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Western Lettings - Letting Agents Blog

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  • 0141 357 0436
  • J Gallagher
  • May 01, 2018 01:24:47 PM
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A Little About Us

A blog containing news about Western Lettings (an award winning letting agency in Glasgow) as well as useful information and resources for landlords and tenants.

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  • Annual Regular Membership: 1 Year Term 2019-05-01 11:24:47 (42 days left)
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    Is My Tenancy Deposit Protected?

    In March 2011 the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Regulations (Scotland) came into force. Since this date every letting agency in Scotland that receives a tenant deposit is now required by law to register with their local authority and join a tenancy deposit scheme. If they fail to comply they can face fines. The purpose of the […] The post Is My Tenancy Deposit Protected? appeared first on Western...

    In March 2011 the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Regulations (Scotland) came into force. Since this date every letting agency in Scotland that receives a tenant deposit is now required by law to register with their local authority and join a tenancy deposit scheme. If they fail to comply they can face fines. The purpose of the schemes is to keep tenants’ money protected and ensure that they get back any money they are owed at the end of their tenancy.

    Which tenancy deposit schemes are approved in Scotland?

    In Scotland there are three tenancy deposit scheme providers to choose from:

    At Western Lettings we register deposits from our tenants with Safe Deposits Scotland.

    How do I know if my deposit has been registered with a scheme?

    Once you have paid your deposit your letting agent must register your deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days. They should then send you details of the scheme your deposit is registered with. At Western Lettings we will email you information about the scheme we use, Safe Deposits Scotland and send you a DAN (Deposit Account Number). The DAN will allow you to login to their website and claim back your deposit at the end of your tenancy.

    If your letting agent hasn’t given you any information about a tenancy deposit scheme, you can check yourself to see if your deposit is registered. You do this by visiting the websites of the approved tenancy deposit schemes (listed above) and entering a few basic details about you and your tenancy.

    What does my tenancy deposit cover?

    When renting a property, most landlords or letting agents will ask for a deposit. A tenancy deposit acts as a guarantee against:

    • Damage to the property (excluding general wear and tear)
    • Missing or broken items
    • Unpaid rent
    • Outstanding gas, electricity, phone bills etc.
    • Additional professional cleaning that is required if the property is left in a poor condition

    If any of the above conditions occur, your deposit will be used to pay to make things right e.g. for extra cleaning to be carried out, damaged items to be fixed or missing items replaced etc. As long as you are a careful tenant, pay your bills on time and leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in, you will get your deposit back in full.

     

    How do I go about getting my tenancy deposit back?

    Different letting agencies have different procedures for this. At Western Lettings we will arrange a tenant check-out appointment at the end of your tenancy. We will go through the inventory that you were given at the start of the tenancy, checking for damaged or missing items. We will also check that everything has been left clean and tidy, ready for the next tenants and take final meter readings that we can forward on to your new address. Once this is complete, you can use your DAN to login to the Safe Deposits Scotland website and make a repayment request. If Western Lettings believe there are reasons to make deposit deductions we will always try to reach an agreement with the tenant first. If this is not possible and all attempts to reach agreement fail, we will make our case to the representatives of Safe Deposits Scotland.

     

    Why are tenancy deposit schemes important?

    According to the Office for National Statistics, the private rental market now makes up 15% of all households in Scotland. With such high numbers in rented accommodation it is extremely important that deposits are kept in a safe place for the duration of the tenancy. Government approved tenancy deposit schemes protect against landlords or letting agencies going bankrupt and tenants losing all of their money. In addition, they greatly improve transparency and give tenants more opportunity to challenge deductions which they believe to be unfair.

    If you are a landlord and need help with letting or managing your property, Western Lettings would love to hear from you. We are an ARLA licensed, multi-award winning letting agents in Glasgow. Give us a call on 0141 357 0436 or get in touch to find out more about our range of landlord services.

    The post Is My Tenancy Deposit Protected? appeared first on Western Lettings.


    Festive Opening Hours

    Western Lettings would like to wish all of our clients a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes!   Important information – Office opening hours over the festive period are as follows: Christmas Eve 09:00 AM – 12:00PM  Christmas Day – Closed Boxing Day – Closed Thursday 27th December open as […] The post Festive Opening Hours appeared first on Western...

    Western Lettings would like to wish all of our clients a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes!
     
