English landlords increasingly seeking buy-to-lets in Scotland

Landlords living in England are increasingly looking north of the border for buy-to-lets, figures suggest.

Research by SafeDeposits Scotland, a spin-off from England’s Tenancy Deposit Scheme, has identified a dramatic rise in the number of English landlords letting properties.

Since 2012, the number of English landlords registering tenancy deposits on properties in Scotland has risen by over 430%, according to the scheme’s data.

It found that in 2012, 260 landlords living in England registered deposits on rental properties in Scotland, while last year the number was 1,388.

Data for 2018 shows that the trend continues as the number is up 226% on the same period in 2017.

Victoria Smith, operations manager at SafeDeposits Scotland, said: “SafeDeposits Scotland now holds over 3,300 deposits from English landlords on Scottish properties.

“Scotland has different deposit protection legislation in Scotland from England, and landlords, wherever they are, must ensure that they are using the scheme where their rented property is located.

“We saw a dramatic rise in registrations in 2017, with 1,388 new registrations, which could be down to a number of contributing factors. For example, variations in rates of Stamp Duty in England and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland, may make investing more attractive in the north.”

She added that the scheme’s most significant landlord prosecution for non-compliance was in 2016 for a landlord living in St Albans, Hertfordshire, who failed to protect her Edinburgh tenants’ deposits.

Smith added: “Seeing that the legislation has teeth may have spurred other English landlords to make sure they weren’t breaking the law. The landlord’s legal representative at the time explained she was as ‘an amateur landlady’ but the Sheriff described her as being ‘dilatory in attending to her obligations’.”

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