SafeDeposits Scotland has revealed that renters in Glasgow could be due a share of £154,122, after failing to claim back deposits at the end of their tenancies.
The Glasgow-based tenancy deposit scheme holds deposits on behalf of landlords and agents in line with Government regulations designed to ensure responsible leasing. When a tenancy ends and all parties agree to repayment, the scheme will then release the funds back to the tenant.
The 'G' postcode currently has 523 unclaimed deposits with a combined value of £154,122, there's also one individual claim in Bearsden worth £1,950.
And in total across Scotland, there are 2,418 unclaimed deposits, amounting to £697,544.
In 2019, SafeDeposits Scotland tracked down 2,750 tenants across the country that had forgotten to claim their deposits back.
The not-for-profit organisation managed to return £912,418 from the scheme to these tenants.
Research carried out by SafeDeposits Scotland also looked at the quantity of deposits the scheme holds for longer-standing tenancies.
The average tenure length for tenancies with deposits protected by SafeDeposits Scotland is just over 2.5 years, however the scheme found over 4,500 active deposit accounts for tenancies of 10 years or more.
There are 712 long-standing tenancies in the ‘G’ postcode area alone, with a deposit for one tenancy in the city starting 32 years ago in 1988.
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.
“Already home to 56,000 private rented homes, it’s predicted that this number will grow to 70,000 by 2028. This is largely due to the recent high-profile financial services investments seen across Glasgow that will lead to an increase in people looking to rent ahead of starting new employment. But it’s part of our job to make sure that people, including those moving into new houses, remember to claim their deposits back from previous tenancies.
“We’ve found that hundreds of people have left their Glasgow homes without claiming back their deposit, some of which are worth hundreds of pounds. These are instances where a landlord has instructed for the deposit to be repaid to the tenant, but the tenant hasn’t completed the process to receive their funds. We’ve also discovered that there are hundreds of older tenancies, some of which may be no longer active and with deposits to be repaid.”
SafeDeposits Scotland also highlighted that moving home can be a busy time, but there’s no reason why a tenant shouldn’t claim their deposit back when they leave.
Any surpluses generated by SafeDeposits Scotland are donated to its related charity, the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust.
The University of Strathclyde’s Mediation Clinic and Glasgow-based charity Positive Action in Housing are among the organisations to have been awarded grants by the Trust.
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.