An overwhelming majority of Scottish landlords are satisfied with their letting agency’s response to COVID-19, according to a new study.

The survey of over 1,000 private landlords on the impact of COVID-19, conducted via email and social media by landlord’s estate agent, Portolio, has revealed that 92% of private landlords are happy with the performance of their letting agent during the Coronavirus crisis.

Embracing the new normal

Letting agents rely heavily on personal interactions with landlords and tenants alike in their day to day business, which has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures forced new ways of carrying out daily activities, however, agents have adapted quickly to the new, challenging circumstanced. Embracing available technology in the form of virtual property tours, electronic signing of leases and video conferencing, has helped to ensure continuity in the property market.

Managing Director of Ben Property in Edinburgh, Jamie Kerr, said: “The obvious knock on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown have severely affected the market as we know/knew it, but we at Ben Property have adapted, with the likes of virtual/video viewings, 360 tours, more floorplans being available, being proactive and assisting prospective tenants where moves have been essential. Most, if not all, landlords have been understanding and tenants equally so.”

Director of One Stop Properties in Glasgow, Wendy Gallagher, commented: “The last 6 weeks have been hard on everyone as we have all shifted from a physical to a virtual world. In the letting industry landlords, tenants and letting agents have been left with the dilemma of how to manage their property letting processes without physical viewings and following the correct procedures around tenant check-in.

We know how important it is for people to have a roof over their heads and for landlords to bring in a regular income to pay the mortgage on their property, so we’ve updated our processes. We’re also continuing to carry out emergency repairs where required.”

Managing Director and Founder of Portolio, Chris Wood, said: “We’ve heard stories about them [letting agents] spraying keys with disinfectant and then watching from a safe distance as new tenants pick them up. One agent even arranged to have ‘thank you’ hampers sent to a large number of NHS and essential workers during lockdown.”