You’d think you would know if you were missing £5,250 – after all, it is hardly small change.
Yet it took a tenancy deposit scheme over a year to track down the tenant who did not claim the money. Perhaps not surprisingly, the tenant was a corporate renter, with deposit and rent paid by their employer. But they didn’t seem to notice either.
The tenant moved out of the Edinburgh property last spring and it was only after repeated attempts by SafeDeposits Scotland to reach them by email, text and phone that the deposit was finally paid back to the employer.
Victoria Nixon, operations manager of SafeDeposits Scotland, said: “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 currently holds £604,513 in unclaimed money from 2,440 deposits.
In Scotland, only custodial deposit schemes are allowed to operate, so the money is physically held rather than covered by insurance.