Coronavirus Update

Letting Solutions is open for business, albeit strictly in line with all the required rules around the Coronavirus epidemic. Members of the Team are working remotely covering all aspects of the business. Our hours of business are unchanged, namely:

Monday to Friday from 9.15 am to 5 pm except on Wednesdays, when we do training and open from 11am to 5pm.

For more information please see our full page details here

Please don’t hesitate to contact us, even if you are not a current client. You can ring us on 01506 496006 where our Team are waiting to help. Or you can email us at:

Everyone please take care.

The Letting Solutions’ Team

Search Profile

Find Properties:

Use my current location
AdvancedBasic search

First-time landlord? Here’s what you need to know

Mon 10 Sep 2018

First-time landlord? Here’s what you need to know

If you’re letting a property for the first time, you may be a bit in the dark about what exactly it involves. You might even be an accidental landlord, renting out your home through circumstances rather than design.

If either of the above are the case, there are certain things that are important to bear in mind to give you the best chance of getting the most from your rental property.

Whether you’re a new landlord starting out on a quest to build a good-sized portfolio over time, or someone who is more happy managing one or two properties, you should know that the rewards and benefits can be considerable if you target your home well, select the right tenants and work closely with an experienced letting agent to maximise your yields.

Below, using our knowhow as West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we have compiled some top tips for those landlords just starting out…

Fill your home with good tenants

A key step, occupying your home with reliable, well-behaved tenants will give you peace of mind, regular rental income and a home that is well looked after.

Once you’ve decided that the landlord life is for you, one of your first steps will be to fill your home with tenants.

Advertising your property in the right places is therefore crucial, ensuring it reaches the widest possible audience. A combination of online and traditional methods will help you to achieve this; so a presence on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, where a huge number of tenants search for properties to rent, but also To Let signs, newspaper advertising and full colour marketing photos.

If you don’t feel comfortable showing tenants around your property, get your agent to carry out accompanied viewings, putting across your home’s major benefits.

Prioritise safety

As a landlord, you have a legal (and moral) responsibility to keep your tenants safe and in habitable conditions at all times. Failure to do so could lead to severe penalties, criminal prosecutions and even prison.

All electrical equipment, white goods and plug sockets must adhere to safety guidelines. In addition, you should regularly have your boiler serviced to ensure it is working efficiently and safely.

Make sure that all furnishings and furniture are fire-safe or fire retardant and get a Gas Safety Certificate or CP12 for your property. This certificate is a legal requirement for all landlords and confirms that all gas appliances are safe and free from danger.

As a landlord, you are also obliged to carry out an annual gas safety check, which will help to ensure there is no risk to tenants from the gas supply, as well as making sure that all pipework, flues and appliances are installed and maintained correctly.

You also need to provide new tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which gives them information on how energy efficient a building is and how it could be improved. If you let your home and don’t provide an EPC, you could face a minimum fine of £500. The same is true if you don’t include your home’s energy rating when advertising it.

What’s more, you have responsibilities when it comes to smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, with recent amendments to the 30 year old Housing (Scotland) Act made in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy requiring all homes in Scotland to have a minimum number of smoke alarms. Once the law is updated, all private homes – including all privately rented homes – will need to have at least one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used, have at least one smoke alarm in spaces such as hallways and landings, have at least one heat alarm in every kitchen and have a carbon monoxide detector.

In addition to the above, there will be a 10-year age limit for alarms and all alarms will have to be ceiling-mounted and interlinked.

Keep on top of maintenance

To attract tenants in the first place your home will need to be well-maintained. But it’s equally important that the home is kept this way over time. You, or your letting agent, should react to maintenance issues in a timely manner, carrying out any repairs as and when they are needed.

Some matters will be more urgent than others – a broken fridge or boiler will be more pressing than a broken handle or wonky shelf – but tenants will appreciate a quick response time and a sense that they are valued. Even if an issue can’t be resolved quickly, communicate with your tenants to keep them in the loop.

Ensure your home looks its best

If you want to get your landlord experience off to the best start, your home needs to look the part – especially if you’re operating in high demand areas where competition is fierce.

Give your rental home a thorough once-over before you let any tenants see it. Spruce up any garden space you happen to have (this will have particular appeal to family and retired renters) and declutter as much as possible.

Tenants will want to put their own stamp on a property to make it feel like home, and this is much less likely if the property already feels too lived-in or personalised.

A good, experienced letting agent will help you to come to terms with being a landlord and will reduce the stress, pressure and hassle of letting a home.

At Letting Solutions we have the knowledge to help you get the most from your rental properties. Please call us on 01506 496 006. We also provide a free and instant online valuation to give you an idea of how much you could be charging in rent each month.

