How new rules on house moves and Covid19 have changed Scottish lettings
Scottish and Edinburgh letting agents were allowed to open for business on 29.06.2020, with these last 3 weeks marking the new normal. While there are less viewers in July 2020 then in July 2019, these 2020 applicants are more decisive and they know what they want. Most Scottish letting agents have reopened, with some staff still working from home. This is not a return to old times – new normal means no walk-ins. Pre-approved individual viewings now replace block slots – with sanitising hand gel, vinyl gloves and face masks now necessities for all Scottish property managers, letting agents and clients. So what has actually changed?
More structure and rules in Edinburgh lettings
- Reading a property ad/viewing photographs on one of the major national portals.
- Viewing a virtual property tour on Edinburgh Letting Centre’s website.
- Online application for the property.
- Income checks carried out.
- Face-to-face viewing for pre-approved applicants.
- Holding deposit payment.
- Signing the lease (electronically).
- Signing the inventory (electronically), payment of the deposit remainder and the first month’s rent.
- Moving in.
HMO in Edinburgh are popular – but only with proper communal space
- Tired looking bedsits in shared HMO properties. The days of bedsits and living among strangers in private rental properties in Edinburgh seems to be gone. Today’s students prefer to live with friends – or in professionally managed student halls. Bedrooms of significantly above average standard in properties where the landlord provides regular cleaning of communal spaces are still popular.
- HMOs without proper communal space – meaning living rooms that have been transformed into a bedroom with the kitchen / diner being the only communal space available. Students don’t really want to live in flats without a living room or a space when they can all hang out together. These flats will always rent last and empty first. Our suggestion to HMO landlords is to consider the length of voids and do the sums before converting a living area to a bedroom. A desire for the perceived financial uplift of turning all rooms into bedrooms, does not always counter-balance the loss of several months rent; as such accommodation does not suit student priorities today.
- HMO properties with very small bedrooms.
n general, coronavirus exacerbated trends that have previously been prevalent – longer summer voids, high competition for attractive properties and low interest in HMOs that are somewhat lacking. The best advice for Edinburgh HMO landlords for 2020 we can give now is: make your property as presentable and as attractive as possible – or face longer voids.