Tag Archives: Scottish Association of Landlords

Highlights of Scottish National Landlord Day 2013 Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Lettings package exclusively for Scottish LandlordsThanks to Nick and Vanessa at Property Tribes TV for producing and sharing these video highlights of Scottish National Landlord Day 2013, organised by the Scottish Association of Landlords.

If you let property in Scotland please join “SAL” the Scottish Association of Landlords for the advice and support you will inevitably need at some point. An enquiry form is below this video …. Continue reading Highlights of Scottish National Landlord Day 2013


Enforcement not legislation – PRS Hit Squads Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

There is already more than enough funding and legislation to police the Private Rented Sector.

The last thing we need is more legislation, what everybody wants is enforcement and word on the street is that we could begin to see it before the end of 2013. Ben-Reeve-Lewis

PRS Hit Squads

The authorities all know who the real criminals are and the only reason the criminals are still in business is because those holding power don’t combine resources, in fact they rarely talk to each other. Until now they have all run scared of “data sharing protocols” but when that’s put to one side expect to see some very big cases of criminal landlords being taken to task.

I have heard that PRS Hit Squads will target known criminal landlords between now and Christmas and are supported “in principle” by the likes of Mark Prisk, Boris Johnson and others who openly admit to not being fans of the licensing model being operated in Newham. I’ve also heard that six figure funding for a trial has been agreed at ministerial level.

These “PRS Hit Squads” as I’ve labelled them will comprise of:-

  • Environmental heath
  • HMO licensing
  • Planning
  • Anti social behaviour teams
  • EDF revenue
  • Building contol
  • UKBA
  • Police

The plan is that they will share intelligence and converge on criminal landlords in a military style operation, focussing on the worst operators first of course. With their combined resources the criminals will not stand a chance. It will be like a man with a pea shooter trying to fend off the SAS 🙂

Beware the Spin Doctors!

My hope is that the PR outcome of the PRS Hit Squad successes will be positive and support the need for the model to be extended nationally. It is a very low cost model and the results should save the tax payer money as well as improving peoples lives (unless you are one of the targeted criminals of course!). The last thing the PRS needs is for the successes to be used as justification for more regulation. The spin doctors will see this as an opportunity to justify schemes such as Newham but this must not be allowed to happen.

Landlords can be victims too

Landlords are also the victims of criminals and I have seen some very sad examples of that. A recent case in the Fens involved a landlord who let his former home to a Gang-master. Unbeknown to him the unregulated Gang-master then allowed 20 immigrant farm workers to live in the property, all sleeping on mattresses on the floor. When the landlord found out he obviously wanted them out ASAP, as did the neighbours of pretty culdesac in which the landlords 4 bad detached property was located but the law stood in the way. Had the landlord been able to go to the authorities, secure in the knowledge they would fight for him, it would have been a Godsend to him. Instead, the authorities are threatening the landlord and not the Gangmaster! Clearly common sense isn’t that common.

Let’s hope the PRS Hit Squads are successful in taking down criminals and then lend a much needed helping hand to landlords who are also targeted by criminals. If common sense prevails we might just see more action and less talk. When all is said and done, more is said than done, but fingers crossed let’s hope that not the case here.

The Highland Fling

Earlier this year the Scottish Association of Landlords reported that landlord registration in Scotland has cost landlords £11.2 million in fees while the start-up Scottish Government grant for the scheme was £5.2 million. According to the results, since 2006 there have only been 40 rogue landlords identified as operating in Scotland, that’s the number of rejected applications. The cost equates to £400,000 per rogue identified!

Summary

The schemes in Newham and its copycats also show signs of being similar “White Elephants”, therefore I’m pinning my hopes on the PRS Hit Squads taking down as many criminals as possible, proving once and for all that it’s more enforcement not legislation we need. Enforcement not legislation - PRS Hit Squads


Letting agent regulation for Scotland – Scottish Government plans announced Landlord News, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Market News, Property News

Scotland’s newly formed Council of Letting Agents (CLA) steering group met for the first time yesterday. Letting agent regulation for Scotland

The members of the group have been selected to represent Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) letting agent members’ views. These members are tasked with working up the plans for this new letting agent division of the Scottish Association of Landlords.

A senior Scottish Government representative accepted our invitation to attend and he warmly welcomed the CLA as the new letting agent body for the Scottish Private Rented Sector (PRS). It was confirmed that it is the intention of the Scottish Government to regulate the letting agent industry in Scotland going forward. Letting agent regulation has been called for by SAL for some time.

The steering group heard first hand about the likely shape of plans for this regulation which follows approximately two years of consultation on various levels.

The intention is to propose via a new Housing Bill to be put before the Scottish Parliament that letting agents are regulated using a system which will emulate the way the Property Factors Act works. The likelihood is that this will include:

•    Registration of all letting agents in Scotland
•    Code of practice which will ensure consistency of good standards across the industry
•    Opportunity for redress where these standards are not being met – this would be through a Housing tribunal.

