Deposits – A few frequently asked questions

Since 2012, landlords in Scotland have been required to ensure they lodge any tenancy deposit with one of three approved tenancy deposit schemes within 30 days of the start date of the tenancy. Additionally, the landlord must provide the tenant with specific information relating to the tenancy and the deposit. Failing to do any of the above can result in fines of up to three times the deposit amount, so be aware! We are frequently contacted with queries relating to deposits, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions….

How much deposit can I request?

The Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 (section 90) states you can legally request up to two times the monthly rental amount as a deposit. Requesting more than this figure would be classed as an ‘illegal premium’ under the 1984 Act and could result in a fine of £1,000.

If the tenant pays the deposit earlier than the start date to ‘hold’ the tenancy, when do I have to register it?

You are required to register the deposit within 30 days of the tenancy start date.

What ‘specific information’ do I need to give the tenant?

You need to ensure the tenant receives all the necessary information relating to their tenancy and tenancy deposit. This includes the full address of the property, which government scheme is it registered with, landlord/agent contact details, total deposit amount, what circumstances can result in deposit deductions at the end of the tenancy (deposit clause in the lease agreement) and how to apply for the deposit return at the end of the tenancy. Failing to provide this information is in breach of the deposit regulations and can result in a fine of up to 3 times the deposit amount.

If you are unsure about tenancy deposits or have any other letting queries, we would be delighted to help.

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