Friday, 7 December 2018

Mental health support .... all part of the day job for a letting agent

Latest instalment of The Key Place's regular blog 'Confessions of a  . . . Letting Agent'



Landlords often ask us what goes on behind the scenes at The Key Place and so we thought we would share our experiences, and what we have learned from those experiences, with you.

I have working in lettings for many years and can categorically state that in this job there are no 2 days the same.  I look back and think there are many times when I or my staff could have taken the easy option and been less helpful to our tenants, however often taking the roundabout route results in a more positive outcome for our landlords.  Here is one such example.

We had a lovely Italian tenant, Luigi, who was a long term tenant in a flat in the south side of Edinburgh.  He was the sort of tenant all letting agents and landlords want – a professional who worked in IT, paid his rent in full 6 months in advance, kept the flat clean and tidy, was never a bother.  I used to put extra time in my diary to do inspections at Luigi’s flat as he always made me a strong Italian coffee and we would sit and put the world to rights for a while.

After being a tenant for years Luigi became very paranoid.  Whether it was stress related, a mental health issue or down to too much strong Italian coffee, I will never know.  However as a result of the paranoia Luigi requested the locks be changed on his front door.  He wanted an additional lock fitted, so that he would have a Yale, a Chubb and a new extra Chubb lock.  His logic for this was that when tradesmen visited the flat, only the new Chubb would be locked – they would therefore only be given this key, and not the other 2.  Luigi was very anxious that we meet this demand and was really quite insistent.

Although a strange request, we agreed.  Thinking about Luigi as a tenant, we decided we wanted to keep him.  Often it is better to make a small compromise to keep a good long term tenant than to refuse help and risk losing them.

Sadly Luigi has left now and gone back to Italy to be with his family.  We miss him as a tenant and wish him well, although I do hope he is staying away from the Italian coffee!

For information about the services we offer, please visit our website www.thekeyplace.co.uk



#bathgate #bonnyrigg #bo’ness #boness #dalkeith #edinburgh #falkirk #grangemouth #kelso #linlithgow #livingston #loanhead #musselburgh #penicuik #stirling #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #firsttimebuyers #brexit #hardbrexit #cliffedge

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Hard Brexit - How Would It Impact Penicuik House Prices?


It seems that Brexit has been around for a long, long time but more and more the concept of a hard Brexit has been taking centre stage in the Brexit discussions recently. 

I am often being asked how a hard Brexit would affect the Penicuik property market so I am going to try and give you what I consider a fair and unbiased piece on what would happen if a hard Brexit takes place in March 2019.

After the weather and football, the British obsession on the UK property market is without comparison to any other country in the world. I swear The Daily Mail has the state of the country’s property market on its standard weekly rotation of front-page stories! There are better economic indexes and statistics to judge the economy (and more importantly) the property market. The number of transactions are just as important, if not more, as an indicator of the state of the property market.

Worries that a ‘Yes’ vote in the Brexit referendum would lead to a fast crash in Penicuik (and national) property values were unfounded, although the growth of property values in Penicuik has reduced since the referendum in the summer of 2016.

Now, it’s true the Penicuik property market is seeing less people sell and move and the property values are rising at a slightly slower rate in 2018 compared to the heady days of a few years, but before we all start panicking, let’s ask ourselves, what exactly has happened in the last couple of years since the Brexit vote?

Midlothian house prices have risen by 13.41% since the EU Referendum…

 …and yes, in 2018 we are on track (and again this is projected) to finish on 1,850 property transactions (i.e. the number of people selling their home) … which is slightly more than 2017 … and higher still than the long term 10 year average of 1,402 transactions in the local council area.


So, it appears the EU vote hasn’t caused many major issues so far, however, if there was a large economic jolt, that could be a different game, yet how likely is that?

 The property market is mostly influenced by interest rates and salaries.

A hard Brexit would subdue wage growth to some degree, yet the level of the change will depend on the undetermined type of Brexit deal (or no deal). If trade barriers are imposed on a hard Brexit, imports will become more expensive, inflation will rise and growth will fall, although at least we are not in the Euro, meaning this could be tempered by the exchange rate of the Pound against the Euro. In plain language, a hard Brexit will be worse for house prices than a deal.

So why did the Governor of the Bank of England suggest a disorderly hard Brexit would affect house prices by up to 35%?

I mean it was only nine years ago we went through the global financial crisis with the credit crunch. Nationally, in most locations including Penicuik, property values dropped in value by 10-15% over a three to four year period. If we had a similar percentage drop, it would only take us back to the property value levels we were achieving in 2016.

