YMCA Glenrothes – a ‘safety net’ for people in need

As you may have seen, every three months our sister company in England and Wales, The Deposit Protection Service, awards up to £20,000 to charities that focus their efforts on housing related issues. What you may not know is that Scottish charities are also eligible to apply to the fund!

In our most recent awards, YMCA Glenrothes received £15,000 from our charity fund, helping them continue doing great work in their community.   

YMCA Glenrothes 

For over 23 years YMCA Glenrothes Supported Accommodation has carried out vital work in their local community, providing a ‘safety-net’ for people in need. They support people affected by poverty and disadvantage, including young people in hostels, houses and flats. 

With the award, YMCA Glenrothes will renovate four of the flats, so they can provide a caring, clean and supportive environment. 

Mary Hill, Director of the YMCA Glenrothes, said “We are delighted to work with The DPS and organisations that give something back to the community. The YMCA helps young people become good tenants and The LPSS has given us a head start in this ongoing support work.”

We look forward to catching up with YMCA Glenrothes to find out how our donation has helped.

We’re supporting Scotland’s landlords and letting agents

Over the last 18 months we’ve been running courses in association with Landlord Accreditation Scotland. Held at various locations across the country, these courses are designed to help landlords and letting agents improve their knowledge in key areas like Tenancy Management and Creating Inventories.

The Tenancy Management courses are suitable for all landlords and letting agents, whether you’ve been in the industry 20 years or you’re managing your first tenancy. Topics covered include how best to communicate with tenants, the procedures to go through before a let can begin, and how to administer your tenancy deposit. Also covered are subjects such as equality, complaints and disputes, and how to deal with anti-social behaviour. Not bad for a three hour session! More of these courses are planned throughout 2016, so if you want to join us and build upon your knowledge, sign up here.

Like the Tenancy Management course, Creating Inventories and Adjudication training is something all landlords and letting agents could benefit from. Designed to give you all the information you need to avoid deposit disputes at the end of a tenancy, this course helps you create robust inventories that will stand up to even intense scrutiny. It also gives lots of guidance about routine visits and inspections, as well as providing you with a framework for preparation of a relevant inventory document and advice on how to use it at your final inspection.

The feedback we’ve been getting from these courses has been really positive, and it’s been really productive to work alongside Landlord Accreditation Scotland, as it’s given us a deeper understanding of what landlords and letting agents in Scotland need.

On 19 May, we’ll be sponsoring the Council of Letting Agents’ annual Agency Business Event for the second year running. It’s great to get out and meet Scottish letting agents, catching up with those of you who use our service and finding out how things are going for you. We really value the feedback we get at this event and can’t wait to see you all again. Daren, our Head of Tenancy Deposit Protection, and David our Senior Account Manager will be there, so if you’re going, do come along and say hi to them.

Daren has been involved with The LPS since its launch, playing a key role in its inauguration. Before long, Daren was appointed Senior Manager for The LPS, and in March 2015 he became Head of Tenancy Deposit Protection.

David joined us in 2011, working in Customer Service and Dispute Resolution before recently moving to our Account Management Team as our Senior Account Manager. He’s responsible for ensuring his team continues to provide top service to our managed clients.

For information about any of our training days, or the events we’ll be attending, get in touch with our Events team who’ll be happy to help you.

UK floods: what happens now

We’ve been saddened to see the impact of the terrible floods that have plagued so many regions of the UK over the last month, and our sympathies go out to all those affected. While the waters have now receded in many areas, the effects of the inundation will in many cases be long-lived and costly.

The rebuilding process is now underway and whilst the immediate focus is obviously to make homes habitable once more, where the property has been rented out, it’s also worth bearing in mind how the floods may affect the tenancy agreement.

How badly a property has been damaged can affect the tenancy and, of course, the tenancy deposit. If it’s still generally habitable, and can be repaired with the tenant in situ, then it should be in the mutual interest of the landlord and tenant to work together to limit damage and get the house back in order quickly. Whilst tenants shouldn’t be liable for any damage to the property or contents caused by the floods, they do have a responsibility to allow reasonable access for the landlord or contractors to carry out any work required. It’s vital for affected landlords and tenants to maintain good communication with each other during this period to make sure repairs are completed as soon as possible.

It may be that the property is so severely damaged, that it’s uninhabitable, requiring the tenant to move out whilst repairs are completed. In this situation, the tenant is not usually expected to pay rent for the period they’re unable to live there. In certain cases, the tenant may even be entitled to terminate the tenancy immediately, and agreements often contain some sort of provision in this regard. Again, it’s important for landlords and tenants to discuss the situation and agree a course of action together.

If the tenancy does continue after the repairs are complete, we recommend a new inventory is prepared, documenting the condition of the repaired property and any furnishings that have been removed or replaced. The new inventory should detail the extent and quality of the repairs and replacements, along with documentation such as receipts, or insurance claims. An updated inventory benefits both landlord and tenant with a clear and agreed record of all mid-tenancy changes, and reduces the likelihood of disputes arising when the tenancy comes to an end. For guidance on how to create a strong inventory, you can find our top 10 tips here.

Our thoughts go out to all affected by the floods.

The LPS Scotland team

Our Christmas Opening Hours

On behalf of everyone at The LPS Scotland, we'd like to wish you a very merry Christmas.

Our Customer Service Centre will be open at the following times over the festive period:

Monday 21st December - 8am – 6pm
Tuesday 22nd December - 8am – 6pm
Wednesday 23rd December - 8am - 6pm
Thursday 24th December - 8am - 5pm
Friday 25th December - Closed
Saturday 26th December - Closed
Monday 28th December - Closed
Tuesday 29th December - 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 30th December - 9am - 5pm
Thursday 31st December - 9am - 5pm
Friday 1st January - Closed
Saturday 2nd January - Closed
Monday 4th January – 8am - 6pm (Business as usual from now on).

New electrical safety regulations for Scotland's landlords

New electrical safety regulations for Scotland’s private rented sector come into force on 1 December, requiring landlords to conduct electrical checks on their properties. To explain the rationale behind the new law and your responsibilities as a landlord, we’ve invited Phil Buckle, Director General of the charity Electrical Safety First, to give you the lowdown on the changes.

Scotland’s PRS has more than doubled in size in the last ten years. Yet in 2012, almost two thirds of PRS homes failed to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and concern over disrepair and safety in the sector inevitably increased – particularly since poor electrics are often ‘invisible’, lying undiscovered until a serious accident occurs.
That’s why last year’s Scottish Housing Act included a requirement for regular electrical checks of both the electrical wiring and fittings etc. in all PRS homes by a registered electrician, and any electrical items provided as part of the tenancy. The regulation will come into effect from 1 December this year for tenancies that begin on or after this date.  Existing tenancies will be covered by the regulation from 1 December 2016, giving landlords time to organise inspections for their properties. 

Electrical checks must be undertaken at least every five years, and landlords will need to provide tenants with a copy of the latest Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR). Testing must be undertaken by an electrician who’s registered with one of the government’s approved schemes (to find an electrician in your area, click here). 

All electrical appliances that have been checked should carry a Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) sticker. The Scottish Government’s guidance also recommends – but has not made mandatory – the installation of a Residual Current Device in the fuse box of all rented homes, which will rapidly cut off the current to prevent electric shock.  

Electrical Safety First led a wide coalition of stakeholders – including the Scottish Association of Landlords, Shelter Scotland, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Scotland and the Association of Residential Letting Agents - in the call for regular electrical checks. In addition to providing additional security for tenants, it was also seen as beneficial to landlords, who can face significant financial risks from fires and invalidated insurance claims, if they fail to ensure electrical safety in their rented properties. 

As there has been a long-standing requirement for landlords to provide an annual gas safety certificate, this new duty is seen as beginning to bring electrical safety on par with gas, and is a small price to pay for landlords to ensure the safety of their property and their tenants. Electrical Safety First is now working with Westminster and politicians in Wales and Northern Ireland, to ensure that this essential safety requirement is extended to tenants and landlords throughout the UK.

