Wednesday, 1 June 2016


Becoming a landlord can be a big step. Many people, including professionals and others with years of business experience often hesitate before choosing to invest in this dynamic marketplace.

This reticence is understandable, but when newcomers elect to work alongside seasoned property experts such as those at Douglas Dickson, the entire process becomes significantly less daunting.

At Douglas Dickson we act each year on behalf of a great many people new to the letting business and we pride ourselves in giving each of them the best back-up and support services on the market.

Below, we have put together three frequently-asked questions from those embarking on the exciting voyage of being a landlord, together with some reassuring advice which should put even the most hesitant newcomer at ease.

  • How will I know about and comply with all the necessary regulations?

Douglas Dickson helps all our landlords to be good landlords. We help you comply with all the regulations. Did you know, for example, that from 1st December 2015, all new tenancies, including renewals, are required to have the electrics in the property checked by a qualified electrician every five years? It is a fixed wiring report, known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report.

We stay ahead of the game and keep our knowledge current so that we can help our landlords comply with the latest regulations and all other existing ones too. So if you haven't heard of or don't know about the regulations for EPCs, landlord registration, hard wired smoke detectors, gas safety certificates, CO detectors or tenant deposit schemes, amongst others, you can call us and we will keep you right.

  • How will I find a good tenant for my property?

Your rental property is likely to be one of your most valuable possessions. Anyone can find you a tenant but finding the right tenant is the job of a good agent. You need to be able to trust your agent to manage your asset and keep it safe. Many problems arise from having poor tenants.

At Douglas Dickson we secure our landlords good tenants by properly vetting them. We meet all applicants, carry out tenant referencing, employment verifications or obtain a guarantor. This helps avoids future problems of late payment of rent or having to take action to recover a property from a tenant who stops paying rent.

Because we actively manage tenants on our landlords’ behalf, we have not had to evict any tenants over the last 5 years and in the past 12 months, nearly all our tenants have paid their rent on time, with over 98% with no arrears.

  • How will I manage emergency maintenance?

Douglas Dickson takes the stress out of managing emergency repairs to your property and operates a 24 hours emergency helpline service for all our tenants.

Here are some recent examples of how we helped our landlords keep their tenants happy:

·         Problem: We had a call at 8pm at night from a tenant whose front door lock jammed and would not open. She could not get into their flat. She called our emergency helpline and we arranged for one of our trusted contractors to attend within the hour and repair the lock.

Result: an extremely grateful tenant who thinks very highly of the service her landlord is providing to her.

·         Problem: A tenant called our emergency number one evening with a report that he had a burst pipe which had flooded the bathroom and the neighbour below. We arranged for an emergency plumber to attend and repair the leak. On the landlord’s behalf, we liaised with the insurers and arranged for a contractor to repair and replace the damage to the flooring and decoration and ensured the areas affected had dried out.

Result: a very happy landlord whose property has been repaired and tenants who know they are well looked after by their landlord.

Douglas Dickson Property Management promotes high standards within the rented sector. Our landlords, we believe, are the good guys. We recognise landlords provide a valuable service, providing people with homes. 
Using a proven and highly-experienced agent like Douglas Dickson will ensure your property is maintained to comply with the current regulations, is rented to the right tenants and is always managed competently and effectively, even in emergencies.
We help give landlords a good name.  


Healthy increases in rents make Glasgow an attractive proposition for buy-to-let investors

Healthy increases in rents make Glasgow an attractive proposition for buy-to-let investors

By Neil Livingstone

Landlords have been heard saying that yield and capital gains are less important than remaining cash-flow neutral - that is, where a tenant pays the mortgage and, at the end of the mortgage period, the investor owns the property for what is essentially the cost of the deposit.

One place, however, where rental income still remains an attractive proposition in its own right is Glasgow, where properties are much more affordable than elsewhere and rental ratios are keeping their heads up.

This is in marked contrast to other UK areas - particularly already overheated markets such as London and the South East - where rental income on low-yielding properties is likely to be lower relative to investors' mortgage costs.

The recent quarterly rental report by Citylets found that rents in Scotland as a whole had increased 2.1% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the previous 12 months. In the Glasgow metropolitan area, the increase was higher at 4.6% in the year, with one-bedroom properties rising even faster at 8.8%.  

In real money, that makes the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom property now £546, with a two-bedroom property on average renting out for £721 and three-bedroom going on average for £991 a month.

There is evidence that almost every flat which becomes available for rent in Glasgow is attracting between eight to ten individual applicants, and agents are having to turn away potential quality tenants.

Some agents are even reporting that landlords in Edinburgh - itself a hotspot - are being attracted to Glasgow because it offers better value. Yes, rents are lower, but so are prices, so returns remain beguiling.

Our view at Douglas Dickson is that there continues to be a real shortage of supply of good quality, well managed rental properties in the Glasgow area and a high tenant demand.

Douglas Dickson is achieving rent increases for its landlords and renting most properties back-to-back without any void periods. This is good news for landlords and for those who are considering becoming landlords in Glasgow.

If you have a property you are looking to rent, we can help. Or if you are considering purchasing a buy-to-let, we offer a dedicated service where we will help you find a great investment property.

Neil Livingstone is a director of Douglas Dickson Property Management Limited.
For further information, contact Neil Livingstone, Douglas Dickson Property Management Limited, 3 Fitzroy Place, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G3 7RH. T: 0141 221 1827. F: 0141 248 6733. E: W: