Are you ready for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme?
March 16, 2012
The tenancy deposit scheme is due to come into force in Scotland within the next two months, as the first Scheme (Letting Protection Service Scotland) gets closer to obtaining approval from the Scottish Government to begin operating.
What does this mean for me?
Letting Agents with properties in Scotland will now have a legal obligation to register their tenants' deposits with an approved deposit protection scheme. All new Scottish tenancies created after the first scheme starts operating must have their deposits protected by a deposit protection scheme within 30 days of the tenancy's start date.
Existing tenancies will also need to be protected, although there's a longer timescale for those. Tenancies started between 7th March 2011 and the date of the scheme becoming operational will need to be protected within 3 months and 30 days of the launch date, while tenancies started prior to 7th March 2011 won't need to be protected until 9 months after the launch date.
The purpose of this is to make resolving disputes about the return of the deposit quicker and simpler, without requiring a court case.
How will I be able to claim on a deposit?
The various schemes will offer a free dispute resolution process which, due to the legislation, letting agents are effectively forced to use.
The dispute resolution processes are strictly evidence based, with the default position being that the deposit will be returned to the tenant. This means that it will be down to the letting agent to prove that their claim on the deposit has a real basis. Without the evidence of a check-in inventory and inspection report, and proof that the subject of the deposit claim deteriorated over time, via regular inspection reports or a final check-out inventory, it is unlikely that the claim will succeed!
This could potentially leave many letting agents out of pocket due to a simple lack of detailed inventory reports.
How can you help me?
A lot of letting agents have asked us that question, and we believe that we have a solution that can help take some of the sting out of the increased burden of taking high quality inventories and regular inspection reports.
Our Inspection and Inventory app makes it quick, easy and very simple to perform an inventory or inspection, and have the resulting report automatically generated and emailed to the landlord, tenant, and anyone else who needs to see it. No need to spend hours manually compiling reports from piles of notes and photos! There's also no need to worry about losing reports any more; all the information is stored securely with us, making it easy to share reports between different users.