” Even darkness must pass. “—J.R.R. Tolkien”
“Do not lose hope—what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts.
Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story. “—Neil Gaiman
“The future is uncertain, but that can be a good thing.” —Jennifer Niven
The count down is on for holidays, new year, spending socially distanced time with the family or having a rest. I feel that 2020 has been quite a quick year, this time last year doesn’t feel that long ago, but it could be mentally forgetting the oddness and monotony of 2020 playing a part. At the same time it seems ages ago I was at the last council of letting agents general meeting in March and so long ago an energy efficency conference in February.
I asked my little man how he felt about school ending, the winter holidays, new year and the situation we globally are in. With a thoughtful face ” it’s been in two parts for me, being at home, baking, decorating and being at home then school, so I’m okay, apart from the school, it’s very cold.”
So I take it he is coping! The school keeps the windows open during class, which is also why he goes to school like the michilan man with all the layers on.
Landlord financial aid.
Last week I detailed the loans avaliable for the tenants. Scottish landlord have loan opportunities as well should there be financial stress.
For further information on the loan, including the application form, please see the PRS Landlord (non-business) Covid-19 Loan Support page.
Enquiries can be sent to the Scottish Government at PRSLandlordCovid19Loan@gov.scot.
Evicting a tenant
The Scottish Government have been clear that no landlord should evict a tenant because they have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19 and landlords are expected to be flexible with tenants facing financial hardship and signpost them to the sources of financial support available.
In recognition of the severity of the situation we now find the country in, the Scottish Government has passed emergency legislation to protect renters in Scotland during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 protects tenants in Scotland from any eviction action for up to 6 months. This will apply to both the private and social rented housing sectors and will ensure the position is absolutely clear for all landlords and tenants in Scotland.
Alert for Dog owners
One of our landlords has passed on an email from the factor Spiers Gumley about a very distressing story, which I share incase there are any dog owners who this may affect. Be careful of what your dog may snack on, there are incredibly troubled people in this world.
Clarity on Cleaning During COVID
Landlords and agents have been advised to clean properties between one tenant or set of tenants moving out and new tenants moving in, however outgoing tenants should not view this as a reason to abdicate their own cleaning responsibilities – and doing so might result in a deduction from their tenancy deposit.
The advice from the Scottish Government in relation to properties being newly let during the COVID-19 pandemic states that “properties should be deep cleaned in the period between the property being vacated and a new tenant moving in.”
This is an important duty to carry out under the current circumstances and reflects the measures that everyone from bus operators to restaurant owners are taking to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Between the previous tenants moving out and the new tenants moving in, any number of people – besides the landlord or letting agent – may have been in the property, for example tradespeople and potential tenants viewing the property. With evidence that COVID-19 can remain infectious on certain surfaces, it is essential that surfaces are cleaned ahead of the new tenants arriving in case the virus may have been unwittingly brought into the property by a recent visitor.
To return the property in the same condition as you found it is a golden rule that is enshrined in the vast majority of tenancy agreements. As with any points on a tenancy agreement, if the obligation has not been met by the tenant and the landlord has evidence to show that this is the case then the landlord may seek to claim a deduction for cleaning costs from the tenancy deposit.
“But the landlord has to deep clean the property due to the pandemic, so surely I don’t have to do it too?”
The landlord’s obligation to their new tenant is completely separate from the outgoing tenant’s obligation to the landlord. The tenant should – as per the terms of their tenancy agreement, a legally binding contract – still clean the property to the standard it was at when they moved in.
Consider also that cleaning does not stop at disinfecting surfaces – it would be unreasonable to expect that the landlord’s duties in making the property safe for the new tenant should include removing grime from ovens, or having a sofa professionally cleaned to remove pet hairs. Granted they would have little option but to remedy such issues if that is how the property is left, but they would have the case to claim for any costs incurred as a result. This applied prior to the pandemic and continues to do so. One thing to note is that under current guidelines landlords and letting agents should wait 72 hours before entering a property after it has been vacated at the end of the tenancy. A very small amount of dust could form within this three-day window and this would be taken into account within reason by an adjudicator if dust formed part of a cleaning claim.
Legally binding agreement aside, tenants are advised cleaning the property at the end of a tenancy is showing the landlord the same duty of care that they are showing to the next tenant by minimising the risk of them being infected by coronavirus. It is also worth noting that even during a tenancy regular cleaning is more strongly recommended than ever in the current circumstances, particularly in shared households where different tenants may be coming and going from workplaces, schools etc. Keeping the property clean throughout the tenancy will help to keep everyone safe during the pandemic, with the added bonus of making that final clean before a tenancy end date less of a mammoth task
Virtual viewings – doing our bit to stay safe and save the planet
Last year, the UK government became the first major economy to pass legislation to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. It’s a challenging task that will require commitment and significant change to the nation’s infrastructure and economy including housing and property.
Spacial data company ‘Pupil’ has recently claimed that ‘Spec’, its virtual viewing product, could reduce the use of 51,500 cars on our UK roads annually. This would equate to 95.3 tonnes less of greenhouse emissions solely through agents and viewers using virtual viewings rather than visiting properties. 21% of the nation’s carbon emissions is through road transport, according to the Office of National Statistics, therefore addressing this portion is critical.
New methods help the carbon footprint
Pupil’s Founder and CEO, James D Marshall, commented on how virtual viewings have had to be adopted by agents during the pandemic and how the new procedure will also help with the carbon footprint: “Reducing emissions from vehicles attending physical property viewings is pivotal in curbing the alarming levels of carbon emissions in the UK.
