If you’re wondering about the current mood of the lettings market in Glasgow and Lanarkshire, then the results of a recent Google analysis will be of interest to you.
A list of the most common property questions private renters typed into Google has been compiled by a firm called Boiler Plan.
The data covers April, and the market has shifted since then. But the results still provide a useful snapshot of tenant worries.
Here are the five most common questions private renters asked Google.
1 Can landlords increase my rent?
2 Can my landlord evict me?
3 What are my responsibilities as a tenant?
4 Can letting agents charge fees?
5 Can a landlord keep deposits?
What can landlords and letting agents learn from these questions?
Right now, people feel anxious.
Some renters are still on furlough but wondering what will happen when the scheme draws to a close. Others have lost their jobs and surviving on savings/the kindness of others/the Bank of Mum and Dad.
Many industry experts predict there will be an increase in tenants falling into rent arrears and evictions in the coming months. If as a landlord, you find yourself in a tricky situation with a tenant, the first thing to remember is that you must obey the law. There are clear rules about what you can and can’t do, and significant fines if you mess up. Contact us if you are unsure.
Assume tenants know their stuff
The fact private renters are googling the questions above, and not just searching up Game of Thrones or Dua Lipa, shows people are doing their research. The internet is awash with useful advice on tenants’ rights. So, don’t cut corners. It’s the wrong thing to do, and, it’s likely you won’t get away with it.
Evictions can be costly and time-consuming at the best of times, but there is, of course, another spanner in the works. Due to Covid-19, in Scotland, all evictions are now discretionary. In simple terms, if the tenant does not voluntarily leave, this means that the First Tier Tribunal will decide, based on the circumstances of the case, whether the tenant’s need/right to occupy the property is outweighed by the landlord’s need/right to repossess the property.
Remember, evictions should always be the last resort.
It’s worth talking to an excellent letting agent like us. We have experience dealing with sensitive matters, and we can go into bat for you and find another way of resolving any dispute.
If you want to have a chat about any issues raised by the Google searches in this article, please get in touch with your local Scottish Property Centre branch.
We’re here to help you however and whenever you need it.