We understand it's an uncertain time for many landlords and tenants, and ESPC Lettings are with you every step of the way to navigate the rental market. You can call us on 0131 253 2847 or email landlord@espc.com

Read more information on the property market and COVID-19.

LAST UPDATED: Thursday 24th September

COVID-19 information for tenants

Here is some advice for tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will update this page as regularly as we are able to with new information and the latest advice. 

The First Minister announced that the restrictions on house moves would be relaxed from the 29th June. Read the full Scottish Government guidance on house moves here

On 22nd September, due to a rise in Coronavirus cases across the country, the Scottish Government announced new measures to drive down the infection rate, which included social visits to other households no longer being permitted. The Scottish Government has confirmed, however, that house moves can still go ahead, professionals, such as letting agents and landlords, and tradespeople can still visit a home in order to facilitate a home move and their guidance on property viewings continues with a virtual first emphasis. 

Can my landlord or letting agent access my rental property?

Yes, if necessary,  landlords and letting agents can access rental properties. Any visits to a property must be made in accordance with the Scottish Government guidelines on physical distancing.

If you or any member of your household is showing symptoms, or has been asked to self-isolate, you should alert your landlord or letting agent so that they can re-arrange their visit.

Can I view a rental property now? 

Yes, in person viewings can be arranged for rental properties. Any visits to a property must be made in accordance with the Scottish Government guidelines on physical distancing.

However, viewings should not be conducted in properties where tenants are showing symptoms or self-isolating, or where it has been determined that they are shielding.

When viewing a property, you should wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser immediately after entering the properties, and avoid touching any surfaces. You may also wish to consider wearing a face covering.

The Scottish Government has advised that virtual viewings should be carried out where possible, with physical viewings only where there is a strong interest in letting.

Can I move into a rental property?

Yes, people can move into rental properties. You must ensure to follow government guidance on social distancing during the full moving process.

Following increased restrictions on 22nd September, house moves can still go ahead. However, the Scottish Government has advised that you avoid asking a member of another household to help you with the move. 

Can my landlord organise repairs on my rental property during lockdown?

Where possible, essential repairs, gas and electrical safety checks and energy performance assessments should be conducted in the period between a property being vacated and a new tenant moving in. If this is not possible, and visits are needed to an occupied property, this should be done by appointment with measures put in place to ensure physical contact is minimised, for example with you staying in another room during the landlord’s visit.

I can’t afford to pay my rent anymore – what should I do?

It is important you contact your landlord or lettings agent as soon as possible if you think you will be or are already unable to pay your rent.

Tenants affected by coronavirus who are concerned about paying their rent can claim Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions which includes support for housing costs, if eligible.

You can find full details on help available for tenants struggling to pay their rent below:

gov.uk/universal-credit
gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Can I be evicted if I don’t pay my rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

No - it has been made clear that no landlord should evict a tenant because they have suffered financial hardship due to Covid-19. Landlords should be flexible with tenants facing financial hardship and signpost them to the sources of financial support available above.

If you have any concerns about being paying you rent or being evicted, contact your letting agent or landlord as soon as possible. It is also important to highlight that you are still able to be evicited if you break any other terms of your tenancy agreement that are not related to COVID-19.

 

Edinburgh rental property specialists

We specialise in letting property in Edinburgh to both professionals and students, sourcing property in sought after areas of the city. All properties are carefully chosen to ensure that they meet our high standards. Whether you are looking for a professional apartment, house or family home or a student flat to rent in Edinburgh close to your university, we can help find the ideal one for you.

Our letting process is very simple, with just five steps to follow to help you secure that dream home.

Find out about the letting process for tenants

You can register for email updates on new properties which match your criteria My ESPC.

Start your search for properties to rent in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife

Do make sure to keep up-to-date with offers and competitions on Facebook and Twitter.

As an ESPC Lettings tenant, we hope that your stay with us is hassle-free. If you do encounter a maintenance problem in your property, please email maintenance@espclettings.com or call the maintenance team on 0131 253 2847. We will then arrange for the relevant contractor to visit your property to fix the problem.

Here are some helpful tips should you encounter a problem at your property.

ESPC Lettings inform the council and utility provider of the change in tenancy. We provide them with the new tenants' details and the lease start date. Unfortunately, we cannot be held accountable for any delays in the provider issuing bills of the problems with the bills.

Please do not pay a bill addressed to someone else or with incorrect meter readings/tenancy start dates.

If you have an emergency which cannot wait until the next working day you can reach a member of the team on our out of hours telephone. You should leave your name, contact number, property address and a brief description of the nature of your emergency and a member of the team will get back to you.

If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, or are worried that fumes containing carbon monoxide are escaping from a gas appliance, please call the Gas Emergency Service line on 0800 111 999.

In the event of an electrical emergency or power outage please call 105 to be put through to your local electricity network operator.

If water is leaking in your property above, please contact the neighbour first. If there is no answer and the water leak cannot be contained until your neighbour returns, please ring Edinburgh City Council on 0131 200 2000.

If you are locked out of your property, calling out an emergency locksmith will be at your own cost. Hero Locksmith is available on 07434 801 049.

Do make sure to keep up-to-date with latest offers and prize draws on Facebook and Twitter

If you have any questions, contact a member of the team on 0131 253 2847.