The Scottish Parliament has just approved a short series of amendments to the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. These amendments come into force on Monday 11th November 2019. All tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland, including SafeDeposits Scotland, are required by law to abide by the regulations. It is important that all landlords and letting agents are aware of the forthcoming changes - please read on below for a summary of what will change about the regulations.

We will be required to notify tenants if their deposit has been lodged late

The regulations have always required that a deposit is lodged with an approved scheme within 30 working days of the tenancy commencing. If the deposit is not lodged within that time frame, the tenant can take their landlord to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) where the landlord could face a sanction of up to three times the value of the deposit.

One of the forthcoming amendments will require tenancy deposit schemes - at both registration and repayment stages - to communicate to the tenant if their deposit was registered late and inform them of their rights in respect of the First-tier Tribunal.

If the duration of the tenancy is less than 30 working days, it is not a requirement to lodge the deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme

This amendment provides guidance in the event that a tenancy is shorter in duration than 30 working days - in such an instance, where the full amount of the tenancy deposit received by the landlord is returned to the tenant within said 30 working days, then the landlord is not required to lodge the deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme.

Clarification on deposit protection when the deposit is paid in instalments

We are often asked by landlords what they should do regarding deposit protection in the event that they have agreed to receive the deposit in instalments from their tenant. An amendment to the regulations confirms that any instalments should be lodged within 30 working days of that instalment being paid. Each instalment would have the same requirements as that of a full deposit - as well as the instalment being lodged with a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 working days of payment, information should be provided to the tenant on each occasion and the tenant could take the landlord to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland if an instalment is lodged late and/or the prescribed information is not provided to them within the required timeframe.