The landlord must return promptly any deposit paid by the tenant. The deposit may be retained or deductions made where there are
Rent arrears or
Costs incurred to repair damage above normal wear and tear.
Advertising or reletting costs are not normally valid reasons for withholding a deposit. It is illegal for a landlord to hold tenant’s goods in lieu of money owed.
A tenant risks losing their deposit if they break a lease without grounds in the lease or Residential Tenancies Act. If you feel that your deposit has been unfairly withheld, you can make an application to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). Inventory of Contents Your landlord must record, in your rent book or letting agreement, details of furnishings and appliances provided. It is desirable (though not compulsory) to also record their condition as this can help prevent disputes about damaged or broken items. Check the inventory list to make sure that it is accurate – this could save trouble later on.
Leases for Fixed Periods
A formal lease or letting agreement is usually for a fixed period (e.g. the Academic year). You cannot be asked to leave during that time unless you are in rent arrears or in breach of your tenancy obligations. If you are in rent arrears, you must be notified by the landlord in writing. If you have not met your rent arrears within 14 days, then the landlord may issue you with 28 days notice of termination. You are entitled to formal notice of any claim that you have broken the tenancy conditions and to be given time to set things right. Tenants should be given the original lease and the landlord keeps a copy.
Landlords can only raise the rent to the open market rate. The landlord may also only raise the rent once in a 12 month period unless there has been a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation. If the property has been found through the accommodation office the rent is set for the entire Academic year and cannot be raised.
As a tenant you are entitled to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of your home. Your landlord is only allowed enter with your permission. If the landlord needs to carry out repairs or inspect the premises, it should be by prior arrangement with you. If the property is put up for sale, ask the landlord to agree viewing times with you. If your landlord repeatedly enters your flat without your permission contact the accommodation office for advice.
You are entitled to have friends to stay over on an occasional basis but you need the landlord’s permission if a new person is to move in.