The Tenant Deposit Scheme in Scotland is now 5 years old – are all Landlords complying?

As part of our ongoing dialogue with the Tenant Deposit Schemes, our colleagues at Safe Deposit Scotland have asked that we highlight the importance of Landlords and Agents complying with the TDS Scheme which is now 5 years old.

The blog below from Carol Bradburn an SDS Client Manager provides all the details.

On 2nd July 2017, tenancy deposit schemes turn five years old. However, we know that many landlords may not have complied with the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 yet, particularly as many may still not be aware of their legal requirements.

SafeDeposits Scotland is one of three schemes and the only one based in Scotland with 60% of the market. We have compiled information for landlords on how to comply.

Why should I protect my tenant’s deposit?

If a landlord in Scotland takes a deposit from their tenant, they must:

  • Transfer the deposit to a government approved tenancy deposit scheme;
  • Provide the tenant(s) with particular key information.

The deposit must be transferred, and the key information provided to all tenants on the tenancy agreement, within 30 working days of the tenancy start date.

This is required under the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

What happens if I don’t protect my tenant’s deposit?

If a landlord fails to comply with the Regulations, a tenant can apply to the Sheriff Court for financial penalties. If the Sheriff is satisfied that the landlord has failed to comply they can order the landlord to pay the tenant up to three times the amount of the deposit.

How do I comply?

To comply with the Regulations, and avoid financial penalties, you should:

  • Register a user account with SafeDeposits Scotland;
  • Add the deposit details (i.e. tenancy address, tenancy start date, deposit amount and tenant’s name and contact details) to your account;
  • Transfer the deposit by online banking, debit card or cheque;
  • Provide your tenant(s) with a completed prescribed information form.

How much does SafeDeposits cost?

SafeDeposits is free to use and approved by Scottish Government. For more information, and to register, please visit the SafeDeposits website.

There is upcoming changes to the Scottish Private Sector Landlords on the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 with the introduction of the Private Residential Tenancy which will apply to any new tenancy created from December 2017, for more information on this please refer to the link https://beta.gov.scot/publications/private-residential-tenancies-landlords-guide/#private-residential-tenancies

In addition to changes for landlords the new Letting Agent Code of Practice (Scotland) Regulations coming into force on the 31 January 2018 please follow the link for further information www.arla.co.uk/scotland.aspx