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.

The Most Common Questions

Yes. You do need to have some sort of physical viewing take place before you can apply for one of our properties. This can be done by yourself, a friend or relative or a relocation agent (who are available for a fee - please check directly with the relocation agent for information on this)

The application process at SouthSide is very simple. It is not first come first served. All applications are summarised to the Landlord who selects which applicant(s) will become the tenants. There is usually a shortlisting stage whereby a few applications are contacted for further documents and information. The normal turnaround for applications is 3-7 working days and all applicants should be updated at least every 3 working days.

  1. Photographic ID
  2. Proof of current address (e.g. utility bill) dated within last 3 months
  3. Proof of income (3x months worth of payslips or bank statements)

Please see the information on the next question for when a guarantor may be required.

Completed forms and the required documents must be provided within 5 working days of submitting the completed application, otherwise, your application will be deemed as withdrawn (unless communication is made to state otherwise).

Once we have received your documents, we will begin checking your references and perform the appropriate credit checks. You should always ensure that we have contact details for the references and ensure the relevant persons know that we will be contacting them. Should you require a blank copy of our lease then you may ask for one of these to read over before you sign.

If the references and/or credit check comes back unsatisfactory, we will not progress with the application.

A guarantor is required if the tenant does not earn 250% 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 250% of the monthly rental.

Overseas guarantor are accepted, however, due to not being able to credit check an overseas individual, an additional month's rent must be paid upfront and this will be put towards the tenant's last month rental payment.

A guarantor may also be requested if the tenant is newly employed, a student, has a bad 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 2.5x their monthly share of the rent or are a student. Please call us on 0131 51 000 51 for any further queries.

The timescales for paying this will be detailed in your application accepted email and on your tenancy agreement. This will be payable at the same time as your first month's rent.

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.

A full inventory and condition report will be conducted by an independent company before you move into the property which will include meter readings, photographs and in some cases video footage. The inventory company aim to email the lead tenant a copy of the report within 10 working days of the start of the tenancy and tenants then have 7 working days to check through and note any comments before returning to their property manager. The signed and approved inventory will be used at the final inspection when you eventually vacate the property.

It is also important you contact utility providers and the relevant Council to arrange Council Tax payments and to transfer the bills into your name at the start of the tenancy. We will also notify them as part of our service to tenants but the onus is on the tenant to ensure that this is done.

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 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.

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.

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.

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:

  1. The property has been fully cleaned to a professional standard throughout (we can give you contact details for a cleaning company)
  2. All belongings/rubbish have been removed from the property
  3. All keys are returned to our office
  4. A Tenant Leaving Form (1 per tenant) is completed and submitted to our office with your forwarding address
  5. 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.

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, our business hours are Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5.30pm at the moment.

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.

Important Information for New Landlords

The Most Common Questions

  • 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.

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.

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 can arrange this 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.

SouthSide Property Management

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