Letting after lockdown: What stressed out landlords in Glasgow and Lanarkshire need to know

27/05/2020 10:06:13

With the property market looking likely to get back to business soon, landlords could be forgiven for thinking things will quickly be back to “normal”.

But let’s be clear, people may have stopped hoarding loo roll and hand sanitiser, but things aren’t going to be normal for some time.

The ongoing shadow of Covid-19 means every industry, including the rental property industry, is having to adapt to a new set of challenges.

If you’re a landlord, here’s what you need to know about doing business in the “new normal” when we can get back to work safely. And here’s how we can save you time, money, and a lot of hassle.

New rules

When the English government gave its property market the green light this month to reopen, it was under strict conditions. We think similar will apply to us in Scotland. These cover social distancing and hygiene concerning viewings, moving, and dealing with tradespeople. There is a lot to take in, but as a landlord, you need to be on top of it all.

If you don’t have the time or resources to do so right now, then you need to enlist the services of experts, like us, who can do it all for you. We’ve saved landlords thousands by keeping them the right side of the rules and up to date with ever-changing rental property compliance.

Evictions

The eviction process has always had the potential to be messy and expensive, but in recent months it has become even more complicated. Landlords must adhere to existing eviction laws (which are extensive) and follow additional rules brought in during the pandemic.

These include extra protections for tenants, longer notice periods required as well as all evictions being discretionary. In simple terms, if the tenant does not voluntarily leave, this means that the First Tier Tribunal will decide, based on the circumstances of the case, whether the tenant’s need/right to occupy the property is outweighed by the landlord’s need/right to repossess the property.

Now let us emphasise that we think eviction should always be the last resort. But if you’ve exhausted all other options to no avail, and are considering this avenue, you need to know what you’re doing.

If you break out in a sweat at the thought of all this, then again seek expert advice. Weigh up the financial and emotional cost of handling it all yourself – especially at a time like this – and ask if it’s worth it going it alone. As experienced letting agents, we have handled many complicated cases and will be able to take the load off you and help reduce the risk of you being out of pocket.

Market insight

We are in uncharted territory right now, which means that for landlords, it can be challenging to get the lie of the land. Are rent prices holding up? How do you deal with a tenant who has lost their job? What is the situation with banks, mortgages, and mortgage holidays? Now more than ever it pays to do your research and get a clear picture of what’s “normal” in the “new normal”.

This is where a good letting agent can help. They’ll be able to advise you on a range of issues impacting the market and warn you of any changes on the horizon. They’ll also have a range of contacts they can draw on, for example, a good mortgage broker who can help you take advantage of some of the great deals out there, potentially saving you thousands on your buy to let mortgages.

Finally, most of us have tried our hand at DIY. But when it comes to being a serious landlord, the DIY approach can be risky. So, tread carefully and wherever possible, employ a good, experienced, and trusted letting agent.

At Scottish Property Centre, we combine an understanding of the rules and regulations around letting a property, with the people skills to make managing your property as stress-free and profitable as possible.

If you’d like advice about the lettings market in Glasgow and Lanarkshire, please get in touch.

Thanks for reading.

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