Home |  Blog |  Contact Us |  Switch to us 
Free registration of tenancy deposits in Scotland from our offices in Glasgow.
twitter

Latest Blog Post

Launch of tenant and letting agent forums
Launch of tenant and letting agent forums
We conducted the biggest tenant feedback survey of its kind earlier this year and are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive responses. The 2,842 tenants from across Scotland who completed the survey confirmed: 86% have received a welcome email...
Read more
Payments powered by WorldPay
Debit MasterCard JCB Maestro Visa Debit

Please note that we do not accept payment by credit card. We are happy to accept payment by debit card.

Tenants FAQ

Tenancy deposit protection

The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011

What do the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations mean for tenants?

If you rent your home and pay a deposit, your landlord must transfer your money to an approved tenancy deposit scheme within 30 working days of the beginning of the tenancy.

The landlord must also provide you with certain key information, including confirmation of which scheme holds your deposit, within the same time period.

This is a legal requirement under the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

What key information should the landlord give me?

The information must include: the name of the landlord; the landlord's registration status with the local authority; the name of the tenant; the property address; the amount of the deposit; the date the deposit was received by the landlord; the date the deposit was paid to a scheme; and the circumstances under which all or part of the deposit may be deducted by the landlord at the end of the tenancy with reference to the tenancy agreement (e.g. rent arrears, cleaning, damage, etc.).

What happens if a landlord does not comply with the Regulations?

Should a landlord fail to protect deposits and/or provide the key information in accordance with the Regulations, tenants can apply to the Sheriff Court for sanctions against the landlord. If the Sheriff is satisfied that the landlord has failed to comply with the Regulations, they must order the landlord to pay the tenant up to three times the amount of the deposit. In addition they may order the landlord to submit the deposit to an approved scheme.

A tenant has up to three months after the tenancy has ended to make an application to the Sheriff Court for sanctions against the landlord.

I paid my deposit to a letting agent - should it still be protected by a tenancy deposit scheme?

Yes. If you pay a deposit to a letting agent, your money must still be transferred to a tenancy deposit scheme and you must be provided with the key information.

However, the duties in relation to tenancy deposits apply to landlords, as the person requiring the deposit, so any financial sanctions for non-compliance will apply to the landlord, even if a letting agent has been acting on their behalf.

About SafeDeposits Scotland

What is SafeDeposits Scotland?

SafeDeposits is an independent tenancy deposit scheme approved by the Scottish Government. SafeDeposits Scotland holds the deposit during the tenancy in order to keep it safe and to make sure it is available to be returned to the tenant at the end of the tenancy, if they have met the terms of their tenancy agreement. SafeDeposits Scotland also offers an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process if landlords and tenants cannot agree on how the deposit should be repaid at the end of the tenancy.

Is SafeDeposits Scotland free to use?

Yes. SafeDeposits Scotland is funded entirely from the interest earned on deposits held, and landlords, letting agents and tenants do not have to pay any fees to take part in the scheme.

What makes SafeDeposits different from other tenancy deposit schemes?

SafeDeposits Scotland is the country's leading tenancy deposit scheme, protecting 60% of the deposits safely held by tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland.

SafeDeposits Scotland is the only tenancy deposit scheme which is based in Scotland. We operate from our central office on 250 West George Street in Glasgow city centre. When you phone, email or use our Live Chat function, you will be contacting our advisors in Glasgow.

We are also the only not-for-profit tenancy deposit scheme, with any surpluses generated gift-aided to our related charity, the SafeDeposits Scotland Trust.

What is the SafeDeposits Scotland Trust?

The SafeDeposits Scotland Trust is a grant giving charity designed to promote education, training and best practice in Scotland's private rented sector. You can find out more on the www.safedepositsscotlandtrust.com website.

How are the deposits held and protected?

SafeDeposits Scotland will hold the deposit in a ring-fenced account until it is due to be repaid at the end of the tenancy. This means that the deposit will be safe, even if a landlord or letting agents goes out of business.

The deposit is held separately from SafeDeposits' own funds and is therefore protected against any claim from SafeDeposits or any of its creditors should SafeDeposits fail. This means that the deposit is protected and available for repayment or transfer to another scheme if necessary.

Under the Financial Services Authority Compensation Scheme a landlord could make a claim to the FSA for the value of the deposit (up to 85,000) if SafeDeposits becomes insolvent.

How to use SafeDeposits Scotland

How do I know if my deposit is protected?

