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Graham Awards


Tenant's forgotten £5,250 deposit is just the tip of the iceberg

A tenant has been tracked down after a year-long exercise and has now picked up the deposit he forgot to collect when he left his rental property - and it’s a cool £5,250.


The tenant moved out of their central Edinburgh property in spring last year and left the money unclaimed for over a year. Deposit and rent on the property had been paid by the tenant’s employer.



SafeDeposits Scotland repeatedly tried to reach the former tenant by email, text and telephone but it took a year to complete the exercise.


The firm, which describes itself as Scotland’s largest tenancy deposit scheme holding almost 60 per cent of the country’s private rental deposits, says this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of unclaimed returns.

The company currently holds £604,513.86 in unclaimed money from 2,440 deposits. In 2017, up to March 29, it located 309 ‘missing’ tenants repaying a total of £120,238.77 unclaimed money.

“We’d urge companies who have paid for employees’ rented accommodation to check that they have received the money that they’re due. We’re only allowed to contact the name on the lease, even if it’s not the leaseholder who has been paying the rent” explains Victoria Nixon, operations manager at SafeDeposits Scotland.

“We can’t automatically pay money back as by law tenancy deposit schemes do not hold bank details for tenants. It’s understandable that an employee might think that someone else will be dealing with the finances and ignore our messages but they’d be wise not to.”

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    Add the other deposit schemes and there is likely to be over £1 million in tenants deposits unclaimed and will eventually be paid over to the crown.

    I would be interested to find out how this compares to monies returned to tenants following adjudication.

    My guess is that the amount unclaimed will be significantly more than that awarded to tenants following adjudication.


    Which is why they wanted it out of our 'grubby' hands. Not that we ever had many at all, but there were some people who never claimed deposits back. Better to be in the Government's pocket than us nasty landlords, eh?


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