The following section is intended to provide answers to the questions that are most frequently asked by our Glasgow client tenants before, during and after the tenancy has expired.
If you are a Glasgow tenant either looking to rent property with Berisfords or any other letting agent and cannot find the answer to your question about letting a rented property in Glasgow then please contact us and we will make every effort to assist you.
Q What standard of accommodation do you offer prospective tenants?
A) All our properties are thoroughly checked to ensure that they offer our rental clients the highest possible standard of accommodation in the best Glasgow areas.
Unfortunately there are no ratings available on rented accommodation unlike the star system given to hotels however we always aim to ensure that our properties provide at least a standard of accommodation equivalent to that provided by a 4 star hotel.
Q What are the best areas to rent in Glasgow?
A) As with all cities rich in diversity and culture, different people will be attracted to different aspects of our fabulous city. This is why we have prepared our Glasgow Guide series which can be found here. Please feel free to browse and compare the various regions of Glasgow.
Q How can I arrange to view a property in Glasgow?
A) If you are interested in viewing a property then please contact us by email or by phone and we will agree a suitable viewing time. Viewings can be arranged on weekends or after hours to suit your particular requirements.
Q I live abroad and am unable to view any properties in Glasgow until immediately before I arrive. What do you recommend that I do?
A) We recommend that you allow a friend, relative or family member to carry out the viewing on your behalf. If you are unable to do this then we can recommend short term accommodation in Glasgow City Centre until a suitable property becomes available.
Q How do you ensure that property viewings are organised fairly?
A) As the majority of our Glasgow rental properties are over subscribed, we allocate viewings on a first come first served basis. On the first day that the property first comes on to the market, the first viewing times will be given to the first people who have registered with us and who have requested to view the property in advance.
Q When are viewings available?
A) We try to be as flexible as possible on viewings as many of our clients are working during normal business hours, flying in from abroad etc. As a consequence we are available for viewings 7 days a week including most bank and public holidays. (We will be closed for Christmas and New Year holidays).
We do recommend that in order to appreciate every aspect of the property you view the property in daylight hours. Most of our properties are within walking distance from Glasgow city Centre so lunch time appointments are particularly popular.
Q How do I reserve a property which has been advertised to let?
A) All properties to rent will remain on the market until a reservation deposit of £300 is received together with a signed Tenant Information Sheet and Application Form. These must be received in cleared funds
Q Apart from the reservation deposit what other fees or charges do I have to pay as tenant to your agency?
A) There are no other agency fees to pay for the duration of your tenancy with our company. We do not charge renewal fees, check out fees or any other fees which many agencies may charge you time and time again. We even waive your reservation deposit if you are an existing client with us and wish to move into another one of our properties. Please note that as with all other agencies, charges and fees are applicable if you do not pay rent on time or leave the property in an unsatisfactory condition.
Q Can I reserve a property without viewing it?
A) We strongly recommend that you view any property before you commit to renting. There are a large number of unscrupulous individuals who use our property images to advertise on classified websites such as Craig’s List and Gumtree purporting to own the property in question.
Whilst these adverts have no connection with our company, we are keen to ensure that all prospective tenant client’s interests are observed throughout the rental market. No matter which company you use when you are considering renting, we suggest that viewing the flat or rented apartment that you are considering prior to committing to enter into a rental contract is a prerequisite.
Q I have seen the property which you advertise available to rent cheaper directly through the owner. Why is this?
A) As we stated above there are a number of unscrupulous individuals who steal our property photographs and descriptions and pretend that they are the owner of the property. They generally advertise the property at a deeply discounted price “for a quick sale” or “to save management fees” This is never true.
The person offering the property generally will live abroad and be beyond the scope of any legal criminal proceedings. They will have no access to the property and have no rights to advertise, view or manage the apartment or house which they claim ownership of.
The scam works by the advertiser claiming that he is abroad and is unable to show you the property at present because he has the keys. He will agree to rent the property to you or give you first option if you forward a month’s rent / holding deposit / good faith money to him by an online payment transfer. When you see these adverts please remember the old adage “If it seems too good to be true it normally is”
Q Is there anything else that I need to send along with my reservation deposit?