For more detailed information on the new regulation, visit www.prhpscotland.gov.uk/new-legislation-website-changes 

Electrical Safety First has also produced a Landlord’s Guide to Electrical Safety (Scotland) which you can find here.

Our top ten inventory tips

Do you know the value of a clear and detailed inventory?

In a deposit dispute, the inventory can be the deciding factor. What's more, it can often prevent a dispute from happening in the first place.

Despite this, we know from our conversations with landlords and letting agents that many of you lack confidence when it comes to inventories and struggle to make yours suitably thorough.

So to help you, our expert adjudicators have pulled together their top 10 inventory tips. Take a look at them and see if your inventories match our adjudicators' advice. It could make a real difference.

Working with the Scottish Association of Landlords

This year we’ve had the pleasure of sponsoring and exhibiting at two of the biggest annual events in the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) calendar, April’s The Agency Business conference and the forthcoming National Landlord Day. As the body which represents the interests of all landlords and letting agents throughout Scotland, SAL is a key influence in the industry, and we are very pleased to support these key events.

The Agency Business Conference

Now in its fourth year, the Agency Business conference, held at Hampden Park in Glasgow, was bigger and better than ever.

We were very proud to sponsor this valuable event which brings together letting agents and other industry professionals from across Scotland to share ideas, experiences and good practice, and discuss developments in the industry. Predictably, the expected changes to legislation and regulation as a result of the passing of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 were the main talking point at this year’s event. 

The conference provided a great opportunity for us to catch up with our existing clients to find out their thoughts on industry news and what else we could be doing to support them. In addition, we really enjoyed meeting some agents who we hadn’t worked with prior to the event and talking to them about their needs and how we could help them with their deposit protection responsibilities. 

If you missed the conference, you can always catch up on some of the highlights of the day by watching SAL’s video, including our Head of Tenancy Deposit Protection, Daren, explaining why the Agency Business conference is so valuable to us. 

National Landlord Day

We’re now looking forward to National Landlord Day, the SAL’s major annual conference and exhibition, on 3 November this year. It’s the UK’s largest annual private sector housing conference and we’re delighted to be co-sponsors. Landlords and letting agents will gather at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth to discuss developments in the sector, seek advice from experts and enjoy a great programme of high profile speakers. 

We’ll be at stand 19 - do come and see us. You can test your dispute resolution skills with our ‘Be the adjudicator’ case study, enter our prize draw, or just have a chat about our service and what’s happening in the sector. We’re looking forward to meeting you there! To find out more, and book your place, please visit the SAL website.  

We look forward to collaborating with SAL on more projects in the future to help landlords and letting agents in Scotland with the best support possible.




Potential changes to requirements for Scottish letting agents

Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, the Scottish Government has released a consultation regarding a framework for the regulation of letting agents in Scotland.

The consultation includes proposals on a range of topics including:

> a mandatory register of letting agents with an associated ‘fit and proper’ person test;

> a training requirement that must be met to be admitted to the register;

> a statutory code of practice all letting agents must follow;

> a way for tenants and landlords to resolve complaints against letting agents for breaches of the statutory Code of Practice through a new specialist First-tier Tribunal; and

> powers for Scottish Ministers to obtain information and to inspect to monitor compliance and enforce regulatory requirements.

You can read the paper and respond via the Scottish Government website. Responses can be submitted online up to Sunday 15 November 2015. 

LPS Scotland sponsors The Agency Business conference

Recently we sponsored the Agency Business conference, hosted by the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) Council of Letting Agents at Hampden Park on 21 May. A unique event, this is the only time that letting agents in Scotland come together in a conference setting, and was therefore a great opportunity for us to catch up with our clients. We also met a number of agents who we don’t currently work with, so we took the opportunity to share our experience with them and explore how we could help deliver their tenancy deposit protection needs.

