Frequently Asked Questions
In many ways Colinton Lettings is small enough to operate like a private landlord, although the husband & wife partners: Shona & Mike do work at being letting agents ‘full time’. They operate flexible hours to juggle their work/life balance so their core hours are 9am - 5pm weekdays. Mike is effectively on call 24/7 for emergencies and they both work the occasional evening or weekend if required for viewings etc.
As accredited member agents of the Scottish Council of Letting Agents (CLA) we aim to comply with all current legislation which changes and expands quite frequently. Colinton Lettings also follow the CLA Code of Practice, Landlord Accreditation Scotland core standards, and the Letting Agent Code of Practice as required by The Letting Agent Registration (Scotland) Regulations 2016.
We require THREE sources of good references, typically:
- Employer - if the applicant is unemployed then an employed financial Guarantor is required and they must provide 3 suitable references.
- Landlord - if the applicant has not rented a property recently e.g. a home owner or someone living with family, a second character reference is acceptable.
- Character - the character referee should not be related to the applicant by blood or marriage and should be employed, the more senior their role, the better.
Pre-written references will help to fast track any tenant application however it is acceptable to simply provide full contact details for three referees using our Tenant Application Form or online application via the website properties page, and we will contact them to obtain the reference.
It is acceptable for overseas applicants to provide references from referees living outside of the UK - provided they are submitted in English and provided the referee can speak English. This is so that we can contact the referees directly to verify their reference via a telephone or Skype call. All referees must have known the applicant for at least 12 months.
We do not charge any up-front fees such as referencing or other admin fees, since they were made illegal by the Scottish Government in 2012. See more info about this at: https://www2.gov.scot/News/Releases/2012/11/illegal-charges-on-tenants22112012.
Some agents may try to charge the tenant a fee for inventory checking both at check-in and check-out however there is no such charge by Colinton Lettings. Tenants will only be asked to pay deposit deductions if their exit cleaning is not up to our ‘commercial standard’ or if there are damaged/missing items etc.
Details of our currently advertised properties are shown on the Colinton Lettings website properties page, including WHEN they will become available. If there is nothing suitable you may like to join our public facebook page called Colinton Lettings Ltd where you can post up a question or your ‘dream property wish-list’ for other landlords and tenants to see.
For tenants and landlords interested in room only rents we recommend www.spareroom.co.uk as a more appropriate free starting point for your property search.
To reserve a property you simply need to submit an online application via the Colinton Lettings website (on the relevant property page) and then pay the security deposit in to our tenant deposit account. Our standard security deposit is usually £100 higher than the monthly rent except where pets are allowed, in which case it is usually two times the monthly rent.
If the proposed entry date is a long way ahead then you may prefer to pay our minimum holding deposit of £300 and top it up to the full deposit amount on or before the date of entry. We’ll stop all further viewings whilst checking references and can usually confirm within 24 hours whether the application has been successful.
It’s a good idea to phone or text the person who showed you the property to let them know you are in the process of applying and they will be able to confirm whether the property is still available. When you submit your application form you will receive and auto-responder email which includes the sort code and account number of our ring-fenced client deposit bank account where you should pay your holding deposit (by BACS transfer).
Once you have paid your holding deposit we recommend calling or texting us again so that we can check our bank for you and confirm safe receipt.
For all gas queries contact Transco on 0870 608 1524.
For Electricity contact MPAS on 0870 905 0806.
Colinton Letting Tenants can also check the front page of their inventory document.
Tenants 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.
At the property check-in meeting we give all our tenants a Property Information File which includes any instructions manuals we hold for that property. If you can not find it please then contact our Property Manager.
When the tenancy ends, the tenant and landlord can submit a proposal for deposit repayment to Safe Deposits Scotland.
Safe Deposits Scotland will email the repayment proposal to both parties. When the landlord and tenant agree the deposit is typically refunded within 5 working days.