Thursday, 25 May 2017

Panel could settle tenancy deposit rows

The Scottish Government is considering setting up a scheme to resolve disputes over tenancy deposits, amid concerns that private landlords are withholding deposits without justification.

The government is drawing up options and costs for a dispute resolution scheme for tenants and landlords, which could include a tenancy deposit scheme. The options are due to be finalised by the summer.

This could mean expanding the role of the Private Rented Housing Panel, which currently adjudicates on complaints from tenants about repairs.

Housing minister Alex Neil said: ‘This government shares the concerns about unfairly withheld tenancy deposits and I want to move quickly to resolve the issue.’

The minister said the proposals would be put before a group of tenants, landlord and agents. If they cannot agree, the government will publish  a consultation paper in the autumn setting out the options, with the aim of deciding on the way forward early next year.

The government’s recently-published review of the private rented sector found that Scottish landlords may be wrongly withholding between £2.2 million and £3.6 million worth of deposits per year, from between 8,000 and 11,000 tenants.


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