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Tenants win tenancy deposit case

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In one of the first cases brought under Scotland’s Tenancy Deposit Scheme regulations, a landlord has been found to have failed to protect his tenants’ deposit and ordered to pay them three times the deposit value, reports the BBC.

Under the regulations, landlords are obliged to pay deposits received from tenants into one of three approved funds. They were introduced to make it easier for tenants to get their deposits back without the need for a lengthy court battle.

In this case, says the BBC, landlord Andrew Meehan had failed to secure the £1,150 deposit paid to him by tenants Ross Fraser and Alison Pease. They took their case to  Edinburgh Sheriff Court, where Sheriff Mackie instructed Meehan to pay the claimants the sum of £3,450.

The landmark ruling has been welcomed by homeless charity Shelter Scotland, which campaigned for the introduction of the regulations for a number of years. Shelter describes the ruling as a major breakthrough and claims it serves as a warning to landlords who don’t abide by the law.

“The tenancy deposit scheme is a transparent and fair system brought in last year under a fanfare of publicity and awareness, so there is no reason why any landlord in Scotland should be failing to protect their tenants’ deposits,” explained Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland.

“This is a landmark ruling that should inspire confidence in all those tenants who fear their deposit is not being protected to take action and should act as a strong warning to all landlords who are not protecting their tenants’ deposits to do so,” he concluded.

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