16:08 PM, 1st June 2012, About 10 years ago 1
The countdown to nationwide tenant deposit protection is on as Scotland joins the scheme already running in England and Wales from July 2.
The Scottish Government has approved two more protection schemes, giving landlords and letting agents the choice of three.
The latest official figures reckon 273,000 Scottish private rented homes have handed £74 million as deposits – and every year 11,000 tenants have £3.6 million wrongly withheld when they leave their rented homes.
Although deposit protection starts in July, not all landlords and letting agents have to comply with the new laws.
Housing Minister Keith Brown said: “It’s important to stress that the majority of landlords act responsibly. These schemes are aimed at those who tarnish the image of the private rented sector and exploit trusting tenants.
“This government is committed to taking action to ensure tenants receive a fair deal, it’s not right that thousands of tenants have their deposits wrongly withheld.
“From July, the new regulations will allow a new cost effective approach to safeguarding tenancy deposits, protecting tenants and landlords.”
Tenancy deposit protection rules apply to landlords living outside Scotland but letting property there.
The three approved schemes are:
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Finally, the unfair withholding of millions of pounds from deposits by landlords and agents will be a thing of the past, as will the hardship it causes to tenants.
“The introduction of a compulsory scheme to safeguard deposits is a step in the right direction towards protecting tenants, landlords and agents.
“We hope the tenancy deposit scheme achieves a transparent and fair system for all.”
More information is available on the Scottish Government website about safeguarding deposits and each scheme.