After your landlord or letting agent has paid your deposit to SafeDeposits Scotland, we will send you a Deposit Protection Certificate to confirm your deposit is protected. Your deposit should be protected within 30 working days of the beginning of the tenancy, and you should receive your Deposit Protection Certificate within a few days of your deposit being paid.

If your landlord or letting agent has provided us with your email address, we will send your Deposit Protection Certificate by email. If we don't have an email address for you, we will send your Deposit Protection Certificate by post.

Who is the lead tenant?

The lead tenant is specified on your Deposit Protection Certificate.

If there is more than one tenant on the tenancy agreement, the landlord or letting agent will nominate one of the tenants as the lead tenant. The lead tenant will act on behalf of all joint tenants at the end of the tenancy during the repayment process. We advise that the landlord discusses the nomination of the lead tenant with all tenants before creating the deposit account.

The lead tenant is responsible for managing the repayment process and it is only their unique Deposit Repayment Number (DRN) which will allow them to access the relevant repayment options at the end of the tenancy.

The lead tenant can be changed during the tenancy. The landlord or letting agent can contact us at any time to nominate a new lead tenant.

What should I do after I receive my Deposit Protection Certificate?

Please check over your Deposit Protection Certificate and make sure that the information it contains is correct. If any of the details are incorrect, please contact us as soon as possible to correct the information.

If you have received your Deposit Protection Certificate by post, this is because we do not hold an email address for you. If you have an email address, please log in to your online user account as soon as possible to update your contact information. If you do not have an email address, please remember that we will need your forwarding address when the tenancy ends so we can contact you regarding the deposit repayment.

Why do you need my email address?

When the tenancy comes to an end, we need to be able to contact you regarding the deposit repayment. If the landlord or letting agent starts the repayment process, we require a response from you within 30 working days. If the 30 working days pass with no response, the deposit will automatically be repaid as per the repayment request entered by the landlord or letting agent. If we are unable to contact you after the tenancy has ended, the repayment request may 'time out' before you are able to respond to agree or disagree with how the landlord or letting agent has requested the deposit be repaid.

We do not pass contact details on to any third parties, and we will not share your contact details with your landlord or letting agent.

What is my deposit account number (DAN)?

Every deposit account on our system is assigned with a unique deposit account number (DAN). This number identifies the deposit on our system. The landlord, tenant(s), and letting agent, if there is one, share the same DAN.

The DAN is on the Deposit Protection Certificate which is sent to all parties when the deposit is first transferred to SafeDeposits.

If you need to contact us regarding your deposit, please quote your DAN.

What is my deposit repayment number (DRN)?

As well as a DAN, we send every tenant an individual deposit repayment number (DRN). The DRN is the unique password for your user account with SafeDeposits, and will let you log in to update your personal details, participate in the repayment process, provide your repayment details, etc.

The DRN is your personal password. You should not share this number with any of your flatmates. The repayment process can be delayed if tenants log in with the incorrect DRN.

The DRN is on the letter or email which accompanied your Deposit Protection Certificate. If you have lost your DRN, please use the 'Forgotten DRN?' function on our website or contact us by telephone, email or via our Live Chat function.

Can I use another tenant's deposit repayment number (DRN)?

No. Every tenant receives a unique DRN for their personal account with SafeDeposits. If you log in with someone else's DRN, you will not access your own account. The repayment process can be delayed if tenants log in with the incorrect DRN.

Please remember to double-check you are using your own DRN before you log in to our website. For example, if the landlord or letting agent has accidentally entered your email address against your flatmate's name, you will be sent their DRN, but their name will be at the top of the email.

If you have lost your DRN, please use the 'Forgotten DRN?' function on our website or contact us by telephone, email or via our Live Chat function.

During the tenancy

What should I do if any of my details change?

You can log in to your user account using your DAN and DRN to update your details in the 'Edit my details' section of your user account.

Alternatively you can phone us, email us, or use our Live Chat function, and an advisor can update your details on your behalf.

If only one tenant is moving out, how do they get their deposit back?

We have a tenant changeover function on our website to be used when only one tenant is moving out of the property. The landlord or letting agent must log in to their user account to confirm which tenant is moving out and how much of the deposit is due to them. We will then contact the outgoing tenant to ask if they agree with the amount specified and for their repayment details. If the outgoing tenant agrees to the tenant changeover request, we will repay them their portion of the deposit, and the remainder of the deposit will automatically be moved into a new deposit account.

We have a guide on our website which explains the tenant changeover process step-by-step, including screenshots of what you can expect to see on on-screen at each stage.

I have agreed to the tenant changeover request from my landlord, so why haven't I received my deposit?

