Is it worth letting my flat out (Scotland)

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    #16
    Originally posted by MdeB View Post

    There is an interesting article on this here: https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2019/09/...landlords-tax/
    Not really.

    It's hardly a revelation, landlords have been dealing with this for years.

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      #17
      I ended up letting my property. I've been offered a 5 year contract and with my visa I ended up going for I should be able to apply for citizenship in 4 years, well a bit less than that now. Letting the property seemed to make sense, I found a letting agent who seemed good and the tenant I went for is a keyworker.

      I knew I would need a smoke detector fitted in the living room and a heat detector fitted in the kitchen to comply with Scottish housing legislation. I already had a wired smoke detector fitted in the hallway last year whilst I was having some other electrical work done and there was an existing a fulling functioning hard wired CO detector in the hallway as well. I also had a FireAngel battery powered CO detector in the kitchen, on top of the boiler which is the only gas appliance in the property.

      I have received an invoice for £441.60 to fit the two detectors in the living room and kitchen and the contractor has gone and replaced the two functioning detectors in the hallway. I have queried it with the letting agent because a) it seems a lot, b) it's more than I authorised the letting agent to pay without my approval, and c) I'm not sure the hallway detectors needed replacing at all.

      What do other landlords think?
      Guidance for private sector landlords in Scotland on regulations relating to installation of fire detection and warning systems.

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        #18
        Tradesmen always make a meal of the simplest jobs. I've just paid £3k for a new consumer unit, which did not need doing, in London to 'comply with the regs'. It's just the cost of doing business, as the law forces you to take an oik's judgement on whether something needs doing.
        To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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          #19
          JKO What! £3k for a new consumer unit! I've been quoted £400 and thought that was high.

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            #20
            Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
            JKO What! £3k for a new consumer unit! I've been quoted £400 and thought that was high.
            Oh, well there were some ancillary items. (A working extractor fan needlessly replaced, and a tower required to access it. A few bathroom lights replaced with LED's as they weren't enclosed, etc, etc.)
            To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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              #21
              Over a year on and I think I've come to the conclusion that letting my former home out is not worth the hassle. The key worker tenant stayed for a year and caused some serious damage to furniture that the letting agency missed during check-out. Thankfully I was able to recover the money from the letting agency by threatening to take them to the FTT.

              Property was then empty for 3.5 months whilst letting agency pushed tenants who couldn't afford to rent it and the wasted a lot of time re-marketing too high. Sacked them, got a new agency, who did find tenants but they have only stayed for 3 months so with all the letting agency fees for setting up and ending a tenancy on top of the usual pound of flesh I'm not sure those 3 months have even washed their own face. Meanwhile I had to pay for a Airbnb to stay in during the festive period.

              Between the letting agency fees, voids, damage, and wear & tear I may as well not bother letting it again now especially as returning to Scotland later this year is a real prospect. Plus it means my mortgage interest will reduce by 1% when I remove the consent to let.

              Would I let property again? Yes, but not my former home, not whilst I'm on the other side of the world, and most likely not using a letting agency. You live and learn.

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                #22
                The market in Aberdeen has been horrible for the past few years, so you have had a bit of a headwind.

                I have been letting a property at a long distance for years. I don't really intend to continue doing it for much longer and have come to the conclusion that hands-off letting does not really work. I think the landlord has to be there.

                Residential property management seems a bit of an oddity in that typically you can be confident that a professional will not make a better job of it than you will, if you are of moderate intelligence and are prepared to put in some work. The same cannot be said of e.g. vehicle maintenance, commercial aviation, surgery, litigation, plumbing...
                There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

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                  #23
                  The Aberdeen market has been pretty horrendous these last few years and I think both you and I have both found the letting agencies in this city to be chocolate teapots. I think the letting agencies had it too good during the boom time when demand for rental properties outstripped supply so any eejit could do it. Now their shortcomings are shining through.

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                    #24
                    I'm nearly at the end of my saga. Tenants served notice to end the tenancy 4th February. Letting agency said the check-out inspection would be done 5th February, a Saturday which is strange but that's what they said, and I moved back in 6th February. Place is not even remotely clean, the fridge has been damaged and the walls are quite marked. I am also reliably informed the tenants were still in the property on the 5th.