A) We will also require a fully completed Application Form and signed Tenant Information Sheet. These can be found on the download section of our website here. If you a non UK national then we will require a certified copy of your passport for authentication purposes.
Q What is the purpose of the Reservation Forms?
A) The data provided on the forms provide us with the information required to carry out the necessary credit information checks to ensure that your application can be considered favourably.
Q What happens once I have paid my Reservation deposit?
A) We will acknowledge receipt of your reservation deposit funds together with the Application form and signed Information sheet. The information which you provide us with will be passed on to a Credit Reference company who will provide us with a Credit Report which assesses your suitability for renting the property in question.
Q How long do the Credit Checks generally take?
A) The credit checks normally take 2-3 days to organise however they can be carried out more quickly by prior agreement.
Q What other information is required from me when I want to reserve a property to let?
A) Each adult who will be living in the rented apartment will be asked to provide at least 2 suitable references in addition to the Credit Check.
Q Who can provide me with a suitable reference?
A) Suitable references are generally your employer, accountant, bank manager, existing landlord etc.
Q What references are required for Company or Corporate lets?
A) If you represent a FTSE quoted company, Utility or other similar nationally recognised organisation then a letter confirming the purpose of the proposed let from a suitably senior Director etc will be suitable. We will require full contact details of the individual in order that we can contact directly.
Q I am a self employed contractor. What references do you require from me?
A) If you are self employed then we generally require the same level of information as provided by an Individual let. We will accept references from a third party supplier or client providing said company is established.
Q What happens once my references and credit checks have been confirmed as suitable?
A) We will send you written confirmation of this and forward you a Form AT5 for you to sign and return to us.
Q What happens if my application is rejected?
A) If we discover that your credit rating is insufficient then we will advise you immediately. We will offer a number of alternatives to address the problem such as the payment of the rent in advance, or setting up a guarantor on your account to cover any possible short falls or potential breaches in the tenancy agreement.
Q What is a guarantor?
A) A guarantor is someone who will undertake to pay any rent to us in the event that you default on your obligations in respect of the Tenancy agreement. In order for a guarantor to be considered appropriate the guarantor must submit to a credit check and subsequently enter into a legal agreement which guarantees that they will pay for any failure on your part in terms of paying rent, looking after the property etc.
Q Can I still rent from you if my Credit Rating is not high enough to pass the Credit check?
A) Yes if you can provide us with a guarantor or pay the total rent due in advance of the contract then subject to the owners consent you will be considered favourably for the property of your choice.
Q Can I avoid a Credit Check being carried out on my name?
A) If you can pay the entire rent in advance or provide us with a suitable guarantor then we may be able to progress an application, subject to the consent of the landlord. We will require proof of ID and suitable personal references in all cases.
Q Why has my application been rejected?
A) Your application will be rejected if the third party Credit check provides a score which is lower than the required minimum for the property in question. If your application is rejected then we can discuss alternatives with you to enable you to proceed with renting the property.
Q What is the minimum period that we can rent a property for?
A) The minimum legal period of a Short Assured Tenancy in Scotland is 6 months. Generally most landlords will require a minimum tenancy of one year.
Q What is the maximum period that we can rent a property for?
A) There is no legal maximum period of a Short Assured Tenancy in Scotland. Generally most landlords will require a maximum tenancy of two years.
Q What is Form AT5?
A) Form AT5 is a legal Notice issued under Section 32 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 to ensure that you are aware that the proposed Tenancy agreement that you will be entering into is a Short Assured Tenancy as defined by act.
Q What is a Short Assured Tenancy?
A) Nearly all tenancy agreements signed in Glasgow today are Short assured Tenancies. Short Assured Tenancies were created for the benefit of both landlords and tenants; they afford the owner of the property the right to gain possession of the property at the end of the tenancy providing a valid notice to Quit is served on the tenant.
Q Sounds complicated. Do I need to consult a solicitor regarding From AT5?
