The law

What is tenancy deposit protection?

It’s normal practice for a landlord to take a deposit which must, by law, be transferred to a government approved scheme within 30 working days of the tenancy start date and remain protected for the length of the tenancy.

The law was put in place to protect:

  • the tenant, who is entitled to a full refund for meeting all their responsibilities in the tenancy agreement
  • the landlord, in the event the tenant breaks any of their responsibilities in the tenancy agreement

The law also requires the landlord or their letting agent, to provide the tenant with information relating to the protection which includes:

  • the amount of the deposit (no more than two months’ rent) and the date they received it
  • the date the deposit was paid into the tenancy deposit scheme
  • the address of the property
  • a statement confirming they’re registered (or have applied to be registered) as a landlord in the property’s local council area
  • the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme provider they used
  • the conditions in which all or part of your deposit can be kept at the end of the tenancy
  • information about sanctions if the deposit is late

If you have an arrangement to pay your deposit in instalments, then your landlord must give you this information in writing for each instalment.


What kind of deposits need protecting?

The law applies to all new, renewed or varied tenancy agreements from 2 October 2012.


How is a deposit protected?

Firstly, the landlord or agent will need to set up a free mydeposits Scotland membership using our online portal. Find out more about joining mydeposits Scotland here.

To protect a deposit the landlord or agent will need to follow the protection process by providing us with the relevant tenancy details and then sending us the deposit to hold and protect.

We will then confirm to the tenant and landlord or agent that the deposit is protected, providing details of the tenancy and the amount protected. The landlord or agent should also provide the tenant with the Scheme information leaflet which provides more information on how the deposit should be returned and what to do if there is a dispute.


What are the penalties for not protecting a deposit?

A landlord or agent who does not protect the deposit within 30 days of the tenancy start date can be ordered to pay the tenant up to three times the deposit in compensation.


How do you keep deposits safe?

We will hold the deposit in a regulated bank, until the tenancy ends and it is due to be repaid. In the event of bank failure, the money is guaranteed safe.


How is the deposit returned?

All parties are encouraged to discuss the return of the deposit, including any proposed deductions at the end of the tenancy. Then either the tenant, landlord or agent can apply to us to release the deposit. Find out more about the release process here.


Disputes over the return of the deposit

If after discussing the return of the deposit all parties cannot agree with any proposed deductions, they can raise a dispute. We offer a free dispute resolution service or the case can be heard by the First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).