Landlords in Scotland urged to beat deposit deadline and avoid huge penalty


Over half of deposits for private tenancies in Scotland may not yet have been paid into a legally required tenancy deposit protection scheme – with just one week to go until the final deadline to sign up.

SafeDeposits Scotland, the leading provider of the tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland, says based on the latest figures as many as 56% of tenancies eligible for taking a deposit may not have yet had their deposits paid into a scheme.

According to the latest Scottish Government figures up to the end of March there are only 129,164 deposits submitted to a scheme – but there are 291,190 properties across Scotland signed up for landlord registration.

From May 15 all deposits from privately rented properties must be secured into one of three government approved tenancy deposits protection schemes in Scotland, as part of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. The legislation has been phased in and May 15 is the final deadline for all properties.

Glasgow based SafeDeposits Scotland, the Scottish Association of Landlords and the National Union of Students are now issuing a call to urge landlords to ensure they are signed up before the deadline to avoid facing financial penalties.

Director of Operations at SafeDeposits Scotland, Rebecca Johnston said, “These figures are to the end of March and while we would like to report a massive surge in the last month of landlords signing up to the scheme that hasn’t happened. We want landlords to know that we are here to guide them through this process. But there isn’t much time left. They must sign up to a scheme – or risk a financial penalty. No-one wants that.”

John Blackwood from Scottish Association of Landlords said, “While not all landlords will charge a deposit and more deposits may have been protected since the last count, the estimated figures paint a worrying picture about the potential number of properties not signed up.”

Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said, “These statistics seem to indicate that many landlords have yet to sign up to tenancy deposit schemes, which will be a surprise to student tenants who are expecting to hear shortly from the schemes how much of their deposit they are due back.

“Landlords are liable for huge penalties if they don’t submit their tenants deposits to a scheme, and we would urge them to beat the deadline and sign up. We also urge student tenants to get in touch with their landlords to confirm they are aware of the deadline and signed up to a scheme.”