    Important information – Office opening hours over the festive period are as follows:
    Christmas Eve 09:00 AM – 12:00PM 
    Christmas Day – Closed
    Boxing Day – Closed
    Thursday 27th December open as normal 09:00 AM – 17.00 PM
    Friday 28th December open as normal 09:00 AM – 17:00 PM
    New Years Eve – Closed
    New Year’s Day – Closed
    Wednesday 2nd January  2019– Closed
    Thursday 3rd January 2019 re open as normal 09:00 AM – 17:00 PM

    The post Festive Opening Hours appeared first on Western Lettings.


    Western Lettings Partners with CreditLadder

    Western Lettings in Glasgow is delighted to announce a new partnership with rent reporting platform CreditLadder. We realise that for nearly all tenants, rent is their biggest monthly expense. What comes as a surprise for most people is that unlike on time mortgage payments, on time rent payments are not added to an individual’s credit […] The post Western Lettings Partners with CreditLadder appeared first on Western...

    Western Lettings in Glasgow is delighted to announce a new partnership with rent reporting platform CreditLadder.

    We realise that for nearly all tenants, rent is their biggest monthly expense. What comes as a surprise for most people is that unlike on time mortgage payments, on time rent payments are not added to an individual’s credit score. A healthy credit history is vital for us all as it helps secure better deals on credit cards, loans, utility bills, and even mobile phone contracts.

    The great news is we’ve teamed up with CreditLadder who are the UK’s first and biggest rent reporting platform. Our partnership with CreditLadder helps our tenants sign up to CreditLadder for free and ensure that rent payments are added to every tenant’s Experian credit history.

    In August, CreditLadder were the biggest winners of HM Treasury’s Rent Recognition Challenge (RRC) and to date over £30m in rent payments have been reported through to Experian.

    “We’re delighted to be working with Western Lettings. They’ve been keen to help reward on time rent payments from tenants and our partnership will help ensure even more tenants can benefit from rent reporting’ says CreditLadder CEO Sheraz Dar.

    Jack Gallagher said, “Here at Western Lettings we know it’s important to help tenants as much as we can, so the partnership with CreditLadder means their on-time rent payments make a real difference to their credit history. It’s also a great way to help attract responsible tenants which is also great news for all our landlords”

    In further good news, moves are afoot to ensure rent payments (and council tax payments) are always taken into account when lending decisions are made. John Bird, the founder of The Big Issue, has been leading the way and his Credit Worthiness Assessment Bill  is now going through the House of Commons. The proposed legislation aims to make rental payments a compulsory part of a credit score. We think this is good news all round for all our tenants and landlords.

     

    If you would like some more information about this new service or about any of our other property letting or property management services, please get in touch or give us a call on 0141 357 0436

    The post Western Lettings Partners with CreditLadder appeared first on Western Lettings.


    Benefits of Virtual Tours for Attracting New Tenants

    If you are a landlord looking for new tenants in a hurry, choosing a letting agent who can offer viewers a 360⁰ virtual tour of your property can make a big difference. That is why Western Lettings in Glasgow have recently introduced them for all of their properties. What is a 360⁰ Virtual Tour? A […] The post Benefits of Virtual Tours for Attracting New Tenants appeared first on Western...

    If you are a landlord looking for new tenants in a hurry, choosing a letting agent who can offer viewers a 360⁰ virtual tour of your property can make a big difference. That is why Western Lettings in Glasgow have recently introduced them for all of their properties.

    What is a 360⁰ Virtual Tour?

    A virtual tour is a collection of slowly rotating images that allow a viewer to navigate around a property, exploring every room in the comfort of their own home. It is the closest thing to actually being in the property and provides a much better sense of what a property is truly like. A good virtual tour will have wide angle views of rooms, highlight the main selling points of the property and use good quality images throughout. Virtual tours are even better when viewed with a virtual reality headset. All of the virtual tours on Western Lettings website support this technology.

    What are the benefits of Virtual Tours?

    1. Competitive edge

    It is well known that potential tenants spend most of their time online when searching for a property to rent. It is also known that virtual tour technology is extremely popular with viewers and properties advertised with this facility are clicked on more often than those without. A letting agent that can offer virtual tours will definitely be giving their properties a competitive edge.

    1. Provides more thorough information

    It has been shown that a virtual tour keeps viewers focused on a property for much longer. This is because it is more engaging, more accurate and provides much more useful information than a series of static two dimensional images. The 360⁰ sweep enables viewers to see into every corner of every room and makes the flow and layout of a property much easier to understand.

