The Key Place Newsletter, May 2016 1st May 2016

Welcome to the May edition of our newsletter, giving you news from across the rental industry.  This month we look at whether the rental market will respond to forthcoming changes by raising rents; we discuss the importance of inventories and the Tenancy deposit Scheme; we give you some top tips as to how you can best go about preparing your property for letting; and Gregor McMeechan of Malleny Mortgage Solutions discusses buy to let.  We hope you enjoy The Key Place newsletter.  Please share with friends and they can subscribe to be added to our mailing list. 

Rent Rises? 1st May 2016

The latest research from Homelet reveals that new tenants in Scotland have had the highest percentage rental increases in Britain, with the exception of London, over the first 3 months of 2016, with an increase of 7.3% compared to the same period last year. Average rents in Scotland sit at £677 per month. The increase is clearly significantly ahead of inflation, and makes Scotland one of the most expensive places to rent in Europe. Edinburgh continues to fly with rents peaking at £644, up from £598 in February 2015.

Preparing a Property to Let 1st May 2016

‘Accidental landlords’ is a term given to those landlords who find themselves in the role, rather than consciously choosing to get into buy to let investment. This may be because they have inherited a property, or they are unable to sell the property they are living in and so are forced to rent, for example.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme 1st May 2016

The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations were introduced in Scotland in March 2011, in order to safe guard tenants’ deposits from rogue landlords who frequently kept deposits at the end of a tenancy; and in order to protect landlords against non-payment of rent, or other costs at the end of a tenancy such as damage to the property, cleaning costs etc. The Key Place lodges all deposits with SafeDeposits Scotland, which is the only not for profit scheme based in Scotland.

The Importance of Inventories 1st May 2016

The Key Place newsletters frequently talk about the importance of inventories. This is because we want to give you the best possible chance to protect what is arguably your biggest investment. And yet, there are still landlords who do not want to shell out a relatively small amount, in order to protect their investment property. And so why are inventories so important today?

An Inventory Story 1st May 2016

There are a number of landlords who see inventories as being an unnecessary expense, and so decline our offer of doing one for them. We could give you numerous examples of why this is a bad idea, and why a small upfront cost could really pay off in the long run. Here is one such example. We manage a house in West Lothian. It was the landlord’s family home, where she lived when she was younger with her parents. Of course I’m sure her parents were very house proud, and kept the house and garden well. We asked the landlord if we could do an inventory prior to letting the house, however she declined and said she would do it herself. We explained the possible pitfalls of this but she dug her heels in and insisted on doing her own inventory. It was minimal – no comment on the...

Buy to Let - What Next? 1st May 2016

The property market today is unrecognisable from where it was just a few decades ago following Right to Buy in 1980, the introduction of buy to let mortgages in 1996 and latterly the Help To Buy scheme. The 1988 housing reforms that improved the rights of private landlords mean that we now have a private rented sector that accounts for one in five properties. Recent forecasts have predicted that this could grow to one in three properties by 2032 as demand continues to outstrip supply. There are around two million buy to let investors in the UK and this year total housing wealth owned by landlords has overtaken that held by mortgaged owner-occupiers for the first time.