Many landlords will have joint tenants, particularly in student flats. However recent legislation on tenancy deposit schemes and tenant information packs has highlighted some issues facing landlords with joint tenants in Scotland.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- The tenancy deposit scheme regulations say nothing about joint tenants
- It has been left up to each scheme to make the rules as to how they will deal with deposits for joint tenancies
- Each scheme requires?landlords to identify a lead tenant when submitting a deposit. This will require to be agreed between the landlord and the tenant prior to the commencement of the tenancy
The schemes are clear that the landlord requires to obtain consent from the lead tenant to assume this role. A simple clause in the tenancy agreement confirming that the first named tenant will be the lead tenant should be sufficient to satisfy this requirement.
However the schemes have different views with regard to repayment of the deposit at the end of the tenancy. Both Letting Protection Service Scotland and MyDeposits Scotland state that the deposit will be repaid to the lead tenant who has responsibility for dividing it between the joint tenants. However SafeDeposits Scotland provides for the deposit to be repaid in equal shares to each joint tenant unless expressly agreed between the tenants. This appears a strange course of action when dealing with one tenancy and one deposit.
Joint tenancies have always thrown up complications and the new legislation facing landlords appears to be no different! If you wish to discuss further please contact either our LetLaw team.