“Virtual viewings are ‘the new normal’.”
Significant lowering of carbon emissions is not only crucial in saving our planet but is vital for the health of all its inhabitants. The Royal College of Physicians meta-analysis of air pollution revealed that road transport emissions are attributed to 10,000 premature deaths each year in the UK. The studies also showed that children from highly polluted locations are four times more likely to have reduced lung function when adults.
Scottish agents’ embrace virtual viewings
Scottish letting agents were quick to adapt and embrace the new approach to viewings to ensure the market continued in lockdown and essential moves could take place. Many agents are noticing the advantages in the new procedure and investing in equipment to improve the quality of the experience. Not only do virtual viewings benefit the agent, but they also help the landlord and tenant too. It appears that this alternative will be the new future for viewings
£5,000: The true cost of The Twelve Days of Christmas
A little bit of light hearted humour – I do not endorse any of these items, not the final artist mentioned as I am not a fan of her music, but the Christmas song works for this meaning.
A partridge in a pear tree (£44)
If you don’t mind it being dead, you can pick up a partridge for under a fiver online (it’s cheaper if you keep the feathers on). We’re going to assume, however, that you’ve decided not to present your true love with a dead animal hanging from a tree. Otherwise the first day of Christmas will probably also be your last together.
Two turtle doves (£106)
Back in the late eighteenth century (when the Twelve Days lyrics were first printed) someone looking for two turtle doves would have been able to shoot them during their migratory visits to south east England in the summer months. However, such practices are now banned in the UK and much of the EU.
Three French hens (£51)
A no deal Brexit, French hen importers could face both additional tariffs and non-tariff regulatory barriers by Christmas, potentially increasing the cost of said hens significantly.
Four calling birds (£100)
On the fourth day of christmas we are presented with a lyrical ambiguity, as not all sources agree on whether it is four calling or colly birds that you are required to provide.
A calling bird isn’t a species—it’s simply a bird which calls, or in other words, a songbird, accounting for about half of all bird species.
We’d opt for a set of canaries at roughly £25 each.
Five gold rings (£280)
For £56 each, you can’t complain with these offerings from Argos. While the price of gold has been decreasing recently, it’s still at close to historic highs meaning even the most basic gold rings will still hit the pocket fairly hard.
Six geese-a-laying (£150)
It’s easy enough to buy your true love six geese. For a half-dozen mature birds, you’re looking at around £150.
But geese don’t lay all year long. They start in spring, unless there are exceptional weather circumstances and their biological clocks go a bit haywire.
Seven swans-a-swimming (£1,050—assuming you own a home with a significant water feature)
The going rate for a swan seems to be £150, so that’s £1,050 for seven.
Please don’t procure yourself any mute swans—it’s illegal to keep this variety under the terms of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act—or else you’ll be looking at significant legal fees on top of the cool grand you spent on acquiring your avian contraband.
Eight maids-a-milking (£144, or £68 if you own a dairy animal)
At this point we are confronted with another possible ambiguity in the lyrics. The song posits that the maids alone constitute the eighth day’s gift—but also specifies that the maids are “a-milking”. The assumption here, presumably, is that the recipient already owns sufficient milk-producing animals.
However as the eighth day of Christmas is new year’s day—a bank holiday—you may have to pay your maids a higher wage than this.
Nine ladies dancing (£100)
The median gross hourly pay for part-time dancers and choreographers is about £11. That means it should be feasible to hire nine female dancers for one hour for around £100. Maybe a bit extra for the PPE equipment and hand sanitizer.
Ten lords-a-leaping (up to £3,000)
Members of the House of Lords are paid a daily allowance for each “qualifying day of attendance” at Westminster, so should be pretty easy to employ at a competitive rate. This can be up to £300, although they can claim a reduced rate of £150 or nothing at all.
Eleven pipers piping (£26)
It’s the fourth day of January.
You’ve remortgaged the house and maxed out the credit cards. The swans have attacked the turtle doves. Your gold rings have been lifted by—you believe—the lords a-leaping, who, in combination with those dancing ladies, have absolutely wrecked your shagpile carpet.
The last thing you want to do is privately procure 11 pipers piping.
Twelve drummers drumming (£30)
I will be getting incessant tailored adverts for fowl merchants and orchestral spectaculars. I have no idea how much a drummer would cost, but Dave Ghrol and Animal from the muppets have an epic battle, that I would watch 6 times, to make the 12 drummers.
Merry fact-ing Christmas. Next year, heed the words of Mariah Carey instead.
Bank holidays will cause issues with the bank transfers, however I will log in and transfer what is possible.
We will still have email access for tenant or landlord emergencies.
If there is any new government information release I shall send out an email, However I think this is that last email until 2021!!!!
“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”― Jane Yolen
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas as different as it may be and a prosperous new year.
“Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year.” “May the New Year bless you with health, wealth, and happiness.” “In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want.”
“May your teeth be white, your eyes be bright, and your capacity for love at its height!”
Michelle & the GPL team
17 Elmbank Street
0141 221 3990
Registration number LARN1903009
VAT : 174415411
The information in this e-mail is confidential. The contents may not be disclosed or used by anyone other than the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message. Glasgow Property Letting Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this message as it has been transmitted over a public network.
We will no longer retain emails from you as per GDPR legislation. This means when you send us an email you should keep a copy for your own records if you will need to refer to it at a later date. You can dispose of your own copies according to your own GDPR retention policies.