GLASGOW, Scotland, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
The Scottish Government has granted a licence to SafeDeposits Scotland to run a tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland. From 2nd July 2012 landlords in receipt of a tenancy deposit will have to transfer the deposit to a licensed operator, such as SafeDeposits Scotland, to ensure they are securely held and that any dispute about their eventual return is resolved quickly by an independent party Chaired by Sir Andrew Cubie CBE, SafeDeposits Scotland is unique among scheme providers in that it is a partnership of Scottish landlord, agent and tenant organisations, backed by an experienced provider already operating in England.
Unlike other operators, SafeDeposits Scotland is a not-for-profit organisation and any surpluses generated will be gift aided to its sister charity, SafeDeposits Scotland Trust. This charity will be a grant-giving charity designed to promote education, training and best practice in the private rented sector in Scotland.
Malcolm Lindo, Managing Director of SafeDeposits Scotland, said: "We are delighted to have received our licence to operate a tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland. We now have our sights on the next milestone, 2nd July 2012, when we will be able to receive landlords' property details and start protecting deposits."
Sarah Speirs, director, RICS Scotland, commented, "RICS Scotland welcomes the news that SafeDeposits Scotland has been granted a licence by the Scottish Government. As a professional organisation with a royal charter to act in the best interests of the public, RICS consider that stronger regulation of the private rented sector is to be welcomed and that this Tenancy Deposit Scheme will prove clarity, transparency and fairness to both tenants and landlords who access it."
Ian Potter, Operations Manager at ARLA, said, "We decided to become involved due to the fact that we were involved with The Dispute Service in England and wanted to demonstrate the same level of support for our Scottish members as we had done in England & Wales. We believe SafeDeposits will use all the experience garnered over the last 5 years, and in particular the last 2 years, to operate an effective scheme for the agents, landlords and tenants in the Private Rented Sector."
John Ferguson, Director of Development and Programmes, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said, "Most landlords and tenants act fairly but where unscrupulous behaviour exists SafeDeposits will put a stop to it. Better still, the Safe Deposits Scotland Trust will put any surpluses to public good by promoting education, training and best practice in Scotland's private rented sector. It really is a win-win all around."
Robin Parker, President, NUS Scotland, said, "Tenants, including many students, have waited a long time for a scheme that will protect their tenancy deposits from the small minority of landlords that unfairly deduct or withhold their deposits. Safe Deposits Scotland will therefore not only be good for tenants, but also reward the good landlords and, in time, raise money for good causes in Scotland - a win, win I'm sure all will agree."
Bob Doris MSP, Convenor of the Cross Party Group on Housing, said: "I am delighted that the first providers of tenancy deposit schemes as licensed by the Scottish Government are now gearing up to take on their duties from this July. It is commendable that this service will afford greater protection for tenants. It will also be achieved without any additional cost to either tenant or landlord, as well as creating an independent dispute resolution system when needed. It is expected that when there is no dispute between tenant and landlord that deposits will be returned within 5 working days. I believe this has the prospect of being an excellent service."
Steve Harriott: Director of SafeDeposits and Chief Executive of The Dispute Service, said, "We are delighted that SafeDeposits has now been granted its licence. It's the only not for profit tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland and is controlled by directors with the interests of Scottish landlords and tenants at heart. We fully expect it to be a great success."
Notes to editors:
1. SafeDeposits Scotland is a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee, with its members being:
- Scottish Association of Landlords
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- National Federation of Property Professionals
- Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
- National Union of Students Scotland
- The Dispute Service Ltd
2. In March 2011, the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 came into force, and from 2nd July 2012 landlords in receipt of a tenancy
deposit will have to transfer the deposit to a licenced operator, one of which is SafeDeposits Scotland. At the end of the tenancy, if the tenant
disputes any deductions proposed by the landlord, the landlord must provide documentary evidence showing why a deduction is justified.
SOURCE SafeDeposits Scotland