Friday, 19 April 2019

Why Penicuik landlords need to know how to identify Japanese Knotweed


The Penicuik Property Blog today features an article from a guest contributor, Jake Ryan of Wise Knotwood Solutions all about Japanese Knotweed ….. something that all landlords need to be be aware of.  Over to Jake …..

Spring begins with a warning for landlords

It has been estimated that Japanese Knotweed costs the British economy an astounding £166 million each year. The invasive plant has been listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the worst invasive species globally so it is critical that landlords familiarise themselves with the destructive plant, especially in spring.


The spring of 2018 was dominated by snowy and icy conditions that caused destruction all over the U.K. However, when it comes to invasive plants, this destructive weather was actually a blessing in disguise as it delayed the emergence of Japanese Knotweed by up to two months. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said this year as the unusually warmer weather has led to Japanese Knotweed emerging even earlier than normal. This is a serious concern and both landlords and tenants must remain vigilant as the invasive plant has the potential to devalue a property by tens of thousands of pounds.

Why should landlords worry about Japanese Knoyweed?

As Japanese Knotweed becomes dormant in winter, the best time to tackle the plant is in spring before it has the opportunity to grow to dangerous heights. Japanese Knotweed often goes undetected as due to its attractive appearance, homeowners tend not to notice the plant at all. This makes the invasive plant even more dangerous as if it remains undetected. Knotweed is capable of causing disastrous consequences to the structural integrity of a building. The plant is even capable of growing through the tiniest holes and gaps in masonry and concrete if given the opportunity. Japanese Knotweed should be of significant interest to any landlords looking to sell their property as an increasing amount of banks are now refusing to provide mortgages on properties affected by the plant.


How to recognise Japanese Knotweed in Spring

Spring is arguably one of the best times to spot Japanese Knotweed as the plant is at its weakest at this time due to it becoming dormant in Winter. Knotweed can become increasingly costly to treat so it is important to treat it as soon as you notice the plant.

Depending on weather conditions, Knotweed will normally first re-emerge in March in the form of pink and red buds shooting up from the ground. The plant grows a dangerous rate of 10cm daily so it is appearance is prone to change. The plant in its early stages is often compared to asparagus spears that will quickly develop into thick and hollow canes. These canes are similar in appearance to bamboo but come with distinctive pattern of purple speckles. As the weeks go by and its appearance continues to change, leaves will gradually begin to unroll from the canes as the plant grows bigger. The green leaves will contain a zig zag pattern on the stems and shaped similar to a heart but with a pointy end. The plant is capable of growing up to 7 metres in any direction so it can soon grow out of control if left untreated.


I’m a landlord with Japanese Knotweed – what’s next?

Japanese Knotweed can cause incredible damage to properties and significantly affect a property’s value but it is important for landlords to remember this damage is completely unavoidable if the plant is treated in time. It is advisable that homeowners do not attempt to treat the plant themselves as incorrect treatment can cause further damage which will result in a more expensive treatment programme in the long run. The longer Knotweed is left untreated, the more expensive it will be to remove from your property.

If you suspect you have Japanese Knotweed on your property then don’t hesitate to have the suspect plant examined by a professionally trained Knotweed surveyor before it grows out of control. Alternatively, upload photos of the suspicious looking plant to Wise Knotweed Solutions today to get a free assessment from one of our expert surveyors who will tell you whether or not the suspect plant is indeed Knotweed.   

By Jake Ryan of Wise Knotweed Solutions



Friday, 5 April 2019

Criminal offence ..... call to action for Penicuik landlords and letting agents


All letting agents are required to be registered with, and regulated by, the Scottish Government.  It has been 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.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Penicuik landlords – you can have your cake and eat half of it!


In Penicuik, I am speaking to more and more landlords, be they seasoned professional landlords or FTL’s (first time landlords), as they read The Penicuik Property Blog that shows that the Penicuik rental market is doing reasonably well, with rents and property values rising. 

When I was having a chat with one of these landlords over a cup of tea in Haigs Cafe the other day, he asked me two completely unrelated questions that got me thinking.  The questions were, how much faster are Edinburgh property prices rising than Penicuik ones (he has properties in both places) and how much he should be paying per square foot?

Interestingly, we both thought that obviously Edinburgh property prices would be rising faster than Penicuik property prices but, going by my mantra of ‘never assume nuthing’, I did my research and was astounded by what I found.

Over the last twenty years, property values in Penicuik have risen by 238% compared to ….. wait for it ….. 238% in Edinburgh ie they have increased by the same amount.


This is an interesting result as it half turns the historical view of the capital growth vs income see saw on its head.  The capital growth vs income see saw says that the higher the capital growth the lower the rental yield and vice versa. 

