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Which letting agent?
If you are trying to decide on a letting agent to use, please read on ..
Currently we manage around 200 properties, mostly in central Edinburgh, and we are always on the lookout for quality, well-located flats and houses.
Being a relatively small agency helps ensure we can deliver a personal service to all our clients, including landlords and tenants.
Our main business is providing long-term rental management at exceptional value, we also take on let-only, short term and festival lets.
What we charge our landlords and what they get in return
Our 10% full management fee combined with more than 20 years experience in the letting business provides our current landlords, many of who live abroad, with peace of mind and a better investment. We would provide you with suitable tenants and a service that includes first rate day to day management of your property.
Our fees are very straightforward, only 10% (plus VAT) of the monthly rental for a full factoring service.
We will also show details in our office. We do not charge for lease renewal, however as of November 2012 there are charges relating to the tenancy deposit scheme (see below)
Our full management fee of 10% (plus VAT) ensures we find suitable and reliable tenants who will be fully vetted. A Short Assured Tenancy will be signed by both Landlord and Tenant, deposit money held until the property is checked at the end of the tenancy and all outstanding bills have been settled and any damage made good. Properties are checked at regular intervals and more often should the landlord require it.
A full written and photographic inventory will be carried out and we will be happy to give advice on matters such as fire safety, HMO regulations, investments and development opportunities.
We have an extremely reliable and highly efficient property maintenance team who will carry out anything from major flat renovations to day to day repairs, gas and electrical safety checks and are on call seven days a week.
Although we are keen to take on flats of a high quality we would also be pleased to take on properties in need of renovation or redecoration.
If you are interested in using Anna Harper Lettings to look after your property and want to arrange for a visit or speak to us for any further information please contact us.
What you get for your 10%
Our Monthly 10% (plus vat) commission charge includes the following :
- Initial visit to property to advise landlord on rent.
- Photograph property for posting on web and advertising*.
- Inform tenants from our database. Links to all major website servers with tenants automatically informed.
- Preparation of Private Residential Tenancy Agreement (lease) to be signed by both landlord and tenant.
- Set up standing order for tenants and PROMPT monthly payment into landlord’s bank account.*
- Full photographic and written inventory of contents and decorative order.
- Change Council tax into tenants names.
- Carry out property inspections on request.
- Chase rent on landlords behalf.
- Monthly invoicing and account reconciliation.
- Online account access for landlords including fully expandable statements showing rental income, fees and expenses.
Advice on set-up costs and New Legislation
We charge a once-only landlord’s set-up fee of £100.00 (including VAT), which would only be deducted from your account once the tenancy is up and running. This includes the initial marketing of the property, photography, listing on our website, Lettingweb, Zoopla, Citylets, and many other connected property sites and servers. It also includes all tenant viewings and vetting as above. The fee is not repeated and covers as many properties as the landlord or group of landlords have.
Costs to bear in mind when getting a property let for the first time include:
Gas safety check required annually, AHL normally charge £66.00 (plus vat). This includes Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate. *This may be more if there are more than 3 different gas appliances or if remedial work is required.
Portable appliances test recommended annually, now required 3-yearly, AHL charge £44.00 (plus vat). This includes testing of all moveable electrical appliances for earth bond, continuity and insulation, landlord’s electrical PAT report and logging of all appliance details and results in our database. There is no limit on the number of appliances.
EICR (formerly called PIR) Electrical Installation Condition Report required 3-yearly for HMO properties – but see new regulations below for non-HMO properties (recommended 5-yearly). AHL charge £120 – £130 plus 10% (plus vat). This includes testing of all house wiring and installation for earth bond, continuity, insulation, compliance with current regulations. Please note remedial work may be required following the EICR, to be costed accordingly.
Smoke detectors required if not present – see new legislation below – This is to provide minimum safety standards and does not apply to houses of multiple occupancy . Information on hmos is listed separately.
Smoke detectors – new legislation 2014
The Scottish Government has produced revised statutory guidance on the requirements for smoke alarms. A copy of the revised statutory guidance is available on the PRHP website by visiting PRHP
However, the main points relative to smoke detectors are as follows. The revised Domestic Technical Handbook guidance states there should be at least:
• One functioning smoke alarm in every 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 should be interlinked.
EPCs all new tenancies from Jan 2009 require Energy Performance Certificates to be carried out and the report posted at the property. AHL charge £66.00 (plus vat).
Legionella Risk Assessment All residential lettings must now have a legionella risk assessment. We carry out full LRA and provide report for £55 plus vat.
Collect references and carry out intensive tenant vetting -(work or bank, previous landlord, parental guarantee if student.) Equifax credit checking.(£25.00 plus vat)
Collect deposit. Returned to tenant at end of tenancy when all outstanding bills are paid and any breakages or damages replaced or repaired. Tenancy Deposit Scheme setup fee: registration, application and transfer of funds to Letting Protection Scotland, including management of release of funds at end of tenancy, not including dispute management.(£88.00 plus vat)
Yet More New Legislation!
EICR notes– formerly PIR(courtesy of NLA) The Scottish Government has finalised its guidance on mandatory electrical testing. Note that this is for ALL rented properties, not just HMO properties.Although the term used by the government is “guidance” this is a statutory regulation which will come into force from 1st December 2015. All Scottish privately rented property covered by the Repairing Standard will require to comply as below, regardless of tenancy type.
Under the new requirement landlords will have to have fixed wiring (Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR) checks carried out at least every five years. This will apply from the following dates:
1st December 2015 – for any new tenancies entered into on or after this date (this includes current tenants signing a new lease)
1st December 2016 – for existing tenancies.
