Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs

Important Information for Prospective/New Tenants

SouthSide believe that searching and applying for your new home should be a simple stress free and cost free process. Please see our notes below on each stage of the process, if you would like additional information please do call the team now on 0131 51 000 51.

Viewings / Application Process

During COVID-19, our viewings process has changed in that you must submit an application to rent the property before we can offer a viewing. We do have virtual tours available for the majority of our properties and these can be found within the advertisement of the property. In order to submit an application, simply head to www.southsidemanagement.com and click “Apply for a Property” on the homepage. You will receive a confirmation email after submitting your application. If shortlisted by the Landlord, we will contact you to arrange a viewing, we can offer virtual or physical at this stage.

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The following information is temporarily redundant

SouthSide endeavour to make this process as simple as possible for you so we can do viewings during the day, evenings and weekends. There may be other viewers attending at the same time, if you would like a private viewing (please note availability is restricted for individual viewings) please state this at the time of booking and we will try to accommodate you. The date and time will be arranged and the viewer will greet you outside the property before showing you around. On the morning of the viewing you will get a text confirming the viewing time and property address. Please respect our current tenants as the majority of our properties will be occupied. Please do not interupt our current tenants until our viewer turns up and please do whatever possible to be on time as the viewer will have a viewing after this viewing and we try our upmost to keep to these viewings times for yourself and our tenants.

During COVID-19, you do not need to have viewed a property in order to apply for it.

This process will be reviewed once the guidance and restrictions around COVID-19 are lifted.

In order to submit an application, simply head to www.southsidemanagement.com and click “Apply for a Property” on the homepage or on the property advert itself.

We have a few tools on our website to help you find suitable property. On our main page you can find a traditional search bar and interactive map where you can search by favourite areas.

We strongly recommend signing up to our listing alerts Listing Alerts | Southside (southsidemanagement.com) to be notified first about our new properties added to the website

Supporting documents are only required to be submitted if you are accepted for the property, the applications team will request these from you.

Photographic ID (e.g. passport, driving licence)

Student ID/matriculation letter (if full time student)

Visa/ British Residence Permit

Proof of current address (e.g. utility bill, bank letter, doctors letter) dated within last 3 months

Proof of income to match details provided on application (where applicable) (full last 3 months payslips or bank statements with incoming transactions only) If you are self-employed and don’t receive monthly pay slips then an SA302 is also acceptable – this can be provided by HMRC).

Employer references and/or their full contact details (name, phone AND email address for line manager/ HR department) if applicable

Landlord/ agency references and/or their full contact details (name, phone AND email address) (if you have never rented before e.g. just living with family then this is not required)

A guarantor may also be requested if the tenant is newly employed, a student, has a low credit rating or is in receipt of benefits.

If providing a guarantor:

Guarantor Form to be completed by your guarantor: https://form.jotformeu.com/193454351235355, documents to be uploaded by guarantor: ID, proof of address and proof of income  (full last 3 months)

We do accept overseas guarantors. If your guarantor is non-UK based, we will request double your share of the deposit.

Please check our website to find out more: Viewing And Applications | Southside (southsidemanagement.com).

A guarantor is required if the tenant does not earn at least 2.5% of the rental amount they are responsible for. For example, a £400pcm rental would mean the tenant must earn at least £1000pcm (net income) or provide a guarantor.

The guarantor must earn at least 2.5% of the monthly rental.

Overseas guarantors are accepted, however, due to not being able to credit check an overseas individual, double the deposit should be paid for that tenant.

A guarantor may also be requested if the tenant is newly employed, a student, has a low credit rating or is in receipt of benefits.

We do not charge any tenant fees whatsoever.  Fees are illegal in Scotland now anyway. To let with us, the application process is very straight forward. We simply require a deposit and first month's rental upfront (as well as the last month's rental if you have an overseas guarantor).

Some of our landlords will consider pets. This will always be stated on the advertisement. For most cases, an additional pet deposit of £100-£150 will apply per pet. Any additional pets which a tenant wishes to get during the tenancy must be accepted by the Landlord first.

If you wish to request a pet or any other variation to your tenancy agreement - you can fill out this Variation to Tenancy Agreement Form, which will go to your Property Manager.

Yes we do. However, for any housing benefit application we always require the deposit and first month’s rental upfront. The deposit is generally equal to the monthly rental amount. You are also required to provide a guarantor who earns at least 2.5 times the monthly rental. This is the same as any applicant who earns under 2.5 x their monthly share of the rent or are a student. Please call us on 0131 51 000 51 for any further queries.

