The Scottish Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Tenants and landlords in Scotland now benefit from the introduction of tenancy deposit legislation, making it compulsory for landlords and letting agents to lodge tenants’ deposits with an approved thirdparty scheme. There are three approved not-for-profit schemes in Scotland operated by Letting Protection Service Scotland, Safe Deposits Scotland and My Deposits Scotland. 

 

The schemes became operational on 2 July 2012.  MBM Home Lets elected to use the Safe Deposits Scotland scheme. It is a not-for-profit organisation, operated from Glasgow. We may also try out the other schemes in order to establish whether any particular operator is more efficient than the others.

 

In the run-up to this process we made substantial improvements to all areas of our business including tenant vetting, property inventory control and inspections. It is essential to have a robust inventory in order to support claims for retention of part or all of tenants’ deposits. It is important to be fair to both the owner and the tenant and to understand the difference between ‘fair wear and tear ‘and damage.

 

Most deductions are however the result of issues over cleanliness, rather than damage.  There are also many different perceptions of cleanliness and as a professional kitchen clean can easily run to a couple of hundred pounds it is important that this is dealt with properly. Towards the end of a tenancy we are now conducting a pre-departure inspection – around a fortnight before the tenant is due to leave – where we identify any issues which might create a problem over return of the tenant’s deposit. 

 

Tenants are encouraged to take out insurance which covers their belongings and accidental damage to the landlord’s possessions. This is not compulsory but is a useful measure for tenants to help safeguard their deposits.

 

All properties are professionally cleaned between lets at a special price (typically £90 for a two bedroom flat) in order to ensure consistency between start and end of tenancies. This cost will be divided equally between landlord and tenant. The tenant will be notified at the pre-departure visit whether anything more substantial than the standard clean will be required and a price provided if necessary. The landlord will not be expected to pay for anything above the half share of the standard clean 

 

Landlords who need help with property tax returns, or tax matters generally, should contact us. We can provide basic assistance for overseas landlords as part of our service - or provide contact with tax specialists.  Summary statements covering any stipulated periods are available upon request - please provide seven days' notice if you reqire an archived or earlier tax-period statement.

 

In order to lodge deposits with an approved scheme the Landlord Registration number of the owner has to be provided. There are steep penalties for failing to be registered or keeping a registration up to date. An anomaly is that although we act on owners’ behalf, and there is no practical or legislative reason why we cannot carry out amendments and renewal, the system doesn’t have any provision to allow agents to carry out amendments on clients’ behalf. 

 

Unlike most other agents we keep track of registrations and we do notify owners when registrations need to be updated or amended, but owners have to carry out the actual process themselves.

 

We have detailed below contact information for various local authorities. If you need any further guidance please contact our office.


Argyll & Bute     landlord.registration@argyll-bute.gov.uk  

01546604408


East Dunbartonshire     sheila.fitzpatrick@eastdunbarton.gov.uk  

0141 578 2161


Glasgow     tracey.parr@drs.glasgow.gov.uk  

0141 276 7583


West Dunbartonshire   environmental.health@west-dumbarton.gov.uk         

01389 738 290


East Renfrewshire    grant.murray@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk   

0141 577 3575


North Ayrshire      karen.walker@east-ayrshire.gov.uk   

01563578180


North Lanarkshire    phhsupport@northlan.gov.uk     

01236632377


Renfrewshire     privatelandlord.licensing.cs@renfrewshire.gov.uk   

0141 540 3262


South Lanarkshire   landlordregistrationteam@southlanarkshire.gov.uk 

0141 584 2534


MBM Home Lets agency registration number: 17281/260/31200