Invitation to our launch celebration

In celebration of our launch this month, we are holding two drinks receptions on the 18th and 19th of July and I would be delighted for you to join us! The first event on the 18th July will be held at The George Hotel in Edinburgh and the event on the 19th will be at The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow. Drinks and canapés will be provided.

You’ll be able to meet myself, Anthony and the rest of the team behind The LPS Scotland, as well as network with your colleagues in the letting industry. There’ll be information on tenancy deposit protection in Scotland and you can find out more about our ‘Win a Day at the Races’ promotion.

If you’d like to come along to one of these launch events, please let us know in advance by clicking on the relevant link below:

Wednesday 18th July Time: 17.00-19.30 Location: The George Hotel, Edinburgh Click here to RSVP Thursday 19th July Time: 17.00-19.30 Location: The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow Click here to RSVP

 

I look forward to seeing you there

Kevin

The LPS Scotland is now live!

Today is launch day! After being the first deposit protection scheme to be approved by the Scottish Government back in April, we are delighted to be launching today. If you are a landlord or letting agent in Scotland, it is now compulsory for you to protect your tenant’s deposits with an approved third-party scheme (within the relevant timelines). Anyone that doesn’t could face legal action with fines of up to three times the amount of the deposit paid by the tenant, so please make sure you understand what you need to do to comply with the legislation.

As a landlord or letting agent, you can follow these quick and simple steps to register your deposit:

  • register online at www.lettingprotectionscotland.com;
  • use our Timeline for Compliance calculator on the homepage, to make sure deposits are protected in line with Government timescales;
  • submit deposits via The LPS Scotland website, or by post.

Don’t forget, you will be able to view and manage all deposits registered with The LPS Scotland online throughout the duration of the tenancy.

We know you’re bound to have loads of questions, so we’ve put a lot of information on our website www.lettingprotectionscotland.com, or you can call us on 0844 472 6666 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5.30pm, excluding weekends and English bank holidays). We have over ten years’ custodial deposit protection experience, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Introducing... Anthony Cox

We’d like to introduce you to Anthony Cox, the new Business Services Manager for LPS Scotland. Anthony is based at our Edinburgh office and is available to help agents, landlords and tenants understand the processes and implementation of the scheme and its requirements. 

Anthony comes to us with considerable experience in the lettings industry in Scotland. He has been letting properties for 25 years and has also operated as an independent property professional. He has experience running a property services company, which helped letting agents and landlords develop their brands, whilst also dealing with  ‘move ins’, maintenance and inspections, as well as ‘move outs’ including inventories, renovations and cleaning. Before joining us he was a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) for eight years and was a member of ARLA’s Scottish Committee for three years.

We spoke to Anthony about his new role with The LPS Scotland:

“I’m looking forward to working with landlords, letting agents and tenants, to support the introduction of this new legislation.

“Various changes have been implemented through legislation over recent years, mostly with the intention to remove bad landlords from letting properties.  I have experienced situations where landlords and agents have retained some, if not all, the deposit paid by tenants for illegitimate reasons.  This is totally unacceptable and I have always been in favour of a system that improves the reputation of good landlords and letting agents. A letting agent’s client is the landlord yet they have a strong duty of care to the tenant too.

“The LPS Scotland is run by staff experienced in custodial scheme operation which is what attracts me and should be of importance to all parties involved: Agents, Landlords and Tenants.

“I’m really glad to be on board, and look forward to helping letting agents and landlords prepare and plan for the new regulations in the run up to and post launch on 2nd July.”

If you would like Anthony to visit your office to discuss your TDP requirements, or have any questions feel free to email him at Anthony.Cox@computershare.co.uk

 

Anthony Cox

Lochside House

Edinburgh Park

Edinburgh

New event in Edinburgh announced!

Following the popularity of our previous free seminars, we’re pleased to announce that we’re running another ‘Introduction to Tenancy Deposit Protection’ seminar in Edinburgh, on the 27th June. Over 130 people came along to our last set of seminars at the end of May and this free seminar will cover the legislation and how it will affect landlords and letting agents in Scotland. You can find out more about The LPS Scotland scheme, the dates for compliance and the adjudication process.

Previous seminar attendees have been interested to find out more about multiple tenancies and whether their current inventories were sufficient for the introduction of the legislation, so please do come along with any questions you have about The LPS Scotland, or deposit protection in general. 

To register for this event, please click on the link below.

