Van McKellar | Partner

Don’t bank on tenant ignorance

New research by SafeDeposits Scotland has found that more than a third of private tenants do not know how to claim their deposit back at the end of their tenancy.

Regulations that came into force in 2012 oblige landlords to lodge deposit payments in a tenancy deposit scheme to ensure they can be returned at the end of the rental contract. More than a quarter of tenants were not aware of this. An unscrupulous landlord may try to capitalise on a perceived lack of knowledge but this is risky move. If a landlord or agent fails to protect a tenant’s deposit within 30 days of the lease starting then they could be liable for up to three times the deposit value in compensation. The recently introduced First Tier Tribunal has already adjudicated on 40 cases and reprimanded landlords for their failure to comply.

Safe Deposits Scotland is on a mission to educate tenants about the Government backed schemes so landlords should bear in mind that claims can be brought during the tenancy and up to three months after it ends.

Registering the deposit also provides recourse if there are any problems at the end of the tenancy. It is always a good idea to try and agree of any deductions from a tenant’s deposit but if agreement can’t be reached then the schemes offer a free dispute resolution service where an independent adjudicator looks at evidence from both the tenant and the landlord within specified timescales.

If you require any advice on this matter our solicitors would be happy to assist. Click here to contact us online or call 0330 037 4384 to speak to a member of our specialist team.

Van McKellar

Van McKellar

Dispute Resolution Team

“I see my role as a problem solver – seeking to understand the factual basis of my clients’ disputes and applying a legal and commercial analysis in seeking to resolve them, whether by negotiation or by means of litigation or some other alternative means of dispute resolution.”

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