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Better protection for deposits in Scotland

There are 273,000 households in the private rented sector in Scotland.

After eight years of campaigning, the scheme’s launch is a major breakthrough for both tenants and the Private Rented Sector in Scotland.  If you are current renting privately or plan to in the future, make sure you know your rights under the scheme and ensure your landlord or letting agent is complying with the new regulations.

The compulsory scheme doesn’t only protect new deposits – landlords and letting agents will also have to lodge every deposit they hold and have until May 2013 to do so, depending on when the tenancy started.   From 2nd October, they will be required by law to lodge new deposits within 30 working days of the tenancy beginning.

Registered landlords and letting agents should already have received notification from the Scottish Government about their rights and responsibilities under the scheme.  The onus is on landlords and agents to ensure deposits are lodged and to inform their tenants.

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:

“Today starts the clock ticking towards the point when all tenants’ deposits will be protected by law in Scotland.  Shelter Scotland has been campaigning for this scheme for eight years now and we are delighted to see it becoming law.

“But it will only work properly if tenants are diligent and know their rights and landlords and agents embrace the scheme fully.   Then and only then, will the unfair withholding of millions of pounds from deposits by landlords and agents be a thing of the past, as will the hardship it causes to tenants.

“Our hope is that the tenancy deposit scheme achieves a transparent and fair system for all.”

Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said:

"This is a great day for tenants and good for landlords. We’ve worked for many years to get better protection for tenants in private flats and houses, including of course the tens of thousands of students who live in the private rented sector. Too often we’ve heard of deposits being withheld or deducted unfairly by a few unscrupulous landlords, and the tenancy deposit schemes launched today should go a long way to putting an end to this.

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