At SafeDeposits Scotland, we regularly analyse the data we hold to take the temperature of the private rented sector and to look out for trends.

We recently looked at where landlords were in relation to the properties they rented and noticed an interesting pattern. Since SafeDeposits was founded in 2012, there has been a dramatic increase in landlords living in England and renting property in Scotland.

In 2012, 260 landlords based in England registered deposits on Scottish tenancies, but in 2017, there were 1,388 new registrations - an increase of more than 430%.

The trend seems to be continuing into 2018 with the data showing that for the first three months of the year, the rate of new registrations is up 226% on the same period in 2017.

But what is behind the spike?

Victoria Smith, our operations manager explained: "There could be a number of contributing factors. For example, variations in rates of Stamp Duty in England and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland, may make investing more attractive in the north.

"It's interesting to note that the most significant landlord prosecution for non-compliance was a landlord living in St Albans who failed to protect her Edinburgh tenants' deposits. Seeing that the legislation has teeth may have spurred other English landlords to make sure they weren't breaking the law. The landlords' legal representative at the time (2016) explained she was as "an amateur landlady" but the Sheriff described her as being "dilatory in attending to her obligations.

"While the sector expands and interest from landlords from outside Scotland increases, it is important that they understand the legal framework in which they are operating. For example, navigating deposit protection regulation and Private Residential Tenancy legislation is vital to managing tenancies successfully in Scotland.

"Scotland has different deposit protection legislation in Scotland from England and landlords, wherever they are, must ensure that they are using the scheme where their rented property is located. "

By law, landlords and letting agents who take deposits from tenants must protect them in a Government-backed deposit protection scheme within 30 working days of a tenancy beginning.

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