Tenancy Deposit Scheme survey


Thank you very much to members who took part in our recent tenancy deposit scheme survey.

You can download a PDF summary of the results here.

With tenancy deposit schemes (TDS) in Scotland marking their second anniversary, the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) has undertaken a member survey to gather information from landlords and letting agents on their views and experiences of deposit regulation.

It’s interesting to note that 11% of landlord members are no longer taking deposits from tenants since the TDS was introduced, but only 22% of those are now charging higher rents instead, others preferring to take a risk of loss in order to avoid the additional administration of the scheme and the detailed property inventory required as evidence should deductions be required for damage.

Some had held concerns initially that the scheme would lead to landlords seeking to make more deductions from tenants, where they would previously have turned a blind eye to very minor damage issues. However this has not transpired to be the case, with the vast majority of members (83%) stating that they are neither more nor less likely to make a deduction from a tenants deposit now.

The good news for all parties is that just as it was before the scheme became law, the majority of tenancies end with agreement between landlord and tenant over the deposit, with only 35% have been involved in the adjudication process at all.

When it comes to adjudication which kicks in when there is no agreement over damages or rent arrears, tenants are faring better than landlords with 47% of landlords having their proposed deductions declined by independent adjudicators.

Members made some interesting comments. See the PDF document for all the comments.

Some members are happy enough with the TDS with one saying “I’m pleased that this system has been put in place. I think it provides a transparent approach to managing deposits and should improve the reputation of the sector over time”

Some less so: “It takes longer for the tenant to receive their money.  Bad landlords are not using it so tenants are no better off. It’s one of the reasons I will be selling my properties when the market increases”.

SAL policy manager Caroline Elgar explained that “The key to good management for landlords is to get the property inventory and paperwork correct at the outset of the tenancy. SAL can help landlords with this.

“Our sister organisation Landlord Accreditation Scotland delivers an excellent training course entitled ‘Creating Inventories’ in locations throughout Scotland. Everyone involved in letting can benefit by attending to make sure their skills are up to date and that hassle over deposits can be minimised for all parties.”