Today (Monday 2 July) marks the official start of the operating period for Scotland’s new tenancy deposit protection regulations, which make it mandatory for all Scottish landlords to protect deposits with a scheme.
SafeDeposits Scotland, chaired by Sir Andrew Cubie, is a free, not-for-profit partnership, between landlords, agents and tenants, including NUS Scotland.
Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said: "This is a great day for tenants and good for landlords. We've worked for many years to get better protection for tenants in private flats and houses, including of course the tens of thousands of students who live in the private rented sector. Too often we've heard of deposits being withheld or deducted unfairly by a few unscrupulous landlords, and the tenancy deposit schemes launched today should go a long way to putting an end to this.
"The message should go out to landlords and tenants in Scotland that deposits must be protected in one of these schemes. The choice is not whether to protect deposits, but which scheme landlords will use. In making that decision I hope they look to the Scheme that NUS Scotland is backing - SafeDeposits Scotland - the only non-profit, Scottish-based Scheme available, and the only one formed through partnership between landlords, tenants and agents."
Malcolm Lindo, Chief Executive of SafeDeposits Scotland, said: "We're delighted that tenancy protection has arrived in Scotland and already we've had very strong interest, with many Scottish landlords already signing up to protect deposits with SafeDeposits Scotland. I'm confident that many more will continue to choose us over the coming months. We're free, safe and Scotland born and bred. We know the housing sector in Scotland as we're part of it.
"SafeDeposits Scotland is the only non-profit, Scottish-based scheme that exists in Scotland and our business model is one that, clearly, landlords are interested in becoming part of. Landlords and tenants can be sure that deposits will be well looked after, and that any disputes will be resolved in a fair and transparent way, using experts in Scots law. SafeDeposits Scotland is run by Scottish landlords and tenants, with the sector's best interests at heart, and the profits we make will be reinvested in the Scottish private rented sector, for landlords and tenants, through our forthcoming charitable trust."
Sir Andrew Cubie, chair of Safe Deposits Scotland, said: “I am delighted that today sees the launch of the tenancy protection regulations, and SafeDeposits Scotland, both of which will ensure that we end the practice of having over £75m worth of unsecured and unregulated deposits being held by in Scotland.
“Too often the actions of a minority of landlords give rise to a negative view of the private rented sector. SafeDeposits Scotland brings together landlords, tenants and agents, ensuring that we have a scheme which not only knows the sector, but will only ever work in the interests of the sector, and provide an equitable outcome for all concerned.
“I joined SafeDeposits Scotland as board chair as I recognised the need for a scheme which represented everyone, in a fair and independent manner. As a not-for-profit scheme backed by tenants and landlords, and with independent experts in Scots law to resolve any disputes, we have that, and one which I hope continues to grow.”