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02
Jul
2012

Scottish Tenants unaware of new deposit protection law

Six in ten tenants* (63 per cent) in Scotland say they are not aware of Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) legislation, according to research from my|deposits Scotland, published today.

From 2nd July, all landlords and letting agents in Scotland who take a deposit from their tenant must submit it to a Government-licensed scheme such as my|deposits Scotland for the duration of the tenancy.

However, there are different deadlines for when new and existing deposits are required to be lodged, depending on when the deposit was first received.
my|deposits Scotland has been formally approved by government to operate a TDP scheme in Scotland having run a similar scheme in England and Wales over the past five years.

The scheme has protected £1.4billion worth of deposits on behalf of nearly 90 thousand members in England and Wales and has consistently met all targets set by the Government.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of my|deposits Scotland commented:

“This research shows that there is a real need for further information on how this legislation will affect the consumer. Tenancy deposit protection has been brought in to protect the tenant’s money and will drastically affect the way agents and landlords in Scotland run their businesses, so it’s vital that everyone is aware of how this new legislation will affect them and the different deadlines that they must adhere to."

“my|deposits Scotland has developed a number of free guides to support landlords, agents and tenants through these changes. Through our Resource Centre, visitors can download all they need to know, including details of trigger dates to remember, essential guidance on the information landlords and agents need to supply and advice on avoiding a dispute at the end of the tenancy."

“By using my|deposits Scotland, tenants, agents and landlords can rest assured that the deposit money is in safe hands and that it will be returned quickly and fairly at the end of the tenancy.”

Richard Price, Director of Operations at the National Landlords Association (NLA) said:

“Tenancy deposit protection has undoubtedly helped raised standards in the private-rented sector in England and Wales since its introduction five years ago, but the legislation has meant that many landlords and agents have had to significantly change the way they operate."

“It is important that landlords, agents and tenants are provided with clear guidance on what they will be required to do and by when. There are strict penalties of up to three-times the deposit amount for those who do not protect a tenant’s deposit under the new law.”

Visit the my|deposits Scotland Resource Centre and sign up for regular alerts by visiting www.mydepositsscotland.co.uk

From 2nd July, landlords and agents are now able to protect deposits online at www.mydepositsscotland.co.uk or by calling 0845 634 5400.

-ENDS-

my|deposits CEO Eddie Hooker and NLA Director of Operations are both available for interviews and further comment.

For further information, please contact:
Sam Haidar, Senior Press Officer
sam.haidar@mydeposits.co.uk
020 7840 8925
M: 07508 031 084

*my|deposits Scotland surveyed 114 tenants during May 2012.

Landlord Case Study - Scotland
Tristan Compton, NLA representative for Edinburgh and South East Scotland has properties in both England and Scotland. He has experience of the English TDP system and is concerned that agents may not be able to find the funds as they have been using them as working capital, meaning that landlords are left in the lurch…

“It is vital for landlords and agents to get the tenancy set up correctly from the start - the tenancy agreement must state clearly what can and cannot be deducted from the deposit, or else the adjudication process will not support them. The landlord must also have good evidence of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy, ideally a written and photographic inventory, signed by the tenant."

“Some agents may not be able to comply with the new rules as they have got used to using the money for working capital - which could see them put out of business, leaving landlords in the lurch”.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

About my|deposits Scotland:

1.    my|deposits Scotland is the trading name of Tenancy Deposits (Scotland) Limited, a company jointly owned by the National Landlords Association and HFIS plc T/A Hamilton Fraser Insurance (the Scheme Administrator) to deliver a tenancy deposit protection scheme under contract from The Scottish Government.

2.    my|deposits Scotland aims to support landlords and agents to comply with the legislation and provide everyone with the confidence that deposit money is held securely for the duration of the tenancy.

3.    Registered members of the Scheme are able to protect and unprotect deposits at the beginning and end of tenancies. Fees are tax-deductible.

4.    In the event of a dispute at the end of the tenancy agreement, both parties are offered access to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This procedure will be evidence-based, relying on documentation and records. For further information or to visit www.mydepositsscotland.co.uk

5.    The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 came into force on 7 March 2011. The Regulations set out the conditions that all schemes must meet before they can be approved by the Scottish Ministers. Landlords and letting agents wishing to use this scheme are required to register with the Scheme Administrator.

About the National Landlords Association

The National Landlords Association (NLA) is the UK’s leading organisation for private-residential landlords. It has over 20,000 paid-up members, ranging from full-time landlords with large property portfolios to those with just a single letting. NLA membership helps landlords make a success of their lettings business by providing a wide range of information, advice and services. The NLA campaigns for the legitimate interests of landlords by seeking to influence decision-makers at all levels of government and by making landlords’ collective voice heard in the media. It seeks to raise standards in the private-rented sector while aiming to ensure that landlords are aware of their statutory rights and responsibilities. Based at its head office in Central London, the NLA currently employs over 40 full-time staff and has a network of more than 40 regional representatives and branches throughout the UK.

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