News Archive

March 2022

Rental yields – everything Scottish landlords need to know

Landlord Tips – how to stage your property to attract tenants

Landlords - how to attract tenants this spring

February 2022

A New Deal for Tenants – what are the Scottish Government’s plans all about?

January 2022

New fire safety regulations introduced – what do landlords need to know?

How to maintain your rental property this winter – the top tips

December 2021

Landlords – what are the top 7 most vital factors to consider before letting a property out?

Landlords – why you should list your property before the Christmas period

November 2021

What should landlords do about empty properties over Christmas?

Optimism on the rise – are the good times back for landlords?

October 2021

Electrical Standards - what Scottish landlords will need to know and do from next year

Scottish government announces grant for tenants in rent arrears - what do landlords need to know?

September 2021

Rent controls in Scotland – what do we know?

August 2021

Landlords - why summer is a great time to let a property

July 2021

Revealed - why landlords need to be aware of lighting changes

May 2021

Why it’s still a great time to be a landlord in Scotland

Housing to 2040 – what does it mean for landlords?

April 2021

Energy efficiency in private rented housing – when will the changes occur?

March 2021

Landlords – eight common mistakes to avoid in 2021

Landlords – four ways to improve your property this spring

February 2021

Landlords – why good broadband can help make your home more valuable

January 2021

Covid update – Scotland goes into a full lockdown, what do you need to know?

November 2020

Update – rents in West Lothian have increased above the rate of inflation since 2010

Covid-19 FAQs for landlords – what can and can’t you currently do?

Landlords – here are some top tips to reduce rent arrears

October 2020

The latest Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland and what they mean for landlords

September 2020

How to be a good landlord in 2020

News roundup – landlords call for direct government help plus short-term let regulation

August 2020

Revealed – what is the current Covid-19 advice for landlords in Scotland?

July 2020

How can landlords make a rented property feel like a home?

A potential saving for landlords? Scottish government announces cut to LBTT

June 2020

Landlord news update - Bill proposing cap on rent rises is abandoned

Landlords – dealing with tenants during the lockdown

May 2020

News roundup – Scotland home to UK’s highest yields and BTR growth north of the border

Preparing your rental property for a viewing – the top tips

April 2020

Buy-to-let mortgage holidays – what do landlords need to know?

March 2020

Landlords – here’s how to create the perfect rental property for tenants

Three ways to improve your rental property

January 2020

Deposit research and huge landlord fine highlight importance of compliance

How to renovate a rental property on a budget

December 2019

Property price update – why West Lothian is the perfect location for landlords

Landlords – here’s why you should have faith in the Scottish market

November 2019

Boost for landlords as tenant sentiment remains high

The heating conundrum – can you box off your thermostat?

October 2019

Rental trends – what are tenants looking for in a property?

How to be a responsible landlord

August 2019

Where are Scotland’s overseas investors from?

Tenancy deposit protection – how can landlords remain compliant?

HMRC clampdown on underpaid tax – what do landlords need to know?

June 2019

What do renters want from their property? Top 10 features revealed

What do landlords need to do before tenants move in?

May 2019

Landlord insurance and home insurance - what are the key differences?

The Latest on the property market and Brexit

A guide to getting a mortgage with bad credit

March 2019

How to keep condensation to a minimum in your rental properties

February 2019

Why Scotland remains an ideal buy-to-let hotspot for investors

January 2019

Plans to raise rate of additional dwelling tax – what does this mean for landlords?

Tenant immigration checks – could they be introduced in Scotland?

December 2018

2019 – what do landlords need to look out for?

Landlords - is your letting agency part of the Register of Letting Agents?

November 2018

Strong yields and growing property prices boost Scotland’s landlords

Buy-to-let mortgages – what do landlords need to know?

How to make your rental property suitable for families

October 2018

Why landlords need to work with a compliant letting agent

Scottish landlords and tenants show poor awareness of key deposit rules

September 2018

Why you need to pay attention to inventories

First-time landlord? Here’s what you need to know

August 2018

Why it’s important to respond quickly to repairs requests

Why is tenant referencing so important?

July 2018

Landlords - how can you boost the security of your rental properties?

Post navigation How to attract long-term tenants to your rental property

What do landlords need to do to be successful in 2018?

Post navigation New rules for Scottish letting agents: what do landlords need to know?

Post navigation What turns tenants off when viewing a rental property?

Here is why effective marketing is vital when letting your home

Post navigation Dates for a landlords diary in 2018

Post navigation Landlords: here is some reasons why tenants do not get their deposits back

The rise of lifetime renting – why is this good news for landlords?

June 2018

The importance of good transport links to tenants