A) Whilst the process is relatively straightforward and standard you should consult your solicitor if you are in any doubt as to what is the purpose of the document or why you are required to sign the AT5 document.
Q Can you recommend a solicitor?
A) We would suggest that you contact the Law Society of Scotland who can provide you with impartial advice on the most suitable local solicitor to discuss the matter.
Q What happens after the Form AT5 has been returned?
A) We need to have a completed copy of the Form AT5 before we can create the SAT agreement. Once you have returned From AT5 to us we can discuss a suitable move in date if we have not already discussed one. We can also prepare the SAT agreement, prepare the inventory etc on the property and make the final preparations, checks on the property prior to your entry date.
Q Do you have any restrictions on entry dates?
A) We realise that we have to be as flexible as possible on entry dates and times however we strongly recommend that all handovers of property be conducted during daylight hours. This allows all aspects of the property to be inspected if necessary (i.e. including any external garden areas, refuse stores, external parking etc.) We will do entry dates 7 days a week from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. subject to availability of check in agents.
Q What happens if I have a change of circumstances prior to moving in to the property and cannot proceed?
A) If anything changes once you have reserved a property, please notify us immediately in writing. We will obviously have to re market the property and notify the landlord. Your deposit will not be returned to you in these circumstances. (Please note that this is a stated condition of the Reservation Form).
Q What happens if the landlord has a change of circumstances prior to moving in to the property and he cannot proceed?
A) If anything changes once you have reserved a property which prevents us from allowing you to rent the property then we will obviously notify you immediately in writing. Your deposit will be returned to you in full in these circumstances.
Q Will you provide any compensation if a property is withdrawn through no fault of my own?
A) No compensation will be provided as there is no breach of contract. Cancellations from the landlord’s side are very infrequent. When this does occur we will endeavour to provide you with priority over any subsequent property viewings which you undertake with us.
Q What do I do if there is an aspect of the tenancy agreement that I am unhappy with?
A) If there is any matter of any legal agreement which we ask you to sign then please contact us in the first instance and we will do our utmost to resolve the issue to our mutual satisfaction. We will obviously require to consult with the landlord on many matters and may not be able to revert back to you immediately with a response. Please be sure to contact us about any aspect of the lease that you are unhappy with prior to signing the lease as it will be much more difficult to resolve once you have signed.
Q Do I need to take legal advice on any aspect of the Tenancy Agreement?
A) We recommend that you consult a solicitor if you are in any doubt as to any aspect of the agreement which we ask you to enter into.
Q When is the balance of the deposit and first months rent due?
A) We require payment in full in cleared funds on the day prior to your entry into the property.
Q How do I pay the funds to you?
A) The preferred method of payment is by direct bank transfer or payment at the bank. This ensures that you have a receipt for your payment to us and that the payment can be tracked by both parties. Payment in cash on the day or the day prior may be accepted under special circumstances however you must have written agreement from us in advance to allow you to do this.
Q Do you accept cheques?
A) No. Cheques can take up to 30 days to clear into an account and as such they are not an acceptable method of payment.
Q Do you accept credit cards?
A) No. Credit card companies take a fee of approximately 2.5% to process the payment. Our margins are not sufficient to absorb this fee and we consider that it is not fair to pass on the charge to either our tenant clients or landlords.
Q What happens with the Tenancy Deposit?
A) All agents will require a deposit of between 4 to 6 weeks rent which will be held for the duration of the tenancy. The deposit is held to ensure that the tenant meets all the various obligations required of them as identified in the tenancy agreement – particularly relating to the cleanliness and condition of the property.
The relevant clauses in the tenancy agreement should set out who is to hold the deposit (e.g. agent or landlord), whether interest is to be paid or not, what the deposit can be allocated for and the end of tenancy procedures and timescales for its refund.
The best way for a tenancy deposit or bond to be held during the tenancy is by the letting agent as “stakeholder” between the parties (landlord and tenant). This means that at the end of the tenancy the agent should get the agreement of both sides before making any deductions for damage, cleaning etc.
