Residential property
13 Dec 2019 News

Changes to residential tenancy deposit regulations

The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 governs deposits for all tenancies in Scotland. Recent changes to the Regulations made by the Scottish Government came into force on 11th November 2019.

Under the Regulations there is a variety of information that the landlord has a duty to provide to the tenant. This information revolves around the amount deposited, date of deposit, contact details for the scheme administrator, and details on the circumstances in which the deposit can be retained at the end of the tenancy. The recent amendments to the Regulations are mostly information based, providing more transparency between landlords and deposit schemes, for the benefit of tenants.

As the Regulations stand, landlords must pay all deposits received into a scheme within 30 working days, regardless of the tenancy length. This has been changed so that where a tenancy duration is less than 30 days, and the deposit is returned to the tenant within those 30 days; there is no need for a deposit scheme to be used.

In the event of a deposit being paid through instalments, the Regulations have been amended to clarify that each instalment must meet the same requirement as that of a full deposit (including the information to be provided to the tenant), i.e. each instalment being deposited within 30 days etc.

There is now a duty upon the scheme administrator to inform the tenant when a landlord pays the deposit into the scheme after the expiry of the 30 days, and of the sanctions for late payment.  Failure to comply with this timeframe remains the same and could see a sheriff ordering the landlord to pay to the tenant up to three times the original deposit.  These sanctions must also be made available to the tenant where the landlord has paid the deposit late and applies for repayment of the deposit.

The Regulations have also been tidied up to remove the previous requirement that the scheme administrator must contact the tenant where no application is made by the landlord. In addition, an undisputed application for repayment of deposit is to be expedited within 5 days of receiving confirmation of no dispute or of the application being made.

If you require any more information in relation to the recent changes, please get in touch.

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