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Where are Scotland’s overseas investors from?

Mon 12 Aug 2019

It’s always interesting to know the makeup of a country’s buy-to-let market, to understand who is investing and why. It can also help to highlight how thriving that market is – the more attractive it is to outside investment, the more likely it is that the market is performing well and generating good yields and capital appreciation for landlords and investors.

And now, thanks to analysis by SafeDeposits Scotland of its own database, we have a much better idea of which country is responsible for the most overseas landlords north of the border.

SafeDeposits Scotland, a deposit protection scheme which protects over 60% of all Scottish tenancy deposits, used its data to create a top 10 list of where Scotland’s overseas landlords hail from.

Here, we take a closer look at the (perhaps surprising) findings.

From Down Under to north of the border

Perhaps unexpectedly, Australia topped the table by a considerable distance, with 528 landlords of Scottish properties, followed by the USA in second place with 358 landlords.

Ireland, meanwhile, was the most popular European country of residence for overseas Scottish property owners, with some 223 calling it home. Other EU countries on the list included France (182), Spain (161) and Germany (113).

What’s more, the Middle and Far East were represented in the top 10 by the United Arab Emirates (187) and Hong Kong (108) respectively.

The final member of the top 10 was Canada, with 126 overseas landlords of Scottish residential property.

Away from those based overseas, in the rest of the UK, England boasts the most landlords of Scottish property with 7,279 owning homes north of the border, followed by Northern Ireland with 579 and Wales with 192.

“Alongside overseas investors will be Scots who have moved abroad – temporarily or permanently – and decided to retain property in Scotland,” Ian Potter, chair of SafeDeposits Scotland, said.

“Our figures demonstrate that landlords of Scottish property live all over the world. The landlords that we know about are already aware of their obligations to protect tenancy deposits, but there may be others out there that are unfamiliar with the Scottish system,” Potter added.

“Landlords who fail to protect their tenant’s deposit run the risk of a penalty up to the value of three times the value of the deposit should the tenant take them to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).”

We previously outlined the huge importance of tenancy deposit protection, how landlords can remain compliant and the consequences you could face if you don’t comply.

We also looked before at why Scotland remains an ideal buy-to-let hotspot for investors, backed up by the above research showing Scotland’s appeal to landlords from far and wide.

There are the hotspots everyone knows about – including tourist hub Edinburgh, arty and creative Glasgow and fast-growing Dundee – but there are also less heralded places, such as Livingston and the towns and villages surrounding it, which can offer landlords plenty to cheer about.

Remaining compliant at all times

With an ever-increasing amount of new regulation and legislation, it is more important than ever for landlords to work closely with an experienced, knowledgeable letting agent – to ensure that the tenancy process is handled smoothly, correctly and efficiently. 

A good letting agent can help with everything from thorough tenant referencing to inventories, viewings, preventing void periods and selecting the right tenants in the first place. They will also use their knowledge of the local market, and national trends, to advise landlords on rental values that are fair, realistic and likely to generate the biggest demand.

It’s arguably even more important for overseas landlords to partner with a local letting agent, as operating in a different market from the one you’re used to can bring with it certain complications and issues. Knowing you have an agency with many years of experience of working in the area in which they are letting homes on your side will do wonders for your peace of mind.

It’s a positive sign, of course, that Scotland is such a hotbed for overseas investment – but, like anything else, this needs to be regulated and managed in the appropriate way.

Here at Letting Solutions, West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we have the skills, knowhow and experience to help you let your home with ease – whether you’re from Livingston, Sydney, Chicago, Berlin or Madrid.

To find out more, please give us a call on 01506 496 006 and discover the various tenancy and property management services we offer. In addition, we provide a free and instant online valuation to give you an idea of how much you could be charging in rent each month and how much your rental property could be worth.

This, in turn, will give you a good idea of the rental yields and capital gains you could achieve by investing in Scotland.

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