However, the property values research I did means that capital growth been the same in Edinburgh and Penicuik but your investment money also goes further in Penicuik as properties are cheaper meaning there will be higher a rental yield – in Penicuik you can get easily 6-8% whereas in Edinburgh you are lucky if you get 5% per year.

So looks like ‘you can have your cake and eat half of it’!

What about the ‘how much he should be paying per square foot’ question I hear you say?  Well, that’s a topic for a future blog post .... watch this space.

Whether you are a landlord, a ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ addict or just a homeowner who is interested in what is happening to the local property market, then please visit The Penicuik Property Blog (www.thepenicuikpropertyblog.co.uk), contact me for a chat (phone on 01968 674601), come and see me in my office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email me (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk).


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

Friday, 29 March 2019

Welcome to the latest instalment of our regular blog - Confessions of a Penicuik 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.

If I had a penny for the number of times that I had rolled my eyes in despair at something a contractor had done, then I’d be a rich man by now (of course that is with the exception of our regular fantastic trades guys and you know who you are!).

We sent Ron the painter to do some work in a property we manage in the borders.  The tenant was able to go and stay with friends for the weekend and so it suited her to have the work done then.  Ron was happy to oblige, even although it was a weekend, and we explicitly explained that he would need to travel each day to the property or find accommodation as he wouldn’t be able to stay in the property.

On Monday morning there was a phone call from the irate tenant, who said that Ron had spent the weekend in her home, and she felt that her personal space had been violated.  On further questioning, we established that a friend of hers had walked past the property over the weekend and had looked in the window.  She quite clearly saw 2 deckchairs, a table and some bedding.  The tenant also claimed that dishes had been used and washed up but not put away. 

Well we spoke to Ron who said that he had taken his wife away for the weekend and that they had both slept in his van.  Now if you could see Ron’s van, you would know that is not possible as it is chocka full of painting stuff.  No self-respecting partner would agree to sleep in there!
Unfortunately the job was not finished and the tenant refused to have Ron back in her home, and so we had to find a different painter to complete the job .... and we never used Ron again!

Over many years of property letting, we have built up a list of reliable, quality contractors but getting to this point has been difficult and we have parted company with many trades’ guys along the way.  There is also the issue of quality versus cost.  Landlords often want the cheapest job possible rather than paying a wee bit more for quality.  Maybe if Ron had quoted higher, then he could have treated his partner to a nice B&B!

For information on all of The Key Place services, please visit our website, www.thekeyplace.co.uk.



Thursday, 28 March 2019

Sought after Buy to Let family house in Penicuik



Many people who rent properties in Penicuik have families so there is a high demand for good quality houses that suit families and today’s The Penicuik Property Blog has one.

The property is a three-bed mid terraced house in West Cairn Crescent.  It has a very large – and I mean very large – lounge dining room, a modern fitted kitchen and lots of hall space on the ground floor, three bedrooms and a modern fitted bathroom with shower over the bath on the upper floor, and gardens to the front and rear (there is a shed in the rear garden).  Parking is on-street but there is plenty of space for that.



Running the number on this one.  The house is on the market with Stuart & Stuart for offers over £132,000 so lets say it goes for £140,000.  A property like this in this area should rent for around £825 pcm which give you a yield of 7.1% which is good for a family house in this area.
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

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Investment properties in Falkirk come in all shapes and sizes



I recently attended a local meeting in Falkirk where I got recognised as being the Falkirk Property Blog chap (well you have to be recognised for something, why not that!).  A question I was being asked repeatedly was ''What is the ideal property to invest in in Falkirk?''.  So I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

When considering a buy-to-let purchase what is believed to be a good deal will vary from person to person.  Everyone will have a different budget and varying preferences on location, style of property, condition etc as well as having different financial situations. That isn’t unusual, no different to everyone who has a different taste in music (I’m a 1980’s person myself with love of Abba if you are interested!).

I have always been of the opinion personally that “spreading the risk” is wise if you have a large portfolio.  A few flats, a few houses, a couple in the New Carron, some in the centre of town etc, a few in Polmont makes sense. All your eggs in one basket is a risk if something unpredicted were to occur.

I am also of the opinion that buying two properties for £90,000 is better than one house at £180,000.  If you choose wisely two properties at £90,000 might rent for £500 a month each, but you’d struggle to find a £180,000 house that would rent for anywhere near £1,000.

Then there is the view that flats change hands more regularly than houses, so for longevity of tenancy buying a house might be wiser. But then these houses are rented by families with children, and children might lead to more wear and tear on the property, the “what if’s” are endless.

