What about me?..can I find a home with you??
Hope these answers hit the spot for you
- Why don't you take a deposit? - there is a new law in Scotland that now requires Registered Landlords who take a deposit to place this deposit with a designated company. At the end of the
tenancy the tenant has to apply for their deposit to be returned. The Landlord must provide any evidence of damage, arrears etc..to be able to claim any share of that deposit he/she deems needing to be paid. Many Fife Landlords now do not take a deposit in
the light of this. We have returned any deposits taken and now do not require a deposit. Some Landlords require instead 2 months rent - we have not gone down this route as we consider that when moving a tenant wants
to minimise outlay, instead we ask for just a month rent in advance. However, what we do ask is that a tenant provide a Guarentor. This is done as a legal document where the Guarentor is liable for any outstanding costs after the end of a tenancy, or any non
- What about pets? - Some of our properties are ideally suited to a small dog or cat so this is discussed when application is made. But some of
our properties are not really suited to larger pets. Supposing you decide you want a dog or cat after you move in then let us know - usually there is no problem unless you want half a dozen Rottweilers then we may have problems! Of course you can bring your
Budgie, fish or Gerbil etc..!! Please remember that you will be liable for any damage a pet may cause and any mess in the garden area.
- Why no Smoking? - Firstly we do not
have a 'downer' on smokers but it's just that we have to take into consideration certain factors. Firstly the damage done to the paintwork. Secondly there could be a fire risk and we are responsible to ensure you are safe. Thirdly the property would need a
deep clean after you vacated it. Of course you can smoke outside.
- What if I get into financial difficulties and have trouble paying may rent?- then simply give us a
call we can work it out with you. But please don't ignore it or go underground. Out of all the problems a Landlord encounters a Tenant 'going underground' is one of the most common...then when they surface they have to face big problems. So always keep in
touch and we can help you sort things out.
- Why do I have to have all this paperwork? The last Landlord I had didn't give me any! Sadly we have heard this often. There are some landlords who are just interested
in getting the rent. The tenant has no protection or come back when things go wrong. We always issue all the required documents because this lets you know what you can expect from us and what responsibilities you as a tenant have. Many of our long term tenants
will not have as much documentation as recent tenants, who in turn may not have as much as future tenants!....the reason for this is that legislation is always on the increase and although earlier tenants may not be required to have the latest documents, as
this may mean a new tenancy agreement, but all new tenants will have to be issued with what is currently required......I hope you have not fallen asleep reading this ...but to put it bluntly 'you have to have all this paperwork because you have to have it!!'. WARNING
please beware of any 'Landlord' that offers you a home with no paperwork - you will have no comback, no guarentees or security if you do. You should ask for a Landlord's Registration number and a proper Tenancy Argreement.
- Can I expect a fast response to any problem with the property? Absolutely! We will respond as quick as we can. We use all local small businesses and they are used to responding to any problem. At the times we are away
on a break we tell you and give you an emergency number to speak to someone so that action can be taken. All this is stated in the documentation you will be given. On the odd occasion if we seem slow to respond it is that the workmen we have engaged on your
behalf are busy and cannot act straightaway. We ask any workmen to contact you directly if a delay.
- I hear all kinds of horror stories about Landlords not repairing boilers or dealing with damp problems etc..
Yes we hear them too and they are real. Let me explain our position. The home you have is a mortgage property, we do not own it, therefore it is to our advantage to maintain it. If a boiler breaks down then we would ensure it is fixed soonest...any damp is
bad news and we want our properties to be in good shape (some are old and need more TLC than others). Also we want you to feel comfortable and safe. So if a Landlord neglects their property then they are shooting themselves in the foot! Please
remember that although we might respond quickly sometimes workmen, Factors, Insurance companies may take a long time - these situations are beyond our control.
- What about INSURANCE? The Landlord
is responsible for the 'Buildings Insurance'. This covers the basic building itself. This is required as a condition of getting a Mortgage. If the Landlord provides white goods or any other furnishings then usually these are included in the Buildings Insurance.
The Tenant is responsible for 'Contents Insurance' - in short all of their own 'stuff'. The Landlord is not responsible for the Tenants personal losses.
- Can I speak with the Landlord if I have a problem or request?
Yes you can. We do not use a Letting Agent but run the business ourselves. We tell our tenants that if they text us then we will phone them back so there is no cost to them. However we do prefer a tenant to phone during
working hours on a weekday and avoid weekends.
- While on the subject of phones - we would ask you as a tenant to keep us informed if and when you change your phone number. We, together with our tradesmen (who
will need to contact you for yearly safety checks), will need to contact you from time to time. often we cannot hcontact tenants simple because their phone/number has been replaced.
- What about fire safety?
All tenants from June 2013 will be supplied with a fire extinguisher and fire blanket to supplement their smoke alarm and be made aware of fire safety and be familiar with passage of escape.
- Can I decorate my property?