All Client deposits are placed into our Client’s Account with RBS and not given over to the Landlord.
Q What happens at the handover of the property?
A) We will meet you at the property at the allocated time. We will hand over completed copies of the SAT agreement and inventory for your information and safe keeping. We will go over the property to ensure that you are satisfied with the condition and that everything is in full working order.
You will be supplied with all relevant paperwork for the property together with one set of keys per adult on the lease (to a maximum of 2 copies by mutual agreement in writing). We will agree meter readings for gas and electricity. If there are any issues with any aspect of the property we will agree a suitable resolution and time frame for same.
Q How do I pay the rent due on the property?
A) You will be given a Standing Order mandate for you to complete and return to your bank. It is important to note that the mandate must be sent by you directly to your bank. Please do not return it to us or to the check in clerk on handover. Please ensure that you check the week before payment is due that they have received the mandate and that they are in a position to make the payment on time.
Q What do I do with the property inventory?
A) We agree that it is unreasonable to insist that every item on the inventory is checked on handover. We allow 7 days from signing at handover to check through the inventory to ensure that you are satisfied with the accuracy of the inventory given to you.
If we are not notified of any error or inconsistency with the inventory in this timescale then we will assume that the inventory provides a true and accurate representation of the properties condition.
If there is anything which you consider to be incorrect then please amend the inventory by hand and return a copy of the amended inventory to us by Recorded delivery post.
Q What do I need to do when I move into the property?
A) You are legally obliged to contact all statutory authority providers including Glasgow City Council to set up accounts with them. You also need to contact your preferred phone, broadband and TV provider as there is sometimes a delay in connection.
Q How do I obtain a parking permit from Glasgow City Council?
A) Parking permits can be obtained from Glasgow City Council offices on the display of an original valid Short Assured Tenancy agreement together with the requisite fee.
Q Who is responsible for paying the TV licence in my rented Glasgow property?
A) If a television is provided in a rented Glasgow property then it is the tenant’s responsibility to pay for the licence for the duration of their tenancy agreement. In Scotland and the rest of the UK, a TV licence is assigned to an individual thereby affording that person together with their respective family the right to watch television in their stated residence.
Q I am staying in a rented apartment which has a TV but I do not watch television. Can I avoid paying the TV licence?
A) Tenants should state whether or not they require the television in their chosen accommodation prior to agreeing the terms of the tenancy agreement and the landlord can take a view on whether or not they are willing to remove the property from their property.
If you decide that you do not require the television once you are in your rented property then you should contact the TV Licence Authority to advise them of your position. If you can demonstrate that the TV will not be used (by putting the TV in a cupboard and having the remote removed from the property for example) then they may be willing to provide a relaxation.
Q Are exceptions or discounts available for the TV licence?
A) Please refer to the following website for any exemptions or discounts which are available.
Q I wish to subscribe to Sky or Virgin. Is this possible and if so who will pay for the company to install the dish / cable?
A) If you do not have Sky or Cable TV in your property then you should contact Berisfords initially to see if such an installation is possible. In many Glasgow apartments there will already be provision for either Sky or Cable in the building. When this is the case installation is normally straightforward and can be arranged without charge directly by the respective provider.
When there is no such provision you will require the consent of the landlord and the managing agent of the property in order to install such equipment. If there are any costs associated with the install then these are normally paid for by the tenant unless there is a written provision within your tenancy agreement to the contrary.
Q Who is responsible for paying Glasgow City Council Tax?
A) It is the person living in the property who is responsible for paying Council tax. Council tax is a tax raised by local councils such as Glasgow for the provision of local services and infrastructure and as such it is the responsibility of the person benefiting from these services who is legally obliged to pay for them.
Q Are discounts or exemptions available from Glasgow City Council?
A) Whilst Glasgow City Council can grant discounts or exemptions under certain circumstances these are at the entire discretion of the local authority and are considered on a case by case basis. If you consider that you may be eligible for a discount then you should contact Glasgow City Council directly to discuss.
Q What is the Council Tax band for the property?
