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29 June 2012
The National Landlords Association (NLA) is reminding landlords and letting agents in Scotland that from 2nd July it is mandatory to protect their tenants' deposits.
The law, passed by the Scottish Government last year, requires all new and existing deposits be lodged with a government-licensed scheme such as my|deposits Scotland for the duration of the tenancy. However, there are different deadlines for when new and existing deposits are required to be lodged, depending on when the deposit was first received.
Deposit protection will be free for landlords, letting agents and tenants and my|deposits Scotland is helping agents, landlords and tenants through this process by providing key advice and guidance through their online Resource Centre.
By protecting a tenant's deposit in one of three Government-licenced Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes, landlords and letting agents will be keeping tenants' deposit funds safe until the tenant vacates the property. And, should a dispute arise over the amount of deposit to be returned to the tenant; the matter can be resolved through a free dispute resolution service offered by the schemes, without the need to involve the courts.
Richard Price, Director of Operations at the NLA says:
“Tenancy Deposit Protection has undoubtedly helped raise standards in the private-rented sector in England and Wales since its introduction five years ago. The legislation has meant that many landlords and agents have had to adapt the way they process deposits to ensure clarity for all parties.
“It is important that landlords, agents and tenants in Scotland are provided with clear guidance on what they will be required to do and by when. There are strict penalties of up to three-times the deposit amount for those who do not protect a tenant's deposit under the new law, so visit the my|deposits Scotland Resource Centrefor advice and information.”
my|deposits Scotland has been formally approved by government to operate a TDP scheme in Scotland, having run a similar scheme in England and Wales over the past five years.
The scheme has protected nearly £1.5 billion worth of deposits on behalf of nearly 90 thousand members in England and Wales and has consistently met all targets set by the UK Government.
Eddie Hooker, CEO of my|deposits Scotland says:
“It is estimated that between £2.2 million and £3.6 million worth of tenancy deposits are unfairly withheld each year. Deposit protection will play a key role in improving tenant and landlord relationships in Scotland and we aim to ensure that this is as simple and straight forward as possible.
“my|deposits Scotland has been through a detailed procurement process with the Scottish Government and is delighted to have been granted a license. We look forward to guiding landlords, agents and tenants through the deposit protection process and bringing the benefits of our service to Scotland.
“my|deposits Scotland has developed a number of free guides to support landlords, agents and tenants through these changes. Through our Resource Centre, visitors can download all they need to know, including details of trigger dates to remember, essential guidance on the information landlords and agents need to supply and advice on avoiding a dispute at the end of the tenancy.
“By using my|deposits Scotland, tenants, agents and landlords can rest assured that the deposit money is in safe hands and that it will be returned quickly and fairly at the end of the tenancy.”
Landlords and letting agents who take a deposit from their tenant should visit the my|deposits Scotland Resource Centre at www.mydepositsscotland.co.uk for more information.