As a tenant you pay a deposit as a promise you will follow the terms and obligations in the tenancy agreement (you need to: make sure the property is as clean when you move out as it was when you moved in, no damage the property or its contents, to pay the rent etc.).

If you don't stick to these terms, your landlord may wish to make a claim against your deposit. If your landlord does make a claim and you disagree, you can refer the dispute to our free adjudication service.

SafeDeposits can only consider disputes over the deposit. That means we only look at if the tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy agreement.

There are times when a tenant may feel that their landlord hasn't upheld their responsibilities. For example, if the boiler breaks and the landlord doesn't fix it for a considerable period.

It may be the case that you and your landlord have a dispute over the cleanliness at the end of the tenancy. You believe that those charges should be dismissed due to the fact that the landlord did not fix the boiler. SafeDeposits cannot consider this in any dispute. The broken boiler cannot be taken in to account to 'offset' the cleaning claim.

This is not in the remit of SafeDeposits to adjudicate over. If a tenant feels the landlord hasn't upheld their responsibilities as agreed in the tenancy agreement, the tenant should approach the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).

Chamber President, Aileen Devanny, advises:

'A landlord in the private rented sector has a duty to ensure that the house they rent out meets the repairing standard. An application can be made to the Tribunal for a decision on whether the landlord has met their duty.
The tribunal can then order the landlord to carry out the necessary repairs. Various enforcement powers apply if the landlord then does not do so'.

If there is a problem during the tenancy, we recommend tenants let their landlord know as soon as possible and keep a record of the communication in writing. If there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy, the tenant can use this record as evidence that they tried to minimise any issues in the property.

For example, if a window frame is loose and becomes weather damaged because of the wind and rain, if the tenant has let the landlord know about the problem, but the landlord hasn't done anything about it, the adjudicator can take this into consideration when considering a landlord's claim for damage.

Useful links
Renting Scotland:
Citizen's Advice:
First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber):