SDS Resolve (formerly SDS Resolution) was first introduced in the summer of 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns resulting in loss of or reduced earnings for people in a number of sectors, many tenants and landlords found themselves dealing with the issue of rent arrears - often for the first time.
This free-to-use mediation and conciliation service, operated by SafeDeposits Scotland, was introduced to help parties establish a satisfactory resolution to rent arrears cases and ultimately sustain tenancies.
The service has since expanded to support landlords and tenants in dealing with disagreements relating to property standards, repairs, entry rights, threatened evictions, breaches of tenancy terms and noise and anti-social behaviour.
Although it has been over a year since the country has been under any form of official lockdown restriction, new challenges have arisen that affect almost every household. The ripple effects of world affairs have threatened incomes while simultaneously increasing outgoings such as energy bills, perhaps for some making rent arrears even more of a threat than they were at the height of the pandemic.
SDS Resolve therefore remains available to assist landlords, letting agents and tenants in coming up with mutually agreeable solutions to problems without the need for further action.
The SDS Resolve process has been set up so that it is easy to use and not daunting to any party. You can read how it works and submit a referral via the SDS Resolve homepage, but let us take the opportunity here to exemplify the effectiveness of SDS Resolve with a recent case study...
A Glasgow letting agent had reason to contact SDS Resolve regarding two separate tenancies. One tenant had amassed arrears of £1,950. Through the intermediary service of SDS Resolve an agreement was reached whereby the tenant is now paying a sum of £150 weekly to repay the amount in arrears. In the other instance, the total rent arrears stood at £2,500; the parties have agreed that the tenant will now pay £150 each month in addition to their monthly rent. Both cases represent tenancies sustained, with the agent having rent recovered via a route that is manageable for the tenant, and all parties having a say in the proceedings.
The letting agent involved in these mediations told us: "It has been a pleasure dealing with Gurjit at SDS Resolve. Having an independent third party has alleviated the stress of trying to negotiate a payment plan for the tenant, landlord and agent. A third party has the unique perspective to be neutral as well as able to view the situation with fresh eyes."