 

Date: Wednesday 27th June

Time: 3pm-5.30pm

Venue: Lochside House

Click here to register

 

If you would like more information visit our website www.lettingprotectionscotland.com or you can phone us on 0844 472 6666, or email us.

Get a head start on The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations!

We were the first tenancy deposit protection scheme to be approved by the Scottish Government, and it’s not long now until we launch on 2nd July. Landlords and letting agents in Scotland will have a legal requirement to start protecting tenancy deposits from this date. To be one of the first to use our scheme you can pre-register with our existing scheme in England and Wales, The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS). As soon as we launch on 2nd July, all properties with a Scottish postcode will be automatically transferred from The DPS to your LPS Scotland account, which you can access using the same User ID and password.

Please note that, in view of the different legislative requirements, it is important that you do not submit deposit money at this stage.

To register with us now, simply visit www.depositprotection.com and select the option to register online. Use our postcode search facility, so we can accurately transfer the details to the LPS Scotland in July, and remember NOT to submit any deposit money at this stage.

Our phone lines are now live too!

Our phone lines have also gone live today, should you have anything you’d like to speak to one of our customer service agents about.

You can call us on 0844 472 6666, between 8:30am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday (excluding weekends and English bank holidays).

If you have any questions about how to register online, what your obligations are, what the timescales are for you to protect deposits, or any questions about the new regulations, you can call us, or visit our website.

You can also follow us on twitter, and our blog features our latest news and events

LPS Scotland launches compliance calculator to help landlords

Today we have launched our new online Timescales for Compliance calculator, which will help landlords and letting agents calculate the deadlines to secure tenant deposits. The date you need to have a deposit secured by, depends on the date the deposit is received. By entering this date into the online calculator, along with the deposit renewal date (if applicable), you will be able to calculate the date you need to protect it by, to comply with the Scottish Government deadlines.

We want to make it simple for landlords to navigate this new legislation, which is why we’ve launched this unique online tool to make the process of protecting deposits easier. You will be able to work out individual compliance dates in a matter of seconds.

We would urge landlords not to fall foul of the heavy penalties by failing to comply. Hopefully this calculator, along with other resources on our website will be helpful for landlords, letting agents and tenants to meet the deadlines set out by Scottish Government.

You can find our calculator on our homepage at www.lettingprotectionscotland.com

More seminars announced - find out about Scottish tenancy deposit protection!

Following the success of our ‘Introduction to Tenancy Deposit Protection Events’, we’re holding three further information sessions in May, in Inverness, Aberdeen and Glasgow. These free seminars will help landlords and letting agents find out more about the legislation and how it will affect you, the dates for compliance, the adjudication process and how The LPS Scotland scheme will work once it’s launched in July.

We will also be discussing what landlords and letting agents can do now to be ready once schemes launch and how to manage the process going forward.

If you’d like to attend, please register by clicking on the relevant link below:

 

Inverness Event

Date: Tuesday 29th May 2012 15:00-17:30

Venue: Thistle, Inverness

Click Here to Register

 

Aberdeen Event

Date: Wednesday 30th May 2012 15:00-17:30

Venue: Caledonian Thistle, Aberdeen

Click Here to Register

 

Glasgow Event

Date: Thursday 31st May 15:00-17:30

Venue: IET Glasgow: Teacher Building

Click Here to Register

 

Keep an eye on our events page for information about new events and webinars as they are announced! If you’d like more information visit our website www.lettingprotectionscotland.com or email us.

Scottish Government approves The LPS Scotland as the first ever deposit protection scheme

I am delighted to announce that tenants, landlords and letting agents in Scotland are a step closer to guaranteed deposit protection, with the Scottish Government confirming it has approved its first deposit protection scheme, The Letting Protection Service Scotland (The LPS Scotland). The scheme has been given the go ahead to launch on July 2nd.

Having already established The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) in England and Wales, we already have five years’ experience of running a similar custodial scheme and know how to support landlords and letting agents through the transition of new legislation. The LPS Scotland will use this knowledge to provide fast, free and secure deposit protection to support Scottish landlords and letting agents in complying with regulations.

Learn more

A reminder that you can access helpful information about our service via a page on The LPS Scotland website.  Here you can view and download documents and familiarise yourself with our processes. You may find the following information particularly helpful:

Experience Matters – an overview of The LPS Scotland - Does exactly what it says on the tin. Provides an overview of The LPS Scotland and each process involved from registering to alternative dispute resolution.

Best practice in deposit protection for landlords - List of the key things you’ll need to remember with regards to tenancy deposit protection, including the importance of repayment IDs and tenants’ contact details.

