It’s been one month since legislation came into force requiring landlords and letting agents protect their tenant’s deposits in a Government approved scheme. We have been really pleased to see so many landlords and letting agents sign up to protect their deposits so quickly since the 2nd July. If you’re confused about the deadline for protecting deposits, don’t forget you can use our simple compliance calculator which helps you to work it out.
Here’s our top 10 facts about deposit protection with The LPS Scotland:
- It’s the landlord’s ultimate responsibility to protect a tenant’s deposit. An agent can be instructed to take/protect the deposit, but the landlord remains ultimately responsible for ensuring the agent protects it in line with the legislation.
- If the tenant believes their deposit has not been protected in line with the legislation, they can make an application to the Sheriff under Housing Act (Scotland) 2006. If the court is satisfied the landlord has failed to comply, they may order the landlord to pay the tenant up to three times the tenancy deposit.
- A deposit cannot consist of any property other than money (under the Housing Act (Scotland) 2006). A deposit is intended to be held as security for the performance of any obligations of the tenant, or the discharge of any liability arising under or in connection with the tenancy.
- If there are multiple tenants at the same property, the landlord or letting agent has two options. A separate tenancy can be created in respect of each tenant, and are therefore each registered as ‘sole tenants’. Alternatively, a joint tenancy can be created and a lead tenant selected, who will act on behalf of all the other tenants.
- Under the Housing Act (Scotland) 2006 landlords and letting agents have an obligation to provide tenants with information on the protection of their deposit. We have developed an Information Template you can download which when completed contains all the required information the tenant needs.
- Landlords, agents and tenants can all request the repayment of a deposit to the appropriate parties at the end of a tenancy. When one party requests a repayment, the other needs to confirm whether they agree with the proposal, by completing a repayment response form - either online or by post. All deposits are repaid within 5 working days of a fully completed repayment claim.
- Unique Repayment IDs are given to the agent/landlord and the lead tenant when a deposit submission payment has cleared. Each Repayment ID must be provided when a deposit repayment request is submitted. Repayment IDs should be treated as confidential and not given to the other party.
- We offer a free ADR service to all our landlords and letting agents. This is an independent service that acts as an alternative to going to court, aiming to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants through evidence-based adjudication.
- The legislation was introduced as the Government recognised deposits taken have been unfairly withheld at the end of the tenancy. The introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Protection encourages agents/landlords to set up tenancies correctly through the use of formal tenancy agreements, inventories, condition reports and other necessary documentation. The legislation aims to ensure good practice in deposit handling, so that when a Tenant pays a deposit and is entitled to get it back, he or she can be assured that this will happen.
- The LPS Scotland is open to all letting agents and landlords to protect deposits for Scottish tenancies and is free to use. Our funds are secured with UK approved banks, and we are run by the only UK-based company with five years experience of running a similar custodial deposit protection scheme.
If you have any questions about deposit protection, our easy to navigate FAQ’s should have the answer or you can give our team a call on 0844 472 6666.