There can be a lot involved when planning to let property – from preparing your property for rent, deciding on the benefits of working with a letting agency, marketing, property viewing and negotiating offers – the checklist of a new landlord can be long. As the largest professional letting agency in Scotland, here’s a brief guide on how to make sure you are ready to let your property.

Get an accurate valuation – An agent with local market knowledge can put an accurate value on your property, ensuring you get the best possible price, calculate accurate rental returns and position yourself for the quickest let. With our extensive knowledge and local experts in 11 branches, we have insights on a number of surprising locations in central Scotland that offer outstanding rental returns .

With purchasers of additional properties costing over £40,000 now being charged 3% under the new Land and Building Transaction Tax (Scotland’s stamp duty) it is vital to match paying tenants with buy-to-let properties as soon as possible in order to protect your investment.

Select the right agent – Go at it alone or work with an agency? A professionally regulated agency that offers a bespoke service as experts in the local market will often offer the best return. A strong high street presence and a database of potential tenants will ensure you find the right occupant for the right price, fast.

In 2016, the rental properties Clyde Property has marketed have been empty for less than 5 days on average. We have worked with over 200 new landlords and have found tenants for over 400 properties, securing an average rent of £725.

Decide on property management – Both landlords and tenants often prefer the ease and security of professional property management and agencies can offer a reliable service. This should include handling of council tax, utilities and rent, 24 hour emergency repairs, inspections and legally required safety checks.

Make your property presentable – First impressions count. Taking steps to declutter, do those odd jobs, a fresh coat of paint and tidying outside areas and gardens are crucial for marketing photography and when viewing property.

Prepare for tenancy – Clear out unnecessary objects so the new leaseholder has space. Be sure to obtain a professional and comprehensive inventory of your property’s contents to check off in between tenants, this will help with disputes over deposits – an agency with in-house specialists can also manage this.

Organise the legal and financial aspects – The legality of letting may be a worry – gaining consent from mortgage lenders, landlord registration, getting the correct insurance and meeting legal repair standards. There are legal safety regulations to do with gas, fire and electrical safety, legionella risk assessments for water supplies and meeting requirements for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. It is also a criminal offence to grant a lease without an Energy Performance Certificate on any building that requires one. Again, a good agency will be able to fully assist you with all of these aspects and arrange inspections for you by accredited engineers.

Are you legally compliant? The Tenancy Deposit scheme was introduced in Scotland in  July 2012. Landlords are legally obligated to place a deposit into the Tenancy Deposit Scotland scheme within the first 30 working days of the tenancy starting.

Market your property – The perfect tenant is waiting, they just need to see your property. This means maximum exposure across a wide range of media and access to the biggest property portals.

Maximise viewing opportunities – Some people do better than others in organising viewings, but if this is something you are not comfortable with, you don’t have to handle viewings yourself as agents like ourselves can offer accompanied viewings at out of office hours and during weekends.

Negotiate – It takes skill, expertise and experience to carry out negotiations to completion, whilst gaining the desired price. An agency should be great at communicating, especially to let you know when any offers come in and helping you to decide whether or not to accept.

Accept the right offer – There’s more to do once an offer is accepted too, such as collecting tenant references, property inventories, collecting and registering the moving-in balance (rent and deposit) and arranging signing of the tenancy agreement.

Letting a property need not be a daunting task with our help. Our unique and revolutionary ‘My Clyde’ service lets you access an interactive online property file, giving total transparency on how we are working hard to let your property – just one reason why we are one of the most comprehensive letting services in Scotland.

If you would like to find out more on our landlord services, click here or contact your local Clyde Property branch today for expert, local advice on how to get the best rental returns from your investment.