Did you know that new regulations to increase the efficiency of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (Scotland) come into force on 11 November 2019? All residential landlords and letting agents will need to ensure that extra steps are taken to comply. Our article explains what you need to know and do now:
The aim of the new regulations is to address operational issues which arose after the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 came into force after tenants, landlords and scheme administrators raised practical issues on using the scheme.
What you need to know
The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2019
- requires landlords to provide information to tenants about the sanctions (further details below) which could be imposed for failure to lodge the deposit within 30 days of the start of the tenancy
- protect deposits made in instalments in the same way as lump sum deposits are protected –the information the landlord must provide to the tenant after receiving a deposit must be shared when each instalment is received
- if the landlord is not claiming any of the deposit at the end of a tenancy, they do not need to contact tenants before returning the funds, which will speed up the overall process
- if the tenancy is terminated in its first 30 days and the deposit is repaid, the deposit no longer needs to be paid into a scheme first
What do you need to do to comply with the new regulations?
- Amend the information provided to tenants to include information on the sanctions being imposed on landlords
- Provide tenants, who pay their deposit by instalments, with the required information every time an instalment is paid
Important information for landlords
The obligation is on you as a landlord to ensure the Regulations are complied with. If you use a letting or managing agent make sure they are complying with the Regulations on your behalf.
Recap of the 2011 Regulations
The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011, require all private landlords to pay their tenants’ deposit into one of three Scottish Government Approved deposit schemes for the duration of the tenancy. Landlords also have to provide certain information to tenants within a certain timescale, including:
- the amount of deposit paid by the tenant and the date the landlord received it
- the date the deposit was paid into the scheme
- the details of the scheme it has been paid into
- a statement confirming the landlord is on the local authority register of landlords
- the circumstances where all or part of the deposit may be retained by the landlord at the end of the tenancy
These Regulations apply where at least one tenant is not related to the landlord. For example, if you own the flat where your student child lives, and they have a flatmate.
What are the possible sanctions?
Sanctions can be imposed by the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) on the landlord if the deposit is not placed into one of the deposit schemes within 30 working days of the start of the tenancy. A tenant can apply to the Tribunal within three months of the end of the tenancy where the Landlord has not done so. The Tribunal can award up to three times the amount of the deposit to be paid by the Landlord to the tenant depending on the circumstances.
To discuss what you may need to put in place to comply with these new regulations, please contact one of our experts:
Shirley Evans – specialist in property disputes, housing law, and in landlord and tenancy issues
Shirley.Evans@andersonstrathern.co.uk or on 0131 270 7836
Adèle Nicol – specialist in rural leases and sits on the Scottish Land & Estates’ Housing and Community Policy Group
Adèle.Nicol@andersonstrathern.co.uk or on 0131 625 8013