A recent case at Edinburgh Sheriff Court (Russel-Smith & Others v Uchegbu) illustrated some issues which arise under the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011.In particular, it shows problems which can arise for landlords if they do not carry out their duties.
Three students entered into a lease in May 2015 and paid a deposit to the landlady of £1,550. The landlady admitted that she failed to lodge the deposit in the approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme and only eventually lodged it in May 2016 once court proceedings had been raised. The landlady also failed to provide the tenants with certain information required under the Regulations.
The court action by the tenants was for sanction against the landlady for breach of her duties in the maximum sum of three times the deposit. It was admitted that the landlady was in breach. The Sheriff had to fix a sanction which was fair, proportionate and just. The Sheriff considered it significant that for the most of the period of the lease the deposit was unprotected and also that the landlady had been officially informed of her breach of duties. He imposed an award against the landlady and in favour of the tenants of £1,853.
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