Ian Langley, Director of Operations, my|deposits Scotland shares his thoughts on TDP in Scotland.
On my travels thus far there has been some criticism among landlords and agents of the timing of the new legislation. TDP comes right in the busiest period for festival visitors, student lettings for the new term and school holidays, hence many staff absences!
And despite a 3-month transition period the workload created by the legislation might seem somewhat overwhelming as there are many things to think about so the last thing you need is any of the Schemes banging on your door or pestering you for a meeting!
However, we are of course here to help, so I do hope that those of you that I have managed to meet over the last few months have found it useful – even if you haven’t chosen my|deposits Scotland – and I am always available for future meetings.
We aim to please, and that’s why I’ve been blogging about my travels and the issues I’ve encountered. Here’s the latest issue to emerge…
Tenancy agreements created before 2nd July 2012
Do you have any tenancy agreements that make no reference to deposit protection or where there is a lack of appropriate clauses about the deposit and its purpose? Not surprisingly this has been causing some concern and is likely to cause more so in the coming months. And here’s why.
It’s all about disputes; when the time comes to return the deposit you may find you don't have the appropriate wording in your tenancy agreement to support a claim e.g. if you forgot to mention that the deposit could be used for rent arrears. You may think this is implicit, but an adjudicator will disallow a claim for rent arrears if it is not explicitly stated that this was a permitted deduction in the tenancy agreement from the outset.
Or what about tenancy agreements that say the deposit will be returned within a certain timeframe? You should be aware that the new schemes normally take 2-5 days to release the deposit - and if a dispute arises it could take at least 25 days. So would you be in breach of contract?
Tip – Act now so you’re not caught out later down the line
This tip is not as practical as other tips I’ve been able to offer but it is just as important. It is definitely worth revisiting the wording in your tenancy agreements to see how you might be impacted right away. Talk to your tenants, too, as this will alert them to the issue.
As always mydeposits Scotland are here to support you through the process and we have a whole raft of advice for landlords, agents and tenants so look out for guidance from my|depsoists Scotland on this issue soon.
But if you simply can’t wait and you’d like to arrange a seminar, staff training or a visit, please email me directly, or call 07917 813 340.
Disclaimer: Ian Langley is not Scottish. Nor can he fly, although he is a fully qualified helicopter pilot!