SNP welcomes launch of fair tenancy deposit scheme

The start of a new system of protection for tenant deposits has been hailed as a step forward for fairness and transparency.

Tenant deposits for private rented properties can now be voluntarily placed with an approved deposit scheme that will provide free, independent dispute resolution at the end of a tenancy when a landlord and tenant cannot reach agreement. Using the tenancy deposit scheme will become mandatory from between November 2012 and May 2013, depending on when a tenancy started.

The tenancy deposit scheme will be free for landlords and letting agents to participate in, and ensure that landlords can legitimately access deposits, where justified.

Commenting, Glasgow SNP MSP Bob Doris who convenes the Cross Party Group on Housing said:

“The start of the tenancy deposit scheme is good news for tenants who now have far greater protection on their deposits. It is good news for landlords who now have the certainty of an independent dispute resolution process without facing additional costs.

“It is a step forward for fairness and transparency in the private rented housing sector.

“Too many tenants find themselves losing part or all of their deposits on dubious grounds. It represents a substantial financial cost to them which can add to the costs and stress of moving home.

“The start of this scheme makes the whole system of tenant deposits transparent and independent and is real progress for the thousands of tenants who have their deposits wrongly withheld every year.”

Commenting on the start of the tenancy deposit scheme, Susan Aktemel, a professional landlady from Glasgow, added:

“Many tenants have experienced difficulty in the past with landlords or letting agents unfairly withholding deposits or agreeing costs of damages at the end of a tenancy.

“In my view, the introduction of the tenancy deposit scheme is a fair way of ensuring tenants deposits are protected, and that landlords have an independent mechanism for claiming legitimate costs at end of tenancy.

“This can only improve tenant / private landlord relationships, and drive up standards in the sector as a whole.”