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landlord and letting agent registration news

The Scottish Government Fees and Charges for Landlord Registration have now been increased as follows:

Principal Fee £65

Property Fee £15 (per property)

Late Application Fee £130

Discounts are available for:

  • landlords who own properties in more than one local authority area, where their applications are linked
  • joint owners where a lead owner has already paid the principal fee
  • landlords who have a current House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licence
  • Registered Scottish charities
  • (all discounts are automatically applied to online applications)

If your application is due please log into www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk to avoid late application fees:

  • The Registration System issues reminders by email at 90 and 30 days prior to expiry, so please ensure the email address held on your registration for you is correct.
  • Check junk or spam folders at regular intervals. There is a three month window between the first reminder and a registration expiry.
  • The Landlord Registration System now includes a summary page at the start of the “Your Registration” journey (https://landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/). This lists all landlord’s registrations, expiry dates and the attached let properties. If you are unsure when your registration expires you can check there.
  • Joint owners must all register/renew in their own right. Although second/joint owner fees typically attract a 100% discount, late application fees are still applied to joint owners whose registrations have lapsed.
  • If you use the same email address on both your own and any joint owners registrations then the email sent to each of you will go to that one address – and may look like duplicate but will each have a different recipient name in the email body.

The Late Application Fee is the first enforcement step for landlords letting property without a valid registration. The next step is typically a Rent Penalty Notice, where rent is ceased for all let properties, the ultimate sanction is for prosecution action to be considered. The Scottish Government also plan to introduce changes in September 2019 to the information required from Landlords.  More on this to follow later.

Letting Agent registration is still growing and the latest figures indicate that 562 out of 914 applications have been approved.  Our reference number is LARN 1901034 if you require this for your Landlord Registration Application, renewal or anything else.

The Scottish Government plan to introduce changes in Sept 2019 to the information required from Landlords when they are renewing or applying for Landlord Registration.

The new requirements will mean that Landlords are asked questions about the property. Some of these may be questions that you are not familiar with.  A number are personal questions but it is suggested that the Landlord will also be asked for a declaration and confirmation that the property meets:

  • The Tolerable Standard
  • The Repairing standard
  • The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations
  • If there is a private water supply meets the Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017

Confirmation the tenant has been provided a copy of the:

  • Energy Performance Certificate
  • Landlord Gas Safety Certificate
  • Electrical Installation Condition
  • Portable Appliance Test
  • Legionella Risk Assessment

Confirmation that the property had been advertised in an advertisement including details of the landlord’s registration number and the EPC indication.

And confirmation if the property is within a tenement, a declaration that there is buildings insurance on the property as per the requirements of the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 and that the Landlord is aware of their obligations in relation to common repairs and maintenance of the tenement building.

If it is an HMO property confirmation that it is licensed

If the tenancy falls under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2011 confirmation the deposit:

  • Has been lodged with an approved scheme
  • Or will be lodged within the relevant time frame.

If you want any further information on this on any other letting enquiry then please do not hesitate to contact the residential letting team on 0141 332 9225.

 

 

 

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Winter Weather Advice

Temperatures can drop to extremely low levels during winter and can cause pipes in your home to freeze. When there’s a sudden rise in temperature this can cause frozen pipes to burst.  In order to help prevent  burst pipes you can take the following steps:

  •  Insulate your boiler and lag the pipes.
  • Keep your home as warm as possible even if you are out
  • Ensure taps are turned off properly, especially last thing at night
  • Know where the internal stop/tap valve is (usually under the kitchen sink) and how to turn it off

If you require an emergency tradesman outwith normal office hours please call 0141 332 9225 and follow our automated system, or click here for details of our emergency contractors.

If we hold buildings insurance for your property in the event of a major loss out with our normal office hours please call our out of hours number 0345 604 4075.  This number should be used for emergencies only not for general claims to be reported.

These details are provided as a courtesy and if you are unable to connect to any of the contractors for any reason please make alternative arrangements and notify us at repairs@speirsgumley.com or call us during normal office hours on the next working day.

