Residential Tenancies Act 2004 Advice

This post was created on 2012-02-17 09:02:19

Q I MOVED OUT of a rented property after a one-year lease two weeks ago. I was told by the landlord that I would receive my deposit “in due course”. However, I have not yet received it and I cannot contact the landlord at present. What is the usual length of time required to return a deposit and what are my options if I cannot contact him? A IN THE majority of cases a tenant will have a fixed-term lease under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (RTA 2004). The landlord is obliged under this Act to register this tenancy with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). In regards to deposit retention a landlord may not keep a deposit (or portion thereof) unless there is evidence of excessive wear and on the property. Also, unless there are any outstanding issues with regards to this or any other part of the lease agreement such as non-payment of rent, the landlord should indeed return the deposit in “good time”. The time frame for return of deposit would usually be within seven-10 days. Taking into account all the above and again if there are no outstanding issues and all rent has been paid during the course of your tenancy the next move is to get a form from the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) website and ask for an adjudication to be heard in regards to your deposit retention. This will cost you €25.00. The PRTB will then process your application and notify the landlord and yourself of a hearing date for the adjudication. Once the case is heard the adjudicator will make a report and a determination order will be issued outlining what has to be done. Before you do seek an adjudication you might check that it has not been a simple case that your landlord was away on holiday or if there is a letting/managing agent confirm whether your new forwarding address has been given to the landlord to send on the deposit. The golden rule here is that all “Tenants’ Obligations” should have been adhered to during your term in the property by yourself or any under tenants that were named on the lease. If this is the case and there has not been any excessive “wear and tear” on the property you have a good chance in getting all your deposit back in full. If the landlord feels that you did not abide by the lease terms then he/she needs to provide evidence of such to the PRTB. This evidence should entail things such as photos of original condition of house if he/she is claiming excessive wear and tear. You should also ensure that you have a copy of the lease agreement and inventory as signed with the landlord. Marcus O’Connor is a chartered surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and is a former adjudicator of the Private Residential Tenancies Board.