Non Return of Security Deposit by your Landlord
A security deposit is normally paid by a tenant to a landlord or agent at the commencement of a tenancy and should be returned once the tenancy ends. The deposit does not have to be returned to you on the day that you leave the accommodation. Your landlord must return the deposit within a reasonable timeframe however this is not defined but should be enough time allowing for inspections, repairs to be carried out etc.
By law your landlord may retain part or all of your deposit under the following grounds:
If at the end of your tenancy, there is rent outstanding, your landlord may legitimately retain part or all of your deposit to cover the arrears.
Damage to the property above normal wear and tear
Deductions may be made or the deposit retained in full if there has been damage above normal wear and tear to the property. Normal wear and tear occurs where deterioration occurs over a period of time due to ordinary and reasonable use of the premises.
Normally you are not required to get professional cleaners but before leaving you should clean the property, remove all your belongings, dispose of all rubbish and take photos to show the condition in which it was returned. Ideally you should request a final inspection with the landlord/agent.
If your landlord claims that there has been damage to the property they should provide receipts showing the costs incurred in carrying out repairs.
If you owe money for utility bills, such as gas or electricity, and the utility bill is in the landlord's name, they may withhold part or all of the deposit to cover these costs.
What to do
- If your landlord is refusing to return your deposit, you should request the prompt return of the deposit in writing.
- If your landlord claims there are rent arrears, outstanding utility bills or there has been damage to the property, you should request documentary evidence from your landlord to back up these claims.
- If you are not successful in securing the return of your deposit, you may make a complaint to the Private Residential Tenancies Board. The cost of making a complaint is €25.
- Contact Threshold who may be able to advocate with your landlord on your behalf.