Registering with The LPS Scotland - Process flow diagram that explains how to register with us.

Submitting a deposit - Process flow diagram that explains how to submit deposits once registered with The LPS Scotland

Events

We also regularly attend and organise events to ensure landlords and letting agents are kept up to date with the legislation, what it will mean for you and how The LPS Scotland will work.

We will be confirming a number of new events over the next few months, full details of those events can be found here.  Or, if you’d like us to send you more information on The LPS Scotland following approval from Scottish Government, send us an email or visit our website.

We’ll keep you up to date on developments here on the blog and you can also follow us on Twitter – @LPS_Scotland

 

Renters revolt against rogue landlords

Our recent survey of landlords and tenants in the UK shows that over 70% of tenants will challenge their landlord if their deposit is not protected and a massive 84% feel safer knowing their deposit is held independently as a result of tenancy deposit protection legislation. The legislation proved popular with landlords and agents as well, with over a third reporting that the introduction of tenancy deposit protection in England and Wales in 2007 has had a positive impact on the lettings industry.

This year, it will become compulsory for landlords and letting agents in Scotland to protect tenants’ deposits with an approved third-party scheme and the results of our survey demonstrate how the introduction of legislation will benefit both landlords and tenants. It also highlights that communication between tenants and landlords is key to the success of the scheme – with over 70% of tenants learning about the legislation from their own landlord.

As the operator of the only UK-based custodial deposit protection scheme our experience has taught us that by placing the deposit with a third party, tenants and landlords will be secure in the knowledge that the deposit is protected throughout the duration of the tenancy.

The new Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 became law in March 2011, and proposals to protect tenancy deposits are currently awaiting Government approval – The LPS Scotland is one of the proposed providers. Further details of the deposit protection schemes will be announced in the near future, following which every landlord that receives a deposit must comply with the regulations.

The introduction of this legislation is a positive step forward in Scotland. It’s now important that those in the private rented sector don’t fall foul of this legislation and take appropriate steps to ensure that they are prepared for its introduction.

You can find out more about protecting deposits at www.lettingprotectionscotland.com.

More dates added to our Scottish tenancy deposit protection tour!

We’re hosting and attending so many events over the next couple of months we’ve had to create a new page on our website to list them all! Our Introduction to Tenancy Deposit Protection events provide an introduction to the legislation, what it will mean for landlords, letting agents and tenants, discuss the adjudication process and how The LPS Scotland scheme will operate.

This month we’re running a couple of webinars – Kevin Firth will deliver the same presentation but online, giving you the chance to learn about tenancy deposit protection without even leaving your desk.

To register for a webinar click your preferred date below:

Thursday 23rd February - 10:00am-12:00pm

Tuesday 28th February - 2:00pm-4:00pm

We’ll also be heading to Dundee for a presentation on 6 March where you’ll be given our literature packs and freebies. The event details are:

Time: 3:00pm-5:30pm  

Address: Discovery Point, Discovery Quay, Dundee, DD1 4XA  

For more information or to register: Please click here

Compulsory deposit protection is creeping ever closer and it’s important that landlords and letting agents are up to speed with their responsibilities – these events will tell you what you can do now to be ready once schemes launch and how you can manage the process going forward.

If you’d like more information visit our website www.lettingprotectionscotland.com or email us.

New tenancy deposit protection guidance online now!

In my blog last week – ‘Countdown begins to teach Scottish landlords about new deposit responsibilities’ - we highlighted the importance of educating landlords, letting agents and tenants in order for tenancy deposit protection legislation to be effective. With this in mind and with the introduction of schemes in Scotland creeping ever closer we’ve focussed on attending and hosting as many awareness events as we can – we have a few more scheduled over the coming weeks, including two webinars so you won’t even have to leave your desks to attend! We’ve also been working hard to finalise our guidance documents so they’re available online for letting agents, landlords and tenants.

Our suite of documents contains all the information that you need in order to prepare for tenancy deposit protection and we’ll continue to add to this as we get closer to launch.

We’ve created a new page on the website where you can view and download each document and familiarise yourself with the processes. Here’s an overview and link to each document:

Experience Matters - an overview of The LPS Scotland - Does exactly what it says on the tin. Provides an overview of The LPS Scotland and each process involved from registering to alternative dispute resolution.

Best practice in deposit protection for landlords - List of the key things you’ll need to remember with regards to tenancy deposit protection, including the importance of repayment IDs and tenants’ contact details.