Our Head of Tenancy Deposit Protection, Daren, also contributed to the highlights video of the day, explaining why the Agency Business conference is so valuable to us. Watch it here.

You can also read what people had to say on Twitter by searching #Agentconf

Cuppa Catch-up with… Daren

We spotted Daren, our Head of Tenancy Deposit Protection, waiting for his venti triple espresso macchiato in the coffee stand queue and took the opportunity to ask him a few quick questions…

What are you most proud of?

That would definitely be setting up The LPS Scotland, and growing it to where we are now. I’m proud we’ve been able to build a valuable scheme in partnership with our clients.

What's one piece of advice you would give landlords, agents and tenants?

Communicate with each other. A friendly relationship always minimises the risk of problems at the end of the tenancy. Plus it will be much easier to agree a way forward, should any deductions need to be made to the deposit.

Can you tell us one thing people don't know about you?

I was once a landlord at a pub which was featured on a famous comedy sitcom! I say famous – it was a spin-off from Only Fools and Horses called The Green Green Grass. It followed ‘Boycie’, who’d headed to Shropshire for a new life - somehow it lasted for four series!

Where would your home be, if it could be anywhere?

Edinburgh! Of all the cities I have visited my favourite by far is Edinburgh. I love the old buildings and there is so much for the family to do.

Be the adjudicator!

Ever wondered how our adjudicators reach decisions in deposit disputes? Now you have the opportunity to understand the reasoning behind dispute outcomes with the first in our new series of interactive case studies.

So take a seat at the adjudicator’s desk, examine the evidence and have a go at resolving a real-life dispute. See if you’ve got what it takes to ‘Be the adjudicator!

Christmas Opening Hours

On behalf of everyone at The LPS Scotland, we'd like to wish you a very merry Christmas.

Our call centre will be open at the following times over the festive period:

  • Monday 22 December: 8.30am - 5.30pm
  • Tuesday 23 December: 8.30am - 5.30pm
  • Wednesday 24 December: 8.30am - 4.00pm
  • Thursday 25 December: Closed
  • Friday 26 December: Closed


  • Monday 29 December: 8.30am - 5.30pm
  • Tuesday 30 December: 8.30am - 5.30pm
  • Wednesday 31 December: 8.30am - 4.00pm
  • Thursday 1 January: Closed
  • Friday 2 January: 8.30am - 5.30pm

Enhancements to your online account

Following your feedback, we have made some enhancements to our online services. We want to make your life easier. That’s why we’ve made the following improvements to your online account:

  • Changes to the end of tenancy process, allowing you to make specific claims for things like cleaning, decorating etc. This will allow your tenant to respond to each claim separately, reducing the amount of disputes.  It also helps us to enhance the dispute process in the event that you and your tenant cannot come to an agreement
  • Auto population of Regulation 42 information at the end of the ‘Submit a new deposit’ process.
  • Enhancement to the ‘View deposit’ summary page, allowing you to view repayment claim information, check deadline dates and view payment history details.

You can try out the enhancements for yourself when you submit a deposit or start a repayment claim. 

Visit our website and log in to your account to get started today.


Keeping it local

From today, you'll be able to contact The LPS Scotland using our new standard rate telephone number, 0330 303 0031.

Following feedback from our customers, we know that many of you get in touch via mobile. Our new 033 number is inclusive in most landline and mobile minute bundles, so you can now use these to contact us!

For other ways to contact us, view our Help page.

We’re open this Saturday!


 On Saturday, August 31, we’re running a trial weekend call service.

We want to know if it’s more convenient for you, so we’ve arranged to open the lines from 9am to midday.

T: 0844 472 6666

It’s a one-off – but if it proves popular and productive then we’ll see if we can make it business as usual.

Let us know if you use the service and why not tweet your thoughts to @LPS_Scotland

Kevin Firth, Director

The Letting Protection Service Scotland

We do not spam. Stay informed.


WE know how irritating spam emails are. We do not send junk email.

