Scotland approves first tenancy deposit protection scheme

The Scottish government has approved its first tenancy deposit protection scheme, The Letting Protection Service Scotland, with the scheme given the go ahead to launch on July 2.

 The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 came into force on March 7 2011 following approval from Parliament. It then entered into a consultation process between December 2011 and January 2012, with the aim of approving at least one suitable scheme by the end of March 2012.The measures have been introduced to tackle problems faced by tenants, including unfairly held deposits, and to speed up the return of deposits. 

Under the regulations, landlords and letting agents will be required to sign up to and protect deposits with an approved Scottish Government deposit protection service, such as The LPS Scotland.

The regulations allow Scottish Ministers to approve more than one scheme and iIn addition to The LPS Scotland, proposals have also been received from SafeDeposits Scotland and My Deposits Scotland.

 Kevin Firth, director of The LPS Scotland, says: “With five years of custodial deposit protection experience under our belts, we are delighted to be approved by the Scottish Government to operate a scheme in Scotland. I encourage landlords and tenants to make sure that they understand the legislation and take appropriate action to ensure they are covered.

 “It will be compulsory for landlords and letting agents in Scotland to protect their deposits with a government approved scheme as soon as the first scheme launches. It is crucial that those in the private rented sector don’t fall foul of this legislation and take the appropriate steps to ensure that they are prepared for its introduction.”

 The deadline for Scottish landlords and letting agents to comply will vary depending on the date a deposit was received in relation to when the new legislation came into effect. If landlords north of the border fail to comply, they leave themselves open to legal action by tenants and could face fines up to three times the amount of the original deposit.