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About Us

Welcome to Margaret Duffus Leasing 

The Personal Property Service

What are we?

MDL is a family run leasing business dedicated to providing a service to landlords who wish to let out their property and their tenants who wish to lease them. Because of the importance of the oil industry we have significant expertise in dealing with overseas landlords and tenants.  We also recognise the ever increasing market of buy to let landlords, whether they have one or several properties, and so we offer a flexible service that understands the investors needs.

What is our philosophy?

Leasing a property, which may have been your family home for some time or represents a large investment, can often be a stressful business, particularly if it also involves an overseas relocation. We recognise that the personal elements involved in leasing are equally important as an efficient and effective management service.

We believe that Landlords need the reassurance that we will act in their best interests and will look after their property as they would themselves.  We aim to involve the Landlord as much or as little as they wish and try to accommodate individual requests as much as possible within the framework of the leasing industry's guidelines and best practice.  Good communication is key and we pride ourselves on friendly helpful staff who encourage positive relationships with both Tenant and Landlord.

Who are we?


Married with two independent children Margaret Duffus has been brought up, educated and lived all her life in and around Aberdeen. Following university and bringing up a family she was involved in property leasing for 15 years, managing over 300 properties, before deciding to set up Margaret Duffus Leasing in 1997 to offer clients the choice of a more personal service.  Originally working from home, the business expanded steadily and her daughter, Sarah (now Sarah Harley) got involved to share the load, and maintain the personal 'family' philosophy.  In 2006 they were able to build an office in the grounds of Margaret’s home which allowed them to take on more staff, until they moved to their current location in Bayview Road in 2009. Margaret officially retired in 2010, but is still on hand to help out with viewings occasionally as well as an indispensible babysitting service to her granddaughter. 

Sarah Harley

Sarah has a BA (Hons) Degree in Management from the Robert Gordon University as well as computing and accounting experience and over 10 years leasing experience. In 2003 Sarah became a partner with Margaret and became sole owner when Margaret retired before forming a partnership with James.  Having completed her technical award with the NFOPP, Sarah has become a licensed member of ARLA and has registered Margaret Duffus Leasing as members of the Scottish Association of Residential Landlords (SAL) and the Property Ombudsman. Married to James Harley, she has two young daughters Katherine and Jessica.

James Harley

James joined in 2010 and continues the family run feel of the firm.  He has a degree in Interior Design and also trained as an electrician so has a wide variety of property experience.  Primarily involved with repairs and maintenance James’s technical knowledge is invaluable when it comes to understanding and explaining the more complicated building issues.  James became a partner of the business along with Sarah in April 2012.

Denise Wilson

Denise was brought on board as full time Leasing Manager in September 2007 and became General Manager in 2010. Denise has a natural aptitude for people and property and brings with her a wealth of management skills. Denise also tries to keep the staff fit and healthy, setting a great example and teaching Jazzercise twice a week.

Cathy Clark

Cathy joined in 2009 from Bruce & Partners and is the Leasing Manager.  Her primary role is managing the Leasing team and as an ARLA member she ensures professional and best practice.  Cathy lives in Ellon with her husband Ally and Aimee.

Suzanne Wilson

Suzanne moved to Aberdeen from down south and joined up in April 2012.  One of our two Senior Property Managers, she has legal qualifications and experience which as been invaluable to her role in the leasing team and has completed the technical award with the NFOPP, allowing her to join ALRA.  Suzanne's hard work was recognised when she won the Highest Achiever in Level 6 Technical Award in Letting and Property Management 2015.  Suzanne and her husband Kevin live with daughter Charlie and dog Guinness. 

Laura Reid

Laura has been with us since 2005 and handles the Client Accounts. Laura previously worked with Margaret at Peterkins and is responsible for ensuring rent payments are in, invoicing, recording and paying contractors accounts, processing deposits and producing statements for landlords.  Laura is also involved in the firms non-resident landlord tax reporting and arranging viewings.  Laura is married to Keith and has two children, Rebecca and Lois, who keep her very busy with their hobbies and activities.

Kay Stephen

Kay joined Laura to work with the Client Accounts in 2007 and works Wednesday though to Friday. Kay has formal accounting qualifications, but this is her first job since being a full time mother and carer to her son David. Kay is married to Ian and has a son Peter.

Lorraine Fong

A one-time Landlord with Margaret Duffus Leasing, Lorraine is our viewing lady Monday to Wednesday. With a first hand experience of what Landlords are looking for Lorraine has built up a good relationship with relocation agents while treating private Tenants with great care and attention. Lorraine has two grown up children, David and Jade.

Lauren McWilliam

Lauren McWilliam came to us in August 2012 and has proved very capable and quick to learn as part of the leasing team and is always confident and cheery on the phone.  Lauren has progressed through the company to the role of Property Manager and is responsible for her own portfolio of properties/landlords and tenants.  Currently living in Ellon with her family Lauren is a bit of a footie fan on the side.

Cameron Strachan

Cameron is a local from Westhill, who’s experience at Aberdien Considine has meant that he was able to join us at the start of 2014 and hit the ground running.  As one of our two Senior Property Managers Cameron’s practical and personable approach to things makes him popular with Landlord and Tenants, and nothing is too much trouble.  Cameron lives with his partner Becky and enjoys playing for a football team in his spare time.

Aimee Clark

Aimee came to us in the summer of 2014 on a temporary basis over our busiest season, but we were able to put her on a permanent contract after another successful year of growth. After learning the ropes in the main reception office, Aimee is now a Property Management Assistant working alongside the Property Managers and assisting with all aspects of leasing.  Aimee has recently passed her driving test and is the proud owner of her first car.

Sarah Cowie

Sarah joined us in October 2015 and currently sits in the main reception office, meeting and greeting Landlords, Tenants, Contractors and Relocation Agents alike.  Having previously worked at an electrical wholesaler she is used to the demands of a busy office and adapted her skills to leasing while maintaining a calm and cheerful exterior.  About to get married to her partner Stephen, she had her first son, Luke, last year and now works Mondays and Thursdays.

Jade Thain

A new edition to the team in May 2016, Jade has BA Hons in Managment and previously worked in the oil industry.  Along with general reception and administration work, Jade's role is to support the Property Managers with lodging deposits and processing ingos and outgos.  Jade is also a qualified freelance make-up artist out with her role at MDL.

Monica Burns

Monica came on board in June 2016 and works Tuesday to Friday in the main reception office.  Friendly and outgoing Monica is settling back into life in sunny Aberdeen after having enjoyed living abroad in America and Norway.  Having personal experience as a Tenant and a Landlord she can empathise with all.  Monica lives with her husband and two sons.


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