New tenancy agreements (from 2017), known as Private Residential Tenancies (PRTs) are for a minimum of 28 days, but have no fixed lengths. Tenants are simply required to give a notice period of 28 days whenever they wish to move out. The Landlord may give 28 or 84 days' notice to leave stating a qualified ground.

During the application Process

The application process may take up to 6 working days (excluding Saturdays and Sundays). We understand you are anxious to get a decision very quickly, we work very hard in the background to process all applications as quickly as possible. Please keep checking your application status via the link sent to you in Application Received email once you have submitted application via Southside Website (check inbox and spam)

You need to check your application status daily, using the link sent to you in the email Application Received once you have submitted application via the Southside Website (check inbox and spam). Status is provided on the very first page when you open link, in section OFFICE USE ONLY; Status box will be marked/greyed out. If any additional comments will be left by the Applications Team – they will appear in the SPM COMMENTS box

You can’t edit your application if you have submitted it. If you wish to make changes or add something important you have missed - please call our office 0131 51 000 51

No, however you can submit 1 application, where you can add a 2nd and 3rd choice if you have them. If you don’t have a 2nd or 3rd choice at the time of your application for your 1st choice property – you can phone us on 0131 51 000 51 and we will add them for you

Please call the office on 0131 51 000 51 so we can remove your old application to allow you to reapply.

Please complete the post viewing decision form sent to you on your viewing confirmation email. You should receive an answer from the landlord within 1 working day after viewing the property. Once you have been accepted you will then be asked to submit your supporting documents and references.

This is done via the supporting documents Jotform link, you will have been sent this in your viewing confirmation email and in your application accepted email.

Moving in

We will ask for your deposit, which is usually 1 months’ rent, but can be a maximum of 2 months’ rent. We will also ask for your first months’ rent upfront. If you move in on or after the 15th of the month, we will ask for the pro rata of that month, plus the next month’s rent. The total amount you are due to pay will be detailed on your application accepted email sent by the applications team.

During the pandemic we can no longer accept cash payments. Our preferred method is via BACS and Standing Order. Should you not have access to these methods you can call our office and make payment via a UK debit card however there is a £6 bank charge incurred with this.

The bank details for making payments are stated on your Application Accepted email and in your Tenancy Agreement.

When setting up a Standing Order for your rent, it is preferable that this is paid from one account however we understand this may not be possible with Joint Tenancies so it is fine to pay separately. Please ensure that your property code is used as the payee Reference for all transfers.

For your deposit – this is due within 48 hours of your application being accepted.

For your 1st rent – this is due 3 working days prior to the tenancy start date to allow clearance in our account. If you are moving in part way through the month a pro rata amount will be due, the total due e.g you are paying rent upfront or paying 1st and last rent will be stated in your application accepted email - this total amount is due 3 working days prior to the tenancy start date. Thereafter the normal monthly rent is always due on the 1st of the month.

SPM do not take direct debits, you must instruct your bank to make the payments of rent to us via a Standing Order. A standing order/regular payment means that rent will automatically be taken from your account which will avoid any late fees later down the line. It also means that you won’t need to remember to pay your rent.

Yes it is the same bank details. Please always use your property reference number when making payments e.g., 0020L EDI NS. You will find your property reference on your application accepted email.

We would ask for it to come from one account. However, if it is necessary to set up from more than one account, please ensure that each one has the property code as the reference.

Once all supporting documents are received, our legal team will draft the tenancy agreement and complete background checks

We will endeavour to send it over to you within 2 weeks from the date you have been accepted.

If your tenancy starts earlier than that, we will send your agreement as soon as we can once the legal team have conducted all the final checks.

All tenants and their guarantors (where applicable) must sign the tenancy agreement electronically.

Everyone will receive an email from PING SIGN with a link to this document.

Each person and their guarantor (if provided) will receive an email with the link

Please check inbox & spam folder for email from no-reply@pingsign

If you have guarantor(s)- please notify them as well as their signature(s) are also required

Everyone will receive their own link to their own part - you cannot forward email or sign on anyone’s behalf

On your tenancy start date (stated on your Application Accepted email) your keys can be collected from our office at 30 Nicolson Square. It is not possible to arrange for the keys to be picked up from the property itself or for someone to meet you there. The collection is accessible between 2pm and 5pm only. This is on the proviso that your deposit & rent has been paid, all outstanding application documents have been received and the Tenancy Agreement fully signed. The amounts due and the outstanding documents are listed on your application accepted email. We will contact the lead tenant should there be anything outstanding preventing the keys from being put out for collection.

