Over half of deposits for private tenancies in Scotland may not yet have been paid into a legally required tenancy deposit scheme - with just one day left until the final deadline to transfer deposits.

Based on the latest Scottish Government figures, we estimate that there are up to 56% of tenancies eligible for taking a deposit where a deposit has not yet been paid into a scheme.

According to the latest Scottish Government figures up to the end of March there are only 129,164 deposits submitted to a scheme - but there are 291,190 properties across Scotland signed up for landlord registration.

From tomorrow, May 15th, all deposits from privately rented properties must be secured into one of the three approved tenancy deposit protection schemes in Scotland, as part of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. The legislation has been phased in and tomorrow is the final deadline for all existing deposits.

SafeDeposits Scotland, the Scottish Association of Landlords and the National Union of Students urge landlords to ensure they are signed up before the deadline to avoid facing financial penalties for non-compliance.

Director of Operations at SafeDeposits Scotland, Rebecca Johnston, said, "These figures are to the end of March and while we would like to report a massive surge in the last month of landlords signing up the scheme that hasn't happened. We want landlords to know that we are here to guide them through this process. But there isn't much time left. They must sign up to a scheme - or risk a financial penalty. No-one wants that."

John Blackwood from Scottish Association of Landlords said, "While not all landlords will charge a deposit and more deposits may have been protected since the last count, the estimated figures paint a worrying picture about the potential number of properties not signed up."

Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said, "These statistics seem to indicate that many landlords have yet to sign up to tenancy deposit schemes, which will be a surprise to student tenants who are expecting to hear shortly from the schemes how much of their deposit they are due back. Landlords are liable for huge penalties if they don't submit their tenants' deposits to a scheme, and we urge them to beat the deadline and sign up."

Many of us at SafeDeposits Scotland are landlords or have been agents in the past so we fully understand the challenges that can arise around the return of deposits. The bottom line is that the scheme is free, registration takes minutes and it will be one less thing you need to worry about."

Landlords can register by post, by phoning SafeDeposits on 0845 604 4345 or by visiting the SafeDeposits website.