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Landlords Beware

Thursday, 6th February, 2014


 On the 12th September 2013, the case of Fraser and Pease v Meehan was heard in the Sherriff Court.

The landlord had let a property in Cumberland Street in Edinburgh in May 2009, taking a deposit of £1150. On the introduction of deposit protection legislation the landlord had until the 24th November 2012 to protect the deposit in one of the custodial schemes. The tenancy ended on the 12th January 2013 and the landlord claimed to be entitled to the retain the deposit because of damages to the property. Following negotiations, half of the deposit was refunded to the tenant.

As the landlord had failed to follow the deposit protection rules., the tenant had lost the benefit of independent adjudication and the landlord was liable to a penalty of ‘up to’ three times the value of the deposit. No real justification was given for the failure to have protected the deposit, despite having significant knowledge of the requirement.

The sherriff exercised the court’s unfettered discretion and ordered the maximum penalty of £3450. The Sherriff refused the landlord’s claim that as the maximum the tenant could have recovered was £1150, the penalty was excessive.

 If you are a private landlord or a landlord with another agent and are unsure if you are protected then contact us today
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