Citylets – Quarterly Report
Citylets most recent quarterly report can be found by clicking on the undernoted link.
This report confirms what Scottish Agents have been experiencing throughout 2023 where the demand for rental properties is heavily outweighing the supply. Properties continue to be snapped up by renters exceptionally quickly even whilst average rents are showing a rapid growth.
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Changes to the Repairing Standard – Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
Landlords already have an obligation to meet the Repairing Standard set out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and as from March 2024 the standard is changing to include further landlord obligations.
Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) have put together the undernoted to summarise the updated requirements due to come into force in March 2024
- water pipes must be free of lead (where this cannot be ascertained water testing must be carried out to check for the presence of lead piping)
- electrical installations must be protected by a residual current device (RCD)
- properties must have a fixed space heating system (a permanent installation in the property which is plumbed or hard wired and capable of maintaining a temperature of 21⁰C in at least one room and 18⁰C elsewhere, when the outside temperature is minus 1⁰C.)
- installations for fuels other than gas and electricity to be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
- any common parts pertaining to the property must be able to be accessed and used safely
- the property must have satisfactory provision for, and safe access to, a food storage area and food preparation space
- where the property is in a tenement, common doors must be secure and fitted with satisfactory emergency exit locks and a secure entry system
Full details of the updated Repairing Standard can be found at the undernoted link.
If your property is needing work carried out to meet these new standards, why not contact us to see how we can help you. From our years of working with reliable contractors in the Edinburgh & East Lothian area we are able to help source trades to tackle all your property improvements, no matter how big or small.
Changes to EPC Regulations
Currently all homeowners who rent out or plan to sell their property must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) prior to marketing. An EPC outlines the energy efficiency of a home with an aim to offer tenants and new homeowners an indication of the likely running costs of heating the property. The EPC can also provide advice on how to improve the energy efficiency and what measures would be best for that individual home.
From 2025 owners of private rented properties in Scotland will be required to meet a minimum EPC rating before the property can be marketed for rent. This will be extended to include all private rented properties from 2028.
Citylets have prepared an excellent summary of the introduction of these requirements, as well as a detailed explanation of what is all included within an EPC Report. Click on the link below to access this helpful guide.
Scottish Government – Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022
The above Act was introduced by the Scottish Government in October 2022 and the Governments have used their powers to have the restrictions extended to 31st March 2024.
Currently this Act provides restrictions on the eviction process in both the private and social housing sector. However, landlords of private rented tenancies can still serve a Notice to Leave on their tenants in the usual way and in most cases tenants will move on. Should a tenant not leave at the end of their tenancy, the legislation delays the landlord enforcing an eviction order granted by the First Tier Tribunal for up to 6 months. There are certain exemptions in place, which are outlined in the link below.
The legislation also provides for a rent increase cap on mid-tenancy rents. Initially, up until 31st March 2023, a 0% rent cap was in place, but this has now been updated to allow landlords to increase their mid-tenancy rent by up to 3% and in some cases up to 6%. A detailed explanation of the rent increase cap can be found below.
As part of our property management service, we ensure that all our landlords are kept up to date with the ever-changing legislation, which includes annual rent reviews on existing tenancies, all within the standard management costs.
More information on our property management service can be found below.
Landlords living abroad – NON-UK RESIDENT LANDLORDS
Are you thinking about renting out your property in Scotland whilst living abroad? If the answer is yes, are you aware that you must apply for a Non-UK Tax Code to allow your Letting Agency to remit your full rent balance to you each month?
Landlords receiving a rental income from properties based in Scotland whilst they reside abroad must obtain a Code from the HMRC and provide this to their Letting Agent to allow their agent to remit full rent funds to them. This process can be a very simple one and we recommend that as soon as you have a Non-UK address assigned to you, an application is made to HMRC for your code. The application can be made via the following link and to complete the process your letting agent will require to provide you with their Agency Code to link up to your details.
We are experienced in working with many property owners who live abroad for both our property refurbishment service and tenancy management. Our Letting Agency software provides landlords direct access to their property information, including accounting, outstanding maintenance issues and contractor invoices, making it simple for landlords to keep in touch with us no matter where they are in the world. We can also offer video calls and e-doc signing to ensure that a full service can be provided remotely.
Contact us by completing the form below to find out more about how we can assist you wherever you may be in the world.