A) All Council tax bands are clearly listed on Berisfords property schedules online. If you are still unsure then please contact us for further assistance.
Q I know my Council Tax band but how much will I pay every month?
A) Glasgow City Council will write to you to advise on their charges when you move into the property after you have registered you and your family. If you wish to identify the actual costs of each of the respective Council Tax bands before you commit to a Glasgow rental property then please refer to the Glasgow City Council web page here.
Q How do I make a payment to Glasgow City Council?
A) Details on how to pay will be sent to you once you are registered and can be found on Glasgow City Council’s website page here. Payments should be made directly to Glasgow City Council and not our office.
Q Who is responsible for contacting City of Glasgow Council to confirm that I am living in the property?
A) It is the tenant’s responsibility to set up their account with Glasgow City Council. As with all utility providers, the account with the local authority is in your name and all correspondence, telephone calls etc can only be done by you.
No one can set up the account for you since no one is legally entitled to discuss an account other than the account holder. Aside from this it is clearly stated in the Tenancy agreement that the tenant must contact all relevant authorities to set up their respective accounts as soon as the tenancy commences.
Q What happens regarding the payment of Council Tax once I leave the property?
A) Although we are always sad to see any tenant move out, it is still the tenant’s responsibility to pay all charges and fees for Council Tax for the duration of their stay. You should contact Glasgow City Council at least one month in advance of the date of your departure in order to close your account and settle any sum outstanding.
You will be required to provide a forwarding address in order to demonstrate that you are moving out the property. This will also allow Glasgow Council to forward any overpayment of Council Tax once you have left the property.
Q I have received letter addressed to another party but with the address of my rented property on it. What should I do?
A) Glasgow Council can sometimes take several weeks to update their records and letters addressed either to the owners of the accommodation or the previous tenants can frequently be sent in the interim period. Assuming that you have already contacted the Council to open your account then we suggest that you mark “ADDRESSEE GONE AWAY – PLEASE RETURN TO SENDER” and put the letter back in the post.
Q As a tenant am I responsible for forwarding mail addressed to the landlord?
A) We ask all landlords to have their personal mail redirected through the Royal Mail redirection service. When a landlord chooses not to do this and mail arrives at your rented accommodation addressed to the landlord then please contact Berisfords directly and we will arrange with the landlord to redirect it.
Q Who is responsible for paying Utility bills for gas and electricity?
A) A tenant is responsible for paying all charges in respect of gas and electricity for the duration of their stay. Meter readings will be taken on handover of the property to the tenant and the tenant is therefore obliged to set up their own accounts with their desired suppliers.
Q I have received what appear to be utility bills addressed to “The Occupier”. What do I do?
A) Open them! These are likely to be welcome packs sent from the existing utility shipper. If you do not set up your own preferred shipper immediately on entering the property then the existing shipper will invoice you for the gas or electricity that you use until you formally change over.
Q I wish to have broadband in the property but no service is provided?
A) BT, Virgin and Sky offers hard wired broadband services although these have minimum contracts of between 6 months to 1 year depending on supplier. /if you require broadband for a shorter period of time or there is no existing phone provision in your rented property then we suggest using a wireless broadband dongle such as those provided by Virgin, Vodafone, Orange etc.
Q One of the persons named in my tenancy agreement wishes to leave the property. Can this be done?
A) If you have reached the end of your tenancy agreement then a new SAT can be prepared in your name only. If the tenancy period is still running then any changes to the tenancy agreement can only be made by mutual consent. i.e. you will require the landlords agreement to the change.
Assuming that you are happy to keep all the other conditions of your tenancy then the obtaining landlord’s agreement is normally straightforward. Please contact Berisfords office in the first instance to discuss the matter further.
Q I am looking to buy a pet. Do I need the landlord’s consent?
A) Yes. The tenancy agreement will state whether pets are allowed in the property. Normally the tenancy agreement will state that pets are not allowed in the property. If you wish to keep a pet in the property then please contact us initially and before buying the pet in order to seek the landlord’s view on the matter.
