Edinburgh letting agent Clan Gordon boosts portfolio

An Edinburgh letting agent has added a record number of properties to its portfolio in the last year – saying this is due in part to stronger legislation affecting the sector.

Clan Gordon says it focuses on high-quality homes in or near the city centre. Picture: Jon Savage.

Clan Gordon, which focuses on high-quality homes in or near the city centre, has seen its properties under management now exceed 500, growing by three a week on average – with 152 added to its books in 2019.

It said the growth has largely been the result of switches from other letting agents “where landlords were either unhappy with the level of service… or sensed a lax approach to the new regulations governing the sector”.

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The business also said growth has been driven by properties taken over from letting agents forced to exit the sector as they were unable to meet the requirements of the new Letting Agent Code of Practice or, in one case, went into liquidation.

The firm has seen its properties under management now exceed 500. Picture: Cate Gillon.

Jonathan Gordon, who founded the business with brother Andrew in 2008, believes the industry must continue to drive up standards. He said: “It’s nothing less than a pivotal time for the sector – and with the approach Clan Gordon has taken, we can only see our market share continue to expand.

“Edinburgh continues to see demand for long-term rental increasing while supply simply can’t keep up.

Better outcome

“While some landlords and agents may look to maximise short-term gain, a healthy relationship with the tenants, which we strive for at Clan Gordon, can produce a far better outcome for all parties. It creates fewer issues, cuts unnecessary turnover and typically results in a greater long-term financial return for the landlord.”

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The agency said the latest Letting Agent Code of Practice and Letting Agent Registration introduced by the Scottish Government seek to increase professionalism in the sector.

Consequently, both landlords and tenants can challenge poor practice – and enforce it through a tribunal if necessary. Agents must now ensure all owners and managers are trained and have a certain qualification.

Clan Gordon said that as a firm of surveyors that has been regulated by the Royal Institution of Surveyors since it started almost 12 years ago, it already met all the requirements of the new Code of Practice and ensures all employees – not just managers – are qualified to this level.

Across the new properties, the letting agent took more than a dozen from CMC after it went into liquidation. A further 20 properties switched from an English agent unwilling to join the new Letting Agent Register, and 50 transferred from an Edinburgh agent also unable to meet the new requirements.

A further 70 new properties are the result of switches from other agents, or from new landlords altogether.

Jonathan Gordon added: “We believe that the vast majority of landlords are looking for an honest, open and efficient service, and are pleased to see these efforts to try to drive up standards across the board in the sector.

“We are super-proud of the growth in our portfolio of managed properties and with our fantastic team and the philosophy we have put in place we aim to see our success – and reputation in the sector – continue to soar.”