When it comes to protecting tenants’ deposits in Scotland, landlords of properties in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire have been proven to be the most responsible.
Best protected tenants’ deposits in Scotland
SafeDeposits Scotland have analysed the rates of landlords failing to protect tenants’ deposits and found that, based on the decisions made by the First-tier Tribunal, there had only been 17 cases of non-compliance with the deposit protection in AB postcodes since the Tribunal first began hearing cases at the end of 2017. According to the government-backed scheme, around £770 per case had been paid out to tenants in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, a total of £13,169.
“While there were 17 instances of North East landlords being taken to the Tribunal by their tenants, to put that into context; SafeDeposits Scotland protects the deposits of almost 15,000 tenants in the area.” – explains Ian Potter, Chair of SafeDeposits Scotland.
The greatest proportion of landlords being taken to the Tribunal for failing to lodge tenants’ deposits was found in Glasgow (38 cases heard), closely followed by Edinburgh (37 cases heard).
Whilst it’s believed that in most cases studied “the landlord has not acted out of malice, but was either simply unaware of the legislation or forgot”, Ian Potter emphasises that this “does not reassure tenants or save landlords from fines.”
Prospect of hefty fines
Landlords who don’t comply with the deposit protection regulations can be fined up to three times the deposit value. For the Aberdeen cases, this was 1.54 times the deposit value.
According to the study, the lowest award of £100 was made for a rented property near the University of Aberdeen. The largest pay out, on the other hand, was made for a property in the village of Monymusk, where the landlord was ordered to pay £1,725 to their tenants.
Mr Potter comments: “We believe that the overwhelming majority of landlords operate within the rules, but the findings from our research into the first 18 months of the First-tier Tribunal demonstrate that there are still some out there who don’t.”
He reminds tenants and landlords: “Deposit protection legislation is designed to protect all parties involved in the private rented sector and costs landlords nothing to comply with. The schemes also offer free and impartial adjudication services to ensure that any deductions from deposits are fair and can be scrutinised.”