When the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 were passed by the Scottish Government, no one ever imagined that a tenant wouldn’t want their deposit back when they moved out of the property they were renting – but, believe me, it happens all the time!
As of March 2015, SafeDeposits Scotland have £400,000 of unclaimed tenant deposits.
The landlord or letting agent will have notified us that the tenant has moved out and either confirmed all the deposit can be paid back or deductions are requested, and, at the end of that process, the tenant should have been paid the monies owed.
But we have over 1000 tenants, with an average deposit of £400, who have never contacted us to claim their deposit back!
We have a finance team who spend an inordinate amount of time chasing these “missing tenants” to give them their money back, because we simply feel it’s the right thing to do. We send emails, text messages and try to call. We usually don’t have a forwarding address. We try every means possible to contact these tenants. Our private detective skills are definitely improving!
Are you one of our “missing tenants”?!
After every academic year, we have hundreds of students who don’t claim their deposit before leaving university for the summer, but they will often contact us – or their parents will – later in the year, after they remember there is a deposit due back to them. Once they have provided their bank details, we transfer the money back to them – it’s that simple.
If you’re a student – or any type of tenant, for that matter – and have left a property which you paid a deposit on, remember to claim it back! If you contact SafeDeposits Scotland when you move out, we will be more than happy to help you with the deposit repayment. We don’t want to keep your money.
If your money goes unclaimed for six years, then the current rules mean that we have to hand it over to the Crown. I would much rather the rightful owner of the money, the tenant, gets their money back, so we are asking tenants to think about whether they paid a deposit which they haven’t claimed back. SafeDeposits Scotland can help. You can contact us on [email protected] or 03333 213 136.
Jennifer Paice, Chief Executive of SafeDeposits Scotland