As the old saying goes, there’s no substitute for experience. Here at Harvey Lets, we’ve been helping landlords make the most of their investments for three generations, guiding them through the ever-changing world of residential letting with a combination of adaptation, innovation, a deep understanding of the market – and countless cups of tea.
The Harvey Heritage stretches back more than 50 years and, even today, informs everything we do. Like Dougie’s father and his grandfather before him, we pride ourselves on combining personal attention, decades of experience, and a willingness to innovate to make the most of our customers’ portfolios. Take a look back at our history and you’ll understand why our clients see us as the safest pair of hands for their investment in Scotland. After that? Well, who knows – you might even want to be a part of our future…
Where it all began
The Harvey Heritage begins with Dougie’s grandfather James – who everyone knew as Hamish. Like so many of his generation, Hamish’s youth was one interrupted by the fires of war sweeping over Europe. Swapping the uniform of his native Glasgow’s Hillhead High School for that of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, he served as a Captain during WWI, eventually returning to Scotland after enduring an injury during the Battle of the Somme.
Following his training as a chartered surveyor, Hamish worked as Land Agent for the Clyde Valley Power Company before it was nationalised and became the SSEB (South of Scotland Electricity Board). He moved to be Command Land Agent in Scotland for the War Office and through his work met Daisy Miller, who ran a lettings agency known as Scott & Co.
A friendship quickly developed and Daisy, who wanted to retire, sold the business to Hamish in 1952. For the first time in his life, and at the age of 55, he became self-employed. Harvey Scott & Co. soon flourished, with Hamish – astutely assisted by his wife Evaline – able to draw on his skills as a chartered surveyor to carry out surveying valuation and estate agency. It was a sea change at a time where there were only one or two estate The Team in Glasgow and solicitors were responsible for the vast majority of house sales. Hamish and Eva offered every service landlords and homeowners could need, all under one roof and with a personal touch and attention that couldn’t be matched. Unsurprisingly, Harvey Scott & Co. was soon one of the most trusted agencies in Glasgow.
In 1964, Hamish suffered a heart attack, prompting his son John to return from London and learn the ways of what had become the family business. By 1969, the business added another string to its ever-growing bow through a partnership with Peter Donaldson’s East End-based factoring firm to create Harvey & Donaldson. While the business’ name may have changed, the Harvey commitment to combining adaptation, innovation, experience and a personal service remained at its core.
Restoring a legacy
In the early 1990s, Dougie Harvey, like his father before him, returned to Glasgow and the family business. Dougie worked with his father at Harvey & Donaldson for a time, before the business was purchased by Nationwide Building Society, who in turn sold it on to another ‘national’ letting agency. Feeling that the Harvey Heritage – the personal service his father and grandfather had prided themselves on giving their clients – was lost in this huge portfolio, Dougie, in a move eerily similar to that taken by Hamish Harvey almost 50 years before, struck out on his own. Harvey Lets was born, the Harvey Heritage was restored and the rest, as they say, is history.
“My father and grandfather had a vision for our family business – a lettings agency that prides itself on combining personal attention, decades of experience, and a willingness to innovate to make the most of its customers’ portfolios.
“Today, we’re a thoroughly modern agency, but that 50-year-long heritage continues to inform every decision we make. If that level of service sounds right up your street, I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call or pop in to the office for a chat. Whether you’re the owner of one property or one hundred, we’ll help you make the most of your investment.”
Call: 0141 204 1100