If you are not planning on collecting your keys on your start date please notify your Property Manager so they are aware. You can collect your keys anytime after your start date provided within working hours, you will need to let your Property Manager know so they can get them ready.

 

You will need to bring photo ID to collect your keys.

If you wish your friend/family member to collect on your behalf – please email their details to your Property Manager (their email address is in the application accepted email) as soon as possible. That person will be asked to show their ID on collection.

The timescale for feedback will start from when you collect the keys. However, for cleanliness, there may be a build-up of dust depending on how long after the tenancy starts that you collect the keys

If you wish to alter any part of your property or lease including redecoration and keeping pets please complete this Variation to Tenancy form which can be completed online and sent back to your Property Manager there. Alternatively, you could email your Property Manager.

Unless otherwise specified in your tenancy agreement, the bills are the tenants’ responsibility.

We cannot advise how much your gas and electric would be as it depends on your usage; you can use price comparison sites to find a tariff and energy company that suits you.

We will notify current gas and electricity suppliers of the change of tenancy. City of Edinburgh Council (or relevant local authority depending on the location of your property) will also receive your details and tenancy start date and will send you a letter with your liability figure.

If you are student(s) you need to apply for tax reduction/exemption directly on Edinburgh Council website.

If you have any further queries regarding this discount, please call Edinburgh Council directly on 0131 200 2000 or visit https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/discounts-exemptions/student-council-tax-discount/1

Internet supplier will not be contacted as contracts are always signed with the person, not the address. You need to set up broadband yourself, a comparison site can be used for best results.

Meter readings taken on check in date will be provided to current suppliers to calculate your liability.

You can either stay with current supplier or switch to another provider. We do not assist further in this process.

Utilities are not included in your rent unless specifically agreed in your tenancy agreement

Information can be found via the Edinburgh Council website (or relevant local authority depending on the area e.g. Musselburgh would be East Lothian Council) for information relating to bins and recycling including which day is your bin day https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/bins-recycling

You can search the make and model (you should be able to find this on the front of the boiler) of your boiler online and download a user manual, or there may also be one in the property however in residential properties they often get removed by previous tenants. There may also be a thermostat or control panel elsewhere in the property to allow you to put your heating on a timer.

The location of your meters should be on your inventory report, alternatively your energy supplier may also have this on their records. Electric meters are usually located in a cupboard close to your mains unit/ trip switches and can often be in high up places and you may need a ladder. Gas meters can often be located outside the property in a hatch close to the ground. It is important to ensure there is nothing obstructing access to your meters to allow any engineer access, it is also helpful to provide your energy supplier with regular meter readings so they can send you accurate bills.

Faults or maintenance issues can be reported directly to your property manager, you can email them or complete the form here https://southsidemanagement.com/reporting-issues-with-photo/

If there is a fault with an appliance you can obtain the make and model e.g. Hotpoint washing machine, from the appliance itself. It is also helpful to take a picture of the problem in order for the property manager to instruct the correct contractor to attend and to fix the situation as swiftly as possible

If a tenant wishes to move out of a property and the rest of the tenants want to remain, it will be the responsibility of the person planning to leave to find a replacement for their room. The Property Manager would explain the process and send the required forms to be completed to proceed with the tenancy swap. The replacement tenant will need to apply for the swap and an overview of this will be sent across to the landlord for approval.

When the day comes you decide to leave the property, please ensure you contact your Property Manager with your 28 days' notice. This can be done via email by the lead tenant, as long as ALL other tenants are copied in this email. Viewings will commence during this period.  You will be notified at least 48 hours' in advance and all viewings are accompanied by a SouthSide team member.

SouthSide are delighted to refund full deposits to tenants, in order for us to do this, it is your responsibility to ensure:

  • The property has been fully cleaned to a professional standard throughout (we can give you contact details for a cleaning company)
  • All belongings/rubbish have been removed from the property
  • All keys are returned to our office
  • A Tenant Leaving Form (1 per tenant) is completed and submitted to our office with your forwarding address
  • You provide proof that Council Tax and utility bills are up to date/finalised (if you are exempt from Council Tax an exemption letter should be provided)

Please note deposits are held by Letting Protection Service Scotland.