So when we do email it’s because there’s a specific and good reason. Most often it’s because we’ve been asked for something like an ID reminder. Occasionally we need to tell you about service updates or give security advice.

Sometimes these emails can be mistaken for junk by email providers. Make sure you get the information you need by adding us to your “Safe Senders” list. Some details on that are below.

It’s important you see our emails, and they don’t just end up in Junk. When that happens it’s frustrating for you. From this end we can’t see it’s occurred, and that you haven’t received the information you need.

What to do

The best thing you could do is add our domain address @lettingprotectionscotland.co.uk to your “safe senders” list. Each provider has its own process for adding to Safe Senders.

Some providers – BT and Yahoo for example – require you to set up a “Filter” which keeps our emails out of Junk. For an official guide to that click here.

For convenience, click here for our domain address to appear in an email.


The LPS  Scotland Team

“Support deposit protection laws”

Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie has led debates in the Scottish Parliament on deposit protection. Here – in his own words – he tells his personal story, explaining why he is so passionate about laws which protect tenants.

Patrick Harvie MSP  

Patrick Harvie MSP


Other politicians who supported the legislation will share that disappointment, but more to the point so will the tenants left unprotected, and the responsible landlords who have made the effort to comply.I was deeply disappointed by the recent confirmation that legislation designed to protect tenants’ deposits has seen only around half of deposits lodged with an approved scheme.

Anyone who has rented (as I did for around ten years) knows that causing damage to the landlord’s property will risk losing their deposit. But the reality is that far too many people find that they run that same risk even when no damage is caused.

Landlords have a perfect right to make deposits a condition for taking on a new tenant, but a minority of landlords seem to consider the extra month or two’s rent as simply a perk of the trade.

Even making it difficult or time consuming to get a deposit repaid can cause real problems; few people who find themselves having to move to a new private rented home can afford to stump up another deposit while waiting months to get their old one back.

So it’s in the interests of tenants and responsible landlords alike that deposits should be kept safe and paid back to the tenant in good time.

“Abusive behaviour”

During my years in the private rented sector, I saw really good practice from some landlords, but also exploitative and abusive behaviour from others. On one occasion, when I was harassed out of a flat by a particularly bad landlord, I was lucky enough to be able to fall back on my family for a place to go.

Not everyone has that support, and if my circumstances had been different I could easily have found myself not only homeless but being pursued for unfair debts.

It’s not always easy to tell the difference between decent and dodgy landlords or letting agents before you sign a lease, so tenants need to know that their rights are clear in the law, and that there is a simple and straightforward way of challenging bad practice.

In a recent debate at Holyrood I called on the Government to explain how they intend to enforce the law on deposits, and what else can be done to give tenants a bit more security and protection from exploitation.

Later this year we’re expecting to see another Housing Bill from the Government, to regulate letting agents. If we’re seeing 90% compliance with deposit schemes by then, all well and good. If we’re still closer to 50%, there’s clearly a need for stronger measures to ensure that the new system doesn’t just give protection on paper, but that it really changes practice throughout the sector.

May 15 – what it means to you

Some deadlines can be ignored. Most cannot. The Letting Protection Service Scotland’ tells you why May 15 is one of those you have to put in your diary.

Nine months in and we are just two weeks away from the final deposit protection deadline for Scotland: May 15, 2013.

OK, so what does that date really mean?

In a nutshell, all qualifying deposits – including those taken before March 7, 2011 – have to be protected by then.

If you are a landlord in Scotland holding a deposit where the tenancy started on March 7, 2011 or before, the law has exempted you from deposit protection laws (provided that the tenancy was not renewed between October 2, 2012 and April 11, 2013). However, that honeymoon period ends on May 15.

So… have you got any deposits which you took before March 7, 2011? If so you must lodge them with an approved protection scheme, and give your tenants the relevant Regulation 42 information.

You can find a link to a template for that information here.

I know there are still landlords and agents who are confused by the legislation; please feel free to contact us for guidance.

