The Scottish Government has approved its first Tenancy Deposit Scheme! There are now vital dates in place that you really can't ignore.?Ministers have announced that the scheme proposed by Letting Protection Scotland has been given the green light to become operational under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Scotland Regulations 2011, with effect from Monday 2 July 2012.
Meanwhile, two other schemes, namely SafeDeposits Scotland and MyDeposits Scotland, are hoping ?to be approved and ready to commence on 2nd July. All being well, landlords will be able to choose which scheme(s) they wish to submit their deposits to.
The introduction of the Scottish Tenancy Deposit Scheme will now mean landlords have to;
- Pay deposits to an approved scheme
- Provide the tenant with key information about the tenancy
- Provide the tenant with specific information relating to the deposit. Including the:
- amount paid by the tenant
- date the deposit was received
- date on which the deposit was paid into the scheme
- name and address of the scheme
- circumstances in which the deposit may be kept
The dates by which landlords must comply with these new legal duties will vary depending on the date the tenancy commenced and the nature of the tenancy. Landlords should take specific legal advice in this regard; however, 3 months after the first scheme becomes operational is a good guideline.
Significantly, if a landlord fails to lodge a deposit with an approved scheme or fails to provide the relevant information to the tenant, sanctions may be imposed on the landlord.? The tenant can raise an action against a landlord for non-compliance at the Sheriff Court. If a landlord is found to be in breach of his duties, the court can impose a fine of up to 3 times the amount of the deposit. Alternatively, the court can force the landlord to provide the relevant information or lodge the deposit with an approved scheme.
The schemes will be self-financing (i.e. free for landlords!!) and will provide a free and independent dispute resolution service where landlords and tenants disagree over the return of a deposit.? If there is a disagreement over the return of a deposit, the matter will be referred to an independent adjudicator who will make a decision on the dispute within 20 working days.
If you?d like advice regarding your individual circumstances and how you may be affected by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme in Scotland ? get in touch.