The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 covers tenancies which the landlord registration provisions in the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 apply. This means if a landlord is required to register with the local authority, and takes a deposit from their tenant, that landlord must also protect the deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme.

This includes landlords of assured and short assured tenancies, university accommodation, as well as various other types of occupancy agreement.

However, not all deposits have to be protected. Landlords of the following types of property are not required to register with the local authority, so they don't need to protect their tenant's deposit:

  • Lets to family members;

  • Life rents;

  • Houses for holiday use;

  • Properties used by religious orders and organisations;

  • Accommodation with care;

  • Houses subject to control orders;

  • Agricultural and crofting tenancies;

  • Resident landlords;

  • Transitory ownership (executors, heritable creditors, and insolvency practitioners).

Landlords who live overseas and take a deposit, and who are not otherwise exempt, must comply with the Regulations.

It doesn't matter if someone pays the deposit for the tenant; unless a landlord is exempt from complying with the Regulations, the deposit must be transferred to a tenancy deposit scheme.

If a landlord fails to comply with the Regulations, a tenant can apply to the Sheriff Court for financial sanctions. If the Sheriff is satisfied that a landlord has failed to comply, they can order the landlord to pay the tenant up to three times the amount of the deposit. A tenant can apply to the Sheriff Court during the tenancy or up to three months after the tenancy.

SafeDeposits can only protect deposits for tenancies in Scotland. Tenancy Deposit Scheme protects deposits for tenancies in England and Wales, and Tenancy Deposit Scheme Northern Ireland protects deposits for tenancies in Northern Ireland.