More than half of people renting their home from a private landlord are not aware of a new scheme aimed at protecting their deposit, research has suggested.
The Scottish Government brought in regulations requiring landlords and letting agents to hand over deposits to an approved third party for safekeeping.
Ministers introduced the scheme in an attempt to prevent unscrupulous landlords from holding on to tenants' money on false grounds.
But a survey, by TNS-BRMB, finds that 55% of private tenants do not even know about the scheme.
Three-quarters of people (76%) do not know money from deposits need to be placed in a tenancy deposit protection scheme, while 19% of those renting from a private landlord know that deposits need to be lodged with such a scheme by a May 15 deadline, less than two months away.
Pollsters interviewed 1,015 people throughout Scotland, including 117 people renting their home from a private landlord, on behalf of SafeDeposits Scotland, the only Scotland-based provider of a tenancy deposit scheme and which is run on a not-for-profit basis.
Rebecca Johnston, director of operations at SafeDeposits Scotland, said: "With just under two months to go to the day until all deposits for privately rented properties in Scotland need to be secured in a tenancy deposit scheme, these figures show a worrying low level of awareness.
"At a time when the private rented sector is growing, we need to provide safe, secure, renting. And the new tenancy deposit protection legislation goes some way towards this, but only if tenants know about their rights.
"We urge all landlords to sign up to the scheme to make sure their tenants' deposits are securely held, avoid financial penalties and help to make the private rented sector in Scotland the best in the world."