The Scottish Government considered three proposals for the operation of Tenancy Deposits schemes in Scotland.
The scheme had an operational start date on Monday 2 July 2012.
The regulations make it compulsory for all domestic landlords/agents who have collected a deposit from tenants to lodge these deposits, past and present, into an approved scheme. A tenancy deposit is a sum of money which a landlord requires a tenant to pay at the start of the tenancy, and which will normally be returned to the tenant at the end of the tenancy. The money is security against the tenant not meeting their obligations in connection with a tenancy or occupancy arrangement. In certain circumstances a landlord may want to use some or all of the deposit at the end of the tenancy. Failure to comply with above conditions can see the landlord liable to pay the tenant three times the deposit, or deregistration by the local authority, which could lead to the property being exempt from being let. Compliance may be difficult if Landlord’s do not have a lease, misplaced the lease or records are not up to standard.
A landlord or agent must then provide information about their registration status with the local authority when paying over a deposit and also notify the tenant which scheme the deposit has been paid into. Any deposit accepted by a landlord on or after 2nd October 2012 must be deposited with an approved scheme within 30 working days of a tenancy starting. If the landlord held deposits before this date, the landlord must still protect them, but will be allowed more time to submit them to an approved scheme.
When the lease is terminated, the landlord/agent must apply to the scheme administrator to have the deposit returned. The tenant also reserves the right to apply to the administrator for the deposit to be returned. If there is any dispute, it will be referred to an adjudicator, who will then decide the outcome within 20 days of a referral. The scheme will write to the landlord or tenant as appropriate, asking them to confirm whether they agree with the Proposal for Deposit Repayment, or wish to dispute the amount. Where the landlord and tenant agree how all or part of the deposit is to be repaid, it will be paid out within 5 working days of the scheme receiving confirmation of the agreement between the parties. The return of the deposit will take longer where the amount is disputed, or the landlord or tenant cannot be contacted, or do not co-operate.
Any dispute regarding the repayment of all or part of the deposit will be dealt with in accordance with these scheme rules unless notified otherwise in writing.
The deposit remains in the schemes account until it is repaid in accordance with the schemes rules and the requirements of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011.
Vista Properties carry out stringent property examinations, which will be essential to landlords when dealing with tenants deposits, thus ensuring that landlord rights are robustly protected at all times. Please note that adhering to these new regulations is solely the Landlords responsibility unless they instruct Vista Properties in writing to deal with the matter on their behalf. Please note that the above statement only applies to clients who have their property fully managed with us.
Landlords who live overseas and take a deposit, and who are not otherwise exempt, must comply with the Tenancy Deposit Regulations.