Registering with The LPS Scotland - Process flow diagram that explains how to register with us. Please note that as The LPS Scotland is still awaiting Government approval you are not yet able to register. As soon as we’re approved you’ll be able to do this online.

Submitting a deposit - Process flow diagram that explains how to submit deposits once registered with The LPS Scotland.

How to reclaim a deposit - Process flow diagram that explains the return of deposits at the end of tenancies.

A guide to tenancy deposits, disputes and damages - Industry agreed guidance on how deposit disputes are handled. Following the guidance in this document will assist you in setting up and managing tenancies correctly to have the best possible experience with your tenants and deal with disputes effectively should they arise.

A tenants' guide - Focused on the tenants’ responsibilities. It’s a good idea to download these and hand them to your tenant at the start of their tenancies so they know what’s expected of you, and them.

You can also visit the website for the latest news, details of our upcoming events and ways to get in touch.

Countdown begins to teach Scottish landlords about new deposit responsibilities

The countdown has begun to educate Scotland’s landlords, letting agents and tenants about tenancy deposit protection. The legislation came into force in March 2011 and landlords and letting agents will shortly be required by law to hand that deposit over to an approved third-party custodial scheme – like The LPS Scotland - to ensure it is properly protected.

The Scottish Government implemented the legislation after its research found that 8,000 – 11,000 tenants a year had part or all of their deposits unfairly withheld, equating to between £2.2 and £3.6 million*.

With over 5 years’ experience of running a similar custodial scheme, we know that educating landlords, letting agents and tenants is essential if the legislation is to be effective.

Landlords need to be aware of their new responsibilities to ensure that they don’t fall foul of the regulations and tenants also should take time to learn about the new legislation, to make sure their deposit is securely protected within the new 30 day timeframe.

The new legislation will go a long way to giving tenants, landlords and letting agents the reassurance that deposits are secured properly and the return of money at the end of the tenancy is structured and fair.

We’ve been in Scotland all week speaking at events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen to ensure this message is getting out to the Scottish market and we’ll be setting up further sessions, including an online webinar in the next few weeks.

You can stay up to date with the latest news either here, or on our website and we’ll post details of future events as soon as they become available.

You can also follow us on Twitter - @LPS_Scotland

The LPS Scotland is in the process of being approved by the Scottish Government to protect tenancy deposits on behalf of tenants, landlords and letting agents. The service will be free to use and run by Computershare Investor Services PLC which also operates The DPS the only UK-based custodial deposit protection scheme.

Scotland a step closer to tenancy deposit protection

Our application to run a custodial tenancy deposit protection scheme in Scotland has entered public consultation; you can now view the terms and conditions of our scheme on the The Scottish Government website. The consultation is required by Part 4 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and will look at the proposed framework of our scheme to ensure it meets all the conditions set out in the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

As our operating company also runs the only custodial scheme in England and Wales (The DPS), our application to Scottish Government has benefited from this wealth of experience – we know the process inside and out. We’re experienced in fast deposit repayment, having returned over 900,000 since launch, we have extensive customer support channels online as well as an effective call centre and text messaging service and our adjudicators have resolved over 12,000 disputes quickly and efficiently. Everything we have developed over the last 5 years in England and Wales will be brought to The LPS Scotland service and whilst there are some differences between the Scottish legislation and that in place in England and Wales, we’re well placed to deliver the scheme north of the border.

The Scottish Government has already reviewed our proposed scheme, to ensure compliance with the regulations, and will now await further comment from the public consultation.

We’ll keep you updated with the consultation process, but in the meantime, if you’d like more information on The LPS Scotland you can read our overview brochure.

We’re also running a series of events in which we’ll give you a detailed introduction to the legislation, our scheme and the dispute resolution process. Our next events take place in Glasgow (14th December) and Aberdeen (10th January).

For more information, visit www.lettingprotectionscotland.com.

We're heading to Glasgow and Aberdeen to talk about tenancy deposit protection!

We've finalised some new presentation dates in Glasgow and Aberdeen where landlord and letting agents can learn more about deposit protection, the adjudication process, how to prepare and how The LPS Scotland will operate when approved. Kevin Firth, our Director will host the following events:

Glasgow - Wednesday 14th December 2011

Time: 10:00-12:30

Address: Mercure Glasgow City Hotel, 201 Ingram Street, Glasgow, G1 1DQ

Email us to register for this event 

 

Aberdeen - Tuesday 10th January 2012

Time: 10:00-12:30

Address: Doubletree by Hilton, Aberdeen City Centre, Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen, AB24 5EF

Email us to register for this event

 

The LPS Scotland will launch early next year following approval from the Scottish Government and as soon as the first scheme launches, landlords and letting agents will have to start protecting tenancy deposits.  