And let’s not forget that the Bank of England introduced some measures to ensure we didn’t have another bubble in any future property market. One of the biggest factors of the 2009 property crash was the level of irresponsible lending by the banks. The Bank of England Mortgage Market Review of 2014 forced Banks to lend on how much borrowers had left after regular expenditure, rather than on their income. Income multipliers that were 8 or 9 times income pre-credit crunch were significantly curtailed (meaning a Bank could only offer a small number of residential mortgages above 4.5 times income), and that Banks had to assess whether the borrower could afford the mortgage if interest rates at the time of lending rose by three percentage points over the first five years of the loan … meaning all the major possible stumbling blocks have been mostly weeded out of the system.

So, what next?

A lot of Penicuik homeowners might wait until 2019 to move, meaning less choice for buyers, especially in the desirable areas of Penicuik. For Penicuik landlords, Penicuik tenants are also likely to hang off moving until next year, although I suspect (as we had this on the run up to the 2015 General Election when it was thought Labour might get into Government), during the lull, there could be some Penicuik buy to let bargains to be had from people having to move (Brexit or No Brexit) or the usual panic selling at times of uncertainty.

Brexit, No Brexit, Hard Brexit … in the whole scheme of things, it will be another footnote to history in a decade. We have survived the Oil Crisis, 20%+ Hyperinflation in the 1970’s, Mass Unemployment in the 1980s, Interest Rates of 15% in 1990’s, the Global Financial Crash in 2009 … whatever happens, happens. People still need houses and a roof over their head. If property values drop, it is only a paper drop in value … because you lose when you actually sell. Long term, we aren’t building enough homes, and so, as I always say, property is a long game no matter what happens – the property market will always come good.

Growth in UK property values as well as in Penicuik seems fated to slow over the next five to ten years, whatever sort of Brexit takes place.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you would like some advice with your potential investment, please call us (on 01968 674601), come and see us in our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk).


#penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #firsttimebuyers #brexit #hardbrexit #cliffedge

Friday, 30 November 2018

Tenancy deposits ..... what to do



Welcome to the next instalment of The Key Place’s regular Scottish Private Rented Sector regulation updates ..... as there are over 150 laws that apply to renting out a property in Scotland, there is a lot to know to ensure that we are doing thing right.

Today we are discussing tenancy deposits. 

It has been six years since the Scottish Government introduced rules that require all deposits to be held by an independent third party tenancy deposit scheme.  I believe that this was been a huge step forward in introducing some trust into the sector.  At the time, people were saying that it won’t make any difference as all landlords and letting agents were, of course, managing deposits in the correct manner ..... but clearly this was not the case as you only have to look at the number of letting agents that were sold around the time of the introduction of these new rules to think that some of their deposit accounts may not have been full!

Legally, anybody who takes a deposit for a Private Rented Sector property needs to lodge it with a third party Tenancy Deposit Scheme within 30 days of a tenancy starting.  There are three Tenancy Deposit Schemes:
  • Safedeposits Scotland.
  • my deposits scotland.
  • Letting Protection Scotland.

A key point to note is that a deposit is a tenant’s unless the landlord/letting agent prove that the landlord should get some/all of the deposit at the end of a tenancy ..... this can only be done at the end of a tenancy.
At the start of a tenancy, you need to do the following:
  • Take the deposit.
  • Lodge it with a Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
  • Formally tell the tenant you have done this (there is a prescribed form to do this).

During a tenancy, the deposit stays in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
At the end of a tenancy, you need to do the following:
  • The landlord/letting agent and the tenant should seek to agree the split of the deposit.
  • If both agree, ask the Tenancy Deposit Scheme to pay out on the basis of the agreed split.
  • If both the tenant and the landlord/letting agent do not agree, then the fun starts .....

If the landlord/letting agent and the tenant do not agree how the deposit should be split, then the case goes to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme’s arbitration systems.  In this case:
  • The landlord/letting agent give the Tenancy Deposit Scheme their view of how the deposit should be split between the landlord and the tenant along with the evidence backing up this view.
  • The tenant does the same thing.
  • Once the Tenancy Deposit Scheme gets this information, it passes it to their arbiter who decides how the deposit is split based on the EVIDENCE only ..... they do not speak to the landlord/letting agent or the tenant.

