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How to Protect deposits and avoid financial penalties

Tuesday 29 August 2017

The good folks at Safe Deposits Scotland have been working with us to provide essential advice for landlords and their agents on how to protect deposits and avoid financial penalties.

How to protect a deposit

If a landlord or their agent takes a deposit from their tenant, the deposit must be transferred to an approved tenancy deposit scheme within 30 working days of the tenancy start date. This is required under the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. Should a landlord or their agent fail to protect a deposit, a tenant can apply to the Sheriff Court for financial sanctions of up to three times the amount of the deposit against the landlord.

To comply with the Regulations and avoid financial sanctions, a landlord or their agent should:

  • Register as a user with SafeDeposits Scotland
    You can register through the SafeDeposits Scotland website or by phoning their office

  • Add the tenancy details to your user account
    SafeDeposits Scotland need to know relevant details about the deposit (i.e. tenancy address, deposit amount and tenant’s name and contact details)

  • Transfer the deposit
    The deposit can be transferred by online banking, debit card or cheque

  • Provide the tenant with key information
    After transferring the deposit, the Regulations also require that you provide the tenant with particular key information:
    • Property address
    • Your registration status with the local authority
    • Total deposit paid and the date you received it from the tenant
    • Date you paid the deposit to the tenancy deposit scheme
    • Name and contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme
    • Circumstances in which all or part of the deposit may be deducted at the end of the tenancy, with reference to the terms of the tenancy agreement (e.g. cleaning, rent arrears, etc.)

To help make providing the key information easier, SafeDeposits Scotland has a template, called the prescribed information form, available to download from their website.

SafeDeposits Scotland is free to use.

How to repay a deposit

When the tenancy comes to an end, you should log in to your user account online or phone the SafeDeposits Scotland office to confirm the tenant has moved out and how the deposit should be repaid (e.g. if the full amount should be repaid to the tenant, or if you want any paid to you). SafeDeposits Scotland will contact the tenant to ask if they agree with the breakdown you have provided. If you and the tenant agree, the deposit will be repaid within 5 working days.

Further information

For further information or to protect a deposit, please visit www.safedepositsscotland.com or contact 03333 213 136 or info@safedepositsscotland.com

**Other deposit schemes are avaiable