As with the procedure for all new Scots legislation, the process involves several stages in the Scottish Parliament. Therefore at this point in time, nobody can predict for certain the details of the future Bill and likely resultant Housing Act.

We’ll continue to keep all SAL members posted. The CLA will represent our members agents as the details of the planned regulations are drafted.

SAL will also continue as ever to represent landlords via our place on the regulations working group. Please keep us posted with your views.

SAL Membership Enquiry

  • Please enter a number from 0 to 99999.

Landmark Case Shows Scottish Landlords Must Take Deposit Protection Seriously Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Landlord News, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

A recent case in Edinburgh Sheriff Court saw a landlord who had failed to protect his tenant’s deposit fined £3,450.  This shows that landlords, and their agents, must take seriously their new statutory obligation to lodge tenants’ deposits with one of the approved schemes, and that the courts will take a robust line with those who don’t.  Unlike England and Wales, their is no insurance-based alternative in Scotland and hard cash must be handed over. 

Not only must landlords lodge the deposit within 30 days of receiving it, they must also pass to their tenant certain prescribed information –

  1. Confirmation of the amount of the deposit paid by the tenant and the date on which it was received by the landlord;
  2. The address of the property to which the deposit relates;
  3. The date on which the deposit was paid to the scheme administrator;
  4. A statement that the landlord is registered with the local authority;
  5. The name and contact details of the administrator of the tenancy deposit scheme to which the deposit was paid; and
  6. The circumstances in which all or part of the tenancy deposit may be retained at the end of the tenancy, with reference to the terms of the tenancy agreement.

The Fraser and Pease-v-Meehan case shows that enforcement of this legislation is very likely to be driven by tenants.  Because action can be taken for up to 3 months after the end of a tenancy, tenants are able to do so free of any fear of retribution.  Too many tenancies are simply ended by a landlord because the tenant has been bold enough, for instance, to insist that badly needed repairs are carried out, and changing the tenant for a more compliant one a less costly option for a landlord.  That is a fundamental weakness in renting legislation.  Deposit protection legislation allows former tenants to exercise their rights free of constraint and because of that I think we are likely to see it much more effectively enforced.

John Gell

EDITORS NOTE

The owners of Property118 recommend all landlords and letting agents to join the Scottish Association of Landlords. For further details please complete the form below.

SAL Membership Enquiry

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Roberta Goodall of Glenrothes GOOD Landlords Campaign Sponsors

The GOOD Landlords CampaignRoberta Goodall of Glenrothes

I’ve been letting property since 2003 and don’t plan to sell any of my properties!

I have seven properties comprising old and new flats and houses, in 3 local authorities. Some of my tenants are on benefits, and some of them have pets. Most of my tenants stay a long time, which is obviously how I like it, and I think reflects the fact that I deal with any maintenance issues very quickly and respect my tenants.

I’m always learning, and love reading the comments on this site, and am happy to pass on my knowledge to others if I can.

I’m a member of Scottish Association of Landlords which keeps me up to date with any changes in Scottish legislation.

Continue reading Roberta Goodall of Glenrothes


Council of Letting Agents (Scotland) announcement Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management

Council of Letting Agents (Scotland) announcementScottish Association of Landlords (SAL) directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Kathleen Gell as convenor of the newly formed Council of Letting Agents (CLA).

This new division of SAL aims to support and represent the interests of SAL letting agent members. Continue reading Council of Letting Agents (Scotland) announcement


Scottish Association of Landlords – dismayed by Shelter Cowboys Slur Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, Shelter

Scottish Association of LandlordsScottish Conservative Housing Spokesman Alex Johnstone and the Scottish Association of Landlords have slammed the language employed by housing charity Shelter in its latest press release which called for letting agents to be regulated.

Commenting, Mr Johnstone said “It is ironic that Shelter uses terms such as ‘Wild West’, ‘cowboys’ and ‘flagrant disregard for the law’, when organisations such as the Scottish Association of Landlords, who also represent letting agents have been advocating change for some time.”

“Shelter’s use of such sensationalist language makes, in my view, sweeping and negative generalisations about the private sector as a whole. This kind of behaviour might well make vulnerable people fearful of seeking a home in the private rented sector, and it’s frankly not good enough. The fact is that the private sector is playing an increasingly important role in providing much needed accommodation, and they themselves are keen to provide a good and fair service.”

Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords John Blackwood said “For some time, SAL has campaigned for regulation of letting agents in order to protect both landlords and tenants. However we also recognise that many letting agents already offer good management services, ensuring that properties are managed properly and within the law.”

“Instead of indulging in this kind of negative sensationalism on the sidelines, I would urge Shelter to engage with those of us who do actually put roofs over people’s heads and see what we can achieve by working together in a positive and constructive way.”

