Welcome to the first in what we plan to be a regular series within our blog postings - a monthly spotlight looking at different towns and cities across Scotland. We'll have a brief overview of each town and what sets it apart, before digging into some of the statistics relating to private renting and tenancy deposit protection there.

As it is St. Andrew's Day on Saturday, we thought we would start with the town that bears the name of Scotland's patron saint...

For a town of around 17,580* people, St Andrews has certainly made its mark. "The home of golf", the Fife town is a must-visit for enthusiasts of the sport from around the world and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club is perhaps the most iconic backdrop to any golf swing on the planet. Big names in sport, entertainment and politics have teed off in St Andrews and one Hollywood A-lister to have visited the Old Course on a number of occasions is the legendary Bill Murray. In 2006 he reportedly turned up at a party in a student house and ended up washing the dishes!

From Hollywood royalty to actual royalty, the University of St Andrews is of course the alma mater of Prince William. It was while studying here that William was to meet a fellow student named Kate Middleton and the rest, as they say, is history...

As well as golf and academia, St Andrews also boasts historic attractions in the shape of its cathedral and castle, as well as the popular West Sands Beach. Washed by the waters of the North Sea, the beach was used for filming of the iconic Vangelis-scored scene in Chariots of Fire.

So there are golden sands and green fairways, but what is the tenancy landscape like in St Andrews? It's a unique town and it is safe to say it bucks the trend in a number of areas.

Take the average tenancy duration for example. When we looked at the average tenure (by number of days) for towns and cities around Scotland earlier this year, St Andrews had the shortest average tenure at 543 days - less than half the average tenure of Perth at the other end of the scale. This most likely reflects the significance of the student market in St Andrews' private rented sector.

The average deposit value for St Andrews - based on deposits currently held by SafeDeposits Scotland - is £1,384, which is nearly double the national average of £731.

And when it comes to disputes, the picture for claims in St Andrews is again somewhat different from the Scotland-wide picture. The good news for St Andrews landlords is that the percentages of claims relating to damage, rent arrears and redecorating were all lower than their national equivalents in 2018-19 - damage in particular accounted for 15% of claims in St Andrews, compared to 36% nationally. Cleaning however seems to be more of an issue - this is the most common type of claim across Scotland, but while it accounted for 58% of claims nationally last year the figure for St Andrews was a whopping 95%. Maybe more properties need a visit from Bill Murray and his marigolds!

*Latest available National Records of Scotland statistics.