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Scotland introduces schemes to protect tenants’ millions

Annually, tenancy deposits amount to over £74million in the majority of the 273,000 households that make up the private rented sector in Scotland.

It has been estimated that up to 11,000 tenants have £3.6million of their deposits wrongly withheld each year.

The first tenancy deposit scheme – administered by Letting Protection Service – was approved by Ministers in April.

The schemes also aim to protect the reputation of the majority of private rented sector landlords who act professionally and responsibly.

Once in place landlords or their agents must pay deposits to an approved scheme and provide key information about the tenancy, the deposit, and the scheme which is protecting it, to the tenant.

The scheme will be free for landlords and letting agents to participate in and will offer an independent dispute resolution service to deal with legitimate disagreements over deposit returns as a quicker and cheaper alternative to taking legal action.

All three schemes will operate across Scotland from July 2. In order to provide landlords with time to prepare the first category of deposits to be paid into the schemes will be from November this year.

Brown said: "It’s important to stress that the majority of landlords act responsibly. These schemes are aimed at those who tarnish the image of the private rented sector and exploit trusting tenants.

"This Government is committed to taking action to ensure tenants receive a fair deal, it’s not right that up to 11,000 tenants annually have £3.6million of their deposits wrongly withheld."

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