A lettings agency in one of the most competitive markets in Britain says it’s enjoyed a record year winning landlords from “lax” rivals.
Clan Gordon says it “focuses on high quality homes” in central Edinburgh and has seen its properties under management exceed 500, growing by three per week on average - with 152 additional homes on its books in the latest 12 months to December.
The growth, it says, has largely been the result of switches from other letting agents where landlords were either unhappy with the level of service they were receiving or “sensed a lax approach to new regulations governing the sector.”
Growth has also been driven by properties taken over from agents forced to exit the sector after being unable to meet the requirements of Scotland’s new Letting Agent Code of Practice or, in one case, being forced into liquidation.
Agency founder Jonathan Gordon says: “Edinburgh continues to see demand for long-term rental increasing while supply simply can’t keep up.
“While some landlords and agents may look to maximise short-term gain, a healthy relationship with the tenants ... can produce a better outcome. It creates fewer issues, cuts unnecessary turnover and typically results in a greater long-term financial return for the landlord.”
The latest Letting Agent Code of Practice and Letting Agent Registration introduced by the Scottish Government is seeking to increase professionalism in the sector.
It means both landlords and tenants can challenge poor practice and enforce it through a tribunal. Agents must now ensure all owners and managers are trained and have a qualification at at the equivalent of Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 6 or above.
Clan Gordon say it took over 12 properties from CMC after it went into liquidation; a further 20 properties switched from an English agent unwilling to join the new Letting Agent Register. And 50 transferred from an Edinburgh agent also unable to meet the new requirements, claims Clan Gordon.
A further 70 are the result of switches from other agents, or from new landlords.