At The Key Place, we have extensive experience of tenancy deposit schemes including the arbitration process which is the most complicated aspect.  Based on this, here are some helpful hints:
  • Always follow the TDS rules .... there are fines of up to three times the deposit amount if you don’t.
  • The law has been amended recently to make it really clear that money received from a tenant can only be rent or deposit ..... it cannot be anything else whatever name you may give it.
  • Evidence is key to getting any money from a tenant’s deposit
  • Key pieces of evidence are:


      Detailed inventory at the start of the tenancy.

      Check out report at the end of the tenancy.

      Detailed rent records.
  • Arbitration submissions .... these are a wee bit of science and a wee bit of art so it is best to get somebody who has experience of these to manage the process for you.

We at The Key Place are always happy to help with deposit scheme queries, just give us a shout.  





    Thursday, 29 November 2018

    Penicuik three bed end terraced house buy to let opportunity


    Today’s buy to let opportunity from The Penicuik Property Blog’s is a three bed end terraced house in Meggat Place.

    The property has a large lounge and a modern fitted kitchen on the ground floor and three bedrooms and a bathroom (with a shower over the bath) upstairs.  It has gas central heating and double glazing.  There are easily maintained gardens to the front and rear and parking is on the street.




    Turning to the financials.  The house is on the market with McEwan Frazer for offers over £129,995 so lets say it goes for £145,000.  A property like this in this area should rent for around £825 pcm which give you a yield of 6.8%.

    If you would like any advice on buying a property to let, feel free to give me a call 01968 674601, email me on (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk) pop into the office for a chat (6 Bank Street, Penicuik).


    #penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #propertyinvesting


    Friday, 23 November 2018

    Welcome to our monthly blog - Confessions of a Letting Agent.



    Landlords often ask us what goes on behind the scenes at The Key Place and so we thought we would share our experiences, and what we have learned from those experiences, with you.

    This week I thought I would tell you about a high end property which we manage in a prestigious Edinburgh location.  We have looked after this property for a number of years, without any problems.  Well, apart from once . . .

    The property is a converted warehouse with a stunning interior.  Included in the furnishings are a baby grand piano and original art works by artists including John Bellany and Peter Howson.  We advised the owner to remove these prior to letting however he declined. 

    The property was up for rent and I had an enquiry from a local businessman who was keen to view.  I met him myself.  At the viewing he was overwhelmingly interested in the artwork, more so than the property itself I felt.  I have to say that I became a bit suspicious about his motives, as he enthused about the paintings.

    The businessman came back to me after the viewing to say that he would like to take the property.  I sent him an application pack.  Although his references checked out, something still didn’t sit right with me.  As he owned a business locally, I took a drive by to have a look.  To my surprise the business didn’t actually exist.  There was a business with a similar sounding name but not the one he claimed to own.  I asked him to confirm the business name and address and he came back with the same information.

    While I was snooping around, the businessman phoned wanting to know about the progress of his application.  As he had said he was moving in with a wife and son and they hadn’t seen the property, I suggested a second viewing to let them have a look.  He said he would get back to me on this.  A few days later he called to set up a viewing. 

    I met the family at the property and was immediately aware of the very strange dynamic between the 3 of them.  It was as if the businessman had never met the boy and the wife seemed more like an acquaintance who wasn’t particularly interested in looking around the place.  Once again the chap spent almost the entire viewing looking at the paintings.

    Well by now I had convinced myself that he certainly had the potential to be an art thief. I shared my concerns with a colleague who was in agreement.  I decided to speak to the owner, who was aware that someone was interested in taking the property.  I told him the whole story and advised him not to take these people as tenants.  He was happy to trust my judgement and so I let them know that their application had been unsuccessful.

    I think in business it is essential to listen to your instincts.  It would have been easy to take the businessman’s money to secure a let but who knows what may have happened next.  Rather than choosing this option I stood back and looked at the bigger picture, and at the possible long term repercussions if my suspicions were proved to be correct.  In the end I decided to give up the short term gain in favour of doing what I instinctively felt was right for the landlord.  Shortly after, I secured a good long term let for the landlord, and was able to sleep easy at night!  To this day, the paintings remain in situ.

     



    #bathgate #bonnyrigg #bo’ness #boness #dalkeith #edinburgh #falkirk #grangemouth #kelso #linlithgow #livingston #loanhead #musselburgh #penicuik #stirling #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #firsttimebuyers #brexit #hardbrexit #cliffedge


    Thursday, 22 November 2018

    Property values in Penicuik have increased by £118.97 per week


    A Penicuik landlord of mine phoned me last week to have a chat about the rising property values in Penicuik. He owns a varied portfolio of rental properties, primarily in Penicuik, and is thinking of buying more properties so he was interested in comparing the increase in property values around the area.