    1. Saves time

    Virtual tours save tenants time by helping them narrow down the number of properties they need to view in person. The much greater detail and information provided by virtual tours enables viewers to ‘rule out’ properties that are not suitable, from the comfort of their own homes.

    1. Reduces the number of property viewings

    Only those viewers with real intentions of renting will make arrangements to view a property in person. People interested in viewing the property for any other reason will be satisfied with a virtual tour. This will reduce the overall number of property viewings that are required. This is particularly useful for reducing disruption to the lives of current tenants (near the end of their tenancy) who may still be occupying the property that is being viewed.

    1. Attracts distant viewers

    Virtual tours are extremely attractive to clients who live further afield. It saves them time and money by substantially reducing the number of properties they will need to view in person. However it is very important that a property is not rented on the basis of a virtual tour alone. A good letting agent will always want to conduct a property viewing with prospective tenants, firstly to get to meet them face to face and secondly to ensure they have seen the property in its entirety.

    All landlords know the importance of finding suitable new tenants fast. This is where choosing the right letting agent can make a big difference. A good letting agency will always be looking for new ways to do things better. That is why Western Lettings have recently introduced virtual tours for all of their properties. Not many letting agencies in Glasgow currently offer this service but if they do, remember to check if they charge extra for it. Western Lettings provide this service, alongside their traditional marketing, at no extra cost.

    It is clear If you are a landlord looking for help to let and manage your property Western Lettings would love to hear from you. We are award winning letting agents in Glasgow. Please get in touch or give us a call on 0141 357 0436.

    The post Benefits of Virtual Tours for Attracting New Tenants appeared first on Western Lettings.


    8 Simple Rules for Finding the Best Letting Agent

    If you are a landlord in Scotland you may decide to use a professional letting agent to rent out or manage your property. However there are many letting agents out there, so how do you decide which one will be best at providing the services you need. Follow these 8 simple rules to ensure you […] The post 8 Simple Rules for Finding the Best Letting Agent appeared first on Western...

    If you are a landlord in Scotland you may decide to use a professional letting agent to rent out or manage your property. However there are many letting agents out there, so how do you decide which one will be best at providing the services you need. Follow these 8 simple rules to ensure you find a letting agent that is effective in the most important aspects of letting and managing a property.

    1. Location

    It is usually best to choose a letting agent local to the property you are renting out. They will know the area well and be able to use their local knowledge to sell your property to new clients. They will understand the rental market for property in the area and know which properties will attract a lot of interest and which ones won’t. This means they will be best placed to estimate with some accuracy the rent you are likely to achieve and also the best ways to maximise your rental income.

     

    1. Letting agent license

    Changes to the law mean that from 1st October 2018, letting agencies must be registered on the Scottish Letting Agent Register. Currently only 73 out of approximately 1200 letting agents in Scotland have been granted a license. Always remember to check the register before signing up.

     

    1. Industry qualifications

    Good letting agents will always place a strong emphasis on staff training and development. A company with staff with industry qualifications is a good sign that this is happening.  As award winning letting agents in Glasgow, Western Lettings fully support staff to ensure they pass ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) level 6, within 6 months of starting with us. We firmly believe that well trained staff will always provide a superior level of service.

     

    1. Virtual tours

    Choosing a company that is able to provide virtual tours is a distinct advantage. There is nothing more engaging to prospective tenants than a 360-degree virtual tour of a property. Tenants spend more than two thirds of their time online when searching for a property to rent. Being able to view properties in this way is definitely a bonus. It provides the convenience of a ‘first viewing’ from the comfort of their own home. It is also a way of quickly streamlining prospective clients, into those with real intentions of renting your property. Not many letting agencies currently offer this service but if they do, remember to check if they charge extra for it. At Western Lettings we provide this service alongside traditional marketing at no extra cost.

     

    1. Advertising portal exposure

    No landlord wants an empty property. It is therefore important that, when required, new tenants can be found quickly. Always check where a letting agent will advertise your property and how much it will cost. Good letting agents will always prefer to use lots of different advertising portals to provide maximum exposure for your property whereas some letting agents use very few. It is important you get this information in order to compare like for like.

