Agent ordered to repay deposit after holiday let row

Edinburgh-based agency EHPL must pay a £275 deposit back to tenant after losing a property tribunal case.

deposit tribunal

A letting agency has been ordered to repay a tenant’s deposit after a dispute over whether a property was a holiday let, it is reported.

The flat rented out to student Adéla Koubová (main picture) in Edinburgh was not a holiday home, and she could receive the same legal protection as any other tenant, the property tribunal in Scotland ruled.

A deposit of £275 must be repaid to Koubová by Edinburgh Holiday and Party Lets (EHPL), the tribunal said, but she hasn’t received the cash yet, the BBC reports.

She had requested her deposit back and gave four weeks’ notice after discovering a hole in a bedroom window making the flat in Bruntsfield Place (pictured) very cold.

She moved to Scotland from the Czech Republic in January 2020 as part of a University of Edinburgh exchange programme, and found the flat through a Gumtree advert.

Lot of money

“When I realised I lost my deposit I was sad, for me then it was a lot of money,” she says.

“But it has been three years now, a lot of effort and stress in this process, but I am doing it for the other people in this situation.”

Scotland’s tenants’ union Living Rent, supported Koubová in the case.

No difficulty

The Housing and Property Chamber said it has “no difficulty in concluding that both parties were aware that this agreement was not for a holiday let and did not intend it constitute one”.

Controversial businessman Mark Fortune, who owns the flat, was the subject of a BBC Scotland investigation which found that rooms in flats owned him were being let out under contracts that did not give tenants the same protection as other residential agreements.

Read more about deposits.

Pics: Adéla Koubová

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