2024–2029 Our five-year strategy

One housing system · Part of the solution · Renting as a choice

SAL case studies

Resourceful and supportive

SAL membership – for the first step and the long term

Karen began her landlord journey in 2007 and while researching the rules and regulations of being a landlord in Scotland, found there was no comprehensive government website, and the local council told her to register but could give no further advice.

She did her best, keeping the flats safe and comfortable and maintaining records of everything she thought might be important but never felt confident that she had a full understanding of the applicable laws. Karen discovered SAL at an event. One look at the leaflet, a quick chat with the friendly members behind the table and she knew this was the organisation she had been looking for. She took out a three-year membership that month.

Reading the information on SAL’s website and using the resources provided, Karen identified areas for improvement in her lettings. She attended courses provided by LAS and used SAL’s letting advice phone and email helpline for a prompt, friendly and accurate response. Attending local branch meetings allowed her to meet other local landlords and discuss issues particular to her area and, in time, she then became accredited with LAS. Through SAL’s enewsletters and magazines, she stays informed of developments and upcoming changes to the sector and takes pride in the service she offers, providing the best homes possible to her tenants. Karen’s first piece of advice to anyone thinking of becoming a landlord in Scotland is to join SAL, make use of the resources on the website, then embrace your membership in a welcoming, professional community while you provide an essential service in the housing sector.

In 1989, Penny bought a top floor flat (to live in) in a traditional detached house that had been converted into two flats. When the ground floor flat was repossessed, she bought that too. She knew nothing about renting out properties, so used a solicitor to provide a sort of letting service. There was no one to ask about application forms, references, inventories, property inspections etc. After a flood and the subsequent insurance payout she converted the one large lower flat into two and then had two tenancies to look after.

Back then, there was no community of landlords and no local authority support, and she felt very lonely and vulnerable. She then changed employment, and coincidently, her responsibilities included matters relating to rented properties, learning about the Private Rented Housing Panel, now the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), relevant legislation and the fledgling Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL). She was finally learning how to be a better landlord with a support mechanism that protected the landlord and tenant while gaining knowledge about new legislation. In 2012 she joined SAL and realised how much easier it is to be a landlord within a like-minded community.

Within the SAL community it does not matter that she is a landlord with a small portfolio. What matters is the support, advice, training (through LAS), forward looking approach and working together of SAL that has given her the confidence and ability to be the best landlord she can in an environment where housing is crucial to people’s well-being and sense of security.

On my last year’s property insurance I had two of my properties insured with Direct Line the rest with Alan Boswell. I asked for an exact quote for quote with Alan Boswell and saved £140 off the Direct Line quote. All my properties are now with Boswells. Thanks to SAL again for our discounts.

Roy Baines

SAL landlord member, East Lothian

SAL is my go-to place for up-to-date information/legislation. It’s one of the best investments I have made. The staff are helpful and knowledgeable.

Carla Bankhead

SAL letting agent member