Demand rising for tenancies

Agency sets up team to handle surge in calls

img_3053A sharp growth in demand for privately-rented accommodation in Edinburgh has prompted a residential letting agency to create a department dedicated solely to handling enquiries and vetting tenant applications.

The four-strong team has been launched by DJ Alexander Lettings after its phone lines became jammed by calls from people seeking accommodation, including numerous enquiries from applicants who did not meet the company’s tenancy criteria.

The company has about 5,000 properties under management through its Edinburgh and Glasgow offices and in the capital accounts for about a quarter of all agency lettings.

Rob Trotter, associate director at the firm, said: “Following an extremely busy summer it became clear urgent action was necessary.

“The new team is an added cost for us without a single penny in corresponding income but we believe it will be beneficial in the long run for ourselves, our landlord clients and for everyone seeking to rent through us whether they are successful or not.”

Mr Trotter added that the new department had been set up against a backdrop of impending legislation which made “an effective tenant vetting process more important than ever to the residential letting sector”.

He said: “It is expected that from 2018 the ‘no fault’ grounds related to ending a lease will make it more difficult for landlords to evict unsuitable tenants.

“Also, there will be no minimum lease period so it is important that letting agencies identify people who are serious about renting a property long-term and who will not simply up sticks after a month or two, leaving the landlord with an unexpected period of rental void.”

Photo by Terry Murden

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