Mr Blackwood concluded “It is disappointing that Shelter has seemingly abandoned its policy of working in partnership with the private rented sector in favour of demonising an entire sector where by far the majority of letting agents operate reputable businesses.”

Many members are expressing the viewpoint that SAL should take public action against Shelter. One letting agent who is a personal supporters of Shelter even saying he will now stop his donations.

SAL Membership Enquiry

  • Please enter a number from 0 to 99999.

Deposit Deadline of May 15th in Scotland Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Scotland-flagLandlords in Scotland are urged to beat the deposit deadline and avoid huge penalties.

Over half of deposits for private tenancies in Scotland may not yet have been paid into a legally required tenancy deposit protection scheme – with just one week to go until the final deadline to sign up.

SafeDeposits Scotland, the leading provider of the tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland, says based on the latest figures as many as 56% of tenancies eligible for taking a deposit may not have yet had their deposits paid into a scheme.

According to the latest Scottish Government figures up to the end of March there are only 129,164 deposits submitted to a scheme – but there are 291,190 properties across Scotland signed up for landlord registration. (1)

From May 15 all deposits from privately rented properties must be secured into one of three government approved tenancy deposits protection schemes in Scotland, as part of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. The legislation has been phased in and May 15 is the final deadline for all properties. (2)

Glasgow based SafeDeposits Scotland, the Scottish Association of Landlords and the National Union of Students are now issuing a call to urge landlords to ensure they are signed up before the deadline to avoid facing financial penalties.

Director of Operations at SafeDeposits Scotland, Rebecca Johnston said, “These figures are to the end of March and while we would like to report a massive surge in the last month of landlords signing up to the scheme that hasn’t happened. We want landlords to know that we are here to guide them through this process. But there isn’t much time left. They must sign up to a scheme – or risk a financial penalty. No-one wants that.”

John Blackwood from Scottish Association of Landlords said, “While not all landlords will charge a deposit and more deposits may have been protected since the last count, the estimated figures paint a worrying picture about the potential number of properties not signed up.”

Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said, “These statistics seem to indicate that many landlords have yet to sign up to tenancy deposit schemes, which will be a surprise to student tenants who are expecting to hear shortly from the schemes how much of their deposit they are due back. Landlords are liable for huge penalties if they don’t submit their tenants deposits to a scheme, and we would urge them to beat the deadline and sign up. We also urge student tenants to get in touch with their landlords to confirm they are aware of the deadline and signed up to a scheme.”


Latest Newsletter dated 22nd February 2013 Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

NEWS from Paragon Mortgages for Professional LandlordsThis week 29 pages have been added to Property118.

(Links to the relevant pages are in blue and underlined).

5 Readers Questions Articles and Discussions

  • I think my tenants removal company knocked my garden wall down
  • Legal advice required on Scottish HMO issue
  • Shared ownership – can this be done on leasehold flat?
  • Should I sell tenanted or serve notice and sell with vacant possession?
  • Parting company with my letting agent

3 New Auction Catalogues for you to download

  • Network Auctions 6th March 2013 – Glaziers Hall, London SE1 9DD Commencing: 1pm
  • Pearsons Property Auction 5th March 2013 – 11am Hambledon Suite, The Solent Hotel, Fareham, PO15 7AJ
  • Salter McGuiness Property Auction 5th March 2013 – 1.30pm Quality Hotel, Empire Way, Wembley, HA9 0NH

11 New Articles containing News and Reviews:

To keep you up to date and help you to save money, minimise risks and maximise returns

Some good News for Landlords in Scotland at last

I keep in touch with what’s going on in the lives of my fellow landlords North of the border via my friends at the Scottish Association of Landlords…

Kent Reliance release new buy to let range for portfolio landlords

Buy-to-let products with no restriction on the size of the landlord’s portfolio. They are available for loans of up to £1m at 85% LTV, and at 75% TV for loans over £1m.

Property Portfolio Review Spreadsheet – FREE Download

This property portfolio review spreadsheet calculates your rental yields net of voids, the interest rate which will make your portfolio cash neutral and the true costs of rental void periods

Suffolk Holiday Homes on sale at bargain prices

You could own one of these 3 bed, brick built, double glazed Suffolk Holiday Homes for personal use or as an investment for just £55,995. That’s not the deposit, it’s the cash price!

A Landlords Mid Life Crisis

OMG, what have I done to this poor landlord! I wrote an article a while back called 10 things landlords must do before it is too late.

Tenants in Scotland missing vital deposit protection information

Tenants in Scotland could be missing vital information which can affect the return of their deposits at the end of the tenancy.

LANDLORDS – don’t let tenants steal your property

Is it even possible that tenants could steal a property you might ask! As part of its campaign to stamp out property fraud, the Land Registry has just set up a dedicated phone line.

