Tenants across Scotland could be due a share of £697,554, after failing to claim back deposits at the end of their tenancies.
This information comes from SafeDeposits Scotland, the Glasgow-based tenancy deposit scheme. It holds deposits on behalf of landlords and agents in line with government regulations.
Renters are supposed to claim their deposit bac at the end of a tenancy, but it seems many are forgetting. In 2019, SafeDeposits Scotland tracked down 2,750 tenants to return £912,418 from the scheme to those who should have already claimed it.
Currently across Scotland, there are 2,418 unclaimed deposits, amounting to £697,554. Edinburgh and Glasgow postcodes have the highest value of unclaimed deposits, with a combined total of £374,081.
The Aberdeen area alone has 282 unclaimed deposits worth £83,095 while 256 tenants in and around Dundee could claim back a share of £58,450.
Over 4,500 active deposit accounts have been found for tenancies lasting 10 years or more. One of these tenancies, located in Peebles, started in 1976. While many of these tenancies will still be active, there may be some cases where a tenancy has ended and none of the parties have ever instigated the repayment process.
Mike Smith, operations manager at SafeDeposits Scotland, said: “Our priority is to make sure tenants’ deposits are safe for the duration of their tenancy, and that both landlords and tenants have access to our dispute resolution service should there be any disagreement over the deposit once the tenancy ends.
“When a tenancy ends, most tenants claim their money back promptly. However, we’ve found that thousands of people across Scotland have left their homes without claiming back their deposit, some of which are worth thousands of pounds.
“These are instances where landlords have instructed for the deposit to be repaid, but the tenant hasn’t completed the process to receive their funds. We’ve also discovered that there are thousands of older tenancies, some of which may be no longer active and with deposits to be repaid.
“There are lots of things to think about when moving to a new house or flat but there’s no reason why a tenant shouldn’t claim their deposit back when they leave.”
If tenants in Scotland think they have left a deposit with SafeDeposits Scotland unclaimed from a previous tenancy, they should enquire with the scheme on 03333 213 136.