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Scheme To Safeguard Tenants' Rental Deposits

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from bbc scotland

Home rental deposits will have to be handed over by private landlords to an independent arbitrator, under Scottish government plans.

With as many as 11,000 deposits being unfairly withheld, any disputes about paying them back will go to mediation.

The change in the law is to be introduced from March, and will affect more than 230,000 tenants in Scotland's private rented homes.

Many pay their landlords a month's deposit when they start their lease.

Up to £74m may be held that way by landlords.

Getting it back can be difficult when leases end, with disputes over cleaning and wear and tear on the property, often involving students.

The Scottish government says as many as 11,000 deposits, worth £3.6m, may be withheld unfairly each year. Until now, legal action has been the only way of challenging that.

Starting in March, all deposits are to be paid into independently-controlled funds. Disputes over how much should be returned can go to an arbitration service, at no cost to its users.

gotta be a good idea

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I successfully sued my landlord (out of court settlement) using this system but during the whole ordeal I learned a lot about it. It's all very vague and in some instances you only have to protect the deposit if you're found out to not be protecting it...er...yeah, really. I couldn't comment on how effective overall the change is, maybe it's a vast improvement and we should give credit where credit is due but it's not perfect.

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About time too. In Switzerland where i live deposits are kept in special account which a signature from the tenant and the landlord can release the money or you can just buy insurance and have no deposit at all. Plus a whole independent ombudsman to deal with fairness on relatively minor issues

The six month short hold tenancy agreement contract is a farce in England

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In England, the landlord has to lodge the deposit in a scheme.

He has to provide proof he has done this within 30 days.

If the landlord can't prove he did so within 30 days:

=> He/She is instantly fined 3x the deposit, payable to the tennant.... on top of the tennant being entitled to their deposit back on moving out.

=> He/She cannot give the tennant notice or evict them.

If a landlord doesn't put the deposit in a scheme, they have to be f*cking retarded.

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When I lived in Scotland, the deposit was held at a solicitors! I thought this had been the case for some years.

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I'm afraid ruffles is wrong.

There is in theory a three times penalty for failure to protect, but it was eventually decided in a precedent-setting case that late compliance with the law excuses the landlord from a penalty. Therefore they do not have to protect it unless actually sued.

More technically, it appears that the law was simply badly drafted, meaning the 14 day time limit was effectively meaningless. It only applies if it is part of the rules of the specific protection scheme itself, and 2 of the 3 did not and do not require it, whilst the third only put in a regulation on this a couple of years after the law came into effect.

Basically parliament c*cked up.

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I'm afraid ruffles is wrong.

There is in theory a three times penalty for failure to protect, but it was eventually decided in a precedent-setting case that late compliance with the law excuses the landlord from a penalty. Therefore they do not have to protect it unless actually sued.

More technically, it appears that the law was simply badly drafted, meaning the 14 day time limit was effectively meaningless. It only applies if it is part of the rules of the specific protection scheme itself, and 2 of the 3 did not and do not require it, whilst the third only put in a regulation on this a couple of years after the law came into effect.

Basically parliament c*cked up.

Has anyone noticed the rush to amend the legislation to fix it?

no, neither have I.

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If you are worried that property owner looks like a crook, then...

So simple, just stay one month behind on rent.

And, claim interest....as the scheme is no required now, the costs of the scheme were covered by no interest payable.

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If the landlord can't prove he did so within 30 days:

=> He/She is instantly fined 3x the deposit, payable to the tennant.... on top of the tennant being entitled to their deposit back on moving out.

I successfully sued and settled out of court on this BUT that's not after studying as much as possible about real cases.

Basically, even though it's worded like that simply many landlords have simply waited for the county court summons and then simply protected it and walked away with no problems. Jaw-dropping but true. This is very common. If you actually look into the wording of the legal draft people have speculated that it is intentionally vague to sound threatening to landlords but be easy to get out of. If I remember correctly it comes down to interpretation of a "and/or" paragraph and how the judge can reads it!

The government produced a guidance on the matter which basically said something like the judge has to be "satisfied that" something bad has happened (it was again vague when it didn't have to be). Guidance doesn't mean anything if the circuit judge that day doesn't see it, agree with it, think it's relevant, or doesn't like being told what to do.

Also, even if you did win some judges would dismiss the 3x figure and rule for a lot less and would not take kindly to questioning on the matter.

This law and it's application are a bit rubbish.

Edited by cica

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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