                    Letting agency says I'll be sent a copy of the check-out report on Monday. Then it dawns on the agent who said doing the check-out inspection on the 5th was impossible because they don't work Saturdays and as I have now moved in it is impossible to tell who caused the damage. "Au contraire," says I the cynic, for I took photographs and documented the dirt and damage.

                    I have yet to receive the money deducted from the deposit or a refund from the letting agent for the check-out inspection I paid for but won't receive.

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                      #25
                      Cleaning away your tenant's dirt is all part of the joy of landlording. This week I've been steam cleaning a fridge & washing machine, but they're still not perfect.
                      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                        Cleaning away your tenant's dirt is all part of the joy of landlording. This week I've been steam cleaning a fridge & washing machine, but they're still not perfect.
                        It’s a joy I could do without. The measly profit I’ve made whilst letting my flat has been eclipsed by the cost of rectifying the damage the two sets of tenants have caused. Impressive since we’re talking about a 12 month tenancy and then 3 months.

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post

                          It’s a joy I could do without. The measly profit I’ve made whilst letting my flat has been eclipsed by the cost of rectifying the damage the two sets of tenants have caused. Impressive since we’re talking about a 12 month tenancy and then 3 months.
                          Oh well, I did tell you to let your mum have it as a pied a terre. I bet she'd have kept it dusted while she was there.
                          To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by JK0 View Post

                            Oh well, I did tell you to let your mum have it as a pied a terre. I bet she'd have kept it dusted while she was there.
                            She certainly wouldn't have ruined the bath!

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post

                              It’s a joy I could do without. The measly profit I’ve made whilst letting my flat has been eclipsed by the cost of rectifying the damage the two sets of tenants have caused. Impressive since we’re talking about a 12 month tenancy and then 3 months.
                              Reading this with interest, as I have a similar property in Aberdeen which I decided not to rent out for the same period as you. I came to the conclusion that the risks were too high for the profits to be made and the time and hassle it would cost me. I don't want to rub your face in it or anything - I'm just awestruck that the Scottish government and councils have created a situation where its more beneficial to let a perfectly good property in a Scottish city sit empty because the costs of renting it out are too high and the profit margin too low. Its entirely likely that I would have run at a loss if I had let it out - as you point out, it just takes one or two not so good tenants and your entire profit is gone in redecoration and replacement costs. And I'd be paying 40% tax in the UK on it.

                              I still have an empty property but at least its in good nick and all its costing me is the small interest only mortgage, council tax and property factor fees. Its also in negative equity but I had a 50% deposit, which I'd rather not lose, so its only marketed at 5k less than I paid for it 9 years ago...ideal starter home too. Such are the times we live in.

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                                #30
                                Edindeen,

                                I really wish I had done the same. I don't really think this is down to the Scottish government and councils. My misfortune, if you want to call it that, is down to the Aberdeen housing market and the fact that every single letting agency in Aberdeen seems to be inept. (I've been having an offline discussion with another landlord in Aberdeen about our experiences of many letting agencies in the city and they are useless!).

                                If the Aberdeen housing market was the same as it was pre-2015 I'd have been making a tidy profit that would have made the endeavor worthwhile. I could have redecorated when I got back and fixed all the damage and still have come out on top. Plus there would have been more demand so there, in theory, would have been a better pool of tenants to choose from.

                                Then we have the letting agencies themselves. I remember being a tenant and having to wrangle with letting agencies to get my deposit back over the smallest of things i.e. soap residue in the soap tray in the shower. Fair enough and that time the landlord told the letting agency to give me my full deposit back because if that was the only thing after being in the property for so long he was laughing.

                                First letting agency somehow completely missed the damage as shown below and gave the tenant her full deposit back. When I queried it later with the letting agency they said the ripped chairs was fair wear and tear and that it happens with faux leather chairs. 1) They are real leather, 2) I have never seen any chairs with large rips in them like this due to fair wear and tear.

                                Second letting agent failed to do a check-out inspection at all. Thankfully by this point my expectation of letting agencies was low so I started documenting things myself when I got back into the property. The tenants had only been there for 3 months and managed to mark the walls and the wallpaper as well as put a big gash in the fridge door. There had been zero attempt to clean and it didn't look like the place had been vacuumed at all during the whole 3 months. I put forward some proposed deductions and over two weeks on the tenants still haven't agreed to the deductions. I think they're getting off lightly from the amount of damage they caused in the 3 months they were there. Once the deposit deductions have finally been dealt with I will be putting in a formal complaint to this letting agency too.

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