Landlord Guide: Short Term Letting

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1 Landlord Guide: Short Term Letting

2 Landlord Guide: Short Term Letting Contents: About At Home In Edinburgh...3 What makes us different?... 4 About short term letting... 5 Our short term property services...7 Marketing your property...8 What you need to know as a landlord Legal responsibilities of a landlord Accreditations... 12

3 About: At Home In Edinburgh At Home In Edinburgh is a family-run property management company providing quality long term, short term and festival accommodation throughout Edinburgh. We have more than 25 years of experience in property management and offer knowledgeable advice on all aspects of property lettings. Our business philosophy is that to be successful we must not strive to become Edinburgh s biggest letting agency but Edinburgh s friendliest and most efficient. We provide a personal service to all our clients, tailoring our approach to the individual needs of our property owners and guests. We pride ourselves on the fact that by far our most successful way of obtaining new landlords is through word of mouth; proof of our philosophy in action. 3

4 What makes us different? As we offer short term, long term and festival letting, we can work with your changing circumstances to market your property to its full potential As a small family-run business you can be sure of getting the very best customer service You will have a single point of contact who deals with every aspect of your property We invest to maintain a strong web presence to maximise your property s exposure We only select guests who are right for you and your property We understand that landlords have different needs and we are happy to tailor our services to suit you 4

5 About: Short Term Letting What is a short term let? A short term let is the same as a holiday let and runs for a fixed period. It is not a Short Assured Tenancy (long term let) and therefore does not give the guest any security of tenure. Lets tend to average 1 3 months in duration. A short term property needs to be fully furnished with TV & WIFI. Why choose short term letting? Short term letting can produce higher rental yields than long term letting but owners are responsible for the day to day running costs of a property (see table on page 6 of this document) Provides you with greater flexibility as you can use the property as required Provides peace of mind as your property is regularly inspected & cleaned Offers greater financial security as guests usually pay rent upfront What is a festival let? Festival lets are holiday lets that take place during July & August during the Edinburgh festival period each year. Accommodation is needed for the thousands of people who descend on the city to participate in the many shows or simply to take in the atmosphere of the largest arts and comedy festival in the world. Lets tend to be between 1 week and 1 month in duration. Landlords need to take into consideration that a festival property needs to be fully furnished with kitchen equipment, bed linen, towels etc. Festival guests also demand TV and WIFI. Why choose festival letting? You have a fully furnished central property that is vacant during the festival period High numbers of visitors have to be housed and the demand is strong for good quality, central properties Suitable properties demand high weekly rental prices 5

6 Long Term Letting We have also produced an information booklet about long term letting that can be provided upon request Running cost comparisons Rents for short term lets are higher than the equivalent long term rents but landlords are responsible for the day to day running costs. Short term / Festival Long term (6 months plus) Council tax Landlord pays Tenant pays Utilities Internet / broadband Change overs Maintenance Insurance Landlord pays Landlord pays Landlord pays Landlord pays Holiday let cover required Tenant pays Tenant pays n/a Landlord pays Landlord cover required 6

7 Landlords: Our Short Term Services We provide a full management service to enable landlords to relax in the knowledge that we are managing every aspect of the letting cycle: ü advertising the property ü accompanied viewings ü securing bookings ü preparing contracts ü providing a written and photographic inventory ü collecting & paying rents ü handling deposits ü handling keys ü arranging safety certificates, cleaning and maintenance ü organising regular inspections ü carrying out inventory checks We charge no set-up or advertising fees, only commission on any rental income. Short Term - 15% +VAT commission on rental income Festival - 20% +VAT commission on rental income 7

8 How do we market your property? Your property will be promoted on our modern, user-friendly, informative website - The website enables clients to make an enquiry 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our website is an invaluable tool when trying to sell your property to prospective clients. The internet is the biggest source of enquiries for all types of letting so we have invested in maintaining a good web presence and search engine optimisation. We have agreements with a number of partner websites where we market your property alongside our own website. Depending on the availability of your property these include Citylets, Gumtree, Lettingweb, Zoopla, Prime Location & Stay At The Festival. Our personal approach means we get a great deal of repeat business and referrals. Our client database is constantly growing and we are always pro-actively marketing our services to new organisations and businesses. Most short term guests do not view properties before they book. Any viewings that do take place are accompanied by an At Home In Edinburgh representative and are at the convenience of any resident guests. 8