Also, you need to be nimble when investing in property and change your investment strategy to take account of market, legislative and tax changes.  Take tax as an example.  The ‘normal’ element of Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (the Scottish stamp duty to you and me) starts being charged at £125,000 and this is meaning that certain buyers buying properties at less than £125,000 to avoid this tax …. Although I would point out that the Additional Dwellings Tax element of LBTT normally applies to the whole cost of a buy to let property.

In addition, there are a number of fairly ‘fixed costs’ associated with renting out a property – for example, registrations and safety certificates – and, given their fixed nature, these are proportionally higher for cheaper properties.

One thing is for certain, demand for one, two and three bedroom properties in the rental sector is high which means that there is room to trial many different stratagies.

We have developed a checklist which guide peoples to work out what sort of property is likely to fit their circumstances.  Please get in touch is you want a copy.

In short, don’t assume.  Feel free to get in touch and ask me what I think about your plans. I would be happy to cast an eye over the property you are considering buying and let you know what I think the pro’s and the con’s of it are – call me on 01324 469840 or email me on robert@thekeyplace.co.uk.

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Falkirk property market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Falkirk out of the many of properties on the market irrespective of which agent is selling it, then visit my blog, the Falkirk Property Blog, or sign up for our monthly newsletter, the Falkirk Property News.


Thursday, 14 February 2019

Property bargain to be had for this Penicuik stone built buy to let opportunity?



In The Penicuik Property Blog today we are revisiting a property that we first blogged about in early November because the passage of time might well mean that there is a bargain to be had – the property has been on the market since 30 September 2018 which is forever in current market terms!

Today’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 Stuart & Stuart for offers over £88,000 so lets say it goes for £95,000 because it has been sitting on the market for a while now.  A property like this in this area should rent for around £625 pcm which give you a yield of 7.9% which is good 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, 8 February 2019

Welcome to The Key Place’s 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.

Property inspections – they are certainly not all dull, and this particular one did make me laugh!

One of The Key Place’s newer members of staff went to carry out an inspection at a property where we had long term tenants who had never given us previous cause for concern as a result of inspections. 

The staff member arrived back at the office looking somewhat stunned, to say that the tenants were growing cannabis plants in the bedroom – she saw a number of plants, underneath specialist lights. 

In recent times we have been made increasingly aware of the problems of cannabis farms in rented properties.  Staff have been briefed in being vigilant.

I decided to visit the tenants immediately to see if they could shed some light (no pun intended) on the situation, as this seemed very out of character.  I called and asked if I could pop by and took my office manager with me.  On answering the door, I asked the tenants outright if they were growing cannabis plants.  Amidst much laughter, they explained that it was not a cannabis farm but the tenant’s mother’s tomatoes, which they were looking after while the mother was on holiday.  They invited me in to have a look and sure enough I was able to confirm that those were indeed tomato plants!

This was a good learning curve for The Key Place staff member as we were able to educate her in how to tell a cannabis plant from a tomato plant in the real world!  And on the plus side, I was delighted with her vigilance. 

For information on all of The Key Place services, please visit our website, www.thekeyplace.co.uk.


Thursday, 7 February 2019

Penicuik buy to let property opportunities compare well with Edinburgh ones

 

In Penicuik, I am speaking to more and more landlords, be they seasoned professional landlords or FTL’s (first time landlords), as they read The Penicuik Property Blog that shows that the Penicuik rental market is doing reasonably well, with rents and property values rising. 
When I was having a chat with one of these landlords over a cup of tea in Haigs the other day, he asked me two completely unrelated questions that got me thinking.  The questions were, how is Penicuik doing from a property point of view compared to Edinburgh and how much he should be paying per square foot?

Interestingly, we both thought that prices in Edinburgh would be rising significantly faster than Penicuik and similar towns but, going by my mantra of ‘never assume nuthing’, I did my research and was interested by what I found.

Over the last twenty years, property values in Penicuik have risen by 247.02%, compared to Dalkeith’s 247.00%, Musselburgh’s 244.65%, Linlithgow’s 247.00% and 247.01% in South Queensferry ….. and when you take a look at Edinburgh property values over the same period, they have increased by 248.26%.


This is an interesting result as it shows that Penicuik is doing similarly well to other towns around Edinburgh and these towns are it turn doing similarly to Edinburgh itself.
However, this is only looking at capital growth and it is worth taking into account other factors.
Firstly, there is income yield – in Penicuik and similar towns you can get easily 6-8% per year whereas in Edinburgh you are lucky if you get 4-5%.

