Deposit protection set to become law in Scotland in March

Once operational, the tenancy deposit scheme will be free for landlords and letting agents to participate in. Tenants will no longer have to take legal action to seek recovery of a wrongly withheld deposit.

It will provide access to a free and independent dispute resolution service, where agreement over the return of a deposit cannot be agreed by the tenant and landlord.

Alex Neil said:

"For some time there has been a rising chorus of disapproval about unfairly withheld tenancy deposits. This Government is taking action to ensure tenants receive a better deal.

"The majority of landlords behave responsibly and so it is important that we tackle those landlords who continue to tarnish the image of the private rented sector.

"The new regulations are streamlined with the emphasis on creating a cost effective approach to safeguarding tenancy deposits."

Liam Burns, President of National Union of Students Scotland said:

"The creation of a tenancy deposit scheme is something NUS Scotland has long campaigned for and will be good for students, tenants and the vast majority of reputable landlords.

"Far too often we hear of students struggling to get their money back due to landlords treating deposits as a defacto fee rather than a safety net for damage to properties. On average, students lose £200 through unfairly withheld deposits.

"Rapid return of deposits, professional mediation when disagreements arise and scrutiny where a minority of landlords continually make poor decisions should mean that the playing field is now levelled for tenants in a far more accessible way than the courts.

"Now we must make sure that the scheme protects the interests of tenants and the reputation of the sector. We look forward to continuing to work with the Government and all political parties to ensure the final proposal is one that has the best interests of students in mind."

Gordon MacRae, Head of Communications and Policy at Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:

"We welcome this scheme which will benefit both tenants and landlords alike by introducing an efficient and fair system to regulate the, at times, contentious issue of tenancy deposits.

"Shelter Scotland has long-campaigned for this scheme and the challenge now is to ensure the Scottish Parliament moves it forward for implementation as soon as possible."

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4 thoughts on “Deposit protection set to become law in Scotland in March

  1. Tom Dailly

    Not before time. I’ve been renting on and off for nearly 30 years without any problem. We moved to NE Scotland six years ago and have been stung twice in what amounts to simple shameless exploitation. Happily we’re now with a landlord who is aware of and more than lives up to his side of the bargain.

  2. Mrs Fisher

    I’m so glad to hear that this is happening, I have a young family, I have been on the council waiting list for 7 years and have not had any offers so I have taken on my first private let. My landlord would not fix any of the problems that I had in my house, whenever I called her to discuss the issues she would scream abuse at me down the phone and tell me to move out; but with having no deposit and no where else to go I put up with it until she chapped the door last month and put my runt UP, I couldn’t believe the gall on her. I have given my months notice and since then my life has been hell! The damp problems, the broken fire and front door – all the things I have been asking to be fixed/ replaced for 3 years she has now said that I have to get them fixed or I’m not getting my deposit back, it’s absolutely shameful – I don’t know how they can get away with this!!

  3. lori

    I dont approve of landlords not taking an interest in their property whether inside or outside the building. I view myself as a responsible landlord -having modernised my properties and cleaned up the putside, however, some tenants dont seem to care about their home ( having found needles in the kitchen when they left and the place dirty and destroyed) This is on the increase. Needless to say their deposit would not cover anywhere near the damage done nor the rent owed. Some tenants think that the deposit is there to be used for late rent /not paid rent, they dont care that we have to pay this out of our pockets and depend on the rent for bills. one of my tenants decides that he would rather go on holiday than apy his rent that month. the deposit scheme means i cannot use the depsoit to cover that months bills. It is a two way street.

  4. Julia

    This comment is for Lori:

    Hi Lori, should the tenant miss a month rent, you can add this to your claim when presenting your case to the TDS at the end of the tenancy, providing you have proof that rent was not paid. i.e. It would be best practise to perhaps send your tenants 3 letters bacled up with emails stating that the rent of (x)is over due and must be paid by (x). Those letters /bankstatements ( anything proving rent was not paid) can then be added to your case with the TDS and more than likley the case examinar will find in your favour, however the TDS will not adjudicate on a case for say £3000.00 if the deposit is only £2000.00. If that where to happen it would be best to still show what and how much the tenant owes and state that you accept that you will have to waiver the £1000.00 difference.

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