If the landlord considers that he will permit pets in the property then the tenant will usually be requested to provide an additional deposit against breakages, damage, excessive wear and tear caused by the animal in question. (goldfishes will not normally attract such additional measures!)
Q Someone not listed in the tenancy agreement wishes to move in to the property with me. What do I do?
A) Assuming that you wish them to move in to the property too then you will be required to contact us immediately to seek the landlord’s approval. The landlord may seek an additional rental charge for any increase in occupancy. Additionally Berisfords will need to assess if the occupancy is legal in that it does not breach HMO regulations.
Q What are HMO regulations?
A) HMO or Houses in Multiple Occupation are properties which are shared in common by 3 or more unrelated individuals. Where this occurs a property must comply with the particular HMO requirements of the local authority who insist on more stringent Fire and Safety installations than exist in standard rented accommodation. More details can be found on Glasgow City Council’s website here.
Q What are the implications attached to a property with an HMO?
A) A legally compliant HMO must have a current and valid certificate from Glasgow City Council and this must be displayed at a prominent position within the property. As Berisfords do not operate or deal with properties in multiple occupation it will not be legally possible for them to consider varying the terms of the tenancy agreement to incorporate 3 or more unrelated sharers.
Q I wish to alter the property I am renting internally – how do I go about this?
A) Any property alterations must be carried out with the landlords consent even if it relates to painting, redecoration or hanging shelves. Please contact Berisfords in the first instance before carrying out any work in order to obtain the landlords consent.
Q Do you rent properties to DSS tenants?
A) We do not discriminate in respect of any individual or group and all lets will be assessed in accordance with current legislation. As in all cases you will still be required to demonstrate that you have the ability to pay the monthly rent due on the property and discharge your legal obligations identified in the Tenancy agreement.
Q Do you rent properties to students?
A) We do not discriminate in respect of any individual or group and all lets will be assessed in accordance with current legislation. As in all cases you will still be required to demonstrate that you have the ability to pay the monthly rent due on the property and discharge your legal obligations identified in the Tenancy agreement.
Q Do you rent properties to people with disabilities?
A) We do not discriminate in respect of any individual or group and all lets will be assessed in accordance with current legislation. We encourage our landlords to make all reasonable adjustments where properties are suitable for wheelchair users or visually impaired. There is a severe shortage of suitable accommodation in Glasgow which caters for wheelchair users and we are keen to address this shortcoming wherever possible.
Q Who is responsible for insurance?
A) Generally speaking it is the responsibility of the owner of the property, possession fixture or fitting to insure it. Both Landlords and tenants should carefully review any policy which they have prior to committing to renting a property for the first time.
Most standard insurance policies have exclusions which will invalidate a claim where it involves a property which is being let without their insurer’s knowledge or consent. It is vital that you have an insurance policy in place which provides sufficient cover for both the relevant possessions and reinstatement value of your property.
It is a landlord’s responsibility to insure the building and his/her contents, fixtures and fittings. Tenants are responsible for insuring their own possessions in the rented property. There are many specialist insurance products tailored to both landlords and tenants and their rented property. Unfortunately we are unable to offer any advice on specific products as we are not authorised or regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Q What does the phrase “Joint and several” mean?
A) Generally speaking where there is more than one person named on a tenancy agreement, each person will have “joint and several” liability for discharging the obligations identified within the tenancy agreement.
This means that if there is a default such as damage or outstanding debt then both tenants are responsible for the full amount of the default regardless of who is at fault. The landlord is therefore entitled to pursue either party for the full recovery of any losses.
Q What is a break clause?
A) A break clause is a clause that allows the tenancy agreement to be broken or terminated by either party at a specified date earlier than the end date stated on the tenancy agreement by providing two month’s notice in writing.
The timing of the break clause and the inclusion of this provision is subject to agreement of both parties and is generally 6 months in tenancy agreement which is one year or longer. A 3 month break clause in a 6 month tenancy can sometimes be negotiated between the parties under special circumstances.
Q How often can the rent be raised?
