Increasingly, our feedback from agents and landlords is that the tenancy deposit protection scheme is not only fair, but makes life easier for them.
Yet worryingly there is still a lack of awareness about the scheme in Scotland.
Tenancy deposit protection schemes benefit both landlords and tenants. Signing up helps to resolve disputes that could arise at the end of the tenancy, fairly, quickly and impartially. But based on the latest Scottish Government figures, we estimate there are up to 56 per cent of tenancies eligible for taking a deposit where a deposit has not yet been paid into a scheme.
Anecdotal evidence from agents backs up that view, with many reporting that about two-thirds of landlords are not aware of the scheme. Together with the latest figures that paints a worrying picture.
We are out giving advice to landlords at workshops around Scotland and, as part of our commitment to improve standards in the private rented sector, our Trust will be investing in education and training to drive best practice. It’s imperative that we redouble our efforts in Scotland to get the message out to landlords about the scheme.
We have been promoting the scheme with help from our members – National Union of Students, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Scottish Association of Landlords, Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, and National Federation of Property Professionals – to tell landlords how to sign up.
For the scheme to be effective we also need to focus on keeping tenants informed. Research we commissioned in March showed that only one in five (19 per cent) private renters in Scotland knew about the scheme and the final deadline of tomorrow.
Today, we are urging landlords to sign up before it’s too late and avoid paying a huge penalty – up to three times the deposit.
Many of us at SafeDeposits Scotland are landlords or have been agents, so we fully understand the challenges. The scheme is free, registration takes minutes and it will be one less thing you need to worry about.
• Malcolm Lindo is managing director of tenancy deposit protection scheme SafeDeposits Scotland.