The EICR report must include an appliance check report (a Portable Appliance Test or PAT). PAT checks are required on appliances provided by the landlord, but not those belonging to the tenant.
Anything that is not permanently connected to the electrical installation should be on PAT report. Everything in the property which uses the electrical supply must be on either EICR or PAT, unless it belongs to tenant.
It is advisable to have the checks carried out more frequently than five yearly if recommended by an electrician.
It is a requirement that landlords ensure that the electricians they use are competent. Electricians should be a member of SELECT or NICEIC or be able to complete the checklist in Annex A of the guidance. AHL hold NICEIC certification and use NICEIC certified subcontractors.
EICRs and PATs carried out from 1st December 2015 must be documented on the forms specified on pages 12 and 14 of the guidance in order to be acceptable under the regulations. In addition, all appliances checked must have test labels placed on them.
Enforcement of the electrical testing requirements are the responsibility of the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP). The PRHP can issue a “Repairing Standard Enforcement Order” and ultimately a rent penalty for non-compliance, which is a criminal offence
Legionella notes All residential lettings must now have a legionella risk assessment carried out to assess the risk of the property, which then allows for a suitable control scheme to be implemented. The new changes in law stipulate that all water systems require a risk assessment but not all systems require elaborate control measures. A simple risk assessment is likely to confirm that there are no real risks from legionella, but if there are, implementing appropriate measures will prevent or control these risks; simple, proportionate and practical actions should be taken, including identifying and assessing sources of risk, managing the risk, preventing or controlling the risk; and periodically checking that any control measures are effective.
Legionnaires Disease is potentially a fatal lung infection caused when individuals inhale legionella bacteria. The bacteria can exist in any man made water systems eg water storage systems, taps, pipework etc.
The assessment will report on whether the conditions are right for the bacteria to multiply, areas where stagnant water occurs, infrequently used outlets, debris in the system that could provide food for the legionella, thermostatic mixing valves that set a favourable outlet temperature for legionella growth.
Once you have completed your risk assessment you may decide that the risks are insignificant. If you do, you need take no further action other than to review the assessment regularly in case anything changes in your system.
It is anticipated that an assessment may have to be repeated every 3 to 5 years but there is no information on this currently.
For more information visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/faqs.htm
Carbon Monoxide Detection
Under requirements introduced by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, landlords must have – as explained below – carbon monoxide (CO) detectors fitted in their properties.
Landlords must have sealed-life battery OR mains powered detectors in any space which contains a carbon based fuel appliance (excluding cooking appliances) e.g. a 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 flu. Removable-battery type units are not acceptable and should be phased out.
From April 2006, all private landlords with long-term properties in Scotland must have applied for registration in the register of landlords so the local authority can be satisfied that they are fit and proper persons to let property. The registration lasts for 3 years so you have to renew after 3 years from your first registration.
You should receive a reminder from the council before your registration expires. Clearly in many cases this may still be a long way off.
Please note that most landlords with HMO licences had their details entered on to the register by Council staff when Landlord Registration was launched and received a 100% discount on the registration fee. It is understandable that if you did not enter the information originally, and have not looked at it over the past 3 years, it may no longer be accurate. Now is the time to check that all details are correct. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure their registration details are kept up to date and, when notified by the Council, to renew their registration.
The 100% discount on the registration fee still applies. However if a landlord fails to renew before the expiry date a £110 Late Application Fee can be charged.
If you are unsure of your user name and password to go on-line and renew then these can be re-issued by phoning the council on 0131 469 5293 or e-mailing email@example.com
However if you think we registered on your behalf originally you may want to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance in case we have your details
Any agent the landlord employs must also be registered.
Our Registration no is: 03601/230/13400
To find out more about the landlord register please visit their website at:
Registering on line is fairly straightforward, and our advice would be for you to do this as soon as possible, as failure to register will result in a fine which could be as much as £5,000.
If you want us to do the registering/renewal for you please let us know as soon as possible.
If you register by post £ 55.00 plus £ 11.00 per property = £ 66.00
If you register online £ 49.50 plus £ 9.90 per property = £ 59.40
If we register for you (1 property) £59.40 plus £ 16.00 (+vat £ 2.40) = £77.80
If we register for you (2 properties) £69.30 plus £ 32.00 (+vat £4.80) = £ 106.10
If we register for you (3 properties) £79.20 plus £ 48.00 (+vat £7.20) = £ 134.40
If we did the registration for you we would deduct the above amount
from your rental income as an expense.
Please let us know how you get on with registering/renewal or if you want us to help.
Paying tax on rental income
Each year we have to declare details of properties we manage, landlords and rental income. If you are not a non-resident landlord i.e. you pay tax in the UK then you have to declare your rental income along with any other income. If you are not sure you will need to ask your accountant. All of your expenses eg mortgage interest, agent’s fees, repairs etc. are deductable and you only pay tax on the profit.
If you are away from the UK this does not neccessarily mean that you are non- resident. To qualify for non-resident status you need to be resident and declaring taxable income in another country OR be away from UK for more than 180 days, or various other stipulations including “normal place of abode”, see http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/cnr/nr_landlords.htm#9
If you are non-resident, we have to deduct basic rate (20%) tax from the rental income less deductible expenses. This is called the Non Resident Landlords Scheme. To avoid this, you need to apply to the Revenue for an approval number to receive rental income without tax deducted.
To apply on line or print a form out to send to the Revenue, click
It’s important to let your insurance company know you are renting your property out. Not all insurance companies do this type of cover. We cannot arrange insurance for you but would recommend Letsure
Alternatively you can phone for a quote on 0800 035 8258. They may ask for an agency reference number, ours is 13348.