    Over the last 5 years the average property value in Penicuik has risen by just over £30,932, from £159,577 to £190,509. This is a 19.38% increase or £118.97 per week.  When you dig a bit deeper, the values for flats has performed the best in percentage increase terms with the average increase of flats over the last 5 years being £28,911 or 27.56% or £111.20 per week whereas terraced houses have performed the worst in percentage increase terms as they have only seen an increase of value of £18,176 or 13.25% or £69.91 per week over this period.  The value of detached and semi-detached houses have increased at levels in between – semi-detached houses have increased by 24% and detached houses by 16%.

    When we looked at some of the surrounding towns, what we found was interesting as their property prices have all increased slightly more than Penicuik other than Bilston which has increase less.  Musselburgh has had the highest average increase in property value of the surrounding towns at around £132.85 per week, followed by Loanhead at £130.63 per week, Dalkeith at £128.79 per week and Bilston at £113.20 per week.

    So overall average property values in the area have risen which suggests that the local property market is remaining strong although, as always, there are pockets that are doing better than others.

    When considering this landlord’s buy to let portfolio, the rental values have also been increasing strongly over the last 5 years particularly in Penicuik.

    So with rising property prices and rents, it could be a good time to invest in the property market in Penicuik.

    We hope you find our posts useful.  If you would like some advice with your potential investment, please call us (on 01968 674601), come and see us in our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk).


    #penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #privaterentedsector #prs #firsttimebuyers

    Friday, 16 November 2018

    Get in quick for this Penicuik built buy to let opportunity


    The Penicuik Property Blog’s buy to let opportunity is a new to the market (9 November 2018) three bedroom house on Windsor Drive, Penicuik that I recommend you move fast on as I think that it sell quickly.

    The property has a large lounge, a fitted dining kitchen and a bathroom on the ground floor and three bedrooms upstairs.  It has gas central heating and double glazing.  I would suggest you check whether the bathroom has a shower as renters want this and it is not clear from the advert there this property has one.

    Outside, there are gardens to the front and rear and a drive way at the front for private parking.



    Running the number on this one.  The flat is on the market with Purplebricks for offers over £130,000 so lets say it goes for £145,000 (as I think it will sell quickly).  A property like this in this area should rent for around £800 pcm which give you a yield of 6.6%.

    If you would like any advice on buying a property to let, feel free to give me a call 01968 674601, email me on (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk) pop into the office for a chat (6 Bank Street, Penicuik).


    #penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #propertyinvesting

    Thursday, 1 November 2018

    Penicuik stone built buy to let opportunity


    The Penicuik Property Blog’s buy to let opportunity is a flat in a traditional stone build block in Imrie Place, Penicuik .... so it’s handy for the centre of town.

    It is a 1 bedroom, main door flat.  The property has a lounge with a modern kitchen off it, a double bedroom and a shower room.  It has gas central heating and double glazing. 

    Outside, there is a garden to the rear .... which apparently needs some work to ‘bring it up to scratch’ .... and on street parking.



    Running the number on this one.  The flat is on the market with Struart & Stuart for offers over £88,000 so lets say it goes for £97,000.  A property like this in this area should rent for around £625 pcm which give you a yield of 7.7% which is fairly god for a traditional stone built property given their rarity.

    If you would like any advice on buying a property to let, feel free to give me a call 01968 674601, email me on (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk) pop into the office for a chat (6 Bank Street, Penicuik).


    #penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #propertyinvesting

    Friday, 26 October 2018

    Confessions of a ..... Letting Agent! Issue 2


    Landlords often ask us what goes on behind the scenes at The Key Place and so we thought we would share our experiences, and what we have learned from those experiences, with you.

    This week I’ve got a story for you about how The Key Place goes the extra mile to help our tenants, and therefore our landlords too.

    We had a tenant in full time paid employment (a supervisory role), who came with great references.  Very sadly his grandfather died, who he was very close to.  As a direct result of this, the tenant went off the rails.  He split up with his long term partner, and got the sack from work for not doing his job properly.  He was unable to pay his rent and while we were chasing him for non-payment, he disappeared.

    The tenant was a local lad, and as The Key Place is largely staffed by local people, they started asking around to see if they could find him.  Using our fantastic contacts, we did locate him, and arranged for him to come into the office to discuss how we could find a resolution to the situation.