A) The rent on a property can only be raised every year, normally at the end of an annual tenancy agreement. A tenant will generally be contacted either by telephone or in writing to identify whether or not a new tenancy agreement is required.
Q What are the rules regarding the rights of a landlord to access their property?
A) A landlord or agent acting on his behalf has the legal right to enter a property to ensure that the property is being maintained and to check on the general condition or to access the property for any necessary repairs.
The Landlord must provide at least 24 hours notice in writing to the tenant that he intends to access the property. Obviously if both parties are in agreement over access then this timescale is not necessary. (For example if access is required for any emergency repair).
Q What happens at the end of the tenancy period stated in the Tenancy Agreement?
A) Scottish law does not presume that a lease automatically expires at the specified termination date; instead, the presumption is that if neither the landlord nor the tenant has intimated a desire to terminate, by sending the other a notice to quit; both parties wish the lease to continue, and it is therefore automatically extended until formally terminated by either party. IMPORTANT NOTE: Berisfords require 2 months advance notice in writing from all tenants if it is there intention to vacate a property.
Q How is a tenancy terminated by the landlord or managing agent?
A) A Scottish tenancy is terminated by a managing agent or landlord by serving the tenant with the relevant Notices a minimum of 2 months in advance in writing. These notices are a Notice to Quit, An AT6 Form and a Section 33 Notice.
Q How is a tenancy terminated by a tenant?
A) A Scottish tenancy is terminated by a tenant by serving the landlord or managing agent with formal Notice to Quit in writing a minimum of two months in advance of their intended departure date. The intended departure date must be either the date of the end of the tenancy agreement or later.
Q Are tenants entitled to know the name and address of their landlords?
A) Yes tenants are entitled to know the name and address of their landlords. It is a criminal offence for any letting agent to fail to provide this information within 21 days of a formal request in writing from a tenant without reasonable excuse.
Q What happens if a tenant does not move out after the end of the tenancy?
A) We would always contact the tenant initially to identify if there is a valid reason why the property has not been vacated once the end of the term has been reached and no extension has been negotiated or agreed. If there is no valid reason then it will be necessary to apply to the courts to gain possession of the property.
Q What is a Section 11 Notice?
A) From April 1st 2009 all Glasgow landlords and agents have a new duty under Section 11 of the Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003 to notify Glasgow City Council when they raise legal proceedings for the possession of a property. Notification of Section 11 must be sent in writing to Glasgow City Council. This Form may be used when notifying the Council.
Q What is the purpose of contacting the Council when attempting to repossess a property?
A) The purpose of notifying Glasgow City Council is to allow an early intervention in the matter which will hopefully result in a resolution of the situation for any person or family who are at risk from being made homeless.
Q What are the Repairing Standards?
A) The Repairing Standard under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 came into effect on 3rd September 2007. The act puts together in one place the obligations of a landlord for ensuring that their property meets the standards defined within the act at the start of and for the duration of the tenancy.
Either at the start of the tenancy or earlier (and before the tenancy is signed) the landlord is obliged to notify the tenant about the effect of the Repairing Standard and Private Rented Housing Panel arrangements on the tenancy. This is usually done by the issue of a Standard Letter which can be found in the download section of this website.
Q What is covered by The Repairing Standards (Scotland) Act?
A) The Act confirms the following requirements:
• the house is wind and water tight and reasonably fit for human habitation (taking account of the extent to which the house falls short of any building regulations, because of disrepair or sanitary defects);
• the structure and exterior of the house (including drains, gutters and external pipes) are in reasonable repair and proper working order (having regard to the house’s age, character and prospective life and the locality). Where the house forms part of premises (eg, a flat), this criterion includes any part of the premises that the owner is responsible for maintaining, solely or communally, but the Repairing Standard only applies if any part of, or anything in, the premises that the tenant is entitled to use is adversely affected;
• the installations in the house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water are in reasonable repair and proper working order (including installations outside the house but serving it, and which the owner is responsible for maintaining, solely or communally);
• any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided under the tenancy are in reasonable repair and proper working order;
• any furnishings provided under the tenancy are capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed; and
• there is satisfactory provision for detecting and giving warning of fires.
