Scottish lettings – January 2021 coronavirus update
2020 ended with Edinburgh moving into Tier 4 and 2021 started with another lockdown. Unlike last year’s lockdown which lasted from March to June, the housing market remains open. But what does it really mean for letting agents like Edinburgh Letting Centre, our tenants, and landlords?
Maintenance in tenanted properties
Considering the new restrictions, we can only carry out essential maintenance (boiler and heating repairs, leaks, electrical repairs, replacing faulty silicone seals, replacing cracked glass panes if in danger of falling out, replacing or repairing seized locks etc). With certain maintenance issues, such as windows, we may have to make items safe and then carry on with the repair after the restrictions have been lifted/eased. We are also required to maintain essential safety checks and certificates. Ultimately, this means we are not allowed to conduct any repairs that would constitute a betterment or an upgrade (painting walls that are no longer fresh, replacing tired kitchen cabinet doors, replacing old blinds with new blinds etc).
From Monday to Friday (9am-5pm) our office continues to stay open with a reduced staff for key collections and emergency access – we are not open for walk ins unless it is an emergency. We welcome all enquiries from tenants and landlords, but if for any reason you need to speak to us in person, please call us to schedule an appointment. All staff members, including the ones working from home, can be reached at their regular landline and mobile phone numbers as we use voice over the internet phones.
Inventories, tenancy agreements and landlord agreements can be signed online via Signable (electronic signature platform). Tenant referencing is carried out by a third-party referencing provider, Hazelton Mount ford.
In-person viewings are still permitted for pre-approved viewers. Once you have enquired about one of our properties, we will send you a virtual tour link to that specific property or we will refer you to a website that showcases our many virtual tours that we have available. From there, we will ask you to fill in an online application and organize an in-person viewing once the application has been completed; in-person viewings can only be conducted in vacant properties. Our viewing agent will open windows in all rooms prior to the viewing ensuring the property is well ventilated. Please remember to wear a face mask and keep to the required physical distancing measurements. If you have any questions during the viewing, please ask such questions outside, before or after the viewing