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Rental cottages in parts of the Scottish Highlands proving popular

In the last Quarter of 2011, the firm’s Elgin office doubled the number of rental properties let in comparison to the previous three quarters combined, with the majority of properties being let out by young professionals.
‘Over the past three months we have let out a significant number of properties from our portfolio and are now letting cottages before they are even put on the open market. This has been achieved through our extensive knowledge of landlords with empty, or soon to be empty properties and matching them with potential tenants who have registered with us,’ said Fiona Samson, of CKD Galbraith in Elgin.
‘While borrowing is still restricted for many prospective purchasers, renting is the preferred option. This is demonstrated by the number of young professionals who have recently rented houses from us. 77% of all houses that we let last year were to young professionals,’ she explained.
CKD Galbraith’s lettings department specialises in rural properties, and demand across the county for two to three bedroom properties, such as farm cottages, is extremely high as people look for a perceived better quality of life and more space than is available in the local towns.
This demand has led to an increase in rents previously expected by landlords with the average two bedroom cottage let for £531 per calendar month, whilst the average three bedrooms let for £641 per calendar month. A three bedroom property which is spacious, well maintained and located in a desirable area can command as much as £750 per calendar month.
In the last three months the Elgin office has let a variety of properties, from a seven bedroom house in Lossiemouth to a detached rural cottage near the village of Dallas. 
‘Tenants are looking for higher quality accommodation than ever before and good value for money. Landlords who invest in keeping their property in good repair and condition can often find tenants who are willing to look after the property and treat it as their own home. This combination leads to a good landlord-tenant relationship which is beneficial for both parties,’ said Samson.
As spring progresses, the Elgin office envisage the lettings market to continue to flourish, and already have a number of properties lined up to come onto the market in late spring and early summer. Holme Rose, due to come on to the market shortly, is a seven bedroom Georgian Mansion house near Croy, Nairn at £2,000 per calendar month.
Currently on the market through CKD Galbraith is The Neuk, a two bedroom traditional cottage near Dallas, with oil central heating and open fire at £400 per calendar month, and Dairy Cottage a newly renovated two bedroom cottage, with separate studio space in Drummuir, Keith at £600 per calendar month.
CKD Galbraith’s lettings division is a SAFEagent thus being able to guarantee that tenants' and landlords' money is protected by a client money protection scheme.
The firm has also introduced QR (Quick Response) codes which enables smart phone users to gain instant access to particular properties available on the firm’s lettings website, relevant to the area in which they are seeking residential property to rent.