 

Important Information for the End of your Tenancy

Below are some of the most common questions we get from tenants who are leaving their property. You will find more information on the ‘Moving out of your Property‘ section on our Tenants page.

Moving out

When you give your notice, the final rent will be calculated based on the number of days in your final month. Your Property Manager will email you your end of tenancy confirmation which will confirm this amount and when it is due. If you or any of the other tenants have paid their final month in advance, then you just need to deduct this from the final balance.

Your property must be cleaned to a professional standard. This does not mean that you have to use professional cleaners, although we can recommend some cleaners if you wish. Your Property Manager will send you a cleaning checklist.

You will need to speak to your Property Manager to make arrangements that will suit both you and the landlord.
We spoke to our regulatory body for advice on this as there are a few tenants who have left the property and given notice and now in this situation.
They have advised that the tenancy should be extended until such time the items can be removed. We can negotiate the rent with the landlord on this but the tenancy would remain active so you would need to keep utilities running too. The landlord will be as reasonable as possible given the current circumstances, ultimately it will be their decision as to what they offer.
In the case that you don’t agree to extend the tenancy, then the clause for abandonment within your tenancy agreement would apply where the landlord would keep the items for 30 days however the tenants would be responsible for any removal/storage costs and if not collected within 30 days the landlord has the right to dispose of the items which the tenants are liable for the costs of.
Our office can be opened for emergency access to properties therefore if there is someone who can attend on your behalf to remove belongings we can give keys if required. Keys can be collected by someone on your behalf for arranging the removal of your items.

It might help to book your end of tenancy clean with a professional cleaner in advance of your move out date, to ensure they have availability that day. However, the deposit return process will depend on you returning the leaving documents.

You can drop your keys off at our office on Nicolson Street, or pop them through our letter box if we are closed. If you are posting the keys, it is very important that you do not write the property address within the envelope. Please use a secure, padded envelope, and write your name within it, your Property Manager and the Property Reference code – not address. Please discuss your key returning arrangements with your Property Manager first.

A leaving form is to be completed by every tenant and then returned to your Property Manager by email with your final utility bills and council tax proof that you have paid and closed the accounts. Your leaving forms are due once the property has been fully vacated otherwise you will not be able to complete it in full so the information will not be accurate. If you don’t complete it in full it can’t be accepted. There is an online version of the form within the email that your PM sends you confirming your notice.

As we cannot do a full checkout on the property for a room let, if you send a clear video of your room, your Property Manager will be able to assess the condition and arrange for your deposit return then.

We do not hold your deposit, it is held with a deposit custodial scheme. We will start the deposit return process with the Letting Protection Service (LPS) Scotland within 10-15 working days of receipt of all the documents requested, or from when the tenancy ended if you have submitted all your leaving documents prior to the tenancy end date.

 

When you move out of your property, you should make sure to redirect your mail with the Royal Mail. https://www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/redirection 

If you get mail sent accidentally to the old property, you must let us know. We can give your details to the new tenants so they can arrange collection. However, if the property is vacant, we can arrange to go to the property and collect the mail and bring it to the office, but this service would be chargeable for the time involved in collecting.

If a tenant wishes to move out of a property and the rest of the tenants want to remain, it will be the responsibility of the person planning to leave to find a replacement for their room. The Property Manager would explain the process and send the required forms to be completed to proceed with the tenancy swap. The replacement tenant will need to apply for the swap and an overview of this will be sent across to the landlord for approval.

Important Information for New Landlords

We offer our full management service for 9% + VAT (10.8% including VAT of the monthly rental, minimum fee of £81 including VAT.

If you already have tenants in place, our management fee is reduced to 6% + VAT (7.2% including VAT).

  • Marketing - the cost of letting is included in your management fee on the basis that you are looking for full management for at least 3 years. This includes your professional photos, uploading the advert to all the major letting portals, the To Let Board and enquiry management.
  • Viewings - scheduling and conducting viewings.
  • Full application process - vetting potential applicants, referencing and credit checks and signing the legal documents on your behalf. We will also deal with the deposit transfer to the Letting Protection Service Scotland for retention and return at the time they move out.
  • Routine Property Visits (RPVs) - we conduct RPVs around once every 3-6 months to ensure the property is being kept in good condition. A detailed photographic report will be sent to you after.
  • Negotiated trades prices - we work with many approved contractors/suppliers with negotiated prices for repairs and maintenance to ensure our landlords get the best value for money.
  • Most of our contractor's prices will be cheaper than what you can arrange on your own. We do not charge any fees or take anything from the invoices like many of our competitors.