And then there is the ease with which you can get a house.  It is difficult to get a buy to let property in Edinburgh that makes financial sense at the moment given the strong strong demand for people who want to live in the property themselves and are prepared to pay ‘over the odds’ to get this ‘dream’ property.  Whereas, it is easier to get a property at a sensible price in Penicuik and similar towns at the moment.

Therefore, whilst the capital growth in Edinburgh is a tiny bit more than in Penicuik, the higher rental yields and the relative ease with which you can buy a Penicuik property mean that Penicuik properties make good buy to let investment opportunities ….. so long as you buy the right ones of course!

What about the ‘how much he should be paying per square foot’ question I hear you say?  Well, that’s a topic for a future blog post .... watch this space.

Whether you are a landlord, a ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ addict or just a homeowner who is interested in what is happening to the local property market, then please visit The Penicuik Property Blog (www.thepenicuikpropertyblog.co.uk), contact me for a chat (phone on 01968 674601), come and see me in my office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email me (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk).


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

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Something new to think about in the Penicuik property market



There has been lots of building activity next to our office in Bank Street over the last few months and the fruits of this have now come to the market,

The first floor of the block between the Storehouse and the premises that used to be the pet supplies shop is being changed from office accommodation to residential flats and the first of these flats is now on the market with McDougall McQueen.

There are one and two bed flats available and, from the pictures, they look to be fitted will all mod cons and finished to a high standard …. although they do have electric central heating rather than gas.


The one bed flats are on the market for offers over £120,000; I can’t seem to find prices for the two bed flats.


There are lots of photos of the inside on the website but none of the outside as this is still a bit of a building site.


According to the sales blurb, the flats are aimed at ‘first time buyers, professional couples and for those looking to downsize to a property conveniently located and within walking distance of all town centre amenities and transport links’ …. presumably rather than buy to let investors. 
However, they may also be attractive to buy to let investors who are looking for a modern, easily maintained property although the rental yield will not be that high on them …. I suggest that you pop along for a viewing.

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, 18 January 2019

Today’s Confession, well, where do I even start?

Latest from The Key Place’s ‘Confessions of a ..... Letting Agent’ series which takes a behind the scenes look at the operation of a busy lettings business.


We have a property on our books which we have managed for a long time.  The tenant is a 50 year old man who lives with his mother, and the lease is in his name.  The tenant has a sister who is not on the lease but who has been authorised by the tenant to deal with all property related matters on his behalf.  And so the sister, let’s call her Susan, is who The Key Place has to deal with.

Now I suspect Susan is the older sister.  She works for a public sector body and has the talking style of a 6 page letter without punctuation.  She clearly has too much time on her hands given her level of involvement in the property, and she has read up on every single possible legality with regards to renting in Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and beyond.  She claims to record every call we have with her.

We wanted to inspect the property but were refused access.  The reason given was that the tenant would be too stressed by the inspection, plus he has allergies which prevents anyone who has gone within an inch of a bar of soap from entering the property.  We gave the required notice as per the lease to gain access to the property to carry out an inspection.  Myself and a manager were on our way to the property when we received a phone call from Susansaying that under no circumstances were we to come to the property and if we did, the police would be called.  The reason given was that we had not sent written confirmation that we accepted their conditions of entry – we hadn’t had this request so couldn’t give written confirmation.  We abandoned the inspection as we knew we could not inspect without approval or a court order.

We refused to give up!  Eventually it was agreed that our Chief Exec could inspect the property as long as he didn’t shower with soap that morning and used no deodorant or aftershave.  He had to agree that the tenant would smell him at the door before he was allowed access (yes really!).  And so the inspection took place.  The property was found to be OK, not in the best condition but not bad.  There were some things needing seen to, however the family were not keen (you can imagine) on work being done in the house, and so we had to negotiate what could be actioned, balancing landlord obligations under repairing standards verses smaller jobs that could be left. 

The main repairs needing attention were a damaged back door, some work to the kitchen and a cracked front door step.  Taking the front step as an example of how difficult this all became - the tenant eventually agreed the step could be fixed but stated the repair could take no more than 1 hour.  Apart from this 1 hour they wanted continuous access to their house.  When we explained that this was impossible and that the tenants were being unreasonable Susan said she would go the police, MP’s, the newspapers.  As we always do when we are threatened by people, we acknowledged that it was Susan’s right to go to the police, MP’s, the newspapers etc. but we suggested that speaking to a lawyer in the first instance might be a better idea from herpoint of view to ensure that her position was sensible.  This surprised Susan who has assumed that her threats of ‘taking things further` would scare us, but, as we were doing things by the book, we had nothing to be concerned about.

