Member of the Week - Munro & Noble Lettings Department

Two years ago, according to the media the Property Lettings industry was facing a future of nothing but ‘doom and gloom’. New regulation, new legislation, new tenancy agreements, recent changes in tax benefits and the introduction of Additional Dwelling Supplement, (ADS), all conspired to rapidly change the Lettings Industry.

So with the benefit of hindsight, were the pundits right; did the industry implode? Nothing could be further from the truth. All the speculation that private landlords would be selling their housing stock, creating a dearth of properties available for rent and consequently Lettings Agents would be going out of business, has been just that, speculation.

Yes, there have been major adjustments in how Scottish Letting Agents operate and the quality of the properties here in Scotland available for rental has certainly improved. Positive. With the facts that all Lettings Agents businesses must have a qualified person in every office, be registered with the Scottish Government and meet their code of practice and lodge all deposits with a recognised deposit scheme, without question standards have been raised both for tenants and landlords. No doubt, these changes have caused some agents to question their business’s viability and decided to cease trading. However, for those that have embraced the changes the market is currently very buoyant.

Who is a typical landlord? The answer is not straight forward. At Munro & Noble Lettings we have individuals that are renting their home out whilst on secondment abroad, people investing in property as part of their pension portfolio, company’s investing capital to get a reasonable return; the scenarios are endless. If you are looking for a quick financial gain, getting involved in the lettings market is probably not for you. Certainly, it is recommended that before investing in property independent financial advice is sought. But for those that do participate, the demand for decent rental properties, particularly here in Inverness, is exceptionally strong.

Factoring, or contracting an agent to look after your property, has real advantages for a landlord. For instance, the agent becomes the contact between tenant and landlord removing any emotion from potential differences of opinion. Agents will carry-out quarterly inspections following a set agenda, (standard practice for Munro & Noble Lettings), which ensures the property is maintained to a decent level reasonably expected by the owner. All maintenance is organised with the contractors invoice being exactly the amount payable by the landlord; no additional charges are levied.

If you are considering investing in the Lettings market, it is certainly worth speaking to a qualified Lettings Agent. They can give you guidance as to the type of property to invest in and on desirable locations from a renter’s perspective. Furthermore, if you are considering asking the agent to factor your property, carefully ask them exactly what service levels you will receive. Not all agents are the same. That said, here in Inverness we do have a handful of good, reputable agents that do take pride in their work.

Read more about Munro & Noble's Letting department here: munronoble.com/property