‘Rouge landlords’ are not common, and the truth is that the vast majority of landlords are reputable, and most of the time there are no disagreements about the return of a tenant’s deposit. But disputes over deposits and tenancy agreements do happen, and in 2006 The Housing Act (Scotland) came into force, enshrining in law the statutory requirements for tenancy deposit protection in Scotland. This was further bolstered by the Tenancy Deposits Schemes (Scotland) Regulations in 2011. As a result, it is mandatory for all landlords to register with their local authority in order to transfer tenant’s deposits to an approved tenancy deposit scheme, and to not hold the money themselves.
The Act and Regulations give much more details about the ins and outs of how this operates, and indeed you can find more information on it at the SafeDeposits Scotland website.
SafeDeposits Scotland was created in 2012 and has since become Scotland’s leading tenancy deposit scheme, holding around 60% of the country’s deposits under their protection. Where SafeDeposits Scotland differs, and you’ve no doubt guessed at this point, is that they are a social enterprise – any surplus that SafeDeposits Scotland generates is gift aided to their relation charity, the SafeDeposits Scotland Trust.
The Trust is dedicated to improving Scotland’s private rented sector for the benefit of those that live and work in it, facilitating education, training and best practices for landlords, letting agents and tenants.
Jennifer has been in charge at SafeDeposits Scotland since 2013, and has been responsible for securing 60% of Scotland’s deposit market. Indeed, since coming on board she has brought the organisation into profit, increasing turnover to £1.5m in 2015.
We talk about this and much more in this podcast. I hope you enjoy the interview.