For everyone who has taken a deposit after March 7, 2011, it’s business as usual: you have to register any new deposit within 30 days of receiving it.

Remember: failure to lodge a deposit with an approved scheme or failure to give the required Regulation 42 information to your tenant could result in compensation of up to three times the deposit being paid by you to your tenant AND having to lodge the deposit with a scheme.

The Letting Protection Service Scotland is an independent deposit protection scheme, and the most experienced of its type in the UK.  We were also the first scheme to be approved by the Scottish Government.

Visit us here.

Remember, the May 15 deadline is retrospective and therefore applies to all  existing relevant tenancies.

Are you a tenant?

If your deposit has been protected you should have received confirmation from your landlord and from the relevant scheme.

If you think your deposit should have been protected the first thing to do is speak to your landlord or agent and find out what they have done or are planning to do about it.  If they claim to have protected it with us you can check here.

For more information on deposit protection in Scotland, visit http://www.lettingprotectionscotland.com/tenant-info

Contact us:  We want to help.

Shona arrives in Scotland


WE’RE delighted to announce Shona, arriving on April 1 – our virtual service agent.

Shona exists to help LPS Scotland users get the most out of our service. She will sit patiently on the Help page of LPS Scotland, waiting for you to ask anything you like about the service.

Once you’ve typed your question in Shona will use the latest artificial intelligence to give you the most helpful answer.

If you need further information Shona will offer you more options or direct you to our online contact form. That form will be sent to our Operations team who’ll respond as quickly as possible.

The Shona service is the twin to “Emma,” used by our sister service The DPS in England and Wales since March 2011.

Since Emma’s launch she has been used nearly 180,000 times and around 9/10 questions are answered on-the-spot.

So… our re-vamped Help page will have:

Ask Shona
Our all-new virtual agent, on hand to answer all your LPS Scotland questions.

Frequently Asked Questions
Our extensive list of FAQs are an alternative to Ask Shona and address 90% of all enquiries. If the answer to your question isn’t there you’ll be directed to an online form which is sent directly to our Operations team.

Have a go, and let us know what you think!

Landlords: Which of these expensive mistakes do you make?

Our workshops try to make it none!


Sometimes landlords deserve the deposit from a property, or a share of it. But when the new deposit protection laws came in, claiming it became a more formal process to make sure unscrupulous landlords weren’t just pocketing cash that legally belongs to their tenant.

Any new process  takes a little getting used to. That’s why our senior team will be touring Scotland in March, conducting FREE workshops on how best to claim any money you believe you’re owed.

Deciding exactly how much should be awarded when the facts are disputed is the responsibility of our legally-trained Alternative Dispute Resolution team. They successfully work their way through over 6,000 cases each year.

Our chief adjudicator, Alex Coghlan-Forbes, will be at the seminars explaining the simple ways to avoid footing the bill when you shouldn’t have to.

The seminars are helpful, and free. To register your interest click here.

In the meantime – to help out – here’s our quick list of common landlord mistakes:

#1 No tenancy agreement.  The deposit claim is based on the contract between the parties.  There is no “standard” tenancy contract, so the first thing the adjudicator has to look at is what was agreed.  If the adjudicator can’t see what the tenant agreed to, how can they say it was a breach of an agreement?

Top Tip: Get it in writing.

#2 No/insufficient check in evidence.  Has your antique cabinet lost a leg since you saw it last? If it was checked by an independent inventory clerk at the start of the tenancy we’re in a much better position to support your claim.

 Top Tip: Have an independent inventory taken.

 #3 Check out evidence not gathered quickly enough. We see check-out reports compiled over a month after the end of the tenancy.  Landlords then complain the property was “dusty” or the garden “overgrown”.  Is that surprising?

 Top Tip: With check-outs it’s the sooner the better.

 #4 Work starting work before check-out evidence gathered.  This can cast doubt as to whether any damage was present when the tenant left, or whether the contractor may have caused the issue.

 Top Tip: Get evidence before it’s destroyed.

 Interested in coming to one of our FREE seminars? Click here.