This is a commonly asked question and the answer is 'It depends'. You will be given a property with freshly painted magnolia and white paintwork. The fire guidelines suggest that wall paper presents more of a fire risk than emulsion..... But let's
be sensible about this. If you are a long term tenant then we don't mind you decorating to suit your taste providing it's not dark brown or purple walls as these colours can take four coats of magnolia to cover! ...again wallpaper is not a problem but in both
cases, painting and papering, we would insist that it is done professionally and that you ask us first. This is just common sense - remember we ask you to return the property to us in the condition you received it. We once had a tenant who tried to paint the
bath a red gloss - we were not amused as we had to put a new bathroom suite in!
- Can I hang my 56inch T.V. On the wall? Hmmm..this usually means that the wall will be damaged and unless the whole
wall is re plastered it will always be visible. So here is the bottom line - if you need to do this then we would require from you the cost of re plastering - that's fair isn't it?
- Do you chase up non payment?
Yes we do. We always take action to obtain any rent or damage outstanding in the property. We employ a team of debt collectors and legal experts to ensure all that is owed is paid. We after all have to meet costs to provide you a home. You
are also reminded that our action will affect your credit rating and we reserve the right to have any wage or benefits arrested.
- Why does my Tenancy Agreement say 6 months? Your tenancy
agreement is what is called a SCOTTISH SHORT ASSURED TENANCY. This lasts initially for 6 months, during that time ONE MONTHS NOTICE is required from either party. After the 6 months the contract continues to roll on month by month until terminated by either
party giving TWO MONTHS notice. There is no need for a new/renewed tenancy agreement after the 6 months.
- Do I have to keep my garden tidy and my lawn cut? Yes - providing of course if you have a garden!
Maintainence of grounds by you is part of our agreement that we have made together. This includes putting out your rubbish bins and keeping all aspects of the property tidy so as not to be a nuisence to neighbours.
you put up my rent when I have been in the property for a while? All the years we have been Landlords we have never raised any of our rents and hope that we can continue in that vein. However if and when Mortgage rates go up we may revisit the
rent situation to meet the Mortgage.
- An official looking suit came round the other and wanted to measure and inspect bits of the property - help! does that mean you are selling up?? Definitely not! From
time to time a surveyor may call (pre-arranged with you) and may be checking up on valuation, energy usage etc.. this is a matter of course to ensure that we keep abreast of our property. It does not mean we are selling. if we decide to sell a property
we would endevour to do it after a tenant has left - but we have no plans to sell.
- I love my property .. could I buy it? - The short answer is Yes that could be possible.
- What happens if my 'partner' leaves a property we have been sharing? If you are not married you will have been given one Tenancy agreement each. Both of you are jointly responsible for those agreements. The leaving party should still
give the appropiate notice. If the remaining person wants to stay and can afford to stay then we would issue a new tenancy agreement for that person.
- What if I am in a wheelchair can i get a property? Yes
provided that our accommodation is suitable - we are happy for certain adaptations to be made to enable you to safely occupy a property.
- Help! I have a Criminal Record..have I any chance of renting? On
the Application Form you are asked if you have a Criminal Record, we are required to ask you this. However every applicant is treated on their merits, references and guarentor, we do not practice any discrimation.
if I am not a British Citizen, can I still rent from you? Of course you can. Basic rules would apply. Firstly the Government require us to see that you have a valid Work Permit. Secondly you must have enough grasp of the English Language
to understand your Tenancy Agreement and all that is required from you. If you fulfill those simple requirements and references/Guarentor are in order then that's okay. In fact some of our best tenants have been young Polish workers!
- While we are on this subject - what about the Colour of my Skin? A very topical question. Some news items have revealed that some landlords are refusing people on the basis of skin colour. WE TOTALLY DEPLORE THIS
ACTION AND ALL GOOD LANDLORDS WOULD FEEL THE SAME. It matters not to us what the colour of a person's outer covering is... Our maxim is simple - pay the rent,look after your property and be a good neighbour... It never ceases to amaze me what that
has to do with skin colour!!
- Can I rent a room in my property to my pal? The mortgage company specifically forbid any sub letting. So the answer is No you can't.
I go on holiday and still keep my property? Of course you can. Your home is just like any other home, as long as you continue to pay your rent/council tax and utility bills etc..then you can go away. If you are going for a long period it would
be a matter of courtesy to let the Landlord know just in case there is a problem with your home.
- Why are you a Landlord? Could I do it? - To cut a long story short we became Landlords
because we had worked for Christian organisations/Charity and had no pension at all. So we took some money out from our home and bought one flat, then another etc... It was scary to start but we continued. Being a Landlord is not a way of getting rich quick
and it means being able to respond to all kinds of problems. Being a Landlord is like flying - 90% mundane/boredom & 10% sheer terror. So if you can be on call 24/7, deal with the weird and wonderful and be at the mercy of interest rates, Government
regulations and endless paperwork and be thought of as someone just above the double glazing salesman in the food chain then yes you can do it!!🙃
- Where can I get help/information about being a Landlord and where would I get all those documents? We are happy for you to send us a message and we can help point you to the services available in Scotland
who will provide you with all the documentation you need and link you with basic training and legal help.