Step by step guide to letting

There are many reasons why someone might become a landlord. Perhaps you’re moving cities or countries for a stint abroad, unable to sell in the current market or investing in buy-to-let properties to generate rental income or looking for an investment option to provide a pension for income later in life. When done properly, becoming a landlord can be a rewarding venture, offering a lucrative opportunity that contributes to the local housing market and providing a safe, secure & comforting home for tenants setting up home in Aberdeen, Inverurie, Banchory or elsewhere in Aberdeenshire.

However, being a landlord comes with great responsibility. We’ve compiled a detailed guide to help you navigate the path to becoming a landlord and understand what you can typically expect.

Before delving into landlord letting, take the time to educate yourself about the legal requirements, responsibilities and best practices. Familiarise yourself with Scottish tenancy laws, regulations and property standards. There are some great networking groups in Aberdeen to discuss your venture with likeminded landlords.

If you live further afield, consider who may help if your tenant has an issue or needs to speak with you and build relationships with local tradespeople so you know who to call if there’s an emergency at the property.

Being a landlord can be demanding, you may wish to research local letting agents who can help with some, or all, of the management of your rental.

If partnering with an agent is the best decision for you, it’s important you choose the right one. Look for a letting agent in Aberdeen with a proven history of renting properties successfully. Question how they find quality tenants, conduct viewings, their high street presence and communication levels once a tenant has moved in. Don’t forget to check out their reviews too!

Of course, it’s imperative that you choose a letting agent who meets all Scottish and UK industry standards so that you, your money and property and fully protected.

Matt, Scott & Juliet negotiate rental valuations on a daily basis. Living in Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire, they each exude local expertise and up to the minute knowledge of the market conditions which you will benefit from. They’re in the perfect position to help you achieve the best possible rental value for your property.

For a free rental valuation, click here and complete the request form.

Choosing the correct service level is entirely based on the level of responsibility and time that a landlord is willing to give, and how much time is worth to you. At Northwood, we provide a range of letting service options to accommodate every type of landlord circumstances.


Guaranteed Rent: risk free renting, with your income guaranteed for 12 months, Northwood become your tenant and sub-let on your behalf. We manage your property, maintenance & queries too!

Find out more here


Fully Managed: encompassing all aspects of property management from finding tenants to managing day-to-day responsibilities so landlords can ‘let and forget’ with full peace of mind.

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Tenant Find: through our network and screening processes, we’ll find the right tenant for your property and organise lease documentation on your behalf.

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Rent Collection & Financial Management: using established payment & deposit systems, we track payment & pursue arrears where necessary.

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Compliance MOT: there are literally hundreds of pieces legislation that landlords must adhere to in Scotland? We offer hands-on, practical support to ensure your property’s compliance.

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Selling with tenants in situ: we can swiftly manage the sale of your rental property, without disruption to your tenant and minimising loss of income throughout the process.

Find out more here

First impressions really do count, especially when it comes to rentals. Clean, tidy and well-maintained properties attract quality tenants who will look after your property. Sometimes, a few free or low cost jobs can make a huge difference. You’d be amazed what a lick of paint can do to a space!

At Northwood we can give you expert advice on how to present your property in the best possible light, using the best quality photography and creation of  quality property details. We can also supply details (or project manage) local tradespeople and staging experts to ensure your property is ready to market.

Initial paperwork includes notifying your mortgage lender, where applicable, having appropriate landlord insurance and ensuring all tax-related affairs are in order. We have a range of buy-to-let and investment properties and work with independent mortgage advisors and together, we’ll help get you the best advice possible.

A variety of legal certificates need to be obtained such as an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a Gas Safety Certificate (GSC) and PAT tests to name a few. There’s actually nine different parts of legislation, totalling 80 sections with separate sub-points and five schedules each to ensure full compliance! At Northwood, we’ll advise you on all legal requirements relevant to your property.

It’s important to complete a comprehensive inventory. We can recommend professionals in Aberdeen, Stonehaven, Banchory and Inverurie who thoroughly record the condition and its contents – something that’s key for subsequent inspections and at check out.

In order to find the best tenant for your property, you want the widest possible exposure to the best quality tenants.

We have a database of potential tenants looking for rentals in Aberdeen and the surrounding areas, and we’ll also list your property on the national property websites such as Rightmove, Zooplaand OnTheMarket. Learn more about these sites here.

Once the tenancy has been agreed prospective tenants should always be thoroughly referenced and credit checked.

A tenancy agreement is then drawn up – the agreement itself needs to be fully compliant with all current regulations based on which part of the country the property is located in. A deposit and the first month’s rent will be required by move in day.

It is a legal requirement that the deposit is registered with one of the Government approved deposit schemes once the tenant has moved in.

We’ve produced a Landlord’s guide to tenancy deposit protection to help explain this simply and clearly – with minimal jargon!

Once all the paperwork has been completed, the tenant can check into the property and collect their keys. It’s important that the inventory is discussed with the tenant, and signed as agreement.

Consider creating a handbook of information such as bin collection days, where meters and stopcocks are located, appliance instruction manuals etc. This helps the tenant settle in quickly and confidently, and may minimise any queries that may arise.

The council, gas and electricity suppliers must all be informed that the tenant has moved in. This is something that we take care of for all of our clients.

  1. Managing the tenancy

Both you and your tenant have responsibilities that you must adhere throughout the duration of the tenancy.

Your tenant is obliged to:

  • Pay the rent in full, and on time
  • Pay necessary bills in full, and on time (council tax, utility bills, TV licence etc – unless otherwise agreed)
  • Keep the house clean, ventilated and well maintained – and a garden too if applicable
  • Carry out basic maintenance (replacing light bulbs etc – see our handy maintenance guide here)
  • Keep the property safe and secure at all times
  • Advise of any repairs or maintenance requirements as soon as possible (you can do this on FixFlo)
  • Raise any rent concerns with your Property Manager as soon as possible
  • Be respectful of your flatmates and neighbours

As a minimum, the landlord must:

  • Allow the tenant to live in the property undisturbed
  • Give 24 hours’ notice of any access visits (inspections, maintenance etc)
  • Maintain the property to a good state of repair
  • Have all gas, electricity and water supplies in working order
  • Have access to all operating instructions for the appliances and equipment

Typically, and unless stated otherwise, the tenant will have signed a private residential tenancy and must give 28 days’ notice to terminate their contract. This begins on the day you receive the notice and ends 28 days after that date.

If you decide to evict your tenants, or wish to sell, you will also need to serve notice. All tenants are entitled to get 28 days’ notice (if the tenancy has been running for 6 or less months, and certain eviction grounds, and in all other cases, a tenant is required to receive 84 days’ notice.

Please note that if you are looking to sell your rental property, it’s not always necessary to evict your tenants. Click here to find out more about how we can help sell your property with a tenant in situ.

At the end of the tenancy, the landlord or letting agency should go to the property to formally take possession. The rent should be paid up to date, all keys handed back and an assessment made of the cleanliness and state of the property.

All the paperwork must be completed, a forwarding address for the tenant obtained and the utility companies informed of the changes.

Assuming all is well with the state of the property and its contents, taking into account fair wear and tear the tenant’s deposit should be returned.

The above is only meant as a guide, and no two sales are the same. If you have any specific questions about selling your home, or to arrange a property valuation, get in touch with us today.


Aberdeen: 01224 218450 | Inverurie: 01467 530591
Aberdeen: | Inverurie:
207-211 Rosemount Place, Aberdeen, AB25 2XS | 23 West High Street, Inverurie, AB51 3SA