9 Landlords: FAQs What rental price can your property achieve? By visiting your property we can provide a realistic no-obligation rental valuation. Our valuations are based on our local knowledge and take into account current market conditions. During our visit we can also provide advice on preparing the property for the rental market including the necessary safety requirements (see page 11 of this document). How should you prepare your property? Demand for quality is getting greater all the time and competition is fierce, especially during the festival period. Guests expect to move into a property and live as they would at home, so expect WIFI to be provided. To achieve the best possible rental price presentation is everything. Most short term guests do not view properties before they book, so presentation through photographs is very important. Our photographer will help you dress the property for photographs. We ask that you prepare for the visit by having your property looking its best - clean & tidy with no clutter, beds made and lights turned on. Plants or flowers can enhance the images. We can provide a list of recommended items to be left in a property. Who are our guests? There are many reasons why people find themselves needing short term accommodation: extended holidays visiting friends & family temporary relocation to Edinburgh for work purposes or to attend a course between homes where a new property is not yet available or found renovation works are being carried out on their home student exchange programs We have a network of relocation agents and insurance companies that use our services to rehouse people for short term periods. Our aim is to find the right guests who will look after your property. We obtain as much information as possible about guests and only agree to a let when we are comfortable with the match. Your property is our priority. Do we take a deposit? We take a deposit at the point of booking and retain it for the duration of the let. The deposit is there to protect your investment. The amount will depend on the length of the guests stay and the size of your property. We always make the deposit amount clear to you for each booking. We undertake a detailed written and photographic inventory to support us in any deposit claims. 9

10 When will you get paid? Rents are paid to you at the end of each rental period once the final inspection has been carried out and any deposit deductions agreed. You will receive a detailed electronic statement. Rents are paid by BACS straight into your account unless otherwise agreed. How are changeovers managed? We take pride in the standard of our properties and this is vital to maintaining our reputation and securing returning guests. Our properties are professionally cleaned between bookings and left in immaculate condition for new guests. If guests arrive to a clean and well presented property, they are more likely to take care of it and leave it in the condition they found it. Our team of regular cleaners undertake changeovers (cleaning and linen change) unless otherwise instructed by landlords. Any costs incurred will be deducted from your rental income. Who do we use for repairs? We aim to address maintenance issues as soon as they arise to ensure your property is maintained to the best possible standard. Our team of trusted, competitively priced tradesmen & cleaning professionals have worked with us for many years. Guests are provided with a 24/7 emergency contact number in case any issues arise during their stay. Do you need to tell your insurance company? An owner is responsible for ensuring that their property and its contents are covered by adequate insurance cover including any extra cover required to cover booking cancellations. Guests are advised to have their own belongings insured separately. We recommend Leaseguard who specialise in sourcing insurance policies for landlords. Please contact us for more information. Non-Resident Landlords If you live outside the UK for more than 6 months of the year then it is in your interest to register as a non-resident landlord with HMRC by completing a NRL1 Form. If you do not register we are obliged to deduct 20% tax from your rent and send this onto HMRC. This will usually be considerably more than you would otherwise need to pay. You can find the appropriate form at Our agency reference is 904/NA

11 Landlords:Regulations We can advise you on the various statutory requirements you must comply with as a landlord. At the time of publishing, below is a summary of the current regulations. Gas Safety Certificate (valid for 12 months) If your property has any gas appliances a landlord Gas Safety Certificate is legally required to show they are in a safe condition. The annual check typically costs around 60 +VAT. Portable Appliance Test (PAT) (valid for 12 months) A PAT checks all the landlords portable electrical appliances in the property are safe to use. It typically costs 35 +VAT. Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) (valid for 5 years) A registered electrician needs to carry out an inspection of the: Installations for the supply of electricity Electrical fittings including the consumer unit (or fusebox), switches, sockets, light fittings etc. Fixed electrical equipment including heating equipment, boilers, smoke alarms etc. Anything that fails to pass the electrical safety inspection must be replaced or repaired immediately. An EICR needs to be carried out every 5 years and the cost of the report is around 100 +VAT. Smoke Detectors & Fire Blankets Guidance states there should be at least: One functioning smoke alarm in the 1 room which is frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes, One functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space, such as hallways and landings One heat alarm in every kitchen All alarms need to be mains powered All alarms should be interlinked The number and position of the alarms will depend on the size and layout of your property. There should be at least one alarm on each floor. We can arrange quotes for any work needed. We recommend that a fire blanket is also left in the property. CO Detectors Landlords must provide a long-life battery or mains powered detector in any space that contains a carbon-based fuel appliance (excluding cooking appliances) e.g. Gas/oil boiler Gas/oil fire Wood burning stove or open coal fire There should also be one in any bedroom or living room which is bypassed by a flue. 11

12 Our Company: Accreditations At Home In Edinburgh is a member of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) and their sister organisation the Council of Letting Agents (CLA). SAL is the largest and only dedicated national landlords organisation representing landlords and agents throughout Scotland. Our membership provides us access to resources, assistance and representation of our landlords through lobbying & campaign work. As a member we are bound by their code of practice. More details can be found at Contact Us If you have any further questions or would like us to meet you at your property to discuss things further, please contact us by phone or

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