This is a bit of a long shot but it suddenly occurred to me that some bloggy people might possibly be able to give us some advice. I wonder if anyone reading this has experience of letting a flat in Scotland?
Our beloved Daughter 2 is now, much to our sorrow, living in London. She lost her Edinburgh job (in architecture - the building trade is in great difficulties) and managed to get one in London, and is also about to marry her chap, who's trying to make it as an actor in London. As you can imagine, they're rather short of money. She has a salary; he doesn't. She needs to rent out her Edinburgh flat in order to pay its mortgage.
On her behalf, I've recently interviewed two letting agents. Each has a slightly different system of charges for the various parts of its services, but these come to much the same in the end, ie they charge for finding a tenant and then take really quite a lot of her money (15% of the rent, plus VAT) for acting as the point of contact for repairs etc. There shouldn't be that many repairs in the flat, which is newly decorated and only twentyish years old.
Alternatively, both agents would simply find a tenant and then leave it to us (one of them would provide the lease as well) but both charge quite steeply for this - presumably to discourage one from taking this option.
And I'm wondering whether we dare sidestep the agents and just do it ourselves.
However, being cautious people, we're uncertain about this - not so much the maintenance of repairs and so on, but the legal side of it: the lease, the credit checks, the salary checks and so on. And getting tenants out at the end of the lease, if necessary. On the other hand, now I'm retired, with more free time, it seems a bit daft to hand over all that money. She's paying far more for her (one-bedroom, rented) flat in London than she'll get for her two-bedroom flat here, even if she got all of the rental money.
Does anyone out there have experience of letting in Scotland? - do you use a letting agent, and if so who, and if not - well, what do you think? I would be really grateful for any advice.
I can't tell you how horrible it is to go down to her flat and see it empty - well, it's not empty; it has the furniture. But empty of her stuff.