And so where are we today?  Well the step has been mended after incredible negotiation, however some of the other repairs have not been dealt with due to tenant refusal.  The property does at least meet the repairing standard.  We have not been allowed to re-inspect yet but we hope to shortly.  The landlord has been kept fully informed at all points and knows exactly what is going on at his property.  We do not believe the tenants are going to intentionally damage the property and they pay their rent every month without fail.  The owner would need to spend money on his property if the tenants were to leave, and so for him, he would rather keep the paying tenants, even although we can’t carry out inspections as regularly as we would like.

This is an on-going difficult situation as we still have a job to do.  We certainly feel that we have earned our management fee on this one!


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

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Guide to painting Penicuik rental properties to increase demand



I was having a chat with a ‘do it yourself’ landlord in Penicuik the other week and she was bemoaning the fact that she was finding it really hard to get one particularly property of hers rented out.  I had to be honest with her and say that we are finding that rental properties are flying off the shelves at the moment which has increased prices – one bed flats are now doing for £650 when last year you were lucky to get £600 for them – so I wondered whether the property that she was renting was the problem rather than the market. 

At this point, she had to confess that she had wondered about getting the property re-decorated as it was looking a bit tired but has hoped that she could get away without doing this .... well, perhaps not I said as politely as I could!

Investing in your rental property is key to maintaining a successful investment, which is why a fresh coat of paint is a great way to increase the tenant demand and rental income.  Here are our tips to help you successfully paint your rental property.

Use Simple Colours

Paint using simple neutral colours like magnolia, cream, beige, grey, and off-white, as these colours don’t outdate and are attractive to most people.  Picking paint colours outside the neutral colour scheme that are on sale or that you personally like runs the risk of you painting colours some tenants may be turned-off by, potentially lowering demand towards your property.


Use Light Colours To Open Up The Room

Keep the colours light and neutral to help open up the rooms.  The tenant’s furniture also has a better chance of fitting into the property’s colour scheme when neutral, bright colours are used continuously throughout the property, helping make your property more attractive.  We see some properties painted white throughout, making them look light and uplifting, and it’s an economic way of redecorating.

Use Good Quality Products and Contractors

Avoid the temptation of buying cheap paint, because this generally chips easily and won’t last as long as good quality paint.  Before long you’ll have to repaint the property, making cheap paint only a short-term solution to increasing demand and rent.  Not only that, the appearance will look increasingly poor, which lowers the appeal, tenant quality and rent.
If you are getting somebody in to paid your property, use a quality contractors that has been recommended to you – they may cost you a wee bit more initially but the job that they do is likely to be better and last for longer saving you money in the long run.
 
How To Cover Up Imperfections

If the wall surface is imperfect pick, a paint with a mid or low sheen, as the finish will help hide this.  Paint also offers the opportunity to repair imperfections using ready mix fillers, making paint a good choice if your Penicuik investment property has damaged walls.

When Not To Paint

To avoid a patchy finish, try not to paint when it’s really hot so the paint doesn’t dry too fast.  Also avoid painting when it’s raining, as the paint won’t be able to cure in wet conditions, causing its longevity to likely be affected.

Careful Masking

Aim for the best quality job.  Ensure areas that aren’t being painted are carefully covered with masking tape to avoid the appearance of a cheap job.  Light and power switches or their covers should be removed, and carpet and flooring should be carefully covered.
I am happy to give you my thoughts on decorating, to recommend a good decorator to you or even to recommend a good type of paint to you!  I can be contacted on 01968 674601 or robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; alternatively pop into my office at 6 Bank Street, Penicuik.



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

Friday, 11 January 2019

Changes to smoke detection rules for Penicuik landlords


It has been a few years since it has been law to have smoke detection equipment in private rented properties. 

The law currently is that you need a smoke alarm in each living area (in practice, living rooms) and circulation areas (in practice, halls and landings) as well as heat alarms in kitchens.  These need to be hard-wired and inter-connected (meaning that is one goes off then all go off).

Most landlords can get their heard around the benefit of having this safety detection equipment in their properties but there is genuine gripes about the damage or unsightliness of the hard-wiring particularly in older buildings with, for example, ornate cornicing.  This is particularly the case given the significant advances in battery technology since the law was introduced.

The Scottish Government has listened to these concerns and from 1 March 2019 landlords will be permitted to install inter-linked long life sealed lithium battery alarms instead of mains powered ones.
As an aside, from 1 February 2021 all properties in Scotland must meet the same standard of smoke/heat and CO alarm provision as the Private Rented Sector, regardless of tenure.  This means that there will be a level playing field in this regard for private, social and Council landlords ….. which is something that private landlord has been asking for for a long time now.



#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 #smokedetection