We look forward to seeing you at an event soon. For more information visit our website and follow us on Twitter.

 

What do Scottish letting agents really think of tenancy deposit protection?

We had the chance to chat to some letting agents at our event in Edinburgh the other week and capture their thoughts on tenancy deposit protection on camera. Agents from Ace Property Management, M E Lettings and 1-2-1 Property Limited gave us their views - I'd be interested to know whether you share their thoughts and how you've been preparing for the legilsation.

If you'd like to attend one of our tenancy deposit protection presentations and find out what the legislation means for you and how our scheme will operate, we're posting new dates for Aberdeen and Glasgow very soon!

For more information, visit our website or send us an email.

Letting agents and landlords already preparing for tenancy deposit protection in Scotland

We’ve had a busy week in Scotland with the Scottish Association of Landlord’s Conference on Tuesday, our own seminar in our Edinburgh office on Wednesday and the East Lothian Landlord’s Forum yesterday. It’s also been a great opportunity to meet a number of landlords and letting agents, get their reactions to tenancy deposit protection legislation and find out how their preparations are coming along.

The majority of landlords and agents at our seminar yesterday were aware of the implications of the new legislation. In fact I spoke to several agents who had already started educating their landlords and changing documents appropriately.

We recorded a few video snippets from some of the delegates which we’re making into a video as we speak – expect that uploaded here soon.

Whilst we covered the impact of the legislation, how The LPS Scotland would operate, and dispute resolution, we gauged from the questions posed that the attendees were keen to explore the whole subject of our dispute service in much greater detail.

General consensus in the room was that the dispute resolution process would present them with the biggest challenge. In fact we had planned on hosting some more intensive ADR workshops for landlords and agents following the launch of the scheme, but after feedback yesterday, we’re looking to host one early next year.

During the workshop landlords and letting agents will get the chance to act as an adjudicator and actually assess  real cases and present their findings. We have used this format with landlords and agents in England and Wales who have found it hugely beneficial.

As well as the more in-depth ADR workshop, we’re planning more introductory presentations in Scottish towns and cities over the coming weeks and will post dates very soon.

If you’d like to attend an event then send us an email and we’ll issue all the information to you.

Alternatively, if you have any questions that let us know either here, via email, or on Twitter.

The Letting Protection Service Scotland (The LPS Scotland) prepares to protect tenancy deposits

As you may know, the Scottish Government is introducing legislation that will make it compulsory for all landlords and letting agents in Scotland who take deposits for a relevant tenancy to protect them with a Government approved custodial tenancy deposit scheme. The LPS Scotland has submitted an application to run a scheme and, once approved by the Scottish Government, will be the only provider with any experience of running a custodial tenancy deposit protection scheme.

It will be operated by the same company who run The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) – the only company with five years’ experience of running a custodial scheme. The DPS - which currently operates in England and Wales – has protected more than 1.7m deposits to date, amounting to more than £1.3 Billion.

Experience matters and having already established The DPS from the beginning we know how to support landlords and letting agents through the transition of new legislation. We’ve established tried and tested systems, developed robust processes and continually innovated to ensure we’re providing the best possible service to our customers.

When approved, The LPS Scotland will use this knowledge to provide fast, free and secure deposit protection to support Scottish landlords and letting agents in complying with regulations.

A bit about the legislation

Under the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011, which came into force in March 2011, landlords and letting agents will have a duty to protect tenants’ deposits as soon as the first approved scheme launches. From that date they’ll have 30 days to protect deposits for all new tenancies. Landlords holding deposits for existing tenancies will have 9 months from the launch of the first scheme to protect their tenants’ deposits.

The scheme will hold on to the deposit for the duration of the tenancy – providing assurance to tenants that it is not being used for any other purpose – and at the end of the tenancy both parties will agree on how the deposit should be repaid. The DPS currently repays deposits in an average of two working days from the point of agreement.

Kevin Firth, Director of The DPS will be giving a presentation on 9th November at our Edinburgh office where you can learn more about the legislation, what it will mean for you and how The LPS Scotland will work once approved.

He’ll also be sharing his experiences of running the scheme for landlords and tenants in England and Wales.

If you’d like to attend the event please email us to register your interest. Or, if you’d like us to send you more information on The LPS Scotland following approval from Scottish Government, send us an email or visit our website.

We’ll keep you up to date on developments here on the blog and via Twitter (LPS_Scotland).