Scotland needs a tenancy deposit scheme similar to the one implemented in England, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla).

The renting industry body's operations manager Ian Potter claimed that tenants and landlords north of the border currently have no guarantee that their deposits are safeguarded.

He also expressed his disappointment that yesterday's Scottish government review into private landlords did not acknowledge the requirement for Scottish deposits and client funds to be protected by a formal system.

The industry assessment was announced by minister for housing and communities Alex Neil, who was the keynote speaker at the Scottish Association of Landlords major conference and exhibition in Edinburgh.

Mr Potter said: "This research has highlighted a further area of weakness in protection of the consumer in Scotland.

"If a letting agent or private landlord gets into financial difficulty - or even goes out of business - the funds paid to them by clients could be in jeopardy."

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