We do also offer a Let Only service designed for landlords who are looking to manage their property themselves but require initial assistance to find the right tenant. We offer 4 levels to our Let Only service, all of which require an initial fixed charge of £198 inc VAT for advertising the property on all the major letting portals. Further information on this can be found under the Let Only Service section of the landlords page on our website.

No, not for marketing and everyday management of your property. Unlike many of our competitors, we do not charge for the cost of letting and finding a tenant (if a long-term landlord).

We will only charge for additional services, over and above our everyday management - such as refurbishment projects.

Never, we only charge fees on the rent we actually receive.

You will be required to give notice to the tenants, it is 28 days notice if the tenancy is under 6 months old or 84 days notice if the tenancy is over 6 months old.

To keep things simple and fair for our landlords, our pricing structure is the same for everyone.  However, when you are a portfolio landlord we offer the following additional services depending on the number of properties in your portfolio.

 

  • Cover the cost of landlord insurance and factoring
  • Client portfolio mailing list for tenanted properties for sale
  • Annual and Bi-annual meetings with Property Manager to review properties and make recommendations
  • 5%-50% reduction on property introduction and project management and refurbishment fees.

We can arrange an inventory on your behalf if you wish. We work very closely with a couple of inventory companies, however, this will not be included in your management fees. We also conduct Routine Property Visits (RPVs) around once every 3-6 months to ensure the property is being kept in good condition, this is included in your management fees. A detailed photographic report will be sent to you after.

We can arrange for all of the legal certificates and requirements to be arranged to get your property compliant.  This includes:

 

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Landlords Safety Checks - Gas Safety Check, Portable Applicant Test (PAT), Legionella Risk Assessment
  • Fire detection (smoke, heat & CO detectors)
  • Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR)
  • Fire blanket
  • Landlord Registration (NOTE: SPM cannot carry this out on your behalf due to the legislation)

We are happy to arrange a free, no obligation appraisal where we will meet you at your property to advise on what is required to make your property compliant for renting.  We will also give you recommendations on any works required to achieve the best return on your investment. You can arrange a property appraisal via our website or by calling our office on 0131 51 000 51.

We send on tenant applications to you to provide us with a shortlist and we then offer them a viewing based on your preferences. Successful applicants will then be vetted and follow our checking and referencing procedure, you can request to see the applicant’s documents if you wish.

There are certain grounds for giving notice on a Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) and by law you can only ask your tenant to leave for one of these reasons. Grounds include but are not limited to; you or a family member want to move in to the property yourselves, you want to sell the property, you want to carry out work to the property which means no one will be able to live there while the work is carried out. Your property manager will be able to advise you of this, more information can be found on the PRT itself or on the Scottish Government website. If your tenant ignores the Notice to Leave or refuses to leave the property, you can apply to the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber.

We follow the government guidelines and stages for the arrears process which includes providing tenants with the relevant information and help links. We aim to set up a payment plan with the tenants and if this is not met and the tenant remains in arrears for the 3 consecutive months, we look to serve the sufficient 6 months’ notice to leave.

Important Information for Contractors

Keys can be collected from our office at 20 Nicolson Street. Please send the request in advance via this form https://eu.jotform.com/201841544415349 and the keys will be prepared and ready for your collection.

The lead tenant’s contact details will be on the job card request, if you aren’t able to reach the tenants you can contact the relevant property manager or call the office on 0131 51 000 51.

Some more Common Questions

No, we focus on our area of expertise which is lettings and property management.  We firmly believe in farming rather than hunting, where we work with landlords for the long-term and focus on building relationships and providing a service rather than turning our attention to finding continuously finding the next property to sell.

As a company we made the decision early on, prior to lockdown, to prepare for remote working and we negotiated the tenancy of a first-floor office that our founder had bought the year before.  To go from 2 open plan offices to 6 separate offices which allowed our team to socially distance.  As a company we also took the decision to look after our team in terms of job security with nobody going on furlough, no redundancies made and as a company we were able, despite being a difficult trading period (only allowing essential moves) to not take any bounce back or loans.  Throughout the year and when required we looked at keeping a flexible working arrangement and a real focus on helping our team through the pandemic.

SouthSide Property Management

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