Edinburgh tenant ‘forgets’ to collect £5,250 deposit

Victoria Nixon
Victoria Nixon

Staff at tenancy deposit scheme SafeDeposits Scotland have tracked down their biggest ever ‘missing’ tenant, who took more than a year to claim back a deposit of £5,250.

The tenant moved out of their central Edinburgh property in Spring 2016 and left the money unclaimed for over a year. Deposit and rent on the property had been paid by the tenant’s employer.

Only after repeated attempts by SafeDeposits Scotland to reach the former tenant by email, text and phone was the deposit paid back to the employer, over a year after the tenant left the property.

Victoria Nixon, operations manager of SafeDeposits Scotland, said: “We’ve been aware of this sizeable unclaimed deposit for over a year and it’s astonishing that such a large amount could go unnoticed for such a long time. We’re relieved that it’s gone back to where it belongs.

“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. 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.”

SafeDeposits Scotland is Scotland’s largest tenancy deposit scheme, holding almost 60% of all private rental deposits, worth over £75m. The company currently holds £604,513.86 in unclaimed money from 2,440 deposits. In 2017, up to March 29 the tenant team has located 309 ‘missing’ tenants by phoning, emailing and texting, repaying a total of £120,238.77 unclaimed money.

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