Are your tenancy deposits safe?
By Jen Paice, CEO of SafeDeposits Scotland
There are over 250,000 private landlords in Scotland and if you are one you’ll know one thing: your time is valuable to you.
Whether you are letting one or more properties, from small flats to large estates, you simply don’t have the luxury of time to be juggling the admin of holding a deposit alongside your day-to-day demands.
So, when the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations came into force a few years ago, landlords were told to pay their deposits to a neutral third party or face financial penalties. SafeDeposits Scotland, was one of three organisations formed to hold deposits and to help landlords and letting agents comply with the new regulations.
As a result, many in the private rented sector were – understandably - concerned they would soon be facing even more legwork in order to comply. Nearly four years on and what we’ve found from our customers is, in fact, the opposite: instead of added work, our customers are reaping the benefits from using our hassle-free service and saving both time and money.
As Scotland’s leading tenancy deposit scheme, we’ve been able to secure over 100,000 deposits so far because we provide the peace of mind of knowing your deposits are safely protected in a ring-fenced account and will be fairly returned or distributed at the end of a tenancy.
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting through to a faceless call centre and speaking to someone who is reading off a script. That’s why we are proud of our in-house customer service team who are based at our Glasgow Headquarters.
They handle over 4,000 calls a month from landlords based in the UK and abroad, answering 94% of these within 30 seconds, reply to emails within an hour during working hours and go above and beyond to help customers manage their accounts efficiently.
Should a dispute over deposit repayment arise at the end of a tenancy, we want to help both landlords and tenants avoid the expense and stress of taking their claim to court. Our free dispute service is adjudicated independently, fairly and quickly based on evidence provided by both parties.
This year we’ve launched the SafeDeposits Scotland Trust to support improvements in the private rented sector. Profits accrued from interest on our deposits will go towards funding education and training projects suggested by those involved in the industry.
Whether you’re a landlord who hasn’t already signed up, or whether you have but want to make sure you’re getting the best service for you and your tenants, we’ll be at the other end of the phone when you need us. Jen Paice is CEO of SafeDeposits Scotland, the only tenancy deposit scheme based in Scotland. See www.safedepositsscotland.com more details.