Hope that everyone is well this week. July has been a strange month, usually I would have be frantically arranging child care and sleep overs and things to keep my son amused during summer holidays, but this year has been unusual to say the least! Fayre Monday I spent having a lovely day with my in laws while by son sanded a stick! The joy of children learning!
As it stands our office is still pivoted to enable work from home to be carried out. As lock down eased we were told if you do not need to go into the office, it is not advised, and now with the covid levels rising, it is sensible to continue as we are. A second lockdown is not something that anyone wants, and having family in Australia, I have been hearing that it seems to be harder the second time, which I can understand.
I think we are managing to stay on top of things work wise, although if there is anything that has fallen through the cracks, please let me know. I am aware that there are contractor quotes and rent queries that are outstanding, as we are waiting for the third party to advise, but I have chased this week on those matters.
The Glasgow Property Letting team are having regular calls with each other, as well as with landlords and tenants (drop a message into firstname.lastname@example.org if you do wish for a chat and we can book something in). On top of that we are still continuing to train with the help of webinars , zoom and goto meetings.
Recently i had a webinar hosted by Safe Deposit Scotland about fair wear and tear and betterment.
Some clients who have been with Glasgow Property Letting since 2008 will remember that we were the first Scottish agent to mandatory lodge the deposit with a custodial scheme, long before it became legislation.
There are 3 custodial schemes in Scotland
When a tenant has expressed interest in a property, we ask them for a holding deposit which is then transferred to Safe Deposits. We do have an account with all 3 scheme, the preference is safe deposits because they are based close to our office and have a user friendly interface on the website.
There are some deposits we have historically with Letting Protection Scotland, but no new ones, and My Deposits is great for reference and clauses, but a bit of a clunky system for lodging.
There is not a separate charge to you as the landlord for the lodging of the deposit, it is part of the marketing and letting fee. The only occasion we may charge a fee in relation to a deposit is if there is a dispute regarding the deposit deductions and a case has to be submitted to Arbitration. My hope is that I can explain what can and can not reasonably be deducted from the deposit. I must stress we do not make these decisions, and have no control over the outcome if a deposit is disputed.
As you know the tenants pay a deposit, and it stays with the custodial scheme for the duration of the tenancy. When the tenancy ends the tenant supplied proof that the utilities have been settled and the check out is arranged. The inventory from the start of the tenancy is compared to the current condition, hopefully it is all similar and the tenant received the deposit back in full.
That is the aim.
The deposit is not an insurance policy and can not be used to “better” the property.
Deductions can be made from the deposit, with justification and reasonableness.
• If the property was professionally cleaned at the start of the tenancy and showing signs that it had not been cleaned at the end, that is a reasonable deduction.
However if the tenant has had the property cleaned, maybe not very well, but can produce an invoice to show that cleaning was paid for an independent 3rd party adjudicator will decide if the deduction is valid and if so the amount.
• Rent arrears can be claimed as the deposit, however there is only the deposit amount that we can deal with. If the arrears are greater than the deposit amount, it would need to be solicitors and a payment order, but the deposit can be claimed for part of the arrears.
• A tenant spills red wine ( always red wine isn’t it) on a tan carpet that is 15 years old. The carpet has been cleaned but there is still a tinge or discolour where the wine was spilled. Many landlords think that the tenant is responsible for a new carpet. That is not the case. I have attached the life span of the items and if the carpet was of an age, nearing the end of its life span, there would be a very small amount awarded.
The converse it obviously also true. If the carpet is new and a tenant burns it in the first year of its life in a tenancy, it is reasonable to claim for a high percentage of the cost of the carpet.
• If tenant has been in a property for several years, family home young kids running about, bike marks in the hall, I am sure you can imagine. As a landlord you would be having that property repainted at the end of the tenancy to freshen it up, so that would not be a reasonable expense to expect the tenant to pay from the deposit.
The lease agreement has to be sent to the custodial scheme if a dispute arises. This is because in the lease agreement it states what the deposit can be used for. The Private Rented Tenancy agreement covers lots of areas such as tenants removing smoke alarms, tenants installing cables that they did not have permission for , but it is not a “new for old” bond.
That is important to remember when the tenant vacates and you are sent the check out report.
Often there is a balance of how long the tenants have been in the property, how old the item is and how long would that item usually last for?
I have already been sending out leases for September start dates!!! Which is madness as July seems to have only started, but is almost finished! I remember a dear friend telling me that as you get older the days get longer, but the years go by much, much quicker and I have certainly found it this year. Although, that may not be a negative considering….
We have a bank holiday on the 3rd of August and the 31st of August, which means I cannot do any transfers and things will be delayed until the following Tuesday. I wont voice my thoughts on it being the 21st Century, the world has gone digital and on line in a pandemic, people have gone into space, but banking can not be carried out on a bank holiday, because I have had that rant many times to my mother and I still can not understand why.
Take care and we will find our feet in the new normal,
17 Elmbank Street
Registration number LARN1903009
VAT : 174415411
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Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme Scotland – Safe Deposits
SafeDeposits is the leading tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland – with a unique position as the only scheme which is not-for-profit and based in Scotland’
mydeposits Scheme | Deposit Protection | mydeposits
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Home – Letting Protection Service Scotland
Landlords and letting agents can register for an online account and start submitting deposits to be protected by The Letting Protection Service Scotland.