Scotland’s lettings sector continues to perform well despite reports that landlords in England are selling their rental properties in droves.

The landlords that we work with are, in the main, confident to continue and very few have made the decision to exit the sector.

Here in the Scottish Borders, we have a resilient and well-established lettings sector providing a good range of high-quality property across all price points.

Many of the tenants we work with are professionals, notably junior doctors, as the Borders General Hospital is well-positioned in the centre of the region, with each of the main Borders towns within about 30 minutes commute.

Tenants have certainly benefited more than landlords from the changes to rental legislation in Scotland in the past five years and it can sometimes feel rather as if the Scottish government is targeting landlords!

We will continue to represent landlords as members of the professional bodies governing the sector – Propertymark, and the Association of Residential Lettings Agents – and  also in our own engagement with politicians, as a firm. Landlords are affected by any rise in the cost of living just as much as tenants, and landlords also have a mortgage to pay.

Overall though, the sector is performing well and most landlords are prepared to invest in upgrades to their property on a regular basis to ensure they can attract the most reliable tenant and keep them in the property, over the medium to long-term.

Energy efficiency is at the top of the list at the moment.

Some landlords have installed solar panels, double or triple glazing and some have invested in better insulation to ensure that the property is well-insulated, protected against cold and damp and ultimately, will be cheaper to heat.

These kinds of improvement are a win-win – the tenants benefit from lower energy bills in the winter months and the landlord invests in the overall maintenance and up keep of the property as an asset.

Energy-efficient properties are popular with tenants and can attract a higher rental fee.

Other measures that landlords may wish to consider include replacing electric heating with other options, including multi-fuel stoves, which offer  a good supply of heat, are energy efficient and inexpensive to run. One of my clients who has three rural cottages has installed a multi-fuel stove in each.

Interest-free loans are available from Home Energy Scotland for renovations to improve the energy -efficiency of a rented property, including the following:

  • External/internal wall insulation: £10,000
  • Heating system (warm air units or high heat retention electric storage heaters): £5,000
  • Glazing (only available for improving single glazing and not for replacing or improving existing double glazing): £4,500
  • Insulated doors: £4,500
  • Flat roof or room-in-roof insulation: £4,000
  • Loft, floor or cavity wall insulation: £1,000


No interest is payable for landlords with five properties or less in their portfolio. There is a one-off arrangement fee of £250.

We recommend that landlords start planning ahead now, as Scottish Government Proposed EPC regulations require all rental properties to be a minimum of grade C by 2025, at new let, or C and above for all property by 2028.

Please contact me to discuss the requirements or if you have a rental property to let in the Scottish Borders, or I can put you in touch with one of our teams based all over Scotland.