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Office closed for staff training

Our office will be closed from 9:30am on Friday 14 September for staff training.  If you require an emergency contractor during this time please call our main office number 0141 332 9225 to be connected to the appropriate trade.

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Speirs Gumley Residential Letting Win award at 2018 ESTAS

ESTAS18-SPIERSGUMLEY-2018-LAT_BRONZE_SCOTThe Scottish based agency received the Bronze in the Scottish category, Best Letting Agent (rated by tenants) at the prestigious ESTAS Customer Service Awards for 2018, the biggest awards in the UK property industry. The winners were announced by Phil Spencer, the TV property expert at a lavish luncheon & ceremony at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane London attended by 1,000 of the UK’s top property professionals.

The awards, celebrating their 15th year determine the best estate and letting agents in the UK based purely on feedback from customers who are asked a series of questions about the service they have received from their agent, over 36,000 surveys were completed by customers during the competition.

Phil Spencer, who has hosted the ESTAS every year since their inception in 2003 said “The ESTAS are special because shortlisted and winning firms are selected purely on the service you deliver to your clients. Real feedback from real customers experiencing real service, I don’t think there can be a greater honour in the industry than to receive an award based on that mantra.”

Estate and letting agents were recognised in 25 regions around the UK.  National Grand Prix Awards were also announced for the Best Single Agent Office in sales and lettings.

Simon Brown Founder of The ESTAS said “At The ESTAS we’re proud to say we believe in old fashioned values like customer service. We know how hard it is to deliver it and that’s why we put the spotlight on property firms who are committed to providing excellent service. The ESTAS brand helps generate consumer trust for all property professionals involved in the home moving process.”

Charlie Bryant, the new Managing Director ZPG’s Property division addressed the audience “ZPG’s objectives are precisely aligned with those of The ESTAS because we know how demanding consumers are, The ESTAS awards are based on the public votes you receive, so your recognition today is much deserved. Many congratulations to all of this year’s winners and runners up who have been recognised for the excellent standard of customer service they delivered throughout the year.”  

Robert Nixon Director of Speirs Gumley Residential Letting said “We are absolutely thrilled to be recognised at this year’s ESTAS. It means so much to us as we know it’s our customers who have judged our performance.  We take our levels of customer service very seriously because we know clients have a choice.  We have always been very proud of the personal service and this proves we are delivering what we promise.”

 

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Speirs Gumley Residential Letting Shortlisted for 2018 ESTA Awards

Estas

Speirs Gumley has been recognised for its outstanding customer service to its clients by the biggest award scheme in the UK residential property industry.

The ESTAS sponsored by Zoopla determines the best letting agents in the UK through research carried out amongst customers who are asked a series of questions about the service they have received from their agent during the home moving process.  This year saw record entries making the competition the toughest yet and one of the biggest surveys in the UK property industry with 36,000 customers completing one of the online ESTAS surveys.

The winning regional and national letting agents will be announced at the 15th annual ESTAS ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 20th April.  The awards will be presented by TV property expert Phil Spencer in front of 1,000 of the UK’s top property professionals, Spencer said “Any firm that enters The ESTAS has already sent a clear message that they are passionate about customer service so to make it on to the shortlist is a huge achievement in itself”.

Simon Brown, founder of The ESTAS says “Our job is to highlight agents who are providing exceptional levels of customer care through the moving process. At The ESTAS we believe the only way to judge the performance of an agent is to ask the clients who have experienced the whole service from an agent. Agents really prove their worth when things go wrong, which they sometimes do, that’s when their experience and professionalism really comes into play.”

Athena Hubble, Commercial Director at headline sponsor Zoopla said, “This is our eighth year sponsoring The ESTAS and we are delighted to be once again supporting this key industry event. Customer feedback is essential to any organisation and it is fantastic to see the best in the industry being recognised for their efforts. Good luck to all those taking part and I look forward to meeting the winners on stage in April!”

