Tenancy deposit schemes (Scotland)
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There are three tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland: the Letting Protection Service Scotland, Safedeposits Scotland and My|deposits Scotland.
The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 came into force on 7 March 2011. Every landlord or letting agent that receives a deposit in Scotland must register with their local authority and join a tenancy deposit scheme.
Reasons for introduction
Scots law gives tenants extra protection against losing their deposits. It means landlords and letting agents cannot keep deposits, instead they have to transfer them to a government approved third party.
The regulation has come into force to prevent "unscrupulous" landlords withholding part or all of a deposit when the tenant leaves their accommodation. The Scottish Housing Minister, Keith Brown, estimated that up to 11,000 tenants each year have had their deposit wrongly retained by their landlord or letting agent. The tenancy deposit schemes approved by the government means that any deposit dispute between tenant and landlord can be referred to an independent dispute resolution service.
Concerns that some private landlords unfairly withhold tenants’ deposits led to provisions in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, for Scottish Ministers to bring forward regulations for the approval of tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland. The Regulations set out the conditions that all schemes must meet before they can be approved by the Scottish Ministers. Schemes The three independent third party schemes approved by Scottish Ministers operating in Scotland are:
- The Letting Protection Service Scotland
- SafeDeposits Scotland
- My|deposits Scotland
|Date Deposit Received On or After||Deadline to Comply|
|2 July 2012 and before 2 October 2012||13 November|
|7 March 2011 and before 2 July 2012||13 November|
|2 October 2012||Within 0 working days of the beginning of the tenancy|
|Any deposit received prior to 7 March 2011
The tenancy is renewed, either by express agreement or on tacit relocation, or after 2 October and before 2 April 2012
|By 15 May 2012
Within 30 working days of renewal
A tenant can take a landlord to court if they don’t protect their deposit with a scheme or provide the required information within the specified timescales. If the court is satisfied that the landlord has not complied, a sheriff can order the landlord to pay up to three times the deposit.
- Safeguarding Tenancy Deposits: scotland.gov]
- Table of Tenancy Deposit Deadlines for Scottish Landlords: Domino Letting Website]
- My Deposits Scotland: Micro with key terms and conditions on Lettingweb Website]