Awareness of Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) in Scotland has risen among tenants by almost a quarter (23 per cent) over the past year, according to TDP scheme my|deposits Scotland.
The figures*, which come one year after the introduction of deposit protection in Scotland, show that almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of tenants say they’re aware of deposit protection now, compared to just two-in-five (40 per cent) in March last year.
TDP legislation was introduced in July 2012 in order to safeguard the tenant’s deposit for the duration of the tenancy and to ensure its quick return even if a dispute arises.
However, many tenants are not aware of what to do if they cannot agree with their landlord or agent over the return of the deposit at the end of the tenancy. Seven in 10 tenants said they are unaware that a free and impartial dispute resolution service, which is offered by the schemes, was available in such instances.
Eddie Hooker, CEO of my|deposits, commented:
“As a consumer protection initiative, it is encouraging that we’ve seen such a positive rise in awareness among tenants in Scotland and we hope this will improve further in the future.
“Landlords and letting agents have now safely deposited almost £100m of tenants’ deposit money within the TDP schemes which shows a high level of compliance with the legislation.
“However, not enough tenants are aware of what to do if they can’t agree with their landlord or letting agent over the return of the deposit or that they have access to a free and impartial decision in such instances”.
Tristan Compton, a landlord and National Landlord Association (NLA) representative for Edinburgh said:
“Tenant awareness has improved over the last year but from my experience it could be better. The new Tenant Information Packs which are now mandatory in Scotland should also go some way to improving this further.
“However, it’s also vital that tenants carefully read thorough their tenancy agreements and inventories at the start of the tenancy as they contain essential information and should detail the conditions in which deductions may be made to their deposit.
“Failure to do so could lead to problems or delays over the return of the deposit at the end of the tenancy. Tenants should visit the my|deposits Scotland Tenants’ Resource Centre (www.mydepositsscotland.co.uk/tenants) which contains useful guidance about negotiating over the return of the deposit as well as vital information about what to do in the event of a dispute.”
Landlords or letting agents who would like to protect a deposit should get in touch with my|deposits Scotland now on 0845 634 5400 or visit www.mydepositsscotland.co.uk
*my|deposits Scotland Tenant TDP Panel (Q1 2013 – 750 respondents)
For further information, please contact:
Sam Haidar, Senior Press Officer
020 7840 8925
M: 07508 031 084
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About my|deposits Scotland:
- 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.
- 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.
- Registered members of the Scheme are able to protect and unprotect deposits at the beginning and end of tenancies. Fees are tax-deductible.
- 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
- 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.