    We managed to speak to the company he worked for who, once they understood what had been happening, offered him a job, although at a lower grade.  The tenant had racked up a few debts, including his rent, and so couldn’t afford to rent a flat from us anymore.  We worked with the landlord to allow the tenant out of his lease, so that we could re-let the flat as soon as possible and get rent in for the landlord.  The tenant left the property in great condition, and moved in with family.  We set up a repayment plan with the tenant so that we could recover the missing rent on behalf of the landlord.

    It just goes to show that there may be more to a non-paying tenant than meets the eye.  Rather than writing this off, The Key Place managed to work with the tenant to resolve the problem.  The landlord now has a good long term let on his property and is also recouping the lost rent. The course of action we followed resulted in the best outcome for the landlord – our extensive experience of the practicalities, as opposed to just the laws/rules of letting, allowed us to reach this conclusion.   And the tenant is happy and getting his life back on track.  All’s well that ends well.

    www.thekeyplace.co.uk


    Thursday, 25 October 2018

    Penicuik Landlords - what you should check before arranging a viewing?


    For the sake of one or two minutes on the phone, you can find out enough from a prospective tenant that may mean they won’t be suitable for your property, or the property won’t be suitable for them.  Sometimes a tenant will maintain they “just want to view it”, but to skip this step could potentially waste both yours and their time.  So, here are a few things to check before arranging a viewing.

    This ensures there are the right number and right type of tenants for the property. For instance, I recently had two couples and a friend wanting to share a three-bedroom house. Five adults was probably more wear and tear on the property than I would like but, more importantly, to house them would mean the landlord having to apply for a HMO licence from the council. Conversely, I had two friends wanting to rent a two-bedroom apartment; not a problem I said, but are you happy with the second bedroom being a small single? They weren’t, and thus checking this saved me and them the bother of viewing a flat that wasn’t appropriate for their needs. And then there was the time a parent wanted to move from their flat to the house I had available so their child could have a garden…until I pointed out that (as per the advert) there was no garden.

    There’s little point in conducting a viewing only for the tenants to fall in love with a property they won’t pass your referencing criteria for. I’ve written before about the ‘affordability criteria’ commonly used within the industry, which is that the tenants should earn at least 2.5 times the monthly rent per month or 30 times the monthly rent per annum. So…ask them the question e.g. if the rent is £950pcm, ask if the proposed tenants earn in excess of £2,375 per month or £28,500 per year. If they don’t, see whether an alternative solution can be found, such as having a guarantor (guarantors generally need to earn 3 and 36 times the monthly rent per month and per annum respectively) or for them to pay additional monies upfront.

    Sometimes properties are vacant and thus available to rent immediately, so it’s beneficial to find tenants who can move in as promptly as possible. On other occasions the property might not be ready for a couple of months, in which case it’s little good showing it to someone who needs to move within a fortnight.

    You may also discover that they’re just looking to rent for a short period, which may not fit with what you’re looking for if you want long-term tenants.

    If you don’t wish to rent to students or tenants with pets, now’s the time to check and save everyone from a wasted viewing. It works both ways too; invite any questions from the tenants or identify what interested them about the property to ensure their needs will be met.


    Checking all of the above in a polite conversational manner will save everyone time and potential frustration, without it needing to be intrusive or off-putting to your potential future tenants.

    If you would like more information on ‘vetting’ tenants, please get in touch – you can call me (01968 674601), pop in to see me at our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email me (news@thekeyplace.co.uk).



    #penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #propertyinvesting

    Thursday, 18 October 2018

    Time to negotiate on this Penicuik buy to let opportunity?


    The buy to let opportunity from the Penicuik Property Blog today is one you need to go in with your eyes open to.


    It is a 3 bedroom, upper villa.  The property has a large lounge room, a modern fitted kitchen, 3 good sized bedrooms bedrooms, a modern shower room and a garden to the rear.

    The property is in excellent decorative order throughout and the kitchen and bathroom look like they have been recently been refurbished.


    However, a few points to note are that it is an upper villa, it has a shower room rather than a bathroom and it is on a main road, all of which will reduce the people interested in letting the property.

    In addition, it is worth noting that the property has been on the market since June which is a long time in this market.


    Let’s do the maths.  This house is on the market with Mov8 for a fixed price of £136,000.  A property like this in this area should rent for around £750 pcm which give you a yield of 6.6%.
    Although the property is on for a fixed price, I suspect that there may be scope for negotiating the price given the draw backs noted above and as the property has been on the market since June .... a price of £128,500 gets you to a yield of 7%.

