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Letting agency struck off in latest stage of landmark ruling

A letting agency has been removed from a Scottish council’s approved list after failing to conform with rules protecting the deposits of tenants.

A report to North Ayrshire council’s licensing committee, written by its trading standards division, claimed that Colvin Houston Ltd breached rules on tenancy deposits 51 times.

The total value of the deposits affected was over £23,000 and the agency was said not to have complied with council requests for information. 

The removal comes two months after the firm became the first in Scotland to be prosecuted for breaking legislation set up to safeguard tenants’ deposits.

In July a landmark ruling against Colvin Houston Ltd at Kilmarnock Sherriff Court meant it was the first agency to be prosecuted under the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. The legislation was set up to ensure deposits were ring-fenced in independent deposit schemes and protected by third parties until they were to be repaid.

In Scotland, housing legislation primarily places the responsibility for securing deposits on landlords but in this instance - for the first time - consumer protection legislation held that a letting agency was responsible for deposits taken from tenants on behalf of landlords.

Now the council has followed up the court’s decision by removing the firm from its landlords register.

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