Q What is a notice to Quit?
A) A Notice to Quit (NTQ) is a written document served by either a managing agent or landlord on a tenant or by the tenant on a landlord, which has the effect of bringing the contractual tenancy between them to an end.
In order for a NTQ served by a landlord to be valid it must contain specific information otherwise it will be invalid and the tenancy will not be ended until a valid NTQ is served. A valid NTQ must comply with the following:
• Be in writing,
• Give a period of notice after which it will become effective,
• Make it clear that, even after the period of notice given has run out, the landlord must get an order for possession from a court before the tenant can lawfully be evicted,
• Explain that the effect of NTQ is that the contractual assured tenancy will be brought to an end at the end of the period specified in the notice but that it will at once be replaced by a statutory assured tenancy, and that the landlord will be able to propose new terns for the tenancy or a different rent, or both.
Q What is the minimum notice period for a Notice to Quit?
A) The minimum Notice period for a Notice to Quit is identified in the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907 (ss34-38) and is 40 days for any agreement exceeding 4 months.
Q What is a Section 33 Notice?
A) In order to terminate a tenancy agreement in Scotland, the managing agent or landlord is required to serve a Notice to Quit, An AT6 Form and a Section 33 Notice in writing to the tenant. Section 33 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 sets out a specific procedure which will enable recovery of possession of a property which has been let under a Short Assured Tenancy. Whilst there is no standard format required for a Section 33 Notice, the issuing of a written notice is required in terms of this section telling a tenant that the landlord wishes to recover possession of the property.
Q What is the minimum notice period for issuing a Section 33 Notice?
A) The minimum notice period required for a Section 33 notice is two months.
Q What is AT6?
A) An AT6 Notice of Proceedings Form is a Notice to the tenant to confirm that you intend to take legal proceedings to recover the property if it is not vacated by the end of the tenancy period. In order to terminate a tenancy agreement in Scotland the landlord is required to serve a Notice to Quit, An AT6 Form and a Section 33 Notice.
Q What is a Portable Appliance Test?
A) A Portable Appliance Test is a safety test carried out by a suitably qualified electrician on all portable electrical equipment within a property to ensure that the equipment is safe for use.
Q What is the definition of a Portable Appliance?
A) The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) define a portable appliance as ‘any electrical item which can or is intended, to be moved whilst connected to an electrical supply.’
The IEE Code of Practice gives additional guidance on the various equipment types:
“Portable appliance: An appliance of less than 18kg in mass that is intended to be moved whilst in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. vacuum cleaner, toaster, food mixer, etc.”
Q How long is a portable appliance Test valid for?
A) A Portable Appliance Test is valid for a period of one year.
Q What is an EPC?
A) An Energy Performance Certificate is a Certificate which demonstrates the energy efficiency of a property to a prospective tenant. The EPC should be displayed somewhere in the property for the duration of the tenancy.
Q How long does an EPC last for?
A) An EPC is valid for a period of ten years.
Q What is meant by a “furnished” property?
A) There is no legal definition of the word “furnished” in relation to renting a property. The landlord can therefore use his discretion in furnishing a rented property. Generally speaking, a fully furnished property will have sofas, chairs, side tables in the living room, dining tables and chairs in the dining area, and beds, mattresses, wardrobes and a chest of drawers in the bedrooms.
It will also include essentials required to cook, clean, wash etc in the property such as iron, ironing board, mop and bucket, vacuum cleaner, brushes.
A furnished property may not have linen or crockery or may not include a television, DVD player etc. Obviously the quality and quantity of each item can vary from property to property so it is essential that you ensure that the property which you are viewing will have the necessary standard of equipment and specific items of furniture or equipment that you require prior to committing to rent the property.
Where additional items of furniture are required or when a tenant requires items of furniture to be removed (where for example a tenant wishes to use his own bed or settee etc. then it is important to have a written agreement to this effect. The landlord is under no legal obligation to alter any aspect of furniture or furnishings except where it is no longer fit and suitable for its intended purpose.