Glenn Seddington, Managing Director at sponsor SULU said “We’re delighted to be sponsoring The ESTAS this year.  Our software has been designed to help agents with the all-important council and utility notifications along with our support team on standby to take care of any billing issues and ongoing training and assistance. I’m can’t wait to present the trophies to the winners at the awards on 20th April.”

Robert Nixon, Director of Residential Letting said “We’re absolutely delighted to have made it on to this year’s shortlist. We are passionate about the level of service we deliver to our clients and this proves all the hard work the team put in has paid off”.

 

 

 

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The Private Rented (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016

The Private Rented (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 takes effect from 1 December 2017.  This is one of the biggest changes to housing legislation in the last 20 years so we have prepared a quick guide to help you see how these changes may impact you.

You can download our information guide in PDF format here.

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Gordon captains team of Superhero’s

Gordon Reid charity eventOur good friend and Wimbledon Champion Gordon Reid captained Team Gatwick at the Superhero Series debut event on Saturday 19th August.

The event was a huge success with over 1700 Superhero’s and their sidekicks taking part. Congratulations to everyone involved.

To find out more about the Superhero series visit http://superheroseries.co.uk

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Edinburgh is the new Aberdeen of the private rental market

RN Profile

Opinion piece by Robert Nixon,

Head of Speirs Gumley Residential Letting

For as long as I can remember, oil capital Aberdeen has been the most expensive city in Scotland to rent a home, with rents for all types of property notoriously high.

However, this year the Granite City’s reign has come to an end. Due to the downturn in the oil and gas industry, rents in Aberdeen are falling dramatically. Rents for a one-bedroom property in 2016 are down 14% on the 2015 average, with two-bedroom properties down 16%, (Stats supplied by LettingWeb)

Aberdeen’s crown as the best Scottish city for landlords to invest in has been stolen by thriving Edinburgh. Despite political and economic uncertainty, statistics so far for 2016 show that rents for both one and two-bedroom properties in the capital have risen by 5% compared to the average for 2015, while three-bedroom properties have risen by 9%. (Stats supplied by LettingWeb)

Confidence in Edinburgh’s property market is one of the main reasons Speirs Gumley decided to open an office in the Capital in May this year. Like the rest of our business, our residential lettings service is currently enjoying substantial growth. Over the last 18 months alone, we have increased the number of new properties that we have taken on to manage by 56 percent and we expect this trend to continue, with growth of 20-30% anticipated in the coming year.

We have been seeing a surge in business in our Glasgow office.  A block of 20 high-end one and two bedroom apartments on Bath Street in the city centre was successfully let in the fastest time I can ever remember, and our client achieved much higher rents than they had originally anticipated. Gone are the days of rented accommodation being just for students, or those who only want to stay in one place for a short time. As the name suggests, ‘Generation Rent’ is now just as likely to rent a home as buy one, but they are no longer content with shabby décor or dampness – if they can’t buy a home of their own, they want their rented property to be well maintained, attractive or even luxurious.

As demand continues to exceed supply in Edinburgh, I expect rents to remain high for the foreseeable future and make the city a very attractive place for landlords to invest. In recent analysis by property crowdfunding firm Property Partner, Edinburgh came 5th in the UK and first in Scotland for university towns offering best returns for buy-to-let. Investors are looking for and seeing yield returns of 6% and above in the capital.

The good news for tenants is that as landlords try to get the best possible rents for their properties, we’re seeing a trend of them spending more time and money on making their properties as appealing as possible, upgrading and refurbishing to achieve a higher quality product. The forthcoming Private Housing Tenancies (Scotland) Bill due to come into force in late 2017 will introduce rent controls, which will provide more predictable rents and protection for tenants against excessive rent increases. I completely agree that rents should always be increased fairly, and unfortunately there are some unscrupulous landlords out there. We would have no hesitation in telling our landlords if we felt they were charging tenants unfairly.

I only hope that rent controls don’t deter investment in the sector, which would reduce supply of rented properties in hotspots like Edinburgh even further.

 

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