This guest blog article was contributed by Ian Langley, Director of mydeposits Scotland, a Lettingweb corporate partner.
Ian Langley, Director of Operations at mydeposits Scotland shares an important update from the Sheriffs Court.
A landlord has been fined for non-compliance in failing to protect his tenant’s money in a Government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme and providing his tenant with the correct Prescribed Information.
The case brings to light the dangers first time landlords’ face when they are not aware of the procedures and indeed the law when it comes to protecting a deposit.
Sheriff T Welsh QC, of Edinburgh Sheriff Court stated that ignorance of the law is no excuse when summing up the case:
“In this case I accept the respondent is an ‘amateur’ landlord in the sense that he is not a seasoned or professional landlord. This was his first letting experience. Neither is he a serial non complier with the regulations which would attract higher sanction. His noncompliance was partially remedied when he received legal advice about his obligations which is an important factor to take into account when balancing the equities of the case.
“Ignorance of the regulations is, however, no excuse. Noncompliant landlords can expect no mercy from the courts if they conduct their business in flagrant disregard to statutory controls. In my analysis the let lasted just over a year. The tenant had a right to be informed of the prescribed information within 30 days of commencement. He also had a right to have his deposit paid into the scheme within the same period. Instead, he was uninformed by the landlord for the duration of the let and his deposit unprotected by the scheme, for approximately one half of the letting period.”
To mark the quality of noncompliance and its consequences in this case, Sheriff T Welsh considered it would be fair, proportionate and just to sanction the respondent for noncompliance by awarding the applicant a sum equivalent to one third of the deposit (£333.33), as taxed, plus his expenses.
mydeposits Scotland are here to support landlords and letting agents in complying with the legislation. Remember there’s a 30 working day deadline to lodge the deposit with the scheme from the date the tenancy started.
Mydeposits Scotland is completely free to use with an online service that enables you to a lodge a tenant’s deposit in a matter of minutes. The Prescribed Information is ready to serve to your tenant once the deposit is successfully lodged.