What is Tenancy Deposit Protection?
It’s normal practice for a landlord to take a deposit from their tenant as security should the terms of the agreed contract be broken. The new legislation is designed to safeguard the tenant’s deposit by requiring landlords to submit the deposit to a Government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme to hold for the duration of the tenancy and provide the Tenant with certain key information called Regulation 42 explaining deposit protection. Letting Agents acting on behalf of landlords must also abide by the new legislation.
What is a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?
An independent third party authorised to hold and protect the tenant’s deposit for the duration of the tenancy. Once the landlord has submitted the deposit, it is kept in a safe, designated account until the end of the tenancy and both parties have agreed to its return.
All schemes in Scotland must be approved by the Scottish Government.
All deposits taken on assured and short assured tenancies, university accommodation and other types of occupancy agreements must be submitted to a Government-approved scheme.
What are the penalties for non protection?
If satisfied that the landlord did not comply with the deposit protection requirements, the sheriff
- (a)must order the landlord to pay the tenant an amount not exceeding three times the amount of the tenancy deposit; and
- (b)may, as the sheriff considers appropriate in the circumstances of the application, order the landlord to
- (i)pay the tenancy deposit to an approved scheme; or
- (ii)provide the tenant with the information required under regulation 42.