Oxford – Not Hot But Always Warm!

I am often asked why Oxford represents such an attractive option for buy to let property investors.

Wealth Tax proposed by Lib Dems could affect Landlords

One of the best forum posts I’ve ever seen on the topic of economics and  the proposed new Wealth Tax.

Sprightly start to 2013 but ‘old hands’ support the market

Rightmove have just released their February 2013 House Price Index which shows a “Sprightly start to 2013”

Residential Property Inventory Services In A Nutshell

What is an Inventory? To sum it up in simple terms, an inventory is a detailed list using specific phrases to describe the features, items and condition of a property.

Good Landlords Campaign Click Here to see Sponsors

We would like to welcome the following new sponsors of the Good Landlords Campaign

  • Peter Harris of Bristol

  • Anthony Altman of Platinum Property Sheffield
  • Brian Turner of SCPR Sheffield
  • Dave Gardner of Top Management Wellingborough

  • Matthew Farrow of Phoenix Independent Advisers Cromer

  • Richard Baker – Northampton and Rugby
  • Oliver Cornes of Juicy Property London

  • Bill Cooper of WDC Rentals Ewloe

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Don’t miss this opportunity …….

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The closing date to become a founder member of The GOOD Landlords Campaign is fast approaching. It doesn’t matter whether you have one property or you are a full time landlord, we welcome anybody who believes in sharing best practice in the UK Private Rented Sector. That includes letting agents and other associated property professionals…


Some good News for Landlords in Scotland at last Landlord News, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property News

Good News for Landlords in Scotland at last

I keep in touch with what’s going on in the lives of my fellow landlords North of the border via my friends at the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) and via listening to members of the Association, many of whom joined SAL on my recommendation.

Members of SAL tell me landlords in Scotland are feeling the pinch of all the new regulations. Letting Agents fees are rocketing to offset the premiums they used to charge to tenants and many of the online portals have pulled out of working with Scottish landlords altogether.

Just because I don’t own any properties myself in Scotland doesn’t prevent me from keeping an eye on the market to look out for solutions though, my ancesters are Scots so I know that every penny counts.

The new regulations might be a pain in the neck for some (OK most!) but as they say, as one door closes another one opens.

I’ve been discussing the challenges with several of my contacts and one of them, an online letting agent (member of the Scottish Association of Landlords and ARLA), has decided to buck the trend and create a brand new product for Scottish landlords whilst their competitors are exiting the market in droves.

This is an overview of their product and I would be very interested in your feedback, especially if you own and let properties in Scotland.

Scottish Landlords Letting and Rent Guarantee Package

  • Advertising of your property on all the major property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location etc)
  • Tenant referencing
  • Dealing with Deposit Protection
  • Rent collection
  • Legal Expense Insurance Cover and Rent Guaranteed for 12 months up to £2,500 pcm and £25,000 in total (with an option to renew each year)
  • Eviction Proceeding costs covered

What’s more, you remain in control. You do the viewing so you get to look your prospective tenants in the eye and decide whether you want them living in your property. This also helps keeps costs down 🙂

The outcome of a tenancy is set at the beginning I think you will agree? However, on top of the increased regulation in Scotland and the associated costs being passed onto landlords, rent arrears, which are every landlords worst nightmare, are increasing too.

One bad tenant can leave you unable to pay your mortgage with prospects of losing your property and possibly bankruptcy. Worse still the court system can take well over 6 months to achieve eviction!

Add to that extortionate lawyers fees and damage to the property, is it any wonder that rent arrears and rising costs of compliance are the biggest fear amongst Scottish landlords?

The rent arrears situation is getting worse.

Arrears are increasing, courts are closing and the process of re-gaining possession of your property is taking longer and longer…

Is it any wonder that “professional rent dodgers” are having a field day?

Things are now about to change for the better for Scottish Landlords though 🙂

The rent guarantee insurers are happy to partner with the agent offering the above scheme due to their unparalleled tenant find and vetting procedure which provides for low risk letting.  

The bottom line is that if the tenant does not pay – you still get paid, and you still save money :-)

Given that 10% of tenants are in arrears amounting to thousands of pounds, and you get rent protection and legal cover, you’d expect a hefty premium wouldn’t you?

Not so – because of this letting agents bulk buying power already established in England and Wales, all of the above can be offered for a full year for just £247 + VAT. Compare that to the fees that your letting agent charges!

It get’s better though!

The deal even comes with a Money Back Guarantee!

If your property is not “Let Agreed” within 30 days you can cancel your instructions and have a full refund.

It’s a meaningful guarantee too, not from some two bob business operating from a bedroom, these agents are qualified members of ARLA and are also members of the Scottish Association of Landlords.

So, why take the risk with your property when you can use this service and get complete peace of mind at such an incredible price?

To find out more please complete the form below.


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