Rental deposits now protected in Scotland

The first ever Scottish Government approved deposit protection scheme, the Letting Protection Service Scotland (The LPS Scotland) launches today, marking a new era for the Scottish rental market.

The LPS Scotland received approval from the Scottish Government in April of this year to run the scheme as a result of new legislation which will ensure tenancy deposits are safely protected, and which could save Scottish tenants between £2.3 and £3.6 million a year1.

The law comes in response to research that suggested 11,000 tenants in Scotland could have had part or all of their deposits unfairly withheld each year. Landlords and letting agents are now required to protect deposits with a third party protection scheme such as The LPS Scotland by November 2012.

Kevin Firth, Director of The LPS Scotland, commented: “We are delighted to be launching today. We have over ten years custodial deposit protection experience and we have come up with a number of useful tools to help landlords, letting agents and tenants understand the legislation and make sure they are protected.”

“It is crucial that those in the private rented sector don’t fall foul of this legislation. It is now compulsory for landlords and letting agents in Scotland to protect their deposits with an approved third party scheme and landlords can face legal action with fines up to three times the deposit paid by the tenant if they don’t comply.”

Landlords and letting agents can follow three quick and simple steps to ensure that they can comply with the regulations and easily manage their deposits:

Register online at www.lettingprotectionscotland.com;

Use our Timeline for Compliance calculator on the homepage, to make sure deposits are protected in line with Government timescales;

Submit deposits via The LPS Scotland website, or by post;

Landlords and letting agents will be able to view and manage all deposits registered with The LPS Scotland online throughout the duration of the tenancy.

Glasgow Property Letting Ltd have been protecting the deposits of their tenants in Scotland using services provided by The LPS Scotland sister company The Deposit Protection Services (The DPS), and have nearly 70 Scottish deposits already lodged with the scheme.

Colin Macmillan, Managing Director, of Glasgow Property Letting Ltd said: “It’s really positive for our lettings industry that the Scottish Government has introduced tenancy deposit protection legislation in line with the rest of the UK.

“We’ve been protecting deposits since 2008 even though, as a Scottish agency, we haven’t been required to until now. We feel very strongly about the peace of mind and reassurance that deposit protection offers our clients, both landlords and tenants alike. Our deposits were previously held with The DPS who are run by the same company as The LPS Scotland, so we can be sure of their experience and are confident that our tenants’ deposits will continue to be protected to the highest level.”

A range of useful resources to assist landlords, tenants and letting agents with getting to grips with this new legislation can be found on the LPS Scotland website.

Landlords and letting agents are in with the chance to win a day at the races when they register their deposits with The LPS Scotland at www.lettingprotectionscotland.com, between 2nd July and 31st August. The lucky winners will receive a VIP day out for themselves and four guests and receive five star treatment at Ayr Racecourse with hospitality tickets to the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Opening Day on 20th September 2012. The prize includes club badge, racecard, Bucks Fizz reception, four course lunch, afternoon tea, drinks package and private betting facilities4.