A landlord has been ordered to pay his ex-tenant £1,500 after failing to protect her deposit with an approved scheme.
The Housing and Property Chamber First-tier tribunal for Scotland found that Mark Bradley of Gourock had not protected his tenant’s deposit for five and a half years, when he should have protected it within 30 working days of the start of the tenancy.
In April 2014, Bradley’s tenant paid £600 to Bradley’s mother in instalments for a “rental bond”.
The money remained in the mother's house in a tin until September 2019 when the tenant asked for £150 back to pay for van removals at the end of the tenancy. The money was paid back by Bradley’s mother in cash.
When the tenant asked for the remainder of her money back, Bradley said he should keep it due to rent due to damage to the property.
Bradley told the tribunal he still had the remaining £450 in cash as his mother had paid it back to him, but Bradley said he had never managed the property himself and that his mother dealt with it.
He also said he was not aware of a landlord’s duties under deposit regulations and that the deposit had not been paid into a scheme initially due to it being paid to his family in instalments. His mother forgot to protect it after she was dealing with other family issues, apparently.
The tribunal found that a sum of two and a half times the amount of the deposit - £1,500 - was reasonable in the circumstances for Bradley to pay back to his tenant.
Eddie Hooker, chief executive of mydeposits, says: “Tenancy deposit legislation has been in place in Scotland since 2012 and before that in England and Wales since 2007. Each time we’ve launched a new scheme, in this case, Scotland, we have worked with the respective governments and stakeholders to communicate the rules to landlords, agents and tenants. Therefore, there is no excuse for any deposit to not be protected with an approved scheme.”
“On face value there are some amusing elements to this case, but it is in reality a serious issue. The tenant’s deposit could have easily been misplaced or misappropriated and they have also been denied access to an impartial resolution service at the end of the tenancy. These are exactly the reasons why the deposit schemes were set up.”
Bradley has said he is no longer letting out the property in question.