When you agree to the tenant changeover request, we send an automatic alert to the landlord to ask them to complete the tenant changeover process. They can do this by logging in to their user account and confirming if any new tenants have moved in and what the new deposit amount should be. We cannot make repayment to you until the landlord or letting agent has completed the tenant changeover process.

If your flatmate has also been sent a tenant changeover request, but they have not responded yet, we are unable to continue with the tenant changeover process until they do.

While we do alert all parties at every step of the process, if you have responded to the tenant changeover request but the process hasn't moved forward, it may help if you contact your landlord or letting agent, or flatmate, to remind them to complete their step.

What happens if a tenant passes away during the tenancy?

The landlord or letting agent should contact us as soon as possible to provide the name and contact details for the person who is acting on behalf of the tenant. We will contact the tenant's representative to ask for a copy of the death certificate and to ask for confirmation that they are acting on behalf of the tenant. We can then add the representative to the deposit account and they can participate in the repayment process on behalf of the tenant. We are happy to provide assistance or complete the repayment process on behalf of the tenant's representative, if requested.

The deposit repayment process

How is the deposit repaid at the end of the tenancy?

When the tenancy comes to an end, the landlord (or the letting agent, if there is one) should discuss the deposit repayment with the tenant, to reach an agreement on how the deposit should be repaid. Either the landlord, letting agent or the lead tenant can then log in to their SafeDeposits Scotland user account and enter a repayment request which breaks down how the deposit should be repaid (i.e. if the full amount should be repaid to the tenant, or if any should be repaid to the landlord or letting agent). We will send a copy of the proposal to the other party to ask if they agree or disagree and to ask for their repayment details (if necessary).

If both parties are in agreement, we will process the repayment as agreed within 5 working days of receiving agreement. If there is a dispute over any deductions to the deposit, the dispute can be referred to our alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process.

The deposit repayment process does not start automatically - either the landlord, letting agent or lead tenant must enter a repayment request to confirm the tenancy has come to an end.

How long does the deposit repayment process take?

When either the landlord, letting agent or lead tenant enters a repayment request, the other party has 30 working days to respond to agree or disagree. The 30 working day period is set by the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

If both parties are in agreement, the deposit will be repaid within 5 working days of agreement.

The deposit repayment process will be much faster were all parties participate and the repayment request is entered and responded to as soon as possible.

What happens if I agree to the repayment request entered by the landlord?

If you log in and agree to the repayment request entered by the landlord, an automatic notification will be sent to the landlord to let them know you have agreed. The deposit will then be repaid as agreed within 5 working days.

What should I do if I disagree with the repayment request entered by the landlord?

If your landlord wants to keep some or all of the deposit for reasons you think are unfair, the lead tenant can enter their own repayment request and refer the disagreement to our alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service through their user account.

What happens if I don't respond to the repayment request entered by the landlord?

If you don't respond to the repayment request within the allocated 30 working days, any amount claimed for by the landlord will automatically be repaid to them. We will continue to hold any amount due to you until you contact us to provide your repayment details.

The alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process

What is the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process?

If the landlord and tenant can't agree on how the deposit should be repaid, we provide an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process to help decide how any disputed amount should be repaid. This is an alternative to the tenant taking legal action for recovery of a deposit through the court.

If a dispute is referred to ADR, we will invite the landlord to submit evidence to substantiate their claim to the deposit. The tenant will then be invited to view any evidence submitted and provide a statement and any evidence which they may have in response. The submissions provided by both parties will be passed to an independent adjudicator who will decide how any disputed amount should be awarded.

We have published further guidance on ADR, including what the process involves, how best to present your claim, and what type of evidence the adjudicator looks for, in the Guidance documents sections of our website.

Does it cost to use the ADR process?

No. The ADR process is free to use.

How long does the ADR process take?

The ADR process can take anywhere from eight to twelve weeks. This depends on whether parties choose to use the maximum time allocated to them or if a party chooses to progress their stage early. For example, both the landlord and the tenant are allowed 10 working days to submit their evidence, but, if they submit their evidence before then, they can ask for this stage to be moved on earlier.

As the ADR process does take a considerable time, we ask that it is only used as a last resort. We find that most landlords and tenants can come to an agreement without the need for third party intervention.

Why does the landlord or letting agent have to submit their evidence first?

When a dispute is referred to ADR, an adjudicator's starting position mirrors that of the courts: the deposit is first and foremost the tenant's money, unless the landlord can justify their claim to it. The onus is therefore on the landlord to show why they are entitled to claim money from the deposit.