     

    1. Landlord portal

    Being a landlord can involve a lot of paperwork. A ‘Landlord portal’ is a secure area, accessed via an online landlord login, where landlords can view, download and print important documents such as

    • Monthly rental statements
    • Compliance safety certificates e.g. EICR, gas safety certificate, PAT testing, fire risk assessment etc.
    • Property inventories
    • Tenancy agreement
    • Property inspection reports
    • Invoices for property repairs. Allowing landlords to quickly view historic data on how much they have spent on their properties over the years

    This is a really useful facility for all landlords but particularly if you are an overseas landlord. It will provide a convenient way of accessing and keeping track of all crucial information relating to your properties.

     

    1. Membership of professional body

    It is always important to check if a letting agent is part of a professional body such as ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents). This is because members will be required to adhere to particular codes of professional conduct. They will have guarantees in place to protect landlord and tenant monies.

     

    1. Deposit lodged in approved scheme

    By law, the deposit paid by tenants on a rental property must be registered with a government approved tenancy deposit scheme. Make sure you ask potential letting agents for details of the schemes that they use. Also check that they will supply confirmation when a deposit has been registered.

     

    If you are a landlord and need experienced letting agents to let or manage your property, Western Lettings would love to hear from you. We are highly trained, licensed, award winning ALRA registered, letting agents in Glasgow.  Get in touch or give us a call on 0141 357 0436

    The post 8 Simple Rules for Finding the Best Letting Agent appeared first on Western Lettings.


    Top Tips to Increase the Rental Value of Your Property

    Most landlords want to achieve the best possible rental income from their property but sometimes struggle to attract new tenants at the price they would like. As experienced letting agents in Glasgow we know the rental market extremely well and can advise and help our clients make the changes needed to get the best price. […] The post Top Tips to Increase the Rental Value of Your Property appeared first on Western...

    Most landlords want to achieve the best possible rental income from their property but sometimes struggle to attract new tenants at the price they would like. As experienced letting agents in Glasgow we know the rental market extremely well and can advise and help our clients make the changes needed to get the best price. Here are some of our top tips: 

    1. Always make sure your property is in pristine condition from top to bottom. Give everywhere a really deep clean paying particular attention to the kitchen and bathroom areas. Bad smells and general uncleanliness are very off putting for potential tenants. Cleaning properly takes time and effort so if you are unable or don’t want to do this yourself, arrange for a professional cleaning company to do it for you.

     

    1. Redecorate tired rooms with a fresh coat of paint to make them instantly brighter and cleaner looking. It is usually best to keep colours fairly neutral to appeal to the largest number of people. Similarly either replace or thoroughly clean any old flooring or dirty stained carpets.

     

    1. Remove all unnecessary clutter from your property to make rooms appear as spacious as possible. In addition try to find ways of increasing the amount of free storage space. As tenants view a property they will be looking out for adequate space to hold all their own personal items. If you can, convert any nooks and crannies into usable storage areas and add shelving to any large cupboards.

     

    1. It goes without saying that any damp problems should always be dealt with properly by professionals. Patch up jobs rarely work for very long and it is always much better to fix the root cause of the damp problem rather than try and disguise it. As well as damaging your property long term, dampness has a very distinctive smell which will definitely deter tenants.

     

    1. If your property is furnished, make sure the quality of the furniture is up to the standard that the tenants you hope to attract would expect. Old worn out sofas or chipped wardrobes can be very off putting to potential tenants. Replacing old scruffy items with new or good quality second hand ones can be relatively inexpensive but make a big difference to the rent that can be achieved.

     

    1. Adding a few carefully chosen soft furnishings e.g. contrasting cushions on the sofa, soft throws etc. and some nice lamps in the living areas can add a touch of colour and interest to a property. Just be careful to not go overboard as tenants will usually want to be able to stamp some of their own style on their new home.

     

    1. If there is space, providing extras such as a dishwasher or tumble dryer etc. can be a good idea. Tenants will often be willing to pay a bit more for the convenience these items offer.

     

    1. If your property is in a block of flats and it doesn’t have a communal door entry system it might be worth trying to arrange with the other flat owners to get one installed. Many people will be prepared to pay a bit more rent for the peace of mind that comes from having a security system which regulates who has access to the building.

    If you are a landlord looking for help to let and manage your property we’d love to hear from you.  We are an award winning letting agents in Glasgow and can guide you through the whole process from start to finish. Get in touch or give us a call on 0141 357 0436

     

    The post Top Tips to Increase the Rental Value of Your Property appeared first on Western Lettings.


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