2nd July 2012
New protection for tenants as deposit scheme comes into force
From today, landlords in Shetland must place any deposits received from tenants with one of three agencies approved by the Scottish Government.
The new requirement is part of the Safeguarding Tenancy Deposits scheme, which is designed to ensure that deposits are returned to tenants at the end of a lease.
The dates by which landlords must pay deposits to an approved agency and provide information to the tenant vary depending on when the deposit was received. There is also a period allowed to adjust to the new arrangements.
Around 10% of housing in Shetland is privately rented. Turnover of these properties has historically been higher than for Council or housing association homes. Because Shetland is also a tourist destination, a number of private rented properties are used in the summer for short term holiday lets and over the winter for a longer period.
The Council’s 2010 housing need and demand assessment found that private rents in Shetland have increased significantly since 2008. Lerwick and Scalloway were found to command the highest rents, at between £115 and £144 per week.
More information on the Safeguarding Tenancy Deposits is available from the Scottish Government website or from the Council’s housing service website – www.shetland.gov.uk/housing.