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SafeDeposits Scotland Complaints Procedure

SafeDeposits Scotland is committed to providing an excellent service for protecting deposits and dealing with disputes for tenants, landlords and agents. However, as in any organisation, things can go wrong. Whether you are a tenant, landlord or agent, you may feel that your experience of SafeDeposits has not met your expectations.

Please tell SafeDeposits of any concerns about its service to you. SafeDeposits takes all complaints seriously and deals with them promptly, fairly and fully. SafeDeposits tries to learn any lessons that will help to improve its service. SafeDeposits will respond to you in a helpful and courteous way and expects all parties to act in a similar way.

Contact SafeDeposits Scotland - SafeDeposits Scotland

Adjudication decisions

SafeDeposits will not deal with complaints made about adjudication decisions where these are to do with errors of law and/or fact. These should be dealt with by raising a request for the review of the adjudication decision under Section 23 of the SafeDeposits Scheme Rules. Please note also we will not consider complaints regarding set processes to which we are bound by legislation.

Complaining about our service

We would like to hear from you if you have complaints about our service to you – for example if you feel that:

  • you have faced unreasonable delay, unprofessional conduct, or rudeness from our staff
  • we have failed to keep you properly informed

We will respond to complaints about our service within 5 working days of receiving them. We can reject a complaint if it does not align with the above criteria.

Please send us your complaint within 30 working days of the problem arising. Please do this by email or letter to:

Email - 

Post - SafeDeposits Scotland, 1st Floor, 221 West George Street, Glasgow G2 2ND.

Putting your complaint in writing will help us understand it better and respond fully.

You can ask someone to help you put your complaint in writing if you wish. If you cannot put your complaint in writing, please let us know why.

When contacting us, please:

  • give us your name and contact details
  • tell us whether you are the agent, tenant, landlord, or are representing the tenant or landlord
  • quote the Deposit Account Number (DAN) and the address and postcode of the tenancy property, if you have these details
  • let us know what aspect of the service you are complaining about
  • say how you would like us to put matters right

How long will it take to review your complaint?

A senior member of the SafeDeposits management team will review your complaint. We will respond to your complaint within 5 working days of receipt. If we cannot respond to all the issues you have raised within 5 working days, we will write to let you know why and when you can expect a reply.

If we decide our service fell short of our normal standards, we will recommend action to put matters right.

If you do not accept our response

If you remain unhappy about SafeDeposits’ response to your complaint about our customer service, you can escalate your complaint to the external Independent Complaints Reviewer (ICR). This person is not a SafeDeposits staff member.

The Independent Complaints Reviewer will issue a report each year for submission to the SafeDeposits Board. The ICR's most recent report can be found here.

What can the Independent Complaints Reviewer do?

The external Independent Complaints Reviewer can review the handling of investigated complaints to ensure that the process has been fair and transparent, and that the issues raised in the complaints process have been properly considered.

Where the Independent Complaints Reviewer considers that a mistake has been made in the handling of a complaint, they can recommend corrective action or the payment of compensation by SafeDeposits.

The Independent Complaints Reviewer acts completely independently of any influence from SafeDeposits. Once they have made their decision, there is no further appeal available.

The Independent Complaints Reviewer will not:

  • look at a complaint which has not been handled through SafeDeposits published complaints process
  • consider any complaints relating to an adjudication decision, dispute or process to which SafeDeposits is bound by legislation.
  • The Independent Complaints Reviewer may also decline to accept a referral or terminate their review of a complaint if the behaviour of the person making the complaint becomes unacceptable.

Asking the Independent Complaints Reviewer to get involved

  • You must tell SafeDeposits in writing that you are unhappy with the way in which your complaint has been handled
  • You must do this within 14 working days of SafeDeposits confirming that it has completed its own internal procedures in relation to your complaint
  • You and any joint party will be asked to consent to your personal details, complaint details, and case file details being shared with the Independent Complaints Reviewer
  • If SafeDeposits does not receive consent from you and any joint party to share your personal details, complaint details and the case file with the Independent Complaints Reviewer within 14 working days, the request for referral to the Independent Complaints Reviewer will be closed

What happens next

SafeDeposits will review your complaint to make sure that the Independent Complaints Reviewer will be able to deal with it. Where this is not the case, SafeDeposits will advise you within 5 working days of receiving your request for referral to the Independent Complaints Reviewer.

Upon receipt of the consent of all complainants the Independent Complaints Reviewer will consider the information that you have provided. They will also have access to SafeDeposits’ records that are relevant to your complaint.

The Reviewer may themselves reject a referral within 5 working days of receiving it, if they do not consider it falls within the criteria they can consider (see above). This will be confirmed to you in writing.

Where the Reviewer accepts a referral they will aim, within 14 working days of receiving it, to issue a written response to you and to SafeDeposits, setting out their findings as to whether SafeDeposits failed to follow the correct process in investigating and responding to your original complaint. The Independent Complaints Reviewer will contact the complainant directly should it not be possible for the Independent Complaints Reviewer to issue such a response within 14 working days and provide details as to when a written response will be issued.

Where the Independent Complaints Reviewer considers that a mistake has been made, they may make recommendations to put the matter right. This can include requiring SafeDeposits to:

  • make an apology; and/or take some other corrective action; and/or
  • pay appropriate compensation for damage, distress or inconvenience to the person or organisation making the complaint.

In conclusion

The purpose of the Independent Complaints Reviewer’s recommendations is to remedy the mistake identified and try to put you in the position you would have been in had things not gone wrong. Recommendations may also be made that relate to SafeDeposits’ operating procedures to avoid other similar errors in the future.

Except where it contains a material error, the Independent Complaints Reviewer’s written decision and any recommendations within it will be final. There is no appeal against the Independent Complaints Reviewer’s written decision.

As a result, the Independent Complaints Reviewer and SafeDeposits will not engage in further correspondence with complainants after their decision has been sent, unless there is a material error.

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