best practice to install mains powered smoke alarms, an existing smoke alarm may be battery powered. However, a smoke alarm installed from 3 September 2007 onwards must be mains powered and this includes replacement alarms.
Where necessary these works would normally be combined with the initial electrical safety tests to save our landlords unnecessary duplicate call-out fees.
Legionella Water Risk Assessments
Landlords are required to carry out a water risk assessment by a competent person in accordance HSE ACOP L8 ‘Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems’, reviewed annually.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
statutory guidance took effect on 1st December 2015 requiring landlords to install CO alarms in properties with gas fired boilers, fires, hobs, grills and ovens.
Fire & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
These regulations were introduced to ensure that all newly produced furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery had the adequate level of fire resistance. They apply to beds, headboards of beds and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use indoors, scatter cushions and seat pads, pillows, and covers for furniture. These regulations do not apply to furniture made before 1950, bed-clothes including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Colinton Lettings will check each item of landlord provided furnishings to ensure that they do have a label attached stating compliance with the regulations. There is no additional setup cost for this service other than perhaps the replacement cost of any old furniture or mattresses (pre-1988) found not to comply.
The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006
FSRA Fire Safety Risk Assessment can be arranged and is required with each HMO licence application.
These Regulations placed a requirement for a Fire Safety Risk Assessment to be carried out and the outcomes recorded for properties where a licence or registration is required in relation to the property. Therefore any properties being rented to 3 or more individuals which require a House of Multiple Occupancy Licence also require a Fire Safety Risk Assessment.
Conversions to Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO’s)
Colinton Lettings are very experienced in the Scottish HMO regulations and have overseen the conversion of several properties. If you have a property with 3 or more bedrooms, we can advise you from the outset as to the likely cost of complying with HMO legislation as well as the different rents you might expect from renting it to:
- a group of individuals, typically students (HMO)
- individual room lets, typically working professionals (HMO)
- individual property lets (not HMO)
- a single family (not HMO)
- a couple plus one individual (not HMO)
- or two couples (not HMO)
We will respect your wishes and provide you with as much information as possible to allow you to make an informed choice. If you do decide to enter the HMO market Colinton Lettings can project manage the entire process for you. If you would like more information on Scottish HMO regulations to find out what’s required in detail you can find them on the Scottish Government web site using the link below.
On 31 January 2018 The (Scotland) Housing Act 2016 came in to force and introduced new regulations for Letting Agents. Anyone managing property in Scotland that they do not personally own has to be admitted on to a Register of Letting Agents (managed by Registers of Scotland). They also have to comply with a new Letting Agent Code of Practice, demonstrate suitable competence qualifications, hold adequate client money protection insurance and undergo continuing professional development training.
Colinton Lettings Ltd was among the first qualified Letting Agents to join the register when it opened on 1 October 2018.
Accreditation is an excellent way of giving good Letting Agents public recognition and helping tenants in seeking safe, secure and good quality accommodation to rent. The Lettings Industry Best Practice followed by Colinton Lettings is set out in the Scottish Core Standards for Accredited Landlords.
We are Letting Agent members of Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS), the Council of Letting Agents and the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL). As such we comply with a higher Code of Practice than current laws require and thus benefit from:
- the status of being publicly identified as a good agent
- distancing ourselves from incompetent or unscrupulous agents
- being attractive to tenants who place emphasis on good quality and well managed accommodation
- being up-to-date on new legislation or policies affecting the private rented sector
- having access to training and legal advice from housing professionals
For more information about the various accreditation schemes that we support please refer to:
For landlords based in the UK all letting fees and expenses are deductable from the rent for tax purposes. We can recommend an Accountant who can advise you regarding all allowable deductions and expenses.
Landlords can refer to the Scottish Government's model tenancy agreement and 'Easy Read Notes'. However in summary tenants are responsible for any accidental or negligent damages caused by themselves or their guests. Tenants are also responsible for minor maintenance and renewals including things like light-bulbs, hoover bags, fuses and cooker hood filters. However it is the landlords who are responsible for the building structure and exterior, installations, fixtures, fittings and appliances. Furnishings provided must be safe and smoke alarms regularly tested by tenants and landlords. We pride ourselves on responding to tenant maintenance matters promptly and efficiently, whilst also ensuring careful cost control and good value repairs for landlords.