Tenancy Deposit Scheme brings new responsibilities for Landowners

    A new scheme aimed at protecting tenants deposits will be introduced in July.  Following Scottish Government research, which found that more than 10,000 tenants a year have rent deposits unfairly withheld by landlords, equating to around £3 million per year, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2011 became law in March 2012.

    Under the regulations, all landlords and letting agents will be required to sign up to one of three schemes, all of which are free : Letting Protection Service Scotland, Mydeposits Scotland and SafeDeposits Scotland. These schemes look after the deposit on behalf of the landlord and tenant.

    Deposits will be payable into the scheme by 2nd July.  If landlords fail to pay, they leave themselves open to legal action by tenants and could face fines up to three times the amount of the original deposit. However the deadlines for payment in to the scheme depend on when the deposits were received (as follows):

    Deposits received prior to 7 March 2011:
    a) Landlords must comply within 30 days of renewal where the tenancy is renewed on or after 2 October 2012 and before 12 April 2013
    b) In any other case by 15 May 2013

    Deposits received prior to 7 March 2011 and before 2 July 2012: 
    Landlords must comply by 13th November 2012

    Deposits received between on or after 2nd July 2012 and before 2nd October 2012: 
    Landlords must comply by 13th November 2013

    Deposits received on or after 2nd October 2012: 
    Landlords must comply within 30 days of the commencement of the tenancy.

    Under the new regulations, it is stressed that the deposit remains the property of the tenant.  However, when the lease comes to an end the tenant and landlord must agree whether the terms of the lease have been complied with and whether there is damage above fair wear and tear expected during the tenancy. If the parties fail to reach agreement on the amount of damage, the schemes will provide for a dispute resolution service.  This will be an evidenced-based process which brings in to sharp focus the importance of having a comprehensive photographic inventory in place. If the Landlord wishes to retain some or all of the deposit they must provide evidence of loss and the outcome will be determined by an impartial adjudicator and there  is an opportunity for both parties to appeal to any decision made.


    Key contacts

    Jonathan Dymock

    Jonathan Dymock

    Rural Aberdeen

    Savills Aberdeen

    +44 (0) 1224 971111

    +44 (0) 1224 971111