    If you would like any advice on buying a property to let, feel free to give me a call 01968 674601, email me on (news@thekeyplace.co.uk) pop into the office for a chat (6 Bank Street, Penicuik).


    #penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #propertyinvesting

    Friday, 12 October 2018

    Welcome to our new blog - Confessions of a Letting Agent



    Landlords often ask us what goes on behind the scenes at The Key Place and so we thought we would share our experiences, and what we have learned from those experiences, with you.

    I had a call from one of my team to say that a tenant of ours had stormed into the office shouting and swearing and demanding money to stay in a hotel. 

    A wee bit of background to this:  a landlord that we only find tenants for (TFO) has the flat upstairs from his, and there was a pretty big leak from her flat into the flat below.  The TFO landlord lives overseas and we don’t hold insurance for her, and so there was a delay in getting the leak fixed and the works dealt with.  Our angry tenant had to move out and we agreed to put him up in alternative accommodation or to give him an allowance to stay with friends and family.  He chose to stay with friends and family. 

    So why the sudden change of heart that led to him storming into our office demanding cash to stay in hotel?  A few months ago this would have seemed completely out of character as he was a good tenant with a secure job who paid his rent on time.  I was suspicious about what was going on.  Well I called him myself and told him that we had found him a B&B locally and that I would pay for his room directly, and give him an allowance for food.  He wasn’t happy with this offer and wanted the cash instead.  In fact he not only wanted the cash, he was desperate for the cash.  This got me wondering what for?  Drugs? Drug debts? Certainly something that was causing him a lot of stress.  Having called his bluff, I never heard from him again. 

    This got me thinking about what had happened.  The tenant was acting irrationally as he clearly wanted cash instead of just a bed.  However I chose not to offer cash, and by calling his bluff, I found out that it wasn’t a B&B he was after at all. 

    The other consideration here is the overseas landlord trying to manage her flat from overseas.  Had her property been fully managed by The Key Place, the problem would have been dealt with much quicker.  We offer insurance to our fully managed landlords and so could have actioned the claim on her behalf too.

    This is just one of many real life stories in our new Confessions of a Letting Agent blog. 


    #penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #propertyinvesting

    Thursday, 11 October 2018

    Get in quick for this Penicuik house buy to let opportunity or you will miss it!



    Today’s buy to let opportunity from the Penicuik Property Blog is a fairly standard, 2 bed property at 79 Windsor Drive in Penicuik.

    It is a 2 bedroom, semi-detached house.  The property has a large lounge/dining room with a conservatory off the back adding more living space, a fitted kitchen, 2 bedrooms, a family bathroom with a shower over the bath, mono blocked drive way to the front that looks like it can take 2 cars and a very ‘low maintenance’ garden to the rear.

    The decor and floor coverings are neutral.


    Let’s do the maths.  This house is on the market with Deans Properties for offers over £125,000 so let’s say it goes for £135,000.  A house like this in this area should rent for £725 pcm, possibly £750 pcm.  Assuming a rent of £725 pcm gets you to a yield of 6.4%.
    Although just on the market, this property is likely to sell quickly so you will need to move fast if you are interested in it.

    If you would like any advice on buying a property to let, feel free to give me a call 01968 674601, email me on (news@thekeyplace.co.uk) pop into the office for a chat (6 Bank Street, Penicuik).


    #penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #propertyinvesting

    Friday, 5 October 2018

    Criminal offence ..... call to action



    All letting agents now require to be registered with, and regulated by, the Scottish Government.  It is a criminal (not civil) offence to trade as a letting agent after 1 October 2018 if you are not registered with, and regulated by, the Scottish Government.

    Registered letting agents require to adhere to the Scottish Government Letting Agent Code of Practice which means that, amongst other things, they have to have suitable policies and procedures in place, there staff need to be appropriately qualified, and they have to control their clients’ money sensibly and they have to have professional indemnity and client money insurances in place.


    Call to action ..... landlords

    If they use a letting agent, landlords now have a duty to only use a registered one to ensure that they are legally compliant.  I keep hearing more and more practical reasons why this is the case, for example, did you know that you will be refused a mortgage on a buy-to-let property if you use an agent who is not registered?

    Landlords please use a registered letting agent.

    Call to action ..... letting agents


    There is significant work in getting a letting agent into a good enough shape to be able to be come regulated.  If letting agents who have not registered are looking to sell their business given the hassle involved, get in touch as I know people who are looking to buy such letting agents – they have the resource (both £££ and people) to complete a quick deal.